Archive pour octobre 2008

“Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean”: what priorities for 2009?

Vendredi 31 octobre 2008

Foreign Ministers meet in Marseille on 3-4 November to complete the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean. The priorities for the 2009 working programme will be defined, so as to accelerate the regional integration.

Ministers will decide on the remit and governance of the new institutional structure, the functioning of the co-Presidency and the composition, seat and funding of the Secretariat, taking into account the discussions and proposals submitted by partners. The new proposed architecture will build on the existing foundations and structures of the Barcelona Process. Projects are at the core of the restructured Partnership, and in their sourcing and administration, the Secretariat will strive to ensure that the selected projects promote growth, employment, regional cohesion and socio-economic integration. The Paris Summit has already identified a number of key areas: de-pollution of the Mediterranean; maritime and land highways; civil protection; Mediterranean Solar Plan; Euro-Mediterranean University; and a Mediterranean business development initiative.

Following the Ministers’ endorsement the Secretariat will seek the necessary additional funding from outside the traditional existing budget allocations. These funds are expected to come from the private sector, international financial institutions and bilateral cooperation as well as contributions from EU member States and Mediterranean Partners.

Bearing in mind the Barcelona 5-year work programme and the Declaration of the Paris Summit, ministers will outline their Ministerial meetings agenda and agree on the priorities for the 2009 work programme, in line with the key areas identified in Paris. Ministerials are planned for 2009 in the following sectors: Transport; Higher Education; Environment; Trade; Justice, Liberty and Security; Economy and Finance; Sustainable development; and Strengthening the role of women in society.

While the European Neighbourhood Policy will continue to drive bilateral relations in the region with a differentiated approach the Barcelona Process: Union for the Mediterranean will complement this policy by strengthening regional cooperation.

The future and issues for the Youth : a European Week to discuss

Vendredi 31 octobre 2008

From the 2nd to the 9th November will take place the European Week fro Youth. The programme includes: political debates, cultural demonstrations and various activities in different european towns, such as Brussels.

Literally hundreds of events and activities will be organised in all countries participating in the EU’s Youth in Action programme. These range from political debates at local, regional and national level, where young Europeans will be discussing the future challenges facing young people, to cultural events and activities linked to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008.

The event in Brussels is organised in close co-operation with the European Youth Forum (EYF). The young people selected by National Youth Councils and the EYF will have exchanges with the EU institutions on the future challenges for youth, which will culminate in a political discussion (on 6 November) with Commissioner Ján Figel’ and other representatives of the European Commission, as well as European Parliamentarians. These debates represent an important part of the Commission’s consultations with young people prior to the forthcoming review of the political framework for co-operation in the field of youth that is due in the spring of 2009.

Activities organised by the agencies of the Youth in Action programme and their local partners in the different countries will contribute to the overall objective of the European Youth Weeks: providing youth with a platform and an opportunity to participate and make their voice heard.

European Youth Weeks have been organised by the European Commission in 2003, 2005 and 2007, and now a regular interval of 18 months has been established.

The activities in Brussels will feature the “European Youth Celebrations” (on 5 November), which is a youth contribution to the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008. 33 projects, each representing a country participating in the Youth in Action Programme, will participate in the ceremony and will be showed during a special exhibition. Out of this number the best 7 projects from different actions of the Programme will receive trophies in the presence of Commissioner Ján Figel’. The “European Youth Celebrations” also mark the successful implementation of EU programmes in favour of youth over two decades.

Energy: New Alliance between European Research Institutes

Vendredi 31 octobre 2008

In the actual context of climatic change, Europe wants to ensure its energy security and competitiveness. In this objective, this union aims at accelerating the new energy technologies development that Europe needs.

Between them, the 10 institutes have an annual budget for energy research and development (R&D) activities of over EUR 1,300 million. Through the EERA, the institutes will design and implement joint, pan-European research programmes and promote the sharing of world-class national research facilities. The first joint programmes are scheduled for launch in 2009.

The creation of the EERA is one of a number of actions set out in the EU’s Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan). Launched in November 2007, the SET-Plan is designed to help Europe meet its ambitious climate change goals of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020 and around 80% by 2050. The SET-Plan will also enhance European competitiveness by ensuring that Europe takes the lead in developing the innovative technologies needed in the low carbon economy of the future.

