Articles taggés avec ‘Business’

EU Funding:European Pact on Immigration and Asylum

Lundi 28 juillet 2008
 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Thematic programme for external aid and development in order to better manage the migratory flows with a view to reducing the migratory pressure on the EU

At their meeting on 24 July, the EU Home Affairs Ministers noted the stage reached in the proceedings for the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum

Noting that international migration is a factor of human and economic exchange which contributes to the economic growth of the European Union, the draft Pact provides for the establishment of a common immigration policy. Its aim is to manage migration flows into the European Union in a way which complies with the norms of international law, takes account of Europe’s reception capacity in terms of its labour market, housing, education and social services and protects migrants from the risks of various types of exploitation.

A common immigration and asylum policy requires increased cooperation and information exchange in a spirit of mutual responsibility and solidarity between Member States and of partnership with third countries.

The Pact is based on five principles:
- Organising legal immigration to take account of the priorities, needs and reception capacities determined by each Member State, and encouraging integration
Legal immigration must benefit both the migrant and the host country: it must respond to the labour market needs of the host country, but must not aggravate the brain drain. It must encourage the harmonious integration of immigrants, based on a balance between their rights and duties. Language-learning and access to employment are essential factors for integration.
- Controlling illegal immigration by ensuring that illegal immigrants return to their countries of origin or to a transit country
Readmission agreements should be concluded so that illegal immigrants can be expelled, and each Member State must recognise and apply the return decisions taken by another Member State. Only case-by-case regularisation will be used, rather than generalised regularisation.
- Making border controls more effective
Given the wide range of geographical situations in the EU, Member States which are exposed to larger influxes of immigrants should be able to count on the solidarity of the European Union. To strengthen border controls, the issue of biometric visas must be generalised and electronic recording of entry and exit must be established.
- Constructing a Europe of asylum
The common European asylum system must be completed with the establishment of a European support office to facilitate the exchange of information, analyses and experience among Member States. There are proposals to establish a single asylum procedure and to adopt a uniform status for refugees.
- Creating a comprehensive partnership with the countries of origin and of transit to encourage the synergy between migration and development
Such a partnership will be established in agreements with the countries of origin and of transit containing clauses on the opportunities for legal migration, which will enable immigrants to acquire training or professional experience which they can use for the benefit of their home countries. Migration and development policies must be integrated more effectively by means of solidarity development projects that raise the living standards of citizens and enable migrants to take part in the development of their home countries.

At the informal ministerial meeting which took place in Cannes on 7 July 2008, the French Presidency had already noted broad agreement on the draft Pact. The aim is for the Pact to be adopted at the European Council meeting on 15 October 2008.

 
  Source:
EU Council

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EU Funding: EU doing its share to ensure a successful Olympics

Lundi 28 juillet 2008
 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Technical assistance to develop cooperation networks between China and Europe in the field of environmental and energy management

In the run up to the Olympics, China’s authorities now have the resources to monitor air pollution and overall help in the battle to keep it under control; all thanks to the efforts of the European Space Agency (ESA)

Working on behalf of the ESA, the Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants (CERC) installed a High Resolution Air Quality Forecasting System at the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau (EPB). The system, now operational, allows authorities to finally monitor the levels of pollution in Beijing and ensure that measures to improve air quality in the city are being followed.

Air quality is a serious concern for both the hosts and visitors as poor quality could hamper athletes’ performance, especially of those competing in outdoors endurance events such as cycling and marathons.

The main source of air pollution in Beijing is emissions from automobiles. In order to reduce emissions from this source, authorities announced certain restrictions on car use, such as banning cars with high emissions and allowing privately owned cars to be driven on alternate days. The impact of these regulations will hopefully lead to a decrease of 50% of Beijing’s 3.5 million vehicles on the roads.

The High Resolution Air Quality Forecasting System is one way that authorities can check to see if these regulations are being implemented and whether they are having the desired impact.

The Vice Director of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau, Li Kunsheng, went on the record to say that he welcomed the installation of the new system. He also added that he looked forward to it becoming an important tool for forecasting air quality in Beijing taking account of the effects of air pollution management measures including those being implemented for the Olympic Games.

The system works by combining information from weather forecasts, regional air quality forecasts and detailed local pollution source data and then inputting this raw data into a complex mathematical model. From this model, air quality forecasts are able to be made twice a day at 7am and 7pm. These forecasts are then made available on the Beijing Air Quality website. For those who want to be updated no matter where they are, they can also subscribe to email alerts and selected individuals will also be able to receive text message bulletins.

