Every day 315 million Europeans use the internet, but challenges still remain for consumers and companies alike. The European Commission presents its strategy for a digital single market on Wednesday 6 May. In addition Parliament and the Council agreed in June to ban roaming fees in 2017 and guarantee equal treatment for all internet traffic. Read on for an explanation of the terminology involved.
17/08/15 - International Humanitarian Law: key facts
World Humanitarian Day is an international day to pay tribute to the brave men and women who work on the front lines of humanitarian aid, at times risking their lives to help others. Here are some key mesages on International Humanitarian Law.
Glossary, facts and figures
Yesterday, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Vietnamese Minister of Industry and Trade Vu Huy Hoang agreed in principle on a comprehensive and ambitious trade and investment agreement. The final legal texts will have to be ironed out by negotiators after the summer break, but the substance of the deal has been agreed. This Free Trade Agreement (FTA), for which negotiations started in October 2012, is the most ambitious and comprehensive FTA that the EU has ever concluded with a developing country, the second in the ASEAN region after Singapore, and a further building block towards the EU’s ultimate objective of an ambitious and comprehensive region-to-region EU-ASEAN FTA. This agreement will allow EU exporters and investors to access a fast-growing market of 90 million people and to consolidate their presence in one of the most dynamic regions in the world.
04/08/15 - Spring 2015 Standard Eurobarometer : Citizens see immigration as top challenge for EU to tackle
More Europeans say they have a positive image of the European Union and trust in the EU has gone up since last November. In addition, citizens see immigration as the major challenge facing the EU currently. These are some of the results of the latest Standard Eurobarometer survey published today. The survey was carried out between 16 and 27 May 2015 in 34 countries or territories.
29/07/15 - How the eurozone survived the Greek crisis
The Greek crisis has strained nerves on the eurozone debt market, but unlike 4 years ago there has been no contagion of financial uncertainty across the single currency bloc
The so-called Juncker investment plan, aiming to get Europe growing again and get more people back to work, got a green light from Parliament in June. How will the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) actually work though? And how will investments be mobilised to lead to an overall sum of €315 billion? Our EuroparlTV animation explains.
21/07/15 - How vulnerable are cities to climate change?
The European Environment Agency (EEA) published today a series of interactive maps, illustrating various climate threats European cities face as well as cities’ capacity to respond to these threats. This new ‘map book’ provides background information and allows users to view the maps, selecting different parameters.
20/07/15 - Women's rights and Equal opportunities
The proportion of female researchers and students might be increasing in Europe, yet they remain underrepresented in scientific careers and disciplines. A report adopted by the women's rights committee on 14 July sets out how women could be helped to overcome the barriers preventing them from progressing in science, research and the technology sector. Check out our infographic to find out how many men and women graduated in science over the past decade.
As air pollution is responsible for around 400,000 premature deaths in the EU yearly, Environment MEPs on Wednesday tightened up Commission plans and called for more ambitious national caps on emissions of six main pollutants, such as sulphur dioxide, particulate matter and nitrogen oxides in order to cut emissions by 70% across the EU and save €40bn in air pollution costs by 2030. MEPs also want to include emissions reduction ceilings on mercury, and a midpoint target for most caps of 2025.
Congratulations to Lorelei Mason, senior reporter at One News! Lorelei has been invited to participate at the ASEF Journalists' Colloquium, #ASEFJC10. This year’s theme is crisis reporting: the role of Asian and European media. Lorelei will be sharing her experiences following the Canterbury earthquakes and on pandemic reporting. Participants from across Europe and Asia will join together to write a handbook for media responding to crises. The Journalists' Colloquium is one of the many events organised by the Asia Europe Foundation, which focuses on developing networks that help strengthen Asia-Europe relations. [It will be held in conjunction with the biennial ASEM Foreign Ministers' Meetings – this year held in Luxembourg, 4-6 November.]
The end of roaming charges could become a reality in just two years' time. Parliament's industry committee approved on Wednesday a deal to end roaming charged that had been agreed with EU governments and the European Commission. Prices should drop next year, while from 15 June 2017 making a call or watching a football match live on a mobile phone abroad would cost the same as doing so at home. Read on for more details.
