New members for Cedefop

The Council of the European Union has agreed the appointment and replacement of members of the Governing Board of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop).

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EURO-TRANS Days Final Workshop in Madrid

Euro-trans project will develop the final workshop in Madrid next 27 to 28 march in CDTI headoffices with the strategic objective of open encourage, facilitate and enhance cooperation between SMEs and the major European RID players and Industrial Stakeholders of Surface Transport (road, rail, waterborne and intermodality).

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EC addresses challenges of forest-based industries

The European Commission adopted, on the 27th February 2008, a 19-point plan to address the challenges facing forest-based industries, which are adapting to deal with increased global competition, climate change and energy and wood supply availability. Important competitiveness challenges cover innovation, access to non-EU markets and high energy and transport costs. Moreover, the access to and availability of new and recovered raw material at competitive prices and the strategic role of this sector in limiting climate change are issues which need to be addressed specifically in order to provide the right framework conditions within which this industrial chain can prosper and grow. Furthermore, and in particular in the woodworking and printing sectors, the dimension of Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) is especially relevant. The communication is part of the Commission's integrated industrial policy consisting of horizontal and sectoral measures.

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Entrepreneurship for the JRC

The Joint Research Centre (European Commission) wants to improve the entreprenerurship spririt between its staff by organising three entrepreneurship training seminars to be carried out in liaison with relevant JRC staff and the Turku School of Economics. As the JRC has seven scientific institutes, located at five different sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, the training will take place in any of those places.

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Lead Markets Initiative to develop high value markets in Europe

Concerted action through key policy instruments will speed up market development of fast-growing products and services, without interfering with competitive forces. The first six areas - eHealth, protective textiles, sustainable construction, recycling, bio-based products and renewable energies - which have been identified for the "Lead Market Initiative" (LMI) are highly innovative, respond to customers’ needs, have a strong technological and industrial base in Europe and depend more than other markets on the creation of favourable framework conditions through public policy actions. The initiative calls for the urgent coordination of policy through ambitious action plans for these markets, rapidly bringing visible advantage for Europe’s economy and consumers.

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EC launches Enterprise Europe Network

The European Commission Directorate General for Enterprise and Industry have released their Innovation Policy Projects for 2008. The various projects will involve monitoring SMEs throughout Europe on their performance and activity in order to promote e-learning between SMEs, to improve  the use of ICT products in SMEs and provide complete reports of  tangible information for the future.

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EC Small Business Act

On 31st of January, the European Commission launched a public consultation on the content of a European "Small Business Act". Its objective is to put small and medium sized enterprises at the forefront of decision-making in the EU and to introduce concrete measures to unlock the SMEs' growth potential. It will include new initiatives to reduce regulatory burden on SMEs, facilitate access to Single Market/public procurement, help provide necessary financial/human resources for SME development and help SMEs face the challenge of globalization and climate change. The preparation of a "Small Business Act" for Europe is one of the key measures announced in the Commission's package for the next cycle of the Growth and Jobs Strategy adopted last December. The consultation will be open until the end of March. A Public hearing on the Small Business Act will take place on 6 February in Brussels.

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