Political, institutional, economic and sustainable development affairs for the Council meeting

At its meeting in June, the European Council is expected to mainly focus on institutional issues, on the economic, financial and social situation as well as on climate change and sustainable development. It will also give its political blessing to Jose Manuel Barroso's bid for a new term as the European Commission

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EU/Canada Agreement on civil aviation safety published in the OJEU

Europe and Canada are close international partners, with strong economic, cultural and political ties. However, arrangements for air transport do not reflect this reality, with Canada having restrictive or no agreements on aviation with the vast majority of Member States. The new Agreement transforms this important market to the benefit of European and Canadian consumers and airlines. It also brings legal certainty to operations between the EU and Canada by recognising the principles of the EU internal aviation market and of a Community carrier.

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2.8 million for educational cooperation between the EU, Australia, Japan and Korea

The European Commission has launched a Call for Proposals under ICI Education Cooperation Programme in order to enhance mutual understanding between peoples of the EU and the Partner Countries including broader knowledge of their languages, cultures and institutions.

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Venezuela excluded from EU list of beneficiaries for special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good …

According to Commission's Decision (2009/454/CE) of June 11th 2009, Decision 2008/938/CE where the list of the beneficiary countries which qualify for the special incentive arrangement for sustainable development and good governance was established is modified, excluding from such list the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

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Air safety: new airports fulfil security measures

The Official Journal of the European Union (L 145/23) has published the Commission Regulation (EC) No 483/2009 laying down measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security.

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EC issues rules for exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items

The Official Journal of the European Union has published on May 29th 2009, Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, of May 5th 2009 setting up a Community regime for the control of exports, transfer, brokering and transit of dual-use items. An effective common system of export controls on dual-use items is necessary to ensure that the international commitments and responsibilities of the Member States and of the European Union, are complied with, especially those regarding non-proliferation.

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Amendments on the Common Consular Instructions on visas

To ensure the reliable verification and identification of applicants, it is necessary to process biometric data in the Visa Information System (VIS) and to provide for a legal framework for the collection of these biometric identifiers. This is the general objective of Regulation nº 390/2009, published in the OJEU on May 28th, and which amends the Common Consular Instructions on visas for diplomatic missions and consular posts in relation to the introduction of biometrics including provisions on the organisation of the reception and processing of visa applications.

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New EU-Russia cooperation agreement on fisheries for the Baltic Sea

The Community and the Government of the Russian Federation have negotiated and initialled an Agreement on cooperation in fisheries and the conservation of the living marine resources in the Baltic Sea. This Agreement, published in the OJEU on May 28th 2009, provides for a close cooperation between both Parties on the basis of the principle of equitable and mutual benefit for the purpose of conservation, sustainable exploitation and management of any straddling, associated and dependent stocks in the Baltic Sea.

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Council adopts EU Blue Card Directive

The Council of the European Union adopted on May 25th the so-called “Blue-Card Directive”, a directive aimed at facilitating conditions of entry and residence in the EU of third-country citizens for the purpose of highly qualified employment. The Blue Card will facilitate access to the labour market to their holders and will entitle them to a series of socio-economic rights and favourable conditions for family reunification and movement across the EU.

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ASEM Foreign Ministers meet in Hanoi

The 9th ASEM Foreign Ministers’ Meeting is hosted by Vietnam on May 25th to 26th. Ministers will meet in Hanoi to build on discussions on the successful 7th ASEM Summit in Beijing last year and  look into enhancing Asia-Europe cooperation in addressing the global economic slowdown, taking forward the elements of the Beijing Declaration on Sustainable Development and working on preparations for the 8th ASEM Summit in October 2010 in Brussels. Topics will include global challenges like climate change but also the further development of the ASEM process into a fully fledged partnership.

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EU-Russia Summit focused on economic recovery and energy security

President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Benita Ferrero-Waldner and the Commissioner for Trade, Baroness Catherine Ashton, will represent the European Commission at the EU-Russia Summit, held in Khabarovsk, Russia between May 21st and 22nd 2009. The Summit is an opportunity for the EU and Russia to discuss how best to coordinate responses to the financial and economic crisis, as well as issues on climate change and energy security. Efforts to promote greater stability in the common neighbourhood and in Europe more generally will also be in the agenda.

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