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Eurozone discusses crisis
In the wake of the Eurozone's recent troubles, a meeting on 29 August of the EP's Economics committee with leading Eurozone figures underlined that the economic governance 'six pack' remains the base on which to build long term economic stability.
Lower roaming prices as of 1 July
With effect from 1st July 2011 to 30 June 2012 EU mobile operators will again be obliged to lower retail prices for roaming calls in line with EU rules first introduced in 2007 and amended in 2009.
Strong decline in EU27 investment flows
Following the economic crisis, EU27 FDI (foreign direct investment) in the rest of the world (outflows) declined significantly in 2010, falling by 62%, from €281 billion in 2009 to 107bn in 2010.
OECD looks at government spending
The fiscal effort made by governments to help citizens and businesses bounce back from the global economic crisis pushed government’s share of the economy to record highs, according to a new OECD report.
Montenegro’s accession negotiations may begin this year
The Hungarian Presidency is committed to giving a new impetus to the European Union enlargement process and it hopes that a decision will be reached as early as this year, on starting the accession negotiations with Montenegro.
Great differences in EU’s GDP per capita
Based on first preliminary estimates for 2010, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita expressed in Purchasing Power Standards (PPS) varied from 43% to 283% of the EU27 average across the Member States.
Next ECB president candidate announced
Mario Draghi was recommended to succeed Jean-Claude Trichet as ECB President in an Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee vote on 15 June. The committee opinion now needs to be confirmed by a vote of Parliament as a whole, scheduled for 23 June.
Bulgaria and Romania prepare for Schengen
The Hungarian Presidency announced at the European Parliament’s meeting in Strasbourg, on 7 June 2011, that the Council will probably return to the matter of the Schengen accession of Bulgaria and Romania as early as September.
Small business advocate in each EU Member State
Newly appointed Ms or Mr SME will advocate for the interests of Small and Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs). Chiefly they will check the correct application of the EU law on SMEs and ensure that policies at national, regional and local level are enterprise friendly''.
European businesses risk missing out on growth opportunities
European businesses have ambitious growth plans but risk missing out on new international opportunities unless they restructure their finances, according to a new report issued on 20 May from HSBC and PwC.
EC discusses honeybee health
On 17 May, the Council adopted conclusions on a Commission communication concerning honeybee health.
EU measures on freezing debtors’ assets
To improve debt recovery throughout the EU and thus encourage trade between Member States, MEPs called on the Commission on 10 May to bring forward swiftly new laws on the freezing and disclosure of debtors' assets.
Agreement towards a Single European Sky
Austria, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovak Republic and Slovenia have signed an agreement on 5 May to create the "Functional Airspace Block – Central Europe" (FAB CE) an important step towards achieving the Single European Sky.
New allowance rules for emissions trading
On 27 April, the European Commission adopted a decision on how free emission allowances should be allocated from 2013 to industrial installations covered by the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS).
Clearer rules for food labeling
Food labels should include mandatory nutritional information, inter alia on artificial trans fats and the country of provenance, said Environment Committee MEPs on 19 April.
Top 1% of firms responsible for most jobs
Report: The top 1% of entrepreneurial firms are responsible for the largest share of job creation among start-ups.
More effort needed on education, says EU
EU countries have improved their education systems in key areas over the past decade but they have achieved only one out of five benchmarks set for 2010, the European Commission's new progress report on education and training revealed on 19 April.
Parliaments needed in EU economic coordination
To avoid repeating the failure of the Lisbon Strategy, parliaments – both national and European – need to be involved from the outset in the EU's strategies for overcoming the crisis and meeting the EU 2020 targets.
EU updates energy taxation rules
The European Commission has presented its proposal on 13 April to overhaul the outdated rules on the taxation of energy products in the European Union.
OECD unemployment rate continues to fall
The OECD area unemployment rate fell again in February 2011 to 8.2%, down 0.1 percentage point from January. This was the fourth consecutive decrease, following a period of stability of around 8.5% throughout most of 2010.
