'Grow your own' gardening courses spread to the whole of Wales
Welsh project shortlisted for the 2014 EU Enterprise Promotion Awards
'Growing the future', a EU-funded project led by National Botanic Garden of Wales is offering a wide range of practical gardening courses this summer throughout Wales, such as:
- Introduction to bee keeping in Bangor;
- Growing unusual edibles in Newtown and Swansea;
- Natural Pest and Disease Control in the Vegetable Garden in Carmarthen;
-Fruit hedge planting in Lampeter;
-Urban chicken keeping in Cardiff.
To view the full list of courses and to book, please go to www.growingthefuture.co.uk
Gower College’s Primary to Professional (P2P) project is one of only 22 projects to have been shortlisted for the 2014 EU Enterprise Promotion Awards.
This year saw the highest number of countries taking part with hundreds of projects submitted from across 31 European countries.
The annual Awards aim to highlight the best initiatives encouraging entrepreneurship and inspiring future entrepreneurs.
They are divided into 6 categories:
The P2P project has been shortlisted under the ‘Investing in Entrepreneurial Skills’ category. The project introduces primary and secondary pupils to key entrepreneurial skills, such as creativity, innovation and risk taking. It also gives pupils the opportunity to be part of a specialist enterprise academy for start-up businesses.
- Promoting the entrepreneurial spirit,
- Investing in entrepreneurial skills
- Improving the business environment,
- Supporting the internationalisation of business
- Responsible and inclusive entrepreneurship
- Supporting the development of green markets and resource efficiency
The winning project under each category will be revealed in October during European SME week.
For more information, please visit http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-14-497_en.htm
European Council key positions remain to be filled
Following the election of Jean-Claude Juncker as president of the European Commission, a number of other top positions need to be filled in the European Council.
The main position involved is the new president of the European Council, who is responsible for leading the council and driving forward its work, and must also work in cooperation with the president of the European Commission.
Other positions involved are the High Representative of the Union for foreign Affairs and Security Policy, which is currently held by Catherine Ashton from the UK.
The European Council met earlier this week to discuss a number of key appointments to be made for top EU positions. However, they failed to reach an agreement.
The current president, Herman van Rompuy’s two and a half year term as president will come to an end later this year, with the new President of the European Council taking office on 1 December. The Council therefore intend on meeting again at the end of August for further discussion.
- 26-27 June: European Council proposed Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the Commission
- 15 July: European Parliament elected Jean-Claude Juncker as President of the Commission
- 16 July: Special European Council
- Summer: member states designate their candidates for commissioners
- 30 August: new meeting of the European Council to discuss nominations for other EU positions
- EP Plenary session: vote of consent by the European Parliament on the new Commission as a whole - President and members including the High Representative
- 23-24 October: European Council
- 1 November: new Commission expected to take office
- 1 December: new President of the European Council takes office
For more information, please visit http://www.european-council.europa.eu/special-meeting-of-the-european-council?lang=en
European Commission launches storyboard competition
The European Commission has launched a storyboard competition which aims to create a new video promoting the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).
The storyboard requires a script of no more than 250 words with between 6 and 16 illustrations, and must also tell a story featuring the EHIC.
Competitors are encouraged to highlight the importance of the card and its benefits, including its lack of cost.
Three prizes of 1500, 1000 and 500 Euros will be awarded to the most creative, interesting ideas respectively, with the overall winner’s storyboard becoming the new video.
Entries must be received by 17 August 2014.
For more information, please visit http://ec.europa.eu/social/ehic_competition.jsp?langId=en
Europe 2020- Public consultation
The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the review of the Europe 2020 strategy, which aims to promote smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
Currently, the strategy is built around five headline targets in the areas of employment, research and development, climate and energy, education and the fight against poverty and social exclusion.
The strategy also set out a series of action programmes, called "flagship initiatives", in seven fields considered to be key drivers for growth, namely innovation, the digital economy, employment and youth, industrial policy, poverty and resource efficiency.
Through this consultation, the EU Commission is seeking views from individuals and organisations on the lessons learned from the current strategy and on the elements to take into account in its further development for the coming years.
The consultation is open until 31 October 2014.
Erasmus+: What is it all about?
The ED team in WWEC has just produced a factsheet summarizing key opportunities under the new Erasmus+ funding programme.
To view the factsheet, please go to http://bit.ly/U1ZL91
Resounding success for WWEC's EU Awareness Week
“What a good idea! We never realised how much of this funding there is in Carmarthenshire”, said one of the visitors to the WWEC pop-up shop last week.