The amount of milk produced in the EU will for the first time in three decades be determined by market forces only after European milk quotas ended on 1 April. The quotas were introduced in 1984 when production outstripped demand with the aim of putting an end to Europe's "milk lakes and butter mountains". It is hoped that by scrapping the quotas, Europe's milk producers are able to supply fast-growing markets in Asia and Africa. However, some farmers worry it could lead to price volatility.
15/07/15 - Ukraine echo factsheet
Five million people are estimated to be in need of humanitarian aid because of the conflict in Ukraine. The European Commission has been present in Ukraine since February 2014 and together with Member States has released over € 220 million in humanitarian support to the most vulnerable. EU aid addresses the basic needs of the population in the areas directly affected by the conflict and also of those who fled to neighbouring countries.
13/07/15 - EU population up to 508.2 million at 1 January 2015. Over 1 million more people living in the EU than in 2014
On 1 January 2015, the population of the EU was estimated at 508.2 million, compared with 506.9 million on 1 January 2014. During the year 2014, 5.1 million babies were born in the EU, while 4.9 million persons died, meaning that the EU recorded a positive natural change of its population of 0.2 million, double that of 2013. The remainder of the change is driven mainly by net migration.
The average European consumes 14 tonnes of raw materials and generates five tonnes of waste a year. These figures look alarming considering our resources are limited, but there might be a solution. Many products and materials can be reused or repaired, thus reducing waste. On Monday MEPs debate a report that calls on the European Commission to put forward an ambitious proposal to facilitate a transition towards a circular economy, where products are designed in order to facilitate reuse.
02/07/15 - Acquisition of citizenship in the EU - EU Member States granted citizenship to almost 1 million persons in 2013 - Moroccans continue to be main recipients
In 2013, around 985 000 persons acquired citizenship of a Member State of the European Union (EU), up by 20% (or about 163 000 persons) compared with 2012. Of the total number of persons obtaining the citizenship of one of the EU Member States in 2013, 89% were citizens of non-EU countries.
From shopping, to working, listening music or watching films: much of what we do these days takes place online. The European Commission wants to create a digital single market in the EU to help boost growth and create jobs. It outlined it strategy on 6 May 2015 and legislative proposals will follow this year and next year. The European Parliament is working on an own-initiative report with ideas for the digital single market, which can then be used for the Commission's proposals.
22/06/15 - Syrian conflict
The conflict in Syria has not only posed a threat to the region’s stability in recent years, but it has also had a terrible human cost and is now considered the largest humanitarian crisis since the World War II. By April 2015, 12.2 million Syrians were in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the European Commission. The EU has been deeply concerned about the situation since the start.
18/06/15 - 29th ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly: specific problems of the Pacific under the spotlight
The specific problems of the Pacific region, such as climate change, fisheries, maritime security and regional integration, as well as the generation of fiscal revenues in ACP countries, were discussed by the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly at its 29th session, which closed on Wednesday in Suva (Fiji).
16/06/15 - Stronger data protection rules for Europe
More than 90% of Europeans are concerned about mobile apps collecting their data without their consent. On 15 June, an important step was taken to finalise EU data protection rules to help restore that confidence.Ministers in the Council reached a General Approach on the new data protection rules, confirming the approach taken in the Commission's proposal back in 2012 (see IP/12/46). The proposed rules received the backing of the European Parliament in March 2014 (MEMO/14/186).
In September 2004, the EU started negotiations for an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) with the Pacific region. More than ten years later, negotiations are still far from conclusion.Read more here
18/05/15 - Asylum in the EU
The 27 EU Member States for which data are available granted protection status to 185 000 asylum seekers in 2014.
On Monday 4 May 2015, Cecilia Malmström, the EU Trade Commissioner was in Washington DC for talks on the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) with her US counterpart, Ambassador Michael Froman, and various stakeholders.The EU Trade Commissioner gave a speech on the broad objectives of EU Trade Policy and what values drive EU's Trade - democracy, human rights, protection of the environment, equality.
NZ Trade Minister congratulated Comissioner Malmström on her
appointment. In the letter he describes how economically, the EU remains
a vitally important trade and investment partner for New Zealand. It is
NZ's third largest export destination, second largest source of overall
imports, and our second largest source and destination for overseas
On 16-17 October 2014, the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit will be held in the Italian city of Milan under the theme "Responsible Partnership for Sustainable Growth and Security".