EU puts together bail-out for Portugal
On 8 April, ministers invited the Commission, the ECB, the IMF and Portugal to set up a programme and take appropriate action to safeguard financial stability.
MEPs concerned about three Arab countries
The EU must reassess its bilateral relations with Syria, Bahrain and Yemen in the light of their violent repression of demonstrators, and talks on a future Association Agreement with Syria must be suspended, say MEPs in a resolution passed on 7 April.
DHA in baby food: EP approves health claim
Proposals to allow producers to claim that adding the fatty acid DHA to baby food "contributes to the normal visual developments of infants up to 12 months of age" were backed by the European Parliament on 6 April, when it rejected a move to block them.
Parliament urges automatic prosecution for sex crimes
Rape and other forms of sexual violence against women should be classified as crimes in all EU countries, leading to automatic prosecution, says a European Parliament resolution adopted on 5 April that calls for an EU directive to combat gender-based violence.
Mortgages: better protection for European consumers
The financial crisis has shown the damage that irresponsible lending and borrowing practices can have on consumers and lenders, as well as the financial system and the economy at large. This is particularly important in today’s integrated EU marketplace.
EU agreement on novel foods failed
In spite of considerable efforts from the Hungarian Presidency the conciliation on novel foods failed after more than three years of negotiations.
OLAF investigates three members of the European Parliament
According to a report in The Sunday Times issued on 20 March 2011 three Members of the European Parliament (MEP) agreed to put forward amendments to draft legislation in the European Parliament in return for a fee.
Better protection for online shoppers
New rules on consumer rights to protect online shoppers and boost consumer confidence in buying in other Member States were backed by Parliament on 24 March.
Majority of Europeans embrace green travel
Most Europeans are willing to compromise on the price and the features of their car in order to reduce harmful emissions, a new survey has revealed.
“Made in” labels mandatory for imported textiles
"Made in" (country of origin) labels should be made mandatory for textiles imported from third countries and sold in the EU, so that consumers are not misled, said the Internal Market Committee on 22 March, amending a new draft law on textile labelling.
ECB relies on European Parliament, says Trichet
European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet is banking on the European Parliament to include many parts for the Pact for the Euro into the six-text legislative package on economic governance, he told the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee on 21 March.
Construction output up by 1.8% in euro area
In the construction sector, seasonally adjusted production rose by 1.8% in the euro area (EA17) and by 1% in the EU27 in January 2011, compared with the previous month. In December 2010, production fell by 2% and 3.5% respectively.
One stop shop for European corporate tax
On 16 March, the European Commission has proposed a common system for calculating the tax base of businesses operating in the EU.
Multilateral Development Banks discuss economic recovery
On 11 March, heads and senior representatives of Multilateral Development Banks met in London for a regular consultations on the global economy and to discuss how they work on issues of common concerns.
Latest on Turkey and Montenegro EU membership
In two resolutions adopted on 9 March on the progress of Turkey and Montenegro in their EU membership negotiations, Parliament express concern at the "slow progress" on human rights and key reforms in Turkey in 2010, while welcoming Montenegro's official candidate status despite concerns over corruption.
Swine flu: learning from past mistakes
The EU's response to the outbreak of the H1N1 ("swine flu") virus in 2009-2010 is scrutinised and found wanting in a resolution adopted by Parliament on 8 March which weighs up the cost of vaccination programmes and the relative risks.
Aviation to be included in emissions trading system
On 7 March, the European Commission has taken the next step in preparing for the full inclusion of aviation in the EU's emissions trading system (EU ETS) from 1 January next year, resulting in ticket prices rising.
EU budget committee votes to restrict its own budget
The European Parliament should vote to restrict its own budget in 2012, reflecting austerity in EU Member States, said the Budgets Committee on 3 March, as it voted guidelines for the 2012 budget.
