Archive pour la catégorie ‘Health’

The European unit Patent moves forward

Vendredi 2 décembre 2011

The European patent for improving European competitiveness was approved by the Committee on Legal Affairs and the negotiators of the Council Presidency

MEPs succeeded in adapting the proposed regime to small firms’ needs, but the deal still needs to approved by Parliament as a whole and the 25 EU Member States involved.

Parliament’s rapporteurs struck a political agreement with the Polish Presidency of the Council on the three proposals (unitary patent, language regime and unified patent court) that form the “EU patent package”. The agreement will have now to be confirmed by both the Parliament (after a vote in committee) and the Council. The regulation should enter into force in 2014.

The aim of creating an EU patent is twofold. First to reduce current patenting costs by up to 80%, so as to improve the competitive position of EU firms vis-à-vis their counterparts in the US and Japan, where patents are substantially cheaper. Second, it should help to avoid the legal confusion created when dealing with differing national patent laws.

MEPs aim to cut costs for small firms

The first piece of legislation in the package is a regulation setting up a unitary patent protection system. The agreed text largely reflects the Commission proposal, and in particular a provision allowing inventors from countries currently outside the procedure to apply for an EU patent.

Specific provisions have been introduced to ensure that small firms benefit from reduced costs and a sound system for distributing patent renewal fees. (Renewal fees account for a big share of total costs, and the economic sustainability of the system as a whole depends upon them).

What language for EU-wide patents?

The proposed regime for translating EU patents would make them available in German, English and French, although applications could be submitted in any EU language. Translation costs from a language other than the three official ones would be compensated.

Enforcing protection

An international agreement is currently being negotiated by Member States participating in the procedure to create a unified patent court so as to reduce costs and uncertainty as to the law due to differing national interpretations.

The European Commission is working on improving the food supply chain

Mardi 29 novembre 2011

One year after the creation of a forum on the subject, an interim report provides findings.

The Forum welcomed in particular the Principles of Good Practice agreed by eleven organisations of the sector. These principles represent a significant step forward taken by the food supply chain in the fight against unfair practices in business-to-business relationships. Effective implementation and enforcement tools now need to be designed to bring actual improvements on the market. In the spirit of better regulation, the Commission invited the food supply chain representatives to put forward credible implementation options to the Forum by June 2012.

The Forum also highlighted other positive developments, such as the work on corporate responsibility and sustainability agenda in the context of competitiveness.

Background
The aim of the High Level Forum is to assist the Commission with the development of its policies concerning the agro-food sector and to ensure the responsible competitiveness of the whole food supply chain.

The European Commission established the Forum in 20101 (IP/10/1510) to continue and extend the work of the former High Level Group on the Competitiveness of the Agro-Food Industry. The aim of the Forum is to assist the Commission in supporting sustainable competitiveness and growth in the European agro-food supply chain. It also provides advice to the Commission in the implementation of its Communication ‘A better functioning food supply chain in Europe’ (COM(2009)591).

The Forum comprises 45 members representing a number of Member States, European companies dealing with food production, processing or distribution, professional associations and non-governmental organisations representing citizens’ interests.

The Forum is chaired by European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani together with his fellow Commissioners Michel Barnier (Internal Market and Services), Dacian Cioloş (Agriculture and Rural Development) and John Dalli (Health and Consumer Policy).

The European Commission is funding robotics

Lundi 28 novembre 2011

The European Commission has funded a project of robotic neurosurgery

The ROBOCAST project, has developed a new type of robot that gives two important advantages to surgeons: 13 degrees (types) of movement, compared to the four available to human hands during minimally invasive surgery, and “haptic feedback” the physical cues which allow surgeons to assess tissue and perceive the amount of force applied during surgery. The robot has performed accurate keyhole neurosurgery on dummies, and when ready for humans, could ease the suffering of millions of Europeans diagnosed with tumours, and conditions such as epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and Tourette syndrome.

