Archive pour mars 2010

The future European diplomatic service

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

Catherine Ashton, High Representative for Foreign Affairs of the European Union, will submit today its proposals for the establishment of the common service for external action (CAES)

This article is only available in French

Call for expression of interest for the JESSICA Holding Fund for Wielkopolska

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

The JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas initiative) Holding Fund for Wielkopolska was created by the Board of Directors of the Wielkopolska Region and the EIB for the purpose of investing funds aimed at the revitalization of urban areas in Wielkopolska, as further described in the Wielkopolska Regional Operational Programme.

The European Investment Bank, acting as JESSICA Holding Fund, launches this call for expression of interest to select urban development funds, which shall disburse funds through financial engineering instruments in the form of repayable investments in public-private partnerships or other urban regeneration projects.

The selection process shall be organized in two stages:
- expressions of interest which are not excluded in accordance with the exclusion criteria will be assessed in accordance with the selection criteria, as stated in the call for expression of interest
- all applicants that meet the selection criteria will be invited to submit their offers (including a detailed business plan), which will be evaluated in accordance with the award criteria, as stated in the call for expression of interest.

Urban development funds may express their interest, by 8 April 2010 at the latest.

EC environmental flagship project under the Eastern Partnership

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

The aim of the project, unveiled at the first meeting of the Eastern Partnership’s (EaP) Panel on the Environment and Climate Change, is to strengthen environmental governance and develop a regional Shared Environmental Information System to strengthen the collection, storage and monitoring of reliable data. The meeting was attended by representatives from the six partner countries – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova and Ukraine, EU Member States, as well as representatives from EU institutions and civil society. The project has received EU funding of around €13 million.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Štefan Füle said that environmental issues don’t know borders. It is in Europe’s best interest to work together with its Eastern partner countries so that this neighbourhood becomes greener.

Environment concerns, such as pollution, have a direct effect on citizens in the EU and EaP countries alike, while greenhouse gas emissions and the loss of biodiversity also have an impact at global level.

Environmental governance sets the foundations to ensure proper development and implementation of environment policy and legislation. Key aspects relate to the availability of accurate information, involving stakeholders and avoiding unintentional negative impacts of activities in other policy areas.

The first phase of the initiative launched today focuses on increasing the availability of reliable information in EaP countries. Environmental data across the region varies in quality and is not collected and managed in a harmonised way. The Flagship project will also focus on involving relevant stakeholders in environmental decision-making, reporting and on conducting Environmental Impact Assessments and Strategic Environmental Assessments for projects in line with EU legislation.

Background:

The Eastern Partnership completes the EU’s foreign policy towards Eastern Europe and Southern Caucasus countries as a specific Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP). Launched in May 2009 at Prague Summit the EaP fosters necessary conditions to accelerate political association and further economic integration between the European Union and interested countries. The EaP Flagship Initiatives give additional momentum and more visibility to the Partnership. They also seek to mobilise multi-donor support, funding from different International Financial Institutions and investment from the private sector. Altogether there are now six EaP Flagship Initiatives:
- Integrated Border Management
- Small and Medium-size enterprise Facility
- Regional Energy Markets and Energy Efficiency
- Diversification of Energy Supply: the Southern Corridor
- Prevention of, preparedness for, and response to natural and man-made disasters
- Good Environmental Governance.

Council of the European Union spring summit

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

At the EU Council is currently taking place, the Spring Summit. The main topics on the agenda of the meeting which will last two days and will be chaired by Mr Herman Van Rompuy are: employment, economy and climate change.

The EU heads of state and government will discuss the new strategy for jobs and growth that is to replace the Lisbon strategy. There is a clear need to re-launch the economy in order to protect the European social model. The summit is expected to determine the broad thrust of the new strategy.

Economic government and the coordination of policies will be another point of discussion, in particular divergences in competitiveness within the EU and externally as well as developments in the balance of payments.

