Parliment asks Turkey to reenergise its reform plans

In its latest progress report on Turkey, adopted by a large majority of 467 for, 62 against and 61 abstentions, the European Parliament welcomes recent legislative activities in the country, while insisting that the speed of reforms must pick up. The own-initiative report, drawn up by Ria Oomen-Ruijten (EPP-ED, NL), "welcomes the commitment of Prime Minister Erdogan that 2008 is going to be the year of reforms" and "urges the Turkish government to fulfil its promises" by implementing them.

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EIB visit to broaden activity in Brazil

Brazil is the main Latin American beneficiary country of EIB loans for investment in productive activities and the largest recipient of EU foreign direct investment in the region. The EIB has so far extended 24 loans totalling EUR 1.4 billion, representing some 48% of its entire activity in Latin America. The diversified portfolio of EIB financing operations in Brazil directly supports private sector investment. Among the main investments supported are those of Vivo, Continental, Michelin, Pirelli, TIM, Telefónica, Itaú-BBA, Volkswagen, Mercedes and Veracel, as well as the Bolivia-Brazil gas pipeline.

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Commission adopts proposals to enhance Barcelona Process

The European Commission adopted its proposals, on the 20th May 2008, for upgrading relations with its Mediterranean partners through the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean. Following the decision of the Spring European Council the Commissioner Ferrero-Waldner presented the outline of the structures of the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean which aim at giving renewed vitality and visibility to the EU’s relations with Partners in the Mediterranean region. The policy paper also outlines ideas for the kind of projects that would constitute visible and tangible efforts at improving the lives and livelihoods of the region’s citizens.

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Euro-Mediterranean Association Agreement with Israel

On the 17 of May 2005, the European Commission published its proposal for a decision on the signing and provisional application of a Protocol to the Euro-Mediterranean Agreement establishing an association between the European Communities and their Member States, of the one part, and the State of Israel, of the other part, on a framework Agreement between the
European Community and the State of Israel on the general principles governing the State of Israel’s participation in Community programmes.

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EU-Latin America/Caribbean trade in facts and figures

The EU is the second economic partner for Latin America-Caribbean region. Bilateral trade amounts around €160billion annually. In 2007 the EU represented around 14% of Latin American exports. For the Caribbean the EU is even more important as an export destination with 19% of products shipped to the EU. These numbers are constantly rising.

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MEPs concerned about player selections and doping in Sort

The report, drafted by Manolis MAVROMMATIS (EPP-ED, EL) welcomes the Commission's July 2007 White Paper on Sport and emphasises the important role of sport in society. It notes that about 60% of EU citizens regularly participate in sporting activities within or outside some 700,000 clubs, and that sport in a broader sense generated € 407 billion in value-added in 2004 (3.4% of EU GDP)  and employment for 15 million people (5.4% of the labour force).

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Territorial Challenges and Cooperation in a Wider Europe ESPON

EU Member States and countries neighbouring the Union will at the ESPON seminar “Territorial Challenges and Cooperation in a Wider Europe” take further steps in understanding and cooperating on territorial development dynamics within Europe between the 2-3 June 2008 in Portorož (Slovenia). The policy focus is territorial cohesion and a sustainable and balanced development.

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Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II)

On the 8th May 2008, the European Union published the council decision from the 4th March 2008 concerning the adoption of the SIRENE Manual and other implementing measures for the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II). The manual will prove a useful handbook for operators of the SIS II system and for facilitating work by the SIRENE Bureau.

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EU to meet the Latin American and Caribbean countries in Lima

60 Heads of State and Government from the EU Member States, Latin America and the Caribbean will gather in Lima, Peru, on May the 16th for the V EU-LAC Summit. The EU and Latin American and Caribbean leaders will debate two key themes for the bi-regional agenda: poverty reduction and social cohesion; and environment, climate change and sustainable development.

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The second session of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly finishes

The second session of the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly (Eurolat), held in Lima, adopted three resolutions and a message to Heads of State and the EU-Latin American summit on 13-17 May. The two Eurolat co-Presidents, MEP José Ignacio Salafranca and Chilean Senator Jorge Pizarro, were satisfied with the outcome, stressing the importance of the parliamentary dimension in EU-Latin American relations.

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Report concerning the Financial Management of the 7th-9th European Development Funds

The European Commission have published their official report, on the 24th April 2008, to the European Parliment, the Council and the European Court of Auditors concerning the Financial Management of the 7th-9th European Development Funds (EDFs) in 2007.

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Alpine Space Programme 2007-13

On 20 September 2007, the European Commission approved a transnational cooperation programme between Germany, France, Italy, Austria and Slovenia (with participation from Liechtenstein and Switzerland) for the period 2007-13. The Alpine Space Programme falls within the framework laid out for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective and has a total budget of around €130 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to some €98 million, which represents approximately 1.1% of the total EU investment earmarked for the European Territorial Cooperation Objective under the Cohesion Policy for 2007-13.

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