Forecasts are made for three days ahead. Users can choose to view maps of different pollutants, such as nitrogen dioxide, or ozone, separately or to view the total health index with all pollutants combined.

These forecasts are made available thanks to DRAGON 2 programme. DRAGON is a joint undertaking between ESA and the National Remote Sensing Centre of China (NRSCC), an organisation of the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) of China. Its aim is to encourage increased exploitation of ESA and Chinese Earth Observation (EO) satellite data within China.

 
  Source:
Cordis

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EU Funding: Montenegro: EU supports the First National Conference on Life – Long Entrepreneurship Learning

Mardi 15 juillet 2008
 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants aimed at supporting cooperation activities in the fields of lifelong education and training and at promoting bodies active at European level in education and training

The CARDS Project ‘Labour Market Reform and Workforce Development’, an EU-funded project managed by the European Agency for Reconstruction and implemented by WYG International (United Kingdom), in cooperation with the Municipal Authorities of Berane, organised a National Conference on Life-Long Entrepreneurship Learning (LLEL)

This has been the first ever National Conference on Life-Long Entrepreneurship Learning in Montenegro – ‘From Idea to Action’ and took place in Berane on 20 June 2008. The Conference was held in the facilities of the local Gymnasium ‘Panto Malisic’ to promote the results of the pilot ‘National Best Practice Initiative’, which was a package of LLEL measures put in practice by the CARDS Project with the institutions in Berane. The achievements in the municipality of Berane should become a good example for replication throughout Montenegro.

The mayor of Berane who opened the conference emphasized that the municipality had recognised how important it is to invest in human resources and workforce development in these dynamic times of globalisation. He also stressed that entrepreneurship learning is essential for local social and economic development. The Deputy Minister of Education and Science underlined that entrepreneurship learning is one of the eighth key competences for life-long learning and that with the activities in Berane Montenegro is going well in the direction of achieving EU standards in the field of entrepreneurship learning.

The activities in Berane form part of a broader €1,5 million EU project designed to address the need for labour market reform and workforce development. The project activities were started in November 2006 and the project’s completion date is set for 20 September 2008. On 12 September a Final Conference will be held.

With assistance from the EU funded project, several activities related to the introduction of life- long entrepreneurship learning have been conducted over the past year in this municipality, following the latest achievements and recommendations of the European Union in this domain. These activities were supported by all relevant local partners – the municipality, educational institutions and institutions for training and employment, companies and institutions for supporting small and medium-sized enterprises

Promoting entrepreneurship learning at the national level contributes to better understanding of its role and significance for the future of young people. It is also of great significance for the quality of learning during the regular school period and afterwards, for adult learning. From this year on, the National Conference on Life – Long Entrepreneurship Learning will be held in Montenegro on a regular basis. The main aim of the Conference is the promotion of entrepreneurship learning, presenting achievements and offering a forum for exchanging opinions on priorities and opportunities for further policy and practice development, all in the framework of the strategy for LLEL and the action plan that the CARDS Project Team assisted to prepare and that are currently under the governmental adoption procedure.

CARDS Project ‘Labour Market Reform and Workforce Development’

Montenegro signed a financing agreement with the European Commission in 2006 for a programme worth €18.5 million. The agreement has enabled the implementation of the EU’s annual Community Assistance for Reconstruction, Development and Stabilisation (CARDS) programme – a financial assistance package to help Montenegro improve its governance and institutions, and accelerate economic and social reforms.

EU funds have enhanced the capacity of the Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare in labour market policy formulation and clarified institutional links between the Ministry and the Montenegro Employment Agency. More specifically, support has been provided to:

- Both bodies for development and modernisation of policy and executive responsibilities, reinforcing social dialogue capacity and social partnership in the area of labour market reform and workforce development
- Develop a National Action Plan for Employment, including an implementation plan, operational arrangements and funding implications for an ‘employment fund’ to support active employment measures (training, counselling, self-employment support) for specific target groups that include those made redundant as a consequence of privatisation and plant closures, women, youth, long-term unemployed and minorities
- Develop labour market and employment statistics, information systems, analysis, research capacity, monitoring and reporting systems
- Facilitate a dialogue on life-long learning strategies in Montenegro by establishing a national partnership for innovation in the learning system to meet the needs of the next generation and beyond.

