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(18 March 2013) - Today, the European Commission and the European Parliament launched a new generation of 500 "Europe Direct Information Centres". The new network will extend possibilities for citizens to get practical information and advice on the EU.

The new centres were selected for a five-year period on the basis of an open competition. Successful candidates can now use the label of a "Europe Direct Information Centre". Most centres are run by regional or local authorities, associations or chambers of commerce.

The first generation of centres was launched in 2005. Just for the past four years of the second generation, centres received as many as about 3.3 million personal enquiries, organised more than 41,000 events and answered more than a million e-mails. The services of the centres are free to the general public.

The centres are co-financed and receive a maximum of €25 000 per year from the European Commission for their EU information activities. The total EU budget for all centres remains unchanged at a maximum of €11.4 million per year.

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