Other available languages: FR
Brussels Friday 5 March 2010
Top News from the European Commission
Background notes from the Spokesperson's service for journalists.
Monday 8 March: 10 years of higher education reform - Briefing on upcoming Bologna Process Ministerial Conference 2
Tuesday 9 March: Commission launches European Heritage Label for sites which celebrate history and ideals of the EU 4
Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 March: Conference "EU Projects in Favour of the Roma Community" 5
Thursday 11 March: Launch of new selection procedure for EU officials 6
Monday 15 March to Thursday 18 March: eHealth High-level Conference & eHealth Week, Barcelona (Spain) 7
Friday 26 March: Conference "What future for milk?" 8
Monday 8 March: 10 years of higher education reform - Briefing on upcoming Bologna Process Ministerial Conference
The Commission will provide a technical briefing on the upcoming Bologna Ministerial conference on university reform in Budapest and Vienna, 11-12 March. Ministers responsible for higher education from 46 European countries will take stock of the achievements of the first decade of the Bologna Process (1999–2010) and officially launch the European Higher Education Area.
The Bologna Process is the process of creating the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) and is based on cooperation between ministries, higher education institutions, students and staff from 46 countries, with the participation of international organisations.
Several reports on the reform progress to date will be presented to Ministers in Budapest/Vienna, among them the new Eurydice "Focus on Higher Education in Europe 2010", which gives a comprehensive country-by-country picture of how the Bologna Process has changed the university landscape in Europe over the past 10 years.
The reports will show that good, albeit somewhat uneven, progress has been made in implementing the Bologna reforms and indicate the areas where reform efforts should concentrate in the coming years.
The main Bologna reforms concentrate on the three-cycle degree structure (bachelor, master, doctorate), quality assurance in higher education and recognition of qualifications and periods of study.
The Commission fully supports this intergovernmental process because it can help to develop the skills and capacity of the European workforce to be innovative. This is especially acute in times of crisis and changing labour markets.
11h00: Technical briefing in the Berlaymont Press Room, Brussels
IP on the day.
13h00: Press Conference in Vienna.
For media accreditation to the Bologna Ministerial conference, please contact:
Federal Press Service of Austria
Ms. Irene Kaufmann
Telephone: +43 (0) 1 531 15 - 2561 Fax: +43 (0) 1 531 09 - 2561
E -mail: email@example.com
Mr. Roman Kasses
Telephone: +43 (0) 1 531 15 - 2340 Fax: +43 (0) 1 531 09 - 234
European Commission's website on Higher education in Europe:
General information on the Bologna Process is available on the official website:
Conference documents will be available shortly before the conference at:
Tuesday 9 March: Commission launches European Heritage Label for sites which celebrate history and ideals of the EU
The European Commission will launch the 'European Heritage Label' as an EU-wide initiative. The aim of this initiative is to highlight sites that celebrate and symbolize European integration, ideals and history.
The Commission's proposal builds on a 2006 intergovernmental project involving 17 Member States. Expanding the European Heritage Label into an initiative of the European Union will give it greater credibility, visibility and prestige.
Sixty-four sites have received the label under the existing scheme. They include the house of Robert Schuman, the French statesman who was one of the founding fathers of the EU, in Scy-Chazelles (Lorraine), and the Gdansk Shipyards, where Solidarność, the first independent trade union in a Warsaw Pact country, was founded and which helped trigger the events that would finally unite the continent after the end of the Cold War.
16h00: Press Conference by Commissioner Androula Vassiliou after the College meeting in Strasbourg.
IP on the day.
European Commission's website on Culture:
Commissioner Vassiliou's website:
Dennis Abbott +32 2 295 92 58 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dina Avraam +32 2 295 96 67 email@example.com
Wednesday 10 and Thursday 11 March: Conference "EU Projects in Favour of the Roma Community"
As part of its contribution to 2010, the European Year Against Poverty and Social Exclusion, DG Education and Culture (EAC) is organising a conference and exhibition to discuss how EU programmes help the Roma minority.
500 people will meet at the Charlemagne building for the event which is based on a selection of Education, Culture and Youth best examples of projects related to the Roma communities funded through the DG EAC programmes and structural funds run by DGs EMPL and REGIO.
The Commission has designated 2010 to be the European Year for Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion.
The Roma population is one of the biggest ethnic minorities in the EU with millions living in many Member States. Their situation is characterized by persistent discrimination and far-reaching social exclusion; they are at greatest risk of being poor and unemployed. European and national opinion surveys show that many Europeans have negative views on this group which are often based on stereotypes and prejudice. Other traditional European ethnic minorities in Member States share their situation.