 
  Source:
European Agency for Reconstruction

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EU Funding: Young Photographers Competition: INSTINCT

Lundi 30 juin 2008

Photography students from all around the world are invited to take part in this competition

Up to 60 entrants will be selected to have a sequence of work included in the shots Directory 2009, along with their contact and college details. The overall winner will have his or her work featured on the cover. The Directory has a different theme every year. For 2009, the theme is INSTINCT.

shots showcases cutting-edge creativity in global advertising. Launched in 1990, it provides ideas and inspiration for creative people internationally as well as being a source of information for the industry.

 
  Source:
Youth portal

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Eu funding: The Commission launches Single European Sky II for safer, greener and more punctual flying

Mercredi 25 juin 2008
 
 

The European Commission adopted today the second package of legislation for a Single European Sky (SES II).

These proposals aim to further improve safety, cut costs and reduce delays. That will in turn mean lower fuel consumption, so that airlines could save up to 16 million tons of CO2 emissions and cut their annual cost by between two and three billion euros. This full reform of the European air traffic management system will be key to managing the doubling of traffic expected by 2020. Not only airline passengers, but also freight forwarders and military and private aviation will benefit. The package will create additional jobs in aviation. Meanwhile, European manufacturing industry will gain from being at the forefront of innovation in air traffic management technology (i.e. satellite based systems - Galileo, datalink, etc.), thus giving it a competitive edge on global markets.

The SES II package is based on four pillars: updates to existing legislation from 2004; the SESAR ATM (Single European Sky Air Traffic Management Research) Master Plan or ‘technological pillar’; the ’safety pillar’ and an airport capacity action plan.

The first pillar introduces several enhancements to the original SES legislation, including binding performance targets for air navigation service providers, a European network management function to ensure convergence between national networks and a definitive date for Member States to improve performance ,initially through a cross border cooperative approach known as Functional Airspace Blocks.

The new package places environmental issues at the core of the Single European Sky and improved air traffic management should realise its potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from aviation. Prospective improvements are up to 10% per flight, which amounts to 16 million tons of CO2 savings per year and a reduction of annual costs by €2.4 billion.

The technological pillar focuses on introducing better technology. The SESAR programme brings together all aviation stakeholders to develop and operate a new generation, Europe-wide air traffic management system. Its deployment will enable the safe, sustainable and cost-effective handling of twice the current traffic by 2020.

The safety pillar provides for increased responsibilities for the European Aviation Safety Agency. This would ensure precise, uniform and binding rules for airport safety, air traffic management and air navigation services, as well as sound oversight of their implementation by Member States.

Finally, the airport capacity pillar tackles the shortage of runways and airport facilities, which currently threatens to become a major bottleneck. The initiative seeks to co-ordinate better airport slots issued to aircraft operators with air traffic management measures as well as the establishment of an airport capacity observatory to fully integrate airports in the aviation network.

 
  Source:
Press Room - European Commission

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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

Prevention crucial to new animal health plan

Mercredi 21 mai 2008
 
 

 European funds

Related EU Grant Loans Programme(s):
 Grants for the implementation of strategies responding to threats to health, especially communicable diseases

Animals in Europe - from wild and farmyard animals to domestic pets - could soon come under the remit of a proposed EU-wide animal health strategy

Bird flu, BSE and foot and mouth disease have shown the danger that outbreaks of animal disease can pose to animals, the wider economy and to humans themselves. A parliamentary report on proposals by the Commission calls for minimal animal transport and more stress on vaccination.

Precautionary measures such as disease surveillance, controls and research lie at the heart of the Commission’s “Animal Health Strategy 2007-2013″. Increasing public health and food safety and improving conditions for animals are just some of its aims.

As well as less animal transport and more use of vaccination Mr Wojciechowski would like to see restrictions on the size of farms. He believes that very large farms with large livestock herds pose more of a danger than small ones.

Members of the Agriculture Committee have already endorsed the Commission’s strategy and the changes proposed in the Wojciechowski report. On Thursday the full house will vote on the report. The Commission’s proposals must be adopted under the codecision procedure as they cover human health and food safety. If MEPs support the proposals the Commission is expected to release an action plan and timetable between July and September this year. What is absolutely clear is the determination never to repeat the human and environmental cost of previous disasters.

 
  Source:
European Parliament