Croatia has made progress, says report
On 2 March the Commission adopted an interim report on judiciary and fundamental rights (Chapter 23) and the progress made so far by Croatia and identifies areas where further substantive efforts are still needed. It sets out clearly what Croatia needs to do to meet the closing benchmarks.
Euro area unemployment rate at 9.9%
The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 9.9% in January 2011, compared with 10% in December 2010. It was 10% in January 2010.
Directive on cross-border healthcare adopted
On 28 February the Council approved the European Parliament's amendments on a draft directive aimed at facilitating access to safe and high-quality cross-border healthcare and promoting cooperation on healthcare between member states.
Air transport: The European Single Sky
On 25 February, the European Commission has adopted rules to harmonise information between all the actors involved in creating the Single European Sky (SES).
OECD invites China and Russia to join new aircraft financing agreement
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has invited China and Russia to join other countries in implementing a new set of international rules on aircraft financing. This happened during a signing ceremony in Paris on 25 February that included all other countries with aviation manufacturing sectors.
Protection against stress at work
Over the last ten years, work-related stress has increased in nine Member States and has only fallen in Sweden. Studies suggest that between 50% and 60% of all lost working days are related to stress.
EC meets Russian Government for talks
President José Manuel Barroso and the European Commission will host the Russian Government led by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin on 24 February 2011.
EESC talks low-carbon energy system
In its opinion on a low-carbon energy system by 2050 adopted at the plenary session last week, the European Economic and Social Committee showed the way for 80% emission cuts to be achieved by the middle of the century.
Make the most of the single market
On 21 February, the European Commission published the 2010 annual reports on Your Europe Advice and SOLVIT, two services that help European citizens and businesses understand and defend their rights in the EU.
MEPs vote to cut CO2 emissions from vans
Following the European Parliament's vote in favour of draft EU legislation to reduce CO2 emissions from light commercial vehicles (vans), EU climate commissioner Connie Hedegaard welcomed the tougher regulations.
Body scanners? Not yet, says the EESC
In its opinion on the use of body scanners at EU airports the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) laid bare its concerns about the possible infringements of human rights and potential health risks resulting from the new technology.
EC heads comment on developments in Egypt
On 14 February, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and EU High Representative, Catherine Ashton, have released a joint statement on recent developments in Egypt.
Turkey’s uphill route to the EU
The Cyprus-Turkey deadlock, lack of dialogue among Turkish political parties and the undermining of press freedom and other basic rights in Turkey are the key factors slowing down its EU accession talks, say Foreign Affairs Committee MEPs in their resolution.
New cars equipped with daytime running lights
From 7 Februar onwards all new types of passenger cars and small delivery vans will have to be equipped with Daytime Running Lights (DRL). Trucks and buses will follow suit 18 months later, in August 2012.
Croatia: EU enlargement front runner
EU membership negotiations with Croatia can be completed in the first half of 2011 provided its reforms stay on the right track, said Foreign Committee Affairs MEPs in a resolution adopted on 26 January.
EC to ease cross-border trade
The European Commission’s proposal to give consumers more confidence when they shop online advanced on 24 January when EU Member States formally adopted the Consumer Rights Directive.
Different takes on Member States’ handling of Eurozone crisis
MEPs participating in the debate on 19 January on the results of the December European Council broadly appealed for more radical thinking and greater resolve from the Commission and Member States to reform economic coordination.
Successful euro changeover in Estonia
The dual circulation period ended on Friday 14 January and the euro is now the only currency that is legal tender in Estonia.
Euro area annual inflation up to 2.2%
Euro area annual inflation was 2.2% in December 2010, up from 1.9% in November. A year earlier the rate was 0.9%. Monthly inflation was 0.6% in December 2010.
Income and living conditions in Europe

In the EU27, 116 million people were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2008.
EUROCHAMBRES Economic Survey predicts a brighter 2011
Feedback from 70,000 European companies via the EUROCHAMBRES Economic Survey indicates that business confidence for 2011 is significantly higher than last year, although with marked differences between countries.