A busy programme of activities was organised throughout the week alongside information stalls ranging from business support, grants for community groups, sustainable projects, support for farmers and much more.
The shop also had the unexpected visit of the international Welsh rugby player, Rhys Priestland.
In total, over 1200 people have found out more about EU-funded projects in Carmarthenshire and the support they provide to individuals looking for employement or businesses looking to expand.
For more information, please contact the WWEC team by clicking here.
EU Awareness Week in St Catherine's Walk, Carmarthen
From 2 -7 June, Europe Direct will be in St Catherine's Walk Shopping Centre from 10 am until 4 pm to answer any questions regarding the European Union, EU citizens' rights and EU funding programmes, such as Erasmus+.
There will be various publications and leaflets on display as well as feedback forms for the public.
A programme of daily activities has been organised, including an Erasmus+ information session, electric car display, and training and employment advice.
To view the programme, click here.
EU Parliament elections - The result
Following the European Parliament elections, Wales elected its four Members of European Parliament (MEP):
-Derek Vaughan - Labour
-Nathan Gill - UK Independence Party
-Kay Swinburne, Conservative Party
-Jill Evans - Plaid Cymru
The European Parliament is now made up of 751 MEPs, each of them will be responsible for different issues as part of their portfolio.
For more information, please visit http://www.elections2014.eu/en
22 May - EU Parliament elections day
This week, voters in the 28 European countries will be electing their Members of the European Parliament (MEP).
The 751 MEPs who will be in charge of making decisions on a range of issues for the next 5 years.
The results will not be available until the last EU country has held their elections, on Sunday.
To view the results, please visit http://www.elections2014.eu/en
WWEC Pop-up Shop
The West Wales European Centre will be hosting a pop-up shop at the St Catherine’s Walk Shopping Centre, Carmarthen between 02-07 June 2014 to showcase externally funded projects in the county.
Europe Direct, Specialist European Teams and Rural Development Plan Sir Gar will all be there to answer your questions on the European and external funding services we provide.
Come along and meet Centre and project staff who will be on hand to talk to you, showing project films and hosting a variety of interactive sessions including: business support, debt and benefits advice, funding surgeries for community groups and demos by those who have received funding.
A programme of activities and workshops will be published soon...
Flying the Flag - Celebrating Europe Day in Carmarthenshire
On May 9th, people in Carmarthenshire will join millions of other Europeans in celebrating Europe Day.
Each year, people across the European Union commemorate the day in 1950 when the first move was made towards the creation of what is now known as the European Union.
There are 28 countries members of the European Union today, each bringing their own traditions, cultures and languages, especially regional languages, such as Welsh and Breton.
How has Europe helped Carmarthenshire?
The West Wales European Centre (WWEC), part of Carmarthenshire County Council has helped to attract millions of pounds in European funding to Carmarthenshire - a total of £114m is being invested as a direct result of the Convergence programme with a further £23m from the Rural Development plan.
For more information on Convergence, click here.
For more information on Rural Development Plan, click here.
Europe for Citizens funding programme is adopted- First deadline announced
The 'Europe for Citizens' funding programme has finally been adopted for the 2014-2020 period.
The programme guide is expected to be available by beginning of May and the first deadline for Town twinning projects, and remembrance project is provisionally set for 4 June.
For more information, please go to http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/europe-for-citizens/news/europe-for-citizens-funding-programme-for-period-2014-2020-officially_en
Ensuring sustainable fish in our Fish & Chips
Fishermen in the EU will get additional support to meet the requirements of the new EU Common Fisheries Policy.
From 2015, each EU country will put into force new sustainable fishing quotas, and a ban on discarding unwanted fish back into the seas.
To help achieve this, financial help will be available for fishermen to buy new selective fishing equipment, for instance.
Young fishermen will also receive financial support when starting their own fishing business.
This new policy aims to make the EU fishing industry more sustainable, but also to improve the safety and working conditions of fishermen.
For more information, visit http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140411IPR43503/html/New-Fisheries-Fund-signed-and-sealed-concludes-EU-fisheries-policy-reform
Creative Europe - Upcoming calls
The new EU funding programme for media called Creative Europe has launched the following calls for proposals:
1. Creative Europe Film Distribution (UK)
This sub-action provides support to encourage the circulation of European audiovisual works within different countries.
