Development Office Newsletter: Issue N°4 2010


The economic benefits of e-Inclusion

A research project on the benefits of e-Inclusion draws to a close with a workshop on 9 September organised at the European Commission’s DG Information Society and Media in Brussels.
A team of academic experts under the management of Prof. Guerrieri from the University "La Sapizena" will present the outcomes of their research in the name of the College of Europe. The purpose of the study is to measure the economic costs and benefits deriving from investment in services which help to integrate people in today’s information technology-based society (so-called ‘e-Inclusion’). To do so, the researchers used economic modelling in relation to innovation capacity, capital formation, productivity, and empowerment. The research findings will be made available in a publication.
The project is funded by the European Commission and has been managed by the College of Europe and the Development Office since the beginning of 2009.

Assessing competition rules within the European Union

The Development Office in partnership with the Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS) has successfully been awarded a European Commission service contract on EU competition law.  
Experts recruited by the College of Europe and CEPS will work for seven months on an extensive legal study. In September and October, three workshops will be organised in Belgium, Italy and Sweden to exchange views with various stakeholders. The study aims at identifying and assessing national competition and other rules that diverge significantly from Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU). A prime example is that of companies engaged in cross-border trade who face distinct treatment in different EU countries.
For each Member State, the researchers will explain stricter national competition law provisions on unilateral conduct and review and assess the impact of stricter national competition law provisions on undertakings and their compliance and business strategy. Finally, the study will provide a qualitative and/or quantitative assessment of the macro-economic impact of both the divergence of such types of stricter national provisions and a possible extension.

Lectures on the EU in West Flanders

During the Academic Year 2010-2011, the Development Office will again organise lectures on EU policy for students of High Schools in West Flanders and the Vormingplus centres for adult education.
Trainers from the College of Europe will provide an insight into a variety of EU topics, ranging from the Belgian Presidency and the new Europe 2020 strategy, to EU social and communication policy and aspects of working at the EU institutions.  The training sessions are part of a cooperation project between the Province of West Flanders and the College of Europe. Other elements include a reception for the College of Europe students at the Provinciaal Hof in Bruges and a visit to the College of Europe by Vormingplus students.
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How to run a Council Presidency?

This autumn, the Development Office will train some 1,000 Polish officials involved in their country’s EU Presidency on practical aspects of the EU decision-making process. The civil servants will learn how to plan, prepare and chair meetings and acquire negotiation and interpersonal skills.
So far, more than 25 training sessions (each with 25-30 participants) have already been organised at the College campus in Natolin and at the Madariaga-College of Europe Foundation in Brussels. 
In spring 2010, the Development Office was awarded with the project 'Specialised training on practical aspects of the participation of the Polish governmental administration in EU decision making process' which is co-financed by the European Social Fund. The training programme will run until January 2011.

What role do new technologies play in armed conflicts?

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This is one of the questions which will be addressed in this year’s Bruges Colloquium on International Humanitarian Law organised on 21-22 October by the Development Office and the International Committee of the Red Cross.
The 11th Colloquium will examine how International Humanitarian Law is challenged by the development of new technologies. It will focus on existing technologies and the reality of contemporary armed conflict or attacks that could be considered as armed conflict. This will include discussions on the use of new technologies on the battlefield both in terms of means and of methods of warfare. The issues of cyber warfare, of remote-controlled and autonomous weapons system as well as possible armed conflict in outer-space will also be addressed.
The Bruges Colloquium is a series of sessions designed to encourage an open exchange of views among experts and non-specialists interested in current developments in International Humanitarian Law.
Registration is upon invitation only.

The Development Office welcomes new staff

In June, two Project Managers joined the Development Office team in Bruges: Anne-Claire Zirnhelt and Cicek Mitić.
Anne-Claire studied political sciences and holds a Master’s degree in International Development and Cooperation. She previously worked at the consultancy SOFRECO in Paris. Cicek has over nine years of experience in EU affairs, project management and advocacy which she gained at Brussels-based organisations. Both of them will be responsible for managing EU-related projects, organising training courses and developing partnerships.
During the summer months, the Development Office also received support from two interns, Elena Pasqualini and Nigel Smith. Elena just started the second part of her internship which will last until end of November.
The Development Office welcomes the new team members on board and wishes them a very good start and cooperation with our partners!
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