Europe Direct Lancashire
Europe Direct Lancashire

News

22nd June 2017

EU Bookshop moves to new platform

 

The EU Bookshop is moving to a new platform, with a new look, better service and new functionalities. It is now housed on the EU Law and Publications portal, which offers full, cross-collection access in 24 European languages to all existing EU law and publications. The new url for the Bookshop is: http://publications.europa.eu/bookshop

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

20th June 2017

EU observatory for nanomaterials launched

 

The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has launched a new website that gives citizens, workers and professionals access to information on nanomaterials on the EU market in 23 languages. The website represents the first phase of the EU Observatory for Nanomaterials (EUON). The EUON offers a unique web-based information point with factual and neutral content about nanomaterials on the EU market.

The observatory is targeted at a wide audience including consumers, workers, regulators and scientists. The website explains what nanomaterials are and where they are used. Information on health and safety issues, research, regulatory and international activities are also part of the EUON’s first phase. The potential hazards and risks resulting from the use of nanomaterials have to be assessed case-by-case as for any other chemical. However, more safety information is still needed for many of the most commonly used nanomaterials. Aimed at consumers, this factsheet explains why nanomaterials are important.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

17th June 2017

Join the online debate on cohesion policy

 

DG Regio has launched an online debate 'Is it fair that rich EU countries pay for the development of poorer EU countries", ahead of the Cohesion Forum which takes place at the end of June.

The EU and the structural funds' goal is to ensure opportunities for all European citizens, regardless of the place in which they live, but there is evidence that some territories and groups of people have been left behind over the recent past. This is probably the most damaging legacy of the economic crisis.  EU cohesion policy is not just about rich countries paying for poor countries. Within wealthy EU countries, there are also poorer regions, just as within poorer countries there are wealthier regions.

The online forum will discuss harnessing the opportunities of globalisation and keeping Europe as a reference of innovation and social inclusion. Please help promote the online debate. #CohesionPolicy #CohesionAlliance #EU7CF 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

16th June 2017

End of roaming charges in the EU

 

It’s happened! As of 15 June, EU consumers do not have roaming charges when travelling to another EU country. Every existing or new contract that includes roaming services changed to a “roam like at home” contract. These new EU rules cover data services, voice calls and SMS. Frequently asked questions on roam like at home are answered on this page (available in all EU languages except Irish), which will be updated regularly. The FAQs can also be downloaded in pdf format. More information is also available on the roaming webpage and in these general and detailed factsheets (in English).

The new rules mean mobile operators must offer their roaming services at domestic prices to consumers with stable links in one country when they are periodically travelling in the EU. If necessary, operators can ask their customers to provide proof of residence or stable links to the Member State in question. Examples of stable links include cross-border commuters and posted workers, Erasmus+ programme beneficiaries such as students, apprentices or volunteers. However, roaming providers may apply fair, reasonable and proportionate control mechanisms based on objective indicators to detect the risks of abusive or anomalous use of roam like at home when this is not part of a temporary trip abroad.

The Commission’s roaming expert also answered over 250 questions from the public about the new rules during a Facebook Live chat, which remains online (in English). As this video (in French, with subtitles) explains, the abolition of roaming fees brings an end to a 10-year battle for MEP Viviane Reding, who started the campaign when she was the Information Society and Media commissioner.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

12th June 2017

Green Awards winners for 2017 announced

 

A project to produce biodegradable plastic film from bakery waste and a system to eradicate brine from seawater desalination plants were among the winners of this year’s Green Awards, awarded under the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

A total of 15 projects were selected as finalists for the hotly contested awards by an expert jury, on the basis of their long-term sustainability, communication potential and broader impact on a national, European or global level. Projects were also assessed for innovation, transferability, environmental benefits and improvement of conservation status. The winners were then chosen by public vote on Facebook. This year’s winners were:

Environment category

  • Bread4Pla (Spain): a project to demonstrate the technical and economic viability of using waste products from the bakery sector in the fabrication of a fully biodegradable plastic film
  • Sol-Brine (Greece): a project to develop a solar-driven brine treatment system in order to eliminate the current practice of brine disposal in desalination plants.

Nature and Biodiversity category

  • BurrenLIFE (Ireland): a project to develop a new model for the sustainable agricultural management of the priority habitats of the Burren
  • Reintroducción Lince Andalucia (Spain): a follow-up project aimed to build on the successful stabilisation of the Iberian lynx populations in Spain to deliver a global and comprehensive strategy for the conservation of the species

Climate action category

  • Dyemond Solar (Sweden): a project to demonstrate a cost-effective means of producing transparent dye-sensitised cells (DSCs)​
  • AgriClimateChange (Spain): a project to demonstrate that agriculture can tackle climate change effectively and that actions by the farming sector are not a constraint, but in fact can represent an economic opportunity for farmers.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

8th June 2017

Reflection Paper on the future of European Defence

 

The Commission has responded to a key concern of European citizens with a package to open a debate on moving towards a security and defence union, and provide the means to stimulate cooperation in defence research, development and acquisition of technology and products.

The aim is to fit Europe with a powerful and efficient security and defence structure by 2025. Following the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe and a series of reflection papers on key European issues, a new reflection paper outlines three different scenarios on how to address the growing threats facing Europe and enhance Europe's own abilities in defence. The reflection paper will make an important contribution to deciding on how the Union will strengthen the protection and security of European citizens, which has been at the heart of the Juncker Commission priorities.

It is complemented by concrete proposals to launch a European Defence Fund, which will support more efficient spending by Member States on joint defence capabilities. Projects eligible for EU funding will focus on priority areas previously agreed by Member States, and could typically include electronics, metamaterials, encrypted software or robotics. It could generate a total investment in defence capability development of €5 billion per year after 2020.

 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

7th June 2017

WiFi4EU initiative gets green light

 

Local public authorities, municipalities or groups of municipalities wishing to offer Wi-Fi in areas where a similar public or private offer does not yet exist will be able to apply for an EU grant via a simple and non-bureaucratic process, under a new funding initiative agreed by the EU institutions.

The WiFi4EU initiative (see factsheet), on which the European Parliament, European Council and European Commission have reached political agreement, will support installing free public Wi-Fi hotspots in local communities across the EU: in public squares, piazzas, parks, hospitals and other public spaces. The agreement includes a commitment by the three institutions to ensure that an overall amount of €120 million shall be assigned to fund equipment for public free Wi-Fi services in 6,000 to 8,000 municipalities in all Member States.

The specific sources of the funding will be finalised in the ongoing legislative discussions on the review of the current Multiannual Financial Framework programme. Local authorities will be able to apply for funding once the system is set up. 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

6th June 2017

Commission Initiative: Europe on the Move 

 

The European transport system is undergoing major changes: it is shifting to a more integrated and multimodal mobility system, which requires a more comprehensive approach, embracing a wide range of policy areas at EU level.

In a new initiative, the European Commission has moved to take action to modernise European mobility and transport. The aim is to help the sector to remain competitive in a socially fair transition towards clean energy and digitisation.

“Europe on the Move” (pdf, in English only) is a wide-ranging set of initiatives with which the Commission aims to shape the road and mobility systems of the future, boost competitiveness, strengthen social fairness and firmly put transport on the path towards zero emissions.

The Commission’s proposals are explained in the following factsheets (English only):

Overall, the Commission believes the implementation of the initiatives will contribute to the reduction of air pollutants and CO2 emissions as well as noise and congestion from transport. This will improve health and living conditions of European citizens. Road users will also benefit from expected improvements in road safety due to better social conditions of professional drivers, notably proper rest periods and better enforcement.

A factsheet on the initiative is available (in English, French and German). 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

5th June 2017

Deepening  the Economic and Monetary Union

 

The euro is a success story on many levels: it is shared by as many as 340 million Europeans in 19 Member States. But the tough times the euro area has endured over recent years mean it is not always perceived as such. For this reason, the European Commission has published a reflection paper with the intention of building a broad consensus on how to take on the challenges ahead and to give a fresh impetus to this important debate on deepening the EU’s Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

The reflection paper sets out concrete steps that could be taken before the European elections in 2019, as well as a series of options for the following years, when the EMU architecture would be completed.

Moving ahead would involve taking steps in three key areas:

  1. completing a genuine Financial Union;
  2. achieving a more integrated Economic and Fiscal Union;
  3. anchoring democratic accountability and strengthening euro area institutions.

The Commission believes that completing the EMU is not an end in itself but is needed to provide jobs, growth, social fairness, economic convergence and financial stability. Responsibility and solidarity, risk reduction and risk-sharing will have to go hand in hand. The EMU should remain open to all Member States, and the decision-making process must become more transparent and democratically accountable

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

2nd June 2017

Toolbox: preventing marginalisation and violent radicalisation

 

Youth work can play a key role in promoting active citizenship, preventing marginalisation and violent radicalisation, an expert group of policymakers, researchers and practitioners set up under the EU’s Work Plan for Youth for 2016-2018 has found. The expert group looked at three levels of prevention: at a generic, targeted and indicated level. At each level, youth work and non-formal and informal learning have a role to play and need to be supported in different ways. The expert group provides concrete proposals for each level in accordance with the different challenges that each poses. The main outcomes of the expert group are:

  • a practical toolbox for youth workers, both volunteers and employed, and organisations which train them. This toolbox contains guidance on how to encourage active citizenship and prevent young people from marginalisation and radicalisation leading to violent extremism as well as on how to deal with propaganda;
  • policy recommendations addressed to public authorities, from the local to the European level, calling for a holistic approach in preventing radicalisation leading to violent extremism.

The full report is available here.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team

31st May 2017

Streaming without borders: new rules for online content

 

Border checkpoints for many Europeans may be a thing of the past, but what about the borders that exist online? Citizens visiting another EU country are often prevented from accessing online content such as films, TV series, music, games, or sporting events, which they have paid for in their home country.

Under new legislation adopted by the European Parliament, EU citizens with subscriptions for online films and TV will soon be able to access their content while temporarily in another Member State. As this EuroparlTV video explains, the new rules will remove restrictions so that EU citizens can use online services such as Netflix, HBO Go, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Deezer while in another EU country for holidays, studies or business. If a subscriber lives, for instance, in Germany but goes on holidays or visit their family or work in Spain, they will be able to access the services that they had in Germany. Platforms will be able to check their subscribers’ country of residence, for instance by asking for a tax statement or phone bill.

The draft law still needs to be formally approved by the EU Council of Ministers. Member States will have nine months from the date of entry into force of the regulation to bring the new rules into force.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

30th May 2017

European Inverstigation Order comes into force

 

 

The work of judicial authorities when requesting evidence located in another EU country has now become simpler with the entering into force in late May of the European Investigation Order. The new tool is based on mutual recognition and requires each participating Member State to recognise and carry out a judicial request from the other country as it would do with a decision coming from its own authorities.

For instance, if French judicial authorities are tracking terrorists hidden in Belgium, they can ask their Belgian counterparts to interrogate witnesses or conduct house searches on their behalf. This new tool will simplify and speed up cross-border criminal investigations.

The European Investigation Order has the following advantages:

  • It creates a single comprehensive instrument with a large scope: it will replace the existing fragmented legal framework for obtaining evidence and covers the whole process of collecting evidence, from the freezing of evidence to the transfer of existing evidence, for participating Member States.
  • It sets strict deadlines for gathering the evidence requested: Member States have up to 30 days to decide if they accept a request. If accepted, there is a 90-day deadline to conduct the requested investigative measure. Any delay will be reported to the EU country issuing the investigation order.
  • It limits the reasons for refusing such requests: the receiving authority can only refuse to execute the order under certain circumstances, for example, if the request is against the country’s fundamental principles of law or harms national security interests.
  • It reduces paperwork by introducing a single standard form translated into the official language of the executing Member State for authorities to request help when seeking evidence.
  • It protects the fundamental rights of the defence: the issuing authorities must assess the necessity and proportionality of the investigative measure requested.

This directive applies to all EU countries except Denmark and Ireland, which are not taking part. The United Kingdom decided to participate.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

26th May 2017

eSearch plus: comprehensive information about trademarks and design

 

 

Run by the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO), the eSearch plus application provides users with comprehensive information about trademarks, designs, owners, representatives and bulletins. It enables users to perform quick and efficient searches within EUIPO’s databases.

One of its newest features uses image recognition technology to find similar-looking marks. This feature is particularly suitable when the trademark image being searched has a common or abstract shape that can be difficult to describe in words, or when there are many potential words to describe it.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

22nd May 2017

2017 winners of EU Prize for Cultural Heritage announced

 

 

The winners of the 2017 EU Prize for Cultural Heritage/Europa Nostra Awards were celebrated at an event on 15 May in Turku, Finland.

During the ceremony, the seven Grand Prix laureates each received €10,000 in prize money.

The winners in each of the four categories were:

Conservation

Research

Dedicated service

Education, Training and Awareness-Raising

Moreover, The Public Choice Award went to Zoltán Kallós from Romania, who has devotedly compiled collections of music, dance, storytelling and crafts of the Hungarian, Romanian, Saxon and Roma communities of Transylvania in Romania for over 70 years. The Public Choice Award winner was chosen through an open online vote in which over 11,000 people participated.

The selection of Grand Prix laureates and Public Choice Award was made among this year’s 29 winning projects, from 18 European countries taking part in the EU’s Creative Europe programme. 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

19th May 2017

Spring Economic Forecast foresees euro area growth in 2017 and 2018

 

The euro area will see GDP growth of 1.7% in 2017 and 1.8% in 2018, the European Commission predicts in its recently published Spring Economic Forecast (English only). As Pierre Moscovici, European Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, explains in this video (English and French, now with subtitles in all 24 EU languages), the report notes that the European economy has entered its fifth year of recovery, which is now reaching all EU Member States. This is expected to continue at a largely steady pace this year and next.

Unemployment continues its downward trend, but it remains high in many countries. In the euro area, it is expected to fall to 9.4% in 2017 and 8.9% in 2018, its lowest level since the start of 2009. The trend in the EU as a whole is expected to be similar, with unemployment forecast to fall to 8.0% in 2017 and 7.7% in 2018, the lowest since late 2008. However, the picture varies from Member State to Member State and tackling the causes of this divergence is the key challenge the EU must address in the months and years to come. Economic forecasts for each country are also available. 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

18th May 2017

EU Sustainable Energy Week, 19 to 25 June 2017

 

The EU Sustainable Energy Week is back for its 12th edition. Taking place in Brussels from 19 to 25 June 2017, it will promote energy-saving and renewables and is complemented by a two-month series of events around Europe. This year’s theme is “Clean Energy for All Europeans”, inspired by the European Commission’s package of proposals to put consumers and growth at the heart of the sustainable energy transition.

Sessions organised by the European Commission and energy stakeholders debate policy developments, best practices, initiatives and ideas that support Europe’s move towards clean, secure and efficient power as part of the Energy Union. A central feature of the week is the EU Sustainable Energy Week policy conference, Europe’s most important conference on energy efficiency and renewables, which takes place in Brussels from 20 to 22 June.

Registrations for the event are now open. Coinciding with EUSEW Policy Conference, the Energy Days take place in May and June, marked by events and activities across the EU. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

15th May 2017

EU Green Week 2017 to take place from 29 May to 2 June

 

EU Green Week (available in English) is an annual forum to debate and discuss European environmental policy. Organised by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment, this key event in the environment policy calendar attracts policymakers, leading environmentalists, stakeholders and other interested parties from across Europe and the globe.

EU Green Week 2017 will take place from 29 May to 2 June with the theme of “Green jobs for a greener future”. It will focus on how EU environmental policies are creating green jobs and contributing to economic, sustainable and socially responsible growth in the EU. It will also highlight the demand for new types of green skills in many professional sectors.

In addition to a high-level conference in Brussels, the programme will also feature a series of partner events and actions taking place across Europe. As well as being invited to take part in person, stakeholders and the general public are encouraged to become “virtually” involved by participating in a wide range of on-line and social media activities.

A promotional video, in English, Estonian, French, German, Italian and Romanian, is available.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

12th May 2017

Commission publishes mid-term review of the Digital Single Market strategy

 

The EU needs to develop the European Data Economy to its full potential, protect Europe’s assets by tackling cybersecurity challenges and promote online platforms as responsible players of a fair internet ecosystem. These are the recommendations of the mid-term review (see factsheet) of the European Commission’s Digital Single Market strategy. Since May 2015, the Commission has delivered 35 legislative proposals and policy initiatives as part of the strategy. The focus is now on obtaining political agreement with the European Parliament and the Council on all proposals, above all on the updated EU telecoms rules which will boost investments in high-speed and quality networks, which are critical for the full deployment of the digital economy and society.

A selection of case studies accompanies the review. Several factsheets (in pdf format) illustrate how businesses in the various areas of the Digital Single Market have managed the transition and thrive thanks to EU digital policies. These success stories include:

The mid-term review is accompanied by Europe’s Digital Progress Report 2017 (EDPR), which monitors progress in digital policies in the Member States, such as developments in connectivity, digital skills or use of internet by citizens and by business. The EDPR includes reports on telecom market and regulatory developments in each Member State.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

11th May 2017

Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Telecom: £25.5 million to support trans-European digital networks

 

The European Commission has opened a second call for proposals under the 2017 CEF Telecom Work Programme. €25.5 million will be made available to stimulate and support the deployment of European Digital Service Infrastructures (DSIs). A Virtual Info Day on the call will take place on 16 May 2017 and participants can register online here.

