Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 321

Posts Tagged ‘cooperation’

EU-Turkey: MEPs raised questions about future cooperation regarding refugees

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 10 novembre 2019

The situation of Syrian refugees in Turkey and the effects of the budgetary support provided by the EU to the Turkish government were assessed on Wednesday by MEPs.Representatives of the European Commission briefed MEPs of the Civil Liberties, Foreign Affairs and Development committees, particularly on the results of the EU Facility for Refugees in Turkey, but also on the general implementation of the EU-Turkey statement, agreed with Ankara in 2016 to halt the flow of refugees from Turkey into the EU.
Several MEPs referred to the unilateral intervention by Turkish forces in North East Syria and insisted that EU funds should not be used to force Syrian population back into their country. Some also complained that the EU has not made any progress in the last years, while the arrival of refugees to European soil decreased, towards the establishment of a well-functioning common asylum system.Civil Liberties MEPs also discussed the situation on the Greek islands, first with Michalis Chrisochoidis, Greek Minister for Citizens’ Protection, and in a subsequent debate with representatives of the European Commission, the EU Agency for Fundamental Rights, the EU Asylum Support Office and Médecins sans Frontières.Most of the speakers praised the efforts by the Greek authorities and criticised the lack of solidarity of other EU member states, while stressing the horrific conditions in which thousands of asylum-seekers live in the Greek islands. MEPs denounced the overcrowding of the facilities, the lack of basic health care and the absence of protection measures for the most vulnerable, among other aspects.

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Toshiba and Gestamp Cooperation in IoT/AI Project

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 30 ottobre 2019

Toshiba Digital & Consulting Corporation (hereinafter TDX) and Spain’s Gestamp, the global leader in metal components for automobiles, have announced that they are cooperating in a project to bring advanced monitoring and analysis to the welding of vehicle chassis parts. By drawing on know-how from the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence (AI), and utilizing data from camera images and acoustic emission (AE) sensors, the companies aim to secure very high precision detection of weld seam quality, which will contribute to improved vehicle safety.
Gestamp is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of metal components for automobiles, with more than 100 factories in 22 countries. Gestamp is promoting a number of projects under the Industry 4.0 initiative, applying digital technology and data analysis to the realization of more efficient manufacturing plants and more consistent and reliable production processes.TDX has been working with Gestamp since April 2018 on a proof of concept initiative that has monitored the quality of the welds in chassis parts produced at a Gestamp plant in the United Kingdom. This initiative brings AE sensors typically used to test for damage in bridges and large buildings to the manufacturing process. The sensors detect the characteristics of acoustic waves in the high frequency band, and Toshiba’s AI analysis technology uses the data to identify welding failures. Over the last 17 months, Gestamp has validated the initiative and its ability to ensure the quality of welds in chassis parts.Mitsui & Co., Ltd., an investor in both Gestamp and TDX, promoted cooperation between the companies and facilitated the project.TDX, along with Toshiba Corporation and Toshiba Digital Solutions Corporation, have built on the proof of concept results and now aiming to further improve the welding detection technology. Drawing on the rich manufacturing expertise of Toshiba Group, the companies have developed an IoT solution that applies Toshiba’s AI analysis technology to data from internal welding quality detection by AE sensors, along with surface welding quality detection based on camera image data.The three companies are now deploying this upgraded solution at a Gestamp plant in Germany. Proving tests will continue until March next year, and are expected to increase the precision of the welding quality detection rate, enable deployment at other Gestamp factories, and accelerate efforts toward full-scale commercialization.

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The Estonian Defence Industry Association Concluded a Cooperation Agreement with the Emirates Defence Companies Council

