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Europeans welcome new science education web portal
A new, multilingual web portal has been launched that will help those involved in science education in the EU to share materials, resources and experiences. Called SCIENTIX ('The community for science education in Europe'), the portal was set up with funding from the Science in Society (SIS) Programme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). The initiative is managed by European Schoolnet (EUN), a network of 31 European education ministries.

EU takes action against Suez Environnement for antitrust practices
The European Commission has opened formal proceedings against French group Suez Environnement over an alleged breach of a seal affixed during an inspection by the Commission in April at the premises of the French group's subsidiary, Lyonnaise des Eaux.

EU to tighten rules on animal experimentation
The EU Council for Justice and Home Affairs has yesterday supported a draft directive for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, aimed at strengthening the protection of animals whilst allowing research to continue playing a key role in the fight against diseases.

EU questions Italy, Poland and Germany over safety of inland waterways vessels
The European Commission has yesterday sent reasoned opinions to Italy, Poland and Germany for failing to notify measures for the implementation of EU legislation ensuring technical harmonisation and safety on EU inland waterways.

EU warns Italy on discriminatory pension age again
The European Commission has issued on Thursday a new request to Italy to comply with a 2008 European Court of Justice ruling that different pensionable ages for male and female civil servants violate the principle of equal pay.

EU on track for greenhouse gas targets: EEA
Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions continue to decrease in the EU, according to the annual European Union greenhouse gas inventory 1990-2008 and inventory report 2010 published by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Analysing emission levels in 2008, the report finds that the EU-27 reduced their emissions by 11.3% compared with 1990, the Kyoto Protocol base year. The EU-15 posted a 6.5% cut in their GHG discharges in the same period.

EU warns Finland on personal tax data
The European Commission today warned Finland that its data protection law may be breaking EU rules. Finnish taxpayers’ personal data is available to the public and is being collected by businesses for sale as special publications, CDs and text messages.

EU accepts BT/Ofcom plans for fibre broadband 'virtual unbundling'
The European Commission has accepted UK telecoms regulator Ofcom's proposal to oblige British Telecom to provide 'virtual' access to its optical fibre infrastructure to alternative operators.

EU approves capital injection into Irish Educational Building Society
The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules an emergency recapitalisation worth €875 million in favour of the Irish Educational Building Society (EBS) for a period of six months as urgent rescue aid.

Twelve EU Member States on way to make cross-border divorces easier
European Legal Affairs MPs backed today arrangements which would enable divorcing international couples to choose which EU country's law governs their divorce.

Euro-MPs back new compensation rights for bus, coach and boat travellers
European bus, coach and boat passengers would have the same compensation rights as air passengers under proposals put forward by the European Parliament's transport committee today.

Euro-MPs call for harmonisation of copyright at European level
As a response to the growth of unauthorised file sharing of copyrighted works, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee agreed on Tuesday to urge the European Commission to introduce EU-wide copyright licences in order to combat the breach of intellectual property rights (IPR).

EU aims to bridge the digital divide
EU Transport Ministers at their telecommunications session today approved the European Digital Agenda for high-speed internet and secure digital market, among others, to boost growth and employment in the EU.

Euro-MPs favour new labels for animal-friendly products
A European Parliament committee has voted in favour of new product labelling to help consumers identify and choose animal welfare-friendly products.

EU urges trading partners to remove protectionist barriers
Protectionist barriers are on the increase during the economic crisis, according to an EU report published today. In it, the European Commission calls on the EU's trading partners to remove trade restrictions in order to boost economic recovery.

EU approves acquisition of Mobil Oil Austria by ENI
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Mobil Oil Austria by Agip Austria, which is wholly controlled by ENI of Italy.

EU okays Italian compensation for power cuts in Sardinia and Sicily
The European Commission has authorised under EU State aid rules a scheme designed to remunerate companies for the provision of instant interruptibility services (the acceptance of power cuts to avoid black outs) in Italy's largest islands, Sardinia and Sicily.

Belgium-Umicore arrangement 'not state aid': Commission
The European Commission has closed its investigation into an arrangement between Belgium and Belgian-based multinational materials technology company UMICORE, which it says does not constitute state aid.

EU approves EUR 10m aid for Dutch energy-saving project
The European Commission has authorised The Netherlands to provide a grant of 10 million euros to Nuon Energy Sourcing NV for a CO2 capture demonstration project.

EU seeks high privacy standards in EU-US data protection agreement
The European Commission has adopted a draft mandate to negotiate a personal data protection agreement between the European Union and the United States when cooperating to fight terrorism or crime. The agreement would give citizens more rights to manage their data.

Commission failed to prove road threat to Iberian lynx: Court
The European Commission has failed to prove that the upgrading of a transport link in Spain's Andalusia region risks the extinction of the Iberian lynx, according to an EU Court judgement.

European SME Week 2010 kicks off
Vice President Antonio Tajani has launched the European SME Week 2010 in Brussels today. This pan-European campaign is designed to promote and support entrepreneurship. Over 3 million people are estimated to participate in the some 1261 events and activities that are being organised in 37 countries across Europe.

EU authorises temporary Finnish financial aid to farmers
The European Commission authorised a Finnish scheme with a budget of €22 million which aims at supporting farmers in Finland who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis. Aid under this scheme can be granted until 31 December 2010 and will take the form of a direct grant.

Lack of progress on single EU telecoms market hurts consumers
Consumers, businesses and the EU economy as a whole are denied the full economic benefits of a truly single and competitive EU-wide telecoms market because of inconsistent application of EU telecoms rules,according to the European Commission's annual report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market.

EU mulls improvements to European contract law
The European Commission, seeking to boost cross-border trade and to ensure strong rights for consumers, convened a new expert group to propose ways to improve contract law in the European Union.