In keyhole neurosurgery a probe enters a tiny hole in the skull called a burr hole, and manipulates tissue or collects blood and other fluids. Robots can reduce surgeon’s tremor 10-fold, making them especially useful in protecting the delicate and important brain matter. Until now, robots have not been successfully tested for such sophisticated surgery.

Commission Vice-President for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes said: “If any activity requires precision, it’s neurosurgery, so I am delighted this EU-funded research is helping surgeons and patients to be safer. If we can cut waiting lists and deliver better results for patients as Europe’s population ages, I think EU-funded technology projects like this will pay us back many times over.”

A follow-up project, called ACTIVE, is beginning parallel research into robotic neurosurgery for patients who are to remain awake during surgery. Up to three robots (two equipped with sensors and end-effectors to operate and one to actively smooth head movements) are expected to cooperate and assist the surgeon to perform the operation.

Research in Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) on medicine is strongly supported by the Digital Agenda for Europe which aims at easing the difficulties of illness and supporting active and healthy ageing (see IP/10/581, MEMO/10/199 and MEMO/10/200).

Background
28 November to 4 December is European Robotics Week

Robots are a vital part of Computer-Aided Surgery which improves surgery through use of three dimensional displays, real-time intra-operative monitoring and other tools.

The global demand for robots and robot-related products was worth around €15.5 billion in 2010, including around €3 billion in Europe.

Under the R&D 7th Framework Programme, the European Commission has provided around €400 million to around 100 robotics research projects.

The ROBOCAST project started in 2008, leading to trial surgeries on dummies in 2011. The ACTIVE project started in April 2011 and will last for four years. It received € 5.77 million out of total € 7.62 million from Commission funding. The consortium of ACTIVE involves 6 of the ROBOCAST partners.

A new platform to improve health research and education in Africa

Lundi 28 novembre 2011

A new platform was set up by the European Commission with researchers from Belgium, Cameroon, Egypt, Ghana, Mali, Spain and Switzerland

Titled ‘AFRICA BUILD’, the project aims to set up excellence centres supported by advanced information and communications technologies (ICT) with the overall aim of building research networks between cooperative health projects based in Africa.

The project is funded in part with almost EUR 2 000 000 as part of the ‘Building sustainable capacity for research for health in Africa’ sub-programme of the Seventh Framework Programme’s (FP7) ‘Health’ Theme. From August 2011, AFRICA BUILD partners have been laying the groundwork for setting up these sustainable networks of health researchers, educators and workers.

The project will run until 2014, and the hope is that ICT can provide support for building an open and collaborative platform. The excellence centres set up as part of AFRICA BUILD will be focal points for sharing best practices and new methods of education and training. They will be the hubs of the project, employing specialised workers and purchasing ICT equipment that will be used for initiating e-learning courses on health, medical informatics and ICT.

The project also aims to encourage the use of advanced ICT developments such as cloud and mobile computing. The thinking is that African countries should be able to gain access to supercomputers and large software systems to store information and to access and use open source software.

Pilot projects born out of the AFRICA BUILD initiative will also use advanced ICT to deal with some of the most pressing health problems beleaguering many African countries, such as AIDS.

Collaboration is also a cornerstone of the project; AFRICA BUILD will set up a volunteer network that can participate in medical informatics research and development (R&D) projects and offer distance learning courses in partnership with existing African aid projects.

To kick things off, the researchers have already carried out a series of ambitious cloud computing experiments, namely clinical database integration, and supercomputing for bioinformatics and access to open source software tools or medical image processing.

Using just a laptop and a mobile phone connection, researchers in Burundi, a central African country with little ICT infrastructure, have already managed to access databases and perform complex bioinformatics calculations on MAGERIT, a supercomputer based at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid in Spain.

This early result bodes well for the future of the project and indeed for the future of collaboration between Europe and Africa, not to mention the potential for the use of ICT to foster better health care.