Funding is available for distributors and sales agents to encourage investments in co-production and distribution of films from other countries (automatic), as well as for network of cinemas from at least five European companies to distribute a film outside its home country (selective).
Deadlines: 30 April (automatic) and 2 July
(for selective programmes).
For more information, please go to
2. Creative Europe Media Training Proposals Wanted (UK)
Funding is available for organisations to develop two-year partnerships to set up training programmes that develop the skills of audiovisual professionals.
Activities can include workshops, online sessions or tools for sharing knowledge and developing new teaching and learning methods for audiovisual professionals.
Deadline: 23 May 2014
For more information, please go to
Get ready for the 2014 EU Energy Days
Join hundreds of other organisations in Europe in raising awareness and encouraging sustainable energy use as part of the 2014 EU Energy Days.
Throughout the entire month of June, organisations, NGOs and public authorities will be holding Energy Days across the EU.
For more information, please visit http://www.eusew.eu/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=111
"Don't lose your right to vote" roadshow kicks off in Ammanford
This Friday, students from Coleg Sir Gâr Ammanford campus can find out more about their right to vote, what they will be voting for on 22 May and how to register to vote.
Carmarthenshire County Council’s Participation Officer, Sarah Powell and Lorena Prist, responsible for the Europe Direct information service based at the West Wales European Centre, Carmarthen will be on hand to answer questions about voting, the role of the European Parliament and how decisions taken at EU level benefit us here in Carmarthenshire.
The Roadshow will be in the Atrium, from 11.30am until 2.30pm.
The other Roadshows will be in:
- Coleg Sir Gâr, Graig Campus, on 7 April;
- Coleg Sir Gâr, Pibwrlwyd campus, on 9 April;
- Coleg Sir Gâr, Jobs Well campus, on 10 April;
- University of Wales, Trinity St David, Carmarthen campus, on 24 April;
- Coleg Sir Gâr, Gelli Aur, on 28 April.
For more information, please contact Lorena Prist on 01267 242369 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the EU Parliament elections, please click here.
Defending human rights in Europe - the work of the Council of Europe
The Council of Europe has just produced a video explaining its work and achievements over the years, promoting and defending human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Through the European Convention on Human Rights, the Council of Europe works to ensure a better quality of life for the 800 million people living in the 47 member states represented at the Council.
To view the video, please go to http://bit.ly/1mj7UkH
'BAC 2 the future' - free event for Welsh BAC coordinators, 27 March, National Botanical Garden
This event is aimed at Welsh BAC coordinators from the ERW consortium to look at a range of activities and resources designed to support the delivery of the following elements of Wales, Europe and the World :
-Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship
-Cultural Heritage and Perspectives
A representative from the Welsh Government will be presenting the Revised Welsh Baccalaureate, give an overview of the main changes from September 2015, including the new challenge structure.
The programme also includes an overview of funding opportunities available, as well as sharing of effective practices from schools in Wales, and a choice of interactive workshops and challenges led by experienced providers.
This event also presents the ideal opportunity to network with colleagues and meet with local and regional organisations who can support schools in delivering aspects of the Welsh Baccalaureate .
The event is organised with the support of the European Commission Office in Wales.
For more information, please contact Lorena Prist, on 01267 242369 or at email@example.com
Please register on the link below http://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/bacc-2-the-future-tickets-10648025531
Wales’s cultural life has been enriched by European immigrants, discuss! - Swansea, 14 March
Comedy, poetry, Welsh culture and the EU?! What a mixture!
Come and join in on an evening of entertainment and discussion.
Can Welsh cultural values survive and thrive in an increasingly globalised world? And what would Dylan Thomas have made of it all?
Join in on what promises to be a thought-provoking and fun evening.
Debate is chaired by Jamie Owen, BBC.
-Professor Heaven Crawley - AcSS, & Director, Centre for Migration Policy Research (CMPR), Swansea University
-Arwel Gruffydd - Artistic Director, Theatr Genedlaethol Cymru
-Rhys Taylor - VP Education and Welfare, Bangor University
-Geraint Talfan Davies OBE - Chair, Institute of Welsh Affairs
Paul Henry - Poet
Chris "Korkey" Corcoran - Comedian
The event is organised with the support of the European Commission Office in Wales.
It is free and open to the public, but you must register in advance.
