Last night the EU's satellite navigation programme Galileo signed a €500 million agreement with Arianespace which will bring an operational Galileo service much closer. The agreement to provide three Ariane-5 launchers will reduce the EU's use of external parties for placing its Galileo satellites into orbit - another step on the road to the EU's goal to secure independent access to space. As the launchers are manufactured in the EU this is also a win for European business. The Ariane-5 launcher will carry four satellites at a time into orbit, twice the capacity of the current launchers and will start to be used in 2015. The number of launches needed for the full set of satellites required for commercial operations will therefore decrease.
A new strategy to improve customs risk management, together with a detailed action plan, was adopted by the Commission today. Robust customs risk management is essential to protect the safety and security of the EU and its citizens, the interests of legitimate traders and EU financial interests, while at the same time enabling the smooth flow of trade. As the volume of trade grows and the international supply chain becomes ever more complex and fast-moving, the framework for customs risk management needs to be adapted and developed accordingly. The new strategy seeks to ensure that customs is more coherent, efficient and cost effective in identifying and supervising supply chain risks, in a way that reflects today's realities. The action plan sets out specific measures to achieve this, together with the actors responsible and clear deadlines for doing so.
Who will become this year’s most successful European Web Entrepreneur? Applications are open until 31 August for the Europioneers 2014 Web Entrepreneur of the Year awards. Nominate here to follow in the footsteps of last year’s winners, the hot tech up-and-comers Alexander Ljung & Eric Wahlforss (Soundcloud) and Jon Reynolds (Swiftkey). Europioneers exists to celebrate the successes of web entrepreneurs in the EU and to provide a platform for them to connect with each other and with investors.
Young Europeans are less informed about the effects and risks of drugs than just a few years ago. While they widely use the Internet to gather knowledge, a new Eurobarometer survey shows that compared to 2011, respondents are less likely to have received such information from most sources, in particular from media campaigns and school prevention programmes. As the new figures confirm, increasing knowledge and spreading information is another crucial task. The European Commission has used funds from five EU financial programmes to support a number of projects aimed at, among others, boosting detection and identification of new psychoactive substances and the risks associated with them. A new report published today gives an overview of 18 projects that have received such funding since 2007.