Archive pour mars 2009

New publication from LIFE: Protecting Europe’s Nature

Mardi 31 mars 2009

This 66-page publication is based on the proceedings of the LIFE Nature thematic conference, “Protecting Europe’s Nature: Learning from LIFE”, which took place in November 2008, in Brussels.

Organised by the European Commission’s LIFE Unit, the conference covered a wide range of nature conservation issues during its three day programme. Delegates from all over Europe attended the event, which focused in particular on tools and techniques for implementing the EU Birds and Habitats directives and the Natura 2000 network.

A series of workshops allowed participants to discuss ‘best practice’ approaches to practical and policy based actions targeting forest, marine, river and grassland habitats, as well as focusing on climate change and invasive alien species. Other sessions examined LIFE experience in areas such as international cooperation on biodiversity protection and work addressing challenges linked to ensuring a favourable conservation status for Europe’s species. This publication introduces these topics, identifies the key issues at European level and presents LIFE case studies and best practices from the conference conclusions.

Cross-border cooperation which realities on the ground?

Lundi 30 mars 2009

 European funds

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

We will meet tomorrow to discuss cross-border cooperation in Europe


Europe helps the developing countries

Lundi 30 mars 2009

Despite the crisis the Commission adopted the plan according 1 billion euros for food facility to the developing countries

Background:

On 18 December 2008, the European Parliament and the Council adopted a Regulation establishing the € 1 billion ‘Food Facility’, which constitutes the main EU response to the worsening global food security situation in 2007/08. Today’s financing decision as well as the overall plan for the Food Facility have both also been approved by the European Parliament and all EU Member States.

Addressing the period in-between emergency aid and medium - to long-term development cooperation, the Food Facility will operate for a period of 3 years (2009-2011). Three types of activities will be supported:

* measures to improve access to agricultural inputs like fertilizers and seeds and services like vets and advisors;
* other small-scale measures aiming at increasing agricultural production like microcredit, rural infrastructure, training and support to professional groups in the agricultural sector; and
* safety net measures, allowing for social transfers to vulnerable population groups, often in the form of labour-intensive public works (roads, irrigation projects etc).

The current financing decision by the Commission provides support to projects and programmes in 23 developing countries: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Burma/Myanmar, Burundi, Central African Republic, DR Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Guinea Bissau, Haiti, Honduras, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Sierra Leone, and Zimbabwe. The full text of the decision including allocations by country will be available at the link below.

All funding of the projects adopted today will be channelled through International Organisations: the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Bank, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and specialised UN agencies like UNOPS (in Myanmar/Burma) and UNRWA (in Palestine).

The overall plan for the implementation of the Food Facility contains a list of 50 target countries which will receive assistance during a three year period. Support will be provided through International Organisations, Regional Organisations and national governments as well as a Call for Proposals for activities by Non-States Actors, Member States bodies and other eligible implementing actors.

The Commission Decision underlines the importance of the European Union as the worlds’ principal partner in improving food security across the globe. The projects to be funded will impact positively on the lives of millions of the poorest people in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The crisis: which social impact

Lundi 30 mars 2009

The G8’s labour Ministers and the European Commission will analyze the social impact of the crisis

Employment and Social Affairs Commissioner Vladimír Špidla met with ministerial counterparts from the eight largest economies in the world and the main emerging economies to discuss the social dimension of the economic crisis.

The 2009 Social summit brings together employment and social affairs ministers from the G8 (USA, Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy, the UK and Russia), the G5 (India, China, South Africa, Brazil and Mexico) and Egypt. The European Commission participates on behalf of the European Union. The International Labour Organisation (ILO), Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are also invited.

The focus of this year’s meeting is the human dimension of the economic crisis and its conclusions will feed into the discussions at the G20 London summit on improving global governance as well as at the G8 summit at La Maddalena, Italy in July. Ministers will discuss and examine measures for coping with unemployment, in particular how to support household income, and finding new jobs for workers who have lost theirs. Proceedings begin with a meeting with international social partners’ organisations.

The G8 employment and social affairs ministers have met annually since 1994 to discuss common labour problems and to contribute to the main G8 leaders’ summit.

The european cities greener

Vendredi 27 mars 2009

Large European cities are redoubling their ingenuity to become cleaner

New sustainably-focused initiatives proposed such as ‘green’ customer loyalty cards, a floating climate campus, and an ecological public transport fleet…
all these were presented at the EUROCITIES workshop on 12 February during the European Union Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2009.

• City Carbon Card: Belfast City Council for several years has explored options to use incentives aimed at influencing behavioural change to reflect the growing need to address human-induced climate change and poor resource management. The ‘City Carbon Card’ is one such tool being explored as part of these efforts.

• Rotterdam Climate Campus: Launched in October 2008 by Al Gore, the ‘Rotterdam Climate Campus’ is set to become a future breeding ground for water management and clean energy research and innovation by knowledge institutes and government authorities. The campus will be housed in a futuristic, floating building.

• Green Fleet and Foro Proclima: Madrid has targeted the corporate sector by means of a discussion forum, ‘Foro Proclima’, to tackle climate change at the local level. Forum participants aim to reduce the vehicle emissions of their fleets by reaching a goal of 6% of clean vehicles by 2011.