EU Development Commissioner, Andris Piebalgs, led the EU delegation to the UN Third International Conference on Small Island Developing States (SIDS), organised in Samoa from 1 to 4 September.
The German Film Festival and World Press Photo Exhibition lead us into an action packed September! So keep a look out as we update the page!
Are you between 18 and 30, and citizen of one of the ASEM countries, including New Zealand? Hurry up! The Model ASEM 2014 application is open now! You could have the chance to join other students from Asia and Europe in Milan, Italy, to participate in political debate, increase your skills in consensus-building and share your vision for future Asia-Europe partnership. The Model ASEM 2014 will take place on 8-11 October 2014, and is organized by the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) in partnership with the ASEF University Alumni Network (ASEFUAN) and MIP Politecnico di Milano School of Management.
Application deadline: 3 August 2014
The EU Chargé d'Affaires, the British High Commissioner & Governor of Pitcairn, and the Polish Ambassador will explain the EU’s relationship with New Zealand by bringing the EU’s security and prosperity agenda and our shared values into a modern day context.
Date: Thursday, 29 May
Time: 5.40 – 6.40 p.m.
Venue: Lecture Theatre One, Rutherford House, Victoria University Pipitea Campus, 23 Lambton Quay, Wellington
RSVP: required to firstname.lastname@example.org by 26 May
The European Union Centres Network invites you to the "European Election Party; For the young and engaging mind; Discussion, sharing ideas, networking".
Date: Monday, 26 May
Time: 6.15 - 8 p.m.
Venue: Thistle Inn (3 Mulgrave St, Thorndon), Wellington
RSVP: required to email@example.com by 24 May
A panel of European Ambassadors and scholars of Europe will present their views on the historic 2014 European Parliamentary Elections, what they mean for European integration and for the EU's role in the world. It is part of the commemoration of the 64th Europe Day, the 10th anniversary of EU Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe and the tenth anniversary of the establishment of an EU Delegation in New Zealand. The event is hosted by Mr Paul Goldsmith, MP, NZ Institute of International Affairs and the NZ European Union Centres Network with support from EU Heads of Mission.
Date: Wednesday, 7 May 2014
Time: 6.00 p.m., followed by a reception
Venue: The Grand Hall, Parliament Buildings, Wellington
RSVP: required to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, 5 May
The EUVP (established in 1974) enables young, promising leaders from countries outside the European Union to gain first-hand experiences of the EU's goals, policies, institutions and achievements. The programme also serves to increase mutual understanding between professionals from non-EU countries and their EU counterparts. Successful applicants will have a unique chance to take part in an individual five-to-eight-day programme of meetings with EU officials at the EU institutions in Brussels, Strasbourg and /or Luxembourg. Don't miss a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and apply now!
03/01/14 - 10/03/14 - Video Competition: We Are Europe. Every Day.
At a key moment in the history of European Construction and ahead of the European elections next May, the European Commission, in partnership with the United Nations, is launching a video competition on the theme of the European project and the support of its citizens for this project.
11/12/13 - Calls for projects under Horizon 2020
The European Commission presented calls for projects under Horizon 2020, the European Union's €80 billion research and innovation programme. Worth more than €15 billion over the first two years, the funding is intended to help boost Europe's knowledge-driven economy, and tackle issues that will make a difference in people's lives. This includes 12 areas that will be a focus for action in 2014/2015, including topics such as personalised healthcare, digital security and smart cities. Most calls from the 2014 budget are already open for submissions, with more to follow over the course of the year.
Over the next years, 90% of world demand will be generated outside the EU. That is why it is a key priority for the EU to open up more market opportunities for European business by negotiating new trade and investment agreements with key countries.
A new call to establish an exchange between Europe and Australia/New Zealand for academic staff and students has been launched. €1.8m is available for one project to allow a minimum of 36 individual exchanges targeting doctorate and post-doctorate level as well as staff in the fields of economics and business administration, law and political science, science and technology plus the crosscutting area of regional integration. The deadline for submission is 3 March 2014 and the project duration is 48 months.
In his first official speaking engagement after presenting his credentials to His Excellency, Lieutenant General The Right Honourable Sir Jerry Mateparae, Ambassador Fabrizi reflected on the current economic situation in Europe, where Europe stands in the global arena, and the EU-New Zealand relationship.
13/11/13 - EU Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Sem Fabrizi presents his credentials in Wellington
Newly appointed EU Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Sem Fabrizi presented his credentials to The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, on 13 November 2013 in Wellington.
