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Europe Direct – news and events

Christmas PopUp Shop in Cardiff EDIC

Cardiff EDIC held a Christmas Pop Up Shop on Saturday 6th December to provide an opportunity for local small and medium enterprises and hobbiests to sell their products in a more unusual environment. The stalls were set up around Cardiff Central Library where the EDIC is based. Cardiff EDIC also had two information stands at the event and the Council's European Department also attended promoting the DigitalCardiff Agenda to both the stallholders and the shoppers.


Business@ Breakfast seminars in the Cardiff EDIC, Central Library

Cardiff EDIC organised a series of Business@Breakfast seminars during the first week of November. The seminars were aimed at local Small and Medium Enterprises and were delivered early in the morning accompanied by light refreshments.


The week started with an excellent workshop run by Anna Bastek from Swansea based Wolfestone on ‘How to overcome language and cultural barriers in business’. There was some really positive feedback from the participants.


The second seminar was presented by Prab Chadha from Pogo Digital Marketing. His enthusiastic presentation on ‘The secret formula for Twitter success’ was well received and his advice and tips on using Twitter was fascinating and extremely useful. Encouraged by Prab, many of the audience began Tweeting during the session and following his talk the question and answer session kept him busy.


The third session was given by Rhian Jones of Cardiff Council’s Economic Development department on the DigitalCardiff SuperConnected scheme for businesses in the local area to get faster and more reliable broadband speed. There were also representatives from a number of broadband providers.


The final session delivered by Business Wales was ‘Accessing business finance for SMEs’.


The sessions were attended by 60 participants over the course of the week and the feedback was very positive, with requests for the Twitter session in particular to be repeated or another session run along parallel themes and attendees felt that besides the interesting topics themselves, this was a fantastic opportunity for networking.


AGM for the Europe wide EDIC network

The AGM for the Europe wide EDIC network was held in Bonn, Germany from 14th-16th October. One member of the Cardiff team represented the Cardiff EDIC. The event was a well organised series of addresses, keynote speeches and seminars.

The evening opening welcome address was from Viviane Hoffmann, Acting Director, Directorate General for Communication, European Commission. She emphasised the importance of the Europe Direct centres and the varied roles they play.  The second day included a very informative address by Ingo Espenschied, Political Scientist on the founding fathers of the European Union and a keynote address by Janis A Emmanouilidis, Director of Studies and Head of the European Politics and Institutions Programme at the European Policy Centre, Brussels on the strategic challenges for the new EU leadership. The day also offered the choice of attending three out of twelve seminars. The representative from the Cardiff EDIC attended ‘EU Budget – a finding opportunity for very European’, ‘Europe in my Region’ run by the Committee for the Regions and ‘EU Trade Policy’. The latter one was particularly interesting as it addressed TTIP, very much in the news at the moment. During the day there were also had break-out sessions called  World Café where the delegates from across Europe were encouraged to mix and meet in small groups of six to discuss issues raised at a local level. These proved to be both ice breaking and informative, with a perspective on how others see information from the European Institutions being delivered to the EDICs.

The second day also contained a number of addresses to the whole of conference including ‘What have we learnt from the European elections’ by Juana Lahousse Juarez, Director General for Communication, European Parliament and another considering the interaction between the European Representations and the EDICs by Ludolf van Hasselt, Acting Director, Directorate General for CommunicatiON, European Commission.

There were also three more seminars to select from another twelve topics and the Cardiff EDIC rep chose a very useful one held by Eurostat about their website and the benefits of statistics to our customers, another entitled Your Europe – Your Rights, also really useful with details on the dedicated enquiry line and another European enquiry service called SOLVIT. The third seminar addressed next year’s European Year for Development 2015, outlining the various topics and themes that can be addressed during next year’s awareness raising campaign. This definitely gave food for thought for possibilities for events in the Cardiff EDIC next year.

The afternoon offered the chance for individuals from any EDIC to set the agenda and hold drop-in discussions on any burning issue relating to their daily work in the EDIC network. The 15 UK EDICs took the opportunity to use one of these sessions to discuss issues affecting UK issues.

The AGM was an enjoyable and well run event, with ample opportunity to network and learn more about the daily running of the EDIC. It was also an informative event with mostly interesting addresses and well run seminars. The opportunity for less formal break-out sessions day was also a very good idea.

UK Partnership Agreement adopted

On 29 October, the UK Partnership Agreement, which sets out the strategy for the optimal use of European Structural and Investment Funds (ESI) throughout the country, was adopted between the UK Government and the European Commission. This is an important step towards Wales being able to spend £2.1bn of EU fundsExternal link opens in a new window over the next seven years. 