A step towards the European Patent

Mercredi 23 novembre 2011

Parliament help the introduction of this patent which will improve the competitiveness

The European Parliament’s rapporteurs, who will negotiate with national governments, will treat the three proposals (unitary patent, language regime and unified patent court) as a package, meaning none will be agreed without the others. According to the mandate, approved by the committee with 16 votes in favour and 3 against, the MEP negotiators will also ask that the three laws to enter into force at the same time.

The aim of creating an EU patent is twofold. First to reduce current patenting costs by up to 80%, so as to improve the competitive position of EU firms vis-à-vis their counterparts in the US and Japan, where patents are substantially cheaper. Second, it should help to avoid the legal confusion created when dealing with differing national patent laws.

MEPs aim to cut costs for small firms

The first piece of legislation in the package is a regulation setting up a unitary patent protection system. The committee endorsed the Commission proposal, and in particular a provision allowing inventors from countries currently outside the procedure to apply for an EU patent.

Rapporteur Bernhard Rapkay (S&D, DE) will strive to amend the text so as to introduce specific provisions to ensure that small firms benefit from reduced costs and a sound system for distributing patent renewal fees. (Renewal fees account for a big share of total costs, and the economic sustainability of the system as a whole depends upon them).

What language for EU-wide patents?

The proposed regime for translating EU patents would make them available in German, English and French, although applications could be submitted in any EU language. Translation costs from a language other than the three official ones would be compensated.

Raffaele Baldassarre (EPP, IT), rapporteur for this second regulation, will also ask for a special provisions for small firms, including a special reimbursement and an easier access to patent protection.

Enforcing protection

An international agreement is currently being negotiated by Member States participating in the procedure to create a unified patent court so as to reduce costs and uncertainty as to the law due to differing national interpretations.

Klaus-Heiner Lehne (EPP, DE), rapporteur for the last piece of the package, will seek to ensure that the litigation system is efficient, by giving it a decentralised structure, clear procedural rules and judges selected for their competence.

The legislation is being dealt under the so-called “enhanced cooperation procedure”, which allows groups of Member States to integrate policies further, even where others do not agree. Spain and Italy have so far opted out of work on the patent proposal, but could join the decision-making process at any time. This procedure was adopted to unblock the file, long stalled over language issues.

The European Union guarantee a better product safety

Lundi 21 novembre 2011

Nine directives for different industrial sectors will enable better security of European products

Market surveillance and customs officers can now better check the safety of products using more effective tools. In addition, Member States can improve the supervision of monitoring bodies that check the conformity of products with EU law, for example ensuring that the CE marking has been properly applied by manufacturers.

Certain provisions (see below) of the nine directives are being aligned with model provisions developed at EU level to overcome divergences in EU law which make life hard for businesses. In the future, producers, importers and distributors will profit from uniform trading conditions. At the same time this process will further improve the safety of products on sale in the EU by strengthening compliance procedures and make it easier to keep non-compliant products off the market.

Background
The changes made to the nine directives on alignment relate to definitions (for example “manufacturer”, “making available on the market”, “CE marking”), the obligations of economic operators, traceability requirements, conformity assessment bodies and procedures, CE marking and so on.

Obligations for manufacturers, importers and distributors
All products in the nine sectors marketed in the EU must carry a CE conformity marking , which is the manufacturer’s declaration that they satisfy all of the essential requirements of the applicable directive(s). Products that are CE marked enjoy free circulation in the European Economic Area (EEA).

Before obtaining the CE mark a manufacturer has to carry out a safety and conformity assessment. The manufacturer has to establish more comprehensive technical documentation for products and must ensure traceability.

Importers must check whether manufacturers have carried out conformity assessment of products correctly and if necessary must carry out random tests themselves.