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 21 febbraio 2019

The Estonian Defence Industry Association (EDIA) and the Emirates Defence Companies Council (EDCC) Concluded a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the Field of the Defence Industry.According to Väärsi, the cooperation agreement with the EDCC as a public organisation recognises the fact that Estonian companies develop, produce, and export high-technology products and services, which are becoming increasingly attractive in the United Arab Emirates, the other Gulf Countries as well as on other external markets.The cooperation agreement was signed by Sultan Abdulla Al Samahi, Acting General Manager of the EDCC and Kuldar Väärsi, a representative of the Estonian Defence Industry Association. The agreement was concluded in Abu Dhabi, at the International Defence Exhibition & Conference IDEX, one of the largest and most important defence industry exhibitions in the world.At IDEX, ten Estonian companies are introducing their products: Defendec, Eli, Englo, Milectria, Milrem Robotics, Samelin, Tactical Foodpack, Terramil, Threod Systems and Toci.Defendec is developing automatic and autonomous security monitoring platforms and constantly challenging status quo in border protection and surveillance.Eli produces, pop-up and moving targets, weapons recoil kits for pistols, rifles and machine guns, Mortar simulators for 60,81 and 120mm mortars and also multirotor drones.Englo produces electronic and fine mechanical devices and measuring devices that are used in mines and military, rescue, security, road construction, building.Milectria produces military standard cable harnesses and electrical units for its main products.Milrem Robotics’ primary focus is manufacturing unmanned ground vehicles, developing robotic warfare solutions and performing concept of operations and doctrine level warfare analysis.Samelin manufactures high quality footwear for trekking, work, safety and military use.Tactical Foodback develops and produces light-weight and high-energy foodpacks for military and backpackers.Terramil manufactures innovative high quality directional, anti-tank, fragmentation mines and mortar fuss, bomb shelters etc
Threod Systems provides outstanding unmanned aircraft systems and sub-systems for intelligence collection and surveillance tasks.Toci manufactures adjustable weapon brackets which are designed by Norwegian Armed Forces (FLO). The brackets are used for securing firearms inside vehicles (cars, ATVs, boats, tanks etc.).

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Combatting terrorism: EP special committee calls for closer EU cooperation

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 18 novembre 2018

Set of proposals to overcome existing gaps in EU’s response to terrorism Measures aim to prevent financing terrorism and radicalisation Key is to strengthen cooperation among member states Europol should become a true “hub” for information exchange and cooperation in the field of counter-terrorism at EU level, if necessary with a stronger mandate. The special committee on terrorism adopted on Tuesday evening its final report, which includes a wide set of measures that the EU should take as quickly as possible to improve its response to the terrorist threat. The draft report, approved with 23 votes to 2 with 5 abstentions and drafted by Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE) and Helga Stevens (ECR, BE), maps the existing gaps in counter-terrorism activities at EU level and puts forward a set of proposals to overcome these deficiencies and to strengthen cooperation between member states.It puts forward new measures to:
prevent radicalisation;
prevent terrorist financing;
reinforce judicial cooperation among member states;
exchange information and protect external borders;
address the issue of the rights of the victims of terrorism and how they can be supported.
The committee calls on the next President of the European Commission to maintain a self-standing portfolio for the Commissioner for “Security Union” and urges member states to swiftly share information if there is a change to the threat level and the rationale behind it.
The mandate of the Special Committee on Terrorism, which began in September 2017, concluded on Tuesday night. The text will be submitted to the European Parliament’s Plenary for definitive adoption in December.

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“Arctic Connections – Italy and Norway in the Arctic between cooperation and future challenges”

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 16 settembre 2018

Roma martedì 18 settembre, Sede SIOI Palazzetto Venezia, Piazza San Marco, 51 dalle 9.30 alle 17.00, presso la sede della Società Italiana per l’Organizzazione Internazionale (SIOI), la conferenza “Arctic Connections: Italy and Norway in the Arctic between cooperation and future challenges.”L’evento, organizzato in collaborazione con l’High North Center for Business and Governance – Nord Universitet (Bodoe, Norvegia), l’Ambasciata norvegese in Italia e con la sponsorizzazione esclusiva di Eni spa, si pone l’intento si stimolare una riflessione sulla geopolitica, le prospettive di sviluppo sostenibile, le sfide ed i potenziali attori coinvolti nel cambiamento nella Regione Artica.Introdurranno l’incontro: il Presidente della SIOI, Franco Frattini; Margit F. Tveiten, Ambasciatore di Norvegia in Italia; Alberto Colella, Ambasciatore d’Italia in Norvegia; Massimo Inguscio, Presidente del Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche e Frode Mellemvik, Direttore dell’High North Center, Nord University Business School.

