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Updated: 03 MAY 99

CEE News Archive

This page provides the list of news items related to Cⅇ published in the Libraries site from 1996 to 1999.
  • The Russian State Library Information Project aims at supporting the modernisation of the Russian State Library (the largest library of Europe and the second largest in the world) from a traditional library to a digital library. New information technology will be introduced to meet the growing information needs of the Russian market and to bring to life the vast resources of this national library. This project is funded under the Tacis Programme, a European Union initiative for the New Independent States and Mongolia which fosters the development of market economies and democratic societies in these partner countries. The Russian State Library Information Project started on 10 December 1998 and is due to be completed in 18 months. (May '99).
  • A Russian-British Workshop on Digital Libraries will take place on June 16-17, 1999 in Moscow, Russia. Focusing on the UK e-Lib Programme and the Russian Digital Libraries Programme, the workshop aims to present new research results, discuss policy issues, including Russian-British co-operation, and demonstrate new digital libraries and related technologies. Computer scientists, information scientists, librarians, museum workers, archivists and others in academia, government, and industry will attend the workshop. (May '99).

  • Cross-border Phare projects now also between CEECs

  • The European Commission announced in December 1998 that it will start to finance cross-border projects between Central and Eastern European countries. This initiative will promote regional cross-border cooperation actions in the fields of telecommunications, business, technology, education, training and cultural exchanges. (source: Information Europe EBLIDA Magazine, Spring 1999)
  • Task Force for accession negotiations

  • The European Commission' Task Force for the Accession Negotiations(TFAN) has recently launched a web site. This provides information on the procedures concerning the EU accession negotiations involving the ten Central and Eastern European Countries (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia) and Cyprus. (source: Information Europe EBLIDA Magazine, Spring 1999)
  • The Ideal*IST-EAST

  • IDEALIST-EAST (Information Dissemination and European Awareness Launch for the IST Programme in Central and EASTern Europe and the Newly Independent States of the former Soviet Union) is an INCO-Copernicus Network of Excellence aiming at fostering co-operation within the Fifth Framework Programme and in particular, the IST programme, between the Central and East European Countries (CEEC) and the Newly Independent States (NIS) of the former Soviet Union. IDEALIST-EAST is complementary to and realised in close contact with the running Esprit project IDEALIST which brings together the National Contact Points (NCPs) for the IST Programme from the EU Member and Associated States. A partner search feature provided by the ideal-ist network is also available for interested parties from the IDEALIST-EAST countries. (May '99)
  • CECUP web site

  • CECUP is the extension of the European Copyright User Platform to all the Eastern and Central European countries that have signed agreements with the European Union (Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia). The CECUP web site has been recently launched and provides information, news, documents and background on the CECUP concerted action as well as links to the ECUP+ home page and discussion list. The Co-ordinator of CECUP is EBLIDA (European Bureau of Library, Information and Documentation Associations). (May '99)
  • Commission approves financing of TACIS 1998 cross-border cooperation programme

  • The European Commission has approved financing of ECU 30 million under the TACIS 1998 cross-border cooperation programme. The amount of ECU 30 million will fund 12 projects which concern Russian, Ukrainian, Belarussian and Moldavian regions at the borders with Finland, Central European countries and the Baltic sea frontier.
  • EU and Russia signed declaration on cooperation in the field of the Information Society

  • On 23 November the Deputy Chaiman of the Russian Federation Vladimir Bulgak, and the Industrial Affairs European Commissioner Martin Bangemann signed a Joint Declaration on cooperation between the European Union and Russia in the field of the Information Society. The Joint declaration aims at intensifying the cooperation in sectors like telecommunications and electronic commerce as well as encouraging joint initiatives for the use of information and communication technologies in the private sector.
  • EU Official opening of the accession negotiations with the first group

  • On 10 November the European Union opened accession negotiations at ministerial level with the six countries of the first group, namely: Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland and Slovenia. Accession of Hungary is scheduled for 2002 and accession of the other countries of the first group is scheduled for 2003.
  • In response to the overwhelming success of the European Commission's DG1A Phare and Tacis Information Centre , a more permanent and efficient e-mail service has been established.

