Tangled up in EU Administration?

Do you ever get tangled up in EU administration?

The European Ombudsman can help you! Visit http://ombudsman.europa.eu to find out more about how to solve problems with the EU administration.

The video made by Emakina for the services of the European Ombudsman might inspire you…

The Ombudsman investigates complaints about administration in the institutions and bodies of the European Union.

Any citizen or resident of the EU, or business, association, or other body with a registered office in the EU, can lodge a complaint. You don't need to be personally affected by the maladministration to complain.


Dr. Haffa & Partner celebrates 25 years of success

A pioneer’s anniversary

The EuroLynx partner in Germany – Dr. Haffa & Partner – is celebrating its 25th year in business this fall.

Founded in 1986 by Dr. Annegret Haffa and Dr. Horst Höfflin, the agency was one of the first in Germany to concentrate on PR for high-tech and IT companies. While remaining true to its focus on technology for more than a quarter of a century, the agency has also expanded its services over the years considerably.
In addition to traditional public relations work, the agency now offers a broad range of services including marketing and sales support, corporate publishing, online communication, and social media. This rare combination of technological knowledge and expertise in numerous vertical industries, the focus on benefits, the skilled consultancy, and of course exceptional content writing have made Dr. Haffa & Partner extremely successful over the past two-and-a-half decades.

Dr. Annegret Haffa and Dr. Horst Höfflin, co-founders of the German EuroLynx partner agency

Still going strong
The communications sector has changed dramatically. Yet Dr. Haffa & Partner remains as one of the few agencies from the early days of high-tech and IT public relations in Germany that is still independent and owner-operated to this day. Dr. Haffa & Partner is a member of AIKA, an association for owner-operated communication agencies, and the independent international agency networks EuroLynx, ComVort, and GlobalFluency. This benefits international clients seeking to remain within a particular agency network while still utilizing a best-of-breed selection process. As one of six lead agencies in the pan-European network EuroLynx, Dr. Haffa & Partner participates in large communication projects for the European Commission.

Back to the Future
“This anniversary is an opportunity to look to the future,” says Dr. Annegret Haffa, founder and managing partner at Dr. Haffa & Partner. “We work with interesting clients on exciting projects — in our area of expertise, high-tech and IT, new developments and markets are continually emerging. And we shouldn’t forget the transformation of both our target groups’ information behaviour and the communication tools we use. That’s what makes this job so incredibly exciting to me — everything is in a state of flux, and we are forced to keep re-inventing ourselves.”

“If I go all the way back to 1986 and compare the communications industry then to what we have now, it feels like they are separated by much more than just 25 years,” explains Dr. Horst Höfflin, founder and managing partner at Dr. Haffa & Partner. “It sounds so unbelievable today when you tell stories like how we landed an account back then simply because we already had our own fax machine and an address database. It’s also interesting to note here that we were one of the first agencies in Germany to have its own website and one of the first to use e-mail. Actively contributing to the transformation in communications has been and remains one of the most challenging aspects of our business over the years.

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About Dr. Haffa & Partner
The Munich-based communications agency Dr. Haffa & Partner specialises in public relations and marketing for high-tech and IT companies. Founded in 1986, the full-service PR firm's portfolio of services ranges from strategic communication consulting to customised public relations and traditional media services through to marketing services, social media, website consulting, and sales support for both German and multinational enterprises. Dr. Haffa & Partner is a partner in the agency networks EuroLynx, ComVort and Gllobalfluency, and a member of AIKA, the German association of owner-operated agencies. Dr. Haffa & Partner’s clients include AKI (Print Management), art of defence, ECA International, the European Commission, IndoGerman Business Network, Funkwerk EC, Master Climate Solution, Microfin, Rumsauer/Robomow, SAS, SoftconCIS, Sparxent and syngenio.

Additional information
Dr. Haffa & Partner
Dr. Horst Höfflin and Dr. Annegret Haffa
Burgauerstrasse 117 81929 Munich, Germany
Tel +49 89 993191-0



SME Week 2011- Giving Business a Second Chance

From 3 to 9 October 2011, the 3rd edition of the European SME Week takes place. It focuses on business transfer and a second chance for entrepreneurs.
People considering becoming an entrepreneur often forget that starting a new firm is not the only way to go into business.  Every year, thousands of existing small businesses close down, as their owners retire or seek new challenges, but cannot find anybody to take over the firm. Only 50% of businesses survive the first 5 years after they are created. Of all these closures bankruptcies represent 15%.Therefore business failure, closure and restart should be seen as a natural process, just like the first-time creation of a start-up business.