Interested applicants from all EU Member States, as well as Iceland and Norway, are invited to submit proposals at the latest by 21 September 2017 for actions supporting the deployment of the four areas:

In 2017, CEF Telecom will provide up to a total of €77 million in funding through grants for European Digital Service Infrastructures.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

10th May 2017

Commission launches reflection on the social  dimension of Europe by 2025 and adopts proposal for the European Pillar of Social Rights

 

Building a fairer Europe and strengthening its social dimension is a key priority for this Commission. The European Pillar of Social Rights sets out 20 key principles and rights to support fair and well-functioning labour markets and welfare systems. It is presented both as a Commission Recommendation, effective as of 26 April, and as a proposal for a joint proclamation by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission.

The Commission will now enter into discussions with the European Parliament and all the Member States in the Council to work towards broad political support and high-level endorsement of the Pillar. More information on the European Pillar of Social Rights can be found in the press release and memo (22 EU languages) with links to related fact sheets.

In addition, the Commission flanks the Pillar with a number of concrete legislative and non-legislative initiatives, such as on the work-life balance of parents and carers, on the information of workers, on access to social protection and on working time. More information can be found in this press release and memo (22 EU languages) and related factsheets (EN, FR and D, others to follow).

In parallel, following the launch of the discussion on the future of Europe via the Commission's White Paper, the Commission also zooms in on the social dimension of Europe by 2025. The reflection paper on Europe's social dimension will mark the start of a reflection process with citizens, social partners, the European institutions and governments, that seeks to identify responses to the challenges our societies and citizens face in the coming years. The paper is also an effort to clarify the contribution of the EU level in addressing these challenges. More information can be found in this press release (22 EU languages).

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

9th May 2017

Enhancing the functioning of the EU Single Market

 

The Single Market is one of the EU’s greatest achievements. It has fuelled economic growth and made the everyday life of European businesses and consumers easier.

Delivering on its Single Market Strategy – the roadmap to unlock the full potential of the Single Market – the European Commission has launched a new package of measures (see factsheet) that will make it easier for people and companies to manage their paperwork online in their home country or when working, living or doing business in another EU country and it will help ensure that commonly agreed EU rules are respected.

The three concrete initiatives adopted by the Commission are:

  • A Single Digital Gateway: In the future, people and companies will have easier access, through a single digital entry point, to high quality information, online administrative procedures and assistance services. Key administrative procedures will have to be made available online, including requests for a birth certificate, to register a car, start a business or register for social security benefits.
     
  • A Single Market Information Tool: Single Market rights, for people as well as companies, can only be fully exercised if the commonly agreed rules are fit for purpose and correctly applied throughout Europe. To ensure this, timely access to comprehensive, reliable and accurate market information is crucial. The Single Market Information Tool will allow the Commission, in targeted cases, to source defined and readily available data (such as, for example, cost structure, pricing policy or product volumes sold) in cases of serious difficulties with the application of EU Single Market legislation.
     
  • A SOLVIT Action Plan: The Action Plan aims to increase the use of SOLVIT by making sure that more citizens and businesses can easily access it and by improving data collection so that evidence from SOLVIT cases can be used to improve the functioning of the Single Market.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

8th May 2017

Commission wants temporary border controls lifted within six months

 

The European Commission has recommended that Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway phase out the temporary controls currently in place at some of their internal Schengen borders over the next six months (see factsheet, in English only).

During this time, as in the previous periods, controls should only be carried out in a targeted and limited manner and only as a means of last resort. At the same time, the Commission is calling on Member States to increasingly make use of alternative measures that can provide the same level of security, such as proportionate police checks in border areas and along main transport routes (see factsheet, in English only).

Important progress has been made in better securing the EU’s external borders and limiting irregular migration over the past months. The full roll-out of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency is progressing steadily since its launch on 6 October 2016; following the EU-Turkey Statement, irregular arrivals in Greece have decreased by 97%.

As this factsheet explains (pdf, in English), the Agency currently supports Member States with about 1,500 border guards at different sections of the EU external border, complementing the existing national capacities of Member States of over 100,000.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

5th May 2017

MEPs want better protection for children

on-line

 

Children watch more and more videos on the internet, spending many hours every week in front of screens. Sixty percent of 9 to 15-year-olds go online nearly every day to do school work, play games, text and watch videos. On-demand video is also threatening traditional TV.

For these reasons, as this EuroparlTV video explains, MEPs want to strengthen the protection of minors online against harmful content.

They have proposed to adapt some of the rules that apply to programmes on television to services on the internet. They also want stricter measures on hate speech, violence and sexual content: encryption, clearer signage and stronger parental control.

Parliament also wants to protect minors from commercials for fatty or high-sugar foods in particular.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

4th May 2017

2017 Sustainable Energy Awards

 

The EU Sustainable Energy Awards, which highlight cutting-edge innovation for the transition to clean, secure and efficient energy, are a major feature of the annual EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) policy conference. Three finalists have been selected for each of the four jury-assessed categories – Consumers, Public Sector, Businesses and, this year, Energy Islands. They will all also be competing for the Citizen’s Prize, to be chosen by a public online vote.

This year’s EU Sustainable Energy Award finalists are:

  • Consumers category: Codema (Ireland); Guide Topten (France); Municipality of Santorso (Italy)
  • Public Sector category: Bucharest Sector 1 (Romania); Diputació de Girona (Spain); Göteborg Energi AB (Sweden)
  • Businesses category: Eandis (Belgium); Sonae Sierra (Portugal); Trebišovská energetická (Slovakia)
  • Energy Islands category: Bornholms Energi & Forsyning (Denmark); Piraeus University of Applied Sciences (Greece); European Small Islands Federation (Finland).

The winners will be announced at a prestigious awards ceremony on day one of the 2017 EUSEW policy conference (20-22 June) in Brussels.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

3rd May 2017

Special Green Awards to mark 25th anniversary of LIFE programme

 

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the LIFE programme, the EU’s funding instrument for the environment and climate action.

To commemorate LIFE’s achievements during this time, the European Commission has selected 15 outstanding LIFE projects as nominees for a special Green Awards ceremony, which takes place during EU Green Week in Brussels on 30 May 2017.

The awards are for the most outstanding completed LIFE projects since 1992. The winners will be selected by means of a public vote on Facebook. Voting is open from now until 10 May 2017.

The nominees for the Green Awards were selected by a jury, based on a number of criteria, including long-term sustainability, communication potential and broader impact on national, European or global level. They were additionally scored on innovation, transferability, environmental benefits and conservation status.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

2nd May 2017

House of European History to open on 6 May Open Doors day in Brussels

 

 

The House of European History aims to encourage citizens to reflect upon and debate the history of Europe and of European integration. This new museum, situated in Parc Léopold in the European quarter of Brussels, will offer a new and thought-provoking way of seeing and understanding the history of the continent and the development of European integration.

The main exhibition, available in 24 languages, takes a Europe-wide perspective on history and invites visitors to reflect critically on historical events and experiences, considering their meaning for today and for the future.

The museum aims to become, over time, a place of debate and exchange about history, with a range of events and learning programmes. The permanent exhibition, together with the first temporary exhibition on the theme of “Interactions – centuries of commerce, combat and creation”, encourages visitors to get involved: as they go through the museum, they are invited to look closely at events and processes in Europe’s history and then to look again and see things from a different angle, in a different light.

The museum’s opening on 6 May 2017 is part of the Open Doors Day festivities and attractions from 10:00 onwards to celebrate Europe Day.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

28th April 2017

Eurostat launches new quiz

 

How many people live in the EU? Which EU Member State has the biggest area covered by forest? Which EU airport is the busiest? Find out the answers to these questions and many more with the new Eurostat quiz.

Eurostat’s fun quiz is designed to test and increase people’s knowledge of the EU and its Member States. The questions are organised in different statistical themes, for example population, economy, science, environment, energy, trade, etc. Participants have three minutes to complete it. Upon completion, participants can compare their score with other participants.

Eurostat’s quiz is available in 23 European languages and can be played as many times as a participant wants. 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

27th April 2017

CoR initiative "Reflecting on Europe"

 

On the occasion of Open Doors day in Brussels on 6 May,  the Committee of Regions will bring together representatives of pro-European initiatives and invite them to share their experiences and prospects. This event will be part of the CoR’s "Reflecting on Europe" exercise, which collects feedback at local level on how the European Union should develop in the future. The event starts at 12.00 pm CET and will be web streamed live. Interpretation will be available from/into Dutch, English, French, German and Polish. Live stream

More information. Registration.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

26th April 2017

#CedefopPhotoAward 2017

 

Entries are now being accepted for the #CedefopPhotoAward 2017, a competition organised by Cedefop, the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training.

As this promotional video explains, the competition aims to promote excellence in vocational education and training across the EU and beyond, also within the context of the European vocational skills week.

People wishing to participate should form a team of up to three members. Each team is expected to produce an original photo story consisting of three to five photos, and a narrative of up to 100 words. Individual entries will not be accepted. The competition is exclusively for students in vocational education and training (either initial or continuing vocational training later in life).

There will be two awards for the two best photo stories. The first prize will be a trip to Brussels for the winning team and a teacher/tutor to take part in the European Vocational Skills Week award ceremony on 24 November 2017. The second prize will be a trip to Thessaloniki for the winning team and a teacher/tutor for the opening of the Thessaloniki International Film Festival on 2 November 2017.

The deadline for submission of entries is 15 July 2017.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

25th April 2017

EU Institutions seek to fill more than 100 new graduate administrator roles

 

The EU institutions are currently recruiting dynamic and dedicated new graduates to fill more than 100 new graduate administrator roles through an open competition.

The role offers the perfect launch pad to a stimulating and varied career where participants get the chance to work on the issues of the day and genuinely make a difference for Europe. The deadline for applications is 12:00 CET, 3 May 2017. The selection process is highly competitive, as there are only approximately 124 places on the reserve list. Only the very top scorers pass to the next stage of the selection procedure.

As an indication, in 2015 more than 31,000 candidates applied but less than 5% were invited to the second stage. The “EU Career, My Career?” questionnaire and the self-assessment test will give prospective applicants a realistic idea of whether they are likely to meet the high standards required to succeed.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

24th April 2017

EU Solidarity Corps Photo Competition

 

What does solidarity mean? Is it belonging to a community? Is it team spirit in sports? Is it showing support for a cause or helping fellow human beings?

Solidarity arises from common goals, shared interests and binds us together. With this competition, the newly established EU Solidarity Corps invites people to submit a photo that showcases an inspiring or empowering experience of solidarity.

The public’s choice will receive travel vouchers worth €500. The deadline for submission is midnight CET on 8 May 2017.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

21st April 2017

Europol launches 9th international law inforcement photo competition

 

Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, has launched its 2017 international law enforcement photo competition. Now in its ninth year, the competition recognises outstanding photography from the challenging and rewarding work of police and law enforcement agencies.

Entries are welcome from professional and amateur photographers working for law enforcement agencies and law enforcement magazines in EU countries, and countries that have agreements with Europol. The three winning photographers will win a trip for two people to the Netherlands, including a visit to Europol, and their photographs will appear in Europol’s 2018 calendars.

Each entrant can submit up to five digital photographs in the following categories:

  • Making Europe safer
  • Practice makes perfect
  • Freestyle

The closing date for entries is 31 July 2017. Entry forms are available in all official EU languages except Irish and Maltese. 

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

20th April 2017

Competition: European Transport Innovation Challenge

 

The EU is committed to cutting CO2 emissions by at least 40% by 2030 and by 80% by 2050. With transportation accounting for one quarter of CO2 emissions, there is a need to radically transform the way people and goods are transported.

The European Transport Innovation Challenge (ETIC) will help move the EU along the path of decarbonisation and sustainable growth.

Entrants just need a good idea for a product or service that will contribute to one of the following key European goals for transport:

  • better mobility
  • better access to mobility
  • less pollution
  • less congestion
  • more safety and security.

Entrants can be an individual, a team, a company (providing it is an SME) or any other type of legal entity anywhere in the EU or in a country associated with the Horizon 2020 programme.

In order to encourage young innovators, the person who attends the ITS European Congress must be under 35. The 12 winners of the ETIC will get a free trip to Strasbourg on 19–21 June 2017 to follow the ITS Congress, Europe’s biggest gathering of professionals working in intelligent transport systems.

The deadline for applications is midnight, 2 May 2017. More information is available in this FAQ.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

19th April 2017

Finalists shortlisted for European Green Capital Award 2019

 

Ghent (Belgium), Lahti (Finland), Lisbon (Portugal), Oslo (Norway) and Tallinn (Estonia) are the five finalists shortlisted for the European Green Capital Award (EGCA) 2019. For the European Green Leaf (EGL) Award 2018 for smaller cities, the finalists are Leuven (Belgium), Ludwigsburg (Germany) and Växjö (Sweden).

The shortlisted cities will now have to convince the jury of their overall commitment to ongoing environmental improvement and sustainable development, their capacity to act as a role model, and their strategy for communicating with the public. This year’s winners will be announced at an award ceremony on 2 June 2017 in Essen, Germany, the current European Green Capital.

Over two-thirds of Europeans now live in urban areas, presenting cities across Europe with problems related to energy consumption, pollution, waste management, housing, unemployment, transport, and water conservation. By showcasing the achievements of European cities in tackling these issues, the EGC and EGL Awards aim to lead by example and inspire others to take action, as this video shows.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

18th April 2017

"Fake News" and the EUs responce

 

Fake news – deliberately fabricated stories posing as journalism with the aim of manipulating readers – became an increasingly visible global phenomenon during last year’s presidential election campaign in the United States, not least due to the growing use of social media as a source for news.

Whereas recent research indicates that a majority of people have difficulties determining when news is fake, the EU’s steps towards countering this growing information challenge are still tentative, argues this “At a glance” briefing from the European Parliamentary Research Service.

The briefing also comes with an infographic that goes through five steps to spot fake news. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

13th April 2017

Video Series: EU60 Stories

 

Sixty years after its establishment, the EU is now a place where Europeans can enjoy a unique diversity of culture, ideas and traditions.

The EU60 Stories video series features 60 testimonials about Europe (in the native language of the speaker, with subtitles in English, French and German).

A trailer is also available. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

10th April 2017

Video: European Council explains who will do what in the Brexit negotiations

 

The UK has triggered the Article 50 process to leave the EU.

In a short video, available in English and in subtitles of all other 24 EU languages, the European Council explains who will do what in the future negotiations.

The European Commission has also published a factsheet on Article 50 (in all EU languages except Irish).

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

7th April 2017

Call for nominations for the 2018 "7 Most Endangered" programme

 

All over Europe monuments and heritage sites are in danger. Some due to lack of resources or expertise, others due to natural disasters or human action. To find a sustainable future for these sites, the leading heritage organisation Europa Nostra launched the 7 Most Endangered programme in 2013.

As this video explains, the programme helps threatened European monuments and sites by mobilising communities together with public and private partners. It is not a funding programme. Its aim is to serve as a catalyst for action. The 7 Most Endangered programme is supported by the EU Creative Europe programme, as part of Europa Nostra’s Mainstreaming Heritage network project. If they know of important heritage that is endangered – such as a historic monument or archaeological site, a place of worship, an industrial complex, a historical park, a museum or even a movable heritage asset – citizens can nominate it for the 7 Most Endangered programme 2018. 

The final list of seven most threatened heritage sites in Europe will be announced in February 2018 during the European Year of Cultural Heritage. Nominations may be submitted from countries that are Member States of the Council of Europe (see list).

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

5th April 2017

Online Dispute Resolution competes first year of helping consumers

 

Now in its second year, the European Commission’s Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform allows consumers to resolve disputes arising from online purchases outside the courts. In its first year of operation, the ODR received over 24,000 consumer complaints. More than a third of the complaints concerned cross-border purchases within the EU. Most complaints were about clothing and footwear, airline tickets and information and communication technology goods. Examples of the types of dispute dealt by the ODR include:

  • A consumer from Italy complained about a defective ICT product bought from an online trader in Belgium. The platform sent the complaint to the competent dispute resolution body in Belgium. As a result, the Italian consumer was reimbursed.
  • A consumer from Luxembourg complained about a car rented online from a trader in Greece. The platform sent the complaint to the competent dispute resolution body in Greece. The dispute was amicably settled within 60 days. The trader fully reimbursed the additional expenses incurred by the consumer.
  • The platform often also works as a channel of first contact between the parties and a solution is often found bilaterally without taking the complaint to a dispute resolution body. For example, a Belgian consumer had been complaining for months about a defective dryer to a Belgian trader, with no success. When the trader received the complaint via the platform, he contacted the consumer and offered to replace the dryer with a new one.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

4th April 2017

Move2Learn boosts youth mobility in EU 

 

Move2Learn, Learn2Move (English only), a new initiative under the Erasmus+ programme, will enable at least 5,000 young citizens to travel to another EU Member State in a sustainable manner – individually or together with their school class.

The one-off initiative, which is linked to the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme, is consistent with two central priorities of the European Commission: to put a renewed focus on Europe’s youth, and to facilitate EU citizens’ mobility, particularly low emission mobility.

Move2Learn, Learn2Move builds on an idea put forward by the European Parliament in 2016. It will be implemented through eTwinning, the world’s biggest teachers’ network. Part of Erasmus+, it enables teachers and pupils across Europe to develop projects together through an online platform.

The initiative will be open to school classes of students aged 16 and above taking part in eTwinning. They are invited to indicate whether they want to be considered for free travel tickets which will be awarded for the best eTwinning projects in each participating country.

Social inclusion will be an important criterion in the selection of the best projects. Once the winners have been picked, they will be able to travel between August 2017 and December 2018, at a date of their choice. Students will either travel in a group as part of a school trip or individually, depending on the decision of parents and teachers. This factsheet (English, French, German) provides more information on the initiative. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

3rd April 2017

New Invest EU website launched

 

As this video explains, the EU is about opportunities that deliver concrete benefits, boost job creation and make a difference locally. As the people touched by the results of the EU’s investment programmes are best placed to tell their stories, a new InvestEU website has been created to showcase individual projects.

