The EU has received the 2012 award for advancing the causes of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.
Fast facts, background information, progress and more in depth information on main EU issues
31/08/2012 - Employment and social rights / Statistics
The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.3% in July 2012, stable compared with June. It was 10.1% in July 2011. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.4% in July 2012, also stable compared with June.
30/08/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
In August the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased markedly by 2.0 points in the EU, to 87.0, and by 1.8 points in the euro area, to 86.1. The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area edged up by 0.06 points to ‑1.21.
29/08/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Transport and travel
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation (phase II) under the EU Merger Regulation into the proposed acquisition of Aer Lingus by the low cost carrier Ryanair, which was notified to the Commission on 24 July 2012.
29/08/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food / Employment and social rights
The European Commission is proposing to create a digital seabed map of European waters by 2020 by collecting all existing data into one coherent database accessible to everyone.
28/08/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
This agreement should be adopted by the European Union and the Commonwealth of Australia by mid-2015 to facilitate the commencement of full linking no later than 1 July 2018.
24/08/2012 - Culture, education and youth
Aarhus beat off the challenge of Sønderborg to represent Denmark. Cyprus is the other Member State in which a city will host the title in five years' time.
22/08/2012 - External relations and foreign affairs
After 18 years of negotiations, Russia joins the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as its 156th member today. This accession is particularly important for the EU, as the EU is Russia's first trading partner and Russia is the EU's third trading partner.
20/08/2012 - Business / Science and technology
Top EU businesses expect their investments in research and development to grow by an average of 4% annually over the period 2012 to 2014, according to a Commission survey of some of Europe's companies that invest the most in R&D.
16/08/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Statistics
Euro area annual inflation was 2.4% in July 2012, stable compared with June. A year earlier the rate was 2.6%. Monthly inflation was -0.5% in July 2012. EU annual inflation was 2.5% in July 2012, also stable compared to June. A year earlier the rate was 2.9%. Monthly inflation was -0.4% in July 2012.
13/08/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The Directive entering into force today introduces a collection target of 45 % of electronic equipment sold that will apply from 2016 and, as a second step from 2019, a target of 65 % of equipment sold, or 85 % of electronic waste generated. Member States will be able to choose which one of these two equivalent ways to measure the target they wish to report.
07/08/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
A new report on how Member States manage their municipal waste shows startling differences across the EU. The report grades the 27 Member States against 18 criteria, using green, orange and red flags in areas such as total waste recycled, pricing of waste disposal, and infringements of European legislation.
02/08/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
The Governing Council of the ECB decided that the interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the interest rates on the marginal lending facility and the deposit facility will remain unchanged at 0.75%, 1.50% and 0.00% respectively.
01/08/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food
Through deductions the Commission can immediately address the damage done to the stocks overfished in the previous year and ensure a sustainable use by all Member States of a common fishing resource.