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LIVE FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION
European Innovation Partnership on Smart Cities and Communities
On 14 May 2013, the first meeting of the High Level group (HLG) of European Innovation Partnership took place. Participants of the HLG are CEOs, city mayors, regulatory authorities, public financing institutions and industry representatives. Energy Commissioner Mr. Günther Oettinger participated at the event and gave a speech on "What are the priorities to address the challenges for Smart Cities and Communities?”
The Smart cities and communities initiative was published on 10 July 2012 and amongst other, aims at increasing resource efficiency leading to sustainable building materials. The initiative earmarked €365 million of EU funds for the development of wide-scale deployment of innovative technologies in the areas of mobility management, smart buildings and neighbourhoods, energy generation, distribution and consumption, and information and communication technologies.
The initiative builds on existing EU and national policies and programmes such as CIVITAS, CONCERTO and Intelligent Energy Europe. Local authorities are important actors in both proposing and implementing actions. The initiative will be probably interlinked through the Convenant of Mayors.
This autumn, the HLG plans to publish a Strategic Implementation Plan that will outline specific operational objectives and advise the Commission on its innovation agenda.
Improving access to finance for SMEs
On 2 May 2013, European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani, responsible for enterprise and industry policy, today also launched a new single online portal on all EU financial instruments for SMEs as well an information guide to promote SME stock listings.
The new portal provides simple and easy access to over €100 billion of EU financing available under the different EU programmes in the current programme period (2007-2013). Europe is providing a mix of flexible financial instruments under programmes such as the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP), Progress Microfinance, the Risk Sharing Instrument (FP7), EIB loans and Structural Funds.
Each year in Holland, the birthday of Queen Beatrix is celebrated on 30th of April. It's a national holiday, when everybody is dressed in orange and celebrates with music and markets. Normally, the Royal family visits two Dutch towns to celebrate with the inhabitants of the village. This year, however, the announced visit of the Royal family was cancelled, due to a historic event: Queen Beatrix handed over the power to her son, Willem-Alexander. He was crowned king of the Netherlands on the 30th of April.
The cancellation of the visit to the chosen towns was a disappointment for the local communities. The Dutch Precast Association (BFBN) however decided to comfort the towns and their inhabitants with a special gift: a portrait of king Willem-Alexander, made out of concrete pavement stones. The portrait, made out of five shades of grey stones, got a place of honor in the two Dutch towns Amstelveen and Graft-De Rijp. The portrait is best to be viewed from a height. In the picture the portrait as it is to be seen in Amstelveen, on the city square.
4 June 2013
CEPMC General Assembly
7 June 2013
ERMCO General Assembly
14 June 2013
BIBM General Assembly
20 June 2013
CEN workshop on PCRs
24-25 June 2013
26 June 2013
CEPMC CPR meeting
28 June 2013
EBC General Assembly
CEN/TC 104/TG 20/Editorial panel