These success stories include:

  • The “Loan of Honour” project, in Italy’s Marche region, which gives small loans to unemployed people with a business plan. Combined with free training and technical assistance, the project led to the creation of 1,355 businesses between 2006 and 2015
  • The public-private partnership programme to construct 24 new state schools in 10 municipalities in Greece’s Attica region
  • The Second Chance Schools (E2C) network, which offers tailor-made programmes, different from those of mainstream schools, for early school leavers aged 16 to 25.

The main page of the new website is available in all 24 EU languages. While all of the pages describing individual projects are in English, some pages are also available in additional languages. See also our dedicated Investment Plan page.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

31st  March  2017

European Defence Agency publishes annual report

 

2016 was a seminal moment for European defence and the European Defence Agency (EDA). It was a year that added a new sense of urgency and determination to European defence efforts.

The EDA’s Annual Report 2016 presents the main activities and achievements of the agency across its full range of activities and projects. It argues that the time has gone when Europe’s achievements were judged in terms of what it agreed on paper.

Henceforth the success or failure of European ambitions in defence will be judged exclusively on the basis of action and implementation.

Defence is now, and needs to remain, firmly on the European political agenda

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

30th  March  2017

Civil society organisations invited to register with Fundamental Rights Platform

 

As per the EU Fundamental Rights Agency’s founding regulation, the Fundamental Rights Platform (FRP) is the agency’s “mechanism of exchange and pooling of knowledge”, created for facilitating a “structured and fruitful dialogue” with and among civil society organisations.

The FRP is not an organisation and there is no membership. All interested civil society organisations are invited to register themselves in the database of organisations.

Through the FRP, the FRA seeks to engage with:

  • non-governmental organisations dealing with human rights
  • trade unions
  • employer’s organisations
  • relevant social and professional organisations
  • churches, religious, philosophical and non-confessional organisations
  • universities and academics
  • other qualified experts of European and international bodies and organisations.

The FRP is being relaunched under a new strategy that draws on a decade’s experience of fruitful cooperation. The aim is to cooperate more closely and to greater effect with a broader variety of civil society organisations, focusing on enhanced thematic engagement. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

29th  March  2017

European Social Fund at 60

 

For 60 years now, the European Commission has been working in partnership with the Member States to give people the opportunity to improve their job prospects. Since the European Social Fund (ESF) was set up in 1957, it has helped millions of people from all walks of life.

In its early stages, the ESF was used as a means to compensate for job losses. It helped workers in sectors that were modernising or converting to new kinds of production by providing them with short-term retraining allowances. It also made available resettlement help for those out of work who left their region to seek jobs elsewhere.

Over the decades, the ESF has evolved into the EU’s key instrument for investing in people. It helps people retrain for new jobs or assists them in finding jobs for the first time (see here for examples). It also looks out for the more disadvantaged in society who may be socially excluded or at risk of being so, providing them with opportunities to find or get back into work.  

A comprehensive communication toolkit is available in all EU languages via the 60th-anniversary page of the ESF website

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

28th  March  2017

Winners of the 2016 European sustainable urban mobility awards announced

 

Malmö (Sweden) and Brussels (Belgium) were named the winners of the 2016 European sustainable urban mobility awards at a ceremony held in Brussels on 20 March 2017.

Malmö won the European Mobility Week Award 2016 for its long-term focus on active transport modes such as cycling and walking. The 5th Award for Sustainable Urban Mobility Planning was given to Brussels for its successful freight strategy.

Malmö overcame stiff competition from fellow finalists Lisbon and Skopje (see video), while Brussels edged out Budapest and Stockholm (see video).

The ceremony followed the first day of the European Mobility Week workshops, which kicked off the preparations for the 2017 edition of the campaign under the theme of clean, smart and intelligent cities, as encapsulated by the slogan “Sharing gets you further” (see promotional video).

The European Mobility Week Award is presented to the local authority that is judged to have done the most to raise awareness of sustainable mobility during European Mobility Week, the next version of which runs from 16-22 September 2017.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

27th  March  2017

Rapid Alert System continues to protect consumers from unsafe goods

 

In 2016, national authorities removed more dangerous products from stores using the Rapid Alert System, according to the latest European Commission report (pdf) on the service.

As more and more dangerous products are sold online, the Commission has stepped up its cooperation with Amazon, Ebay and Alibaba to tackle potentially unsafe or non-compliant products on their websites. In 2016, toys were the most notified product category (26%), followed by motor vehicles (18%), and clothing, textiles and fashion items (13%).

The majority of dangerous products notified in the system came from outside the EU. China was the country of origin for 53% of notified products, representing a 9% drop compared to 2015. Dangerous products of European origin accounted for 23% of the notifications, 5% came from the United States and 2.6% came from Turkey.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

24th March  2017

Happy Birthday EU

 

On 25 March, EU leaders will come together in Rome to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome. Following the presentation of the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe, EU leaders are expected to adopt the Rome Declaration, which will feature the Union's past achievements, present challenges and pledge to work for unity at 27 and strengthen common action in key policy areas, to the benefit of citizens. The Commission will also be organising in the months ahead public debates with the European Parliament and Member States, as well as online consultations, so that Europe's citizens have their say and are able to share their views on the future of Europe via the Commission Representations and a dedicated website, which will be launched on 25 March. For more information on the White Paper process see this timeline. Various audiovisual products, including 60 video testimonials from people across Europe, a compilation of archive video footage illustrating the major milestones in EU history since 1957 and an EU GIF competitoin are available here. Press release and useful links here. Update your Facebook and Twitter pages via the EU Twibbon page.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

23rd March  2017

Follow Digital Day the digital way on 23rd March

 

Digital Day, the digital part of the official celebrations marking the 60th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, will take place in Rome on 23 March 2017.

The event, organised by the European Commission and the Republic of Italy in collaboration with the Maltese EU Presidency, will look at topics that impact the near and long-term future of EU citizens.

 

The event is organised around industrial competitiveness and societal challenges, and it will bring together ministers, high-level representatives, key stakeholders in four different sessions (click through to see the agenda of each; full agenda here):

 

All sessions will be web streamed on YouTube and the public can join the discussion on Twitter with the #DigitalDay17 hashtag and follow live chats on Facebook.

Four online polls are being conducted as part of the event. The surveys ask:

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

22nd March  2017

Communicating Europe lunchtime briefing on 28th March

 

In response to recent political developments, the European Commission has launched a new corporate communication approach to try and improve public understanding of the EU. This approach consists of three communication strands: the EU delivers, the EU empowers and the EU protects. These strands build on initiatives like the Investment Plan for Europe and communication milestones such as the 60th anniversary of the Rome Treaties. Join Mikel Landabaso Alvarez, Director for Strategy and Corporate Communication of the European Commission for a lunchtime briefing at the Committee of the Regions where he will explain the details on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 from 12.30 to 14.00 CET. The session will be web streamed via this link.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

21st  March  2017

Report Together in the EU published 

 

Risk of school segregation, discrimination and restrictions to political participation can form insurmountable barriers to the integration of migrants in EU society, as a new report from the EU’s Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA) shows.

 

It examines integration strategies across the EU, providing clear evidence of the successes and failures of current policy and recommending changes in order to build a stronger and more cohesive Europe.

An accompanying infographic illustrates some of the main issues when it comes to integrating migrants and their descendants in the EU.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

20th March  2017

 

Brochure: The European Story published 

 

The foundations for the Europe we all know today were laid in 1957 in Rome. To mark its diamond jubilee, The European Story is just as its title suggests.

Prepared by the European Political Strategy Centre to mark the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, it showcases six decades of shared progress under 10 main themes: peace, democracy, freedom, prosperity, discovery, equality, well-being, sustainability, influence and diversity.

The publication is full of interesting facts – from the EU’s 60+ indigenous regional or minority languages to the 6.5 million Europeans currently working in another Member State, and from the EU being the largest union of democracies in the world to Europeans living more than eight years longer than the world average.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

17th March  2017

 

New issue of Research EU results magazine published 

 

The latest issue (Nr 59) of research*eu, a magazine that features highlights from the most exciting EU-funded research and development projects, presents results from eight projects, covering key sectors including transport, infrastructure works, smart cities, logistics, disaster management, maritime surveillance and citizen-oriented applications.

research*eu is published ten times per year. Free subscriptions are available to the publication, which can also be downloaded at no cost.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

16th March  2017

 

Digital Economy & Society Index 2017 published

 

Denmark, Finland, Sweden and the Netherlands have the most advanced digital economies in the EU followed by Luxembourg, Belgium, the UK and Ireland. This is the finding of the Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI), a composite index published every year by the European Commission that measures the progress of EU countries towards a digital economy and society. It brings together a set of relevant indicators on Europe’s current digital policy mix.

This year’s DESI found that Romania, Bulgaria, Greece and Italy have the lowest scores. In 2016, all Member States improved on the DESI, with Slovakia and Slovenia making the most progress. This year’s release allows users to explore the DESI dimensions, configure their own DESI using a simulation tool and explore performance of individual countries. A factsheet summarising this year’s DESI is also available. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

15th March  2017

 

European Regional Competitiveness Index 2016 launched

 

Regional competitiveness is the ability of a region to offer an attractive and sustainable environment for firms and residents to live and work. The new edition of the European Regional Competitiveness Index (full report) shows the continuing strength of the capital regions and other regions with metropolitan areas. New online and interactive scorecards allow for easy benchmarking of a region relative to all other regions, as well as to regions with a similar GDP per head.

The index builds on the approach of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index. It covers a wide range of issues including innovation, governance, transport and digital infrastructure, and measures of health and human capital. A growing number of regions use it to identify their strengths and weaknesses and shape their development strategies.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

14th March  2017

 

Only 1 in 3 managers in the EU is a woman   

Nearly 7.3 million people hold managerial positions in companies with 10 employees or more located in the EU: 4.7 million men (65% of all managers) and 2.6 million women (35%). In other words, although representing approximately half of all those employed, women continue to be underrepresented at managerial level.

In addition, female managers in the EU earn 23.4% less on average than men, meaning they earn on average 77 cents for every euro a male manager makes per hour. This pattern at EU level masks significant discrepancies between Member States regarding both positions and pay.

This information (in English, French and German), extracted from the four-yearly structure of earnings survey for reference year 2014, was published by Eurostat on the occasion of International Women’s Day. Eurostat also published a number of infographics (in English only) on the situation of women in the EU. Also on the occasion of International Women’s Day, Eurofound issued a study looking at the impact of the gender employment gap (in English) on Europe.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

13th March  2017

 

Down load the EU 60 in 60 seconds vidio clip   

On 25 March 2017, EU leaders will gather in Rome to celebrate 60 years since the signing of the Treaties of Rome. This event is a moment to look back on the EU's achievements, celebrate the Union's values, and look forward to the future of the EU. The audiovisual services of the Commission have produced the attached video clip 'EU 60 in 60 seconds'. Currently the clip exists only in English, French and Italian. Other language versions will follow.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

10th March  2017

 

Farming teachers resource available  

Urban populations in the EU, and in particular young people, feel disconnected from farming as the source of their food, according to recent studies. Young people are also unaware of the wider role played by farmers – in society and the economy – not just in providing food, but also in protecting the environment and natural resources, and in safeguarding the vitality of the countryside and rural areas.

An educational resource pack, produced by the European Commission, is designed to plug this knowledge gap. Available to download in 23 languages, the pack contains a teacher’s guide, including a factsheet, map of agricultural production in the EU and a glossary to help answer students’ questions and two opening lesson plans. The pack opens with an educational animated clip introducing the basics of European agriculture.

Alternatively, teachers can kick-start the topic with a slideshow presentation. There is a module for each of the three themes: food, the environment and the countryside. Each module contains a brief introduction for teachers, worksheets with learning activities and a project outline for students.

The pack can also be downloaded via EUBookshop.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

9th March  2017

 

DG Communications March Newsletter available  

The Citizens' Information Unit produces a continuously updated range of publications for the general public, teachers and children. The monthly Publications Update presents all the latest publications, online content, and promotional material, as well as information on all publications currently available for you to order. Read the March issue of Publications Update online, then sign-up to receive the update directly in your inbox every month!

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

8th March  2017

 

Almost all lower secondary pupils study a foreign language 

Learning a foreign language at school is very common in the EU, with more than 17 million lower secondary school pupils (or 98.6% of all pupils at this education level) studying at least one foreign language in 2015, according to data issued by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office.

Among them, more than 10 million (58.8%) were studying two foreign languages or more. English was by far the most popular language at lower secondary level, studied by nearly 17 million pupils (97.3%). French (5 million or 33.8%) came second, followed by German (3 million or 23.1%) and Spanish (2 million or 13.6%).

Eurostat has also produced an animation and some infographics on foreign language learning in the EU.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

6th March  2017

 

Commission proposes five alternative scenarios for the future of Europe 

Do you want to As announced in President Juncker's 2016 State of the Union speech, the European Commission today presented a White Paper on the Future of Europe, which forms the Commission's contribution to the Rome Summit of 25 March 2017.

As we prepare to mark the 60th anniversary of the EU, we look back on a peace spanning seven decades and on an enlarged Union of 500 million citizens living in freedom in one of the world's most prosperous economies. At the same time, the EU has to look forward at how it will carve a vision for its own future at 27. The White Paper sets out the main challenges and opportunities for Europe in the coming decade. It presents five different scenarios for how the Union could evolve by 2025 depending on how it chooses to respond: Carrying On, Nothing but the Single Market, Those Who Want More Do More, Doing Less More Efficiently and Doing Much More Together.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

2nd March  2017

 

Do you know your EU rights? Take the online quiz

Do you want to study or launch your startup in another EU country but don’t know your rights? Do you know what to do when your flight is delayed or if you get sick while abroad? On 25 March this year, the EU celebrates the 60th anniversary of the signature of the Treaties of Rome. Since 1957, the EU has guaranteed more and more rights for European citizens including the right to equal treatment when living, working, studying and doing business in another EU country. EU citizens and non-EU citizens with legal residency in an EU state can test their knowledge of EU rights with this Your Europe quiz, hosted on Facebook. The quiz is open to play until 19 March 2017, 18.00 CET.

•           the quiz is available in all EU languages

•           players must reply to 4 multiple-choice questions on their EU rights then to a tie-breaker question

•           the 3 top players will win 2 Interrail passes each, valid for 1 month

•           players don't need to have a Facebook account to play, but in that case they can play only once

As this is a fun and engaging way of reaching out to citizens, please help  in spreading the word via your communication channels. DG GROW is putting Facebook posts online in the coming days in all languages, so if you need ready-made social media messages and visuals in your own language, contact tamas.nagy@ec.europa.eu for material to post.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

1st March  2017

 

Publication: Guide to EU Funding 2014-2020

Finding the appropriate funding sources for a local authority, a public entity, a company or a non-governmental organisation (NGO) can be a major problem. Information is scattered across many different sources and is often confusing and outdated. Compiled by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the Guide to EU Funding 2014-2020 (pdf) is a basic introduction to EU funding opportunities for regional and local authorities, NGOs, businesses, professionals and citizens.

The objective is to provide an accessible list of the most important EU funds, and to provide potential beneficiaries with appropriate information on the opportunities the funding offers. The guide’s main funding themes are divided in subsections to facilitate research. A list of major potential beneficiaries is mentioned at the end of each section of the guide to help the reader, but the list is not exhaustive. As new funding elements emerge on a continuous basis, the guide will be updated regularly.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

27h February 2017

 

€3million prize up for grabs in materials for clean air challange

Horizon Prizes are challenge or inducement prizes offering a cash reward to whoever can most effectively meet a defined challenge. The aim is to stimulate innovation and come up with solutions to problems that matter to EU citizens. Recently announced, the Horizon Prize on materials for clean air will be awarded to the most affordable, sustainable and innovative design-driven material solution that can reduce the concentration of particulate matter in urban areas.

 

Particulate matter (PM) is the air pollutant which has the most severe impact on health. Currently, around 90% of the population of European cities for which PM data exist is exposed to levels exceeding World Health Organisation air quality guidelines levels. The contest will run until the end of 2018. Contestants will be able to submit their entries until 23 January 2018. The rules of contest are available online. An infographic, poster (pdf) and flyer (pdf) are all available.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

24th  February 2017

 

EUR-Lex February 2017 Newsletter published

EUR-Lex is an official website of European Union law and other public documents of the European Union (EU), published in 24 official languages of the EU.

In January 2017, a new version of EUR-Lex went online. It includes the display of internal procedures for autonomous acts of the European Commission.

Subscribe to the EUR-Lex newsletter and receive useful information directly by email. To subscribe, click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter and email your request.

In this latest edition, you can catch up on the latest EUR-Lex news and improvements:

  • Latest developments on the EUR-Lex website
  • New package on Migration and Security
  • #EURLextip

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For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

23rd  February 2017

 

European Semester Country reports published

The European Commission has published its annual analysis of the economic and social situation in the Member States, including an assessment of remaining imbalances. The package includes 27 country reports (for all Member States except Greece, which is under a dedicated stability support programme), which are in the official language(s) of the country concerned.

Member States are making headway in implementing the individual policy guidance they received last year around the “virtuous triangle” of boosting investment, pursuing structural reforms and ensuring responsible fiscal policies. This assessment of Member States’ progress is part of the annual cycle of economic policy coordination at EU level and is known as the Winter Package of the European Semester. 

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For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

22nd  February 2017

 

EU-Canadian trade deal ratified at EU level

In a vote on 15 February 2017 (see this EuroparlTV video), the European Parliament approved the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), concluding the ratification process of this deal at EU level. It will now go to the national parliaments of the Member States for ratification.

