EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

Newswire – EU: Last Monday, in Madrid, the European Commission, the European Parliament and the Spanish Presidency-in-turn sealed an agreement regarding the organisation & operation of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
 
The EEAS was approved by the EU-27 at the end of April, but it still needs the approval of the European Parliament, which wants to have more say in the structure of the future EU diplomatic service, one of the principal new features of the Treaty of Lisbon.
 
The future diplomatic representation of the EU, which will be led by Ashton, will have a staff of several thousands made up, in equal parts, of people from the European Commission, the European Council and the twenty-seven member states.
Press release ~ Statement on the European External Action Service (EEAS) ~ European External Action Service (EEAS)
 
Newswire – EU: More students than ever went abroad for studies & company placements with EU support through the Erasmus programme in 2008/09. According to new figures, almost 200,000 higher education students received grants to study or train abroad. 

This represents an overall increase of 8.7% on the previous academic year and means that more than 2m young Europeans have benefited from Erasmus funding since the programme's launch in 1987.

The biggest increase is in the number of students going on company placements – up more than 50% on the previous year.  In addition, last year more than 36,000 staff from higher education institutions went abroad to teach or receive training in one of the 31 European countries participating in the Erasmus scheme.
Press release ~ The Erasmus programme
 
Newswire – EU: The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has issued an opinion on the European Commission's draft Agreement with the United States on the Terrorist Financing Tracking Programme (TFTP) to allow US authorities access to European based financial data managed by the Belgian company SWIFT in cases of anti-terrorism investigations.
Press release ~ Opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor ~ EDPS
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