Articles taggés avec ‘Europe’

EU Funding: First European summit devoted to the improvement of the Roma community’s situation

Mardi 16 septembre 2008

he European Commission on 16th September 2008 launched the first EU-level summit joint commitment to improve inclusion for millions of Roma across the Union

The event, taking place in Brussels, aims to promote a joint commitment by national, European and civil society representatives to tackle the widespread discrimination and exclusion faced by millions of Europeans of Roma origin.

The Summit will be the first time that EU institutions, national governments and civil society organisations representing the Roma community from around Europe come together at the highest level to discuss the situation of Roma in the EU and find ways to improve it. Discrimination on basis of race and ethnic origine is prohibited in the EU in all areas of life (directive 2000/43/EEC). Yet discrimination against Roma persist and 77% of Europeans think that being Roma is a disadvantage in Europe.

In the Social Agenda of 2 July 2008, the Commission set out a renewed commitment to non-discrimination in general and action to improve the situation of Roma in particular. The working paper that was presented looks into the instruments and policies available at EU level to promote Roma inclusion. It concluded that there is a powerful framework of legislative, financial and policy coordination tools available and that these are increasingly used, but that there is still an implementation gap in the Member States.

The Summit forms the next step in this process and aims to support and promote a joint commitment by the Member States, the EU institutions and civil society. The conclusions will feed into discussions by EU leaders at the December 2008 European Council.

EU Funding: Handinnov Europe 2008

Mardi 16 septembre 2008

The “Handinnov Europe 2008″ price rewards exemplary initiatives led in each EU Member State in favour of disable young people

EU Funding: The second round of calls for proposals of the ESPON 2013 Programme was presented at an Info Day in Brussels on 9 September 2008

Mardi 16 septembre 2008

The second round of calls for proposals of the ESPON 2013 Programme was presented at an Info Day in Brussels on 9 September 2008

The ESPON 2013 Programme is part-financed by the European Regional Development Fund, the EU Member States and the Partner States Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. It shall support policy development in relation to the aim of territorial cohesion and a harmonious development of the European territory.

The ESPON Info Day focused on the presentation of the three calls for proposals opened on 20 August 2008 and the conditions for taking part. The Info Day gave potential beneficiaries the possibility to pose questions and receive answers related to the open calls. Several themes related to the calls had been discussed including territorial effects of climate change, agglomeration economies, cross-border polycentric metropolitan regions, success for convergence regions’ economies, potential of rural regions, territorial diversity and territorial indicators and indices.

As part of the ESPON Info Day, participants had the opportunity to network at the ESPON Partner Café, creating a forum for direct dialogue between potential project partners, enabling them to identify potential consortia of partners that carry through ESPON projects.

The ESPON Partner Café aimed at channelling exchange of information on research interest, skills and resources. In order to help potential partners in the process of partnership building, an overview of potential partners will be available on the ESPON website. To be included in the overview, interested partners should fill in the “Partner Information Form” available on the ESPON Website.

EU Funding: Towards a new governance for Europe

Lundi 15 septembre 2008

In Reims, the European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Danuta Hübner, will be taking part in a European Parliament symposium on territorial governance, in other words the distribution of powers between the European, national, regional and local levels in the same territory.

The regional authorities will also be taking the opportunity to show her some projects receiving support from the European Funds. Between now and 2013, a total of 185 million euros will be invested in the Champagne-Ardenne region through the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) alone.

The symposium in Reims, entitled “Towards a new governance of territories”, will discuss ways to better coordinate the action of all those who contribute to managing territories: local and institutional players, public and private partners, representatives of the State, local and regional politicians, professionals, civil society. Jean-Marie Beaupuy MEP is the author of a report on governance and partnership at national, regional and local levels which will be put before the European Parliament in October. The report recommends, in particular, greater decentralisation of the cohesion policy. For its part, the European Commission will be adopting a Green Paper on territorial cohesion in early October, to fuel the debate on territorial governance. This subject will also be at the centre of the discussions when the EU Ministers for housing, urban development, territorial cohesion and regional policy meet in Marseilles on 24, 25 and 26 November 2008.