Seven years in the making, the historic deal is set to ease trade barriers between Canada and the EU. According to the European Commission, CETA will create new opportunities for EU companies. It will save EU businesses over €500 million a year currently paid in tariffs on goods that are exported to Canada. Almost 99% of these savings start from day one. It will give EU companies the best access they’ve ever had to Canadian public procurement contracts, including at provincial level (as well as federal and municipal). The agreement will overwhelmingly benefit smaller companies who can least afford the cost of red tape.

The EU’s 500 million consumers will also benefit from CETA. The agreement offers greater choice while upholding European standards, as only products and services that fully respect all EU regulations will be able to enter the EU market. This means that CETA will not change the way the EU regulates food safety, including GMO products or the ban on hormone-treated beef.

 

For more on CETA, see this factsheet (23 EU languages); a feature called “CETA in your town”, which comprises an interactive map with country info as well as infographics by country; and other background and FAQ material.

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For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

20th  February 2017

 

Commission publishes latest Economic Forecast

For the first time in almost a decade, the economies of all EU Member States are expected to grow in 2016, 2017 and 2018. This is one of the main predictions contained in the European Commission’s Winter European Economic Forecast 2017. It includes data on gross domestic product (GDP) growth, inflation, employment and public budget deficits and debt, among others.

According to the Commission’s forecasts, the European economy has proven resilient to global challenges last year and the economic recovery is expected to continue this year and next: for the first time in almost a decade, the economies of all EU Member States are expected to grow throughout the entire forecasting period (2016, 2017 and 2018).

However, these forecasts are surrounded by higher-than-usual uncertainty. These forecasts focus on all 28 EU Member States, the candidate countries as well as some non-EU countries. Reports are available for each. A video on the report is also available.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

20th  February 2017

 

EU Sustainable Energy Week projects call launched

This year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week will take place from 19 to 25 June 2017. An integral part of the week, the Sustainable Energy Awards recognise outstanding innovation in energy efficiency and renewables. Recent projects can be submitted in 4 categories -  consumers, public sector, businesses, energy islands - until 3 March 2017. Eligibility and assessment criteria, as well as the descriptions of the categories and the link to the application form are available here.

 

A 3 day policy conference will take place in Brussels. The deadline of the call for applications for the organisation of a session is also 3 March. The application form, including guidelines for organisers, is available here.

Help promote #EUSEW17. Mention the Twitter account @euenergyweek and Facebook page of EUSEW. A social media repository containing ready-to-share visuals and messages (English only) is available (click on ‘Awards Competition’). Promotional material including posters and PowerPoint presentations can be downloaded.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

17th  February 2017

 

European Research Council turns 10

Back in 2007, the European Commission established the European Research Council (ERC) with the mission to encourage excellent frontier research in Europe through competitive funding, supporting top researchers across all fields and of any nationality. Since then, the ERC has had a considerable impact on the European research landscape.

In almost ten years, it has funded almost 7,000 researchers and thereby supported more than 40,000 team members. Its support has been acknowledged in close to 100,000 international scientific journal articles.

Details about the ERC 10th anniversary celebrations are available on this website.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

15th  February 2017

 

Winners of the EU translations contest for schools announced

The winners of Juvenes Translatores, the European Commission’s annual translation contest for schools, have been announced. A total of 28 secondary school students, one from each of the EU Member States, will be awarded a prize after competing with over 3,000 participants from across the continent.

The students had to translate texts on the subjects of languages and translation. The participants could choose from any of the 552 possible combinations between any two of the EU’s 24 official languages. This year, students used 152 language combinations, such as Greek into Latvian and Bulgarian into Portuguese.

The winners will be invited to Brussels on 6 April 2016 to receive their awards.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

14h February 2017

 

Applications now open for Future Leaders Programme 2017

Youth are a driving force behind some of the most inspiring development projects. As part of this year’s European Development Days (EDD 2017), the EU’s largest forum on development, the European Commission has issued a call for its Future Leaders Programme.

The programme is aimed at identifying young leaders from around the world with a proven commitment and community engagement to represent the work and impact on development achieved by youth. Sixteen winners will be invited, on an all-expenses-paid trip, to the EDD 2017, which takes place in Brussels on 7–8 June 2017, where they will have the chance to visit European institutions, participate in workshops, meet key policymakers and interact with other young people driving change around the world. They will speak at various sessions and enjoy full access to the whole conference.

Applicants must be aged between 21 and 26 and the deadline for applications is 9 March. In this video, some previous Future Leaders participants speak about their experiences

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

13h February 2017

 

Commission launches first Environmental Implementation Review

The European Commission has published the Environmental Implementation Review (in English only), the first ever comprehensive overview of how EU environmental policies and laws are applied on the ground. It shows that environmental policies work but that there are big gaps in how these rules and policies are put into practice across Europe.

The most pressing implementation gaps across EU Member States are found in the policy fields of waste management, nature and biodiversity, air quality, noise and water quality and management.

The launch of the EIR package will be followed by discussions with each Member State, the launch of a peer-to-peer tool to allow Member States to help each other with expertise, and political debates in the Environment Council.

Country reports (in the official language(s) of each country), which map national strengths, opportunities and weaknesses, and national factsheets, are available for each Member State

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

10h February 2017

 

Agreement on portability of online content services in the EU

Europeans will soon be able to fully use their online subscriptions to films, sports events, e-books, video games or music services when travelling within the EU, following an agreement reached by negotiators from the European Parliament, Member States and the European Commission. This is the first step in the modernisation of EU copyright rules proposed by the Commission in its Digital Single Market strategy.

The future regulation will enable consumers to access their online content services when they travel in the EU the same way they access them at home. The new rules will become applicable in all EU Member States by the beginning of 2018, giving the providers nine months to prepare for the application of the new rules.

 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

9h February 2017

 

What do the EU's new rules on data protection mean for SME's?

Stronger rules on data protection from May 2018 mean citizens will have more control over their data and business will benefit from a level playing field. The changes will mean one set of rules for all companies operating in the EU, wherever they are based. This interactive infographic, aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, explains the new rules. More information on the EU’s rules on protecting personal data are also available.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

9h February 2017

 

What do the EU's new rules on data protection mean for SME's?

Stronger rules on data protection from May 2018 mean citizens will have more control over their data and business will benefit from a level playing field. The changes will mean one set of rules for all companies operating in the EU, wherever they are based. This interactive infographic, aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises, explains the new rules. More information on the EU’s rules on protecting personal data are also available.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

8h February 2017

 

Public consultation on European Solidarity Corps opens

The Commission has launched a public consultation on the priorities and the strengthening of the recently launched European Solidarity Corps. The public consultation will run for eight weeks and builds on an earlier stakeholder consultation that took place in late 2016. Young people and organisations participating in the public consultation will get the opportunity to evaluate the different aims of the initiative, inform about their motivation to participate, communicate their needs on information and guidance, and share best practice. It will be complemented by targeted consultations with key stakeholders involved in youth work in the EU. As announced at the launch last December, the Commission is preparing a legislative proposal in the first half of 2017 to create a dedicated legal base for the European Solidarity Corps. The results of the consultation will further shape and consolidate the European Solidarity Corps by feeding into the Commission's work on that legislative proposal. Closing date of the consultation: 2nd April 2017

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

7h February 2017

 

Erasmus+ - building on 30 years of success

Eramsus+, the EU’s education and training programme, is more successful and open than ever, its new annual report (English) shows. In 2015, Erasmus+, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, enabled 678,000 Europeans to study, train, work and volunteer abroad, more than ever before. In the same year, the EU invested €2.1 billion in over 19,600 projects involving 69,000 organisations. Results also show that the programme is well on track to meet its target of supporting four million people between 2014 and 2020.

 

The publication of the report coincides with the launch of the campaign marking the 30th anniversary of the Erasmus programme (called Erasmus+ since 2014 because it benefits more people through a wider range of opportunities). Over the past 30 years, Erasmus+ and its predecessors have supported not only more than five million students, apprentices and volunteers, but also staff and youth exchanges, amounting to nine million people in total.

Events will take place throughout 2017 at European, national and local levels to highlight the positive impact of Erasmus both on individuals and society as a whole, and to give all those involved the opportunity to debate how the programme should evolve in the future. Resources relating to the 30th anniversary, including a toolkit, country factsheets, video clips, testimonials, infographics and much more, are also available, much of the material in all 24 official EU languages

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

6th February 2017

 

End of roaming charges. EU agrees on wholesale prices 

As the last step towards the end of roaming charges by 15 June 2017, representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed on how to set the prices operators charge each other when their customers use other networks when roaming in the EU.

The EU negotiators agreed on the following wholesale caps:

  • 3.2 cents per minute of voice call, as of 15 June 2017
  • 1 cent per SMS, as of 15 June 2017

They also agreed to a step-by-step reduction over five years for data caps, decreasing from €7.70 per GB (as of 15 June 2017) to €6 per GB (as of 1 January 2018), €4.50 per GB (as of 1 January 2019), €3.50 per GB (as of 1 January 2020), €3 per GB (as of 1 January 2021) and €2.50 per GB (as of 1 January 2022). The agreement is the final step to making “roam-like-at-home” work as of 15 June 2017, as foreseen in the Telecom Single Market (TSM) Regulation. It means that when travelling in the EU, consumers will be able to call, send SMS or surf on their mobile at the same price they pay at home. More information is available on the Commission’s Roaming website

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

2nd February 2017

 

EU secures better consumer rights in the Car Rental sector

Last year, 2000 consumers in Europe complained to European Consumer Centres that after booking a car online, they had to pay more when they got to the rental desk. The European Commission and national consumer authorities engaged with the five leading car rental companies – Avis, Europcar, Enterprise, Hertz and Sixt – to address these issues. Thanks to this dialogue the companies changed their policies and consumers will now benefit from the following conditions:

  • The total booking price includes all unavoidable charges
  • Key rental services description in plain language
  • Information on additional insurance is clear
  • Transparent fuel policies

When it comes to damages, there is now:

  • Clear procedure for vehicle inspection
  • Fair damage handling processes

Full details here.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

1st  February 2017

 

Introducing the Institute for Gender Equality

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) is an autonomous body of the EU, established to contribute to, and strengthen the promotion of, gender equality. It promotes gender mainstreaming in all EU policies and the resulting national policies and the fight against discrimination based on sex, as well as raising EU citizens’ awareness of gender equality. This 18-page booklet surveys the EIGE’s work in monitoring the implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action in the EU, combating gender‑based violence, promoting gender equality, producing gender equality statistics and promoting gender mainstreaming. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

31st  January 2017

 

Who's who in the European Parliament

Following the election of Antonio Tajani as president of the European Parliament, MEPs also selected 14 vice-presidents, who chair debates when the president is not in the chamber and who each have a specific portfolio. In addition, the Parliament has five quaestors, officials responsible for administrative and financial matters. The president, 14 vice-presidents and five quaestors – collectively known as the bureau – are all elected for a period of two-and-a-half years. An infographic, published by the Parliament, presents the names of the bureau’s 20 members. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

30th January 2017

 

Finalists for the EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017 announced 

The finalists of the Horizon 2020-funded EU Prize for Women Innovators 2017 have been announced. As profiled in this video, the shortlist contains 12 outstanding female entrepreneurs who have brought their breakthrough ideas to the market. For the first time, this year’s contest includes three finalists in a new category, the Rising Innovator, to recognise excellence in female entrepreneurs aged 30 years or under. All of the finalists have founded or co-founded a successful company based on their innovative ideas. On 8 March 2017, three of the finalists will be awarded prizes of €100,000, €50,000 and €30,000, while the winner of the Rising Innovator Award will receive €20,000.

(Germany), a founder of Microfluidic ChipShop in Jena, providing “lab-on-a-chip” systems for better diagnostics.

More information on the competition is available on Twitter at #WIPrizeEU

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

27th January 2017

 

Calling all entrepreneurs:

Start up Europe Week, 6-10 February  

Startup Europe Week (SEW) is a large series of events taking place from 6–10 February 2017, involving more than 40 countries and over 280 co-organisers. Regional diversity and local policymaking still play a big role in shaping European startups. From helping entrepreneurs to incorporate a company, to providing grants or tax breaks, European regions are key players. For this reason, SEW activities focus on the support and initiatives for startups on a regional and city level, in hundreds of cities all over Europe.

The purpose of the initiative is to make founders and perspective entrepreneurs more aware of the existing resources available in their region and at European level. Startup Europe Week will reinforce the local ecosystem and connect all European regions to help startups flourish and ultimately to provide entrepreneurs support in other markets.

The week is an initiative of Startup Europe, the European Commission and the EU Committee of the Regions. To keep updated with Startup Europe Week events, follow Startup Europe Week on Twitter, Facebook and use the hashtag #SEW17

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

26th January 2017

 

EU Publications Office Newsletter highlights the Data Economy

A thriving data-driven economy is essential for innovation, growth, jobs and European competitiveness, as well as for a functional digital single market.

This month the European Commission published a Communication on Building a European data economy in which it sets out the policy context and a first analysis of the problem drivers in this area. At the same time it has also published two legislative proposals and a communication concerning personal data protection.

As background information, in its latest newsletter the EU Publications Office presents a selection of recent publications and products related to this subject

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

25th January 2017

 

Are EU citizens aware of their rights? Commission publishes report

The  European Commission has published its third EU Citizenship Report taking stock of progress since 2014. Whilst awareness of what it means to be an EU citizens has increased, there is still a need to improve awareness of their rights, such as the right to vote in local and European elections and the right of consular protection outside the EU. A summary factsheet  is available in all EU languages.

The Commission highlighted action it will take to ensure citizens can fully enjoy their rights:

  • organise an EU-wide information campaign on EU citizenship rights, to help citizens better understand their rights;
  • strengthen voluntary engagement and show solidarity through actions like the European Solidarity Corps;
  • propose a ‘Single Digital Gateway' to give citizens easy online access to information, assistance and problem-solving services on a wide range of administrative questions;
  • intensify Citizens' Dialogues and public debate, to exchange views with EU citizens and increase their understanding of what impact the Union has on their daily lives;
  • promote best practices to help citizens vote and stand for EU elections, particularly in the run up to the 2019 EP elections.

The report is based on feedback from citizens, from petitions submitted, and from direct dialogues that Commissioners have with citizens. In 2015, the Commission carried out a public consultation and two surveys, which focused on EU citizenship and on electoral rights, to feed into the 2017 EU Citizenship Report

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

24th January 2017

 

Got a question about the European Parliament? - Ask EP

If you want to find out more about the activities, powers and organisation of the European Parliament, you can contact the Citizens’ Enquiries Unit (or simply Ask EP) using an online form (available in all 24 EU languages).

 

In 2016, 'Ask EP' received a large number of questions on how to obtain promotional material as well as information on visiting and petitioning the European Parliament, on the activities of the political groups and on how to get a job in the EU institutions.

 

All the 'Ask EP' replies to citizen’s questions are available here.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

23rd January 2017

 

Cleaner air for all

Every year, more than 400,000 people in the EU die prematurely due to the consequences of air pollution: this is more than 10 times the toll of road traffic accidents. Another 6.5 million people fall sick as air pollution causes diseases such as strokes, asthma and bronchitis. Air pollution also harms our natural environment, impacting both vegetation and wildlife: almost two-thirds of Europe’s ecosystems are threatened by the effects of air pollution.

This interactive infographic explains how the European Commission proposes to address air pollution in Europe. Among others, the infographic explains what the main air pollutants and their effects are, where air pollution comes from, what action needs to be taken and what the benefits would be. All the graphics included in the infographic can be downloaded as image files. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

23rd January 2017

 

Antonio Tajani elected President of the European Parliament

Antonio Tajani, an Italian MEP with the European People’s Party, is the new President of the European Parliament, following his election (page available in most official EU languages) on 17 January 2017.

As this video (English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Spanish) shows, Tajani emerged as victor from the fourth ballot, in which he received 351 votes, putting him far ahead of his fellow Italian MEP, Gianni Pittella (Socialists & Democrats), who secured 282 votes.

In this video, made before the election, Tajani set out his reasons for running for the presidency. While Parliament is elected for five years, the term of office for president, vice-presidents, quaestors and committee chairs is two-and-a-half years. Thus, elections are held at the beginning of a parliamentary term as well as at mid-term.

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For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

19th January 2017

 

Starting a business in the EU - join the on line chat

The Facebook Chat on 'Starting a business in the EU' takes place next Monday 23 January from 10.00 to 13.00 CET. The target audience is citizens/businesses who intend to set up a business/have just set up a business/want to expand their business in another EU country. The experts will be able to reply to questions in English, French, German, Italian, Bulgarian, Greek, Swedish and Danish.

 

The chat platform is now online and open for questions.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

18th January 2017

 

EU Publications January Newsletter

The Publications Office of the European Union's core activities include the production and dissemination of legal and general publications in a variety of paper and electronic formats and providing EU citizens, governments and businesses with digital access to official information and data from the EU. Each month, the Publications Office issues a newsletter providing links to the most recent releases and other useful information and websites. A link at the bottom of the newsletter enables anyone interested to subscribe to the newsletter.

