Archive pour mai 2008

EU Funding: Europe to be in a pole position for the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Race

Vendredi 30 mai 2008

The future of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in Europe is on its way. The Council adopted today the regulation setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking

This public-private joint technology initiative (JTI) will implement the EU target-oriented research and development to support the broad market introduction of these technologies. Founding members are the European Community and a non-profit association of European industry interests composed of a major share of Europe’s fuel cells and hydrogen companies of all sizes from micro to large multinationals. The Commission is expected to fund 470 M€ from the Seventh Framework Programme for a period of six years which will be at least matched by industry contributions. The first calls for proposals are expected to be published after this summer. The official celebration of the launch will be at the JTI’s first Stakeholders’ General Assembly the 14 and 15 of October this year in Brussels.

The main goal of the JTI is to speed up the development of fuel cells and hydrogen technologies in Europe and enable their commercialisation between 2010 and 2020. The partnership will implement an integrated and efficient programme of basic and applied research and technology development activities, demonstration and support actions focused on the most promising applications. The JTI will ensure coordination of activities at European level in order to maximise synergies with Member States and regional programmes.

Scenario analysis, undertaken in the EU-funded project “HyWAYS” indicates that hydrogen, if introduced with suitable policy measures, could reduce the total oil consumption by the road transport sector by 40% between now and 2050. Furthermore, by 2050, CO2 savings from road transport of up to 50% compared to peak levels are possible. Comparing overall spending for hydrogen production, supply and vehicles with the savings to be gained from replacing conventional fuel and conventional vehicles over time, the break-even point could be most likely reached between 2025 and 2035. Nevertheless European Industry needs additional stimulation to invest in the technology of hydrogen and fuel cells.

The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen JTI is the culmination of a 6-year effort involving the main stakeholders in the sector. It started in October 2002 with the establishment of the High Level Group for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies. They developed a common and collective “vision” on the contribution that these technologies could make to the realisation of sustainable energy systems in the future. The industry-led European Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology Platform launched in June 2003 followed this path and developed the main strategic documents for Europe and assisted the Commission in the preparation of the JTI.

The legal entity, the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking, will be led by a Governing Board. Daily management and operations will be the responsibility of an Executive Director supported by the Programme Office with its seat in Brussels. A Scientific Committee composed of high level personalities will advise the Governing Board. The Member States will closely follow the activities via the States Representatives Group. The Stakeholders’ General Assembly will be held on an annual basis and be open to all public and private stakeholders to stimulate a dynamic debate and information exchange on ongoing and future activities.

 
  Source:
Press room - European Commission
 
 

EU Funding: The Third Edition of the Euro-Med Award is now launched

Vendredi 30 mai 2008

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Support to projects bringing people and organizations from both shores of the Mediterranean closer to each other and to help bridging the gap between them

Now Network Members Can nominate and Choose Who Wins the Euro-Med Award For Dialogue between Cultures

Now you can choose who will be the next winner of this year’s edition of the Euro-Med Award for the Dialogue between Cultures.

The Anna Lindh Foundation and Fondazione Mediterraneo have the pleasure to announce the launch of the Third Edition of the Euro-Med Award for the Dialogue between Cultures 2008. This year, the members have the chance to not only nominate the candidates, but also to select the winner of the Award through an online voting system.

The theme of the 2008 Award Edition is Dialogue Through Arts. The particular field of art chosen is visual arts, which includes the following disciplines: drawing, painting, photography, and sculpture. Why Art? Art can be used as a key tool for building bridges of dialogue. It is an invaluable means for exchange and positive contamination between cultures and nations. People’s creativity transcends in fact geographical and mental frontiers, offering new opportunities to overcome misunderstandings and interpret conflicts.

This Year Members Choose the Winner - How?:

This year, the Heads of National Network will choose the five finalists nominated for the award before 30 June 2008. Then, all National Network members will be invited to choose the winner among the five finalists through an online voting system. The election is expected to take place from 8 – 13 July. The candidate who gets the majority of votes within a National Network, s/he will be considered the candidate of this respective network. This is in order to ensure a balanced and fair electoral process, since the number of members vary from one network to the other.