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Strengthened democratic control over EU police cooperation increases legitimacy

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 11 ottobre 2017

european parliamentBruxelles. The inaugural meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group on the EU police agency Europol was opened at the European Parliament in Brussels on Monday afternoon. The Scrutiny group gathers national MPs from all member states and MEPs in order to discuss and monitor Europol’s activities. Stronger democratic scrutiny was a key objective for the European Parliament in the negotiations with EU Ministers on the Europol regulation adopted in May 2016.The scrutiny group is a result of these new rules in order to “politically monitor Europol’s activities in fulfilling its mission”, with particular attention to respect of fundamental rights and personal freedoms. Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes who chaired the opening (S&D, UK) said:”Today’s first meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group of Europol marks a very important step towards strengthening the democratic governance of the European Union. This Group, which brings together members from the European Parliament and national parliaments, will have an essential role in monitoring the activities of Europol, which is one of the most successful policing and security organisations anywhere in the world. Our task will be vital to ensure that all of the agencies’ activities are fully in line with fundamental rights and freedoms.”
Parliament’s lead MEP on Europol Agustín Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES) added that:“The establishment of the Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group, with representatives of the EP and the national parliaments, increases Europol’s legitimacy, trust, effectiveness and transparency”.

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Denmark-Europol: Civil Liberties MEPs vote first step towards the establishment of a cooperation agreement

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 11 febbraio 2017

europolDenmark should be added to the list of countries with which Europol can conclude operational cooperation agreements, the Civil Liberties Committee recommended on Thursday. However, MEPs also stress that such an agreement would be exceptional and should only be transitional.
The Committee passed the draft report by Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (EPP, ES) unanimously (42 votes in favour) recommending that Denmark be added to the list, but also calling on the Council to provide “for an expiry date of five years after the date of entry into force of the agreement.”Including such a sunset clause would be in line with the Declaration by the President of the European Council, the President of the Commission and the Prime Minister of Denmark of 15 December 2016, MEPs say and point out that the declaration stresses not only the operational needs, but also the “exceptional and transitional nature of the foreseen arrangement between Europol and Denmark”.
The recommendation to add Denmark to the list of countries with which Europol can conclude cooperation agreements is scheduled for a plenary vote next week in Strasbourg (13-16 Feb).
Adding Denmark to the list of countries with which Europol can conclude cooperation agreements (Decision 2009/935/JHA) constitutes a first step towards setting up an operational cooperation agreement between Denmark and Europol so as to minimise the negative impact of Denmark’s departure from Europol on 1 May 2017, following the Danish referendum on 3 Dec. 2015, and avoid creating gaps in the joint fight against serious crime and terrorism.
After the plenary vote on the recommendation to add Denmark to the list, Council will need to consult Parliament on establishing the concrete cooperation agreement between Europol and Denmark.
Parliament has no formal say on adding Denmark to the list and establishing a cooperation agreement, but it needs to be consulted on both issues before an agreement can be concluded.

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International police cooperation: MEPs back Europol-Ukraine deal to fight organised crime

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 25 novembre 2016

ucrainaAn agreement establishing police cooperation between Europol and Ukraine, aimed at strengthening the mutual fight against organised crime such as drug related crimes and human trafficking, was backed by the European Parliament on Tuesday.The “operational and strategic” agreement allow for the exchange of information, including personal data. Such information could come in the form of specialist knowledge, general situation reports, results of strategic analysis and information on criminal investigation procedures and crime-prevention methods. It could also include participation in training activities and advice and support during individual criminal investigations.”We are living in trying times, both for the European Union and our Eastern Neighbourhood,” said rapporteur Mariya Gabriel (EPP, BG) ahead of the vote. “We have to face major common challenges such as terrorism, war, migration, economic downturn, or energy security. Stability is our most important goal and this agreement will help make us, EU citizens, safer”. “Strategic and operational cooperation between Ukraine and Europol is essential to reinforce cooperation in the area of security, information exchange and the fight against crime. Reinforced security cooperation between the EU, its member states and Ukraine is consistent and complementary with the rapprochement taking place in other areas such as the mobility of European and Ukrainian citizens,” she added.
According to Europol, Ukraine is increasingly relevant in the fight against organised crime, more specific drug-related and economic crimes, human trafficking, smuggling and mobile (itinerant) organised crime groups. Information exchange will enable the EU, member states and Ukraine to more effectively prevent and combat organised crime, terrorism and other forms of international crime.Under the current rules established in the Europol Council Decision (2009/371/JHA), Parliament must only be consulted before the Council establishes police cooperation agreements with third countries. However, the rapporteur underlines that with new Europol regulation entering into force from 11 May 2016 and applying from 1 May 2017, the Commission will have to check all existing cooperation agreements to see if they comply with data protection standards and inform Parliament of the outcome of the assessment. Once this new Europol regulation applies, Parliament will get an equal say with the Council on future police cooperation agreements and its approval will be required in order for new agreements to get the green light.