  • The new e-mail address is: (email removed) .
  • Participation of the 12 candidate countries to the Fifth Framework Programme

  • The Council of Research Ministers authorised on 13 October the European Commission to negotiate with the 12 candidate countries their participation in the Fifth Framework Programme for research and technological development. The objective is to enable research institutes, enterprises and universities in the candidate countries to participate under the same conditions as organisations from EU Member States. In exchange, those countries would be asked to contribute to the budget of the Fifth Framework Programme. All 12 candidate countries expressed their wish to participate fully in the programme.
  • EC approval of national 1998 Phare Programme for Romania

  • The European Commission approved on 20 October the national 1998 Phare Programme for Romania, with a budget of ECU 106,6 million. The Phare Programme supports the process of economic transformation and strengthening of democracy in the partner countries of Central and Eastern Europe. The programme also represents the financial instrument of the European Union's pre-accession strategy. The European Commission has also approved a financial memorandum to co-fund certain regional development activities for a total of ECU 4,25 million. With this new aid, the overall budget of Phare assistance granted to Romania since 1990 adds up to ECU 950 million.
  • CEE countries participating in the 5th Framework Programme

  • 5th Framework Programme for Research will be opened up to the 10 accession countries of Central and Eastern Europe. Organisations from these countries would participate in the Programme on essentially the same conditions as EU partners. The main problem is the financial contribution required from the Cⅇ countries. It is proposed that reduced contributions may be paid in the early years, and that some funding may be made available through the national Phare Programme programmes. It is hoped that negotiations can be concluded in time for the launch of the 5th FWP. In order to ensure maximum participation from the Cⅇ countries, it is envisaged to promote awareness of the opportunities through conferences, training seminars, brochures and information on the WWW.
  • EU Training, Education and Youth Programmes

  • EU Training, Education and Youth Programmes are opening for participation by Latvia and Estonia. This includes LEONARDO DA VINCI , Youth for Europe and SOCRATES . A proposal for participation has also been made for Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic. Latvia will furthermore also be able to participate in the cultural programme RAPHAEL until the programme ends in 2000.
  • Cultural Programmes

  • The European Commission has adopted proposals that Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and the Slovak Republic can participate in the EC cultural programmes as from 1998. The three main EU programmes are Ariane , Kaleidoscope and RAPHAEL . The countries would pay their participation costs partly from national budgets, and partly from Phare Programme funding.
  • SME Programme

  • Central and Eastern European countries can participate in the 3rd Multiannual Programme for SMEs, 1.1.1997 - 31.1.2000. The countries concerned, who have confirmed interest, are: Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Slovakia. The programme provides the basis for actions which aim at raising the awareness of SMEs to the challenges of a business strategy which increases their competitive position.
  • ESIS extension to Central and Eastern Europe The Inventory of european Information Society Projects and Actions ESIS will soon also cover Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Czech Republic, Estonia, FYROM, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia. ESIS holds information on commercial and publicly funded Information Society application projects in Europe. It provides a tool for knowledge, communication, partnership and the promotion of best practice examples. Information available at:

  • Support for Civil Society Development in Belarus This new programme with a budget of ECU 5 million will support NGO's, the media and the education sector and aims to strenghten the capacity of the European Documentation Centre in Minsk, to provide information on the European Union to the public and to develop academic exchanges with EU counterparts.
  • The European Parliament called for a stronger link between research and the PHARE and TACIS programmes and that the applicant countries of Central and Eastern Europe should be fully integrated into the 5th Framework Programme.

  • (EP meeting 18 December 1997)
  • The European Commission has adopted a regional cooperation programme between the Baltic Sea countries ; Interreg II C Baltic Sea Region, will have a budget of MECU 46,9 until 1999. CEE countries will be able to apply for PHARE and TACIS funding for financial support.

  • (see PHARE and TACIS www pages for further information)
  • Belarus: The Council of Ministers has approved a programme for civil society under the TACIS programme , with a budget of MECU 5, to support the democratisation process.