So, make up your mind now and nominate an artist who has contributed to dialogue between cultures through his/her work of art.

The Deadline for nominations is June 10, 2008

 
  Source:
Anna Linfh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation
 
   

EU Funding: World No Tobacco Day: EU Tobacco Advertising Ban Effective, concludes EU report

Vendredi 30 mai 2008
 
 

 European funds

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

Less than three years after its entry into force the EU advertising ban has proven its effectiveness. This is the conclusion of the Commission report on the performance of the Tobacco Advertising Directive

Today, all Member States have transposed the Directive and tobacco brand advertising in the press aimed at the general public has virtually disappeared. Direct tobacco sponsorship of cross-border sports and other events within the EU has also ceased. The key challenge in the tobacco advertising ban has shifted to the internet which is difficult to control. The Commission is working with the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control to strengthen advertising bans at global level, to ensure that the EU ban is not undermined from the outside.

Ban on cross-border tobacco advertising and sponsorship

The EU has a wide ban on cross-border tobacco advertising and sponsorship that covers all forms of media from the traditional print media, television and radio to new technologies such as the internet. There is also a full ban on tobacco sponsorship of cross-border sports and other events, such as the European Football Championships or Formula One races.

The long history of tobacco sponsorship and Formula One has come to an end. This is a direct result of the EU Tobacco Advertising ban. So far, in 2008, no tobacco brands have been visible in Formula One Grand Prix races. To take a recent example, no tobacco sponsorship was visible in the Formula One races that took place last weekend in Monaco. Commissioner Vassiliou has urged the organisers and participants of Formula One to ensure that tobacco advertising shall not be present in the races in the future as well.

Comprehensive bans on tobacco advertising coupled with high taxes are the most effective ways to reduce tobacco consumption and its harmful effects on health.

New Challenges

The report finds that the ‘virtual’ environment is a new form of cross-border tobacco advertising. It offers new possibilities to glamorize tobacco. It is difficult to control as wrongdoers can easily close sites and relocate outside the EU.

The Commission seeks to improve the cross-border enforcement of tobacco advertising using the internet in close co-operation with Member States.

The Commission supports the introduction of tobacco advertising and sponsorship bans at a global level in the context of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in order to prevent incoming advertising from third countries which undermines the EU ban.

Youth and Tobacco Prevention Event - 28 May, Place Agora, Brussels

This years World No Tobacco Day (31 May) focuses on tobacco free youth with a special view on tobacco advertising, promotion and sponsorship bans. The EC funded ‘HELP – for a life without Tobacco’ campaign, aimed at young people (15-25 years) kicked off this years World No Tobacco Day event on 28 May in Brussels with the participation of Commissioner Vassiliou and the Mayor of Brussels, Mr. Freddy Thielemans.

Background

Tobacco remains the largest single cause of premature death and disease in the European Union. It causes more than 660,000 premature deaths within the EU each year – which corresponds to about 1,800 deaths a day. These deaths could be avoided.

In order to curb this epidemic, the European Community, over the last 20 years, has pursued a comprehensive tobacco control policy aiming at fighting against tobacco consumption and reducing the number of smokers. The objective is to maintain and strengthen tobacco control policy efforts though a range of mechanisms, activities and initiatives including tobacco control legislation and prevention and cessation activities.

 
  Source:
Press room - european Commission
 
  More information:
HELP - for a life without tobacco campaign

Eu funding : Young People and Tobacco – Show and Share Your Idea!

Mardi 27 mai 2008
 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants for cooperation and exchanges in the field of youth and informal education and training.

Create a video, photo or comic strip to reduce smoking across Europe and to encourage a life without tobacco.

The materials produced will support the positive aspect of a life without tobacco. Young people´s empowerment and involvement in issues affecting their health and well-being should be underlined. There are four categories: best video, best “candid camera”, best photo, best comic strip.

