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European Union Delegation to New Zealand: Newsletter 314

European Union Delegation to New Zealand: Newsletter 314

Europe's Climate Action Commissioner congratulates Australia on carbon pricing
On the occasion of the announcement of a carbon price by the Australian Government, EU Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard said: ''Congratulations to Australia for its commitment to pricing carbon emissions and introducing a domestic cap-and-trade scheme from July 2015. Our experience in Europe is that our emissions trading system has led our most forward thinking industries to some very creative and innovative ways of working, that help reduce emissions and cut costs. This creativity is also developing the skills and experience in the industries of the future. We look forward to Australia embarking on the same route and make a carbon market the core of its policy response to the climate challenge''.

more information at http://ec.europa.eu/climateaction/index_en.htm

EU's Emissions Trading Scheme - a tool central to reducing emissions

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, speaking at the launch of Sandbag's report Buckle Up! 2011 Environmental Outlook for the EU ETS, at the European Parliament in Brussels on 14 July 2011, said "we are no longer alone with this. Australia, California, Korea and even China, are all preparing for introducing emission trading systems. We hope that the lessons we have learned will allow others to build on our positive experiences and avoid the negative ones."

The EU ETS is the central element of Europe's strategy for achieving a 20% emission cut by 2020. The ETS will also be crucial for meeting the EU's long-term goal of an 80% reduction of domestic emissions by the middle of this century. The ETS is delivering real emission reductions. Sandbag's report acknowledges this and new calculations by DG CLIMA show that average annual emissions per installation in 2010 were around 8% lower than when the ETS was launched in 2005. "Some will say this reduction is mostly due to the economic crisis. But even as the economy comes back to normal, the ETS emissions remain well below the cap for the 2008-2012 trading period. Independent studies confirm that putting a price on carbon stimulates companies to reduce emissions." continued Hedegaard.[read more]

European Union response to the Arab Spring
"I come here to offer a vote of confidence in the people and the future of Egypt" During his visit to Egypt, José Manuel Durão Barroso, President of the European Commission, held meetings with the Head of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Armed Forces Field Marshal Tantawi, Prime Minister Sharaf and religious leaders and civil society representatives to stress the European Union's strong support for Egypt's reforms and the region's democratic transition. At the Cairo Opera House on 14 July, President Barroso set out the EU's strategic offer under the Partnership for Democracy and Shared Prosperity: "This support is based on shared accountability. A stronger commitment to the principles of the Arab Spring will mean more support from the European Union." "Democracy, freedom and openness are the fundamental values that will bind Europe and Egypt together in the future" he added. Read the Speech

EU provides new assistance for Palestinians affected by water restrictions
The European Commission has allocated €4 million to address water scarcity which is affecting people in the occupied Palestinian territory. Rainfall in the area is 59% down from the rainy season average and the drought is testing the resilience of many Palestinian communities with water and fodder shortages.

"The drought is particularly painful when it hits people whose access to water is already very limited by the occupation in the West Bank and by the Gaza Strip blockade. While many wells and other water sources are drying out, the occupation prevents Palestinian herders and their livestock from accessing some water points which have not been as badly affected. The problem is particularly acute for the Bedouin communities in Area C which I visited in May," said Kristalina Georgieva, European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response.

The EU funding will provide water for around 50,000 people and their livestock in the West Bank. Special attention will be paid to those most affected by the combination of drought and Israeli-imposed restrictions. [read more]

EU Donor Atlas 2011
Would you like to know how much assistance France is giving to support health in sub-Saharan Africa? Or how much money the European Commission invests in development in Bolivia? You may like to know where the EU stands on its overall commitments to increase official development assistance? The EU Donor Atlas has the answers: Interactive and user-friendly, it is an online tool that provides an overview of what the EU and its Member States do to support development across the world, searchable by specific donor country, areas of activity, regions, or developing countries. The EU Donor Atlas covers official aid from most EU Member States for 2009 as well as the European Commission, and also contains information on key development indicators of developing countries. The EU Donor Atlas can be found at: http://development.donoratlas.eu