The nine industry sectors concerned by the alignment
The Commission proposes to align the following directives which all ensure the free movement of goods in the sectors concerned:

- Low Voltage Directive : Directive 2006/95/EEC
- Electromagnetic Compatibility Directive: Directive 2004/108/EC
- Simple Pressure Vessels Directive: Council Directive 2009/105/EC
- Measuring Instruments Directive : Directive 2004/22/EC
- Non-automatic Weighing Instruments Directive: Directive 2009/23/EC
- Civil Explosives Directive : Council Directive 93/15/EEC
- Pyrotechnic articles : Directive 2007/23/EC
- ATEX Directive : Directive 94/9/EC on equipment and protective systems intended for use in potentially explosive atmospheres
- Lifts Directive : Directive 95/16/EC .

The New Legislative Framework for marketing of products entered into force on 1 January 2010. Designed to improve the operation of the internal market in goods, the main aim is to ensure the safety of citizens and reduce the number of products on the market which do not satisfy EU legislation. Another objective is to improve the quality of the work performed by bodies active in testing and certifying products. Furthermore the Framework should also bring more consistency to the whole regulatory framework for products and simplify its application.

Europe in lack of science graduates

Mercredi 16 novembre 2011

According to two reports by the European Commission today, Member States are invited to encourage science graduates.

The report on mathematics education reveals that only five European countries (England, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland and Norway) have set national targets to boost achievement levels, although a majority of EU Member States provide general guidelines to address pupils’ difficulties in this area. The report on science shows that no Member States have specific national support policies for low achievers, although five countries (Bulgaria, Germany, Spain, France and Poland) have launched programmes to tackle low achievement in general. The reports conclude that although much has been achieved in updating mathematics and science curricula, support for the teachers responsible for implementing the changes is still lacking.

Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said that Europe needs to improve its educational performance. Both mathematics and science play a crucial role in modern curricula in meeting not only the needs of the labour market, but also for developing active citizenship, social inclusion and personal fulfilment. These studies show that although progress is being made, we still have a long way to go. We also need to address gender balance so that more girls are encouraged in science and mathematics. It’s time to step up our efforts to support the teaching profession and to help children who are struggling at school.

Both reports provide a comparative analysis of approaches to teaching mathematics and science, with the aim of contributing to European and national debate on how to improve standards.

Concerns about achievement levels led to Education Ministers adopting an EU-wide benchmark in 2009 which called for the share of 15-year-olds with insufficient abilities in mathematics, science and reading to be less than 15% by the end of the decade. Of 18 EU countries with comparable data, Finland, Estonia and the Netherlands are the best performers, with Bulgaria and Romania at the other end of the scale (see IP/11/488)

Background
Mathematics

Mathematical competence has been identified by Education Ministers as one of the key competences necessary for personal fulfilment, active citizenship, social inclusion and employability in a knowledge society.

A range of factors influence the way mathematics is taught and learned. International surveys suggest that pupils’ attainment is related to family background, quality of teaching and to the structure and organisation of education systems.

The report on mathematics education (the first produced for the Commission) finds that a majority of European countries have adopted an outcome-based approach, where the focus is on pupils’ practical skills. The amount of mathematics content in curricula has decreased while the focus on problem-solving and the application of mathematics has increased. This approach better responds to the needs of students and pupils and clearly shows how they can apply mathematics in the real world.

The challenge that remains, however, is providing the necessary support to teachers, which calls for continuing training. In addition, support and guidance for teaching diverse groups of students need to be strengthened.

Science
Only eight countries (Germany, Spain, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Austria, the United Kingdom and Norway) have overall strategies for promoting science education which address the curricula, teaching methods and further training for teachers. Of the countries which do not have such a strategy, most run individual programmes and projects such as school partnerships and science centres.

In addition, most European countries promote innovative ways of teaching science, such as inquiry-based learning, from primary level onwards. Most also recommend engaging students in discussions on environmental concerns and demonstrating practical applications of science in daily life.