Deadline: 30 June 2008.

This competition was launched by the European Commission’s Health & Consumer Protection Directorate (DG SANCO) in partnership with the European Youth Forum (YFJ) to involve young Europeans (aged 15 to 35) on matters affecting their health and well-being.

 
  Source:
Youth in Action
 
  More information:
Help EU

Eu funding : EU allocates €2.6 million to help tackle problems of unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Serbia

Mardi 27 mai 2008

In collaboration with the Serbian Mine Action Centre, the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR) has launched a project to help the Serbian government tackle the problem of locating unexploded ordnance in the Danube and Sava rivers.

The project is funded by the European Union.
Ships on the Danube river
Ships on the Danube river (large photo)

The project involves a survey and search of parts of the two rivers, which will be carried out according to international rules, regulations and standards. Operations will be completed in 10 months within a first €2.3 million contract. This phase will allow to identify what unexploded ordnance is present and where it is located. The second contract, worth €0.3 million, is for supervision of this work. It will also include preparation of tender documents for actual clearance operations, based on the information produced by the first project. This second phase will last 12 months.

Unexploded ordnance still poses a hazard worldwide.There are countless examples of civilians tampering with unexploded ordnance that is many years old - often with fatal results.

 
  Source:
European Agency for Reconstruction

Eu funding :The Commission launches a campaign to promote energy efficient driving

Mardi 27 mai 2008
 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants for the demonstration of innovative technologies to energy efficiency and their introduction to the market for mass deployment.

The European Commission, together with Europia, one of the partners of the Sustainable Energy Europe Campaign, have launched today a number of actions to promote energy efficient driving habits among European car users.

Over 45,000 petrol stations across 29 European countries will take part in the campaign led by Europia - ‘Save More Than Fuel’ campaign to distribute millions of leaflets on fuel efficiency and responsible driving behaviour. These leaflets will be available to consumers at filling stations, with additional information on the dedicated website. Coinciding with this campaign, the Commission has launched a short video clip, already available in EU-Tube, with some tips on how to drive efficiently and safely.

The Sustainable Energy Europe 2005-2008 Campaign is a European Commission initiative within the framework of the Intelligent Energy - Europe (2003-2006) programme, which aims to raise public awareness and promote sustainable energy production and use among individuals and organisations, private companies and public authorities, professional and energy agencies, industry associations and NGOs across Europe.

 
  Source:
Press Room - European Commission
 
  More information:
Sustenergy

Eu funding : Boosting a European Single Labour Market for Researchers

Mardi 27 mai 2008
 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 New framework programme for research and technology aiming at better exploiting research capacities in Europe and transforming scientific results into new products, processes and services.

The Commission proposes a new partnership with Member States

In the Communication “Better careers and more mobility: a European Partnership for Researchers “, the European Commission seeks a partnership with Member States to ensure that the necessary human resources are available to sustain and enhance the contribution of science and technology to a knowledge-based European economy. Europe faces growing global competition for the best talents and demographic challenges. The aim of the partnership is to align and focus the efforts of individual Member States. Joint priority actions should make the EU a more attractive place for researchers, and allow researchers to be more mobile between countries, institutions, and between the academic and private sectors. Key areas for action are the systematic opening up of recruitment, meeting the social security and pension needs of mobile researchers, providing fair employment and working conditions, and ensuring that researchers have the right training and skills.

In many Member States, there is still limited competition-based recruitment in the public sector. Short-term contracts are the norm for young researchers and advancement can often be based on seniority not performance. Many researchers are also trained in a traditional academic way which does not equip them for the needs of the modern knowledge economy where connections between industry and public research institutions are increasingly important. Today’s researchers may need to manage intellectual property, conduct multi-disciplinary projects or start up their own company.

It is proposed that the partnership should make a commitment to achieving by the end of 2010 rapid, measurable progress to:

* systematically open recruitment by research institutions to all European researchers ;
* meet the social security and supplementary pensions needs of mobile researchers;
* provide attractive employment and working conditions, such as improved contractual terms, salaries and opportunities for career development;
* ensure researchers have the necessary skills to turn knowledge into results including by creating stronger links between universities and industry.