3 inspiring examples of entrepreneurial success

Anna Rizzo lives in Rome, Italy. She took over the company of her father when he died. Volker Geyer lives in Wiesbaden, Germany. He founded a painting business after having gone through a very difficult bankruptcy. Tuomas Pahlman lives in Tampere, Finland. He was 21 when his father passed away, leaving him at the head of a struggling company. They accepted to tell their story.


European Single Market: tell us your story

The European Single Market is an important achievement. But good can still be made better…

Have you faced cross-border challenges, causing problems in your personal life or your business?
Or did you discover excellent support and achieved success despite initial
issues in your cross-border EU adventure?

The little clip says it all…


On www.tellusyourstory.EU , you can now share your real-life story on travelling, working, doing business or living abroad inside Europe.

Inspire the decisions on the future of the European Single Market!
The five best stories will be filmed and you can be invited to the Single Market Forum in Cracow, Poland.

Who says Europe does not talk with its citizens? They say: Tell us your story!


EU Commissioner Dalli visits Vet Week stand

EU Commissioner John Dalli visited the stand at the Berlaimont building this morning.

The Directorate for Health and Consumers is very active in support of the Veterinary profession. The World Veterinary Year 2011 is a year-long celebration of the founding of the veterinary profession in Lyon, 250 years ago.

The European Union has come a long way in its efforts to better protect Animal Health, ensuring along the way Food Safety. The role of the veterinary profession, which celebrates this year its 250th anniversary, has been pivotal in making food in the EU safe.

The European Commission and the OIE have been working together to promote the Year's goals through their "vets in your daily life" campaign. Its objective is to raise awareness about the diverse, and often unseen role, vets play in society, be it through protecting animal welfare, carrying out controls at borders, or looking after our pets. A worldwide photo competition was also part of the activities planned. This week, the five winners will be honoured in Brussels, as part of the Vet Week conference.



Haiku Herman, Media Man embraces twitter

From Haiku Herman to World Forum Speaker
Herman Van Rompuy is a man in the picture, yet he is – as his haiku style suggests – also more secretive, diplomatic and careful with words and ideas. Not the Berlusconi extravaganza, more the rhetoric of the well-trained Jesuit student who entered and survived politics. But when the media are 24/7 tuned in and the political power play is also governed by informing and 'using' the media, the position in the news needs to be carefully orchestrated and updated. With a new book out this week, the old school media have something to hold on to. But there is more, much more.

Face-a-book becomes facebook
So Van Rompuy is now on facebook, has almost daily video messages, posts on a blog and even has a haiku page online. Interesting too is the link you find on daylife to what and where the Man of Europe is doing.

But to allow you to really catch the bird while he's up and flying about, recently twitter is added to the Herman-sources. An interesting tool no doubt in the right haiku hands; if used wisely it can be a sharp samurai sword, a blade to slice rumours in half, open up blocked passages. Will it give the media direct leads and new insights in the EU circles of influence and clarify the role of a leader with a position still to be clarified for many? Tweet!


New tool to Help NGO’s lobby in Europe

New website for NGO's Europe and Lobbying

Lobbying Europe for NGO's… where do you start?

Many NGOs fail to realise the opportunities open to them to contribute to policy making, with the result that they become only actively involved in campaigning for or against a piece of legislation when it is close to being ratified at a national level.

However in the European Institutions, like the European Parliament, European Commission and Council of Ministers, well organised NGOs can have a powerful voice and can make a real difference in producing the fairest legislation.

A brand new  website introduces NGO's to the opportunities that exist for them to contribute to forming legislation at a European level. Activivists are invited tyo find their voice and share it.

With special background sections on the Commission, the Parliament, the Council of Ministers, civil society, other organisations and the European Court of Justice, the site gives the interested visitor a crashcourse in the EU and its procedures. Look also under the tab resources; an impressive background catalogue opens up, enough to make any student in EU affairs happy!

Hats off to Martin Territ and the EU in Ireland, for this excellent initiative. It looks fresh, positive, professional. That the site is embedded in the LinkedIn-environment is also a strong statement, because it immediately opens the door to true interaction and weblinking on a large scale. So, we warmly salute you!  Lobbying Europe for NGO's has become easier; the tool will make the debate more spicy and varied!