Recently published

  • EU Open Data Portal
  • Study on Big Data in Public Health, Telemedicine and Healthcare
  • Guidelines for SMEs on the Security of Personal Data Processing
  • Realising the European Open Science Cloud
  • The EU and Jobs, Growth and Investment
  • PANORAMA - An Urban Agenda for the EU
  • Let’s Explore Europe

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

17th January 2017

 

Fancy a traineeship with the European Commission

Applications are now open for paid traineeships of five months’ duration starting on 1 October with the European Commission and some executive bodies and agencies of the European Institutions such as the European External Action Service or Executive Agency for Competitiveness and Innovation. Successful applicants will receive a monthly grant of around €1,120 and reimbursement of travel expenses. Accident and health insurance can also be provided. Every year, there are about 1,300 places available, which provide selected candidates with hands-on experience in an international and multicultural environment, thus enriching their career prospects. Applications must be submitted online by noon (Brussels time), 31 January 2017.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

16h January 2017

 

Calling all film enthusiasts

The online #euFilmContest, a contest for all European film, TV series and games lovers, is being  launched today. Participants are asked to recognise films or other audiovisual creations that received support from the Creative Europe MEDIA programme.

The most successful participants will get a chance to win a trip to the 70th Film Festival in Cannes (17–28 May 2017) and get a glimpse into the European audiovisual industry. Prospective entrants can train their skills with Creative Europe MEDIA’s 25th anniversary videos and see country-specific factsheets.

Follow the accounts on Facebook and Twitter. EDICS can also contact their local MEDIA desk for any questions about this contest, about the audiovisual industry in their country, for famous speakers at events and potentially even for the organisation of film screenings.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

13h January 2017

 

30 years of Erasmus +

 

The Erasmus+ Programme has been enriching lives for the past three decades and is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Starting in February 2017, there will be a free monthly newsletter (in English only) containing news about the initiative and its 30th anniversary. Subscribe here. In addition, a 30 years toolkit is available to promote the anniversary. All images are provided royalties-free for 2017. More materials, including a campaign poster, roll-ups, videos, and additional language versions will be available.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

12h January 2017

 

EU Border Breaker Awards

First issued in 2004, the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA) are about breaking down borders and recognising emerging European rock, pop and dance artists who achieved success in countries other than their own. These music awards aim to highlight Europe’s great cultural and linguistic diversity in popular music. The EBBA provide the opportunity for the public to discover emerging European artists, and for their music to be spread and enjoyed across Europe.

Ten artists or groups received the 2017 EBBA award: Era Istrefi (Albania), Filous (Austria), Jaakko Eino Kalevi (Finland), Jain (France), Namika (Germany), Walking on Cars (Ireland), Natalie La Rose (Netherlands), Alan Walker (Norway), Hinds (Spain), and Dua Lipa (UK).

At the awards ceremony, held on 11 January 2017 in Groningen, as part of the Eurosonic Noorderslag festival, the Public Choice Award winner was also announced: Dua Lipa. These unique European music awards are funded under the EU’s Creative Europe programme. With the EBBA, the EU wishes to highlight the success of 10 debuting European artists in selling albums and touring outside their home territory. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

11h January 2017

 

15 years of Euro bank notes & coins

 

The euro is used by 19 counties in the EU. Its introduction in 1999 was a major step in European integration. Fifteen years later, more than 337.5 million EU citizens now use it as their currency and enjoy the benefits of using the second most widely used currency in the world. Today, there are around 19 billion euro banknotes worth more than €1 trillion and 120 billion euro coins worth €27 billion in circulation. This video marks the 15th anniversary of the introduction of euro banknotes and coins, the successes and the challenges ahead.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

9th January 2017

 

Public consultation on Europe for Citizens Programme 

 

The Commission has launched a public consultation to collect views and opinions on the results and impact of activities and projects co-financed by the Europe for Citizens programme between 2014 and 2016. Feedback will help to assess their relevance  and EU added value with a view to improving the programme in the future. The Europe for Citizens programme aims to help the general public better understand the history and diversity of the EU and to stimulate interest and involvement in EU policy making. The consultation is open until 10th April 2017. Please help us to promote this as widely as possible.

 

The consultation can also be accessed via the dedicated webpage Your Voice in Europe.

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For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

9h January 2017

 

Video announcing the EU Parliament Agenda for 2017 released  

 

Asylum reform, tax scandals, terrorism, digital borders and energy and climate will be high on the agenda for MEPs in the New Year, as this EuroparlTV video explains. The aim of the asylum reform will be to achieve a fairer relocation of refugees around the EU, while in the spring MEPs will discuss proposals to tackle tax evasion. To combat terrorism, a new law will criminalise the organisation, funding and recruitment of so-called foreign fighters. MEPs will also propose ways to lift restrictions on cross-border purchases on online subscriptions. They will also work to enact measures to reduce carbon emissions by 40% by 2030.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

6h January 2017

 

Malta takes over EU Council Presidency  

 

Malta will hold the rotating EU Council presidency (website in English, French, German and Maltese) from January to July 2017. Its presidency will conclude the current trio presidency composed of the Netherlands, Slovakia and Malta. This is Malta’s first time to hold the rotating presidency. The Maltese government has identified six priorities for its presidency:

  • Migration
  • Single market
  • Security
  • Social inclusion
  • Europe’s neighbourhood
  • Maritime sector

This briefing note, prepared by the European Parliament Think Tank, looks at the Maltese presidency’s priorities as well as the most important dossiers which the European Parliament will need to address in the coming six months. Follow the Maltese presidency on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

4th January 2017

 

Winner of the 2016 European Civil Society Prize announced 

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The Artemisszió Foundation, a Hungarian NGO that assists migrants and facilitates their social and cultural integration in society, was 2016's winner of the European Economic and Social Committee’s (EESC) European Civil Society Prize. The NGO’s Building Bridges programme has helped many refugees and migrants feel part of Hungarian society, through the assistance of volunteer mentors who take refugees under their wing and initiate them into the local language, customs and culture.

Migrants also receive vocational training in preparation for the local labour market. The EESC shortlisted four other applications, from Germany, Spain and two from Greece, for the prize, which was aimed at individuals and organisations who have distinguished themselves through their work in improving the lives of migrants and fostering their integration into European society.

The Artemisszió Foundation received a €14,000 prize, while the German organisation SOS Mediterrannee, the Greek baker Dionysis Arvanitakis, a branch of the Spanish NGO SOS Racismo and the Greek NGO Iliaktida (Sunbeam) received €9,000 each. A full summary and video of each of the shortlisted projects can be found here. The five winning projects were chosen from a list of 284 projects. The Civil Society Prize, now in its eighth year, is awarded for “excellence in civil society initiatives”.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

3rd January 2017

 

Roam like at Home

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The countdown to the end of roaming charges in the EU has begun. As of 15 June 2017, consumers, when travelling in the EU, will pay the same prices as at home when using their mobile phone. In other words, they will be able to “roam like at home”. For instance, if a customer pays for a monthly package of minutes, SMS and data in their country, any voice call, SMS and data session they make while travelling abroad in the EU will be deducted from that volume as if they were at home, at no extra charge. This factsheet explains in detail what the abolition of roaming charges will mean for consumers. The end of roaming charges follows almost nine years of efforts by the European Commission to reduce the consumer price of roaming. Negotiations are ongoing now with the European Parliament and Member States on new, lower wholesale caps in the EU

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

23 December  2016

 

Youth report: 50 ideas for better future

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Last May, the European Parliament in Strasbourg was transformed by 7,500 young people who came from all over the continent and beyond for the European Youth Event (EYE2016). The event was filled with ideas, shows, debates and demands for solutions to today’s most pressing issues. “Together we can make a change” was the motto driving the debates on topics spanning from space and innovation to climate change, migration and democracy. Read more

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

22 December  2016

 

Galileo goes live

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On 15 December 2016, Europe’s satellite navigation system Galileo began offering its initial services to public authorities, businesses and citizens. Galileo is the EU’s Global Satellite Navigation System (GNSS). Also referred to as “the European GPS”, Galileo provides more accurate positioning and timing information for users equipped with Galileo-enabled devices such as an in-car navigation systems and mobile phones. This tool, UseGalileo.eu, helps users keep track of Galileo-enabled devices serving a variety of needs as they become available. Now in English, UseGalileo.eu will be available in the 24 official EU languages by April 2017. A factsheet on Galileo is available (in 14 languages). Read more

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

20 December  2016

 

Statistics showing earning distribution within the EU

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Notable discrepancies can be observed in EU Member States in gross hourly earnings not only between the 10% of employees earning the least and the 10% earning the most, but also according to the economic activity, with financial and insurance activities being among the highest paying industries and accommodation and food services among the lowest paying. The data on earnings disparities was issued by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office. The data is complemented with a more detailed on-line article and an interactive infographic on earnings by economic activity. The infographic allows users to compare gross monthly earnings in 17 economic areas in the different Member States and three EFTA states. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

15h December  2016

 

EU rules to dramatically cut air pollution approved

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Stricter limits on the five main pollutants in Europe will enter into force on 31 December 2016, following the signing into law by the European Parliament and Council of the new National Emissions Ceilings (NEC) Directive (see factsheet). When fully implemented, the Directive will reduce by almost 50% the negative health impacts of air pollution, such as respiratory diseases and premature death, by 2030. Read more

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

13h December  2016

 

EU rules on social security coordination to be updated 

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The European Commission has announced new proposals that would revise EU legislation on social security coordination. The proposals are part of the 2016 Commission Work Programme and the Commission’s efforts to facilitate labour mobility, ensure fairness for those who move and for taxpayers, and provide better tools for cooperation between Member State authorities. The proposal modernises the current rules to ensure that they are fair, clear and easier to enforce. Read more.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

12h December  2016

 

Labour market report into the intergration of asylum seekers and refugees launched

 

Providing swift access to the labour markets of host countries is part of the solution to Europe’s refugee crisis, according to a new Eurofound report, Approaches to the labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers. The study expands on existing research on the labour market integration of refugees and asylum seekers as a response to the refugee crisis. Read more.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

8h December  2016

 

Doing Business in Ireland? Important seminar 15th December

 

Our sister organisation Enterprise Europe Northwest is hosting a seminar on 15th December for any businesses interested in doing business in Ireland. Please click here for further details

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  

8h December  2016

 

European Solidarity Corps video released

 

A video has just been released to mark the launch yesterday of the European Solidarity Corps. Click here to download the video.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

7h December  2016

 

Investing in Europe's Youth - European Commission launches Solidarity Corps

 

The European Commission is today launching the European Solidarity Corps, just two months after President Juncker announced it and as a first deliverable of the priorities for action identified in the Bratislava Roadmap. As of today, young people between the ages of 18 and 30 can sign up for new opportunities to make an important contribution to society across the EU, and to gain invaluable experience and acquire valuable skills at the start of their career. The Commission is also presenting a series of measures to boost youth employment, improve and modernise education, more investment in skills of young people, and better opportunities to learn and study abroad. Please click here for further details.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

18h November  2016

 

European Travel Information and Authorisation System - factsheet available 

 

The European Commission has proposed the establishment of a European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS) to strengthen security of travel to the Schengen area under visa-free agreements. This follows the announcement in September by President Jean-Claude Juncker in his 2016 State of the Union address, and is a first deliverable of the priorities for action identified in the Bratislava Roadmap. As this factsheet explains, ETIAS will gather information on non-EU travellers who are travelling visa-free to Europe and ensure that possible security concerns are identified prior to entering the Schengen area, contributing to a more efficient management of the EU’s external borders and improving security.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

17th November  2016

 

Bringing Scientists & Polititians together

 

Scientist and MEPs have a lot to learn from each other. And they can now share their knowledge and experience, thanks to a programme designed to ensure that policy-making is qualified, and scientific advice effectively integrated into the EU decision-making process. As this video explains, the EU Joint Research Centre’s Science meets Parliaments” scheme brings scientists from different areas together with politicians so that each can learn what the other is doing. Politicians benefit from the scientists’ knowledge while the scientists learn how the EU legislature works..

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

16 th November  2016

 

Today is International Day for Tolerence

 

"Non-violence is not a garment to be put on and off at will. Its seat is in the heart, and it must be an inseparable part of our being" - Mahatma Gandhi

 

In a world of diversity, tolerance is a prerequisite for peace. It is also a lever for sustainable development as it encourages the construction of more inclusive and thus, more resilient societies that are able to draw on the ideas, creative energy and talents of each of their members. Tolerance is often perceived as a minority idea and one that is sometimes threatened. The International Day for Tolerance is a time for people to learn about respecting and recognising the rights and beliefs of others. It is also a time of reflection and debate on the negative effects of intolerance.

 

Established by the United Nations, the International Day for Tolerance is held on the 16th of November each year. The day is a focus for educating people about the need for tolerance in society and helping them understand the negative effects of intolerance. Over the past years, acts of intolerance, violence, terrorism and racism have been on the rise. They are often directed at the most vulnerable members in our society including: national, ethnic, religious and linguistic minorities, refugees, migrant workers as well as immigrants.

 

The main aim of the day is to educate people about the need for tolerance in society and to help them understand the adverse effects of prejudice and hatred on any ground. It is often referred to a day for people to learn and imbibe the principles of respecting as well as recognising human rights.

 

On this International Day of Tolerance, let us call on all people especially young people and governments to actively combat fear, hatred and extremism as well as cultivate understanding and mutual respect.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

15th November  2016

 

EU Jobs, Growth & Investment factsheet now available

 

The second title in the new series of short, easy-to-read factsheets on the 10 Commission priorities has just been published. The factsheets are specifically designed as hand-outs for the general public. They are limited to 4 pages and are available in all EU official languages. Paper formats will be available soon and can already be ordered through EU Bookshop. As privileged users, EDICs and EDCs can order up to 500 copies per language every three months, even if they did not respond to the recent survey. Requests for additional copies beyond this should be addressed directly to the Publications Office.

The factsheet sets out in simple terms how the EU is delivering on its top priority of getting Europe growing again and increasing the number of jobs without creating new debt.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

14th November  2016

 

Fundimental rights challanges for the EU  

 

Following its 2016 report on key migration issues, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) has published its opinions on the main developments in the thematic areas covered and a synopsis of the evidence supporting these opinions. This publication provides a compact but informative overview of the main fundamental rights challenges confronting the EU and its Member States. Themes covered include equality and non-discrimination, racism, xenophobia and related intolerance, Roma integration, rights of the child and access to justice. The publication is available in all EU languages.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

9th November  2016

 

Two Years of the Juncker Commission

 

On 1 November 2016 the Juncker Commission marked two years in office. A set of presentations provides an overview of the progress made on the Juncker Commission’s key priorities in these two years

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Tuesday 8th November  2016

 

EESC to host Your Europe, Your Say! 2017 

 

2017 is a very important year for Europe, as it marks the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome that established the European Economic Community, the forerunner of the EU. On this anniversary, the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), , is eager to ensure that the views, experiences and ideas of Europe’s younger generation are heard. For this reason, it is inviting secondary school students in their penultimate year across the 28 Member States and the five EU candidate countries (Albania, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) to come to Brussels on 30–31 March 2017 to debate “Europe at 60: Where to next?”, which is the topic of the Your Europe, Your Say! 2017 (#YEYS2017). The event offers a unique opportunity for youngsters to speak to policymakers about the challenges and opportunities facing Europe, while at the same time learning about the EU and the EESC’s role within it. The schools, one per country, will be selected by a simple draw. The selected schools will then nominate three schoolmates and a teacher to travel to Brussels. The closing date for applications, which must be approved by the accompanying or head teacher, is 30 November 2016. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 7th November  2016

 

Avoiding the cost of mobile malware

 

Mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets have become ingrained in people’s daily lives. Technology which was once only found on desktop computers can now be carried in the palm of one’s hands. Yet as the popularity of these devices explodes, the appetite of cybercriminals targeting these devices grows too. The risk of mobile malware (malicious software which targets mobile devices) is real: hackers can steal money and sensitive information, use these devices as bots and even spy on your activities. Unfortunately, most people have not realised the importance of protecting their mobile devices from such attacks. To raise awareness among users, Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) has published a video (other languages versions are available on Europol’s YouTube channel) and an infographic as part of a Mobile Malware Awareness Campaign. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 4th November  2016

 

Making public-sector websites & apps accessable for all

 

Computers equipped with assistive technology can make a world of a difference for people with disabilities or the elderly in accessing websites and apps. However, even if an elderly person or a person with a disability has the technology, they will still find many internet sites are not accessible to them. As this EuroparlTV video explains, the European Parliament wants to ensure that the 80 million Europeans with disabilities can access public-sector websites and apps, a step many hope will also lead to making private sector – ecommerce, insurance and banking – sites accessible to everyone

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Thursday 3rd November  2016

 

Junkers unvails a Work Programme that Protects Empowers & Defends

 

The Commission Work Programme for the coming year focuses squarely on delivery of the

10 priorities outlined in the Political Guidelines in order to address the biggest challenges

which Europe faces today.On the basis of the Work Programme, the Commission, European Parliament and Council will now work on a Joint Declaration on commonly agreed objectives and priorities for 2017, to swiftly turn proposals into action and bring concrete results for citizens. Click here for further details.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Tuesday 1st November  2016

 

Skills Shortages of Concern

 

New Education & Training Video Launched

Skill shortages are of particular concern, especially when unemployment is high. Cedefop has developed a way to identify occupations for which a critical shortage has important implications for national economies and their education and training systems. It also provides insights into why skill shortages arise. The findings on critical skill shortages for each Member State are available on Cedefop’s Skills Panorama website. More detailed information can be found in Cedefop’s briefing note Skill shortage and surplus occupations in Europe.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 31st October 2016

New Education & Training Video Launched

 

In the latest video in its animation series presenting EU Member States’ vocational education and training (VET) systems, Cedefop looks at Slovakia, which currently holds the EU Presidency. Recent reform of the Slovak VET system introduced a new form of dual VET, bringing together students and companies. Previous videos looked at VET systems in Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday  28th October 2016

Commission sets out it's workplan for 2017

 

Every year, the European Commission adopts a plan of action for the next twelve months. The Commission Work Programme informs citizens, its institutional partners and its staff how it will turn its political priorities into concrete action. Generally, the Work Programme is adopted in October. The 2016 Work Programme, explained in this factsheet, is the third to be presented by the Juncker Commission since it took office in 2014. The to-do list for 2017 includes 21 key initiatives in all the Commission’s 10 priority areas to deliver a Europe that protects, empowers and defends. The Commission also recommends the temporary extension of internal border controls (factsheet, in English and French) and proposes a major corporate tax reform (factsheet, English only).

