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Celebrate the European Day of Languages with us on Friday 25 September 2015

Published on August 25, 2015 by in blog, slider

Celebrate the European Day of Languages
Friday 25 September
12.00noon – 2.00pm

Central Library, The Arts Space
Come and join us at this free event!
 Taster sessions in a variety of languages
 Meet local colleges and language providers to find out more about language courses
 Meet the Interpreting and Translation Team
 Join the Language Exchange Scheme at Central Library
 Win a prize, enter the Language quiz
 Books and music to borrow in other languages
 Is English not your first language? Find out about online resources to improve your English and try the Citizenship Test
 Naric – find out about overseas qualifications comparability
 Visit our Europe Direct Centre
 Light refreshments will be provided
Free event, no booking required. Everyone welcome.

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European Week of Sport 7-13 September #BeActive

Published on August 27, 2015 by in blog, slider

Inform. Inspire. Facilitate.

Visit: http://ec.europa.eu/sport/week/

more videos: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLJmEREKFYU8XIURXesu2BsgpVY6j6xUvc

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Published on August 24, 2015 by in blog

Want to compare your country with other European countries and to see in one glance the differences among them? Take a look at Eurostat’s new infographic: My country in a bubble.

How do EU countries compare? To help citizens visualise the similarities and differences between their country and others, Eurostat has produced a new online infographic tool called My country in a bubble. The application enables comparisons to be made in about 50 indicators for EU member states and EFTA countries. The indicators are grouped into the following themes: economy and finance; population and social conditions; industry, trade and services; agriculture and fisheries; international trade; transport; environment and energy, and, science and technology.

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Access to Finance for Business

Published on August 17, 2015 by in blog, Enterprise

The EU supports entrepreneurs and businesses with a wide range of programmes providing financing through local financial institutions. Every year the EU supports more than 200,000 businesses. Funding is available for startups, entrepreneurs and companies of any size or sector. A wide range of financing is available: loans, guarantees, equity funding and other.

But how can businesses access EU funds that are made available via local financial institutions? The Access to Finance website is a database set up for that purpose, to help users locate banks or venture capital funds that provide finance supported by the EU.



The Access to finance webportal helps you to finance your projects with EU funds. It is easy, complete and up-to-date.
Do you need further advice free of charge?

You can also contact one of our 600 Enterprise Europe
Network offices where experts can help you find international business partners, give advice on EU law
and guidance on how to access EU funding. Find your local branch here: http://een.ec.europa.eu/

InnovFin Programme (Horizon 2020)
- Loans and guarantees to innovative businesses
- Financing of research & development projects
- Equity (early and start-up phase)
COSME Programme
- Guarantees to small and medium-sized enterprises for loans
mainly up to €150,000
- Equity (growth and expansion stage)
European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI funds)
- Loans, guarantees, equity fi nancing or grants to businesses.
Support is provided from multi-annual programmes
co-financed by the EU.
Programme for Employment and Social
Innovation (EaSI)
- Microloans up to €25,000 to micro-enterprises and to vulnerable
persons who wish to set up or develop a micro-company
- Equity up to €500,000 to social enterprises
One website with access to over €100 billion of
finance from various EU programmes:

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Europe for Citizens programme

Published on August 10, 2015 by in blog

How does the European Union contribute to fostering an understanding of its history and diversity? And how does it attempt to boost EU civic participation? As this brief from the European Parliament Research Service explains, Europe for Citizens is an EU programme aimed at encouraging direct participation in EU policies by citizens, and promoting dialogue between the EU institutions, civil society organisations and municipalities. With over five million citizens (directly or indirectly) involved in the programme, and €185.5 million available for the period 2014-2020, Europe for Citizens has earmarked funding for two main areas. One is called “European remembrance”, which this year looks at crimes against humanity during the Second World War; and the consequences of the war for Europe’s architecture.

European remembrance- the EU as a peace project

The programme supports initiatives which reflect on the causes of the totalitarian regimes that blighted Europe’s modern history, look at its other defining moments and reference points, and consider different historical perspectives.


The other area, entitled “Democratic engagement and civic participation”, focuses on debating the future of Europe in 2015.

Democratic engagement & civic participation- getting citizens involved

 1. Town twinning

Projects will bring together citizens from twinned towns to debate issues from the European political agenda. They will develop opportunities for societal engagement and volunteering at EU level.

2.  Networks of towns

Towns are encouraged to cooperate with other towns on a long‑term basis to explore particular topics or themes, share resources or interests, gain influence or face common challenges.

3.  Civil society projects

These projects give citizens an opportunity to participate concretely in the EU policy-making process. They stimulate debates to propose practical solutions through cooperation at European level.







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Theme of the Month- August #eyd2015 – Humanitarian Aid

Published on August 1, 2015 by in blog

Humanitarian Aid

Natural disasters, wars, and conflicts can have devastating effects on civilians, depriving them from the basics of subsistence like food or electricity, sometimes overnight. Humanitarian aid ensures the very survival of the affected populations after a crisis hits by responding to basic needs such as food, shelter, clean water or physical protection. European humanitarian aid is unconditional. It is there for anyone who needs it, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, gender, age or political beliefs. It is about human dignity, not about politics.


