Russian tourists are estimated to spend about EUR 200,000...
Rīga (Latvia) and Umeå (Sweden) are the European Capitals of Culture in 2014. The cultural programme will officially begin on 17 January in the Latvian capital and on 31 January in Umeå.
New wind parks in central and western Finland will produce 50 MW of electricity.
Finnish construction company YIT is planning to build wind parks in the municipalities of Kyyjärvi and Pyhäjärvi in central Finland. Both locations will have 7-9 wind turbines, producing a total output of 50 MW. This will cover the annual power requirements of both municipalities. Construction work will start in 2015 and the wind turbines will be operational in 2016.
German company SEW-EURODRIVE’s Finnish subsidiary acquires new manufacturing and office premises.
The Finnish subsidiary of the German manufacturing company SEW- EURODRIVE is increasing its production of industrial gears in Finland through the acquisition of new manufacturing and office premises from Sponda Fund II Ky., located in Karkkila, southern Finland. The surface area of the new premises is 14,000 square metres and the total value of the investment over the next few years is EUR 15-20 million.
Interest in the usage of renewable energy has grown immensely especially in the north and east of Europe. Many European countries have made vast funds available, for the conversion to these new resources. The trade fair Energy Europe meets the Scandinavian and Eastern European industries but also their governing bodies, opening up trade with the booming wind, solar and bio energy markets.
ENERGY EUROPE is one of the few trade fairs in the world showing all kinds of renewable energy solutions at a glance and presenting intelligent combinations.
From the 1st of January 2014 the European Union will assume for one year the chairmanship of the Contact Group on Piracy off the Coast of Somalia (CGPCS) with Maciej Popowski, Deputy Secretary General of the European External Action Service (EEAS) as EU chairperson. The chairmanship of the Contact Group is a joint endeavour of the EEAS and the European Commission and will continue the work carried out in 2013 under the chairmanship of the United States.
Brussels, 23 December 2013 – Today the European Commission adopted the 2013 national programme for Bosnia and Herzegovina under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The funds available amount to EUR 41.9 million. This is EUR 45 million less than initially envisaged. Since Bosnia and Herzegovina is at a standstill in the European integration process, the European Commission could not justify providing the full amount of previously envisaged pre-accession aid to the country.
Today the European Commission adopted the 2013 national programme for Serbia under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA). The €178.7 million programme will help Serbia implement reforms in key areas such as rule of law, public administration, social inclusion, private sector development, transport, environment, energy and agriculture. These reforms are crucial elements of the country's European integration process and will directly improve the daily lives of Serbian citizens.
According to the latest Eurobarometer survey results published today, Europeans are becoming slightly more optimistic about the economic situation in Europe. Over half of Europeans (51%) say that they are optimistic about the EU's future (up from 49% in the Spring 2013 Eurobarometer, see Annex). Overall, 43% (+1 percentage point compared to the spring 2013 survey) of citizens believe that the EU is heading in the right direction to emerge from the crisis and face new global challenges (See Annex).
The European Commission's competition directorate-general has published today for public consultation a draft framework setting out revised conditions under which Member States can grant state aid for research, development and innovation activities (R&D&I). After having analysed the comments by stakeholders, the Commission envisages adopting a new framework in spring 2014.
The European Union has adopted a package of €41 million to support civil society, regional development and agriculture in Armenia. This assistance is being provided in the framework of the European Neighbourhood Policy.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) is lending PLN 800 million (EUR 186 million) to Polish railway operator PKP Intercity for the renewal and expansion of its existing fleet by 2015. The Bank has now supported rail investments in Poland for 23 years, promoting the improvement of both infrastructure and rolling stock.
Thanks to this EIB loan, PKP Intercity will boost its investment programme which consists in particular of:
The European Union's rules determining which countries pay less or no duty when exporting to the 28 country trade bloc, and for which products, will change on 1 January 2014. The changes to the EU's so-called "Generalised System of Preferences" (GSP) have been agreed with the European Parliament and the Council in October 2012 and are designed to focus help on developing countries most in need.
The European Commission is launching a Natura 2000 Award to recognise excellence in best practices for nature conservation in Europe. If you are involved in activities related to Natura 2000, this could be your chance to shine. Natura 2000 is a network of protected areas of high biodiversity value that covers around 20% of EU territory with a wealth of flora and fauna, from mountainous beech forests in the Czech Republic to turtles in Polish wetlands and dolphins off the coast of Spain.
With a EUR 25 million loan to Bologna group Marposs, the European Investment Bank (EIB) is launching a new pilot financing scheme for midcaps in Italy – the Growth Finance Initiative (GFI), a joint initiative of the EIB and the European Commission to promote investment in innovation, research and development by European midcaps (with between 250 and 3 000 employees).
New decree and measurement guidelines will support the permit process for wind power construction.
The European Commission has found the restructuring plan of the Dutch bankinsurance company SNS REAAL to be in line with EU state aid rules. The plan notified by the Dutch authorities will enable the company to become viable in the long term without unduly distorting competition in the EU internal market. On this basis, the Commission has concluded that the aid measures granted by the Dutch state to SNS REAAL are in line with its rules on state aid for the restructuring of banks during the crisis.
The European Commission is inviting comments on a proposal for revised State aid guidelines for assessing public support projects in the field of energy and the environment. This revision is part of a broader initiative to modernise EU State aid rules. The Commission proposes to extend the scope of the existing guidelines beyond the environmental field into the energy area and to clarify and simplify the assessment of state aid measures. Comments can be submitted until 14 February 2014.
Climate change could push millions of people in developing countries back into poverty. Together the EU and its Member States are the largest source of climate finance to developing countries. In a report published today, the European Court of Auditors found that, although climate-related aid has been managed well by the European Commission, cooperation between the Commission and Member States is inadequate.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a EUR 200 million loan agreement with Belfius Bank to increase the amount of credit available to SMEs and midcaps (companies with up to 3 000 employees) in Belgium. Belfius Bank will match this EIB funding with the same amount, meaning that a total of EUR 400 million will be available to support Belgian small and medium-sized businesses.
The European Investment Bank (EIB) stands ready to strengthen significantly its subsidiary, the European Investment Fund (EIF). The EIB’s Board of Directors today endorsed the increase in capacity of the EIF. This will allow the Fund to expand its activities substantially from 2014 onwards. The EIB is the majority shareholder of the Fund. Other shareholders are the European Commission and private and public banks.
Northern municipality of Ii has become Finland’s leading region for wind power development.
Finnish wealth management company Taaleritehdas is investing over EUR 80 million in 19 new wind turbines in Ii, north-western Finland. The turbines will produce about 160 GWH of electricity annually, which is equivalent to the electricity consumption of 50,000 apartments or 8000 detached houses.
The EU has just launched the first round of applications for its new 7 year research and innovation programme, Horizon 2020. Over €15m is available to transform entrepreneurial culture, give students the confidence, knowhow and support to set up their own businesses and to help promising web startups launch in Europe and go global.
The European Investment Bank has agreed to provide £90.5m to support construction of the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The new hospital scheme, costing a total of £429m, including construction of the new hospital, demolition of the current hospital and landscaping, has reached financial close and the deal for the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital signed off and approved by the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals Trust and developers Carillion. Construction on the £335m new hospital will commence early in 2014.
Organisations wishing to bid for funding in 2014 through Erasmus+, the European Union's new programme for education, training, youth and sport, can start to prepare their grant applications from today. The new Erasmus+ Programme Guide, which provides detailed information on how to apply, is available here. The programme is open to organisations in the field of education, training, youth or sport. They can apply online for funding from the end of January.
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