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EU experts help Nigeria prepare for floods


Following Nigeria's request for assistance through the European Civil Protection Mechanism, the team of experts from the European Commission and four Member States (Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic) will conduct a 10-day mission to Abuja and the flood-prone areas. They will advise the Nigerian authorities on ways to improve flood preparedness of the population and the national disaster management system. Last year Nigeria suffered its worst floods in 40 years. More than 2 million people were displaced, homes and farml... Read More »

Europeans seek ever more mobile bandwidth, but they worry about cost


Mobile phones are now everywhere, but only half are "smart". Subscriptions for phones that include internet access range from 55% in Sweden, Denmark, the UK, Finland, France & the Netherlands to below 35% in Belgium, Greece, Hungary, Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria & Portugal. This lower penetration of smart phones is a feature in many countries where mobile Internet access subscribers limit time spent online because they are concerned about the charges - Hungary (35%), Portugal (58%), Greece (53%), Cyprus (52%), Belgium, (47%) & Romania ... Read More »

EU ‘hopes’ new settler homes will not stop peace talks


A spokesman for the bloc's foreign service, Michael Mann, told EUobserver on Sunday (11 August): "We hope and expect that the 14 August talks will go ahead. We call on both sides to make every effort to make them a success." His statement comes after Israeli minister for construction, Uri Ariel, earlier the same morning invited private firms to tender for the construction of 1,200 new Jewish homes in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank. He told press at a cornerstone-laying ceremony at one settlement that "this is only the beginning... Read More »

Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the latest attacks in Iraq


"I strongly condemn the series of terrorist attacks that recently took place in Iraq and specifically targeted families celebrating the Eid-El-Fitr holidays. I am saddened that, once again, many innocent civilians, including children, have died as a result of such senseless violence. I express my condolences to the families of the victims and wish a quick recovery to the many people injured. This violence is clearly intended to fuel sectarianism and undermine the stability of Iraq. I call on all political, religious and community leaders to ... Read More »

Evaluation of the European Capitals of Culture in 2012, Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia)


The evaluation report considers the relevance, efficiency and effectiveness of both 2012 ECoC throughout their “life-cycle”; from the preparation of their application, through the designation and development phase and up to the completion of their cultural programmes at the end of the title year. Consideration is also given to their likely sustainability and legacy. The report, in English, with Executive Summary in French and German, notes a number of lessons learned and provides recommendations for the cities and for the Commission. ... Read More »

Eurojust assists in dismantling drug smuggling operation


As part of Operation INVIERNO, 36 gang members were arrested, and more than 1 500kg of hashish, one firearm, 13 vehicles, one boat, one motorcycle, more than two hundred mobile phones, numerous sets of scales and other tools used in the distribution of drugs and more than EUR 32 000 were seized. In addition, six international arrest warrants were filed. The gang’s method of transporting the hashish from Morocco used the system known as “GO FAST”, in which high-purity drugs are transported hidden in the false bottoms of vehicles. Upon arrival... Read More »

Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on the occasion of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples


The Declaration is a key tool for promoting human rights, but the challenge remains in putting it into practice. Regrettably, discrimination against and unequal treatment of indigenous peoples continues around the world. The EU pays tribute to defenders of indigenous peoples' rights, who in many countries are exposed to particular risks and acute repression, as shown by numerous international reports, including reports by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders. The EU seeks to integrate human rights into all aspects of its exter... Read More »

Results of EU research project could help align international standards for the identification of missing persons and victims of large-scale disasters


Any delays in this regard mean agony for the families of missing persons or victims as witnessed after the December 2004 tsunami that struck southeast Asia. It left humanitarian and law enforcement authorities overwhelmed by the scale of the victim identification required. As a result, on-site cooperation was ad-hoc and hugely challenged by all the different operational methodologies, training and instances of duplication, with national disaster victim identification teams focused on identifying their own nationals. One EU-funded Security Re... Read More »

Europalia.india, 4 months of encounters


The two main exhibitions, organised at the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels, will act as central points around which will revolve some twenty other exhibitions and numerous musical, performing arts, literature and cinema events. The exhibition The Body in Indian Art will decode the different perceptions, traditions and beliefs linked to the body in India. Through understanding the body and over 250 art works from numerous Indian museums, the public will be able to understand the key elements that have shaped India from the third millennium B... Read More »

Statement by EU High Representative Catherine Ashton on the execution of John Ferguson in the US State of Florida


The European Union recognises the serious nature of the crime involved and expresses its sincere sympathy to the surviving family and friends of the victims. However, the EU opposes the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances and calls for a global moratorium as a first step towards its universal abolition. With capital punishment, any miscarriage of justice, from which no legal system is immune, represents an irreversible loss of human life.'' ... Read More »

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