EC publishes its Communication on draft Regulation concerning statistics relating to external trade with non-member …

The European Commission has published on February 17th, 2009, its Communication concerning the Common Position of the Council on the adoption of a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics relating to external trade with non-member countries and repealing Council Regulation (EC) Nº 1172/95 (COM(2009) 75 final). In its Communication, Commission accepts the Council's Common Position in all terms, except the removal of "import quotas", the availability of which the Commission would insist upon.

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EU Review of the US TFTP confirms its significant value in the fight against terrorism

The European Commission announced in March 2008, a review on behalf of the European Union in respect of the procedures governing the handling, use, and dissemination of financial transaction records from the EU which are carried over the SWIFT network and obtained by the U.S. Treasury Department pursuant to subpoenas issued in support of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Programme (TFTP). Judge Bruguière, designated by the European Commission to undertake the review, prepared a first report to Vice-President Barrot.

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European Community adopts a Cooperation Agreement with the Swiss Confederation to combat fraud and any other illegal …

The Official Journal of the European Union has published on February 17th, 2009 the Council Decision of December 18th 2008 the Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other part, to combat fraud and any other illegal activity to the detriment of their financial interests and the accompanying Final Act.

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Council recommends to the Parliament the discharge for implementation of the operations of the 7th, 8th and 9th EDF for …

The Official Journal of the European Union, OJEU has published on February 11th 2009 three recommendations from the European Council of February 10th 2009 concerning the discharge to be given to the Commission in respect of the implementation of the operations of the Seventh, Eighth and Ninth European Development Fund (EDF) for the financial year 2007.

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The EU assumes its role in the arena of global security challenges

President of the European Commission, José Manuel Durão Barroso, stressed the increasingly crucial role that the European Union must assume in managing instability. In his speech addressed at the Munich Security Conference on February 7th, President Barroso pointed out some of the challenges the World is now facing and  which are starting to have serious geopolitical and social repercussions.

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MEPs call for the internationalisation of EU SMEs as a priority for economic recovery

In a recently adopted report, the European Parliament urges the Commission and Member States to enable EU SMEs to develop in a harmonious manner, gain access to new markets and to expand their export activities and internationalisation. MEPs consider that the internationalisation of SMEs is a primary objective of trade policy and should constitute a cornerstone of the European Small Business Act, and stress the need to improve access to finance, for SMEs, especially to micro-credit, as well as their access to public procurement.

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EC and China sign nine cooperation agreements to strengthen bilateral dialogue on essential issues

This Agreements are the result of the conversations held during the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to the European Commission. The visit has been instrumental in giving a high-level impulse to bilateral cooperation within the EU-China strategic partnership which the Commission intends to continue to develop and enhance based on mutual interest.

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Council authorises the signature of the Protocol on ICZM in the Mediterranean

The Official Journal of the European Union, OJEU, published on February, 4th 2009, the Council Decision on the signing, on behalf of the European Community, of the Protocol on Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Mediterranean to the Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean. This Protocol aims at implementing coastal management as to ensure sustainable development and integrating all the related economic activities, respecting the ecosystems and landscapes as well as Mediterranean cultural heritage.

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Adoption of the EU/Australia Agreement on trade in wine

The Official Journal of the European Union has published on January, 30th 2009 a Council Decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and Australia on trade in wine, which will replace the previous 1994 Agreement, aiming to facilitate and promote wine trade between the Community and Australia.

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EU reaffirms its leading role as humanitarian aid donor in the West Bank

European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, announced further 58 M€ in humanitarian aid for vulnerable Palestinian populations as he visited the Middle East region on a two-day humanitarian mission aimed at seeing for himself the destruction in Gaza following the conflict and to witness just how difficult the living conditions are there for the 1.5 million Palestinian population.

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