The 10 research institutes, along with the European University Association (EUA) and European Heads of Research Councils (EUROHORCS), which are supporting the initiative, signed a declaration of intent outlining their commitment to the EERA on 27 October.

‘The primary focus of the EERA will be on the strategic and targeted development of next generations of energy technologies drawing on results from fundamental research and maturing technologies to the point where they can be embedded in industry-driven research,’ they write.

Among other things, the EERA will promote research into key areas such as wind, solar energy, second-generation biofuels, carbon capture and storage, smart grids and fuel cells.

In addition to setting up joint research programmes in line with SET-Plan priorities and sharing research infrastructures, the partners commit themselves to strengthening links with industry; enhancing Europe’s capacity to carry out large, high-risk, high-gain R&D programmes; and developing training, education and outreach activities.

Once the fledgling organisation has been fully established, membership will be open to all research organisations that can contribute to its objectives.

Other activities foreseen under the SET-Plan include the establishment of European Industrial Initiatives, which will boost industrial research and innovation in six key sectors; the creation of a strategic information system on energy R&D activities; regular conferences and summits on energy research; and increasing the funds available for energy R&D in Europe.


Meeting in Budapest: local partnerships and Regional Cohesion Policy in question

Jeudi 30 octobre 2008

The meeting, entitled “Small towns of the European Union, territories of balances, territories of future”,is organised on 30 and 31 October in Budapest, Hungary.

Over the course of the two day session, discussions focus on strengthening local partnerships and the future of European regional and cohesion policies.

The Budapest meeting consists of two major round tables. The first one focuses on regional policy, highlighting the important public investment role of local authorities. Speakers include: Martin Malvi, President of the Midi-Pyrénées Regional council, and President of the French association of small towns (APVF), and Witold Krochmal, CoR member, President of the Polish Association of small towns, and Mayor of Wolow. The second round table, moderated by Sütő László, President of the Hungarian association of small towns, and Mayor of Marcali will focus on environmental policies for small towns. At the conclusion of discussions, the network will issue a joint declaration summarizing their positions.

The European Small Towns Network is an informal initiative that links together small towns from across Europe. The goal is to exchange information and best practices in order to provide a strong voice for small towns in the EU institutions.

Allocation from the ARTEMIS and ENIAC for R&D Projects

Jeudi 30 octobre 2008

It is the first cofinancing by National and Community funds. The allocation reaches 400 million euro in total, for 20 R&D projects.

This increases the leverage effect of public funding and enables focusing a critical mass of resources on key competitiveness goals.

The decisions complete the evaluation and selection processes for 2008, which started with the publication of Calls for proposals in May 2008. Similar Calls are foreseen on a yearly basis, the next one to be published in February 2009.

The first of the 20 projects are expected to start work in January 2009. They address the development of chips, electronics and software systems in areas of major industrial, economic and societal impact, such as energy efficiency, smart homes and buildings, sustainable cities, automotive and avionic safety, health systems, and security.

ARTEMIS, Advanced Research & Technology for Embedded Intelligence & Systems, is a public-private partnership between the European Commission, 21 European countries and ARTEMISIA, a European association of more than 150 industry and research actors. ARTEMIS operates an industrial R&D programme in the area of electronics and software. It was established on 7 February 2008 by the Council of the EU in the form of a Joint Undertaking.

ENIAC is a public private partnership between the European Commission, 18 countries and AENEAS, a European association combining the European industry and research actors in the field of micro- and nanoelectronics. ENIAC operates an industrial R&D programme in the field of nanoelectonic components, their manufacturing and their integration in electronic products. It was established on 7 February 2008 by the Council of the EU in the form of a Joint Undertaking.

European Cultural Support in ACP Countries: the Commission goes to WOMEX

Jeudi 30 octobre 2008

The WOMEX will make it possible for the European Commission to meet the actors of World Music Industry in Seville, the 31st of October. The different policies and cultural instruments of the European Commission will be presented as well.

The Commission will be exchanging views with music stakeholders on how to work together to strengthen the structures of the music industry in developing countries. There are three main themes:

* investing in culture for development,
* creativity and innovation and
* intercultural dialogue.

