Archive pour décembre 2009

Telecoms: European Commission urges Danish regulator to take stronger action on mobile termination rates

Jeudi 24 décembre 2009

IP/09/2000 Brussels, 23 rd December 2009 Telecoms: European Commission urges Danish regulator to take stronger action on mobile termination rates In a letter sent today, the European Commission has called on the Danish telecoms regulator, IT- og Telestyrelsen …

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Telecoms: European Commission renews calls for lower mobile termination charges in Poland

Jeudi 24 décembre 2009

IP/09/1999 Brussels, 23 December 2009 Telecoms: European Commission renews calls for lower mobile termination charges in Poland The European Commission has again reminded Polish telecoms regulator, UrzÄ…d Komunikacji Elektronicznej (UKE), that it should …

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State aid: Commission temporarily approves rescue of BayernLB’s Austrian subsidiary Hypo Group Alpe Adria and extends in-depth investigation

Jeudi 24 décembre 2009

IP/09/1998 Brussels, 23 rd December 2009 State aid: Commission temporarily approves rescue of BayernLB’s Austrian subsidiary Hypo Group Alpe Adria and extends in-depth investigation The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules the rescue …

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New tools to aid in evidence-based policymaking

Mercredi 23 décembre 2009

Thanks to an EU-funded study a set of tools have been designed to help policymakers ensure that their decisions are informed by the best research evidence available.

Details of the tools, designed by the SUPPORT (’Supporting policy relevant reviews and trials’) project, are published in a special supplement of the journal Health Research Policy and Systems. The SUPPORT project received EUR 1.2 million from the International Cooperation budget line of the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6).

Although the tools are aimed primarily at policymakers, the team notes that they may also prove useful to other groups such as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to influence policymakers.

The tools have been designed for use in all countries, including low- and middle-income countries, although the researchers point out that many of the issues and opportunities encountered by those seeking to apply research evidence to policy decisions are similar across all settings.

All articles begin with a set of scenarios that illustrate how the tools can be used and how they can help the reader decide on the level of detail they require.

The first articles in the series are centred on a set of questions that should inform readers about evidence-informed policymaking, and outline different situations where research evidence can be helpful.

The second set of articles looks at the different types of evidence needed at different stages of the policymaking process.

In a third set of articles, the project team teaches readers how to find research evidence, assess its quality, and decide whether or not it can be applied to the local situation.

Having found the research evidence needed, the fourth and final set of articles examines how policymakers can engage other stakeholders in the decision-making process. In particular, the researchers point out that ‘research evidence is only one factor that can influence the policymaking process’. One paper explains how policy dialogues can be used to allow research evidence to be considered along with the views, experience and knowledge of the people who will be affected by the decision under discussion.

The last set of articles concludes with a discussion on how to use research evidence, how to deal with insufficient research evidence, and how to plan the monitoring and evaluation of policies.

The project partners note that many of the tools outlined in the supplement have already been tested extensively in the field around the world, and they invite readers to provide feedback on all the tools. ‘We are disseminating the full set of tools in anticipation that wider use and application will inform further adaptation,’ they write.

For more information, please visit:

Special SUPPORT supplement of Health Research Policy and Systems:
http://www.health-policy-systems.com/supplements/7/S1

Serbia applies for EU membership

Mercredi 23 décembre 2009

Serbia submitted a formal application for membership of the EU. Serbian President Boris Tadić handed his country’s application for EU membership to Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt in Stockholm.

In spring 2009, the Stabilisation and Association Agreement on free trade was signed between Serbia and the EU. Since then, the coalition government headed by President Tadić has implemented a series of reforms, for example in the area of justice, and improved the technical cooperation with the UN war crimes tribunal where several former political leaders are facing trial following the conflict in the region in the 1990’s.

Olli Rehn, European Commissioner responsible for EU enlargement, also attended the press conference. He noted that Serbia has come a long way over the past ten years

Now several reforms remain to be implemented on the part of Serbia. Meanwhile, the application will be going through the EU application procedure. The first step is the Council of Ministers adopting a position on whether Serbia qualifies as a candidate country and then tasking the European Commission with commencing negotiations with the candidate country. Asked when a full membership can be considered, European Commissioner Olli Rehn answered that it should happen within the next decade.

JESSICA fund launched in Northwest England

Mercredi 23 décembre 2009

The second JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas) initiative in the UK was launched on 11 December in the Northwest of England. The new £100m fund to finance urban development projects will be known as the Northwest Urban Investment Fund. Co-financed by the ERDF, the fund will be managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and will help unlock and regenerate sustainable development in the region’s urban areas. By providing funding support in this way, the public sector will be able to obtain a return from the investment and reinvest the returns in future projects, thereby creating a sustainable revolving investment fund.

JESSICA, Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas, is an initiative of the Commission in cooperation with the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Council of Europe Development Bank (CEB), in order to promote sustainable investment, and growth and jobs, in Europe’s urban areas

JESSICA offers the managing authorities of Structural Funds programmes the possibility to take advantage of outside expertise and to have greater access to loan capital for the purpose of promoting urban development, including loans for social housing where appropriate. Where a managing authority wishes to participate under the JESSICA framework, it would contribute resources from the programme, while the EIB, other international financial institutions, private banks and investors would contribute additional loan or equity capital as appropriate.

Commission augments humanitarian funding to Occupied Palestinian Territory by €7 million

Mercredi 23 décembre 2009

€7 million additional humanitarian help will be furnished by the European Commission to provide relief to the most vulnerable populations in the occupied Palestinian territory. These funds will be channelled from the Commission’s Humanitarian Aid department through non-governmental and international organisations including United Nations agencies.

Karel De Gucht, Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, said “2009 has been one of the worst years in recent times for the people of the Gaza Strip. This crisis has attracted a lot of international attention, but we mustn’t forget that vulnerable communities in the West Bank are also struggling to survive because of the severe access restrictions and the fragmentation of their territory. While according to International Humanitarian Law the prime responsibility in terms of assistance lies with the occupying power, an urgent response is needed to assist communities affected by the separation barrier who have exhausted all their coping mechanisms. With this latest funding we are heeding their call for help.”

The targeted populations for this latest funding are the most affected families in the West Bank, including marginalized communities living in “Area C”.

It is planned that the funds will be deployed for emergency job creation and the provision of dry food rations, implemented by UNRWA and the WFP.

The €7 million will complement the €74.4 million already mobilized in 2009 by the Commission for relief assistance, which included emergency aid for victims of the conflict in Gaza.

Bangladesh used as cover-up for textile scam

Mercredi 23 décembre 2009

OLAF/09/18 Brussels, 22 December 2009 Bangladesh used as cover-up for textile scam Evaded import duties to the value of 50 million Euros are to be recovered following three successful investigations into importations of textiles that the European Anti-Fraud …

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EU to launch FTA negotiations with individual ASEAN countries, beginning with Singapore

Mercredi 23 décembre 2009

IP/09/1991 Brussels, 22 December 2009 EU to launch FTA negotiations with individual ASEAN countries, beginning with Singapore EU Member States today gave the green light for the Commission to pursue negotiations towards free trade agreements (FTAs) with …

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Green light from the Council for the Commission to negotiate a broad Nuclear Partnership Agreement with Russia.

Mercredi 23 décembre 2009

IP/09/1990 Brussels, 22 December 2009 Green light from the Council for the Commission to negotiate a broad Nuclear Partnership Agreement with Russia. The Council of the European Union adopted today a mandate authorising the Commission to negotiate a partnership …

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