EU Funding: Informal meeting of the EU economy and finance ministers

Lundi 15 septembre 2008

At their meeting in Nice, chaired by Christine Lagarde, the EU economy and finance ministers and governors of the central banks agreed on a joint response to confront the economic slowdown and restore confidence in the financial markets.

The EU economy and finance ministers and the central bank governors established a common diagnosis on the economic situation in Europe. Growth is weaker than expected due to a triple shock: inflation; change; and the impact of the financial crisis.

In this context, the economy and finance ministers and the governors are determined to act together to implement a consistent and coordinated response at European level to take full advantage of the more favourable recent developments: the slowdown in inflation following the decrease in oil and raw commodities prices and the more favourable euro exchange rate.

They decided to mobilise common and national policies to respond to situations that may vary from one country to another.

They supported the Presidency’s proposal to take a coordinated response based on four pillars:

- In budgetary matters, the Member States could let the automatic stabilisers work to support activity, while continuing their efforts to control spending and respect the 3% deficit limit
- The structural reforms should be continued as they contribute to restoring purchasing power by increasing competition
- The European Investment Bank (EIB) will support SME funding, thanks to the increase in its financial means (by 15 billion euros in 2008-2009, or more than 50% over two years, and 30 billion by 2011)
- Lastly, in financial matters, measures aimed at restoring confidence through increased transparency and accountability will be implemented without delay. The ministers and governors had verified compliance with the transparency recommendations made to the banks for the publication of their half-year results.

The economy and finance ministers and governors also debated a better coordination of the controls and supervision of financial players in Europe.

They pronounced themselves in favour of a standardised application of EU rules by supervisors. To this end, the data sent by banks to the supervisory authorities would be harmonised by 2012.

The Presidency also proposed solutions for enhancing the coordination of the various national authorities that supervise financial groups operating in several European countries.

Lastly, the ministers debated using lower VAT rates as an instrument of economic policy and agreed that the smooth functioning of the internal market should be taken into account in this analysis. They discussed the economic arguments which could justify additional recourse to reduced rates (some countries wished to lower VAT to create jobs, lower consumer prices, or to discourage the underground economy), and the issues for public finance.  These discussions will be continued at the ECOFIN Council in October on the basis of facts provided by the Commission.

EU Funding: What is the EU Sustainable Hunting Initiative?

Vendredi 12 septembre 2008

The Commission has recognised the need to start a new dialogue with a view to developing co-operation between governmental and non-governmental organisations concerned with the conservation and wise and sustainable use of our wild birds.

A ‘Sustainable Hunting Initiative’ was launched by the Commission in 2001 aiming at improved understanding of the legal and technical aspects of the Directive’s provisions on hunting as well as developing a programme of scientific, conservation and awareness raising measures to promote sustainable hunting under the directive.

In order to develop such a dialogue a series of ten measures was suggested for consideration. These have broadly the main aims to improve the legal and technical interpretation of the directive’s provisions relating to hunting, to develop a programme of scientific, conservation and training/awareness measures, and to draw a charter on Sustainable Hunting within the framework of the Birds Directive.

Further details of the ten proposed measures are available on this link:

EU Funding: European Capital of Culture for France in 2013

Vendredi 12 septembre 2008

The jury in charge with the evaluation of the candidate cities to the title of “European Capital of Culture 2013″ for France will meet on the 5th and 6th September in Paris to recommend a city to the title

EU Funding: A new programme integrated into the European Neighbourhood Policy is born

Vendredi 12 septembre 2008

The CIUDAD (Cooperation in Urban Development and Dialogue) has been recently adopted by the European Commission

EU Funding: Celebrating diversity with the Ambassadors of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue

Vendredi 12 septembre 2008

Arts, culture and diversity will be celebrated at the European Festival of Intercultural Dialogue organised by the European Commission in collaboration with the Flagey Arts Centre in Brussels on the 12-13 September 2008.