The event is organised with the collaboration of the European Music Office (EMO).

The 2005 UNESCO Convention on the protection and promotion of the diversity of cultural expressions invites its Parties, including the European Community and the EU Member States, to reflect on ways to integrate culture better in development policies and reinforce the capacities of cultural industries in developing countries.

The European Commission reaffirmed this commitment in its policy statement of May 2007, which took the form of a Communication entitled a European Agenda for Culture in a globalising world. In it, the Commission announced in particular its intention to set up an EU-Africa, Caribbean, Pacific (ACP[1]) Fund, dedicated in particular to promoting the distribution of cultural goods and services from the ACP region both within the region and in the European Union. This programme is currently under discussion with ACP countries and the EU Member States.

On this basis, and as part of a general reflection on the way public-private partnerships can contribute to development cooperation and the reinforcement of viable and sustainable structures for cultural industries at local level, the European Commission is organising an outreach session at the WOMEX on 31 October. The relevant Commission services (DG Development, DG Education and Culture and the External Cooperation Office) wish to engage in an open dialogue with the professionals of the music sector and other interested parties gathered at the WOMEX to gather views and ideas on the way forward.

WOMEX is a world music expo held annually in different locations throughout Europe. This international fair brings together professionals from the worlds of folk, roots, ethnic and traditional music and also includes concerts, conferences and documentary films.


Conference on territorial cohesion and the future of the cohesion policy

Mercredi 29 octobre 2008

Held at the “Palais des Congès” in Paris from tomorrow, this conference aims at clarifying the concept of territorial cohesion and move forward the debate on the future of the cohesion policy

It is being organised in partnership with the Committee of the Regions and the Commission, with the support of the Association of Regions of France.

This conference, at which 1200 participants are expected, will allow for debate on the concept of territorial cohesion following the publication of the European Commission’s Green Paper, and on the future of the cohesion policy with the main partners. These include the regions, towns and their European networks (Eurocities, Association of European Regions, Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions), as well as the managing authorities of Structural Funds, regional economic development agencies, business representatives (Business Europe, SME, Eurochamber) and social partners (CES).

In addition to the plenary sessions where a number of political figures and experts will speak, four thematic workshops bringing together experts and locally elected officials will throw light on how territorial cohesion and sectoral policies intertwine: the Common Agricultural Policy particularly its rural development aspect, the sustainable development strategy in terms of the adaptation of territories to climate change, the post-2010 Lisbon process, governance and the integrated strategies for the development of territories.

A new web page for Enlargment policy and programme on europa.eu portal

Mercredi 29 octobre 2008

A new internet page on elargment and its Instrument for pre-accession assistance has been lined up.

A new page on the European Commission’s “Enlargement package 2008″ has become available on line. The page already features a brochure illustrating the EU’s Enlargement policy, selected projects from candidate and potential candidate countries, and background documents. It has been launched as part of the preparation for the new “Enlargement package” which will be published by the Commission on 5 November 2008. On that date the Enlargement strategy and progress reports 2008 as well as further explanatory material will become available.

Conference on future prospects for civil society in Burma/Myanmar

Mercredi 29 octobre 2008

NGOs, advocacy groups, international organisations and think tanks from Burma/Myanmar and from Europe are meeting today to discuss the present situation in the country and its future outlook

The conference programme foresees a session on civil society responses in the aftermath of cyclone Nargis in May, and another session on civil society in the political process, in particular its role, its space and possibilities for support.

The conference is jointly hosted and organised by the European Commission and the NGOs ICCO (Interchurch Organisation for Development Co-operation) , BCN (Burma Centrum Nederlands), TNI (Transnational Institute) and the Euro-Burma Office, sharing the goal of a better future for the country and its people.

FP6 trend: more and more comprehensive projects

Mardi 28 octobre 2008

DG RTD published a final evaluation report highlithing results and performances of the different thematic research programmes under FP6.

The purpose of the report is to present final figures on FP6 implementation and
participation.

As such, it is meant to be a comprehensive report covering all FP6 activity
areas (except for the “Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion” under the Euratom Specific
Programme) and implementation aspects, from submitted proposals and applicants to
signed contracts and participants, including success rates and time to contract. Where
possible, the FP6 statistics are presente