Green development among European countries

Thursday is a big new day for green development for European countries. Unspent funds from the EU's economic recovery programme will be most likely redirected to fund energy efficiency and renewables projects. At least, that is if the Industry Committee of the European Commission will vote that way. A massive bulk of euros is expected to become green, giving new oxygen to the greening of economy in original projects.

In July, €250m were already approved for 210 new ecological projects, under the third call for the Life+ programme, the European fund for the environment which runs from 2007 to 2013. LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3115 projects, contributing approximately €2 billion to the protection of the environment.

The efforts of the EU to show its ecological side have been considerable over the least years. Barrosso II has made it into a spearpoint of its policy. The opening up of this treasure of positive action towards the general public merits bigger media attention. The green week is a good forum, but the media could do more, all through the year, to walk the walk and talk the talk of the green economy in Europe.


European banks survive stress test? Aaaah!


The stress tests of 91 European banks in 20 EU countries indicates "the banks are doing well". Good news, no doubt.
At least, the results sound a lot better then some thought. With some relief, media across Europe announced "only seven failed". Yet most European print media mainly showed doubt about the credibility of the exercise. A similar test last year on 19 banks int the US gave a red card to 10 American colleagues. But  the check up was not the same, and this one was widely criticized as being too weak.

If you want to check for a blood ilness, it is not enough to look into the throat of a patient and ask him to say 'AAA'. Clearly, the test was designed to show the world that a full-blown euro crisis would not topple the local banks, calm spirits and regain confidence of investors. A charm offensive, in short. Too weak, too little, etc.

Maybe so. But still, from an image point of view, this is a good move, bringing good news. At least it is news that is not built on lies, as was the case in the Greec drama the world witnessed not so long ago. Combined with the spectacular jump of the German business sentiment in July and the UK growing faster than expected, the mood is up, while the US is showing signs of slowing and the housing market is still suffering. There are still bizarre 'for sale' signs on ebay for both common and spectacular houses in the US. So is it 'Sweet Europe, Sour America?', as Reuters asks?

One thing is clear, you cannot build your house on lies, debts and mortgages. Hard work, honesty and a tight reign on your home economics are the only way forward, for home owners, banks and governments alike. Then all can say AAAh with confidence.


Is Europe’s crisis over?

So… is the crisis in Europe over?
Rupert Murdoch made a new bold move that would point in that direction. His News Corp. offers to pay $11.5 billion for the remaining shares of British broadcaster BSkyB. Murdoch as the herald of a sunny new day over the old continent? Michael Corkery at the WSJ seems to imply this in his article "is the Crisis in Europe Over? Just Ask Rupert Murdoch". He reads the big bid as the Aussy tycoon's way of betting that the problems in Europe aren’t so bad as they seem after all. Or on a more sober note, at least it indicates Murdoch believes the crisis will not reduce the Briton's hunger for pay TV consumption, making the bid on one of the largest satellite broadcasters in England and Ireland logical.

The Financial Times calls the move Mr Murdoch’s most significant strategic manoeuvre in years. It quotes a financier with knowledge of the Murdoch move: "By investing in a pay-television business, he is derisking the whole News Corp portfolio away from advertising-dependent businesses”. The FT adds conventional wisdom would suggest to spend the cash in geographic growth markets such as India and Brazil, or in sub-sectors that are riding the growth in internet advertising, education spending or video games sales. Instead, Mr Murdoch is returning to the slow-growing UK market.

So, is Murdoch betting on Europe's recovery? Let's not get our hopes up to high. Theodora Zemek, head of global fixed income at AXA Investment Managers, says in The Telegraph about he Eurozone that having over-riding legal powers "is a precondition for the system to work but it doesn't exist in Europe and the bond markets are starting to figure this out. We are looking at a noble experiment on the brink of failure." The French analysts see it possible that the eurozone would break in half or disintegrate.

Let democracy be our currency! The danger exists that economical problems would destroy the reality of democratic freedom in Europe as a whole and in specific weakened countries, as Barrosso recently warned. Let us all agree that nationalism, selfishness and mistrust are not an option, as says Tahar ben Jelloun on Presseurope:

Regardless of the outcome of this crisis, Europe is no longer a utopia, or a virtual place, but a real entity that is still in the process of construction, which still needs our determined support and good will. Europe is a blessing. The idea that several countries should join together to form a union based on geography, history and on the values of democracy and freedom remains the positive legacy of the Second World War. But does anyone spare a thought for the early years of the union that grew from seven to 27 countries?