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Thursday  27th October 2016

Commission presents new space strategy

 

EU space programmes already deliver services that have become indispensable in everyone's daily lives. Space data is needed in using mobile phones, driving cars with a navigation system, taking the plane or watching satellite TV. It is also central to the protection of key infrastructures such as power plants, smart grids or even bank transactions. In its new Space Strategy for Europe the Commission proposes a range of actions to allow Europeans to fully seize the benefits offered by space, create the right ecosystem for space start-ups to grow, promote Europe's leadership in space and increase its share on the world space markets. Watch the video here and find more detailed information here.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 26th October 2016

One year of refugee relocation: facts and figures 

 

The European Asylum Support Office (EASO) supports Italy and Greece with the implementation of the EU relocation scheme in line with the European Agenda on Migration. On 9 October 2015, the first transfer relocating 19 asylum applicants between Italy and Sweden took place. One year later, close to 6 000 applicants have been relocated from Italy and Greece. This map displays the number of applicants relocated as of 7 October 2016. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 26th October 2016

Cohesion Policy at work:- key outcomes of EU investments 2007-13

 

An independent evaluation of EU investments made from 2007 to 2013 has found they created one million jobs, corresponding to one-third of overall net job creation across the EU during this period. In addition, each euro of Cohesion Policy money invested created €2.74 of additional GDP, meaning an estimated return of €1 trillion of additional GDP by 2023. The Cohesion Policy has benefitted the economies of all EU Member States, supporting them during difficult economic times. It has invested in nearly 400 000 SMEs and start-ups and has been a pillar of the EU’s growth and jobs agenda. The European Commission has published the following reports and documents describing the effects of the investments overall and in individual Member States:

  • Commission Staff Working Document: Ex post evaluation of the ERDF and Cohesion Fund 2007-13
  • 9 ways Cohesion Policy works for Europe - main results 2007-2013
  • Country factsheets
  • Key achievements (per country)
  • Infographic
  • Synthesis report
  • Country reports
  • Interreg programmes.
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For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 26th October 2016

Combatting the trafficing of human beings - Commission reviews strategy

 

Trafficking in human beings is a grave violation of human rights and a serious form of organised crime. More than 20 million people living today around the world have been trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour and other activities across the world, generating a profit of €117 billion a year. On the occasion of the 10th EU Anti-Trafficking Day, marked on 18 October, the European Commission presented a comprehensive policy review of anti-trafficking projects it funded from 2004 to 2015. This review is one of the last remaining of the 40 priority actions enlisted in the EU Anti-Trafficking Strategy, which comes to an end in 2016.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Tuesday 25th October 2016

Urban Agenda: new web portal launched for Europe's cities

 

To further reach out to cities, foster the exchange of best practices and the development of urban strategies, the European Commission has launched a new web portal for cities. Answering a need expressed by numerous cities in the development of the Urban Agenda for the EU (pdf, infographic), the new “one-stop shop” Cities portal provides up-to-date information on EU policies – such as climate change adaptation, mobility or circular economy – that directly impact cities and urban areas. Urban stakeholders can also get clear information on financing opportunities under the different EU funding instruments and on events related to urban development. The portal will help cities to address challenges such as affordable housing, energy efficiency or accessibility, by making the most out of EU funding opportunities. In addition, the new Urban Data Platform, hosted on the Knowledge Centre for Territorial Policies operated by the Joint Research Centre, provides a single access point to common indicators on the status and trends in over 800 European urban areas – on demography, economic development or access to services, for example. This database will enable urban authorities and stakeholders to compare data, benchmark and monitor, which is one of the aims of the Urban Agenda.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 24th October 2016

2016 Edition of Eurostat's The EU in the World Published 

The 2016 edition of Eurostat’s The EU in the World provides a statistical portrait of the EU in relation to the rest of the world. It presents a broad range of indicators for the EU and non-EU members of the Group of Twenty (G20) andcovers the following areas:

  • population;
  • living conditions;
  • health;
  • education and training;
  • labour market;
  • economy and finance;
  • international trade;
  • industry, trade and services;
  • research and communication;
  • transport;
  • agriculture, forestry and fisheries;
  • the environment;
  • energy.

The publication can be viewed as an introduction to European and international statistics. It provides a starting point for those who wish to explore the wide range of data freely available from a variety of international organisations and on Eurostat’s website.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 21October 2016

New Report Published into The Gender Employment Gap 

Despite a continued increase in the female employment rate in Europe during the recent financial crisis and a narrowing of the gender participation gap in most Member States, a significant gender employment gap remains. With the female employment rate still more than 10% lower than the male equivalent, the cost of this – including foregone earnings and missed welfare contributions of individuals to society, as well as the public finance cost – is now estimated at around €370 billion, corresponding to 2.8% of the EU’s GDP. At an individual level, the cost of a woman’s exclusion from employment throughout her working life is estimated at between €1.2 million and €2 million, depending on her educational level. These findings are detailed in a new Eurofound report, The gender employment gap: Challenges and solutions.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 14th October 2016

European Border & Coast Guard Launched 

The new Agency has been designed to meet the migration and internal security challenges faced by the EU and is being launched today at the Bulgarian-Turkish border. You can follow the Commission's coverage of the event on social media via Twitter #EUBorderGuard (also on the new Twitter Moments), Facebook, Linkedin and Instagram. There are photos, banners and other material available for dowloading here.

The establishment of a European Border and Coast Guard is a key measure under the European Agenda on Migration to reinforce the management and security of the EU's external borders. More information in this factsheet. See also factsheet on EU operations in the Mediterranean.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 12th October 2016

October is Cyber Security Month

October is European Cyber Security Month and this year will bring plenty of opportunities for people to discover how to stay safe online and play an active role in their own security. Throughout European Cyber Security Month, which is organised by the European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA), over 300 activities, including events, training sessions, tips and an online quiz, will take place across 27 countries. This year’s Cyber Security Month will focus on security in banking, cyber safety, cyber training and mobile malware. The Cyber Security Month is a key part of the EU’s Cybersecurity Strategy to increase people’s awareness of the key role they can play in ensuring the security of networks and information systems. 

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 10th October  2016

Nominations Open for EU Prize for Women Innovators 

Nominations are now being accepted for the fourth edition of the EU Prize for Women Innovators. With this prize, the European Commission wants to give public recognition to outstanding female entrepreneurs who have brought their innovative ideas to the market, as EU Commissioner for Research and Innovation Carlos Moedas explains in this video. The first prize is worth €100 000, the second prize €50 000 and third prize €30 000. A new category, the rising innovator prize for female entrepreneurs aged 30 years or under, is worth €20 000. This year’s edition is open to women of any nationality living in a European country who have founded or cofounded a company with an annual turnover of at least €100 000. Contestants must submit their entries by 3 November 2016. A jury will evaluate and select the four winners, who will be announced around International Women’s Day, 8 March 2017. More information on the competition is available on Twitter at #WIPrizeEU.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 12th September 2016

European (Online) Job Days brochure launched

Living and working in another country is an exciting option for Europeans of all ages. European (Online) Job Days play their part by making job vacancies easier to access throughout the EU. They assist in matching jobs with people across Europe at on-site and online recruitment fairs. First held in 2006, they have helped employers across Europe source specific skills and jobseekers find a new life and career abroad. This newly published 16-page  brochure  explains how the European (Online) Job Days work. 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 9th September 2016

State of the Union Address

On 14 September 2016, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will deliver his State of the Union address at the European Parliament.

President Juncker will take stock of achievements of the past year and present the priorities for the year ahead. The President will also set out how the Commission will address the most pressing challenges the EU is facing. The speech will be followed by a plenary debate. The State of the Union address traditionally kick-starts the dialogue with Parliament and Council, as foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty, to prepare the Commission Work Programme for 2017. The debate can be followed on social media with hashtag #SOTEU

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 7th September 2016

International action on climate change

Fighting climate change requires action from all countries across the world.

 The EU is working to promote ambitious global action through

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 7th September 2016

EU secures important outcomes at G20 Summit

The European Union has secured important outcomes at the G20 Leaders' Summit. The G20 notably commit to global action on over-capacity in the steel industry, progress on fair taxation and concerted action in the refugee crisis to tackle its consequences and root causes.

The European Union has secured important outcomes at the G20 Leaders' Summit which took place on 4-5 September in Hangzhou, China.

 

European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker arrived at the summit calling for firm global action on over-capacity in the steel industry, fair taxation and the global refugee crisis. Published today, the G20 Leaders' Communiqué sets out immediate action in all three areas:

 

On steel, the G20 has agreed to launch a "Global Forum on steel excess capacity, to be facilitated by the OECD".

 

On taxation, the G20 has committed to work for a "fair and modern international tax system", in particular by combatting tax avoidance. To ensure that multinationals pay their fair share of tax in the countries where they make their profits, G20 countries will implement a package of measures on Base Erosion and Profits Shifting.

 

To ensure greater tax transparency, the Leader's Communiqué calls on all countries to "commit without delay to implementing the standard of automatic exchange of information by 2018". It also endorses the OECD proposals on the "criteria to identify non-cooperative jurisdictions with respect to tax transparency". By June 2017 the OECD will report back to Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors on progress towards tax transparency.

 

On the refugee crisis, the G20 calls for a global concerted effort to address both the consequences and root causes of the crisis, and in particular urges greater humanitarian assistance for refugees and refugee resettlement.

 

In the margins of the summit, President Juncker held a bilateral meeting with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, to discuss the new EU-Canada free-trade deal, CETA, which President Juncker described as the "best and most progressive" the EU had ever negotiated.

 

Presidents Juncker and Tusk also held a trilateral meeting with the President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and addressed EU-Turkey relations and their continued cooperation to tackle the refugee crisis.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 5th September 2016

Transparency portal is EU shop window

 

The EU’s activities today affect the lives of millions of European citizens and these decisions must be taken as openly as possible.

European citizens have a right to know how the European institutions are preparing these decisions, who participates in preparing them, who receives funding from the EU budget and what documents are held or produced to prepare and adopt the legal acts.

They also have a right to access those documents, and make their views known, either directly, or indirectly, through intermediaries that represent them.

The European Commission’s Transparency Portal is designed to be the citizens’ window on this world, giving them direct access to information that will help them to be better informed and better prepared to follow and participate in the EU decision-making process, to enjoy their rights and to play their role as a European citizen to the full.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 5th September 2016

DG Communication's September publication out now

 

DG's Communication's publication, produced by the Citizens' Information Unit, is now available.

The monthly Publications Update presents all the latest publications, online content, and promotional material, as well as information on all publications currently available for you to order. Read the September issue of Publications Update online, then sign-up to receive the update directly in your inbox every month!

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 5th September 2016

EU President's State of the Union address

 

The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, will deliver his State of the Union address at the European Parliament on 14th September.

President Juncker will take stock of achievements of the past year and present the priorities for the year ahead.  He will also set out how the Commission will address the most pressing challenges the EU is facing. 

The State of the Union address traditionally kick-starts the dialogue with Parliament and Council, as foreseen in the Lisbon Treaty, to prepare the Commission Work Programme for 2017. The debate can be followed on social media with hashtag #SOTEU.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 30th August 2016

Call for new proposals under Erasmus+ programme announced

 

The European Commission's Representation in the UK has launched the latest Call for proposals under the Erasmus+ programme. 

The objective of the Call is to use a variety of communication activities to encourage young people, educational, non-governmental organisations, and local authorities to participate in the Erasmus+ programme in the UK. 

The Call intends to build synergies launched by the UK National Agency for Erasmus+ and raise awareness and promote those areas of the programme which are less well-known in the UK including vocational training, volnteering abroad, youth exchanges, teaching and training abroad for teachers and working abroad.

The UK Representation will provide financial support to successful applicants in the form of grants limited to a maximum co-funding rate of 80% of actual eligible costs of activities. The total budget earmarked for the co-financing of projects is estimated at €300.000. Only project proposals in a range between €10.000 and €60.000 euros will be considered.

Applicants are advised to check eligibily criteria and that they can fully satisfy the Call's requirements.  The deadline for submission of proposals is 30th September 2016. 

Click here for further details:  https://ec.europa.eu/unitedkingdom/COMM/LOND/2016/06_en        

Alternatively email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 26th August 2016

Help and advice for travel in the EU

What does the EU consumer need to know if they buy airline tickets or book foreign hotels online? Or when they buy things whilst on holiday abroad? If they rent a car in another country?

Published by the European Consumer Centre (ECC), Travel Tips sums up the rights consumers enjoy in making cross-border travel purchases. These rights apply wherever they travel or buy in the EU as well as Iceland and Norway. This ECC is part of a network, ECC-Net, which exists specifically to answer questions about cross-border rights.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 26th August 2016

Investing in a greener future

The EU is helping to finance a green future by investing in the circular economy, a healthy and productive countryside, energy efficiency, coasts and oceans, as well as the skills needed for the green economy.

These initiatives are the focus of the latest issue of Environment for Europeans, a quarterly magazine published by the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Environment.

Under the cover title of “Investing for a greener future” (in line with the theme of the annual Green Week event organised by the European Commission), the issue shows that investing is about more than money: it also means creating jobs, ensuring Europe’s children breathe clean air, using raw materials and resources more efficiently, preventing waste, and much more. Subscriptions to Environment for Europeans are free.

The global shift towards a low-carbon, circular economy has started and its pace is accelerating. To ensure Europe stays competitive and will be able to respond to the increasing mobility needs of people and goods, the European Commission has devised a low-emission mobility strategy that sets clear and fair guiding principles to Member States to prepare for the future. The main elements of the strategy are:

Increasing the efficiency of the transport system by making the most of digital technologies, smart pricing and further encouraging the shift to lower emission transport modes;

Speeding up the deployment of low-emission alternative energy for transport, such as advanced biofuels, electricity, hydrogen and renewable synthetic fuels and removing obstacles to the electrification of transport.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 26th August 2016

Legal admissibility of electronic documents

This Q&A document (pdf) explains the new legal framework. This eIDAS infographic provides an overview of what eIDAS is about, what kind of transactions it allows users to perform and the sectors which are more likely to benefit from it. Some key dates for its implementation are also included.

The infographic explains the pros and cons of the eIDAS regulation for businesses using electronic identification means and trust services. The gains can be enormous for them and lead to a significant reduction in overheads, thus boosting profits. It can make the difference between expansion and stagnation for small and medium sized businesses.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 26th August 2016

Electronic signatures, seals and trust services now valid throughout EU

Since 1 July 2016, people, businesses and public administrations are able to carry out convenient, secure and legally valid electronic transactions across borders. EU rules on electronic signatures, electronic seals, time stamps, electronic delivery service and website authentication, as well as electronic documents, now apply directly across the 28 Member States.

For example, an electronic signature is recognised in the same way as a written one throughout the EU. Cross-border digital transactions are more convenient and more secure in a Digital Single Market. Electronic trust services guarantee secure and legally valid electronic transactions. They include:

  • Electronic signature, i.e. the electronic equivalent of a written signature;
  • Time stamping, i.e. the date and time on an electronic document which proves that the document existed at a point-in-time and that it has not changed since then;
  • Electronic seal, i.e. the electronic equivalent of a seal or stamp which is applied on a document to guarantee its origin and integrity;
  • Electronic registered delivery, i.e. a service that, to a certain extent, is the equivalent in the digital world of registered mail in the physical world;
  • Website authentication, i.e. trusted information on a website (e.g. a certificate) which allows users to verify the authenticity of the website and its link to the entity/person owning the website;
  • Legal admissibility of electronic documents to ensure their authenticity and integrity.

This Q&A document (pdf) explains the new legal framework. This eIDAS infographic provides an overview of what eIDAS is about, what kind of transactions it allows users to perform and the sectors which are more likely to benefit from it. Some key dates for its implementation are also included.

The infographic explains the pros and cons of the eIDAS regulation for businesses using electronic identification means and trust services. The gains can be enormous for them and lead to a significant reduction in overheads, thus boosting profits. It can make the difference between expansion and stagnation for small and medium sized businesses.

The Publications Office of the European Union's core activities include the production and dissemination of legal and general publications in a variety of paper and electronic formats and providing EU citizens, governments and businesses with digital access to official information and data from the EU.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 5th August 2016

New publications now available

The Publications Office of the European Union's core activities include the production and dissemination of legal and general publications in a variety of paper and electronic formats and providing EU citizens, governments and businesses with digital access to official information and data from the EU.

 

Each month, the Publications Office issues a newsletter providing links to the most recent releases and other useful information and websites. A link at the bottom of the newsletter enables anyone interested to subscribe to the newsletter.

 

Recently publications include Environment for Europeans; Open Research Data; Travel Tips; the Zika virus; and Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

New trading opportunities for EU SMEs in Iran and the Gulf States

Delegates attending Iran and Gulf States market awareness seminar for EU SMEs

Trading opportunities for EU exporters interested in doing business in Iran and the Gulf States was the main item on the agenda at last month's meeting of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce International Trade Club.  

 

Henny Azmoodeh, New Markets Advisor for Accountancy Firm  Sterling Partners who specialise in assisting companies enter the Iranian market guided the delegates through the  business opportunities and do and don’ts when trading with Iran in light of the lifting of EU trade sanctions.

