High-level representatives of the European Standardization Organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI), the European Commission, business and industry organisations, and other key stakeholders of the European Standardization System took part in the European Conference on SMEs and Standardization, which was held in Brussels this week. The general consensus was that further efforts are needed to provide small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with accurate and up-to-date information about different kinds of standards, as well as to encourage and support SMEs' involvement in developing and drafting European and international standards.
The European Conference on SMEs and Standardization (in Brussels on 28 May) was organised by the European Standardization Organisations (CEN, CENELEC and ETSI) in the framework of the SMEST2 (SME Standardization Toolkit) project supported by the European Commission and EFTA, and in partnership with ORGALIME (the European Engineering Industries Association). The 200 participants included representatives of national standards organisations, public authorities, business and industry organisations, and SMEs.
The Conference programme included sessions addressing several inter-related issues such as: how to communicate and raise awareness about the benefits of standards and standardization; how to provide SMEs with information about standards that are relevant for their business; how to ensure that standards take SMEs' specific needs and concerns into account during the development of European and international standards; and how SMEs can be encouraged and enabled to get actively involved in standardization activities at all levels.
On May 16th, 2013. Croatian Business Network meeting took place in Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Brussels.
Representatives of the Croatian Regions, Croatian Chamber of Commerce, Croatian Chamber of Crafts, Croatia's Mission to the EU and the Croatian Embassy in Belgium gathered to discuss current issues and activities.
The participants also discussed the preparatory activities for the accession of Croatia to the EU, structural and cohesion funds, EU programs which will be available from the 2014th and the upcoming Open Days in Brussels.
Participants agreed that it is necessary to consolidate the activities of all Croatian representative in Brussels, with the aim of better visibility Croatian business interests in EU circles, the best possible information, exchange experiences, to better coordinate the activities and thereby achieve greater business success.
Head of the Department for European Affairs, international and regional cooperation in Karlovac Region, Eva Maria Sobotik Pavan led a delegation at the final conference of the project "Healthy children in healthy families," that held in Brussels on the 14th and 15 May 2013.
This international project in which representatives of regional and local authorities of six European countries, health care institutions, universities and secondary schools, including Karlovac County and Medical School in Karlovac, aims to cooperate in creating a positive atmosphere and environment in which have to raise and teach children and youth.
During their stay in Brussels, delegation visited the Representative Office of Dubrovnik-Neretva and Karlovac County and the European Parliament.
Hosted in Solvay Library in Brussels, the 6th European Heat Pump Association Forum was opened by Marie Donnelly, director of new and renewable sources, energy efficiency and innovation of the European Commission. In her opening speech, Donnelly brought forward the energy roadmap, highlighting sustainability, supplies security and competition as the main targets within the 2030 framework. In order to achieve the goal of reducing gas emissions down to 20% by 2020, she raised the necessity to change the current financial structure, where extremely high capital investments are front ending, meaning that the bill has to be paid today in order to achieve the return on investments in far future.
Thomas Nowak, the secretary general of EPHA focused on growth in terms of jobs and positive climate change seen as the most beneficial outcomes of heat pump technology implementation, whereas Josh Muth gave feedback on the current technology status.
Together with industry representatives, prominent researchers and policy makers Dubrovnik Neretva representatives discussed the current IPA project " ALTERENERGY". The aim of the project is to define an Adriatic sustainable community. Relying on a budget of 12,5 mil. Euros, the project is meant to have an impact on institutional, political, technical and scientific level on energy planning and development capabilities in the Adriatic area.
To conclude, the 6th European Heat Pump Association Forum provided a deep insight into innovative technologies of heat pumps and renewable energy and gave its suggestions on various investment techniques and strategic guidelines. Dubrovnik-Neretva Region continues its trend in supporting green technology and spreading its professional networks on sustainable energy projects.
The round table "From IPA I to IPA II and the EU program: South East Gateway – changes and implications on projects in South-East Europe" discussed the present mechanism of "South East Gateway" program 2014 – 2020. The event was hosted by the Kanton Sarajevo Representative Office in Brussels on 14th of May, 2013.
One of the key note speakers were Mariu Farar from the Directorate for Sector Enlargement for Planning IPA Programs and Fausta Corda from the Directorate of General Regional Policy at the European Commission. In their speech, Farar and Corda introduced the attendees with a new generation of IPA instruments as well as the importance of transnational and interregional cooperation.
The forum brought closer the 2014-2020 fond reconstructions, their means of usage and further possibilities of partnership between more than 40 representatives from European regions, associations and EU institutions that participated in the event.
Next forum carrying the title "Erasmus for all" will be held on 11th of June, 2013 and will present the EU program aimed at exchanging teachers' and students' knowledge and experience.
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