With the formal appointment of Ursula von der Leyan the European Commission sets out the EU’s overall political goals that are developed collectively by its institutions. Find out more about the EU’s strategy, policies and initiatives by the European Commission by following the link below:
Europe Direct East Midlands (North) were pleased to attend a packed event that included a talent show for children of EU nationals. The delightful event, including singers, dancers, guitarists and pianists all under 12 years of age was attended by over 200 people from all corners of the EU with a real family atmosphere. Opening the afternoon’s entertainment the Sheriff of Nottingham explained the importance and vibrance of the diverse community in Nottingham and how EU nationals have contributed to the community.
During the afternoon the Europe Direct stand provided information resources for EU citizens and to explain the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS). Whilst most of the families we spoke with have already applied to the EUSS, questions included concerns for EU nationals who were difficult to reach due to various vulnerabilities, concerns were also expressed about partners and relatives who are currently living in their EU nation state but whom may wish to join them at a later date.
There was a lot of interest in EU publications, especially from those who are involved in education. We were able to explain to vitors to the stall that even after Brexit the European Union was still there for EU citizens if the UK was nolonger an EU member.
Next week we shall once again be at the Hyson Green Youth Club at a Christmas event for the Romanian community.
The Royal Association for Deaf people are providing assistance to EU citizens who are deaf and require help applying to the EU settlement scheme. Assistance is provided face to face via a series of roadshows and also from their offices in London and Essex.
In additiona to face appointments RAD provide remote support through webcam appointments and the very useful videos on their website that are provided in both British and International Sign Language.
Click on the image below for find out more about the locations and services provided for EU citizens by RAD.
The European Parliament is set to elect a new European Commission today. The European Parliament’s News page reports:
“Starting at 9.00, Ursula von der Leyen, President-elect of the European Commission, will present her team of Commissioners-designate (already vetted by MEPs in the recent hearings) and discuss the new Commission’s objectives with Parliament.
After the debate, each political group will briefly meet to discuss their voting intentions.
The election at noon will be preceded by statements from the leaders of the political groups (in reverse order of the size of their groups).”
It is expected that A press conference by European Parliament (EP) President Sassoli and President-elect von der Leyen is scheduled for 13.30. For more information visit the EP’s Press Room.
This comes after the UK refused to appoint a Commissioner despite the extension of Article 50. The action has prompted the EU to take action against the UK for the infringement. The BBC covered this topic on 14th November.
The Rural Development Programme for England Growth Programme has opened a new call under the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development worth £35 million.
Rural businesses across the area can apply to benefit from the £35 million worth of funding to create new jobs, boost tourism, and unlock growth in rural areas.
The Local Economic Partnership for Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire, D2N2 is providing technical support in the form of two workshops in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
The workshops are free to attend.
- Friday 13 December 2019 at Nottinghamshire County Council, County Hall, West Bridgford, Nottingham, NG2 7QP
- Monday 16 December 2019 at Bakewell Agricultural Centre, Agricultural Way, Bakewell, Derbyshire DE45 1AH
This will provide and opportunity for rural businesses to find out more about the funding opportunities and receive support in making high quality applications to the Rural Development Programme.
Closing date for EAFRD applications is February 16th 2020.
If you are interested but unable to attend the local workshops more information is available by following the link below:
EU Publications produce fact sheets on the European Union aimed at the non-specialist.
- The Fact Sheets are designed to provide a straightforward, concise and accurate overview of the European Union’s institutions and policies, and of the role that the European Parliament plays in their development. With access to around 180 Fact Sheets, readers will find that this is a concise yet comprehensive source of information about the Union’s institutions and policies. The content of these Fact Sheets covers five main areas:
- How the European Union works
- The economy, science and quality of life
- Cohesion, growth and jobs
- Citizens, fundamental rights, security and jobs
- The EU’s external relations.
You can download a copy of the Face Sheets on the EU Publications site below or order a hard copy for free.
Disinformation threatens our democracies and the EU is making people aware of what they can do to fight it. One of the biggest challenges we face today is countering online disinformation, making it all the more important to be able to spot it and not spread it any further.
The European Commission has published the following advice and information on medium.com to help you spot and report online disinformation.
What is disinformation?
Disinformation is any verifiably false or misleading information created, presented and disseminated for economic gain, or to intentionally deceive the public. But this does not mean disinformation is always “false” or untrue. Spreading half-truths, mixing facts with fiction or reusing content out of context are common practices that aim to confuse the readers.
Disinformation can have far-reaching consequences for our society and democracy. It can influence our political decision-making processes and even put the protection of our environment, health, personal security and so much more at risk.
Those who spread disinformation use many tricks to accomplish their goals. Here are six ways to help you spot disinformation and stop its spread online:
1. Check the source
Are you familiar with the news outlet sharing the information? Does the look or feel of the outlet resemble a well-known website but is not quite the same? This could mean the source is unreliable or deceptive.
2. Check the author
If an author or journalist is credible, you should be able to track their previous work and find which organisations they have worked for. You should also be able to find other articles or publications they have written.
Keep in mind that sometimes an “online expert” may not really be an expert in the subject. There is a difference between a specialist and someone obsessed with conspiracy theories.
If you see a social media account posting hundreds of times a day, especially on Twitter, and frequently at suspicious times like at 4 AM, it is likely to be a bot. Other red flags include language or syntax errors and little or no engagement in real conversations.
3. Check the content
Is the story you want to share being covered by traditional media, like newspapers or broadcasters? Does the story match the information put out by public authorities and institutions or NGOs? Remember, credible media outlets have clearly defined reporting standards and the news that they present is balanced, with attributed sources, and has context.
4. Check the pictures and videos
“Seeing is believing” is no longer a given. Sometimes old images are used in different contexts or are completely fake. To verify whether an image is real, you can always try to track back to its original source or use various “online reverse image tools.”
Keep in mind that disinformation technology is constantly evolving as exemplified by the emergence of manipulated videos such as deepfakes.
5. See how the story makes you feel
If an article stirs a lot of (negative) emotions inside you, pause for a moment and ask yourself: did someone deliberately wish to elicit such a response from me? Am I falling into that trap? Disinformation is often designed to trigger negative emotions and erode trust in public authorities and professional media. If that happens, it is always a good idea to check the story with another source — a different media outlet — and see how it compares.
If you think that an account is spreading disinformation, report them or the post to the social media platform. They all offer such tools.
Fighting disinformation has to be a coordinated effort involving all relevant actors — from institutions to social platforms, news media and also you. We are all in it together to protect our values and democratic systems in the EU.