 

Sandra Thornber, UKTI’s Gulf States Advisor, updated every one on the emerging sectors and specialisms in each state as well as the significant infrastructure investment. Susana Cordoba, the NW Co-ordinator for the Overseas Business Network initiative appraised the group on the rapidly expanding network of BCC Accredited Chambers who were offering business support for companies wishing to enter their markets.

 

The morning was rounded off with individual meetings between the companies taking part and the speakers to discuss specific opportunities in greater detail. The next International Trade Club will take place on the 26th August and will focus on the South American Market.

 

A Workshop designed to help businesses trade within the EU will run on the 19th August.  

Tuesday 26th July 2016

New events posted

Check out the Events page for a number of new and exciting events to help you and your company make the most of doing business overseas. 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Monday 25th July 2016

New 50 euro banknote unveiled

The European Central Bank (ECB) has unveiled the new €50 banknote, which will enter into circulation on 4 April 2017.

The introduction of the new note marks the latest step in making euro banknotes even more secure. After the €5, €10 and €20, the €50 is the fourth denomination in the second series of euro banknotes, known as the Europa series.

The €50 is the most widely used euro banknote, accounting for 45% of all banknotes in circulation. As with the first series of euro banknotes, the new Europa series is very easy to check using the feel, look and tilt method. No tools are necessary. The banknote’s new features are explored in this video. This online guide allows the public to explore the security features of both €50 banknotes and find out what is new in the Europa series.

Monday 25th July 2016

EU accounts for 2015 adopted

In line with the highest international standards for transparency and accountability, the European Commission has published accountability reports on the implementation of the 2015 EU budget, bringing them all together for the first time (pdf).

The integrated package includes four reports with detailed information on revenue, expenditure, management and performance. Separate factsheets are available on each of the four reports, while the key features of the EU budget are summarised in this brochure (pdf).

Thursday 21st July 2016

Journey through Europa

 

Europa is the European Union’s web portal, designed to be as user-friendly as possible in line with the EU institutions' commitment to openness.

 

It is a crucial tool for informing citizens about EU policies, legislation, their rights, employment opportunities and many other things that affect their daily lives. 

 

The site can be accessed here

Wednesday 20th July 2016

EU concludes trading agreement with Canada

 

The EU recently concluded a new free trade deal with Canada.  Known as the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement, or CETA for short, the deal is possibly the most advanced of its kind to date.

According to this European Commission factsheet and video, CETA will help to generate growth and jobs by boosting exports; lowering the cost of the imports businesses need to make their products; offering greater choice for consumers; and upholding the EU’s strict standards for products.

CETA will significantly improve business opportunities for European companies in Canada. With CETA, European companies will receive the best treatment that Canada has offered to any trading partner, thus levelling the playing field for EU companies on the Canadian market.

Thursday 14th July 2016

Slovakia assumes EU Presidency

 

Slovakia assumed the Presidency of the Council of the European Union for the first time on 1 July 2016.

The Slovak Presidency has laid out four priorities: an economically strong Europe, a modern single market, sustainable migration and asylum policies and a globally engaged Europe.

The priority themes which will be at the forefront of the Slovak Presidency are driven by three interconnected principles: achieving tangible results, overcoming fragmentation and focusing on the citizen.

The latest news from the Presidency is available on its Twitter account @eu2016sk and under the hashtag #eu2016sk.

Thursday 14th July 2016

Towards clean and smart mobility

 

Transport plays a critical role in the way people in the EU live. Transport connects people, cultures, cities, countries and continents. Food, clothes and household waste all need to be transported, contributing to the economy and quality of life. But the increasing use of planes, cars and other fossil-fuel dependent modes of transport is causing more pollution, putting at risk the environment and public health.

The European Environment Agency’s (EEA) Signals 2016 report explores how Europe’s carbon-dependent transport sector can be turned into a clean and smart mobility system. The report goes beyond the data and statistics on transport, giving an in-depth explanation of the key facts and trends, the environmental challenges facing transport, and the green choices needed to ensure cleaner modes of moving around.

Click Signals 2016 to access the report.

Monday 4th July 2016

Commission launches new Skills Agenda for Europe

 

Some 70 million EU citizens lack adequate reading and writing skill, and even more have poor numeracy and digital skills.  This puts them at risk of unemployment, poverty and social exclusion.

 

On the other hand, a large number of EU citizens, particularly high-qualified young people, work in jobs that do not match their talents and aspirations.  At the same time 40% of European employers reprt that they cannot find people with the right skills to grow and innovate.

 

For all these reasons, the European Commission considers that increasing skills levels, promoting transversal skills and finding ways to better anticipate labour market needs, including based on dialogue with industry, are essential to improve people's chances in life and to support fair, inclusive and sustainable growth.

 

To that end the Commission has launched a new Skills Agenda to ensure that people develop a broad set of skills from early in life and to make the most of Europe's human capital, which will ultimately boost employability, competitiveness and growth in Europe. 

 

The Agenda's six actions - explained in detail in this factsheet – will address these issues and make skills more visible and improve their recognition at local, national and EU levels, from schools and universities to the labour market.

 

Monday 4th July 2016

Eurofound publishes its annual yearbook

 

In its Yearbook 2015: Living and working in Europe, Eurofound reports that there is a sustained level of employment growth across the EU at about 1% per year, with mid- and low-paid jobs on the rise and more opportunities for male workers, for young workers and those without higher education.

Older workers for their part, despite the common perception, were largely shielded from the worst effects of the recession and have been less likely to lose their jobs than their younger counterparts.

 

Nevertheless, the persistent gender employment gap remains, estimated to cost the European economy over €300 billion every year in unpaid taxes, foregone earnings and excess welfare transfers as projected female employment rates remain out of reach.

 

Eurofound, the EU agency for the improvement of living and working conditions, celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015.

Monday 4th July 2016

European Investment Bank and Funding Circle announce groundbreaking £100m investment into UK small businesses 

 

The European Investment Bank has agreed a £100 million investment in loans to UK small businesses originated through Funding Circle.

This investment, alongside £25 million from the Funding Circle SME Income Fund, will enable over £200 million of new loans over seven years, and provides a further injection of much-needed funding into the UK small business sector.

Improving access to finance for small and medium sized businesses is a key priority for the European Investment Bank.

“Investment by small businesses drives economic growth, and simple, efficient access to finance is essential to help small companies to expand, create jobs and harness new opportunities. This new and exciting partnership with Funding Circle demonstrates the European Investment Bank’s firm commitment to seeking out new ways to stimulate business investment across Europe.

“The £100 million backing will not only unlock over £200 million of new investment by small businesses across the UK, but also provides an innovative model for supporting SMEs that could be used elsewhere in Europe” said Jonathan Taylor, European Investment Bank Vice President.

Over the last decade the European Investment Bank, Europe’s long-term lending institution, has provided more than £3 billion for investment by small businesses across the UK.

For further details see www.fundingcircle.com

Tuesday 14th June 2016

New events programme 

 

Check out the Events page for details of a wide range of seminars and workshops to help Lancashire businesses develop overseas trading links.  

Monday 6th June 2016

Call for Eurodesk UK Partners

 

A Call has been launched for youth organisations to become an official Eurodesk UK Partner to support the delivery and promotion of Eurodesk services to young people and youth organisations across the UK.

 

The benefits include specialised training and priority access to European youth information and networks. Partners can be organisations that are already working with young people and wish to have access to tools and expertise to promote European information for young people. All applicants must be based in the UK.

 

A briefing note with information on the role, together with a short application form, is now available on the Eurodesk UK website:

https://www.eurodesk.org.uk/content/call-eurodesk-uk-partners

 

Alternatively you can email Eurodesk UK at eurodeskuk@eurodesk.eu for further details.

 

The deadline for receipt of Eurodesk Partner applications is 5pm (UK time) on Friday 24 June 2016. 

 

The Eurodesk website also explains how individuals can become Eurodesk UK Ambassadors.  Individuals interested in becoming an Ambassador can apply at any time. 

 

Wednesday 11th May 2016

BCC EU Survey: Business vote tightens as referendum campaign heads to the finish line

 

Nearly 90% of the senior businesspeople polled in a major new British Chambers of Commerce survey say they are unlikely to change how they will vote before the June 23rd referendum.

The BCC’s detailed findings indicate that 54.1% of businesspeople polled would vote to Remain, down from 60% in February 2016, and 37% would vote to Leave – up from 30% on the BCC’s previous survey.

The data on voting intentions also shows some divisions based on size and export interests. Those trading with other EU markets express the strongest support for ‘Remain’, with the strongest levels of support for ‘Leave’ among those that do not. Businesspeople representing large firms are significantly more likely to vote ‘Remain’ than those in micro businesses.

The findings, from an April 2016 survey of over 2,200 leading businesspeople, also show that individuals are now strongly committed to their voting preferences. Just 0.3% of respondents said they were uncommitted, and only 10.8% said they could change their mind. 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 11th May 2016

Russia - a renewed optimism

 

Lancashire EDIC in partnership with North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce, Trudos International and UKTI is inviting local companies to learn about business opportunities in this challenging but rewarding market.

 

The event will include a presentation about the market potential for Lancashire businesses as well as providing the opportunity for one to one meetings with market entry specialists.

 

The event takes place on 10th June at the Chamber's Blackpool office. 

 

FTo book onto the event or for further information on the work of Lancashire EDIC email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Thursday 5th May 2016

New custom rules in force

 

The long-overdue overhaul of European Union customs rules became law on 1st May 2016. 

The Union Customs Code (UCC) will affect businesses of all sizes, at all stages of the export supply chain. Not all of the UCC changes were made on 1st May as there is a staged implementation of some areas to permit customs authorities to develop the software and procedures.

Full implementation is expected by the end of 2020. Click here for details of the first wave of changes.

For further information on the work of Lancashire EDIC email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 4th May 2016

UKTI announces Lancashire's Export Champions

 

Lancashire EDIC partner, UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), has announced 16 new Export Champions for Lancashire.

The Export Champions are a group of 82 business leaders from across the Northwest of the UK tasked with rasing the profile of exporting in the region, and helping others to develop opportunities.  The initiative was first lanched in 2013 in conjunction with Chambers of Commerce across the region. 

The new Export Champions for Lancashire are: ACDC LED Ltd; Carradice of Nelson Ltd; Chelsom Ltd; Chemical Innovations; Crown Paints; Dantech UK Ltd; EP Bitumen; Euravia Engineering and Supply Co Ltd; Evans Vanodine International Ltd; Flexcrete Technologies Ltd; Natures Aid; Panaz Ltd; Scorpion Automotive; Tangerine Holdings Ltd; TISS Ltd; and What More UK Ltd. 

UKTI saysthat businesses who trade internationally are on average 34% more productive, 75% more innovative, undertake three times as much research and develoment, and are 12% more resilient than those who do not.

For further information on the work of Lancashire EDIC email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.  Click here for more details on  the work of UKTI.

Friday 29th April 2016

SME Innovation Associate: connecting SMEs with Researchers

 

The European Union recently launched a €7 Million pilot action aimed at supporting dynamic SMEs in recruiting researchers to explore innovation business ideas.  Enterprises have until 30th June 2016 to submit a 10 pages' application explaining the business idea, the required skills and the envisaged role of the researcher within the company. 

The EU will support the best 90 applications with a grant covering 100% of the salary of the researcher for one year. In addition the EU will give international visibility to the job vacancies and will also provide a core training programme for both the researchers and the supervisors in the companies.  Interested? Click here for more information. 

For further information on the work of Lancashire EDIC email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Friday 22th April 2016

Preston welcomes Rechlinghausen

 

Preston rolled out the red carpet earlier this week to welcome the Mayor of Rechlinghausen to the City.

 

Organised by the Preston Twinning Partnership (a partner of Lancashire EDIC) the event  reciprocates a similar visit made by the Partnership, Preston City Council, and Lancashire EDIC to the German city last year.

Mayors from Preston and Rechlingshausen exchange Twinning Certificates

The visit was held to mark the 60th Twinning Aniversary between Preston and Recklinghausen.

 

The delgation from the German city was led by the Mayor and Mayoress and included the Deputy Mayor, Council leaders and other city officials.

 

Representing Preston were members of the Preston Twining Partnership including Chairman Derek Smith, Vice-chairman Michael Dignan, and Secretary Jurgen Voges and Lancashire EDIC.  The visit included a civic reception hosted by the Mayor of Preston and Council officials.

 

A full two and a half day programme of events included conferences on gender equality, dealing with disability, and voluntary services.  The delegation were hosted at the city's Holiday Inn. 

 

 

To book onto the event email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. Cutting the 60th Anniversary celebration cake

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Tuesday 19th April 2016

EU referendum panel confirmed 

 

Lancashire Barrister at Law Ken Hinds CBE LLB has been confirmed as the second panellist representing the "remain" camp at the Lancashire EDIC and Chamber of Commerce debate on the forthcoming EU referendum.

 

Ken Hinds joins Sajjad Karim MEP on the "remain" panel with UKIP Deputy Chair Paul Nuttall MEP and Lancashire businessman Alan Halsall representing the "leave" campaign.

 

The event will take place on 20th May at Preston's College.  To book onto the event email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

David Booth, UKTI, brifing delegates at the Lancashire EDIC event

Friday 15th April 2016

Delegates briefed on TTIP 

 

Business leaders from across the Northwest attended a seminar organised by Europe Direct Lancashire on 14th April updating them on the pending impact on businesses in the region for exporting to the USA .

The free trade agreement between the EU and the USA, the largest and most wide reaching in  history, is about to enter the next round of talks.  The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership or TTIP as it is known is one of the 10 Priorities laid out by the European Commission. Delegates were briefed on the agreement from both the EU and US prospective and given copies of the agreement published by the Commission.

Over half of international trade in the Northwest is with the US.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

 

Wednesday 13th April 2016

TTIP event - spaces still available

 

Lancashire EDIC is reminding businesses that there are still a few spaces left for the TTIP event being held on 14th April.

 

David Booth (UKTI) and Emily McLaughlin (High Commission of Canada) are confirmed to speak at the event.  David is UKTI Northwest's USA business advisor whilst Emily is the Commission's economic advisor. 

 

To book onto the event email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Tuesday 12th April 2016

Invitation to meet USA companies at Hannover Messe

 

Lancashire EDIC has been asked to promote an opportunity for local firms to meet Amercian companies exhibiting at Hannover Messe later this month. 

More than 200 Amercian companies will showcase their latest equipment and products at the show.  Many of these cutting edge companies will be looking for agents, distributors, partners and customers across the UK. 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Monday 11th April 2016

EU Fact Sheets available on-line

 

A wide range of almost 180 EU Fact Sheets are available on-line to provide non-specialists with a straightforward, concise, and accurate of the EU’s institutions and policies, and of the role that the Parliament plays in their development.

The Fact Sheets are grouped into six chapters: How the EU works; Citizens’ Europe; The internal market; Economic and Monetary Union; Sectoral policies; and EU external relations. Drafted by the policy departments and the Economic Governance Support Unit, the Fact Sheets are available in 23 languages.

The latest issues and updates are available here.

Friday 8th April 2016

Simpler rules for VAT

 

Value Added Tax adds an enormous one trillion euros to the revenues of EU governments every year.

In fact, it's one of the biggest success stories of the Single Market. But VAT rules need modernising. With the new Action Plan adopted on 7 April 2016, the European Commission is proposing innovative ideas, especially to make life easier for small businesses.

Further information can be found in this video and in the press release and factsheet.

Wednesday 6th April 2016

A message to all Lancashire schools from Lancashire EDIC

 

 

Lancashire Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC) is a member of a powerful network of information centres located across all EU member states.

 

A key role of the EDICs is to use the resources of the network to put schools across the EU in touch with each other.  A number of schools already use the service to find partners for cross-border collaborative project work, organise teacher exchanges and pupil visits, and share best practice. 

 

EDIC staff also visit schools to talk to teachers and learners about the importance of language and culture and the opportunities to live and work across the EU.  

 

Lancashire EDIC is keen to ensure that local schools across Lancashire take full advantage of this service.  Schools interested in finding out more about Lancashire EDIC and the work it does should email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Tuesday 5th April 2016

2016 EU Business Survey Published   

 

In 2015 the Europe Direct Information Centre for Lancashire commissioned a report to gauge the attitudes by businesses in the county to the European Union (EU). It took a detailed look at how local businesses viewed this relationship and how it sees its relationship with the EU which,  with 23 million SME’s and 500 million citizens  represents the  world’s biggest trading block developing in the future

 

The survey was undertaken in conjunction with the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce and we thank our colleagues there for their help and support. The results from the previous year’s orward.  The report also measured the impact that the EU had on their operations including the issue of migrant workers.

 

The purpose of this 2016 EU Business Survey is capture the mood of the same businesses using the same questions to see if there has been any shift in attitude ahead of the  Referendum on the 24 June.   Irrespective of the result the outcome will have a significant impact on the UK’s business relationship with the EU.

 

It’s therefore important that we are able to understand how the Lancashire business findings are in brackets to ease of comparison.

 

Click the hyperlink below to access the survey report. We hope you find it both interesting and informative.http://www.lancschamber.co.uk/uncategorised/eu-survey-report-april-2016/

Tuesday 5th April 2016

Teaching entrepreneurship in schools in Europe

 

Why is entrepreneurship education essential? Are European countries embedding it in their school curricula? What kind of strategies have been put in place so far? How are teachers trained for it? These key questions are the focus of a new report on entrepreneurship education from Eurydice, a network tasked with understanding and explaining how Europe’s different education systems are organised and how they work.