Many of th e key areas for Roma inclusion - education, employment, social inclusion, health services, gender equality or infrastructure and urban planning - are mainly or entirely national responsibilities. The Commission is committed to supporting Member States in implementing policies to improve the situation of the Roma Community.
The conference "EU Projects in Favour of the Roma Community" will take place in the Charlemagne building, 170 Rue de la Loi, Brussels.
The event is open to the press upon registration of journalists at the conference web site: http://roma-conference.eu/web/roma/home
European Commission's website on Education and Training:
European Commission's website on Culture:
European Commission's website on Youth:
Commissioner Vassiliou's website:
Dennis Abbott +32.2.295.92.58 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday 11 March: Launch of new selection procedure for EU officials
Better, Faster, Stronger: The European Personnel Selection Office launches modernised and streamlined selection procedures for EU officials.
On 16 th March, EPSO will launch the first of its new, modernised and streamlined selection procedures for EU officials.
In an increasingly competitive jobs market, the European institutions need to ensure that our selection procedures enable us to attract a diverse range of excellent applicants.
10h00: Press Conference on the 11 th March by Vice-President Maroš Šefčovič, David Bearfield, Director of EPSO and John Speed, chairman of the Inter-Institutional Management Board of EPSO.
IP and MEMO will be issued the same day.
European Commission's website on European Careers:
Vice-President Šefčovič's website:
Michael Mann +32 2 299.9780 email@example.com
Monday 15 March to Thursday 18 March: eHealth High-level Conference & eHealth Week, Barcelona (Spain)
European 4th "eHealth Week 2010" and the 8th eHealth Ministerial Conference will be major annual events in the field of ICT for healthcare worldwide. This year well above 2000 participants will attend this event in Barcelona around the theme “eHealth for sustainable healthcare: global changes through local actions”.
EU ministers will meet and sign a declaration in which they set 2020 objectives for making healthcare systems benefiting from ICT applications ("eHealth") in the best interest of patients, healthcare professionals and society as a whole.
With approximately 29% of the EU's population predicted to be over 65 years old in 2050, the eHealth ministerial conference will recall that ICT brings innovative solutions to Europe's serious challenges to the sustainability of its national health systems e.g. as regards prevention and prediction of illnesses, demand for quality and patient-centric care, mobility of patients across border.
On the first day – 15th March – the Conference will host a set of Ministerial meetings and sessions to find new ways to address the challenges of healthcare at EU and local levels.
The participants will discuss the following themes:
For the first time, the eHealth Ministerial Conference 2010 will be held in conjunction (from 16 to 18 March 2010) with The World of Health IT Conference & Exhibition (WoHIT), a world-class annual event co-organised by stakeholders and the European Commission's Directorate-General for Information Society and Media.
The high-level "eHealth week" conferences have been hosted by the countries holding the EU presidency since 2003. Presentations are given on the latest technologies in on-line health, tools, applications and best practices. eHealth week 2010 provides a platform for politicians, researchers and industry from all round the world are meeting to share their experiences and to discover what is new in this fast-evolving area where Europe's technologies are in the lead.
European 4th "eHealth Week 2010" and the 8th eHealth Ministerial Conference, Barcelona (Spain)
European Commission's website on eHealth:
Jonathan Todd +32 2 29 941 07 Jonathan.Todd@ec.europa.eu
Frédéric Vin cent +32 2 29 871 66 firstname.lastname@example.org
Friday 26 March: Conference "What future for milk?"
The European Commission will organise the Conference "What future for milk" in Brussels on 26 March. It will bring together leading representatives from the dairy sector. The objective of the Conference is to discuss different issues that emerged during the recent dairy crisis: Contractual relations between milk producers and dairies, bargaining power of milk producers, market instruments, information on markets and products, innovation and research.
The recent crisis in the dairy sector leads to questions about the future viability of this sector. In this context the Commission established a High Level Group (HLG) with the purpose of discussing mid-term and long term arrangements. In addition to the discussions within this HLG the Commission would also like to consult more widely, and this conference forms part of that wider consultation.
Conference in the Charlemagne building, GASP Room, Rue de la Loi 170, 1040 Brussels
IP/09/1172 : Commission proposes measures to stabilise dairy market
IP/09/1420 : Milk: High Level Group to look at long term future of dairy sector
IP/09/1501 : Commission adopts latest proposals to support dairy farmers
European Commission's website on the Conference "What future for milk?"
European Commission's website on the dairy sector:
Commissioner Cioloş's website:
Roger Waite +32 2 299 24 21 email@example.com
Johan Reyniers +32 2 295 6728 firstname.lastname@example.org