Trichet criticises economic governance package
On 30 November, ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet again appealed to MEPs to play the card of ambition to reform the Commission's proposals on economic governance which, "although going in the right direction lack some boldness and detail".
Climate: MEPs want 30% emissions reduction
The EU would be acting in its own economic interest if it raised its 2020 CO2 reduction target to 30%, says a European Parliament resolution approved on 25 November.
€500m EIB loan for energy project
The European Investment Bank has announced a €500m loan to MEDGAZ for the construction of a gas pipeline between Algeria and Spain. The finance contract was signed on 24 November in Madrid
EU: new customs rules for better trade
On 18 November, the European Commission adopted a regulation revising rules of origin for products imported under the generalised system of preferences (GSP).
EU Presidents’ statement on G20 summit
On 12 November, Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Barroso issued a joint statement at the end of the G20 Summit in Seoul.
Data protection rules to be strengthened
On 4 November, the European Commission has set out a strategy to strengthen EU data protection rules.
Euro area unemployment rate at 10.1%

The euro area (EA16) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 10.1% in September 2010, compared with 10% in August. It was 9.8% in September 2009.
€146m for energy saving projects
On 26 October the European Parliament's Energy Committee gave its green light to an agreement with the Council to free up €146m of uncommitted funds to finance energy saving, energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
EU27 current account deficit €37.1bn
According to the latest available data, the EU27 external current account recorded a deficit of €37.1bn in the second quarter of 2010, compared with a deficit of 42.1bn in the second quarter of 2009 and a deficit of 31.8bn in the first quarter of 2010.
Fight against counterfeit cigarettes
Combating the international trade in contraband and counterfeit cigarettes has been the focus of a three-day international conference hosted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and French Customs
MEPs discuss maternity and paternity leave
Differing views about the costs and benefits of introducing 18 or 20 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave and two weeks of fully-paid paternity leave were voiced by MEPs and invited experts at a joint workshop held on 5 October.
EC delivers economic governance package
On 29 September, the European Commission adopted a legislative package containing the most comprehensive reinforcement of economic governance in the EU and the euro area since the launch of the Economic and Monetary Union.
EC rules on gas supply for citizens
The European Commission welcomed the adoption of the Security of Gas Supply Regulation by the European Parliament on 21 September.
Late payments: Parliament strikes deal with Council
New rules to ensure that small firms no longer face financial problems due to the late payment of bills by public authorities or companies were agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators on 13 September.
EU-Switzerland: fewer barriers for cross-border workers
Commuting from EU or EFTA countries to work in Switzerland each day will become easier for about 200,000 cross-border workers under proposals to ease free movement of people and services approved by a show of hands in Parliament on 7 September.
Commission addresses environment
The European Commission today adopted a decision outlining the criteria necessary to achieve good environmental status for Europe's seas.
Antitrust: EU examines marine insurance
The European Commission has opened formal proceedings to investigate whether certain provisions accompanying claim-sharing and joint-reinsurance agreements in the marine insurance sector might infringe European Union antitrust rules.
EU citizens want stronger economic governance
75% of Europeans think that stronger coordination of economic and financial policies among EU member states would be effective in fighting the economic crisis, according to the Spring 2010 Eurobarometer, the bi-annual opinion poll organised by the EU.
EC calls for mediation in cross-border legal disputes
The European Commission reiterated the potential of existing EU-rules on mediation in cross-border legal disputes, reminding EU member states that these measures can only be effective if put in place by member states at national level.
World Humanitarian Day honours workers
On World Humanitarian Day on 19 August, the European Commission honours humanitarian workers who have lost their lives or freedom, or have been injured during the course of their work.
Euro area annual inflation up to 1.7%
Euro area annual inflation was 1.7% in July 2010, up from 1.4% in June. A year earlier the rate was -0.6%. Monthly inflation was -0.3% in July 2010.
