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EXME 12 / 05.11
Midday Express of 2012-11-05
News from the European Commission's Midday Briefing
Nouvelles du rendez-vous de midi de la Commission européenne
The European Commission has today decided to add another 120 MHz to the radio spectrum portfolio for 4G technologies, such as LTE (Long Term Evolution), around the 2 GHz band. This band is currently solely used for UMTS (Universal Mobile Telecommunications System) wireless communications, known as 3G networks. The Decision makes it mandatory for Member States to open the relevant spectrum by 30 June 2014 at the latest, and lays down harmonised technical conditions to allow coexistence between different technologies. On this basis the EU will enjoy up to twice the amount of spectrum for high speed wireless broadband as in the United States, namely around 1000 MHz.
The first winners of the European Commission's new Marie Curie Prize for outstanding achievement in research were announced today at a ceremony in Nicosia, Cyprus. The three winners (details in annex) are Dr Gkikas Magiorkinis from Greece, in the 'Promising Research Talent' category, Dr Claire Belcher from the United Kingdom, for 'Communicating Science', and Dr Sarit Sivan from Israel, for 'Innovation and Entrepreneurship'. Androulla Vassiliou, the European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, presented each scientist with a trophy at the ceremony. This is taking place in the context of a conference focused on the future of the Marie Curie Actions and Horizon 2020 , the Commission's proposed €80 billion programme for investment in research and innovation. Under the proposal, over €5.75 billion would be allocated to the Marie Curie Actions in 2014-2020. The scheme has supported the training, mobility and skills development of more than 65 000 researchers since its launch in 1996.
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice President of the Commission, travels this week to Morocco and Algeria. On Monday, 5th November in Rabat, she will meet Prime Minister Abdelilah Benkirane and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, Saad-Eddine El Othmani. On Tuesday, 6th November in Algiers, she will meet Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mourad Medelci, and other Algerian leaders, and sign three EU-Algeria financing agreements – on the protection of cultural heritage, support for reforms in the transport sector and support to youth employment.
Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn proposes further €1 bln for Africa clinical trials partnership
The European Commission will propose a fivefold increase in its funding for the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) of up to €1 billion, Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn said today at the start of her official visit to South Africa. Speaking at a high level conference on the second EDCTP programme, Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn said the EU's offer will be conditional on approval of the Commission's budget proposals for 2014-20 and the funding commitments made by other parties, including EU Member States, African countries, industry and charities. The EDCTP was founded in 2003 to focus the work of the European Commission and several EU Member States, in collaboration with sub-Saharan countries, into developing and testing of new medicines against HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis. More than one billion people, including 400 million children, suffer from one or more of these diseases. The first EDCTP programme that ends in 2015 has received €200 million in EU funding. This is to be matched by contributions from EU Member States. EDCTP currently supports 196 research projects. These include 57 clinical trials involving more than 100,000 patients. It has also helped train more than 300 African scientists. The Commissioner's trip to Cape Town also marks the 15th anniversary of the successful co-operation between the EU and South Africa under the Scientific and Technological Cooperation Agreement. The aim is to further stimulate both economies and enhance efforts to jointly address global challenges. In this context, a number of conferences, meetings with the Government, business and research communities are foreseen. She will also visit EU-funded research projects and the MeerKAT's array, which is an iconic radio telescope array transforming the way we see the universe, as well as being a driver of science, technology and innovation on an industrial scale. SPEECH/12/777 . For more info on EDCTP: www.edctp.org
Regional Policy Commissioner Hahn attends Informal Meeting of Ministers for Cohesion Policy in Nicosia (6 November 2012)
The EU commissioner for Regional Policy Johannes Hahn is travelling to Nicosia where on nov 6 (morning) he will be urging ministers with responsibility for cohesion policy to show their strong commitment to the better spending agenda when it comes to cohesion funds. Commissioner Hahn will call on the 27 ministers to support the Commission's proposals for more focused and strategic use of structural funds in the context of a realistic budget for the next spending period. He will be reiterating the plans for reform currently being negotiated between member states and the European parliament. They include new conditions for the approval and payment of funds as well as a far more results based system despigned to deliver jobs and growth in line with Europe 2020. Tomorrow, at midday we will be publishing his speaking points at the informal summit which is dedicated to improving the effectiveness and governance of regional policy.
Home Affairs Commissioner Malmström attends EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum in Tirana (5-6 November 2012)
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström will participate in the EU-Western Balkans Ministerial Forum in Tirana on 5-6 November 2012. Visa liberalisation is one of the greatest achievements in the process of European integration for the Western Balkans countries and the Commission is committed to maintaining visa-free status for these countries’ citizens. This requires to effectively addressing the misuse of the visa-free regime by persons who travel visa free to the EU and then abuse asylum procedures. Commissioner Malmström will call for the full support and engagement from the Western Balkan countries and discuss recent measures taken to counter the phenomenon. A joint declaration is expected to be adopted. Measures aimed at fighting the illicit trafficking of firearms will also be discussed during the ministerial meeting. Large quantities of weapons remain beyond the authorities’ control and continue feeding international criminal markets. A joint declaration should also be adopted.
The President of the European Commission, HE Mr José Manuel Barroso, and the Minister of the Office of the President of Myanmar, HE Mr U Aung Min, today signed a Joint Declaration at the Myanmar Peace Centre (MPC) in Yangon.
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