Coordinated action in these areas between the Commission and the Member States, alongside renewed efforts on existing initiatives such as the European Charter for Researchers and Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers, would help to create a genuine European labour market for researchers. This will balance the supply and demand for researchers, boost productivity growth through better job matching, increase knowledge transfer and facilitate the development of centres of excellence throughout the EU. It will also create better international connections for collaborative research and the economic exploitation of research results, and help to create more attractive conditions for industrial investment in research.

At the end of the first stage of the partnership in 2010 an overall evaluation of the situation and results from actions by the partnership will be made and the need for further EU action to address specific outstanding issues will be considered.

Background

The Communication is one of five policy initiatives planned by the Commission to follow up the 2007 Green Paper “The European Research Area: New Perspectives”. The results of the public consultation following the Green Paper suggested that a single labour market for researchers should be amongst the top priorities for action at EU level.

 
  Source:
Press Room - European Commission
 
  More information:
  Communication

Eu funding : G8 Environment Ministers on the key challenges of their cooperation

Lundi 26 mai 2008

A meeting of G8 Environment Ministers will be held from 24 to 26 May 2008 in Kobe, Japan.

Also taking part in the meeting will be ministers from emerging economy countries (Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico, Korea and South Africa) and Slovenian Minister Janez Podobnik in his capacity as President of the EU Council of Environment Ministers. Environment and climate change issues will be the key theme of the G8 Summit of Heads of State being held in Japan in July. The meeting of Environment Ministers will prepare the subject matter of the Summit.

Global environment issues are acquiring ever broader political dimensions. However, the response of the international community is still insufficiently coordinated. The G8 countries will endeavour to unify their future actions and encourage other countries to do the same. At the meeting in Kobe, the ministers will discuss climate change, biodiversity and waste management. Discussions will focus mainly on an analysis of the role of the most developed countries in the international community and on the G8’s relations with international organisations, third countries and other stakeholders (the business sector, non-governmental organisations, etc.).

Immediately after the conclusion of the Environment Ministers Meeting in Kobe, the Ninth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP-9 CBD), currently being held in Bonn, will also come to an end. The international community has committed itself to significantly reducing the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010, but achieving this target will be difficult on account, among other things, of the growing impact of climate changes.

Biodiversity and climate change are key themes of the Slovenian EU Presidency in the field of environment and were the focus of the Informal Meeting of EU Environment Ministers at Brdo in April. In Kobe, Mr Podobnik will present the conclusions of the informal ministerial conference. Their key message is that the criteria of sustainability must be fulfilled in the use of natural resources, including food and biofuel production, while taking account of regional and sub-regional characteristics in different parts of the world.

 
  Source:
Slovenian presidency

Eu funding : Soaring food prices: investment in agriculture needed in developing countries

Lundi 26 mai 2008

In adopting a resolution on rising food prices in the EU and the developing countries, MEPs say that priority should be given to investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries.

Fairer international trade rules and an assessment of the effects of speculation on food prices are also underlined by MEPs. On agro-fuels, the Parliament wants production to be linked to strong sustainability criteria and to see second‑generation bioenergy developed.

Right to food

The EP reaffirms the right to food and the need to improve access for all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Two billion people still live in dire poverty and 850 million human beings are hungry daily. The resolution was adopted with 485 votes in favour 52 against and 7 abstentions.

The Council should step up its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals by adopting an EU MDG Agenda for Action at the June European Council. The House invites the Commission to analyse the effect of speculation on food prices and to come up with appropriate measures.

Sustainable food production

Analysing the discrepancies between farmgate prices and those charged by the major retailers should be done by Commission and the Member States. An impact assessment of the role of retailers in the food chain, as retail food prices is also called by MEPs.

The current EU cereal stocks would last only 30 days, and questions whether our food stocks are at the right level, says the resolution which calls for better forecasting of agricultural output.

