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A collection of links to web sites of the European Union institutions and other European business web sites.

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Better Training for Safer Food annual report 2006
Better Training for Safer Food is a European Union initiative aimed at organising EU training for national control authorities who are responsible for verifying compliance with food and feed law, animal health and welfare rules, and plant health rules. This report gives details of the background to the initiative and the work carried out in preparation for the launch of training activities in 2006.

Attitudes of Europeans towards Tobacco
This survey, commissioned by the Directorate-General Health and Consumer Protection of the European Commission aims to evaluate the Europeans’ attitude towards tobacco. The main themes addressed in this survey are: the level and frequency of tobacco consumption, attempts to give up smoking, level of exposure to tobacco smoke at home, at work and in public places, attitudes towards smoke-free policies, and awareness of harm caused by tobacco smoke. This survey was carried out in October and November 2006 by the TNS Opinion and Social network.

Test to help SMEs verify status
A new web-based test to help European companies find out if they correspond to the EU definition of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) is now available online. Developed by the Walloon regional authorities, the tool aims to serve the European Commission in negotiating contracts under the Seventh Framework help to National Contact Points (NCPs) in helping SMEs find out if they are eligible for participation in an FP7 scheme, or for higher funding rates.

EU fight against cybercrime
The European Commission is exploring various avenues for preventing and combating cybercrime in order to tighten up the security of information infrastructures - SCADPlus

EU Mini-Chefs - website for children on healthy cooking
The European Commission and Euro-toques International, the European Chefs' association, on 15 May 2007 launched "EU Mini-chefs" - a website for children which aims to contribute to the fight against child obesity by encouraging healthy eating and cooking. It promotes the European Day for Healthy Food and Cooking on 8 November 2007. On that day chefs across the EU will demonstrate to children how to cook and eat healthily in schools and restaurants. The website also outlines how children can take part in a drawing contest for a poster to be used in the campaign. It provides an internet forum on healthy food & cooking for parents, teachers and children. The website includes simple healthy recipes and cooking advice from some of the best chefs of Europe.

Innovative Medicines Initiative Online
The Innovative Medicines Initiative is a proposed partnership between the European Commission and the European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industry and Associations (EFPIA). The vision of IMI is to create Biomedical Research & Development leadership for Europe to benefit patients and society.

Convergence Reports 2007 - Malta
On 16 May 2007, the European Commission concluded that Malta has achieved a high degree of sustainable economic convergence with the other Member States and that it fulfils the necessary conditions to adopt the euro. On the basis of its Convergence Report, the Commission is proposing to the Council that Malta adopts the euro on 1 January 2008. The final decision will be taken by EU finance ministers in July, after consultation of the European Parliament, and following a discussion by the Heads of State or Government at their summit in June. In its Convergence Report, the Commission assesses whether Malta has achieved a high degree of sustainable convergence, measured against the criteria set out in Article 121(1) regarding the government budgetary position, price stability, exchange rate stability and convergence of long-term interest rates. Compatibility of the legal framework with the Treaty is also examined.

Convergence Reports 2007 - Cyprus
On 16 May 2007, the European Commission concluded that Cyprus has achieved a high degree of sustainable economic convergence with the other Member States and that it fulfils the necessary conditions to adopt the euro. On the basis of its Convergence Report, the Commission is proposing to the Council that Cyprus adopts the euro on 1 January 2008. The final decision will be taken by EU finance ministers in July, after consultation of the European Parliament, and following a discussion by the Heads of State or Government at their summit in June. In its Convergence Report, the Commission assesses whether Cyprus has achieved a high degree of sustainable convergence, measured against the criteria set out in Article 121(1) regarding the government budgetary position, price stability, exchange rate stability and convergence of long-term interest rates. Compatibility of the legal framework with the Treaty is also examined.

'Taxes in Europe' Database
The "Taxes in Europe" database is the European Commission's on-line information tool covering the main taxes in force in the EU Member States. Access is free for all users. The system contains information on around 500 taxes, as provided to the European Commission by the national authorities.

Communication on a European agenda for culture in a globalizing world
The main purpose of the Communication is to see both what Europe can do for culture and what culture can do for Europe , with two main sets of objectives in mind: developing active European citizenship, respecting cultural diversity, promoting intercultural dialogue, while fostering a sense of 'European identity' complementary to other identities; the economic and social objectives of the Lisbon agenda, and the role of creativity in enhancing the competitive edge of Europe. (Culture and Creativity to Make Lisbon Work, states European Council - 9 March 2007).

Europe for Citizens
The Europe for citizens' programme provides the Union with instruments to promote active European citizenship. It puts citizens in the centre and offers them the opportunity to fully assume their responsibility as European citizens. It responds to the need to improve citizen's participation in the construction of Europe and encourage cooperation between citizens and their organisations from different countries in order to meet, act together and develop their own ideas in a European environment which goes beyond a national vision, respecting their diversity.