Q2 GDP in Euro area and EU27 up 1% and 1.7%
GDP increased by 1% in both the euro area (EA16) and the EU27 during the second quarter of 2010, compared with the previous quarter, according to flash estimates published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
Sudan appointed a British EUSR
From September Sudan will have a British female as their European Union Special Representative.
Council establishes European External Action Service
The Council adopted a decision on 26 July establishing the European External Action Service (EEAS) and setting out its organisation and functioning.
European banks: briefing on stress tests
Later on 23 July, the results of stress tests at 91 banks in 20 EU countries are to be announced to the public.
EC and IMF meet Hungarian banking community
In a regular meeting of the European Bank Coordination Initiative held on 22 July 2010, the European Commission and the IMF informed the banking community active in Hungary about their latest review mission in Hungary.
Financial stability extended to non-EU countries
The 2008 Memorandum of Understanding on Co-operation between the Financial Supervisory Authorities, Central Banks and Finance Ministries of the European Union on cross-border financial stability is being extended to the non-EU EEA countries.
ACP ambassadors visit the EIB
On 22 July the European Investment Bank welcomed 80 Ambassadors, Charge d'affaires and diplomats from African, Caribbean and Pacific States.
Trade flows continue to grow in 1Q
Merchandise trade volumes for the G7 countries as a whole continued to grow in the first quarter of 2010, but at a slower pace than in the fourth quarter of 2009.
Bulgaria and Romania: mixed progress on fighting corruption
The annual reports this year on Bulgaria and Romania's efforts to deliver judicial reform and tackle corruption paint a different picture in the two countries.
OECD welcomes calls for emissions reductions
OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurría has welcomed the call by ministers in France, Germany and the UK for Europe to adopt a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions over 1990 levels by 2020.
Iceland to receive pre-accession funding
On 14 July, the amended Regulation on the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) entered into force, including Iceland as a beneficiary of pre-accession funding.
Half of Europeans would consider moving for work
The European Commission has adopted a report setting out in a consolidated way the rights of Europeans to live and work in another EU country. The report also provides an update on legal developments in the past decade.
Limiting animal testing without hindering scientific research
The use of animals in scientific experiments could soon be reduced by new legislation, approved by the Agriculture Committee on 12 July, which strives to strike the right balance between improving animal welfare and assisting research against diseases.
EU to reaffirm its commitment to Turkey
Catherine Ashton, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/ Commission Vice-President, and Štefan Füle, Commissioner for Enlargement will on July 13 participate in the European Union-Turkey High Level Political Dialogue Meeting in Istanbul.
EU Human Rights Instruments and the Lisbon Treaty
The European Union and Human Rights NGOs meet at the 12th EU-NGO Forum on Human Rights on 12-13 July at the Egmont Palace in Brussels.
MEPs back Iceland’s EU membership bid
The prospect of Iceland becoming a new EU member state is welcomed in a resolution adopted on 7 July by the European Parliament.
The EU’s accession to the Convention on Human Rights
Official talks started on 7 July on the European Union's accession to the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).
Possible visa exemption for the Taiwanese
On 5 July, the European Commission has proposed to add Taiwan to the list of countries and territories for whose citizens a short-term visa is not required. Taiwanese passport holders would no longer require a visa when travelling to the EU member states for 90 days or less.
Barriers hampering retail services in Europe
The Commission has adopted a report that identifies key issues potentially hampering more efficient and fairer retail services within the Internal Market and is now launching a public consultation on the report to determine future policy priorities in this domain.
Key investment in the European neighbourhood
On 2 July, the European Commission has decided to grant an additional €85m to the Neighbourhood Investment Facility (NIF) for 2010.
EU support to combat oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico
The Federal On-Site Coordinator in the US has accepted an oil cleaning device to combat the environmental consequences of the oil spill that is polluting the waters of the Gulf of Mexico since the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon drilling well on 20 April.
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