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Migration: MEPs back cooperation with Africa but warn against new “Turkey deals”

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 8 giugno 2016

africa7A majority of MEPs welcomed plans to step up cooperation with third countries, particularly in Africa, by increasing public and private investment there to support economic and social development and curb migration flows. But many MEPs also warned against replicating the EU deal with Turkey in Tuesday’s debate with EU Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans and foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who presented a proposal for a new “partnership framework with third countries”. The Commission plans to establish tailored “compacts” with selected countries – Jordan and Lebanon in a first phase, followed by Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Mali and Ethiopia, as well as Tunisia and Libya – so as to enhance border control, increase returns and improve living conditions for migrants and refugees. These strategic partnerships should reward countries willing to cooperate with the EU while penalising those who refuse, it said.

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International police cooperation – MEPs give green light to deal with Brazil to fight organised crime

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 17 marzo 2016

europolA new agreement establishing police cooperation between Europol and Brazil to reinforce the fight against organised crime, such as facilitating illegal immigration and human trafficking, drug related crimes and credit card fraud and other cybercrime related activities was passed by the Civil Liberties Committee on Wednesday by 42 votes to 5, with 6 abstentions.”The agreement on strategic cooperation between Brazil and Europol will be of particular importance, particularly in the run up to the 2016 Olympic games, to support the fight against organised crime, including human trafficking and cybercrime”, said Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) who is responsible for steering the proposal through Parliament.”This agreement will enable the exchange of specialist knowledge, information as well as advice and support related to criminal investigations with full respect of fundamental rights to privacy and without involving the exchange of personal data,” he added.Under the current rules, Parliament must only be consulted before the Council establishes police cooperation agreements with third countries. However, in the recently concluded talks on new rules to govern Europol, Parliament’s negotiators insisted on inserting a review clause on all such agreements.This means that all existing international agreements between Europol and third countries will be assessed within five years after the entry into force of the new regulation in order to check that they comply fully with data protection standards and meet EU standards on policing.Under the Lisbon Treaty, Parliament decides on an equal footing with Council on Europol. Once the new Europol regulation enters into force, Parliament will be required to approve all new international police agreements.
The recommendation to establish strategic cooperation between Europol and Brazil is scheduled for a Plenary vote in April. Once Parliament has been heard, the Council of Ministers can authorise Europol to formally conclude the agreement, so that it can enter into force.

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Europol: deal on new powers to step up EU police cooperation and fight terrorism

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 1 dicembre 2015

europolThe EU police agency Europol will be able to step up efforts to fight terrorism, cybercrime and other criminal offences and respond faster, thanks to a deal struck by Parliament and Council on new governance rules endorsed by Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Monday. The new powers come with strong data protection safeguards and democratic oversight.The deal agreed by Parliament and Council on 26 November and backed by a broad majority of Civil Liberties Committee MEPs on Monday (43 to 5 with 4 abstentions), will enhance Europol’s mandate to ensure that it is fully equipped to counter the increase in cross-border crimes and terrorist threats.”The new Europol rules are the best answer that we can give to the terrorist threat. In the last month alone, 446 people have been killed. As lawmakers, we have a responsibility to face up to this challenge and act. We owe it to the citizens and to the victims”, said Parliament’s lead MEP Augustin Díaz de Mera (EPP, ES).
The new EU regulation will make it easier for Europol to set up specialised units to respond immediately to emerging terrorist threats and other forms of serious and organised crime. It also includes clear rules for existing units or centres such as the Internet Referral Unit, which ensures the swift removal of websites praising terrorist acts or encouraging EU citizens to join terrorist organisations, and the European Counter Terrorism Centre, which officially starts work on 1 January 2016.Europol will in some cases be able to exchange information directly with private entities such as firms or NGOs, which should enable it to work faster. For example, it will be able to contact social network service provider Facebook directly to ask it to delete a web page run by ISIS or request details of other pages that might be run by the same user, so as to prevent the spread of terrorist propaganda.In order to avoid information gaps in the fight against organised crime and terrorism, the new rules state that member states should provide Europol with the data necessary to fulfil its objectives.
To this end, Europol should also submit an annual report to the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and national parliaments on the information provided by individual member states, with a view to encouraging further information sharing. MEPs have ensured that Europol’s new powers will go hand in hand with increased data protection safeguards and parliamentary scrutiny. The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) will be responsible for monitoring Europol’s work and there will be a clear complaints procedure under EU law for citizens.To ensure democratic control, Europol’s work will be overseen by a Joint Parliamentary Scrutiny Group with members from both national parliaments and the European Parliament.Parliaments’ negotiators also ensured that all information exchange agreements between Europol and third countries will be assessed within 5 years after the entry into force of the new regulation, to ensure that they comply with data protection rules and EU standards for policing.

