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The EU explained

Published on October 24, 2014 by in blog, slider

This series of short papers provides clear, easy-to-understand explanations of what the EU does in various policy areas, why the EU is involved and what the results are.

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The EU budget in my Country – UK

Published on October 18, 2014 by in blog, slider

The EU budget is an important tool that puts EU policies into practice. It finances actions that Member States cannot fund on their own or which they can fund more economically by pooling their resources. The EU budget is adopted through a democratic procedure: it is prepared by the European Commission (the EU’s executive body) and is then discussed and agreed by the Council of the EU (where elected ministers represent EU Member States, including the UK) and by the European Parliament (where the democratically elected UK representatives sit). Once adopted, the budget is then managed either jointly by the EU Member States and the Commission, or directly by the Commission. In practice, 80 % of the EU budget is managed by national or regional governments. Through grants, loans and other forms of finance, the EU budget provides financial support to hundreds of thousands of beneficiaries, including students, scientists, NGOs, SMEs, towns, regions and many others.


The EU budget in my country

What is the EU budget? Where does the money come from? Where does the money go? Who keeps an eye on EU spending? How is it used in my country?

These series of booklets will provide clear answers for each one of the 28 member countries.

Order a copy or download the UK  edition http://bookshop.europa.eu/en/the-eu-budget-in-my-country-pbKV0414240/?CatalogCategoryID=ZSiep2OwnxkAAAFGuJQXOyhV



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EU Code Week 11-17 October 2014. Bring your ideas to life with #coding

Published on October 1, 2014 by in blog

The second edition of EU Code Week will take place 11-17 October 2014.

Millions of children, parents, teachers, entrepreneurs and policy makers will come together in mass events and classrooms to learn programming and related skills.

The idea is making coding more visible, demystify these skills, and bring motivated people together to learn.

Go to http://codeweek.eu to learn more and find your nearest event
This is a grassroots initiative by young advisers to Neelie Kroes, and has attracted the support of coding and education movements like CoderDojo and RailsGirls and of major tech and IT companies who are all helping bring coding to millions of children for example by offering coding taster sessions, by developing learning modules and helping to train teachers . Companies including Rovio (Angry Birds), Microsoft, Google, Telefonica, Liberty Global and Facebook are backing EU Code Week, many of them as part of their commitment to the Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs

European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes says: “Our lives are digital now, so the younger generations in particular need digital skills like coding. In the near future it will be critical for good jobs and essential for starting a business.

Alja Isakovic, from Slovenia, one of the organisers of Code Week EU says: “Technology is shaping our lives and we should not let a minority decide what we use it for and how we use it. We all can do better than just sharing and liking. With coding you can bring your ideas to life, make and build things that will bring joy to others.”

How can you participate in EU Code Week?
Kids/teenagers/adults can participate in coding events
Coders can organise workshops in local schools, hack spaces or community centres
Teachers who code can hold coding classes, share their lessons plans, organise workshops for colleagues
Teachers who don’t code can organise seminars or invite parents or students to teach each other coding
Parents can encourage their kids to participate in a coding workshop
Businesses and non-profit organisations can host coding workshops, lend their staff as coaches in a “back-to-coach” action, organise fun coding challenges for students or offer sponsorship for coding events
Everyone who participates in a coding activity can tell us about their experience and inspire others!
Why is coding important?
Each and every interaction between humans and computers is governed by code. Whether you create a web app, follow GPS directions when driving or wish to revolutionize social interactions. Programming is everywhere and fundamental to the understanding of a hyper-connected world.


Basic coding skills will also be needed for many jobs in the nearest future. More than 90% of professional occupations nowadays require some ICT competence. Moreover, ICT practitioners are a key pillar of the modern workforce across all sectors of the European economy, with demand growing annually by 3% and the number of graduates from computer science not keeping pace. As a result many open vacancies for ICT practitioners cannot be filled, despite the high level of unemployment in Europe. If we do not appropriately address this issue at a European and national level, we may face a shortage of up to 900,000 ICT professionals by 2020.

Making ICT careers more attractive is one of the objectives of the European initiative “Grand Coalition for Digital Jobs”, a European multi-stakeholder partnership that aims at facilitating cooperation among business, education providers, public and private actors to address the mismatch in digital skills in the European labour market also by modernising education.

Useful links
EU Code Week website 

Twitter: @codeWeekEU Hashtag: #codeEU

Facebook: codeEU

Neelie Kroes’ website

Follow Neelie on Twitter

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Celebrating European Day of Languages 2014

Published on September 26, 2014 by in blog

Quarry Mount Primary School in Leeds celebrates European Day of Languages 2014.

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European Day of Languages 26th September-Headingley Library

Published on September 17, 2014 by in blog

European Day of Languages 26th September 2014Image of world flags

10am-1pm Headingley Library

Come along to one of our language taster workshops on European Day of Languages to learn some simple easy greetings and phrases in Polish, Spanish and German. You can alson learn about the cultures that languages belong to.

Polish: 10-11am

Spanish: 11am-12noon

German: 12noon-1pm

Booking required, tickets available at the counter.


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Celebrate the European Day of Languages 26th September 2014

Published on September 2, 2014 by in blog





We have been celebrating the European Day of Languages http://edl.ecml.at/ throughout Europe for the past 13 years.If you are planning your own event to celebrate languages, Europe Direct Leeds can supply you with a range of free resources, such as:

Languages take you further This booklet includes samples of the official EU languages


Passport to the European Union Encourages you to take an interest in other countries, different

people, different food, etc.