The leaders will also discuss the follow-up to the United Nations’ conference on climate change in Copenhagen in December. Its outcome did not reflect the ambition of securing global commitment to the goals that the Union has signed up to. They will see how to bring a new dynamic to the negotiation process to get it back on track.

January 2010 compared with December 2009 Industrial new orders down by 2.0% in euro area Down by 0.2% in EU27

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

STAT/10/4424 March 2010January 2010 compared with December 2009Industrial new orders down by 2.0% in euro areaDown by 0.2% in EU27In January 2010 compared with December 2009, the euro area1 (EA16) industrial new orders index2 fell by 2….

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3003rd Council meeting Economic and Financial Affairs Brussels, 16 March 2010

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

COUNCIL OFTHE EUROPEAN UNIONEN7498/10 (Presse 63)PRESS RELEASE3003rd Council meetingEconomic and Financial AffairsBrussels, 16 March 2010President Ms Elena SALGADOSecond Vice-President of the Government and Minister for Economic Affairs and Finance of …

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Brussels, 10 March 2010 Council adopts positions at first reading on rights of ship and bus and coach passengers

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

/COUNCIL OFTHE EUROPEAN UNIONENBrussels, 10 March 20107367/10 (Presse 57)Council adopts positions at first reading on rights of ship and bus and coach passengers The Council today adopted its positions at first reading on two proposals for regulations …

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2999th Council meeting Competitiveness (Internal Market, Industry and Research) Brussels, 1-2 March 2010

Jeudi 25 mars 2010

COUNCIL OFTHE EUROPEAN UNIONEN6983/10 (Presse 48)PRESS RELEASE2999th Council meetingCompetitiveness (Internal Market, Industry and Research)Brussels, 1-2 March 2010President Mr Miguel SebastiánMinister of Industry, Tourism and CommerceMrs Cristina GarmendiaMinister …

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Sustainable Energy Prizes awarded yesterday

Mercredi 24 mars 2010

The five winners of the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards 2010 were chosen from among 272 projects. They were announced yesterday at the Sustainable Energy Week in Brussels.

Günther Oettinger, Commissioner responsible for Energy said he was pleased to witness such growing interest in this award, with so many high quality entries year after year.

The five Sustainable Energy Europe Awards - one for each of the five award categories– went to:

Winner: Solar.Now!
Project Promoter: Rural Energy Foundation, Netherlands
Category: Co-operation Programmes

The Solar.Now! Programme provides support and training to entrepreneurs in seven sub-Saharan African countries (Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia), helping them set up and develop renewable energy business. Making photovoltaic panels available at affordable prices is helping to build a marketplace for solar energy in rural aras where there is plenty of sunshine, but no existing electricity grid. Thanks to REF’s programme, since 2007 an estimated 332,000 people have enjoyed the benefits of a reliable household source of energy thanks to solar panels. The programme also trains installers, runs awareness campaigns for potential users, facilitates access to loans, and advises governments on suitable regulation.

Winner: Hungarian Schools Illumination Programme
Project Promoters: Ministry of Education and Culture and General Electric Lighting, Hungary
Category: Demonstration and Dissemination Projects

The Schools Illumination programme is retrofitting illumination systems in schools across Hungary. Through the design and use of high-standard lighting and heating solutions energy is safed and CO2 emissions are cut. The renovation projects are funded mainly by the energy savings made by their installation. In just four years, more than 1,400 primary and secondary schools across the country have been retrofitted, and another 1,500 upgrades are foreseen. Due to the lighting improvements alone, energy consumption has been reduced by 40% in Budapest schools.