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Migration: Parliament calls for urgent measures to save lives

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 aprile 2015

labour-migrationThe EU should do everything possible to prevent further loss of life at sea, e.g. by expanding the mandate of “Triton” operation in the Mediterranean to include “search and rescue operations at EU level” and by setting up “a robust and permanent humanitarian European rescue operation, which, like Mare Nostrum, would operate on the high seas”, says a resolution voted by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs also call for a binding quota for distributing asylum seekers among all EU countries, bigger contributions to resettlement programmes, better cooperation with third countries and tougher measures against people smugglers.Parliament urges the EU and its member states to establish a clear mandate for Triton, “so as to expand its area of operation and increase its mandate for search and rescue operations at EU level” (Triton is coordinated by the EU border agency Frontex and currently extends only 30 nautical miles from the Italian coastline).The EU and its member states should ensure that “search and rescue obligations are effectively fulfilled”, stresses the resolution, which was approved by 449 votes to 130, with 93 abstentions.Parliament calls for “a robust and permanent humanitarian European rescue operation, which, like Mare Nostrum, would operate on the high seas and to which all member states would contribute financially and with equipment and assets”. MEPs urge the EU to co-fund such an operation.EU countries should also continue to show solidarity and commitment by stepping up their contributions to the budgets and operations of Frontex and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), MEPs add. Parliament also undertakes to provide these agencies with the resources (human and equipment) needed to fulfil their obligations “through the EU budget and its relevant funds”.Parliament regrets that the 23 April European Council did not pledge to set up a binding EU-wide solidarity mechanism. To respond to the latest tragedies in the Mediterranean with “solidarity and fair sharing of responsibility”, MEPs say that:the European Commission should establish a “binding quota” for distributing asylum seekers among all EU countries,member states should make full use of existing possibilities for issuing humanitarian visas and seriously consider whether to trigger the 2001 Temporary Protection Directive or Article 78(3) of the TFEU (both foresee a solidarity mechanism in the event of mass and sudden inflows of displaced persons),EU countries should make greater contributions to existing resettlement programmes, and the Common European Asylum System rules should be rapidly and fully transposed into national law and implemented by all participating member states.
The resolution calls for closer coordination of EU and member state policies in tackling the root causes of migration and more cooperation with partner countries in the Middle East and Africa.It also calls for the strongest possible criminal sanctions against human trafficking and smuggling and urges member states and EU agencies to work more closely to detect and trace these criminal networks’ funding and identify their modus operandi, so as to prevent them from making money by putting migrants’ lives at risk.The purpose of this resolution is to respond to the recent tragic events in the Mediterranean, to the European Council conclusions of 23 April 2015 and to propose a set of urgent measures to be taken immediately. The Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee is currently drafting a report which will reflect Parliament’s medium- and longer-term policy orientations on migration.

