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12 December 2013, 22:53 CET

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Making the best use of EU money: a landscape review of the risks to the financial management of the EU budget 25 November 2014, 22:15 CET
In its landscape review of risks to the financial management of the EU budget, published today, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) identifies key issues for good financial management of the EU's finances. All actors dealing with the EU budget, say the EU auditors, should focus on obtaining results and EU added value, while ensuring that EU money is properly accounted for and spent as intended.

Jewish life in Ukraine: Achievements, challenges and priorities since the collapse of communism 28 October 2014, 11:01 CET
Part of a four-part series funded by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe that looks at Jewish life in east-central Europe since the collapse of communism, the Ukraine report calls for the development of a common organisational framework to bring together the various Jewish communities throughout the country; support from international foundations to enable the Jewish community to become less dependent on external sources of financial support; and a more inclusive policy on Jewish status issues given the high levels of intermarriage in the country. In addition, the report stresses the need for enhancements in the field of Jewish education, with a particular emphasis on increasing the number of trained teachers and educators, and access to better quality Russian and Ukrainian-language educational materials. Given the extraordinary history of Jewish life in the country, the recommendations also push for the preservation of this heritage and the utilisation of it for community development purposes. The report also explores the issue of antisemitism in Ukraine, and calls for the establishment of a centre to monitor antisemitic incidents, and to liaise with government, the police and security services to counter it. The research was conducted by community activist and doctoral student Darina Privalko under the advice of Dr Betsy Gidwitz, a former Soviet-area specialist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Versions of the report are also available in Ukrainian and Russian.

Jewish life in Germany: Achievements, challenges and priorities since the collapse of communism 28 October 2014, 11:00 CET
A detailed look at Jewish life in Germany based on interviews with a broad range of German Jewish leaders. It explores how Jewish life has changed in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the challenges posed by the huge influx of Jews and their families from the Former Soviet Union. Part of a four-paper series looking at Jewish life in east-central Europe since the collapse of communism, the Germany report says that the question of whether Jews in German should be sitting on packed suitcases "has been answered with a resounding 'no' by prominent members of the community". Yet the question of how safe Jews are in Germany remains alive and well. The research was conducted by author and journalist Toby Axelrod, and was funded by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. A German language version is also available.

Jewish life in Poland: Achievements, challenges and priorities since the collapse of communism 28 October 2014, 10:53 CET
A detailed look at Jewish life in Poland based on interviews with a broad range of Polish Jewish leaders. It highlights the 'multiplier effect' of Jewish heritage programming, and explores the impact of the post-communist Jewish revival on Polish society as a whole. Part of a four-paper series looking at Jewish life in east-central Europe since the collapse of communism, the authors of the Poland report testify to the rebirth of a small community that has a disproportionate impact on world Jewry, not least because of the importance of Polish Jewish history and heritage. The research was conducted by local experts working in partnership with JPR, and was funded by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. A Polish language version is also available.

Jewish life in Hungary: Achievements, challenges and priorities since the collapse of communism 28 October 2014, 10:49 CET
A detailed look at Jewish life in Hungary based on interviews with a broad range of Hungarian Jewish leaders. It calls for greater levels of co-operation and co-ordination between Jewish communal organizations and initiatives, and stresses a need for a more religiously pluralist communal environment. Part of a four-paper series looking at Jewish life in east-central Europe since the collapse of communism, the authors of the Hungary report highlight the existence of a sharp critique of community management structures, and recommend urgent structural reform. The research was conducted by the leading specialist in the sociology of Hungarian Jewry, and was funded by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. A Hungarian language version is also available.

National student fee and support systems in European Higher Education 2014/2015 22 October 2014, 23:06 CET
Levels of student tuition or administrative fees, grants and loans continue to highlight stark differences across Europe, according to a report published by the European Commission's Eurydice network. The report, covering 33 European countries, reveals that fee systems have remained relatively stable across the continent, despite some notable exceptions. Germany is the only country to recently abolish tuition fees, despite introducing them only in 2007.