Venue: Dylan Thomas Centre, Somerset Place, Swansea SA1 1RR
Time: 18.00 - 20.00
To register: http://www.europarl.org.uk/en/home/upcoming_events/swansea/swansearegister.html
Upcoming Erasmus+ workshop in Wales for the Youth sector (7 March, Cardiff )
A free Erasmus + workshop (youth chapter) is taking place on 7th March, at 2pm at the Future Inn, Cardiff.
This workshop is being jointly organised by Connect Cymru and the British Council, to give groups and organisations from the youth sector practical information about the new Erasmus+ programme.
In addition, participants will be able to hear from young people who have taken part in EU youth exchanges and volunteering projects in the past as well as exchange ideas and address common issues with colleagues.
To register, please click here.
London hosts EU Citizens dialogue - video now live!
On 10 February, London was host to the EU Commission Citizens' Dialogue event which provided an opportunity for members of the public to ask questions and provide feedback directly to EU politicians about their rights, the kind of Europe they want to live in, and expectations for the future of European Union.
This event was one of a series of events being held in cities in every EU country as part of the 2013 European Year of Citizens.
To view the video, please go to http://ec.europa.eu/avservices/video/player.cfm?ref=I078452&sitelang=en
New Europe for Citizens programme - Deadline postponed
Information about the grants available under the new EU funding programme 'Europe for Citizens' have been published as well as the deadlines and application form.
The new funding programme will be divided into the following actions:
1.Democratic engagement and civil participation:
- Town twinning activities
-Network of twinned towns
-civil society projects
2. European remembrance
Please note that the first deadline of 1 March has been postponed according to the date of the adoption of the "Europe for citizens Programme 2014-2020".
For more information, please visit http://eacea.ec.europa.eu/europe-for-citizens_en
The European Parliament elections: why vote?
The European Parliament has published a series of leaflets and short video clips explaining key issues the EU is dealing with and how it benefits us at local level: fighting unemployment, fighting climate change, defending human rights around the world...
The aim is to show that by voting in the European Parliament elections, people can make a difference and influence decisions that have an impact on their daily lives.
To view the video clips, please go to
To order you free leaflets please contact Lorena on 01267 242369 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Creative Europe information workshops
A series of information workshops are being organised by the interim culture agency, British Council in preparation for the upcoming deadlines.
The workshops will give an overview of the 'Creative Europe', the new EU funding programme in the cultural field, its objectives and various grants available as well as give participants the chance to ask questions during the session's Q&A.
Each seminar will have a focus on the Cooperation Projects which have a deadline of 5th March 2014.
To register for the Cardiff one-to-one session on Friday 7th February ( 1.00-4.00) please click here.
There are also application workshops planned. These include good practice examples from previous succesful projects.
To register your interest to attend an applications workshop in Cardiff, on Monday 17th February, please click here.
Pease note, this date is to be confirmed depending on the level of interest.
Llandovery youngsters shine at festival in Brittany
A group of young people from Towy Youth Theatre and Llandovery College choir, attended the Salon du Livre, an Arts Festival which takes place annually in Pluguffan, Llandovery’s twin town in Brittany. This visit is the latest of a series of exchanges and activities coordinated by Llandovery Twinning Association.
To find out more about Llandovery's exciting activities and the other Town Twinning Associations in Carmarthenshire, please click here or contact Lorena.
Erasmus + online training sessions launched
The British Council and Ecorys, the joint UK National Agency for Erasmus + - the new EU funding programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport has launched a series of online training sessions throughout January, February and March.
The webinars are aimed at potential applicant organisations in readiness for the first round of deadlines.
There are sessions for youth organisations, adult education organisations, vocational education and training organisations as well as local authorities, schools and higher education institutions.
For more information and to register, please visit http://www.erasmusplus.org.uk/webinars
Wales is growing…Get growing with us!
Grow Your Own in a Year Gardening Course led by experienced growers will provide you with the skills you need to start growing your own edible garden of delicious fruit & veg.
Held at the National Botanic Garden of Wales, in just 1 day a month (either a Sat or a Wed) you will learn what to do in your garden that month and learn the secrets of successful growing.
Starting February 2014, 10am-4:30pm on Saturday OR Wedneday
Don’t forget you can spend the rest of your day exploring the National Botanic Garden of Wales.
For more information or to book onto these courses visit www.growingthefuture.co.uk or phone 01558 667100
Free EU desktop calendars
The European Commission Representation in London has published a colourful desktop calendar showing some of the activities and events they organise in the UK.
To order, please contact Lorena, on 01267 242369 or at email@example.com