MEPs favour making incitement a crime with safeguards for fundamental rights

In adopting a report on combating terrorism, the EP voted to beef up the data protection provisions of a proposed framework decision on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters. In a second report on protection of personal data relating to a proposal to include three new offences in European law: public incitement to commit terrorist offences, recruitment for terrorism, and terrorist training, MEPs say the fight against terrorism must not constrain freedom of expression.

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44th ISOCARP Congress: Consumption patterns need to change

Urban areas are spreading, minimising the time and distances between and in-and-out of cities. The International Planning Congress in Dalian, China (19-23 September 2008), addressed this ‘urban sprawl’ and sought ways to achieve sustainable urbanisation. The European Environment Agency contributed to this debate by urging policy makers to tackle underpinning consumption patterns.

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EU independent civilian observer mission to Georgia

The General Affairs and External Relations Council meeting, held in Brussels on September 15th and chaired by the French Minister for Foreign and European Affairs, Bernard Kouchner, led to the decision to send an independent civilian observer mission to Georgia, under the European Security and Defence Policy.

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Implementation of the EU-Egypt Action Plan

On August 28th, the Official Journal of the European Union published the Recommendation nº1/2007 of the EU-Egypt Association Council of March 6th 2007 on the implementation of the EU-Egypt Action Plan. With this Action Plan, the European Communities and their Member States, and the Arab Republic of Egypt, intend to strengthen the objectives set out within the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement scope.

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EIB boosts access to finance for small businesses in Dominican Republic

The EIB has committed support to micro, small and medium sized enterprises (MSMEs) in the Caribbean country of the Dominican Republic. Three local banking institutions, Banco ADEMI, Banco ADOPEM and FONDESA will benefit from EIB lines of credit totalling EUR 20 million and up to EUR 2 million in equity participations. EIB funds will be used to finance the banks’ portfolio of loans to the MSME sector.

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Black Sea Synery: main facts of the first year report

The European Commsision has published a the report on the first year of implementation of the Black Sea Synery related to 2007 (COM(2008) 391 final). This strategy is needed as on 1 January 2007, two Black Sea littoral states, Bulgaria and Romania, joined the European Union. More than ever before, the prosperity, stability and security of our neighbours around the Black Sea are of immediate concern to the EU.

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€40 million to Palestinian Authority in PEGASE mechanism

The European Union has provided an additional €40 million to the Palestinian Authority to help meet its recurrent expenditures and ensure the continued delivery of public services. The funds will be used to help pay for salaries and pensions, social allowances to vulnerable Palestinian families and fuel for the power plant to provide electricity to the people of Gaza. This amount comes on top of the €440 million that the European Commission pledged last December in Paris to assist the Palestinians in 2008.

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Proposal for Council Decision on the EU adoption of the Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol

The Cape Town Convention and Aircraft Protocol adopted in 2001 are mixed agreements falling partly under exclusive Community competence. In 2003, an agreement was reached within the EU for the adoption, but given that the situation has changed substantially after the enlargements and the Convention and Protocol are no longer open for signature, an amended proposal is necessary.

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MSs and Europol access for consultation of the Visa Information System (VIS)

Council Decision 2008/633/JHA, of June 23rd, concerning access for consultation of the Visa Information System (VIS) by designated authorities of Member States and by Europol for the purposes of the prevention, detection and investigation of terrorist offences and of other serious criminal offences, was published in the OJEU on August 13th. This Decision complements Regulation (EC) Nº 767/2008 concerning the VIS and the exchange of data between Member States on short-stay visas, the so-called “VIS Regulation”, which was published on the same date

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Fast-track humanitarian aid for civilians affected by the conflict between Georgia and the Russian Federation

The European Commission has released €1 million in fast-track aid to help cover the urgent humanitarian needs of thousands of civilians affected by the fighting in the region of South Ossetia and beyond in Georgia. Experts from the Commission's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) are in the region and are closely following the humanitarian situation.

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