Winner: Alternative Energy Program for Global Green Telecommunications
Project Promoter: Alcatel Lucent, France
Category: Market Transformation

Alcatel Lucent developed an integrated technology that replaces the need for diesel generators, enabling telecoms equipment to run on renewable fuel. Powering the base stations with solar and wind energy is improving mobile communications, providing social and economic benefits and changing the lives of millions. Currently many telecoms operators in emerging markets provide mobile service to areas not served by an electricity grid, using diesel generators to power wireless base station antennas 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Winner: Sonne! Sonne! Sonne! / Sun! Sun! Sun!
Project Promoter: WBN: Büro für Kommunikation GmbH, with solar cell manufacturers Sharp Solar and Q.Cells, Germany
Category: Promotional/Communication and Educational Actions

In an effort to reach youth (ages 13-24), inform them about renewable energy and motivate CO2 reduction, solar cell manufacturers Sharp Solar and Q.Cells teamed up with MTV to create a humorous integrated campaign on TV and the Internet. Realising the power that puppets, animation and computer-generated images have in reaching the target audience, the creative forces behind the campaign created a series of fictional energy-experts: a toaster, a boom box, a mobile phone and a hairdryer. The campaign reached 16 million viewers in Germany.

Winner: ProjectZero: Turning Sønderborg into a Zero Carbon Municipality
Project promoter: ProjectZero, Denmark
Category: Sustainable Energy Communities

A true community effort, ProjectZero is a public/private initiative that aims to make the seaside city of Sønderborg (population 77,000) CO2 neutral by 2029. Focused on five main areas — building renovations; green heat pumps and green district heating; on-shore and off-shore wind energy; biogas plants; and Smart Grid systems — Sønderborg is following an impressively detailed roadmap on what the region will do in the coming years to achieve its long-term goal. One example: Bright Green Harbour, a project designed by Frank Gehry, will transform the old industrial waterfront into a vibrant area with state-of-the-art energy efficiency standards.

Now in its fourth edition, the Sustainable Energy Europe Awards competition has seen a steady rise in the number of entries (272 in 2010) – a further evidence of the growing interest in sustainable energy across Europe. In 2009, 251 projects entered the competition, up from 242 entries in 2008.

25th anniversary of European Capitals of Culture

Mercredi 24 mars 2010

The European Commission celebrates the 25th anniversary of the European Capitals of Culture. To mark the event a conference and an exhibition have been organised in Brussels, attended by more than 400 representatives of past, present and future Capitals and many other cultural operators. President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou will open the event, together with Doris Pack, chair of the Culture Committee of the European Parliament. The conference is aimed at sharing experiences and good practices as well as assessing the impact of the European Capitals of Culture since its launch in 1985.

President Barroso said the initiative is a clear illustration of the EU’s commitment to cultural diversity and also of how culture unites people within Europe. The president thanked all the cities which have honored Europe’s cultural capital during their year as Capitals and he wished the European Capitals of Culture every success for the next 25 years.

Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, commented that the 25th anniversary will be an opportunity to reflect on the huge success the European Capitals of Culture have had this far as a driving force for creativity, job creation, social inclusion, regeneration and tourism. It is one of the most recognised cultural events in Europe and it will continue to represent the best of Europe in the 25 years to come.

The first day of the conference is dedicated to the official celebration, as well as to an exchange of views between past, present and future Capitals. The second day will have a more strategic dimension and will look at the impact and legacy of the initiative.

Since the first European Capital of Culture held in Athens in 1985, over 40 cities from all over Europe have held the title. This year’s Capitals of Culture are Essen for the Ruhr (Germany), Pécs (Hungary), and Istanbul (Turkey).

The main goals of the European Capitals of Culture project are:
- Highlighting the wealth and diversity of European cultures
- Promoting mutual understanding between European citizens
- Encouraging a sense of belonging to the same European family by making us aware of our common European roots and our shared ambitions for the future.

The European Capitals of Culture are also a unique opportunity to regenerate cities in the long-term, by giving new vitality to their cultural life, their creative industries and transforming their image.

The late Melina Mercouri, the former Minister of Culture for Greece and celebrated actress, conceived the idea of the European Capital of Culture with Jack Lang, her counterpart in France.