Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

September 2017
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Saturday, 23 September 2017
EU makes significant progress on road to attracting third-country researchers
In July 2005, the European Union gave the green light to new arrangements easing the delivery of short-term visas to third-country researchers. In addition, this autumn swift passage is expected for a scheme granting non-EU researchers a special fast-track residence permit. This is a direct reflection of the desire to make Europe not only the world’s biggest ‘brain factory’ but also its largest ‘brain magnet’.
‘European Researchers’ Night’ is a pan-European event on 23rd September 2005 in Brussels and other major cities across Europe involving a wide range of scientific and research organisations – including museums, laboratories and academic institutions – hosting a variety of entertaining and fun events planned to run late into the night of Friday, 23 September. The aim is to give the public, and in particular young people, the opportunity to meet researchers within the context of festive and ‘fun’ activities and to highlight the appeal of pursuing a research career.
Monday, 05 September 2005
With a European investment in some 50 international S&T cooperation projects addressing integrated water resources management (IWRM) over the last 10 years, it is time to take stock. Integrated water resources management is a key concept of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD) that also influences water policies and management discourses in many parts of the world.

As part of its commitment to the EU Water Initiative, the European Commission has invited 10 renowned experts, five from Europe and five from Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Mediterranean to review what lessons can be learnt from those projects, how much research results have been used to inform practice and how this should inform future cooperation in IWRM.

Read more on the ACP-EU Water Facility established by the European Union with a budget of EUR 500 million for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) signatories of the Cotonou Agreement to help improve access to drinking water and sanitation for the disadvantaged population in those countries by actively addressing the issue of the financing gap. The Communication proposes procedures for the establishment of the Water Facility and outlines the future development of the EU Water Initiative.
Saturday, 06 August 2005
European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Mr Louis Michel, is going to New York to attend the United Nations Summit on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Just before he leaves, you will have the chance to take part in a two-hour chat with the Commissioner, live from Brussels, on a number of issues : What is the European Union doing about development and humanitarian aid? What do you think of it? Are we doing enough? How can you, and the EU, help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals?
Put your questions direct to the Commissioner, live, on 12 September between 18.00 and 20.00 CET, or send them already now to our mailbox.
Commission to invest € 1 billion into Research on Information and Communication Technologies
The Commission is about to launch 276 new research projects in the field of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with €1 billion in EU funding. This is the result of the fourth Information Society Technology Call for Proposals under the EU’s Sixth Research Framework Programme. This EU contribution is one of the largest totals awarded as the result of a single Call for Proposals in the history of EU research.

“Investment into research in Information and Communication Technologies is our best-bet contribution to growth and jobs”, said Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding. “However, Europe continues to under-invest considerably into ICT research for lack of sufficient resources both at EU level and at national level. Today, half the ICT research projects proposed for EU funding have had to be turned down, despite meeting all the requisite quality criteria. If Europe wants to be part of the game of global competition for better ICT services, we need to step up our resources considerably.”

Over 1,300 proposals were submitted in response to the 4th Information Society Technology Call for Proposals under the EU’s Sixth Research Framework Programme. 462 proposals met the quality criteria, of which 276 were retained.

The selected projects aim in particular to achieve industrial and societal breakthroughs in fields that are of strategic importance to Europe, and where it has recognised strengths. They include micro- and nano-electronics, mobile communications and broadband technology for accessing the internet. In broadband, research funding has been an incentive for European equipment manufacturers to make, over the past years, internet access in Europe faster and cheaper, thanks to optical fibre network technology and low-cost Advanced Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) access modems.

In the coming five years, the Commission will also support new fields with high potential for industrial and commercial breakthroughs, such as cognitive systems that can sense and interpret real-world events and help humans deal with them;
improvements in the security and dependability of information and communication technology systems;
new applications that will affect our lives in health, transport, content creation, and in government administrations and services.
The new Call for Proposals allocates €162 million of research spending on ICT to small and medium-sized enterprises, which account for 20% of all participating organisations, and €70 million to specific projects partnering research organisations from the new Member States and from the EU 15 in areas like eGovernment, eHealth, eLearning or eBusiness.
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Friday, 05 August 2005
Response of the ACP Banana Exporting Countries to the Award of the Arbitrator Issued in Geneva on 1 August, 2005

Once again the ACP banana exporting countries have seen their trade in another agricultural lifeline product endangered by a ruling in a WTO process. This underscores the ACP ongoing concern about the marginalization of vulnerable economies from global trade.
The ACP Banana Exporting Countries were granted only limited participation in the arbitration process. Our conviction is that the mandate of the Arbitrator, as set out in the Annex to the Doha Waiver, does not permit the Arbitrator to extend to a judgement on the preferential tariff treatment for ACP banana exports to the European Communities. Regrettably, although this limitation was recognised, a negative opinion on the preferential tariff was rendered, thus undermining the very fabric of the ACP-EU banana trade. It is instructive that the Award made no reference to the submissions of the ACP countries although they would be the ones most affected by the award. It does not appear that there was any appreciation of the fact that for the ACP, the European Communities provide the sole market for bananas, while the MFN producers dominate the global market.
Already the banana industries and small farmers in the ACP countries have sounded the warning about the dire consequences of this Award. The potential impact on national economies cannot be underestimated, at a time when Governments are already challenged in their efforts to achieve their Millennium Development Goals. What is clear is that should the preferential tariff be set at a low level, the MFN producers will succeed in completely excluding the ACP producers from their sole export market. Of particular concern is the likely impact on rural areas, where employment opportunities are scarce, and where social safety nets are inadequate and in some cases, non-existent.
The ACP countries expect that the next phase of negotiations and a possible second arbitration will result in a solution which will preserve ACP market access. To this end, we are committed to consultations with the European Commission, as well as with the Interested Parties (the MFN producers) on all matters of concern in the Arbitrator’s Award.
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