Archive pour septembre 2009

EU Helped to Refurbish Rehabilitation Centre for Drug Addicts in Uzbekistan

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

CHIRCHIK (Uzbekistan). On 28 September a new rehabilitation center for addicts to the drug was handed over to the Ministry of Interior of Uzbekistan. This project, conducted jointly with UNDP, has been funded by the EU

The objective of the “Prevention and Treatment for Drug Addicts in Prisons” project is to introduce “Atlantis” drug treatment programme in selected pilot prisons in Central Asia. At present, Central Asian countries support the “Atlantis” counseling programme and community reintegration measures for prisoners and ex-prisoners. “Atlantis” is a twelve-step programme to stop drug dependence and support further rehabilitation of addicts.
The “Atlantis” approach was introduced as official narcological treatment for drug addicts at the pilot prison in Chirchik town. Reconstruction works and equipment provided for the Centre is worth over € 215,000.

Based on this approach the so called “Clean Zones” are being established in prisons offering better living conditions, education and vocational training for prisoners wishing to stop drug addiction. They need to abandon any drug use and undergo regular screenings to remain in the “Clean Zone”.

In Uzbekistan, the two national training sessions were organized by CADAP to familiarize prison staff with the “Atlantis” approach. Uzbek representatives also participated in a study tour to Poland in May 2009 together with their Central Asian counterparts. It helped national programme partners to become acquainted with European best practices and effectiveness of “Atlantis” projects in other prisons.

The overall objective of the EU-UNDP CADAP Programme is to foster a public health approach to drug demand and an interdiction approach to drug supply in line with the European Commission drug strategies. CADAP is funded by the European Union and implemented by UNDP.

The European Investment Bank provides 4,3 million euro for renewable energy in Vanuatu

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

A finance contract between the European Investment Bank and Unelco was signed in Port Vila on Tuesday. In terms of this contract the European Investment Bank (EIB) will provide EUR 4.3 million to support the construction of a 2.75MW wind farm in Vanuatu. The wind farm is being built by Unelco Vanuatu Ltd, part of GDF-Suez Group.

The project is the first wind farm to be implemented in Vanuatu and it is hoped that this will form a reference project for other Pacific islands.

The wind farm comprises 10 identical new 55-metres high wind turbines designed to be winched to the ground when required for maintenance or to avoid wind damage in the event of a tropical cyclone. It marks an important first-step in diversifying sources of electricity supply and reducing dependence on expensive fossil-fuel imports. It will reinforce UNELCO’s strategy to develop renewable energy production based on wind turbines, bio-fuel and solar energy.

The project forms part of European Union and EIB policy to encourage renewable energy objectives and address the impacts of climate change resulting from fossil fuel use. In Vanuatu, 5 other EU-funded projects using bio-fuel and wind energy are already being implemented in Port Orly, Malekuka, Ambae, Futuna and Sola.

Particular attention has been taken to ensure no environmentally protected zones or areas of cultural significance are affected by the project, and to minimize any risk of bird strikes by the wind turbines. The wind farm will also provide local employment and help to improve the environmental image of the country.

This project is one of a number of initiati ves financed by the EIB in the South Pacific region currently being approved during a regional tour by Bank representatives.

Background notes:

The European Investment Bank (EIB) was set up in 1958 by the Treaty of Rome as the long-term lending Bank of the European Union. The European Investment Bank has significantly increased its contribution to the long-term development of the Pacific countries economies over the last five years. In line with priorities set by the Cotonou mandate and in close cooperation with the European Commission, financing of private sector and environmental projects will remain centre stage in future EIB activities. EIB lending in the Pacific build on the regions strengths supporting and promoting economic growth and employment.

Since the start of operations in the Pacific the EIB has funded loans and equity worth over EUR 380m to support economic activity in a region hampered by the high cost of developing infrastructure across widely dispersed and remote small island countries.

Typhoon Ketsana: Commission aids the Philippines; ready to help Vietnam and Laos

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

The European Commission is providing €2 million in emergency humanitarian aid to the vulnerable Filipinos most affected by tropical storm Ketsana. A rapid response coordinator from the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO) is on the ground in Manila. According to the Philippine National Disaster Coordinating Council, nearly two million people have been affected by Ketsana with more than 600,000 displaced in evacuation centres and makeshift shelters. Since hitting the Philippines, Ketsana has intensified in strength and has now slammed into the coast of central Vietnam as a full-blown typhoon. More than 167,000 people have been evacuated from areas at risk in Vietnam. ECHO teams in the region are on standby to ensure a rapid response, including for Laos as the typhoon is moving west towards this country.