Annual Report on European SMEs 2013-2014 - A Partial and Fragile Recovery 06 October 2014, 15:58 CET
There can be no doubt that SMEs have had to navigate a difficult economic terrain in recent years. This Annual Report on the economic performance of European SMEs is a testament to those challenges – but also a window to the progress achieved by businesses across the EU28 in spite of these challenging economic conditions. The SME Performance Review is one of the main tools the European Commission uses to monitor and assess countries' progress in implementing the Small Business Act (SBA) on a yearly basis. With an emphasis on the measures from the SBA Action Plan, the review brings comprehensive information on the performance of SMEs in EU Member States and other 9 partner countries. It consists of two parts – Annual Report on European SMEs and SBA country fact sheets.

Horizon Report Europe - 2014 Schools Edition 02 October 2014, 21:45 CET
The NMC Horizon Project from the New Media Consortium is a long-term investigation launched in 2002 that identifies and describes emerging technologies likely to have a large impact over the coming five years in education around the globe. The NMC Horizon Report Europe: 2014 Schools Edition, the first of its kind for Europe, examines six key trends, six significant challenges and six important developments in educational technology that are very likely to impact educational change processes in European schools over the next five years (2014-2018). The topics within each section were carefully selected by the Horizon Project Europe Expert Panel, a body of 53 experts in European education, technology, and other fields. They come from 22 European countries, as well as international organisations and European networks. Throughout the report, references and links are made to more than 150 European publications (reports, articles, policy documents, blog posts etc.), projects (both EU-funded and national initiatives) and various policy initiatives from all over Europe. The Creative Classrooms multidimensional framework, developed by European Commission?s JRC-IPTS on behalf of DG EAC, was used for analysing the trends, challenges and technologies impacting European schools over the next five years. The analysis reveals that a systemic approach is needed for integrating new technologies in European schools and impacting educational change over the next five years.

Application of EU Law: how EU Member States performed in 2013 01 October 2014, 18:14 CET
There has been a marked decrease in the number of on-going infringement cases in recent years whilst the number of cases resolved through in problem solving mechanisms such as EU Pilot has increased, according to the 31st Annual Report on monitoring the application of EU law, just published by the European Commission.

Erasmus Impact Study - Effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and the internationalisation of higher education institutions 22 September 2014, 19:03 CET
This new study on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market.

Matching Economic Migration with Labour Market Needs 18 September 2014, 13:48 CET
This publication gathers the papers presented at the "OECD-EU dialogue on mobility and international migration: matching economic migration with labour market needs" (Brussels, 24-25 February 2014), a conference jointly organised by the European Commission and the OECD. It provides new evidence on the role that international migration has played in Europe and in selected other OECD countries over the past decade in terms of labour force; educational attainment; and occupational changes. It analyses the availability and use of migrants’ skills based on an in-depth literature review as well as new data analyses for Europe and the United States, Canada and the OECD as a whole, taking advantage of the International Survey of Adult Skills – PIAAC. Finally, several chapters discuss the potential role of international migration in meeting current and future labour market needs in Europe, in the United States and in the European Union. This work shows that although migration can make an important contribution to labour force growth, its role in counterbalancing the effects of population ageing will depend on the capacity of countries to match labour needs to migrants’ characteristics.

FET Flagships: A novel partnering approach to address grand scientific challenges to boost innovation in Europe 16 September 2014, 13:43 CET
The European Commission has published a report on its ambitious science and technology Flagships. The report draws the lessons from setting up the first two such Flagships, Graphene and the Human Brain Project, each representing an investment of EUR 1 billion.