 

Developing and promoting entrepreneurship education has been one of the key policy objectives of the EU institutions and Member States for many years. The report focuses on primary education, lower and general upper secondary education as well as school-based initial vocational education and training (IVET).

 

It contains information for 2014/15 from 33 countries participating in the Eurydice network. In addition to the full report, highlights in seven languages (Dutch, English, French, Greek, Italian, Portuguese and Romanian) provide a snapshot of some of its main findings. 

 

Tuesday 5th April 2016

Investing in workplace skills

 

One of the European Commission’s key priorities is improving employability and innovation by investing more in education and training.

 

The Commission acknowledges that social and demographic changes in the workforce, globalisation, productivity, and technological developments across the EU have highlighted the need to create new jobs and reduce the skills mismatch. 

 

Youth unemployment, in particular, is highlighted by the Commission as in need of urgent action.  So much so that the Commission has placed skills development and improving training and education systems at the centre of its priorities and new Investment Plan. website. 

 

Some key EU initiatives are included in this blogpost on the Commission-financed Skills Panorama website. 

 

Tuesday 5th April 2016

Investing in workplace skills

 

One of the European Commission’s key priorities is improving employability and innovation by investing more in education and training.

 

The Commission acknowledges that social and demographic changes in the workforce, globalisation, productivity, and technological developments across the EU have highlighted the need to create new jobs and reduce the skills mismatch. 

 

Youth unemployment, in particular, is highlighted by the Commission as in need of urgent action.  So much so that the Commission has placed skills development and improving training and education systems at the centre of its priorities and new Investment Plan. website. 

 

Some key EU initiatives are included in this blogpost on the Commission-financed Skills Panorama website. 

 

Wednesday 30th March 2016

Reminder - Introduction to E-exporting event  7th April 2016

 

Lancashire EDIC and UKTI are providing a drop-in clinic for businesses interested in finding out more about digital channels, E-marketplaces, and E-commerce platforms in general. 

 

For both early stage exporters and growth exporters, the clinic will provide a useful introduction to the technology, tools and opportunities available for a successful digital export strategy.

 

The global e-commerce industry saw impressive growth in 2015 with goods and services worth $1.5 trillion broought by shoppers via desktops, tablets, and smartphones.  This growth trend is set to continue with the business to consumer e-comerce market value expected to reach $3.2 trillion by 2020, and the business to business forecast set to double this to reach $6.7 trillion.

 

To book onto the event email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Tuesday 29th March 2016

Speakers confirmed for TTIP event

 

Lancashire EDIC is delighted to announce that David Booth (UKTI) and Emily McLaughlin (High Commission of Canada) are confirmed to speak at our event on 14th April.  David is UKTI Northwest's USA business advisor whilst Emily is the Commission's economic advisor. 

 

To book onto the event email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk  or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

 

Lancashire EDIC has copies of a very useful guide "Inside TTIP" published by the EU.  To order your copy contact the EIC team as above. 

Wednesday 16th March 2016

Join our EU "in" or "out" referendum debate

 

Details of Lancashire EDIC's EU referendum debate have now been confirmed.

 

Click here  for further details about the event and to book your place.  Spaces are limited so early booking is advisable.

 

For further details about other EDIC- supported events visit the Events page or email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk.  Alternatively call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Wednesday 16th March 2016

Promoting a connected digital single market

 

One of the EU's 10 key priorities is to deliver a connected digital single market across all Member States.

 

Working with its partner UKTI Lancashire's EDIC is promoting an opportuity for businesses to learn more about the technology, tools and opportunities that are needed to implement a successful digital export strategy.

 

Click here for more information and details about how to book.  Spaces are limited so early booking is advisable.

 

For further details about other EDIC- supported events visit the Events page or email europedirect@lancschamber.co.ukAlternatively call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team. 

Friday 11th March 2016

EU's General Report published

 

The European Commission has published the General Report on the Activities of the European Union for 2015 which gives, in a clear user-friendly way, an account of the EU’s major initiatives and achievements over the past year.

 

These iactivities nclude the EU’s efforts to tackle the refugee crisis, the agreement on support for Greece, the EU’s response following the Paris terrorist attacks, the launch of the Investment Plan for Europe and other major initiatives like the Digital Single Market, Energy Union and Capital Markets Union.

 

The report uses hyperlinks, photos, videos and infographics to help improve the visual impact of the information.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Thursday 10th March 2016

Check our Events page

 

A number of new business opportunities have been added to our Events page.  If you're interested in attending any of them please email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Wednesday 9th March 2016

Launch of EDIC public consultation

 

Stakeholders, partners, and the general public are being invited to help shape the next generation of Europe Direct Information Centres.

 

The results of the consultation will help shape how future EDICs will operate and the  scope of their activities.

 

Click public consultation to take part in the consultation.  The consultation to all users and non-users of EDIC services.  The deadline for responses is 4th May 2016.

 

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Tuesday 8th March 2016

EDIC hosts Central and Eastern Europe event

 

Lancashire EDIC's "Focus on Central and Eastern Europe" event attracted 50 delegates from a wide range of businesses across the County.

Speakers from Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, and the Czech Republic explained the finer details of doing business within their respective countries with a particular focus on language and culture.

Delegates also participated in a series of one to one meetings with country representatives.

The event was supported by EDIC partners UKTI, Enterprise Europe, and the Overseas Business Network.

For further details email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Monday 1st March 2016

EDIC visits Kirkham Grammar School

 

Lancashire EDIC's annual visit to Kirkham Grammar School proved as successful as ever with 120 students hearing first hand about employment opportunities across the European Union.

A key part of the visit was to encourage students to use their time at school to learn a European language.

Other topics covered included the importance of appreciating the cultural differences between the UK and other Member States.

The Lancashire EDIC team is exploring a number of opportunities to visit other schools and colleges across Lancashire.  To request a visit simply  email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Monday 29th February 2016

New EU-wide online dispute resolution platform launched

 

The Online Dispute Resolution website is a new web-based platform providing an easy, fast and inexpensive way to assist in resolving disputes between online buyers and traders out of court. Managed by the European Commission, the platform is a single point of entry for consumers and traders seeking to resolve disputes regarding contractual obligations stemming from online sales and service contracts.

Just like consumers, traders will also be able to initiate an online dispute resolution procedure. Everything can be done online in four main steps. When a consumer or trader lodges their complaint via an electronic complaint form in their desired language, the dispute resolution body agreed by both parties then acts as referee in resolving their dispute. The outcome of the dispute needs to be reached within 90 calendar days. More details on the platform and its background are available in this “At a glance” factsheet produced by the European Parliament Think Tank. 

Friday 26th February 2016

"Fall in Love with the EU"

 

Central Malta EDIC has published a brief introduction to the 28 EU member states fesaturing the beauty of some of their towns and cities.  Click http://www.ediccentralmalta.eu/userfiles/file/beauty_of_europe.pdf to access the publication.

Thursday 25th February 2016

Save the Date - EU in or out debate

 

Lancashire EDIC's second debate on the UK's membership of the EU will take place at Preston's College on 20th May.  Northwest MEP Sajjad Karim will be representing the "in" campaign whilst the "out" campaign will be represented by local businessman Alan Halsall.

The event will start at 10am and expected to finish around 1200.    

To reserve your place simply email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Monday 22nd February 2016

Commission presents sustainable energy security package

 

A package of energy security measures to equip the EU for global energy transition to address possible energy supply interruptions has been presented by the European Commission.

 

Energy security is one of the cornerstones of the Energy Union strategy, a key political priority of the Juncker Commission.

 

The package sets out a wide range of measures to strengthen the EU’s resilience to gas supply disruptions. These measures include moderating energy demand, increasing energy production in Europe (including from renewables), further developing a well-functioning and fully integrated internal energy market, as well as diversification of energy sources, suppliers and routes.

 

The proposals bring more transparency to the European energy market and create more solidarity between the Member States. A series of related factsheets, published to accompany the launch of the package, deal with the security of gas supply regulation, intergovernmental agreements in energy, liquefied natural gas and gas storage and creating a smart, efficient and sustainable heating and cooling sector.

 

Friday 19th February 2016

February EDIC newsletter out now

 

February's Lancashire EDIC newsletter is out now.  Access your copy by simply clicking on the link in the right hand column.  To receive copies of future newsletters direct into your inbox email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk

Friday 19th February 2016

Business voting intentions harden

 

Nearly two thirds (63%) of the senior business people polled in a major new British Chambers of Commerce survey have revealed that the outcome of the Prime Minister's renegotiation is unlikely to change how they will vote - despite large majorities saying that they are familiar with the objectives of the renegotiation package.

Views vary between categories of businesses with those exporting only to the EU expressing the strongest support for "remain" while those exporting only outside the EU expressing the strongest support for "leave".

When it comes to how individual businesspeople will vote in a forthcoming referendum, 60% would vote to remain (down slightly from 63% in September), and 30% would vote to leave (up slightly from 27%.

For further details of the survey contact the BCC Press Office on 020 7654 5812 / 5817 / 5813 or email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk

Friday 12th February 2016

EDIC meets Lancashire students

 

Over 100 students from West Lancashire College gained a valuable insight into working, travelling and living in Europe at two Lancashire EDIC workshops earlier this month.

The interactive worshops were delivered to 120 first year students studying Geography, Tourism and Business Studies. 

The forthcoming "in- out" referendum was also discussed with 97 per cent of students voting to remain in the EU.

For further information email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Friday 5th February 2016

Save the Date - 18th April 2016

 

Lancashire EDIC will be working with our partner UKTI to promote ‘Export is GREAT week’ in April. 

The week will start on 8th April 2016 and will feature a programme of workshops, seminars and other events across the County.  Further details will be posted to the Events page when dates and topics are finalised.

For further information email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Friday 5th February 2016

All you need to know about TTIP

 

A very useful two page factsheet on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is now available from Lancashire EDIC.

The factsheet has been prepared by British Chambers of Commerce as part of its "Exporting is Good for Britain" campaign.

Lancashire EDIC is organising an event on TTIP later this year.  To request a copy of the factsheet and / or to request further information on the event email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Friday 29th January 2016

Doing business in Germany

 

Twenty local businesses were given advice on doing business in Germany at a Lancashire EDIC-supported event earlier this week.

Run in conjunction with Lancashire EDIC partners, Enterprise Europe Network, Overseas Business Network, and UKTI the event provided advice and guidance on German business trading practices as well as its culture and language.

Lancashire EDIC will be supporting a similar event next month on "Doing business in Central and Eastern Europe".   To reserve your place on this event simply email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Friday 22nd January 2016

Save the Date!

 

Lancashire EDIC will be co-hosting a second  debate on the UK's membership of the EU. The debate will take place on 20th May and will feature northwest MEPs Sajjad Karim and Steven Woolfe.  Two business owners from either side of the debate will also be repesented on the Panel.  

The venue and times will be announced in the next few days.

To reserve your place simply email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Friday 22nd January 2016

How the EU works

 

"How the European Union Works" is a very useful guide to the EU's institutions and decision-making process. 

The guide includes articles on the Court of Justice, European Central Bank, the European Parliament, and the Committee of the Regions.

To get your free copy simply email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk or call 01772 653000 and ask to speak to the Europe Direct team.

Friday 15th January 2016

Netherlands holds EU Presidency

 

The Netherlands will hold the Presidency of the Council of the European Union from 1 January to 30 June 2016. This means that it will chair EU meetings held in Brussels and Luxembourg and host informal meetings for European guests in the heart of Amsterdam.

As this video outlines, during its six-month term at the helm, The Netherlands will work to improve European cooperation and intends to make big strides by focusing on four key issues: migration and security, innovation and jobs, finances and the Eurozone and climate and energy. Eurostat has produced an infographics introducing the country and some information & statistics comparing it to the EU average. 

Tuesday 12th January 2016

The top threats to security online

 

We are increasingly relying on electronic networks and information systems but this has also created more opportunities for online fraud and forgery.  Anyone from individuals to companies and public authorities can fall victim to schemes such as identity theft, fake bank websites or industrial espionage.

The different types of cyber threats are depicted in this infographic.  More than one million people are affected by cybercrime every day.  Cybercrime costs the global economy more than €368 billion a year.

Earlier this month, the European Parliament reached an informal agreement with the European Council on the first ever EU cybersecurity directive.  The Network and Information Security (NIS) directive aims to harmonise cybersecurity laws across Europe and improve cooperation on cybersecurity between EU countries.

Monday 11th January 2016

Commission launches consultation on financial services

 

There can be many problems using financial or insurance services across EU Member State borders, as this video explains: students experiencing problems opening bank accounts while they are on an Erasmus exchange, people finding their credit cards are rejected when trying to buy something from an online shop based in another EU country or insurance companies telling customers they are no longer covered by their life insurance because they moved to another EU country.

Consumer financial services such as bank accounts, mortgages and insurance are an essential part of daily life. But many people find it hard to access these services across borders; and many businesses find it hard to provide them. For the next three months, the European Commission will be consulting on how to create a stronger European market for consumer financial services, as this series of videos explains (in English, French, German, Italian and Polish).

The aim is to find a system that works for consumers across the EU, giving them access to the best financial service deals, with more suitable products, a bigger choice and more competitive prices. To participate, citizens can grab their smartphone, record a video explaining what the problem was in less than 30 seconds and post their video on their favourite social media platform in any EU language.

Thursday 7th January 2016

Applying for funding

Small businesses may be able to obtain EU funding through grants, loans and guarantees. Grants provide direct support, while other funding is available through programmes managed nationally. 

Click EU funding for small businesses for further information  or contact europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk

Thursday 7th January 2016

Questions about the EU?

Europe Direct can help.

Europe Direct does not comment on EU policy issues or positions, or handle or forward complaints (though it can tell you who to contact).

For help or legal advice on specific EU laws, check out the EU rights guide for individuals and businesses.

For all other enquiries contact europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk

Wednesday 6th January 2016

Skills, qualifications and jobs in the EU  

 

What has been the impact of the economic crisis on skill mismatch?  Is there a cost in geting the unemloyed into any job?  Why is skill mismatch prevalent amongs the EU workforce? 

 

The answers to these questions and more can be found in the latest publication from the European Centre for the Development of Voational Training (Cedefop). 

 

The publication "Skills, qualifications and jobs in the EU:  the making of a perfect match" analyses the results of a research project undertaken in 2014 that considered what Europe must do to improve how it develops and uses skills. 

 

For further details and to request a copy email europedirect@lancschamber.co.uk .

 

Wednesday 23rd December 2015

Aviation strategy:  keeping Europe flying high  

 

Aviation is critical to Europe's economy:  it directly employs two million people and generates 110 euros annually.  But as this video shows, the sector is facing an increasing number of challenges, including international competition and preparing fo rthe anticipated 50% increase in European air traffic by 2035. 

 

To meet these challenges the Commission is proposing a new Aviation Strategy that will generate growth for European business, foster innovation and let passengers profit from safer, cleaner and cheaper flights, while offering more connections.

 

The strategy also contributes directly towards many of the Commission's ten priorities, including creating Jobs and Growth, Digital Single Market, Energy Union and maintaining the EU as a global actor.

 

The dig Europe Direct Lancashire returned to Runshaw College this week to address first year business students on the importance of language and culture when doing business in the European Union. 

 

Wednesday 16th December 2015

Happy Christmas and a prosperous New Year from all of us at Europe Direct Lancashire

 

France

Joyeux Noël

Lettonie

Priecigus Ziemassvetkus

 

Allemagne

Fröhliche Weihnachten

Lituanie

Linksmu Kaledu

 

Royaume-Uni

Merry Christmas

Malte

Il-Milied It-Tajjeb

 

Bulgarie

Chestita Koleda

Pays-Bas

Vrolijk Kerstfeest

 

Danemark

Glædelig Jul

Pologne

Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia

 

Espagne

Feliz Navidad

Portugal

Feliz Natal

 

Estonie

Roomsaid Joulu Puhi

Roumanie

Craciun Fericit

 

Finlande

Iloista Joulua

Slovaquie

Veselé Vianoce

 

Grèce

Kala Christouyenna

Slovénie

Vesel Bozic

 

Hongrie

Kellemes Karácsonyi Ünnepeket

Suède

God Jul

 

drapeau Irlande

Nollaig Shona Duit

République Tchèque

Veselé Vánoce

 

Italie

Buon Natale

     

 

Wednesday 16th December 2015

Students learn that "one size fits all" approach not always appropriate

 

Europe Direct Lancashire returned to Runshaw College this week to address first year business students on the importance of language and culture when doing business in the European Union. 

 

Over 170 students took part in three consecutive workshops that sought to remind them that a "one size fits all" approach to doing business within the EU is not always appropriate.

 

Neal Barfoot from Europe Direct said that although the European Union is a stand-alone trading block it's very important to understand that the language and culture of each Member State is very different.  Failure to appreciate this can often mean the loss of a potential new contract.  

 

The workshops concluded with a case study about a UK company identifying and researching trading opportunities in Germany.

 

Further workshops with the College's second year students are planned for early next year.

 

If your school or college would like to work with Europe Direct Lancashire on a similar programme please contact Neal Barfoot nealb@lancschamber.co.uk   for further details. 

Friday 11th December 2015

"The UK and Europe"

Regent's University London has produced a new revision to its origial 2013 report, "The UK and Europe: costs, benefits, options", which seeks to make a comprehensive, independent and non-political contribution to the UK referendum debate.  The debate explores policy areas at the heart of the relationship between the UK and the EU.

 

The latest revision of the Regent's Report is available at www.regents.ac.uk/europereport.

 

We have a limited number of paper copies available on a "first come first served" basis".  Email hughe@lancschamber.co.uk if you'd like a copy.

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