Archive pour mars 2008

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Vendredi 28 mars 2008

The European Commission sets  the implementation of a transnational network to reach European funding. 


Thus as a project manager, you have to give a European dimension to your action: it consists in doing a partnership with several actors of various European countries.


That is the reason why Welcomeurope provides you, free of charge, its new database to search and find European partners relevant to the programmes and the calls for proposals published by the European Commission.


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Genetic blood disorder proves resistant to malaria

Jeudi 27 mars 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants for research projects concerning the treatment of major diseases and the delivery of health care

EU-funded researchers have discovered the reason why people with the genetic blood disorder alpha-thalassaemia are resistant to malarial anaemia

Those suffering from this disorder can tolerate losing large numbers of red blood cells associated with malaria, because their bodies produce an increased number of smaller red blood cells.

Alpha-thalassaemiais is caused by the mutation of two or more of the four genes responsible for the production of haemoglobin, the protein that carries oxygen in the blood. People with the condition develop mild anaemia as a result.

A study conducted in the mid-1990s in children living in Papua New Guinea, where more than two-thirds of the population have alpha-thalassaemia, found that the disorder protects against severe malaria. Scientists originally thought that although the condition did not stop malaria, it managed to interfere with the malarial parasite’s ability to enter the red blood cells, multiply and spread. This prevented children with malaria developing the related illness anaemia.

The researchers in this latest study decided to re-analyse the data of the 800 children involved in the Papua New Guinea study. They looked at red blood cell counts in each child with malaria, and compared this with the children’s genetic profiles.

They discovered that the children with Alpha-thalassaemiais had smaller red blood cells, containing less haemoglobin, than healthy people. However, these children also had many more of these red blood cells - between 10% and 20% more than is normal. This meant that children with the blood disorder could handle losing more blood cells to malaria because they have more blood cells to begin with.

Although the study only deals with one type of malaria parasite, the researchers speculate that the blood profile associated with alpha-thalassaemia might well prevent other malaria species causing anaemia.

The results of the study are published in the latest edition of the open access journal PLoS Medicine.

Press room - Cordis

European good practices to help cut workplace illness for millions

Jeudi 27 mars 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants awarded via the programme of Community action of public health

Nine organisations have been honoured with a European Good Practice Award for helping to prevent musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) – the most common form of work-related illness in Europe

Across the EU, 25% of workers complain of backache and 23% report muscular pains. The winners were announced at the closing event of the ‘Lighten the Load’ campaign, organised by the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA). The Agency also presented a new report setting out the latest scientific evidence on the issue.

The ‘Lighten the Load’ campaign aimed to promote an integrated approach to tackling MSDs while also helping workers affected by them continue in work. It complements the EU’s new strategy for health and safety at work (2007–2012) which targets occupational ill health and aims to cut by a quarter work-related accidents across the EU.

More than 500 delegates, including European Union policy-makers, social partners and leading safety and health experts, gathered at the Euskalduna Conference Centre in Bilbao, Spain on 26 February. The summit was the culmination of the ‘Lighten the Load’ campaign, which promoted an integrated management approach to tackling MSDs, embracing prevention and the retention, rehabilitation and reintegration of workers. In 2007, several hundred events were organised by EU-OSHA, its focal point network and other organisations across Europe.

At the summit, the delegates attended three parallel workshops on statistics, MSD prevention in the workplace and reintegration of workers with MSDs. Afterwards, nine organisations from six EU Member States received the European Good Practice Awards; an additional 11 entries were commended.

Among the winners were projects that

- Eliminated MSD problems experienced by handling heavy wooden pallets;
- Developed an ergonomically designed sewing workstation;
- Introduced a load moving system to reduce manual handling in a greenhouse.

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work

Integrating sex and gender differences in health research

Jeudi 20 mars 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 The funding schemes (or instruments) of the 7th Framework programme of Research and Development will be used to implement different types of projects and actions falling under the whole set of thematic and specific FP7 programmes

The EU-funded project GenderBasic has developed a number of recommendations for the improved integration of sex and gender differences in health-related research

Scientists must be aware of these differences at all stages of their studies, from the research content itself to the processes and methods employed in clinical trials, says project coordinator, Dr Ineke Klinge of the University of Maastricht in the Netherlands.

On research content, the GenderBasic partners suggest taking into account biological sex differences, as well as socio-economic gender aspects in health research. For instance, in the neurosciences, the areas of cognition and mood enhancement would benefit from considering differences between men and women, says Dr Klinge, noting that the same is true for the study of human performance and human health.