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The Smile of the Child

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 marzo 2015

The Smile of the ChildOn the occasion of 6th March, National Anti-bullying Day in Greece,“The Smile of the Child”, coordinator of the European Anti-bullying Network run a national Anti-bullying Week from 2 to 9 March and raised awareness on bullying among children, young people, parents, teachers and the general public.The main goals of the Anti-bullying Week Campaign were not only to inform on the serious phenomenon, but also to provide solutions in view of stepping up the level of prevention and addressing the problem.During the Anti-bullying Week “The Smile of the Child” organised a press conference in cooperation with the Municipality of Piraeus and presented its national and European actions and initiatives against bullying. At the same time, “Odysseas” the 1st Mobile Unit of Information, Education and Technology was stationed in the Municipal Theater of Piraeus from 5 to 12 March 2015 and provided interventions and awareness raising activities targeted to students, parents, teachers and the public.“We are welcoming The Smile of the Child and Odysseas in our city and we are aware that the Municipality has a duty to raise awareness among our co-citizens as well as to inform them on the fact that there are people and structures where they can turn to for assistance and counseling in case their child or their student is being bullied” the Mayor of Piraeus, Ioannis Moralis said.The President of the BoD of “The Smile of the Child” and the “European Anti-bullying Network” Costas Yannopoulos thanked the Mayor for the support and expressed his willingness for a continuous and fruitful cooperation with the Municipality on the protection, health and welfare of children.“The Smile of the Child” is implementing for one more year raising-awareness activities among children and adults on the phenomenon. Our goal is not only to inform, but also to propose solutions. There is an enormous effort on a national scale and in cooperation with school communities so as all teachers have the maximum awareness on the prevention, identification and tackling of the problem. In 2014 the National Helpline for Children SOS 1056 received 351 calls on bullying, while 246 interactive preventive interventions were implemented targeted to students, 23 training sessions for teachers and 106 awareness sessions for both parents and teachers” highlighted Costas Yannopoulos.“The Smile of the Child” supports and provides children on a daily basis and nationwide with the appropriate tools in an effort to approach them with their own communication means namely, via social media, technology and volunteering actions. (Photo: The smile of the child)

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Parliament to resume investigations into CIA-led operations in EU countries

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 febbraio 2015

parlamento europeoBruxelles. Parliament’s civil liberties committee, in association with the foreign affairs committee and the human rights subcommittee, will resume its investigations into the CIA’s alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in EU countries, in the light of the US Senate’s new revelations of the use of torture by the CIA, says a resolution passed on Wednesday. The European Parliament also again calls on EU member states to investigate these allegations and prosecute those involved.The US Senate report released in December “reveals new facts that reinforce allegations that a number of EU member states, their authorities and officials and agents of their security and intelligence services were complicit in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme, sometimes through corrupt means based on substantial amounts of money provided by the CIA in exchange for their cooperation”, say MEPs in a resolution approved by 363 votes in favour, 290 against and 48 abstentions.
In the light of this new evidence, Parliament instructs its civil liberties, foreign affairs and human rights committees to resume the investigations into the alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in EU countries by the CIA and to report to plenary within a year.This inquiry would entail, for example, sending a parliamentary fact-finding mission to the EU countries where CIA secret detention sites allegedly existed and gathering all relevant information and evidence on possible bribes or other acts of corruption linked to the CIA programme.The climate of impunity regarding the CIA programme has “enabled the continuation of fundamental rights violations”, as further revealed by the mass surveillance programmes of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and secret services of various EU member states, MEPs say, stressing that “there can be no impunity” for these violations.Parliament calls on the US to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA programmes and to cooperate with all requests from EU countries for information, extradition or effective remedies for victims in connection with the CIA operations.On the EU side, MEPs express their concerns about the obstacles encountered by national parliamentary and judicial investigations, the abuse of state secrecy, and the undue classification of documents resulting in the termination of criminal proceedings. They again ask member states to investigate the allegations that there were secret prisons on their territory and to prosecute those involved in the CIA-led operations.Parliament expresses its condemnation of the “gruesome interrogation practices” of the CIA’s illegal counterterrorism operations. It also highlights the US Senate report’s “fundamental conclusion”: the violent methods applied by the CIA failed to generate intelligence that prevented further terrorist attacks.

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US China cooperation could make major difference to emissions gap – research

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 22 ottobre 2014

climateBonn. If the US and China were to adopt global best practice in their domestic action on climate, together, the world’s largest emitters could close the 2020 emissions gap by 23%, according to new research.In their latest Climate Action Tracker update, research organisations Climate Analytics, Ecofys and the Pik Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research have compared the actions of both China and the US on climate change.
They looked at the actions of both countries in their most energy-intensive sectors: electricity production, industry, buildings and transport, compared them with each other, and also looked at what each country could achieve if it were to adopt global best practice in those areas.“The US and China produce 35 percent of global emissions and have been making efforts to work with each other on climate change. If they scaled up action to adopt the most ambitious policies from across the world, they would both be on the right pathway to keep warming below 2degrees C,” said Bill Hare of Climate Analytics. “This needs to include dramatically reducing their use of coal, in order to achieve the deep decarbonisation needed of getting C02 emissions from coal back to 1990 levels by 2030.”Dr Niklas Höhne, of Ecofys, said the sectoral comparisons for both countries produced results showing there were lessons to be learned by both.“We looked at how well both the US and China would do if they each adopted a ‘best of the two’ practice in electricity production, industry, buildings and transport. We found this, alone, would set them in a better direction,” said Höhne. “They could both learn from each other in most sectors.”If they did this, in relative terms, China could reduce emissions from its current policy projections by 1.2% in 2020 and 20% in 2030 – and 3.2% and 16% for the US. But going for global best practice, together, the two countries would reduce emissions in 2020 by 2.8 GtCO2e/a below current policy projections and thus close 23% of the emissions gap. In 2030, the reductions would be of 6.7 GtCO2e/a, or 10% below the Climate Action Tracker global current policy projections.