European Competitiveness Report 2014 - Helping Firms Grow 11 September 2014, 22:59 CET
The 2014 edition focuses on the growth of firms, in particular on certain growth-enhancing measures and framework conditions affecting EU firms. These include the availability of different forms of funding – especially important if small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are to expand – as well as the importance of having an efficient and modern public administration in place. Other chapters examine how innovation and its impact on the growth of firms vary over the business cycle, and the extent to which SMEs are active outside their home markets; the forms of their international presence; the impact and drivers of SME internationalisation, and what can be done to increase their presence abroad. This year's edition also contains a chapter on energy costs and energy efficiency, including an assessment of the importance of energy costs in relation to other costs, across manufacturing in general as well as for energy-intensive industries. The European Competitiveness Report, published annually since 1997, gives a quantitative assessment of the competitive performance of EU industries.

Has the ERDF successfully supported the development of business incubators? - Special Report 04 September 2014, 21:18 CET
In recent years, the EU has co-financed business incubator projects in the context of its cohesion policy with the support of the European Regional Development Fund. This is in line with the EU's political priorities, especially in view of the Lisbon and Europe 2020 strategies of supporting the launch and development of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as they play an important role in the creation of growth and jobs. In this report, the European Court of Auditors assesses whether these business incubator projects were successful in supporting start-up SMEs.

Sixth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion 23 July 2014, 22:32 CET
The European Commission's 6th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion shows that EU Cohesion Policy is delivering on the growth goals of the Europe 2020 Strategy by creating jobs and reducing disparities across Europe. Looking ahead to 2014-2020, the report outlines how investments will be focused on key areas like energy efficiency, employment, social inclusion and SMEs to get the most of the investments to the benefit of citizens. The Report analyses the state of cohesion of the Union and highlights the challenges faced by national, regional and local authorities in overcoming the impact of the financial and economic crisis. In particular it finds that Cohesion Policy has cushioned the dramatic decline of public investment, injecting much needed investment resources in many Member States and creating vital financial stability which serves to attract private investment. EU Cohesion Policy investments from 2014-2020 will make more than €38 billion available to support the shift to a more environmentally-friendly economy, through investments for energy efficiency and renewables, while up to €33 billion will support Europe's SMEs to become more competitive.

Mapping of National School Food Policies across the EU 16 July 2014, 23:17 CET
With childhood obesity prevalence on the rise in many European countries, schools may serve as a protected environment for children to learn healthy diet and lifestyle habits. Policy makers, educators and researchers would benefit from a comprehensive overview of European school food policies. Mandatory standards are defined in 18 of the policies (53%), the remainder offering voluntary guidelines. Top 3 policy aims are to improve child nutrition (97%), teach healthy dietary/lifestyle habits (94%) and reduce/prevent obesity (88%). Variations mainly relate to the types of meals targeted (e.g. lunch, breakfast, snack, dinner); whether standards/recommendations are nutrient- and/or food-based; and if vending machines and the wider food environment (kiosks near schools, packed lunches from home, etc.) are considered. Conclusion: We provide an up-to-date overview of European school food policies. The next step will be to assess the need and feasibility for developing best practice guidelines for school food policies in Europe, bearing in mind cultural and structural differences between countries.

A Casebook on European Consumer Law 16 July 2014, 23:08 CET
European consumer law has become a vital part of both legal education and practice. This casebook details the most fundamental judgments of the Court of Justice on consumer law to date and their effect on national legal systems. It contains twenty leading European cases and is then followed by concise analyses of the effect of these decisions on some of the national legal systems of the Member States, and how national legislatures and national courts have reacted to this ever burgeoning area of European law. The focus of the book is private law, including consumer contracts, advertisement law, European product liability and consumer dispute resolutions.

Eurofound yearbook 2013: Living and working in Europe 14 July 2014, 13:53 CET
Eurofound’s fifth annual yearbook, Living and working in Europe, based on the Agency’s research from 2013, describes developments in the EU in the wake of the crisis, focusing on major topic areas including changes in labour markets and employment, efforts to tackle youth unemployment, innovation in workplaces and public trust in institutions. The yearbook is accompanied by the Annual activity report of the Authorising Officer 2013, which is the Agency’s formal reporting on operations, staff and budgets.

