Proposal for the Commission's negotiation mandate on the agreement between the Euratom and the USDOE

The Commission published on August 4th, 2008 a Communication to the Council on a negotiation mandate authorizing the Commission to negotiate an agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the Department of Energy of the United States of America (USDOE) in the field of nuclear security research and development. This negotiation aims to replace and strengthen the former agreement of 1995 between these two partners.

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Strengthening cross-border cooperation in combating terrorism and cross-border crime

The Council published in August 6th a set of Decisions aiming to step up of cross-border cooperation, particularly in combating terrorism and cross-border crime. These Decisions include legal provisions to strengthen cross-border cooperation, specially in the domain of intelligence and share of information in cases of terrorism. They set out the basic principles and establish the administrative provisions.

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Europol recruits a new Director

The Official Journal of the European Union published in July 31st, a Notice of Recruitment of a new Director for Europol, the European Law Enforcement Organisation which aims at improving the effectiveness and co-operation of the competent authorities in the Member States in preventing and combating international organised crime.

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EU-South Africa Summit

The first Summit to be organized between South Africa and the EU, was held in Bordeaux on July 25th. This Summit is  also the first Summit to be held during the French Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

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Appointment of the new European Union Special Representative for Afghanistan

After Mr. Francesc Vendrell informed the Secretary General/High Representative (SG/HR) that he will not be available to serve as the European Union Special Representative (EUSR) beyond August 31st 2008, SG/HR recommended Mr Ettore F. Sequi to be appointed as the new EUSR.

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Scientific conference on "Water Research and Sustainable Development"

On July 24th, and as prologue for the celebration of the EU-South Africa Summit, in was held in Bordeaux (France) a scientific conference on research on water and sustainable development. The Conference counted upon the participation of European, South African and French scientific experts as well as heads of scientific programmes.

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Commission adopts a Joint Action on support for activities of the Preparatory Commission of the CTBTO

The Preparatory Commission of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organisation (CTBTO) is engaged in identifying how its verification system could best be strengthened, including through the development of noble gas monitoring capacity and efforts aimed at fully involving States Signatories in the implementation of the verification regime. The Preparatory Commissio should therefore be entrusted with the technical implementation of this Joint Action.

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Paris Summit for the Mediterranean

Launched a little over a year ago by the French Head of State, the Union for the Mediterranean project, which aims to strengthen and deepen the cooperation between both sides of the Mediterrean, was officially inaugurated on July 13th 2008 at the Paris Summit for the Mediterranean, which brought together 43 European and Mediterranean States, the Community institutions and the regional organisations.

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Creation of the European Security and Defence College (ESDC)

On July 4th, the Council published the Joint Action 2008/550/CFSP of June 23th, establishing a European Security and Defence College (ESDC) and repealing Joint Action 2005/575/CFSP.  The ESDC will provide training in the field of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) at the strategic level in order to develop and promote a common understanding of ESDP among civilian and military personnel.

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EU trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina

The Interim Agreement (IA) with Bosnia and Herzegovina has entered into force since 1st July 2008. The IA effectively creates a free trade area, with progressive opening of the market of Bosnia and Herzegovina facilitating economic and social development. The two sides signed the Stabilisation and Association Agreement (SAA) and the IA on 16 June in Luxembourg. Until the ratification process is finalised the trade provisions of the SAA are applied through the IA.

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Commission launches debate on relations with Overseas Countries and Territories

The Commission, on the 25th June 2008, tabled a Green Paper on the future relation with Overseas Countries and Territories (OCT), aimed at launching a broad debate on the EU-OCT relations. Following the public consultation, the Commission will propose a new partnership that takes better account of the special characteristics and present economic situation in the 21 islands.

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