18/10/13 - United Nations Handbook 2013-14
An invaluable source of all the details on the UN, it's structure, organs and bodies the UN Handbook is published every year by the Government of New Zealand. You want to know which countries sit on the executive committee of the UNHCR? Or what the structure of UNIDO's Industrial Development Board is? This is your go-to-guide! Published as a book every year, in keeping with the times, it is now also available as a handy App for your iPhone or Android Smartphone available through iTunes and GooglePlay.
The 2014 European Studies Summer School for Secondary School Teachers will be held in Melbourne, Australia, from 21–23 January 2014. Participation is free for all teachers from Australian and New Zealand secondary schools.
16/09/13 - 29/11/13 - Call for Proposals: Developing the Network of EU Centres in Australia and New Zealand
The present Call for Proposals draws on the ICI’s 2013 Annual Action Programme and is intended to support the development of the EU Centres in Australia and New Zealand. It is estimated that up to 5 grants will be awarded to support the activities of EU Centres, depending on the quality and the number of the proposals received and on the availability of funding (at least one of which in New Zealand). Each grant will be of up to € 800.000 for stand-alone applications (with or without partners), and up to € 900.000 for consortia.
16/09/13 - 01/11/13 - Young voices against poverty: What would you change? Have your say!
Make a short video answering the following question: If you could have your say, how would you fight poverty? You could be one of four lucky winners to win a paid trip to Brussels to attend the European Development Days, 26 – 27 November 2013, where your video will be screened. This contest is open to all youth between the ages of 13 and 24 worldwide.
15/10/13 - Publication: Travelling in Europe 2013-14
Europe: a continent with thousands of years of history, a rich cultural heritage and some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery. So much for the traveller to discover and explore and all made much easier thanks to the European Union (EU). You can cross many borders within the EU without being checked and the euro makes it easier to shop around for bargains. You have easy access to healthcare should you need it and your dog or cat can travel with you. If you drive, your driving licence and motor insurance policy issued in one EU country are valid in all the others. And using your mobile phone abroad is getting much cheaper.
30/08/13 - 30/09/13 - European Heritage Days: 50 countries offer free access to historic sites
Millions of people will enjoy free access to thousands of rarely opened historic and cultural sites in 50 countries throughout September as part of the annual European Heritage Days, a joint initiative of the European Commission and Council of Europe. An interactive website provides details of the sites which are open to the public, as well as information about special events taking place in each country to tie in with the Heritage Days.
On his final trip to New Zealand in his role as the European Union Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, H.E. David Daly presented to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs (NZIIA). His presentation, entitled "The European Union and New Zealand, the Pacific and Asia", provided some insightful remarks on the geopolitical shifts across the Asia Pacific region and the EU's response.
16/08/13 - Delegation closed due to earthquake
Central New Zealand was hit by a 6.6 magnitude earthquake on 16 August. No casualties have been reported and damage in Wellington is restricted to some buildings in the CBD. However, some Wellington buildings remain closed, pending structural checks by engineers. The EU Delegation to NZ was closed on Friday afternoon after continuing aftershocks and will be closed until Monday 26 August.
12/08/13 - PACE-Net and PACE-Net Plus Information
The main objective of the PACE-Net projects is to strengthen Pacific-EU collaboration and dialogue in Science and Technology (S&T). Pace-Net Plus will replace PACE-Net when it is launched in September 2013. It is a 3 year project (2013-2016) with a budget of €3 million. New Zealand plays an important auxiliary role for this project, using its in-depth knowledge of the Pacific region and historical ties to Europe to facilitate cooperation between the two parties.
A €28,000 grant has been awarded to NCRE lecturer, Dr Katharine Vadura, for her research project on human rights and disaster risk management in the Pacific. The project will run for six months from September 2013 till February 2014. The main outcomes of the project will be a series of workshops and a conference to be held in December 2013 at University of Canterbury in Christchurch, as well as the establishment of a research network cutting across sectors focused on rights of vulnerable groups in the Pacific in relation to Disaster Risk Management.
The G20 Summit will take place from 5 to 6 September in Saint Petersburg under Russian Presidency. The EU will be represented by President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso.
01/07/13 - Croatia, Welcome Aboard the EU!
