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Today Milan hosts the official launch of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018, #EuropeforCulture. It will include familiar programmes such as Heritage Open Days or the prestigious EU prize for cultural heritage/Europa Nostra Awards, a prize that has often been awarded to UK organisations or individuals in recognition of their work in preserving cultural heritage.
The European Commission proposed today new rules that will boost efforts to tackle VAT (Value Added Tax) fraud, by allowing member states to exchange relevant information more quickly online and to share information between tax authorities and law enforcement services. The most cautious estimates show that VAT fraud can lead to lost revenues of over €50 billion a year for EU Member States – money that should be invested in hospitals, schools and roads.
The UK European Consumer Centre has issued a checklist to help consumers avoid being caught by unwanted and difficult to cancel subscriptions. The consumer advice organisation highlighted online purchases of health and beauty products, such as slimming pills, face creams and tooth whitening merchandise as sources of potential problems for consumers. The UK ECC is co-funded by the European Commission and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
The European Commission clarified today the existing legislative measures which ensure that all EU countries apply effective, dissuasive, and proportionate remedies against those engaged in counterfeiting and piracy. Furthermore, it stepped in to make sure that basic standards for technologies like WiFi, GSM or 4G and 5G which are indispensable for smart-phones, connected vehicles or remote operations are agreed in a transparent way that fosters innovation for the Internet of Things.
More than €100 million (£88m) of new EU funding will enable 60 UK-based researchers to consolidate their teams in some 30 universities and research centres across the UK. This makes the country the biggest beneficiary of the latest European Research Council consolidator grants funding round. It will, for example, support novel imaging techniques that will help combat tuberculosis.
With just 2.8 doctors per 1000 population the United Kingdom has the third lowest number of doctors in the EU (ahead only of Romania and Poland) but its health system is one of the most equitable in terms of access, low levels of unmet need, low out-of-pocket spending, good financial protection and waiting times affecting all income groups equally. These are some of the findings published today by the European Commission, in an EU-wide study.
Figures from a special survey on gender equality released by the European Commission today show that a majority of Europeans (54%) agree that it is acceptable for men to cry while a minority (44%) think that women's most important role in life is to take care of the home. The findings show a wide variation of gender stereotypes across member states. The data was published on a day when the Commission announced ideas on how to end the gender pay gap.