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The EU in brief
EU Parliament/1 Trade for change
The European Parliament "Deplores the role of European companies in the exporting of arms to repressive regimes" of the Mediterranean basin, and "calls on the Commission to produce guidelines for EU companies to act in a manner consistent with the Union’s fundamental principles in such situations". The statement is contained in the Report on "Trade for Change: The EU Trade and Investment Strategy for the Southern Mediterranean following the Arab Spring revolutions", adopted by the Committee on International Trade and debated in the plenary of May 9 and 10. The document, which highlights the problem of arms trade, underlines that "the Arab Spring is the greatest political transformation in the European Neighbourhood since the fall of the Berlin Wall", and has offered the EU "the opportunity to match its commercial and foreign policy interests with its core values of human rights, democracy and a free society". For the authors of the report "aside from the immediate economic benefits, trade is an effective means to consolidate democracy and promotes stability".
EU Parliament /2, Meeting on children and disabilities
"A high level meeting to identify strategic aspect and opportunities for action at European level in defense of the rights of disabled children, while analysing State Policies, and identify the flaws of a system which at times prevents true social inclusion". The vice-presidents of the European Parliament, Edward McMillan-Scott (GB) and Roberta Angelilli (IT), organized a meeting with the support of European Parliament Alliance for children and Unicef on "Minors and disabilities" scheduled to take place May 10th in the seat of the European Parliament after the plenary. Among the panel speakers figures Beatrice Vio, called "Bebe", torch-bearer at the Paralympics of London 2012. "A story of courage and hope – underline the two vice-presidents – whose protagonist is a 15-year-old girl, a white hope of Paralympics fencing, the only one fencer in the world without both arms and legs". Among the speakers figure Philippe Cori, director Unicef Brussels, Emmanuel Crabit, head of the unit for the rights of the child of the European Commission, Ádám Kósa, president of the Disability Intergroup of the European Parliament, Bernard Dan, professor of the European Academy of Childhood Disability, and the representatives of associations and forums that deal with disabilities.
Commission, the results of health programs
Promoting health and preventing disease, increasing access to better and safer healthcare and protecting people from cross-border health threats: these are the fundamental objectives of the EU health programs, whose results were presented on May 3 by the Commissioner for Health and Consumer Policy John Dalli, during a conference held in Brussels attended by 600 600 policy makers, health stakeholders and journalists. "The EU health programmes have supported and delivered numerous actions and projects aimed at encouraging the uptake of innovation, and better healthcare". Figures released by the Commission show that since 2008 the health programme has financed projects worth close to € 237 million "in areas such as youth health, healthy lifestyles, cancer, rare diseases, health information and health inequalities". "The programme has provided substantial added value to countless individuals and communities across the EU". The Conference was also an occasion to present Heidi (Health in Europe: Information and Data Interface), an internet based wiki presenting health information at EU level on health status, determinants, health services and several other topics". For info: http://ec.europa.eu/health/heidi[>>]. During the meeting Commissioner Dalli launched the fourth consecutive annual health prize for journalists. For information on the EU health prize log on: http://ec.europa.eu/health-eu/journalist_prize[>>].
Galileo, a boost to satellite navigation
From telecommunications to maritime navigation, from electric grids to financial market transactions, from rescue operations or peace-keeping missions: a wide range of areas are covered by Galileo European satellite navigation system, interoperable with the American GPS, but independent from it. A few days ago the EU Commission, the European Space Agency and the enterprises listed in the program discussed latest developments, while Galileo’s second launch of 2 satellites is confirmed for 28th September 2012: "The resulting 4-satellite mini-constellation will enable testing of the functioning of the vast Galileo infrastructure. This also means that European enterprises can start to develop and test innovative products based on the Galileo satellite navigation signals". The full system will consist of 30 satellites in orbit.