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IP/09/1905

Brussels, 11 December 2009

What has the EU done for you over the past year?

The European Commission launched its annual multimedia yearbook presenting some of the European Union's most important achievements of the past year. The yearbook provides a collection of success stories where EU action has led to tangible results for citizens, with topics ranging from research into finding new cures for dementia to mitigating the effects of the economic crisis.

"The examples in the yearbook clearly demonstrate that the EU produces positive and visible results in our daily lives as citizens, consumers, and workers", said Vice-President Margot Wallström, responsible for Institutional Relations and Communication Strategy.

The ten topics presented this year are:

  • Paving the way towards economic recovery - The EU and its Member States have mobilised huge resources to put the economy back on its feet and to protect the citizens.

  • Staying in touch for less - Europeans can stay in touch via mobile phone more easily and more cheaply, thanks to the EU’s efforts to ensure cheaper costs and connections.

  • Pooling resources to fight dementia – the EU's €2 billion ‘innovative medicines initiative’ brings together industry and academia to ensure the rapid transition from new science to new medicines.

  • Tackling climate change - The EU has made it possible to prevent 32 million tonnes of CO2 emissions at the flick of a light switch.

  • Fighting hunger in the world’s poorest countries - As its €1 billion Food Facility clearly showed in 2009, the EU is tackling poverty and hunger across the globe.

  • Caring for the environment - To keep the environment as clean as possible, the EU has brought in new rules to cut down on harmful pollutants from petrol or pesticides.

  • Rebuilding Europe when disaster strikes - EU countries have acted rapidly to support one another, by sending aid to areas affected by natural disasters, as was the case for the Abruzzo earthquake in 2009.

  • Giving bank customers value for money - The EU created the single market for the benefit of citizens as well as companies; now it is making sure that banks give their customers a fair deal.

  • Protecting animals on land and in the oceans – the EU has made it illegal to put seal products on the market and proposed a new action plan to save sharks.

  • Keeping online shopping hassle-free – the EU has cracked-down on websites that were not giving consumers the rights they are entitled to under EU laws.

The multimedia format ensures that citizens can also access the brochure online and view a short video on the topic. It is available at http://ec.europa.eu/snapshot .

The printed version of the brochure will be available shortly in 22 official languages of the European Union.


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