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Portable Electronic Devices
Passengers will be able to keep their mobile phones switched on in airplane mode during flights, under new guidance published today by the EU's Aviation Safety Agency.

New EU roaming price caps from July 1
Phone calls, SMS texts and data usage costs when roaming within the EU will be further axed from July 1.

European bathing water continues to improve - 2012 report
Ninety-four per cent of bathing sites in the European Union meet minimum standards for water quality, according to the European Environment Agency's annual report on bathing water quality in Europe. Water quality is excellent at 78% of sites and almost 2% more sites meet the minimum requirements compared to last year's report.

European bathing water quality in 2012
This report provides a comprehensive synopsis of the quality of bathing waters in the Member States of the European Union in the 2012 bathing season. It thereby gives an indication of the areas where the quality of bathing is expected to be good if not excellent during 2013. The report also shows the evolution of bathing water quality from 1990 to 2012.

Brexit talks hinder the Pound - Euro currency news daily
Sterling gains were halted yesterday as Brexit talks hit some stumbling blocks.

'Smart borders' proposal
The European Commission has proposed a 'smart border package' with the aim of speeding up, facilitating and reinforcing border check procedures for foreigners travelling to the EU. The package - which would move the EU towards "a more modern and efficient border management" by using state-of-the-art technology - consists of a Registered Traveller Programme (RTP) and an Entry/Exit System (EES) that will simplify life for frequent third country travellers at the Schengen external borders and enhance EU border security.

EU visa policy
The border-free Schengen Area cannot function efficiently without a common visa policy which facilitates the entry of legal visitors into the EU, while strengthening internal security. The EU has set up a common visa policy for short stays, i.e. stays up to three months, which is applied through the delivery of so-called "Schengen visas". In 2011, the present 26 Schengen States issued around 12.6 million Schengen visas.

New Maritime Agenda
A European agenda for creating growth and jobs in the marine and maritime sectors was adopted on 8 October by European Ministers for maritime policy and the European Commission at a conference in Limassol organised by the Cypriot Presidency. Five years after the launch of the EU Integrated Maritime Policy, the Member States and the Commission reaffirmed that a dynamic and coordinated approach to maritime affairs enhances the development of the EU's 'Blue Economy' while ensuring the health of seas and oceans.

EU Water Framework Directive
The EU Water Framework Directive covers all waters, including inland waters (surface water and groundwater) and transitional and coastal waters. Article 8 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) sets out the requirements for the monitoring of surface water status, groundwater status and protected areas: "Monitoring programmes are required to establish a coherent and comprehensive overview of water status within each river basin district." The objective of monitoring is to establish an overview within each River Basin District. It should also permit the classification of all surface water bodies into one of five classes and groundwater into one of two classes.

Quality of bathing water - 2011 bathing season
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 27 EU Member States in the 2011 bathing water season and thereby gives an indication of the areas where the quality of bathing is expected to be good this year.

Tourism in the European Union
Policies of the European Union concerning Tourism in Europe.

Tourism in Europe: Occupancy of tourist accommodation surpasses the pre-crisis level - Issue number 8/2012
First results for 2010-2011 evolution of tourism in Europe, focusing on nights spent in collective accommodation establishments, but also looking at holiday trips made by EU residents.

New Visa Information System goes live - guide
The Visa Information System (VIS) started operations as from 08:00 CET today. Visa applications will now be processed much faster thanks to the use of biometrics (fingerprints and a digital facial image) which will facilitate the identification of visa holders and help to avoid identity theft. This new system will allow for a quick and effective exchange of data on short-stay visas among Schengen countries. The VIS will also reinforce the integrity of the system and strengthen trust among its member states. The first consular posts to be connected to the system are those in North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco and Tunisia).

Bathing water policy - guide
The quality of bathing water across Europe declined slightly between 2009 and 2010, but the overall quality was still high. More than nine out of 10 bathing water sites now meet the minimum requirements. Cyprus was the star performer, with 100% of its bathing water sites meeting strict guide values, followed by Croatia (97.3%), Malta (95.4%), Greece (94.2%) and Ireland (90.1%). The results are from the annual Bathing Water Report from the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission, which compare water quality in more than 21,000 coastal and inland bathing sites across the EU-27. The Commission has also adopted new signs and symbols that will be used to inform the public on bathing water classification and on bathing restrictions.