Croeso – a welcome to international students

On Monday 22nd September Cardiff Europe Direct Information Centre (EDIC), in conjunction with Cardiff Central Library where it is based, held its second annual evening for International Students starting courses at Cardiff University this year.  The event is now included in the University’s induction programme and this year we saw almost 200 students come through the doors.
The students were introduced to the library and EDIC, received goodie bags containing a selection of EU booklets, EDIC promotional items and they were able to sign up for library cards. On another level, this was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the library and for the students to meet library staff and to make new friends
During the course of the evening over 1000 EU booklets were taken away and over 80 people joined the library.


Mock Council of the European Union

On September 11th two members of the Cardiff EDIC staff ran an information stand at this year’s Mock Council of the European Union held in the National Assembly for Wales.
Students from all over Wales took on the roles of delegates from EU countries in two topical debates; Motion 1 : Regions becoming independent of EU Member States should be admitted into the EU immediately and Motion 2: The EU should set a target for each Member State to produce 40% of its electricity from renewable resources by 2040.
In the breaks between sessions, they, and their teachers, chatted to the EDIC staff and took away over 150 information booklets produced by the European Commission, along with promotional items from the EDIC itself. The day proved extremely useful for making contacts, distributing materials and in explaining the role of the EDIC and what we can do to help schools obtain relevant publications.

Have your say on Europe 2020!

Did you know the European Union is holding a public consultation on Europe 2020?

Launched in 2010, Europe 2020 is the EU’s ten-year growth and jobs strategy. It is not just about overcoming the crisis from which our economies are now gradually recovering. It is also about addressing the shortcomings of our growth model and creating the conditions for a smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. 

Five headline targetsExternal link opens in a new window have been set for the EU to achieve by the end of 2020. These cover employment; research and development; climate/energy; education; social inclusion and poverty reduction.  Your views will help to shape future development of the strategy. 


The consultation deadline is 31 October 2014. More detailsExternal link opens in a new window


'Wales must exploit more EU funding opportunities': National Assembly for Wales report 

The National Assembly for Wales' Enterprise and Business Committee has conducted an inquiry examining a range of funding streams available to Wales for 2014-2020, building on the Committee’s previous work on Structural Funding and the EU’s new research programme Horizon 2020. The report on the findings, published on 16th July, concludes that an over-emphasis on Structural Funds and Rural Development Programmes in Wales means that the significant opportunities provided by other funding programmes haven’t been properly realised. The Welsh Local Government Association submitted written evidenceExternal link opens in a new window to this Inquiry.   

National Eisteddfod of Wales - August 2014

On Monday the 5th and Tuesday the 6th of August staff from the Europe Direct information centre  Cardiff  helped out on the European Commission’s  information stand at the National Eisteddfod of Wales. This was a great opportunity to promote the Welsh European Network.


This year the Eisteddfod is being held in Llanelli on the grounds of the old steelworks. A wonderful setting next to the coastal path. Many people visited the Europe Direct stand wanting more information about Europe and what it represents, and they took away literature for further reading. There was also an opportunity to promote the European Direct information centres and what they provide.

Children popped in and spent time designing and colouring their own flags, and were proud to display their work on the Europe Direct stand walls. They were also happy to take away stickers and story books about Europe, and the environment. 



Europe Day celebration in Cardiff Central Library May 2014

On 10th May, Cardiff Central Library and the Europe Direct information centre (EDIC) Cardiff  put on their fourth annual Europe Day celebration, choosing the Saturday rather than the actual Europe Day of the 9th to hold the event. This busy, fun day had lots on offer.

The day had stands from various European organisations including the European Commission, Vertias Academy, European Documentation Centre Cardiff, Cardiff Adult Community Learning, Connect Cymru, Cardiff Nantes Exchange, Club de Francais, Cardiff Stuttgart Association, Polish Home Association and My Place Polish Restaurant. There were also stands from the Central Library languages section and the Cardiff EDIC.

The Polish restaurant ‘My Place’ served up free samples of delicious Polish food, with their Hunter’s Stew proving particularly popular.

There was also a performance by the excellent community based song and dance group Pentreffest. The ten strong group entertained with songs from Wales, Scotland, France and Scandinavia.Veritas Academy provided fun tours of France and Spain for children age 3 to 10 with song, dance and dressing up.
For adults there were language taster sessions in Polish, French and German run by the Polish community and tutors from the council’s Adult Community Learning.

This was a very popular day. Look out for next one on May 9th 2015. The Cardiff EDIC is situated on the fourth floor of Cardiff Central Library. 


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