1 July 2013 landmarks Croatia's accession to the European Union - the 28th EU member country - good news for Croatia, the EU and the remaining aspirant countries in the Western Balkans!
On Monday 1 July Croatia will become the 28th Member State of the European Union. Torn by conflict only two decades ago, Croatia is now a stable democracy, capable of taking on the obligations of EU membership and of adhering to EU standards.
25/06/13 - EU Climate Diplomacy
José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and Günther Oettinger, European Commissioner for Energy, received Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California and Founding Chair of the "R20 Regions of Climate Action".
21/05/13 - Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM)
The Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) was initiated in 1996 when the ASEM leaders met in Bangkok, Thailand. ASEM is an informal trans-regional platform for dialogue and cooperation between the two regions.
Commissioner Piebalgs and Minister McCully agreed today to work together to turn pledges into joint work, hand-in-hand with partners in the region, to rapidly deliver real projects on the ground providing renewable electricity to citizens.
The New Zealand Europe Business Council is hosting a luncheon in Auckland on 25 March at which European Union Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will address the Auckland business community. Commission Piebalgs is co-host with the New Zealand government of the Pacific Energy Summit which runs in the city from 24 to 26 March.
The European Union and New Zealand Government together will host the Pacific Energy Summit in Auckland from 25-27 March
08/03/13 - International Women's Day
Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission, issued a statement on International Women's Day, 8 March 2013
A free and open Internet is at the heart of the new Cyber Security Strategy by the HR/VP Catherine Ashton and the European Commission. The new Communication is the first comprehensive policy document that the EU has produced in this area.
19/12/12 - EU Children of Peace initiative
President Barroso announced the Nobel Peace Prize projects to help children affected by war and conflicts. The Prize money will be topped up to 2 million euros by the EU, and will fund access to basic education and child-friendly spaces.
01/11/12 - Helga Schmid in New Zealand
Helga Schmid, Deputy Secretary General for Political Affairs in the EU's European External Action Service, has concluded her visit to New Zealand, from 8-9 November.
Ms Schmid is a highly experienced diplomat. She is currently deeply involved in the international negotiations on the Iranian nuclear issue, which the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton conducts on behalf of the E3+3 group (US, Russia, China, France, UK and Germany) and has in the past year represented the EU in the Middle East Peace Process Quartet.
She gave a public talk on the European Union's response to security challenges in its neighbourhood and Asia. It can be read here [65 KB] .
01/11/12 - 2012: The EU in Asia Year
The upcoming Asia-Europe meeting (ASEM) will be held in Laos, 5-6 November 2012 with the theme: "Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity". Established in 1996, the key regional dialogue is made up of the 27 member states of the EU, the EU itself, members of ASEAN+3, as well as India, Mongolia, Pakistan, Australia, New Zealand and Russia. This meeting will be particularly important, as 2012 is the year of the EU in Asia, where Europe seeks to align itself more closely with the region, on economic, political and social grounds. 50 out of 51 participant countries are attending the upcoming talks. Participants also include EU representatives President Van Rompuy and President Barroso.
25/09/12 - Thoughts from the European in Residence
Every year, the European Union Centres Network invites to New Zealand a distinguished EU practitioner. This year, Sir Michael Leigh toured the country from 7-18 September. Until a year ago, he was the Director-General of DG Enlargement and prior to that, Deputy Director-General for External Relations.
20/08/12 - Top EU diplomat to visit New Zealand
David O'Sullivan, the Chief Operating Officer of the European External Action Service (the European Union's diplomatic service), will visit Wellington this week, on 22-24 August. Prior to joining the EEAS, Mr O'Sullivan served in the European Commission as Director-General for Trade from 2005-2010 and as Secretary-General from 2000-2005. While in the country, Mr O'Sullivan will be sharing information and views on global events and regional developments, such as Syria, Iran and across Asia and the Pacific.
The first round of negotiations towards a Framework Agreement between the European Union and New Zealand was held on 23 & 24 July 2012 in Wellington, New Zealand. Framework Agreements are a tool that establishes a permanent legal basis for the future bilateral relationship between the European Union and the partner country. They cover all areas where the countries have dealings with each other. The EU already has a Framework Agreement with Korea and is currently negotiating FAs with Australia, Canada and India. This first Round was an opportunity to exchange initial views on the Agreement's potential content. The next talks will be later this year in Brussels.