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A key class of advanced infrared products to military and space

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 10 febbraio 2012

Market report ranks European firm global number one for supplying the military with cooled MCT infrared detectors, critical scanning and staring arrays enabling highly accurate detection and identification of threats and day/night surveillance – a market till now dominated by US suppliers New market position won through Sofradir’s strength as a reliable, large volume producer of innovative, high performance, infrared detectors Châtenay-Malabry (near Paris), France, February 9, 2012 – Sofradir, a leading developer and manufacturer of advanced infrared detectors for military, space and industrial applications, announced today that it has secured the world market leadership with more than 25 per cent market share in volume for supplying second generation Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT/HgCdTe) infrared detectors to the military and space, according to “The World Market for Military Infrared Imaging Detectors and Systems” (Maxtech International, inc. 2012). Sofradir’s infrared detectors are used in thermal imagers, missile seekers, Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), such as those used by the French army in Afghanistan, other surveillance, targeting and homing infrared equipment and spaceborne observation satellites. In 2011, Sofradir delivered 5,000 units. This is up from the 4,400 units it delivered in 2010, enabling Sofradir to tip the scales and eclipse its predecessor. Compared to the manufacture of components in other industries, volumes for cooled MCT IR detectors may appear small. However, system integrators in the defense industry are well aware of the extreme complexity of producing cooled MCT IR detectors, with only a handful of IR manufacturers able to produce more than 2,000 units per year. Sofradir credits its increased market share to its longevity in meeting customer demands for cutting edge and innovative products, its capacity to run a safe and reliable production line and to anticipate market needs for new standards, such as the 15 micron pitch.
Sofradir develops and manufactures advanced infrared (IR) detectors for military, space and commercial applications. It specializes in cooled IR detectors based on a sophisticated high performance technology, Mercury Cadmium Telluride (MCT), and its vast product portfolio of scanning and staring arrays covers the entire infrared spectrum. Sofradir also offers QWIP detectors developed in cooperation with.

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Africa-Europe higher education cooperation

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 14 settembre 2010

Brussels 28 September 2010, the Belgian Senate, Rue de Louvain 21,  An international consortium consisting of African and European higher education organisations will present a new White Paper with a series of recommendations for strengthening higher education cooperation between Africa and Europe, both as a response  to global challenges and to contribute to African development. The conclusions and recommendations in the White Paper are aimed at policy makers in Africa and Europe, development cooperation agencies and regional political bodies such as the European and the African Unions, as well as higher education institutions. The paper (published in English and French) is based on the outcomes and findings of a major two-year project, led by the European University Association and the Association of  African Universities, “Access to Success – Fostering Trust and Exchange between Europe and  Africa” (2008-2010), which was funded by the European Union’s Erasmus Mundus programme.  Through bi-regional university surveys, a series of workshops and focus groups, the project examined the underlying need for increased capacity in African higher education and considered bi-regional university cooperation and inter- and intraregional academic mobility as a means to address this. The project provided a unique platform for universities, donors,  higher education organisations and regional government actors to examine issues ranging  from donor coordination in capacity building, academic mobility within Africa and between Africa and Europe, brain drain and the role of higher education in bi-regional policy processes.