Forthcoming contracts & grants in the field of Tourism

Consular protection for EU citizens
When living or travelling outside the EU, you sometimes need help from your embassy/consulate - but what if your country has no diplomatic mission in that country? No problem - under EU law you're entitled to help from any other EU Member State's embassy/consulate - under the same conditions as their nationals. So exactly what help can you get in such situations?

EU citizens' rights to consular protection and assistance in third countries - guide
During emergencies and crises, such as in Japan, Libya or Egypt, EU citizens abroad have the right to ask for assistance from any EU consulate or embassy when their Member State is not represented in the country. EU Member States must also help citizens evacuate as if they were their own nationals. The EU Treaties and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights guarantee this right, which is a key part of EU citizenship. Protection also covers everyday situations, like a passport being stolen, a serious accident or illness. However, many Europeans are not aware of this right. With more EU citizens living, travelling and working abroad - Europeans take over 90 million trips outside the EU each year and around 30 million are resident in non-EU countries – it’s more important than ever to step up awareness. In its policy Communication on consular protection in third countries, the European Commission sets out concrete actions on how to raise EU citizens’ awareness of their rights. In the next year, the Commission will propose coordination measures to ease citizens’ day-to-day consular protection. In addition, the Commission is launching a dedicated website on consular protection. This website provides addresses of consular or diplomatic missions in non-EU countries and access to all Member States' travel advisory services.

EU proposal for passenger data to fight serious crime and terrorism - guide
The European Commission has presented a proposal for an EU Passenger Name Record (PNR) Directive to fight serious crime and terrorism. The proposal obliges air carriers to provide EU Member States with data on passengers entering or departing from the EU, whilst guaranteeing a high level of protection of privacy and personal data.

EU external strategy on Passenger Name Record (PNR) - guide
The European Commission has adopted a package of proposals on the exchange of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data with third countries, consisting of an EU external PNR strategy and recommendations for negotiating directives for new PNR agreements with the United States, Australia and Canada.

Portugal must comply with Natura 2000 rules, warns EC
The European Commission has requested that Portugal ensure coastal developments in sensitive natural areas are fully compliant with EU environmental protection law.

Bulgaria and Romania move a step closer to Schengen area
Bulgaria and Romania have moved a step closer to having their border checks with the borderless Schengen area lifted. An EU Council decision that both comply with data security requirements for joining the "Schengen Information System" border control database was approved by the European Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday.

Annual report, 2009 bathing season
Every summer millions of Europeans head for the beach to enjoy the sun and to cool down in refreshing clean water. To allow Europeans to make an informed choice on which beach to choose a yearly report is published on the quality of coastal and freshwater bathing areas as reported by Member States for the beaches located within their territory. This year the report is being published by the European Environment Agency (EEA), which is also making available on its website maps and tables with detailed information on specific bathing areas. As well as all the 27 Member States of the European Union, this year's report covers for the first time Croatia and Switzerland. The overall quality of bathing waters in the EU has markedly improved since 1990. Compliance with mandatory values (minimum quality requirements) increased over the 1990 to 2008 period from 80% to more than 95% and from 52% to almost 90% in coastal and inland waters respectively. However, from 2008 to 2009 there was a slight deterioration in the number of bathing waters meeting minimum standards both for coastal and inland waters.

EU bathing water policy - briefing
The annual bathing water report presented by the European Commission and the European Environment Agency shows that 96% of coastal bathing areas and 90% of bathing sites in rivers and lakes complied with minimum standards in 2009. It also describes where to obtain detailed and up-to-date information on bathing sites.

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.

EU support for European tourism
Commission website on EU support for the tourism sector.Tourism is a key sector of the European economy. The EU tourism industry generates more than 5% of the EU GDP, with about 1,8 million enterprises employing around 5,2% of the total labour force (approximately 9,7 million jobs). When related sectors are taken into account, the estimated contribution of tourism to GDP creation is much higher: tourism indirectly generates more than 10% of the European Union's GDP and provides about 12% of the labour force.