EU-Canada higher education programme

It has been published in the OJ (18.1.2008) a call for proposal related for the EU-Canada Programme The general objectives of the programme and of this Call are to promote mutual understanding between the peoples of the European Union and Canada including broader knowledge of their languages, cultures and institutions and to improve the quality of human resources in the European Union and Canada.

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Montenegro joins EU research programme

On the 25th January 2008, Montenegro will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the European Commission which will allow it full access to the EU's 7th Research Framework Programme (FP7) which runs from 2007 to 2013. This "associated status" will allow Montenegro to participate in all calls for proposals and compete on an equal footing with the EU Member States for research co-operation and support actions funded by FP7, as of 1 January 2008. This agreement can therefore be seen as an important step in the process of applying to join the EU. It will allow Montenegrin scientists, universities and companies to create links with their counterparts across Europe and build up their scientific expertise, including in scientific fields crucial to implementing the body of EU legislation. With Montenegro, all countries of the Western Balkans except Bosnia and Herzegovina are now associated to the European Union research effort.

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EC proposes safe novel foods in the EU

The European Commission has on the 14th January 2008, adopted a proposal to revise the Novel Foods Regulation with a view to improving the access of new and innovative foods to the EU market, while still maintaining a high level of consumer protection. Under the draft Regulation, novel foods would be subject to a simpler and more efficient authorisation procedure, which should enable safe, innovative foods to reach the EU market faster. Moreover, special provisions are made for foods which have not been traditionally sold in the EU but which have a safe history of use in third countries, in order to create a more proportionate system and positive environment for trade. The proposal also sets out certain data protection rules, which aim to protect newly developed foodstuffs once authorised, and encourage companies to invest in developing new types of foods and food production techniques.

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Arts festivals for the Year of Intercultural Dialogue

Representatives of major European arts and culture festivals signed a declaration of support to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue in Brussels, 8 January this year  in Ljubljana together with the EU Commissioner Ján Figel'. It means that the aims and messages of the year will be reflected throughout 2008 in dozens of festivals all over the EU and beyond.

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Major opportunities for Information Society

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) issued  his Opinion on the 20th December 2007 concerning the Commission's communication on Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) in Europe that was released in March 2007. The Opinion deals with the growing use of RFID chips in consumer products and other new applications affecting individuals.

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EC encourages financial education for EU citizens

The European Commission has adopted a Communication on Financial Education. The Commission stresses the importance of increasing the ability of Europe's citizens to understand and engage with financial products and services. Enhancing financial education has substantial benefits for consumers, the economy and society. The Commission sets out some basic principles to guide financial educators; and announces some practical initiatives.

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