  • (see TACIS www pages for further information)
  • Agreement with Baltic States

  • The Council of Ministers has concluded the European Agreement with Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, coming into effect on 1.2.1998.
  • EU-Russia Partnership and Cooperation Agreeement

  • This agreement entered into force on 1.12.1997 and provides an all embracing framework covering almost every form of cooperation including education and training, science and technology, culture.
    (Commission Press Release IP/97/1052 of 28.11.1997)
  • The Hungarian National Bibliography , Bibliography of Books is now available on the Internet. Entitled: Magyar Nemzeti Bibliografia, Konyvek Bibliografiaja - WWW, the five recent issues of the bibliography are available at the URL:
  • Multiannual Information Society programme

  • This programme will run from 1 January 1998 to 31 December 2001, with a budget of ECU 25 million. It aims to increase public awareness and support for the Information Society, to promote access to and familiarity in the use of IT, and to promote the international dimension of the Information Society.
    (source EBLIDA Hot News, December 1997)
  • Hungary and the Czech Republic can participate fully in the Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates and Youth for Europe programmes. Projects and measures proposed by Hungary and the Czech Republic have to involve a minimum number of partners from EU Member States.

  • Further information:
  • TACIS Inter-State Programme .

  • This programme aims to assist the flow of information and dialogue between the countries of the former Soviet Union, the EC and the Member States, to strengthen relations. It has a budget of ECU 6.4 million for 3 years.
    Further information: TACIS
  • EU / CEE Forum on the Information Society

  • Following the Prague Forum on the Information Society (September 1996, report and Action Plan available from ISPO ), the EU Industry Ministers met with their CEE counterparts to discuss and identify priority subjects for action for the third Forum in October 1997:
    • Strategy and Policy Formulation for the Information Society
    • Implementation of demonstrations, pilot projects and other actions designed to make the potentials of the Information Society better known in CEE countries
    • Education and training
    • Implementation of Information and Communication Technologies in public administrations
    Full report on all meetings and recommendations available from EU / CEE Forum on the Information Society .
  • Baltic Sea Regional Cooperation : A new Commission initiative focuses on democracy, human rights and stability, economic development and regional development. The new TACIS Regulation will open up funding to cross-border initiatives involving Russia

  • (CORDIS Focus, issue 66, 15 July 1996)
  • CEE Participation in the ESPRIT Programme : Under the 4th Framework Programme, the Esprit Programme (RTD in the field of Information Technologies) is open to participants from C&EE.; Financial support is provided under another programme, the EC's specific programme in the field of cooperation with third countries and international organisations (INCO). In order to stimulate such participation (from Albania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Poland, and Romania) it has been assured that sufficient budget will be available to support CEE participation in ESPRIT calls up to the end of 1997. In order to receive such support, CEE partners must 1. be in an ESPRIT proposal which is chosen for funding 2. give full budget information 3. stat that support is being requested from the INCO programme.

  • (CORDIS Focus 04 November 1996)
    For further information:

    DG III Industry, Esprit Programme
    Fax: +32-2-29 68 388
    (email removed)
  • EU Action Plan for Russia : During the General Affairs Council in Brussels on 13 May 1996, the Council of Ministers of the EU approved an action plan for Russia which includes the following areas: contributions to democratic reforms, economic cooperation, cooperation in the areas of justice and internal affairs (see the paragraphe Declaration by the European Council on Russia ). Actions will be mostly implemented through the TACIS

  • (CORDIS Focus, issue 63, 03 June1996, based on Council Press Release 7073/96 of 13 May 1996)
  • The EU/Hungary Association Council reports correct implementation of the European Association Agreement and the pre-accession strategy and noted that all conditions are now fulfilled for Hungary to take part in the LEONARDO DA VINCI , SOCRATES and YOUTH for EUROPE programmes as from 01 January 1997.

  • (source EBLIDA Hot News, July 1996)
  • Industrial cooperation with other regions and third countries : The Council of EU ministers has published the text of its resolution on 25 June 1996 on industrial cooperation with other regions and third countries, inter alia Central and Eastern Europe. The resolution welcomes the progress made as a means of strengthenig the industrial competitiveness of the EU and the socio-economic development of those countries. The Council undertakes to organise a discussion to evaluate the contribution of industrial cooperation.

  • (CORDIS Focus, issue 67, 29 July 96 - Official Journal No C 203 of 13 July 96, p.4)
  • INTAS , the International Association for the Promotion of the Co-operation with Scientists from the New Independent States of the Former Soviet Union, has launched a Home Page on the CORDIS WWW server. INTAS supports co-operative research projects with the New Independent States.