Spring economic forecasts 2007 - 2008
Growth outlook raised - unemployment and public accounts to improve further as growth stays solid - The economic prospects look even brighter than six months ago: the European Commission lifts its forecast for economic growth in the European Union to 2.9% in 2007.

The EU & the Kimberley Process (blood diamonds)
The Kimberley Process is a unique initiative by government authorities, the international diamond industry and NGOs to stem the flow of so called ‘blood diamonds’ – rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments. These have contributed to fuelling devastating conflicts in a number of countries in Africa.

Lorenzo Natali Prize
A prize for journalists reporting on Human Rights and Democracy - European Commission

Poverty among migrants in Europe
The aim of this Policy Brief from AlphaGalileo is to analyse the level of poverty among migrants in 14 European countries. Migrants from outside the European Union are occasionally exposed to a multiple times higher risk of poverty than the “indigenous” population, according to the widely used Laeken indicator of poverty (with a threshold of 60% of national median income). EU and non-EU migrants constitute two rather distinct groups in most countries in terms of their exposure to poverty.

E-Communications household survey
The results of a special Eurobarometer survey conducted by TNS Opinion & Social between 17 November 2006 and 19 December 2006 to measure the attitude of European households and individuals towards fixed and mobile telephony, Internet access, TV broadcast services, bundled offers, 112 emergency call number, telephone directories, privacy and security. The survey covers the 27 EU Member States together with Candidate countries (Croatia and Turkey) and the Turkish Cypriot Community, with an average of 1.000 households interviewed per country. It follows on from the previous Eurobarometer survey that was conducted between December 2005 and January 2006.

Adjustment in EMU: A model-based analysis of country experiences
This paper uses a two-country-three-sector DSGE model to analyse adjustment in the Euro area. A particular distinction is made between tradeables and non tradeables and non tradeables are further disaggregated into housing and services. The experience of six countries which have shown strong divergences in the early years of the euro area, namely Germany, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain is analysed. The framework allows replication of actual developments in euro-area Member States using a model that is inherently stable. It is found that to a large extent, the diverging growth and inflation developments and current account shifts can be attributed to one-off adjustment to EMU which broadly seems to have run its course. The absence of an exchange risk premium in EMU allows an increase in capital mobility resulting in a lower correlation between domestic savings and investment. Increased capital mobility seems to have been an important driving force behind the current account dynamics. Due to the absence of risk premia, investment – and especially housing investment - responds strongly to exogenous shocks.

EU coal industry
European Commission website, where the Commission outlines EU activities in the key areas of: Observing coal market activity; Ensuring research into new technologies, especially cleaner power from coal; Implementing coal-related legislation in the areas of State Aid and Environmental Conservation.

EU Digital Preservation report
The Report on Digital Preservation, Orphan Works and Out-of-Print Works, Selected Implementation Issues is an advisory report on copyright issues to the European Commission, presented on 19 April by the EU's High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries - which includes, inter alia, stakeholders from the British Library, the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek, the Federation of European Publishers and Google.

RAPEX annual report 2006
The RAPEX 2006 Annual Report 2006 describes the functioning of the RAPEX system in 2006 and includes detailed information about the number and origin of notifications, the type and country of origin of notified products, and the identified risks. In total, 924 products presenting a serious risk to the health and safety of consumers were reported through RAPEX last year, compared to 701 in 2005, which represents a 32% increase. The report also looks at the key developments in 2006 and finishes off by drawing the main conclusions and by touching on the future challenges.

eHealth priorities and strategies in 32 European countries
All European countries undertake great efforts to improve access, quality and efficiency of their health services through innovative information technology-based solutions. And together they move towards a common eHealth agenda in Europe. This is the key message of a newly published European Commission report entitled “eHealth priorities and strategies in European countries”. It provides eHealth fact sheets on national activities not only for the 27 EU Member States but also five other European countries.

Air Passenger Rights in the European Union
Air Transport Portal of the European Commission

EU funding rules information pack
Overview of new financial rules and funding opportunities 2007-2013

Euro commemorative coins
Commemorative coins are 2-euro circulation coins bearing a special national design to commemorate a special event or personality. Commemorative coins have legal tender status throughout the euro area.

EU Transparency Initiative
The purpose of this corner is to give a small overview on the Transparency Initiative – an idea, which among other goals aims to increase openness and accessibility of EU institutions, raise awareness over the use of the EU budget and make the Union's institutions more accountable to the public. The site will be constantly updated as the debate progresses, providing you with fresh information on the outcomes of the debates and future plans.