While this is encouraging, specific national support policies for low achievers in science subjects do not exist in any European country. Instead, support is covered by a general framework of measures for pupils with learning difficulties, irrespective of the subject. These include differentiated teaching, one-to-one tuition, peer assisted learning, tutoring and ability grouping.

Eurydice
The studies were compiled by the Eurydice network and focus on curriculum reforms, teaching and assessment methods. They address tackling low achievement, increasing motivation through focusing e.g. on practical applications and teacher education. They examine each topic in the light of academic research, the latest results from international surveys and an in-depth review of national policies and programmes.

The Eurydice Network provides information on and analyses of European education systems and policies. It consists of 37 national units based in all 33 countries participating in the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme (EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). It is co-ordinated and managed by the EU Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency in Brussels, which provides a range of online resources.

More transparency about additives in food business

Mardi 15 novembre 2011

The European Parliament adopted two pieces of legislation about the use of additives in food.

Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner, John Dalli, said that today represents a landmark in our efforts to strengthen food safety in the European Union . He added that the adoption of two regulations on additives will further empower citizens and industry alike as they will make it easier for everyone concerned to know exactly what additives are allowed in foodstuffs.Also, the Commissioner said that, in a nutshell, this means a better informed citizen and, at the same, an EU Food Industry properly equipped to come up with new innovative and safe products.

The two regulations establish two new lists.

The first concerns additives in foodstuff and it will come into application in June 2013 (this grace period for the application was deemed necessary to allow the Union’s food industry to adapt to the new rules). This list, which is also available in a database online (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/sanco_foods/?sector=FAD), will allow consumers, food business operators and control authorities to easily identify which additives are authorised in a particular foodstuff.

The second list regards additives in food ingredients, such as other additives, enzymes, flavourings and nutrients and it will apply 20 days after its publication in the EU’s Official Journal.

The establishment of the two lists is an important step in the implementation of framework Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 on food additives adopted in December 2008.

Transparency
Transparency is one major benefit of the new legislation. The authorised uses of additives are from now on listed according to the category of food to which they may be added. The Commission considers this an important improvement compared to the old lists that were dispersed over several annexes in three different directives.

The new list makes it obvious, for instance, that in some food categories the authorised additives are very limited or even not allowed at all. This is the case, for instance, for unflavoured yoghurt, butter, compote, pasta, simple bread, honey, water and fruit juice.

In other categories, usually those concerning highly processed foodstuffs – such as, for example, confectionary, snacks, sauces and flavoured drinks – a large number of additives are authorised.

Moreover, the list of additives that may be added to other additives, enzymes, flavourings and nutrients will further ensure that exposure to additives through these ingredients remains limited.

What else changes by the new legislative provisions
Apart from the establishment of the two lists, the new legislation also provides for:

- well determined conditions under which additives may be added to food
- a food categorisation with the additives listed in a clear way according to the categories of food to which they may be added
- a programme for the full re-evaluation of the safety of all authorised additives
- clear guidelines and instructions for the applicants requesting new uses of food additives

General background on additives
The general conditions for the use of food additives were set by the European Parliament and the Council in the 2008 framework regulation and remain in force. This regulation establishes general framework, principles and objectives to which all specific legislation on additives refers. It requires that the use of additives is safe, technologically justified, does not mislead the consumer and has advantages and benefits for the consumer.

Re-evaluation of additives
In March 2010, the Commission adopted a programme for the re-evaluation of all authorised food additives. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) must re-evaluate all additives by 2020. Re-evaluation is prioritised on the basis of when a food additive was last evaluated, the availability of new scientific information, the extent of use of a food additive and the human exposure to it.

Food colours are first on the priority list. Seventeen colours have already been re-evaluated. For three of them, the Commission has already proposed revised use levels since EFSA estimates that exposure to those additives can be potentially too high for certain groups of consumers.

Due to new scientific information higher priority has been given to the sweetener aspartame, which will be re-evaluated by September 2012.

