First formal summit between the EU and Obama administration

Swedish president, deputy prime minister and foreign affairs minister, president of the Commission and EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy are meeting with the President of the USA in Washington. This is the first EU-USA summit under the presidency of Barack Obama.

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EIB provides USD 211 million for clean energy generation project in Panama

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted a USD 211 million loan to the two subsidiaries of the Gas de France-Suez Group holding the concession for the Dos Mares project, to develop three hydropower plants in western Panama.

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Joint projects to spark EU-US research collaboration

Two new EU-funded projects to promote research between the EU and the US will help both continents to increase their research expertise, expand bilateral relations and create a greater global science and technology base in accordance with the goals of the Lisbon Agenda.

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EU countries to fight HIV/AIDS among 2009-2013

The Commission has renewed its efforts to fight HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries by adopting a strategy for the period 2009-2013. Effective HIV treatment exists but there is still no cure or vaccine against AIDS. The number of people living with HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries has increased from 1.5 million in 2001 to 2.2 million in 2007. Approximately 730,000 of these people live in the EU.

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External Affairs ministers get prepared for EU Council Summit on 29–30 October

The General Affairs and External Relations Council (GAERC) is meeting on 26–27 October in Luxembourg. The ministers will make preparations for the upcoming EU Summit taking plance on 29–30 October and reach a decision on the EU's Baltic Sea Strategy. Points on the foreign policy agenda include an action plan for stronger EU actions in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the situation in Sri Lanka after the end of the war and the transition to a stronger EU presence in Bosnia.

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Parliament wants power of scrutiny over EU diplomatic service

The European Parliament has issued a call for the planned EU diplomatic service to be part of the Commission administrative structure and be funded from the Commission budget. This set-up would make the service subject to democratic oversight by the Parliament.

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MEPs discuss about 2010 budget

MEPs demanded €1.5 billion in fresh money to finance the economic recovery plan and €300 million for a new dairy fund in a vote on Thursday. In general, they restored the Commission's preliminary draft budget after the Council's cuts.

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EP President appeal to abolish death penalty

A strong appeal for the abolition of capital punishment was issued by EP President Jerzy Buzek as he opened this week's plenary session in Strasbourg with a reference to European Day against the Death Penalty.

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Croatia could wrap up entry talks with the EU next year.

The commission's annual report on countries aspiring to EU membership says Croatia has entered the final stage of accession negotiations. It urges the country to pursue efforts to meet the EU's conditions for joining, particularly its fight against corruption and organised crime.

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Commission goes step further in developing renewable energy with Mediterranean and Gulf countries

On 9 October, the European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy, Benita Ferrero-Waldner in will host in Brussels a Ministerial level conference on renewable energy cooperation between the EU, the Mediterranean and the Gulf countries, in co operation with the Energy Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs. The conference aims to forge increased political support for closer cooperation in this field, and help to find concrete solutions to the challenges ahead.

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