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
31/10/2012 - Employment and social rights / Statistics
The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.6% in September 2012, up from 11.5% in August. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.6% in September 2012, stable compared with August.
31/10/2012 - External relations and foreign affairs
The new scheme will be focused on fewer beneficiaries (89 countries) to ensure more impact on countries most in need.
31/10/2012 - Transport and travel
Europe takes a major step forward in vehicle safety on 1 November 2012 as a basket of new safety requirements for new types of motor vehicles comes into force.
30/10/2012 - Institutional affairs / Transport and travel
The EU transport ministers agreed a general approach on proposed changes to the 1993 rules on the allocation of take-off and landing slots to airlines.
30/10/2012 - Business / Economy, finance, tax and competition
In October 2012, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased by 0.28 points to 1.62. The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained unchanged in the EU, at 86.2, and declined by 0.7 points in the euro area, to 84.5.
30/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
Parliament's key negotiators on the EU long-term budget for 2014-2020 expressed dismay at the Cypriot Presidency proposal for the so-called multiannual financial framework (MFF).
29/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
Following the recent entry into force of the new Financial Regulation the Commission has adopted its new detailed Rules of application.
26/10/2012 - Institutional affairs
Faster progress on all fronts and more budgetary honesty from member states is what MEPs called for during this week's two plenaries.
26/10/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The European Commission outlined new proposals to streamline legislation on environmental impact assessments. The proposals are intended to lighten administrative burdens and make it easier to assess the potential impacts of major projects, without weakening existing environmental safeguards.
26/10/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The Environment Council agreed on the EU stance for major international climate talks coming up in Doha, Qatar, in late November.
25/10/2012 - External relations and foreign affairs / Justice and citizens rights
Ministers reached agreement on a directive laying down standards for the reception of asylum seekers. This directive is one of five legislative instruments making up the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) package.
25/10/2012 - Culture, education and youth
Only 6% of film/video, newspapers, magazines and book sales were digital, according to the Joint Research Centre's (JRC) report on "The media and content industries. A quantitative overview".
24/10/2012 - Institutional affairs
The Commission has taken 162 decisions, including 25 reasoned opinions and 10 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.
23/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
To enable the EU to pay its bills in 2013, Council cuts in the European Commission's budget proposal must be reversed, said Parliament in a vote. Reinstating funding for payments in 2013 would help to protect popular EU programmes, such as Erasmus Mundus and the Social Fund, against funding shortfalls like those that disrupted them this year.
23/10/2012 - Justice and citizens rights
Parliament voted to designate 2013 European Year of Citizens with the aim of raising awareness of the rights linked to EU citizenship.
23/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
The 10 Member States that wish to apply an EU financial transaction tax (FTT) through enhanced cooperation should be allowed to do so, because all the legal conditions for such a move are met.
23/10/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The Commission is unveiling an action plan, with a series of initiatives over the next two years aimed at clarifying the regulation of online gambling and encouraging cooperation between Member States.
23/10/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food
The Council made an important step forward, when it reached a political agreement on the fishing opportunities for 2013 for certain stocks in the Baltic Sea. Member states agreed on more ambitious cuts in total allowable catches (TACs) for cod and fixed the TACs for other stocks.
19/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs / External relations and foreign affairs
The European Council reiterated its firm commitment to take resolute action to address financial market tensions, restore confidence and stimulate growth and jobs.
19/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
Following the usual autumn update of EU funding needs in agriculture, and reflecting the international fisheries negotiations, the Commission agreed to decrease by EUR 25.1 million its draft budget for 2013 presented this April.
18/10/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food
Six Member States - Austria, Ireland, the Netherlands, Germany, Cyprus and Luxembourg - exceeded their milk quotas in 2011/2012, triggering "superlevy" penalties of about € 79 million, according to figures published by the Commission.
17/10/2012 - Energy and natural resources / Environment, consumers and health / Transport and travel
The Commission published a proposal to limit global land conversion for biofuel production, and raise the climate benefits of biofuels used in the EU. The use of food-based biofuels to meet the 10% renewable energy target of the Renewable Energy Directive will be limited to 5%.
17/10/2012 - Environment, consumers and health / Science and technology
The proposal aims to make sure all market players comply with the rules regarding the avoidance of interference, so that consumers do not have problems when opening car doors, monitoring their babies or listening to radio.
16/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Statistics
Euro area annual inflation was 2.6% in September 2012, unchanged compared with August. EU annual inflation was 2.7% in September 2012, unchanged compared with August.
15/10/2012 - Institutional affairs / External relations and foreign affairs
The Council, reiterating that the EU stands by the Syrian people in its courageous struggle for freedom, dignity and democracy, underlined its deep concern at the spill-over effects of the Syrian crisis in neighbouring countries in terms of security and stability.