Guidelines and instructions
In March 2011, the Commission adopted a measure specifying the data necessary to authorise a new use for an additive. These include toxicological data for the risk assessment and information demonstrating that the use of the additive is technologically justified, may have benefits for the consumer and will not be misleading.

In order to help future applicants, the Commission has prepared a practical guide, which is available on the internet (http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/fAEF/authorisation_application_en.htm). This will allow applicants to introduce complete dossiers that can be efficiently handled. The Commission is convinced that this can stimulate responsible innovation by the Food Industry.

An example of such an innovative product is the natural sweetener, steviol glycosides, which are derived from the Stevia ribaudiana plant. The Commission also adopted today a regulation authorising its use in several food categories.

EFSA was requested to assess the safety of the substance. It concluded that the sweeteners are not carcinogenic, genotoxic or associated with any reproductive/developmental toxicity, and established an Acceptable Daily Intake (ADI) of 4 mg/kg body weight/day. Conservative estimates of steviol glycosides exposure, both in adults and in children, suggest that it is likely that the ADI would be exceeded at the maximum proposed use levels.

In order to ensure that the exposure is safe for the consumer, the requested uses and use levels had to be revised. The regulation adopted today mirrors the outcome of this process.

The European Commission gives a penalty for violence and intolerance in sport

Mardi 8 novembre 2011

The European Commission provides grants to reduce violence and intolerance in sport.

Twelve trans-national projects have received grants ranging from €125 000 to €200 000 (details below) as part of a package of ‘preparatory actions’ intended to pave the way for the launch of an EU sub-programme for sport, which would also support grassroots campaigns to promote physical activity, social inclusion through sport, and the fight against doping.

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, said that supporting sport at the grassroots’ level is one of my priorities. Without EU funding many valuable sporting initiatives would not get off the ground. She added that she is very happy that these 12 projects are receiving EU funding and wish them a lot of success.

Background: The projects funded under the 2011 ‘Preparatory Actions’

The EU support covers two themes:

a) Prevention of and fight against violence and intolerance in sport:
Projects selected in this area support innovative trans-national networks focused on the prevention of and fight against violence and discrimination. The funding supports the exchange of good practices between the sport sector, educational institutions, supporters’ organisations, non-governmental organisations and national and local authorities with the aim of promoting respect for fundamental European values in sport.

The funded projects are:

Title : ELYS - Educational LABs for European Young Supporters

Objectives : Educating young people to tackle violence in sport

Lead organisation : Regional Committee CONI, Lombardy

Countries involved : EL, ES, IE, IT, NL, NO, PT, RO, UK

Grant : €200,000

Title : Prevention of sexualized violence in sport

Objectives : Creating a network of experts and organisations to prevent sexualized violence in sport

Lead organisation : Deutsche Sportjugend im Deutschen Olympischen Sportbund e.V.

Countries involved : DE, GR, NO, UK, CZ, ES, CY, DK, BE, SI

Grant : €200,000

Title : Preventing and fighting homophobic violence and intolerance in sport - Pride in Sport

Objectives : Developing a network to fight homophobia in sport

Lead organisation : European Gay & Lesbian Sport Federation

Countries involved : DE, FR, HU, SL, UK, European-wide organisation

Grant : €160,000

Title : Pro Supporters - Prevention through empowerment

Objectives : Developing measures to tackle football-related violence and racism through preventive fan-based schemes across Europe

Lead organisation : Fonds Wiener Institut für internationalen Dialog und Zusammenarbeit

Countries involved : AT, CZ, IE, UK, DE, NL, European-wide organisations

Grant : €200,000

b) Promoting innovative approaches to strengthen the organisation of sport in Europe:
Good governance is a precondition for the autonomy and self-regulation of sport organisations. The funding supports trans-national networks aimed at developing a European dimension in sport. These networks also seek to strengthen the administrative capacity of sport organisations and to increase the competitive level of sport in Europe.