  • (source CORDIS Focus, 18 November 1996)
  • INTERREG: Cross-Border co-operation between Finland, Sweden, Norway, Russia and Estonia The European Commission is funding seven cross-border programmes between Finland, Sweden, Russia, Norway and Estonia. The budget amounts to ECU 63 million. This is the first programme of this type involving Russia and Estonia. Project participation by non EU countries can benefit from funding through the PHARE and TACIS programmes respectively

  • (Source EBLIDA HOT NEWS, August 1996)
  • Interreg II and PHARE cross border cooperation programme for Austria: Both funds contribute to develop cross border cooperation with Slovenia , Slovakia , Hungary and the Czech Republic , with the objective to assist the common border areas adjusting to EU status and to create co-operative networks. Priorities include promoting economic co-operation, developing new or existing infrastructure and labour training and conservation

  • (source European Dialogue, issue 4, July/August 1996)
  • Key officials in the EC dealing with Central European Affairs - a chart of names, geographical responsibilities, telephone and fax numbers of desk officers in DG IA External Relations.

  • (European Dialogue, issue 2/1996, p. 17).
  • New Phase of Tempus Programme : Following the interim evaluation of the TEMPUS programme, the EC has published a proposal to extend the current phase of the programme to 30 June 2000.The evaluation points to the need for TEMPUS to assist in the transition to membership of the EU and to complement other Community actions and programmes, such as SOCRATES and PHARE .

  • (CORDIS Focus, issue 64, 17 June 1996)
  • PHARE cross border cooperation programme for the Czech Republic: With the accession of Austria to the EU, the Czech Republic now shares 67 % of its border with EU Member States. The Czechs and Austrians have signed a cross-border co-operation programme , complimenting a similar Czech-German accord . Prague now receives an annual ECU 31m for corss-border cooperation projects of which ECU 25m is ear-marked for projects on the Czech-German border and ECU 6m fro Czech-Austrian projects.The scope of the programme goes beyond straight forward infrastructure project.s: Czech-German border projects include help with the reconstruction of Kynzvart Castel, the summer residence of Prince Klemens von Metternich, including a massive library of 40,000 volumes, which, along with the castle itself, was allowed to fall into chronic disrepair over the last decades.

  • Contact person Zdenek Kunft, Phare section programme officer at the EC delegation in Prague
    (source European Dialogue, issue 4, July/August 1996)
  • PHARE Public Libraries Project : Information Europe, issue 2, July 1996, contains a detailed and informative article on this project, involving public libraries in Hungary (pest), Romania (Cluj), NBLC (the National Association of Public Libraries in the Netherlands), Veria (Greece) and Essex County Council. This project has a significant potential for libraries in the region, in that it is the first to emerge through PHARE with a specific focus on libraries in general and public libraries in particular. In this article you can read all about project goals, tasks, management and the grant by the Open Society's Regional Libraries Programme to multiply the impact of project results throughout other countries in the region.

  • The proceedings of the Cluj conference of the Phare Public Libraries Development Project now available.
  • The PHARE family has grown - the former Yugoslave Republic of Macedonia and Bosnia and Herzegovina became fully fledged partners, bringing the number of Phare countries to 13

  • (info Phare, July 1996)
  • Raphael Pilot Projects selected: Action programme in the field of cultural heritage. 147 pilot projects have been selected by the EC, falling into the following areas: Cooperation projects for the preservation and enhancement of the value of European baroque heritage / archaeological heritage / European museums / cultural heritage / training and mobility of professionals. Among 25% of the projects selected involved participants from Central and Eastern European countries.

  • (source CORDIS Focus, 18 November 1996)
  • The Regional Environmental Centre for Central and Eastern Europe is an independant non-profit making organisation based in Budapest with four main programme areas one of which is Information Exchange: to provide public access to environmental information and to facilitate networking among interested groups. It has a specialised library, computer databases and access to global networks. It assists organisations lacking experience in preparing project proposals and awards grants in specific environmental topics.

  • Tel. +361-250 34 01, Fax +361-250 34 03, e-mail: (email removed)
    (European Dialogue, issue 3/1996, p.12)

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