15/10/2012 - Business
The European Commission released results of the SME Performance Review 2012 report, together with fact sheets describing SMEs' progress in all EU Members States.
12/10/2012 - Institutional affairs / External relations and foreign affairs
“This Prize is the strongest possible recognition of the deep political motives behind our Union: the unique effort by ever more European states to overcome war and divisions and to jointly shape a continent of peace and prosperity”.
11/10/2012 - Environment, consumers and health / Institutional affairs
The Agenda aims to ensure that consumers have safe products and services, better information and more effective protection of their rights and redress possibilities, especially when buying products in other countries and online.
11/10/2012 - Transport and travel
Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for transport, announced his intention to present new legislative proposals in Spring 2013 to accelerate implementation, as well as taking all enforcement actions possible, including infringements where necessary.
11/10/2012 - Science and technology
The countdown has started for the launch of Galileo's third and fourth satellites —scheduled for 12 October 2012 at 18:15 UTC from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
10/10/2012 - External relations and foreign affairs
In a set of annual reports, the Commission also assesses the progress towards EU accession made elsewhere in the Western Balkans, Turkey, and Iceland over the past year.
10/10/2012 - Business
The European Commission released a substantial set of proposals to boost industry.
09/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The Council adopted a decision modifying the conditions underpinning financial assistance to Portugal, granting it an additional year, until 2014, to correct its excessive deficit.
09/10/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food
In line with the scientific advice, the Commission proposes to increase total allowable catches (TACs) for 3 stocks, a decrease for 13 stocks, and maintain TACs at the current level for 8 stocks (including zero TACs for 6 stocks), compared to 2012
08/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
This mechanism will be globally the largest international financial institution with a strong capital base of 700 billion euro of which 80 billion euro will be paid-in by early 2014, including about 33 billion euro by 12 October 2012.
08/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
The EU average transposition deficit – the percentage of internal market directives that have not been written into national law in time –has decreased from 1.2% to 0.9% over the last six months and the number of Member States achieving the 1% target went up from eleven to sixteen.
08/10/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food / Employment and social rights
The agenda focuses on promising maritime sectors where there is a great potential for new jobs and growth. These sectors are: marine renewable energy, aquaculture, blue biotechnology, coastal tourism and sea bed mining.
05/10/2012 - Business
To end the damaging culture of late payment in Europe, European Commission launched an information campaign across all 27 EU Member States and Croatia, to encourage speedy incorporation of the Late Payment Directive into national law.
04/10/2012 - Employment and social rights / Environment, consumers and health / Justice and citizens rights
The Council adopted several legal acts, notably on energy efficiency, better access to and improved digitisation of orphan works across the EU and minimum standards for the rights, support and protection of crime victims.
04/10/2012 - 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.
04/10/2012 - Energy and natural resources / Environment, consumers and health
In addition to recommending numerous of plant specific technical improvements, the stress tests have shown that International standards and practices have not been applied everywhere.
04/10/2012 - Justice and citizens rights / Science and technology
Cyber Europe 2012 runs alongside European Cyber Security Month and is the second EU-wide cyber-attack simulation exercise organised by Member States, the Commission and ENISA.
03/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
These actions are concentrated on four main drivers for growth, employment and confidence: a) integrated networks, b) cross border mobility of citizens and businesses, c) the digital economy, and d) actions that reinforce cohesion and consumer benefits.
03/10/2012 - Science and technology
The European Commission adopted a communication on the second regulatory review on nanomaterials, which also includes the Commission’s plans to improve EU law to ensure the safe use of nanomaterials.
03/10/2012 - External relations and foreign affairs
A new communication from the European Commission outlines a wide range of activities for building resilience, from improving access to food through supporting partner countries to ensuring that governments are alerted quickly at the outbreak of crises.
02/10/2012 - Business / Economy, finance, tax and competition
With up to 50 billion euros the Connecting Europe Facility could become a key instrument for targeted infrastructure investment at European level to ensure the smooth functioning of the Single Market and boost sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness across the European Union.
02/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
The Commission has received the report prepared by the High-level Expert Group on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector. The Group chaired by Erkki Liikanen presented the main findings to Michel Barnier, Commissioner for internal market and services.
01/10/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Employment and social rights / Statistics
The key objectives of the strategy are expressed in the form of five targets on employment, research & development, climate change & energy, education and poverty & social exclusion. These targets are monitored on the basis of headline indicators that Eurostat compiles and publishes.
01/10/2012 - Employment and social rights / Statistics
The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.4% in August 2012, stable compared with July. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.5% in August 2012, also stable compared with July.
01/10/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food
Flavouring substances in food will become even safer and more transparent thanks to two pieces of legislation adopted by the European Commission.