Ján Figel’, European Commissioner for Education, Culture and Youth, will welcome Ambassadors of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue and the general public to a two-day chain of concerts, workshops, film screenings and debates. Among others, film and TV director Agnieszka Holland; conductor Jack Martin Händler; film director Radu Mihăileanu; journalist, author, historian and political activist Adam Michnik; viola da gamba musician and conductor Jordi Savall; pianist Fazil Say and pop singer Marija Šerifović will participate in the event.

The European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008 is an opportunity to explore the ‘Other’ in all its forms, to move towards mutual understanding, to build better ways of living together and to actively participate in the development of a European society open to the world. At the request of the European Commission, well-known personalities from the world of the arts and the media have agreed to act as Ambassadors for the year, promoting its messages throughout Europe and beyond, thus also contributing to reflections upon its future. Converging to Flagey on the 12th and 13th of September, the Ambassadors will play leading roles in a unique event which will illustrate the dialogue between artists through creative performances in the fields of music, cinema, art and literature.

The festivities will begin on Friday 12th September with a tribute from Jack Martin Händler to the conductor Bruno Walter with a concert by the Bruno Walter Symphony Orchestra accompanied by the world-class Turkish pianist Fazil Say (20:15, Studio 4).

Saturday 13th September will be placed under the heading of ‘dialogue’, with workshops, round tables, debates and activities for children (from 10:00 a.m. onwards). The highlight of this event-packed day will be the Orient-Occident concert, which promises to be a memorable experience, bringing together musicians from across the entire world – among them the eminent master of the viola da gamba Jordi Savall and the percussionist Pedro Estevan (20:15, Studio 4). This extraordinary journey through the worlds of eastern and western music will be followed by an open air concert by the Parno Graszt ensemble, playing joyous gipsy folk music (at around 22:30).

Last but not least, film buffs will appreciate the film selection on offer in Studio 5 by the Belgian Royal Film Archive with introductions by the Ambassadors of this exceptional Year. On the programme are films relating to intercultural dialogue such as Copying Beethoven which will be shown in the presence of the director Agnieszka Holland (Friday 12/09, 18:00, Studio 5), Tous les matins du monde by Alain Corneau will be shown in the presence of Jordi Savall (Friday 12/09, 20:00, Studio 5) as well as Va, vis et deviens (Live and Become) shown in the presence of its director Radu Mihăileanu (Saturday 13/09, 20:00, Studio 5).

EU Funding: “Different languages, one goal”

Jeudi 11 septembre 2008

The Commission, UEFA and FARE kick off 2008-2009 football season with joint TV spot promoting tolerance through languages

In the context of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue 2008, the European Commission, UEFA (Union of European Football Associations) and Football Against Racism in Europe (FARE) are launching a joint TV spot highlighting tolerance and the role of languages as bridges between people. The spot shows three groups of football fans caught up in the excitement of a match: regardless of their cultural backgrounds, origins or languages, they all share their love of football and react in the same way in different authentic settings. Millions of TV viewers across Europe and beyond will see the spot since it will be aired during the half-time break throughout the entire season’s televised UEFA Champions League football games, as of 16 September. This initiative comes at a time when the Commission is about to present its new strategic Communication on multilingualism, making the case for language learning as well as preserving and promoting cultural and linguistic diversity.

The TV spot is a co-production between the Commission, UEFA and FARE, who also used it as part of their “Unite against racism” campaign, launched on 7 June in Switzerland, in the context of the UEFA EURO 2008. Showing three different groups of football fans in different settings but with identical reactions to a football match ending with a goal, this co-production spans a bridge to the claim of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue “Together in diversity”.

Aired at the interval of each of the 125 matches, this TV spot is expected to reach more than 140 million viewers during each match week of the UEFA Champions League, from September 2008 until May 2009. In Europe alone, it will be screened in more than 40 countries. This is made possible through a partnership with UEFA which has offered up the 30 seconds of airtime that it retains for social initiatives.