Expressing his sympathy with the victims of Ketsana, Karel De Gucht, European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said: “This is a major tragedy. More than 240 people have died, more than 600,000 are displaced and two million people are affected in the Philippines alone. The fast-track funding that we are deploying will focus on meeting the most urgent humanitarian needs in the stricken areas. The European Commission also stands ready to provide emergency assistance to Vietnam and Laos if necessary. In recent years, we have also been helping disaster-prone communities to be better prepared through the Commission’s natural disaster-preparedness programme. This programme is essential to saving lives”.

ECHO is coordinating its assistance with the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) in the civil protection unit of the Commission’s Directorate-General for the Environment.

Immediate humanitarian needs covered by the Commission’s assistance include food, safe drinking water, health, sanitation, temporary shelters, basic household items (including blankets, jerry cans, clothes and kitchen sets) plus telecommunications.

The European Commission regularly provides emergency support to victims of weather-related disasters in the region. It is also funding a €10 million natural disaster-preparedness programme in South East Asia, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Laos. Vietnam was well-prepared for the typhoon and the authorities promptly held preparatory meetings with relief organisations when the path of Ketsana became evident.

Background

In line with its commitment to support disaster risk reduction, the Commission has allocated more than €152M from the humanitarian aid budget since 1996, when the disaster preparedness programme was launched. The aim of this programme is to improve the capacities of communities at risk around the world – from South East Asia to South and Central Asia, South-East Africa and the South-West Indian Ocean, South and Central America and the Caribbean (see IP/09/924).

All funds are channelled through the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Karel De Gucht. The Commission-funded projects are implemented by non-governmental relief organisations, specialised UN agencies and the Red Cross/Red Crescent movement.

Town twinning: 50 years after World War II - what results achieved?

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

The Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR) is organising a seminar on town twinning and reconciliation, in Oswiecim, on 30 October 2009.

The first twinning links were born in the aftermath of the Second World War. Twinning in Europe today has created a dense network of some seventeen thousand links between small, medium-sized and large towns and cities. 70 years after World War II broke out, 20 years after of the fall of the Iron Curtain, what results did town twinnings achieve? What do they bring in today’s world? Answers to these questions will be explored and discussed during three workshops.

The first morning discussion will be about the role of twinning links in the reconciliation process in the wake of the Second World War and of the war in the former Yugoslavia. The second debate will focus on the contribution of twinning links in bringing Europeans together 20 years after the victory of Solidarnosc and the fall of the Wall. The afternoon will feature a session on town twinning, inclusion and intercultural dialogue.

The event is organised at the invitation of the mayor of Oswiecim (Poland), chair of CEMR’s twinning group, Janusz Marszalek.

Speakers should include the mayor of Oswiecim, chairman of CEMR’s twinning group, Janusz Marszalek ; Senior Vice President of CEMR, Anders Knape ; Member of the European Parliament, Jan Olbrycht ; the mayor of Mostar, Ljubo Beslic ; and other representatives from municipalities and cities of Great Britain, Bulgaria or Romania, Germany, Poland and the Baltic region.

A visit to the Memorial and Museum of Auschwitz-Birkenau is foreseen for those who wish on Saturday 31 October from 10h to 12h30.

Brussels, 24 September 2009 Council adopts new eco-design directive*

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN Brussels, 24 September 2009 13626/09 (Presse 275) Council adopts new eco-design directive* The Council adopted a revised eco-design directive ( 3663/09 , 13329/09 ADD 1 REV 1 ), following a first-reading agreement with …

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Brussels, 24 September 2009 Council adopts road transport package

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN Brussels, 24 September 2009 13594/09 (Presse 274) Council adopts road transport package The Council adopted three regulations that seek to modernise, replace and merge provisions governing road transport operators and …

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Brussels, 24 September 2009 Council acts to reduce harmful emissions from petrol service stations

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION EN Brussels, 24 September 2009 13576/09 (Presse 273) Council acts to reduce harmful emissions from petrol service stations Today the Council adopted a directive that will decrease harmful emissions from petrol vapour at service …

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Citizens’ Energy Forum: EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva open Energy Forum in London to improve services to consumers

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

IP/09/1381 Brussels, 29 September 2009 Citizens’ Energy Forum: EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and EU Consumer Commissioner Meglena Kuneva open Energy Forum in London to improve services to consumers EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Consumer …

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Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA): Commission consultation shows general support for end-date for SEPA migration

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

IP/09/1372 Brussels, 29 September 2009 Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA): Commission consultation shows general support for end-date for SEPA migration The European Commission has published the results of a public consultation launched in June 2009 (IP/09/884) …

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Benita Ferrero-Waldner European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Speech to European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Foreign Affairs Committee (AFET), European Parliament

Mercredi 30 septembre 2009

SPEECH/ 09/424 Benita Ferrero-Waldner European Commissioner for External Relations and European Neighbourhood Policy Speech to European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED Foreign Affairs Committee …

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