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A European online registry for human embryonic stem-cell lines is expected to contribute to international standardisation and boost progress towards new medical therapies.

The Commission decided on 29 March 2007 to fund the creation of a European registry for human embryonic stem-cell lines with some €1 million EU-funding from the Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6). 

The initiative has no precedent in the world. Ten EU countries active in this research will be involved in the registry: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. A number of non-EU countries are also set to join the project – namely Australia, Israel, Switzerland, Turkey and the United States

The registry will be publicly accessible via the internet. To date, no approved medical treatments have been derived from embryonic stem- cell research. 

In the EU, Austria, Ireland, Lithuania, Poland and the Slovak Republic have prohibited the procurement of stem cells from embryos, whereas France, Germany and Italy allow the import of new stem-cell lines, but not their creation. The UK and Belgian laws allow the creation of human embryos for the procurement of embryonic stem cells.