ECHO : http://ec.europa.eu/echo

EU Aid Volunteers


Humanitarian aid and civil protection

Humanitarian aid and civil protection – Helping victims of disasters and conflicts, and protecting those at risk (2014)

‘European humanitarian aid makes a true difference for thousands and thousands of people who know that Europe is a force which stands for those universal values that are so essential to make the world a better place to live in.’ This brochure is part of the series ‘The European Union explained’ that explains what the EU does in the fields where it has powers, why it does this and what it achieves.

Download the brochure on EU Bookshop 


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Finalists for the RegioStars 2015 awards announced

Published on July 27, 2015 by in blog

The European Commission has announced the 17 finalists for the RegioStars 2015 awards which honour Europe’s most inspirational and innovative regional projects supported by EU Cohesion Policy Funds.

An independent jury selected the finalists from 143 entries on the basis of four key criteria: innovation, impact, sustainability and partnership. These projects should serve as best practices examples for other regions and cities, illustrating the kind of investments that the Commission wants to see more of in the future.

The finalists come from regions and cities in 15 Member States: ‪‎Austria, ‪‎Bulgaria, ‪‎Czech Republic, ‪‎Denmark, ‪‎France, ‪‎Greece, ‪‎Hungary, ‪‎Italy, ‪‎Ireland, ‪‎Poland, ‪‎Portugal, ‪‎Romania, ‪‎Spain, ‪‎Sweden and the ‪‎United Kingdom.

The four winners in each category – Smart Growth, Sustainable Growth, Inclusive Growth and CityStars – will be announced during the 2015 Open Days event in Brussels from 12 to 15 October 2015. 


UK finalists are:

Category 1 – SMART GROWTH: Unleashing SME growth potential for a digital economy

-Digital Tourism (Wales, UK)

Category 2 – SUSTAINABLE GROWTH: Mobilizing investments in energy efficiency for the benefit of citizens and society

-London Green Fund (UK)

Category 3 – INCLUSIVE GROWTH: Integrating in society those at risk of social exclusion

-Fit for Work (Wales, UK)

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Third year strumming for Our Big Gig in the Library with Europe Direct Leeds

Published on July 22, 2015 by in blog

What do a bandurria and a laúd have in common? They are both stringed instruments similar to a lute and they both originate in Spain.

Tim Moon was on hand to demonstrate these and dozens of other musical instruments from around Europe at this year’s Our Big Gig in the Library.

This is the third year running when the Central Library has blown away the cobwebs and rocked it to the rafters as part of the annual national music festival.

Our Big Gig is a community music celebration which takes place across England in July each year. The events aim to bring communities together to celebrate their local musical talents and get more people involved in music making.

The Leeds Youth Percussion Ensemble, led by their teacher and conductor Nic Shipp, drew an appreciative audience to the ArtSpace while the Art Library basked on the gentler sound of the North Leeds String Orchestra led by conductor Amy Levene.

Both groups are part of Leeds ArtForms which offers music learning opportunities in schools and in the community through its network of music centres.

If you are thinking of taking up a new musical challenge (or revisiting an old one) the Music & Preforming Arts Library has information about these, and other opportunities to get involved.

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Drop’pin and go far

Published on July 20, 2015 by in blog, slider

European Commission’s Drop’pin website aims to help young people eager to improve their skills

There are many unemployed young people in Europe who are eager to get a foot on the employment ladder but don’t know how to take the first step. Perhaps they don’t have enough confidence or they don’t have all the skills they need. Led by the European Commission, Drop’pin is a new platform to help bring young people looking to better their knowledge, skills and abilities closer to organisations offering opportunities to improve them. Drop’pin is not a job-matching site but it lists apprenticeships, traineeships, training programmes, e-learning courses, language training, mentoring and coaching schemes, as well as various social services (such as assistance with housing), across a range of sectors. It enables organisations such as large corporations, SMEs and NGOs to promote youth-oriented opportunities to a ready and willing pool of young people. It also facilitates networking and collaboration across Europe with the aim of forming partnerships to create programmes to improve young people’s employability and develop the hard-to-find skills that businesses need.



Do you want to increase your chances of finding a job by upgrading your skills?
Don’t know where to begin?
Drop’pin is the place for you. This new online platform is where you can discover opportunities
to improve your employability, and bridge the gap between education and a
future career. Whatever kind of opportunity you’re looking for to improve your chances of
finding a job in Europe, Drop’pin has something for you.
With apprenticeships, traineeships, training programmes, e-learning courses, language
training, mentoring and coaching schemes in a range of sectors, as well as support for
moving to another country, Drop’pin is the place to find youth opportunities in Europe.
By signing up to Drop’pin, you will increase your chances of finding a job in the future that
links to your interests and skills, whatever sector you hope to work in.
Sign up for Drop’pin today and
make yourself more employable!
Are you looking to take your first
steps into the world of work?
Discover hundreds of opportunities, free of charge, for boosting your employability
Find out more about and follow a range of organisations across Europe who are
looking to invest in young people like you
Learn about the support available to upgrade your skills in other European
Get advice and information on your personal and professional development
Connect with other young Europeans and share your experiences

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