Priority needs to be given to food over fuels and biofuel production should be linked to strong sustainability criteria. The House accepts that EU subsidisation of crops intended for biofuel production is no longer justified, but emphasises that only 2-3% of EU agricultural land is currently being used for this kind of production and media reports blaming biofuels for the current food crisis are exaggerated as far as the EU is concerned.

MEPs call on the Commission and the Member States to do more to promote the use and production of second‑generation bio-energy.

The current crisis demands an immediate and thorough discussion among the EU institutions and the Member States on the role that modern biotechnology can play in ensuring the continued production of food at reasonable prices, says the resolution.

Better development policies

The House calls for an urgent and substantial increase in investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries, focused on poor farmers and small‑scale farming. 75% of the world’s poor population lives in rural areas, but that only 4% of official development assistance (ODA) is dedicated to agriculture.

Small farmers in poor countries, who are mainly women, need to have access to land, financial services and credit, high-yield seeds, irrigation systems and fertilisers, says the resolution. MEPs call on the EIB to investigate possibilities for the immediate setting up of a guarantee fund in support of national micro-credit and loan schemes and risk-hedging schemes that operate close to the needs of local food producers.

EU Member States and the international community are asked to meet the extraordinary emergency appeal of the World Food Programme to assist it in facing up to the new challenges in the fight against hunger.

 
  Source:
European Parliament

Eu funding : Soaring food prices: investment in agriculture needed in developing countries

Lundi 26 mai 2008

In adopting a resolution on rising food prices in the EU and the developing countries, MEPs say that priority should be given to investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries.

Fairer international trade rules and an assessment of the effects of speculation on food prices are also underlined by MEPs. On agro-fuels, the Parliament wants production to be linked to strong sustainability criteria and to see second‑generation bioenergy developed.

Right to food

The EP reaffirms the right to food and the need to improve access for all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life. Two billion people still live in dire poverty and 850 million human beings are hungry daily. The resolution was adopted with 485 votes in favour 52 against and 7 abstentions.

The Council should step up its commitments to the Millennium Development Goals by adopting an EU MDG Agenda for Action at the June European Council. The House invites the Commission to analyse the effect of speculation on food prices and to come up with appropriate measures.

Sustainable food production

Analysing the discrepancies between farmgate prices and those charged by the major retailers should be done by Commission and the Member States. An impact assessment of the role of retailers in the food chain, as retail food prices is also called by MEPs.

The current EU cereal stocks would last only 30 days, and questions whether our food stocks are at the right level, says the resolution which calls for better forecasting of agricultural output.

Priority needs to be given to food over fuels and biofuel production should be linked to strong sustainability criteria. The House accepts that EU subsidisation of crops intended for biofuel production is no longer justified, but emphasises that only 2-3% of EU agricultural land is currently being used for this kind of production and media reports blaming biofuels for the current food crisis are exaggerated as far as the EU is concerned.

MEPs call on the Commission and the Member States to do more to promote the use and production of second‑generation bio-energy.

The current crisis demands an immediate and thorough discussion among the EU institutions and the Member States on the role that modern biotechnology can play in ensuring the continued production of food at reasonable prices, says the resolution.

Better development policies

The House calls for an urgent and substantial increase in investment in agriculture, aquaculture, rural development and agribusinesses in developing countries, focused on poor farmers and small‑scale farming. 75% of the world’s poor population lives in rural areas, but that only 4% of official development assistance (ODA) is dedicated to agriculture.

Small farmers in poor countries, who are mainly women, need to have access to land, financial services and credit, high-yield seeds, irrigation systems and fertilisers, says the resolution. MEPs call on the EIB to investigate possibilities for the immediate setting up of a guarantee fund in support of national micro-credit and loan schemes and risk-hedging schemes that operate close to the needs of local food producers.

EU Member States and the international community are asked to meet the extraordinary emergency appeal of the World Food Programme to assist it in facing up to the new challenges in the fight against hunger.

 
  Source:
European Parliament