EU economy
On 11 July, the Eurogroup agreed to propose concrete measures that will strengthen the euro zone's capacity to reduce the risk of the debt crisis spreading from Greece to larger member states such as Italy, by making the Greek debt more sustainable. This strategy will provide the basis for an agreement within the Eurogroup on the main elements and financing of a second adjustment programme for Greece. Concrete measures that will be presented to ministers as soon as possible, include enhancing the flexibility and the scope of the bail-out fund, the European stabilisation mechanism (EFSF); lengthening the maturities of the loans, and lowering the interest rates for countries currently receiving bail-out loans from the EU, including through a collateral arrangement where appropriate. [read more]

Staff teams from the European Commission (EC), European Central Bank (ECB), and International Monetary Fund (IMF) visited Dublin from July 6-14 for the regular quarterly review of the government’s economic programme. The teams’ assessment is that the programme remains on track and is well financed. The authorities have continued to steadfastly implement programme policies. Recent developments are consistent with a return to positive growth in 2011. [read more]

2012 : European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations
The European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations will raise awareness about meeting the challenges of ageing as well as sharing best practices.

EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, welcomed the announcement of the 2012 Year, saying: “Active ageing is about helping older people to stay in work and share their experience, it's about them continuing to play an active role in society and living as healthy, independent and fulfilling lives as possible. We need to remove the obstacles preventing people from realising their full potential as they grow older. This calls for action in many different areas — employment, social protection, education and training, health and social services, housing and public infrastructure". website of the European Year.

Jean Monnet successes in Australia and New Zealand
Associate Professor Philomena Murray, Jean Monnet Chair ad personam, of the University of Melbourne, together with partners from the Netherlands, Korea, Japan, United Kingdom and China, was again successful in obtaining a Jean Monnet European Union grant. Led by Prof Thomas Christiansen, Maastricht University and the University of Melbourne, with partners Pusan National University, Korea; University of Birmingham; Kobe University, Japan; Renmin University, Beijing, the winning project is entitled EU–East Asia relations in the emerging multi-polar world and receives a multilateral research group grant of €80,000.

Also successful was Professor Bruce Wilson, Director of the European Union Centre at RMIT University in Melbourne, with a grant for a teaching module "Comparing Regional Development Policies and Approaches: Europe and Asia".

In New Zealand, Dr Natalia Chaban was granted a Jean Monnet Chair for her project "The EU, its Cultures and Identities: the Meanings of Europe Inside and Outside its Borders". Professor Martin Holland receives a grant for a research project "EU's unknown Asia: New Horizons and New Beginnings. European Integration and the Asia Pacific in the 21st Century" and Ms Annick Masselot won a grant for a teaching module "European Business Law". Dr Chaban, Professor Holland and Ms Masselot are all academic staff of the National Centre for Research on Europe at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch. [read more]

Summer Research Scholarships @ ANU
The ANU Centre for European Studies invites applications for the ANU Summer Research Scholarships. Projects can cover areas of Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences, Law, Business and comparative studies with Asia and the Pacific. The scholarships provide promising students with experience of research work. This is particularly useful to students considering undertaking postgraduate research towards a higher degree. The scholarships provide contact with distinguished researchers and enable students to use facilities and materials for research that may not be readily available elsewhere. They offer a challenging environment in which students have an opportunity to evaluate for themselves, and to demonstrate to others, their potential for research work. Applications open 1 August 2011, and close 31 August 2011. For further information about the scholarship see: http://cass.anu.edu.au/scholarships/srs .For enquiries regarding supervision of Europe-related projects contact: europe@anu.edu.au

Academic news and events
Call for Papers: European Dilemmas: Internal and External issues facing the European Union, December 7-8, 2011, University of Waikato, New Zealand. This is a multidisciplinary conference to investigate the broad phenomena which currently impact greatly on the EU, whether internally or externally. In the first instance we are calling for abstracts from potential presenters. Abstracts of 300 words should be submitted online by 1 August 2011. Please go to www.eucnetwork.org.nz

ENDS

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