Looking at processes and methods in animal clinical trials, Dr Klinge suggests that research projects should be obliged to test drugs on male as well as female animals where appropriate, although this would make the study larger and thus possibly increase the number of animals used in tests. The researchers would then have to record age, weight, reproductive status and the ovarian cycle phase as accurately as possible and disclose the sex of the animal. Their reports should also take into account the impact of sex and gender differences on all aspects of the experiment.

In human clinical trials and health research, studies should involve men as well as appropriate numbers of women as subjects, according to the GenderBasic recommendations. Currently, the percentage of female participants amounts to only 30% in most trials, while the target should be 50% in order to achieve appropriate representation of both sexes.

Reportedly, a number of diseases affect men and women differently. For example, the inflammatory and chronic airway disease, asthma, occurs more frequently in boys before puberty, while girls are more likely to suffer from the disease after puberty. Due to the complexity of the disease, no straightforward single mechanism can explain gender differences found in asthma.

Meanwhile osteoporosis, a disease of the bone that increases the risk of fracture, is considered to affect mainly women after their menopause. The drugs that are developed for osteoporosis are therefore usually modelled on female patients, however these also prescribed to the smaller number of male patients.

However, osteoporosis is clearly an exception that proves the rule. According to Joana Namorado of the European Commission’s Directorate for Health within the Directorate General for Research, her own experience as a clinician has shown that even if minority groups such as women become a majority group for a disease, they are not of interest to the pharmaceutical industry. Most scientists would not listen to gender arguments as gender is a rather fuzzy concept, she says, noting that the concept of sex is far more tangible.

The GenderBasic project officially ended in autumn 2007 and received just over €200,000 under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6). Some of its results in the form of a number of review articles commissioned from international experts were published in a supplement of the Gender Medicine Journal entitled ‘Bringing gender expertise to biomedical and health-related research’.

Press room - Cordis

Transparency: All recipients of EU farm aid to be published by April 2009

Mercredi 19 mars 2008

All recipients of European Union agricultural and rural development payments will be published in detail under new rules adopted today by the European Commission.

By 30 April, 2009, the full name, municipality and, where available, postal code of every recipient will be published in a clear, harmonised manner on nationally-managed websites with a search tool which enables the public to see how much money each person or company received. Amounts will be broken down in direct payments to farmers and other support measures. For rural development policy, which is co-financed between the EU and the national government, the information will cover both EU and national money. This information will be available by 30 April every year for the previous financial year and must remain on the website for two years from the date of its original publication. In addition, the European Commission will manage its own website which will have links to each national site.

The new Financial Regulation, adopted in 2006, sets out the principle that Member States have to ensure the publication of a list of all recipients of all forms of EU agricultural and rural development funds for each financial year. The Commission Regulation adopted today, which has received the support of the Member States, sets out the details of how this publication will be done, after the Council had agreed on the main elements last November.

It provides that each Member State shall publish the information on a website which allows people to search for the beneficiaries by name, municipality, amounts received (and the currency concerned) or a combination of these three criteria and to extract the information as a single set of data. It requires Member States to inform the beneficiaries that their data will be made public and that they enjoy the rights accorded to them by EU data protection rules, thus ensuring that the system complies with the requirements of data protection.

This information will be available from 30 April of the year after the money was paid and remain on the website for two years after the initial date of publication. The publication of data on rural development funds will begin slightly earlier than data for direct farm payments. For all rural development funds spent between 1 January and 15 October 2007, the information will be published by 30 September 2008.

Given the different organisational structures across the EU, the Member States themselves will decide who will be in charge of setting up and maintaining their single website. They can also decide to publish more detailed information if they so choose. The Commission will run its own website, providing a link to the individual national sites.

A number of Member States already publish the recipients of EU agricultural funds. The Commission already provides a link to allow members of the public to find these national websites.

Today’s decision is the latest stage in the Commission’s long-running Transparency Initiative, an idea which aims to increase openness and accessibility of EU institutions, raise awareness of the use of the EU budget and make the Union’s institutions more accountable to the public.

Press Room - European Commission
  More information:
European Commission

Discover Welcomeurope ’s database to find EU partners

Lundi 17 mars 2008


 The European Commission sets  the implementation of a transnational network to reach European funding. 


Thus as a project manager, you have to give a European dimension to your action: it consists in doing a partnership with several actors of various European countries.


That is the reason why Welcomeurope provides you, free of charge, its new database to search and find European partners relevant to the programmes and the calls for proposals published by the European Commission.


Do not wait any more and exchange from now  with your future partners!


To subscribe for free now : click here



Croatia first candidate country to join EU MEDIA 2007 programme

Lundi 17 mars 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Support programme for the European audiovisual sector

Today a Memorandum of Understanding making Croatia the first candidate country to join the MEDIA 2007 programme was signed by Viviane Reding, EU Commissioner for Information Society and Media, and Ambassador Branko Baricevic;, Head of the Croatian Mission to the EU.