Europe too timid in resolution of the crisis?

Vendredi 27 mars 2009

The Executive Office of CEMR met on March 24 its members to mobilize more ressources to fight against the crisis in Europe

ARTICLE AVAILABLE ONLY IN FRENCH

The future of cohesion policy in European

Vendredi 27 mars 2009

Social cohesion policy seeking to reduce ECATRA development between different regions is at the heart of an international conference.

On 26 and 27 March 2009, the Žofín Palace in Prague will host the international conference on the Future of Cohesion Policy – one of the main events organised by the Czech Regional Development Ministry under the Czech EU Presidency.

The conference will be opened by Regional Development Minister Cyril Svoboda. Among the keynote speakers will be Commissioner for Regional Policy Danuta Hübner and Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities Vladimír Špidla. Three discussion panels will address the Cohesion Policy past and present, the future of the policy after 2013 and integrated regional development.

In terms of funding, Cohesion Policy is among the most important common EU policies. Its aim is above all to even out disparities between the levels of development of different countries and regions and to ensure harmonious development of the EU as a whole.

The European Investment Bank and European Bank for Reconstruction and Development should cooperate

Vendredi 27 mars 2009

The cooperation of these two agencies is needed in the South Caucasus, Russia and Eastern Europe

The European Parliament has called for increased cooperation between the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), which fund operations in the same geographical areas, including Eastern Europe, Russia, the South Caucasus, as well as the Western Balkans and soon Turkey.
In a report on the activities of the two financial institutions, the Parliament stresses their actions should be complementary, depending on the comparative advantage of each bank. MEPs recommend an improved functional division of labour so that each organisation could “focus on their respective skills and strengths.” The report also suggests that EIB specialises in the financing of larger scale projects, whilst the EBRD focuses on smaller-scale investments.

A Biggest role for EU’s cities in social policy developpment

Jeudi 26 mars 2009

A new network aimed at reinforcing the role of major European cities in the development of social policies is supported by the relevant Commission cities will be central to the development of these policies.

Set up together with member cities Bologna, Prague, Rotterdam, Southampton and Stockholm, the EUROCITIES-NLAO aims to give cities a greater role in the Open Method of Coordination, a method which relies on intergovernmental voluntary cooperation. The five involved cities will set up ‘observatories’ to monitor the local implementation of social policies and identify good practice. These cities will report on governance arrangements; commissioning and procurement practice; and provisions for quality management in a range of social service areas. Particular emphasis will be put on the areas of training/employment as well as social and supported housing. In their research, each observatory will engage with NGOs, the research community and public bodies at national level. EUROCITIES will coordinate this work and produce comparative reports.

Discussions and results from the observatories’ work will be used to monitor the implementation of common principles on ‘Active Inclusion of people excluded from the labour market’ already endorsed by EU Member States. These principles include guidelines and recommendations for minimum income schemes; inclusive labour markets; and quality social services which are seen as the three main pillars to support workless and excluded people. The EUROCITIES-NLAO is already receiving considerable attention as it will feed into the recommendations made to relevant actors in the field.

Up to now, EUROCITIES has repeatedly asked for improvements in favour of cities, particularly concerning EU procurement rules, as well as funding and, not least, policy coordination across these sectors. EUROCITIES sees this new project as a prime opportunity to provide evidence for the key role that cities play in the EU social policy-making process.

The EUROCITIES-NLAO will run as a pilot initiative until mid 2010, with potential for a roll-out across a wider range of cities after that.

Balance of Moroccan entrepreneurship

Jeudi 26 mars 2009

On 3 march in Rabat representatives from enterprise-interest present to european experts the progress and constraints facing Morocco’s enterprise community

The international partners summed up the main conclusions of a national assessment of some 10 policy areas and where ETF’s Aziz Jaouani provided feedback particularly on those areas dealing with human capital. ‘The Moroccan counterparts were particularly keen to determine how entrepreneurship education could be improved’ says Mr. Jaouani who shared details of better practice from the Southern Mediterranean and Western Balkan regions where ETF has been active in promoting the concept of life-long entrepreneurship education. Closing his presentation, Mr. Jaouani invited Morocco to participate in a pilot project on entrepreneurial learning in higher education which engaged the immediate interest of Professor Barkaoui, President of the Casablanca-based, Hassan II University.

Overall, Morocco shows good progress on the range of areas covered by the Euro-Mediterranean Enterprise Charter with the international partners making specific recommendations for coordination of policies and programmes and a more developed evaluation framework.

To build on Morocco’s sustained commitment to the enterprise Charter, Ms Echihabi of ANPME invited the Charter stakeholders to appoint a deputy coordinator for each of the ten policy areas of the Charter including entrepreneurship education and enterprise skills. Further, ANPME intends to create a virtual platform to encourage exchange of information and networking specifically on the Charter policy areas. ‘The virtual platform is an excellent proposal’, say Aziz Jaouani, underlining the need to better communication of the Charter’s policy messages. ‘A virtual community is a good opportunity for both policy makers and practitioners to share good practice and develop further ideas’, says Jaouani.

The meeting was attended by the European Commission’s Delegation to Rabat. Mr. Deloge of Delegation confirmed further EU support for private sector development in Morocco in 2010.