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October 31, 2007

Clonakilty in 10 best European rural tourist destinations

Clonakilty in West Cork was named as one of the ten "European Destinations Of Excellence" (EDEN) at the European Annual Tourism Forum in Lisbon on 26 October.

This year's EDEN Awards focused on rural tourism desinations of excellence. Clonakilty won the award on the basis of its "amenities of natural beauty" and the variety of activities the area has to offer. It was noted that, "in addition to an abundance of activities on land and sea, music sessions and fresh local produce there are also a full range of heritage sites, galleries, pubs, walking routes and fishing points."

The aim of EDEN is twofold: to draw attention to the value, diversity and shared characteristics of European tourist destinations and to promote destinations where commercial success goes hand in hand with social, cultural and environmental sustainability. It also creates awareness of Europe's tourist diversity and quality, besides promoting Europe as the foremost tourism destination in the world.

Ten countries, including Ireland, participated in this years EDEN Awards, for which national juries made the selections. Next year, seven more Member States of the EU and Turkey will participate. Further details at: http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/services/tourism/european_destinations_of_excellence.htm

Posted by iroadmin at October 31, 2007 12:34 PM

« Committee of the Regions Subsidiarity Monitoring Network launches consultation on EU electricity and gas markets | Main | Clonakilty in 10 best European rural tourist destinations »

October 29, 2007

Ireland submits energy efficiency plans

Ireland has become the seventeenth EU Member State to submit a national energy efficiency action plan to the European Commission, as required under the 2006 Energy End-use Efficiency and Energy Services Directive.

The Irish plan, released on 3 October, aims to achieve energy efficiency savings of 20% by 2020, including 33% for the public sector. Irish energy demands have grown by 70% in the past 15 years but the new plan aims to achieve savings of EUR 1.7 billion.

Key measures include energy efficiency programmes for all government departments, local authorities and other public sector buildings such as hospitals. Green public procurement guidelines will be issued and all public bodies will be required to purchase energy-efficient lighting from the end of the year (including all street and traffic lights). An energy rating system for public buildings will also be introduced from 2008. Ireland was three months late in submitting its plan, which was due at the end of June. A number of other Member States still have plans pending. Further details at: http://www.dcmnr.gov.ie/NR/rdonlyres/6AF7E508-151A-4117-8B30-03698CDA66C4/0/NationalEnergyEfficiencyActionPlan.pdf

Posted by iroadmin at October 29, 2007 12:32 PM

« LIFE+ call published | Main | Ireland submits energy efficiency plans »

October 24, 2007

Committee of the Regions Subsidiarity Monitoring Network launches consultation on EU electricity and gas markets

The Committee of the Regions has launched an online consultation for regional governments, parliaments and local/regional authorities to examine and exchange views on new proposals by the European Commission aimed at further liberalisation of the EU's electricity and gas markets.

The consultation will examine the 'third energy package' proposals, which were adopted by the European Commission last month. As well as envisaging further liberalisation, they detail how the Union should respond to increasing dependence on gas and electricity imports, the challenges of climate change and rising global competitiveness in the energy market.

The consultation is organised through the Subsidiarity Monitoring Network and will be open until 23 November. With local and regional bodies being the implementers of almost two thirds of EU legislation, the consultation aims to examine whether the proposals comply with subsidiarity and proportionality principles. In an opinion on 'better lawmaking' adopted by the CoR at its plenary session in Brussels last week, First Vice-President Luc Van den Brande (EPP/BE), called for the Commission to set up a computerised system to give local and regional authorities better access to information at all stages of the legislative process.

Further details on the Subsidiarity Monitoring Network at http://subsidiarity.cor.europa.eu/ and on the Third Energy Package at http://ec.europa.eu/energy/electricity/package_2007/index_en.htm

Posted by iroauthor at October 24, 2007 02:18 PM

« First Call for Proposals for the Northern Periphery Programme | Main | Committee of the Regions Subsidiarity Monitoring Network launches consultation on EU electricity and gas markets »

October 22, 2007

LIFE+ call published

The first call for proposals and the finalised application package for the new EU LIFE+ Programme 2007-2013 have now been published.

LIFE is the EU’s main funding instrument for environmental policy and legislation. The new programme will focus on three components: nature and biodiversity, environment policy and governance and information and communication. The Programme has a budget of EUR 2.143 billion, of which EUR 187 is available for the first call. At least 50% will go to nature and biodiversity projects. The deadline for applications under this call is 30 November 2007.

Applications should be submitted to the national contact points, which will then forward the proposals to the Commission. Further details at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/funding/lifeplus.htm

Contact point in Ireland: Mr Brian Earley, Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, tel: +353 1 888 2486, e-mail: brian.earley@environ.ie

Posted by iroadmin at October 22, 2007 06:59 PM

« Northern Periphery Programme Officer | Main | LIFE+ call published »

October 11, 2007

First Call for Proposals for the Northern Periphery Programme

Following approval of the Northern Periphery Programme (NPP) 2007-2013 by the European Commission on 28 September 2007, the first call for proposals was launched on October 5.