Croatia is the 32nd country to join the MEDIA programme for the competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry, and the distribution and exhibition of audiovisual works (following the EU27, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). The total budget for MEDIA 2007 is € 755 million for 2007 to 2013.

MEDIA 2007 will strengthen the competitiveness of the Croatian audiovisual sector by facilitating access to financing and supporting the transition towards digital technology in the development, distribution and promotion of audiovisual works, and by helping the training of Croatian film people and the cooperation between film schools. Croatia’s participation in MEDIA 2007 is a result of its progress in complying with EU audiovisual rules and acquis, in particular the Television without Frontiers Directive. Croatia will, as all non-EU participating countries do, contribute to the budget of MEDIA 2007 (contribution will be of 127 333 euros in 2008 and increase to 139 546 euros in 2013).

Croatia has a vibrant film industry with spectacular, unspoilt locations and exceptional local talent, both in front of the cameras and behind the scenes. Croatian films have already received international recognition.

The new MEDIA 2007 programme is the 4th multi-annual Programme of its kind since 1991. It will provide € 755 million to Europe’s film industry from 2007 to 2013. A clear priority (almost 65% of the total budget) is the distribution and promotion of European films beyond their country of origin. Under MEDIA Plus and MEDIA Training (2001-2006), more than half a billion Euro were injected into 8000 projects from over 30 countries.

300 new European film projects are supported by MEDIA 2007 every year, and 2.5 million cinema-goers watch over 15,000 European screenings in more than 100 festivals funded by MEDIA 2007. Last month, EU-funded The Counterfeiters (Austria/Germany) won the Oscar for best foreign language film.

Press Room - European Commission

Cross-border Territorial Cooperation: Belgium-Netherlands

Lundi 17 mars 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Support to cooperation between European regions at crossborder level

Adoption of the Operational Programme for Cross-border Cooperation Belgium-Netherlands for 2007-2013

Operational Programme for Cross-border Cooperation Belgium-Netherlands 2007-2013 – “INTERREG Grensregio Vlaanderen-Nederland” – Programme under the European Territorial Cooperation Objective co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF)

On 15 November 2007, the European Commission approved a European Territorial Cooperation Programme for cross-border cooperation between Belgium and the Netherlands for the 2007-2013 period.

Within the framework of the European Territorial Cooperation Objective, the “INTERREG Grensregio Vlaanderen-Nederland 2007-2013” Programme involves Community support to the 16 NUTS III border areas in both countries as well as 12 areas adjacent to the NUTS III-area. The total budget of the Programme is just under €190 million. Community investment through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) amounts to just under €95 million.

Purpose and aim of the programme

The “INTERREG Grensregio Vlaanderen-Nederland 2007-2013” Programme is the fourth one in a consecutive series of cross-border co-operation programmes between the two countries within the framework of the INTERREG Community Initiatives for the periods 1990-93, 1994-99 and 2000-06. The overall objective of the Programme is to develop of a strong and sustainable region by supporting cross-border initiatives in a number of fields.

As the area is already one of the most integrated border regions in Europe, the “INTERREG IV Grensregio Vlaanderen-Nederland 2007-2013 Programme” shall focus on three themes: people, environment and growth. The participating Member States are particularly keen to build on past cooperation and to increase synergies between the two sides of the border in the fields of innovation, research and education. As the employment rate is high in the area, efforts will be concentrated on removing remaining institutional and administrative obstacles to further cooperation.

Expected impact of the investments
Efforts to reach results that are comparable to those achieved by the previous Programmes shall continue. Particular attention will be given to improving the living environment of the border population, a key factor for an area that is very densely populated. It is expected that innovation will not only contribute to economic growth, but that it will also have a positive impact in other fields such as joint environmental resource management and joint social care facilities.

A series of indicators will make it possible to evaluate what impact the Programme will have on the population, on the environment and on the economic wealth of the region.

The following priorities represent the structure of the “INTERREG IV Grensregio Vlaanderen-Nederland 2007-2013” Programme:

Priority 1: Economic development [approximately 50.0% of total amount of funding]

Specific objectives of this priority include:
* providing tools for private and public institutions that support entrepreneurship and innovation to collaborate across the border;
* stimulating links between the academic world and the business sector in the field of research and development (R&D);
* supporting cross-border business activities.

Priority 2: Environment [approximately 24.0% of total amount of funding]

The area is densely populated, but it also holds precious natural resources that need to be preserved and protected. Heavy traffic and intense industrial activity make it necessary for civil rescue services on both sides of the border to cooperate for the purpose of risk prevention. Ecological disasters induce serious consequences in urban areas. Cooperation in order to reduce risks and to manage consequences is therefore highly important.