Wall maps of Europe The maps are meant for decorating your classrooms, corridors or staff rooms


Lets’s explore Europe This book for children aged 912 is full of interesting facts and colourful

illustrations about geography, history, languages and much more. It gives a lively overview of

Europe and explains briefly what the European Union is and how it works


Farms are fun A city boy visits relatives who have a farm


All U need is space Space is not just about adventurous space travel of robots and humans, or

studying astronomy and astrophysics. It can also be very down to Earth! More and more space

applications are being developed that can be used in our daily lives


The Mystery of the Golden Stars Allows children to discover something about what the EU is;

how it works and how it may be relevant to them, in a fun and stimulating way



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Used a Europe Direct Information Centre recently? We want to hear from you!

Published on August 26, 2014 by in blog, slider

Help us to improve our service to you – please complete our short survey:



Thank you for taking a moment to let us know how satisfied you were with the service you received
from your local Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC). This survey is completely anonymous.


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Are you ready for travelling this summer?

Published on August 1, 2014 by in blog

Passenger rights Find out about your rights before you travel.

The EU is the first area in the world with a full set of passenger rights for all modes of transport. So whether you are going by coach, plane or boat it could be useful for you. There is also information on what to do if you have lost your luggage, what to do in the event of cancellations and help for passengers with mobility problems.
You can also download the app to keep you informed on the move.

European Health Insurance Card

essential information on the European health insurance card: http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=559&langId=en



European Health Insurance Card storyboard competition:

Keep Your passenger rights at hand, everywhere

It’s holiday time and we’re all quite excited by the prospects of going on adventures, city trips, seaside holidays, etc. But are you aware of your rights if thing don’t go as planned? If your plane is delayed, you are denied boarding or your suitcase is lost?

Just to be on the safe side, have a look at the European Commission’s webpages on passenger rights before you leave home. You can also download their app in case you need to looks things up on the go.

And finally, here’s a link for some reading materials for your holidays. Have a great time!

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New European Parliament composition explained in 2 minutes

Published on August 1, 2014 by in blog

viEUws just published an animated video “Animation: new European Parliament composition explained in 2 minutes” which explains the composition of the 2014-2019 European Parliament and also provides an overview of all European Parliament Committees, indicating for each Committee which political group chairs it and the number of MEPs present.

• WATCH VIDEO: Animation: new European Parliament composition explained in 2 minutes http://www.vieuws.eu/eu-institutions/animation-new-european-parliament-composition-explained-in-2-minutes/

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EU Consumer Rights – Five rights you should know

Published on July 26, 2014 by in blog, slider

In the EU, consumer protection legislation guarantees that everyone has  the right to be treated fairly when buying goods at the supermarket, paying
the bill with the energy supplier or downloading music.

The Charter of Fundamental Rights, the European treaties and sectorspecific EU legislation all guarantee a high level of consumer protection in the EU. European legislation guarantees consumers fair treatment, products which meet acceptable standards and a right of redress if something goes wrong.

Discover more on youreurope.eu Contact your nearest ECC ec.europa.eu/consumers/ecc #EU4Consumers

Before you buy, know your rights!

As a consumer, when you pay for a product or service, be it online or in a shop, in your home country or elsewhere in the EU, you have rights. Many Europeans  are unaware of some of their most basic consumer rights. EU law guarantees you fair treatment, proper information and the possibility to claim your rights, if anything goes wrong.
> Know your rights.> Get all the information before buying.> Insist on your rights if there is a problem.

1. Have defective goods repaired or replaced for free

If any item you buy in the EU, either online or from a shop, is different from how it is advertised or doesn’t work properly, you have at least the right to a free repair or replacement. If repair or replacement is not possible or impractical, you can request a refund or a price reduction instead (in some countries you may have a free choice between rights). You have these rights for a minimum of two years from the date of purchase in a shop or delivery to you.

2. Find support in your home country for problems with traders abroad

European Consumer Centres (ECC) offer you free advice and support when you buy goods or services from a trader in another EU country and give tips to help you avoid potentially costly problems. They can also help you if you have a dispute with a trader and advise you on further steps
if you can’t reach an agreement.

The UK European Consumer Centre http://www.ukecc.net/

3. Send online purchases back within two weeks

You have 14 days to reconsider your purchasing decision and withdraw. So, if you felt pressured to buy, have come across a better deal in the
meantime or have simply changed your mind about anything you bought online, you may always return it within two weeks and get your money
back. Remember that a product must be returned in a resaleable state to receive a full refund, so you can only check the product, not use it. For instance if you bought shoes, you can try them on at home but not wear them outside.

4. Get the full story on whatever you buy

Any company advertising, selling products or supplying services in the EU must give you information which is accurate and detailed
enough to allow you to make an informed choice. This means information about product characteristics, price, payment and delivery
conditions, the seller’s identity and contact details, as well as the duration of a contract and how to withdraw from it. Contract terms used
by traders must be fair and written in plain and clear language. Any points that aren’t clear will be interpreted in your favour and unfair terms won’t be legally binding.

5. Get your money back through the European Small Claims Procedure

If you can’t settle a problem with a trader or with the help of a European Consumer Centre, then in some cases you can make use of the
Small Claims Procedure (in all EU Member States with the exception of Denmark). This is a speedy, cost-effective alternative to traditional court procedures, and can currently be used for online transactions involving up to €2000. It works by just submitting a standard small claims form.

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