Applications are now invited that address the two priorities of the programme, which aim to address issues concerning sparse population and rurality with a special focus on innovation, the environment, accessibility and rural-urban links. The Programme area for the NPP has benefited from an extension for the period 2007-2013 to include rural Northern Ireland, 9 counties on the west coast of Ireland, the west coast of Norway and Dumfries & Galloway in Scotland. No specific budget allocation has been set for this first call, which has a deadline of 31 October 2007. Further details at: http://www.northernperiphery.net/2007/how-to-apply-g.asp

Irish Contact point: Michael O'Brien, Border Midland and Western Regional Assembly, The Square, Ballaghaderreen, County Roscommon. Tel: (094) 9862970 E-mail: mobrien@bmwassembly.ie

Posted by iroadmin at October 11, 2007 03:22 PM

« Irish Regions Office Recruitment | Main | First Call for Proposals for the Northern Periphery Programme »

October 08, 2007

Northern Periphery Programme Officer

The Northern Periphery Transnational Cooperation programme is seeking a new Programme Manager for Information and Communication.

The Programme Manager for Information and Communication will work on the new Northern Periphery (NP) Programme 2007-2013, but will also ensure that information requirements in the Interreg IIIB Northern Periphery Programme are met. The Information and Communication Manager will devote approximately 60% of their working time to the tasks associated with the Manager position and 40% of their working time to the desk officer role for a limited number of main projects. The Officer will be based at the Secretariat's office in Copenhagen.

The BMW Regional Assembly is the Irish contact point for the NP Programme.

For further information: http://www.iro.ie/documents/NPPmanager_000.pdf

Posted by iroauthor at October 8, 2007 08:45 AM

« LIFE+ call published | Main | Northern Periphery Programme Officer »

October 08, 2007

Irish Regions Office Recruitment

The Irish Regions Office is recruiting a new EU Programmes and Information Officer.

The appointment is designed to enhance the direct presence of the Irish Regions and their constituent local authorities in Brussels by monitoring relevant EU policies and programmes; identifying potential funding opportunities and assisting in the preparation of bids for funding; enhancing the role of the IRO as a contact point in Brussels for information on Irish sub-national government; strengthening the link between the work of the Irish Committee of the Regions (CoR) members; and generally promoting the interests of the Irish regions in Europe.

For further information: http://www.iro.ie/documents/IROofficer.pdf

Posted by iroauthor at October 8, 2007 08:34 AM

« Consultation on Urban Mobility | Main | Irish Regions Office Recruitment »

October 03, 2007

LIFE+ call published

The first call for proposals and the final application package for the EU LIFE+ Programme 2007-2013 have now been published.

This programme is the EU's main funding instrument for environmental policy and legislation, in particular the objectives of the 6th EAP (Decision 1600/2002/EC) and resulting thematic strategies. It is comprised of three components: LIFE+ Nature and biodiversity, LIFE+ Environment Policy and Governance and LIFE+ Information and Communication.

The programme has a budget of EUR 2.143 billion, of which EUR 187 million is available for the first call for proposals. At least 78% of LIFE+ will be for the co-financing of project action grants, of which at least 50% will be for nature and biodiversity projects. The Commission will organise the annual call for proposals and, with the help of external experts, will select, revise and monitor the projects and be responsible for making the appropriate payments. Member States will forward the project proposals to the Commission, and may set national priorities and objectives (from 2008 onwards) and may prepare comments on proposals, in particular in relation to national annual priorities. The deadline for applications to the national contact point is 30 November 2007. Further details at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/funding/lifeplus.htm Contact in Ireland: James Blake, Department of the Environment, Heritage & Local Government, Tel: +353 1 888 2304, E-mail: James.Blake@environ.ie

Posted by iroadmin at October 3, 2007 09:40 AM

« EU Seminar on Peace Programme | Main | LIFE+ call published »

October 01, 2007

Consultation on Urban Mobility

The European Commission has adopted the Green paper "Toward a new culture for urban mobility", opening a debate on the key issues of urban mobility: free-flowing and greener towns and cities, smarter urban mobility and an urban transport system, which is accessible, safe and secure.

European cities share similar challenges: congestion, pollution, safety and climate change. The Green paper aims to focus attention on the urban dimension of transport policy and to highlight innovative changes that pioneering cities in Europe are putting in place. It aims to set a European agenda for urban mobility, while respecting the responsibilities of local, regional and national authorities in this field. Twenty-five open questions have been posed in the Green paper, addressing the options on policy issues for urban mobility.

To support the preparations of the Green Paper, the European Commission organised an intensive consultation of stakeholders between January and June 2007. Citizens and stakeholders are now invited to share their views with the Commission until 15 March 2008. An Action Plan on urban mobility will then follow in the early autumn of 2008. Further details at: http://ec.europa.eu/transport/clean/green_paper_urban_transport/index_en.htm

Posted by iroadmin at October 1, 2007 10:08 AM