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Nato: Japan cooperation in Gulf of Aden

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 17 agosto 2010

London – The Nato warship Hnlms De Zeven Provincïen, working in conjunction with a Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) helicopter disrupted a single skiff pirate attack on MV Anangal Innovation this morning.  Mv Anangal Innovation, a Greek-flagged ship, reported being approached by a small skiff while transiting eastbound in the Internationally Recommended Transit Corridor (IRTC) in the Gulf of Aden.  Commodore Christian Rune, Royal Danish Navy, Commander, Task Force 508, stated: “The helo and ship crews from Jmsdf Murasame and Hnlms De Zeven Provincïen responded magnificently in disrupting another piracy attack in the IRTC.  The cooperation between Japanese Maritime Self Defence Forces and Nato is proof of the commitment by the international community to establish a secure maritime environment in the Horn of Africa region”.The helicopter from Japanese Maritime Self Defence Force (JMSDF) ship Murasame quickly responded to the call from the merchant ship.  As the JMSDF helicopter approached the skiff, the suspected pirates broke off the attack and the crew of the helicopter observed the suspected pirates throwing their weapons and other pirate related paraphernalia overboard.
NATO warship Hnlms De Zeven Provincïen was dispatched by Commander, Task Force 508 to intercept skiff.  After relieving the JMSDF helicopter following the skiff, a helicopter from the Hnlms De Zeven Provincïen unsuccessfully attempted to stop the skiff.  The skiff refused to stop even after warning shots were fired from the helicopter.  The skiff was finally stopped after warning shots were fired from De Zeven Provincïen upon arriving on scene.  A team from DE ZEVEN PROVINCÏEN boarded the skiff revealing that the suspected pirates had thrown, not only their weapons, but also ladders and other pirating materials overboard.
NATO has contributed to the international counter piracy effort off the Horn of Africa since December 2008.  The mission has expanded from escorting UN and World Food Programme Shipping under Operation Allied Provider and protecting merchant traffic in the Gulf of Aden under Operation Allied Protector.  In addition to these activities and as part of the latest mission, Operation Ocean Shield, NATO is working with other international bodies to help develop capacity of countries in the region to tackle piracy on their own.
NATO has recently announced its continuing commitment to counter-piracy by extending Operation Ocean Shield to December 2012.

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University Cooperation between Africa and Europe

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 19 novembre 2009

Launched with the support of the Erasmus Mundus programme of the European Commission, this event will bring 33 Rectors and Vice-Rectors from 13 European and 11 African countries, well as various faculty members active in development cooperation, together to explore how higher education institutions in both regions are coping with the changing demands of their specific socio-economic environments.  The workshop is part of the Erasmus Mundus project “Access to Success: Fostering Trust and Exchange between Europe and Africa 2008-2010”, which aims to contribute to a wider discussion on effective inter-institutional cooperation between Europe and Africa, in particular with regard to student and staff mobility schemes, capacity building partnerships and government/donor support. The project brings together representatives of universities (senior leadership, staff and students from African and European universities), as well representatives of governments and donor agencies. The Access to Success project consists of two phases: a fact-finding phase in which surveys of higher education institutions were carried out in both Africa and Europe (Nov. 2008 – Oct. 2009) as well student surveys and focus groups. The dissemination and dialogue phase of the project, which is being launched with this workshop, examines the study results, facilitates opportunities for dialogue on cooperation, and promotes the strengthening of the bi-regional Europe-Africa cooperation in higher education. Three workshops and a final conference targeted at policy makers and donor agencies will be organized in this second phase (Nov. 2009 – Oct. 2010). The workshop in Addis Ababa will be a dialogue-focused event with a total of approximately 75 participants from 28 different countries. Participants will be from the leadership of institutions in Africa and Europe as well as some faculty members involved either in access and retention issues or generally in university cooperation between Europe and Africa.  The Access to Success project is being undertaken by EUA, together with the Flemish Interuniversity Council, which has facilitated this first workshop. The other project partners are: The Association of African Universities, the European Students’ Union, the Association of Norwegian Higher Education Institutions and the European Access Network.

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Iraq and the Kurds: Trouble along the trigger line

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 14 luglio 2009

Source: International Crisis Group As sectarian violence in Iraq has ebbed over the past year, a new and potentially just as destructive political conflict has arisen between the federal government and the Kurdistan regional government in Erbil. This conflict has manifested itself in oratory, backroom negotiations and military manoeuvres in disputed territories, raising tensions and setting off alarm bells in Washington just as the Obama administration is taking its first steps to pull back U.S. forces. A lasting solution can only be political – involving a grand bargain on how to divide or share power, resources and territory – but in the interim both sides should take urgent steps to improve communications and security cooperation, run joint military checkpoints and patrols in disputed territories and refrain from unilateral steps along the new, de facto dividing line, the so-called trigger line.

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