Priority 3: People [approximately 20.0% of total amount of funding]

People play a crucial role in cross-border cooperation if they can exchange experiences and make joint decisions that affect their everyday lives. The goal of this priority is to pave the way for such opportunities in a number of fields, such as culture, social integration and social care.

Priority 4: Technical assistance to the process of cross-border co-operation [approximately 6.0% of total amount of funding]

The Programme employs technical assistance during its implementation. Financial support covers administration, monitoring, evaluation and control.

Managing Authority: POM Antwerpen – Antwerpen, Belgium
The institution in charge of the overall implementation of the programme is the Belgian Province of Antwerp, which has already performed this task during the previous 2000-2006 Programme. The Joint Technical Secretariat, also situated in Antwerp, will provide the necessary support to the managing authority.

Contact details:
Ms Tanja Mattheus
Provincie Antwerpen
22 Koningin Elisabethlei 22
2018 Antwerpen
Tel: 00 32 3 240 56 04
Fax: 00 32 3 240 58 79

Press Room - European Commission

tripartite Social Summit

Vendredi 14 mars 2008

EU leaders and social partners debate next steps for Growth and Jobs

At today’s Tripartite Social Summit, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Slovenian Prime Minister Janez Janša – current President of the European Council – discussed with high-level employers’ and workers’ representatives the progress made under the EU’s Growth and Jobs Strategy. The leaders of EU institutions and social partners also addressed the priorities for the next three-year cycle of the Lisbon Strategy, the social consequences of climate change and energy dependency as well as topics on the social dialogue agenda for the coming months.

Vladimír Špidla, Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and representatives of the future French and Czech Council Presidencies also participated in the top-level meeting.

The European social partners (ETUC, BUSINESSEUROPE, CEEP and UEAPME) announced the agenda for social dialogue in the months to come. In particular, they committed themselves to “undertake joint action to better achieve the aims of the Parental Leave Directive”. This will be part of wider work on reconciliation touching also on other forms of leave for family reasons, working arrangements and care infrastructure.

As follow-up of their Joint Analysis of European labour markets published last October, the European social partners also announced that they will negotiate an autonomous agreement which will aim at “facilitating access to and progression in the labour market for disadvantaged groups through a series of preventative and curative measures including lifelong learning”.

The Tripartite Social Summit meets at least once a year, ahead of the Spring European Council, in order to allow for an exchange of views between the social partners, the Commission and the Heads of Government and employment ministers of the current and the two following Council Presidencies (”troika”). The agenda is always closely linked to the items discussed later by the Heads of State and Government at their Spring meeting.

Press Room - European Commission
  More information:
European Social Dialogue

MEPs to discuss the plight of women in jail

Vendredi 14 mars 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants in the framework of the overall Community programme for employment and social solidarity actions

With prison populations growing in many European countries, the specific plight of women in jail will be debated by MEPs on Wednesday.

According to a report drafted by Greek MEP Marie Panayotopoulos-Cassiotou (EPP-ED), placing women behind bars can have a serious impact on children - especially if the mother is the sole carer. The report wants the laws of European Union states to take into account the rights of children when mothers are jailed as well as rehabilitation for offenders.

At present women account for just 5% of the prison population of the European Union although this figure is rising.

Disruption of family life
One of the main issues the report raises is the fact that a women’s imprisonment can lead to a disruption of family life. It can also have a profound impact on children if their mother is the sole carer.

The report says that if imprisoning women is likely to seriously disrupt family life then greater use of “alternative penalties to imprisonment, such as community-based sentences” should be considered. This should be especially so “if the sentence imposed is short and the risk to public safety low”.

The challenge the report sees for legal systems is to create an environment that balances both the needs of security and of good family contact. For example it advocates flexible visiting conditions, visiting rooms allowing some freedom of movement and family privacy and a friendly environment for children.

The report also calls for judicial systems to guarantee the rights of children and for EU members and penal institutions to set up separate mother-and-child units.

When a prisoner leaves jail
At present prisons have to fulfil two essential and complementary missions:

* Protect the public from dangerous people.
* Reintegrate convicted persons into society upon release.

When leaving prison, most prisoners have to face several problems such as securing housing, a job, healing relationships and providing for children or other dependent family members.

The report stresses the need for women prisoners to have access “to employment, voluntary work and varied vocational training and civic education measures designed to facilitate their reintegration once the sentence has been served”.

The report is calling for the Commission and Council to adopt a framework decision (Framework decisions are used to approximate (align) the laws and regulations of the Member States) on minimum standards for prisoners’ rights based on Article 6 of the EU Treaty.

The debate is scheduled for Wednesday evening, you can watch direct by clicking the link below. The vote will take place on Thursday.