Drug use, impaired driving and traffic accidents (second edition) 25 June 2014, 16:40 CET
The literature review from the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction provides a comprehensive report on the relationship between drug use, impaired driving and traffic accidents. It describes methodological issues, presents the results of prevalence surveys among drivers, provides an overview of findings from major international epidemiological surveys, and gathers evidence from experimental and field studies of the relationship between drug use, driving impairment and traffic accidents.

Europe's Crisis, Europe's Future (Kindle Edition) 18 June 2014, 13:47 CET
The eurozone crisis started in Greece in 2009–10, spread into Ireland and Portugal, and, from there, quickly spread to the larger economies of Spain and Italy. By the autumn of 2011, it threatened the entire global financial system. In Europe's Crisis, Europe's Future, an international group of economic analysts provides an insightful view of the crisis. How did mismanagement of a crisis in a marginal economy spark such a wildfire? After all, Greece is responsible for only 2% of the eurozone's total GDP, yet the crisis in Athens threatened to grow into a worldwide contagion.

The Euro Crisis and Its Aftermath 18 June 2014, 13:39 CET
The Euro Crisis and Its Aftermath was written to inform readers about the history of this enduring European crisis and the alternative proposals for ending it. In four parts, Jean Pisani-Ferry explains the origins of the European currency, the build-up of imbalances and oversights that led to the crisis, the choices European policymakers have both addressed and ignored since 2010, and the evolution of the policy agenda and possible options for the future. The book is as much of an informative and analytical history as it is a prescriptive solution for a more prosperous future world economy.

Taxation trends in the European Union - Data for the EU Member States, Iceland and Norway 16 June 2014, 13:13 CET
The 2014 edition of Taxation Trends in the European Union is the eighth issue of the report in its current form. The objective of the report remains unchanged: to present a complete view of the structure, level and trends of taxation in the Union over a medium- to long-term period. This year, The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, meaning the sum of taxes and compulsory social contributions in % of GDP, in the EU28 stood at 39.4% in 2012, up from 38.8% in 2011. The overall tax ratio in the euro area increased to 40.4% in 2012 from 39.5% in 2011.

China: Business Confidence Survey 2014 29 May 2014, 10:01 CET
Business conditions in China are getting tougher and this has led to a further weakening of the financial performance of European companies in the domestic marketplace. A new sober reality is developing, exemplified by a sense of pessimism that is becoming entrenched within the European business community in China, as persistent market challenges show little sign of abating. The key market dynamics contributing to these results include: A general slowdown of the Chinese economy; Increasing labour costs; Competition from both privately-owned Chinese companies and resurgent state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

EEA report - European bathing water quality in 2013 27 May 2014, 16:19 CET
To allow Europeans to make an informed choice on which beach to choose, an annual report on the quality of coastal and freshwater bathing areas, as reported by EU Member States is prepared. This year the report has been prepared by the European Environment Agency (EEA) in cooperation with the European Commission DG Environment. The report assesses the bathing water quality in all 28 EU Member States, as well as Albania and Switzerland in the 2013 bathing water season and thereby gives an indication of the areas where the quality of bathing is expected to be good this year.

European Drug Report 2014: Trends and developments 27 May 2014, 11:23 CET
Europe's drugs problem is becoming increasingly complex with new challenges emerging that raise concerns for public health. This is according to the European Drug Report 2014: Trends and developments from the EU drugs agency (EMCDDA) in Lisbon. In its annual review of the drugs problem, the agency again describes an overall stable situation, with some positive signs in relation to the more established drugs. But this is counter-balanced by new threats posed by synthetic drugs, including stimulants, new psychoactive substances and medicinal products, all of which are becoming more prominent in a changing European drug market.

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