The funded projects are:

Title: Sport 4 Good Governance (S4G)

Objectives: Support and guidance for good governance in sport organisations

Lead organisation: EU Office of the European Olympic Committees

Countries involved: BE, CR, CY, DE, DK, EE, HR, IT, NL, SI, CH, European wide organisation

Grant: €200,000

Title: Good governance in grassroots’ sports

Objectives: Increasing organisational capacity

Lead organisation: International Sport and Culture Association

Countries involved: CZ, DE, DK, EE, ES, FR, IT, IE, RO, UK, European-wide organisation

Grant: €200,000

Title: The further development of a coordinated network for sport coaching in Europe (CoachNet)

Objectives: Establishing a coordination system for the improvement of sport coaching

Lead organisation: Leeds Metropolitan University

Countries involved: DE, ES, FI, FR, HU, IE, NL, PT

Grant: €200,000

Title: European Rugby League Governance Foundation Project

Objectives: Developing a European dimension in Rugby League

Lead organisation: Rugby League European Federation

Countries involved: CZ, DE, FR, IE, IT, LV, NL, SE, UK

Grant: €100,000

Title: Improving football governance through supporter involvement and community ownership

Objectives: Strengthening club ownership by supporters

Lead organisation: Supporters Direct

Countries involved: BE, DE, ES, FR, IT, PT, SE, UK

Grant: €200,000

Title: Better Boards, Stronger Sport

Objectives: Promoting effective management boards in sport organisations

Lead organisation: Sport and Recreation Alliance

Countries involved: EE, FI, HU,IE, PL and transnational sport networks

Grant: €125,000

Title: Action for Good Governance in International Sports organisations

Objectives: Identify guidelines and possible solutions to improve the governance of international and European sport organisations

Lead organisation: Danish Institute for Sports Studies / Play the Game

Countries involved: BE, CH, DE, DK, NL, SI, UK

Grant: €200,000

Title: European ABC (Academy for Billiard Champions) on the way to Sport Excellence

Objectives: Improving the organszational and institutional capacity of billiard organisations

Lead organisation: Bulgarian Billiard Federation

Countries involved: BG, CZ, PL, RO, SI

Grant: €130,000

The EU’s role in sport

The EU’s role is to support, supplement and coordinate actions by the Member States and to develop a European dimension in sport. According to Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, the EU shall “contribute to the promotion of European sporting issues, while taking account of the specific nature of sport, its structures based on voluntary activity and its social and educational function… [the EU’s action] shall be aimed at developing the European dimension in sport, by promoting fairness and openness in sporting competitions and cooperation between bodies responsible for sports, and by protecting the physical and moral integrity of sportsmen and sportswomen, especially the youngest sportsmen and sportswomen”.

The proposed EU sport sub-programme will be part a broader programme supporting education, training, and youth (’Erasmus for All’), which is due to be adopted by the Commission later this month. The Commission has proposed €15.2 billion in funding for the Erasmus for All programme between 2014 and 2020 (see IP/11/857).

EU to strengthen public health infrastructure

Lundi 7 novembre 2011

Last weekend, a conference entitled “Strengthening public health infrastructure in the European Union - the network of National Institutes of Public Health” was held in Poznan, Poland. Back on the topics discussed.

Conferences of the Directors of National Public Health Institutes are organised cyclically, and their purpose is for experts to develop a common standpoint towards the issues of public health in Europe.

The participants in the meeting will continue the two topics already brought up at last year’s conference in Brussels - discussing the cooperation of National Public Health Institutes (NPHI) with the private sector and the development of communication of the Institutes with the public.

The international experts will also discuss new topics: they will analyse the results of the survey of the state of health of European residents, debate the strategies for preventing HPV infections, and raise issues of strengthening public health infrastructure in the European Union, as well as in the other countries in Europe.