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
30/11/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
On the eve of World AIDS Day, European Centre for Disease prevention and Control (ECDC) and the WHO Regional Office for Europe release their annual HIV/AIDS surveillance report.
30/11/2012 - Employment and social rights / Statistics
The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.7% in October 2012, up from 11.6% in September. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.7% in October 2012, up from 10.6% in September.
30/11/2012 - Justice and citizens rights
In a report, the European Commission evaluates the efforts of the network to enhance safety and security for European citizens.
29/11/2012 - Business / Institutional affairs / External relations and foreign affairs
The EU Foreign Affairs (Trade) Council approved a mandate for the negotiation of a free trade agreement (FTA) with Japan and authorised the opening of negotiations with Japan on a framework agreement.
29/11/2012 - Business / Economy, finance, tax and competition
In November 2012, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area increased by 0.42 points to -1.19. The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased by 2.0 points in the EU, to 88.1, and by 1.4 points in the euro area, to 85.7.
29/11/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The European Commission put forward a proposal for an Environment Action Programme (EAP) to guide EU environment policy up to 2020.
29/11/2012 - Business
With this Green Paper, the Commission will collect information on the current state of the delivery market for products bought online, and identify any potential hurdles for the creation of an EU-wide integrated parcel delivery market.
28/11/2012 - Business / Economy, finance, tax and competition / Employment and social rights
The European Commission adopted the 2013 Annual Growth Survey (AGS), setting out five priorities designed to guide Member States through the crisis to renewed growth: pursuing differentiated, growth-friendly fiscal consolidation; restoring normal lending to the economy; promoting growth and competitiveness for today and tomorrow; tackling unemployment and the social consequences of the crisis; and modernising public administration.
28/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The European Commission adopted a Blueprint for a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union, which provides a vision for a strong and stable architecture in the financial, fiscal, economic and political domains.
27/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The Greek programme got back on track, when the Eurogroup on 26 November 2012 gave political approval to the next disbursement of financial aid to Greece. Ministers commended Greek policy actions and agreed on a package of measures to ensure Greek debt will be sustainable.
27/11/2012 - Business / Justice and citizens rights
The aim is to better protect businesses, professionals and NGOs across Europe from dishonest traders who do not play by the rules and use misleading marketing practices, such as sending out forms asking businesses to update details in their directories, seemingly for free, and then charging them annual fees.
26/11/2012 - Culture, education and youth / Institutional affairs
The Council took note of the state of play concerning the proposal for a regulation establishing the "Erasmus for All" programme (2014-2020).
26/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The Commission is presenting a new Draft Budget for 2013. The new proposal takes into account elements to facilitate convergence between the European Parliament and the Council as well as the imperative need to honour past commitments.
26/11/2012 - Employment and social rights
A Decision to modernise and improve EURES, the pan-EU job search network, has been adopted by the European Commission.
23/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
Following constructive discussions on the EU's Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020, the European Council on 23 November 2012 mandated President Herman Van Rompuy to pursue the consultations to find a consensus among all EU leaders.
23/11/2012 - Institutional affairs
During the 19-22 November plenary session MEPs warned EU leaders that drastic cuts to the EU's long-term budget could paralyse it for years. They welcomed news of an immediate ceasefire in Gaza and approved the nomination of Tonio Borg as the new health commissioner.
21/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
Parliament's President Martin Schulz urged the blocking minority of member states to stop preventing the Commission from paying bills it is legally obliged to pay.
21/11/2012 - Institutional affairs
The Commission has taken 199 decisions, including 48 reasoned opinions and 7 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice, out of which 5 include financial penalties.
20/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The General Affairs Council held its last meeting before the special European Council on 22-23 November. The summit is dedicated to the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020.
20/11/2012 - Culture, education and youth
The European Commission is launching a new strategy called Rethinking Education to encourage Member States to take immediate action to ensure that young people develop the skills and competences needed by the labour market and to achieve their targets for growth and jobs.
20/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
Powers transferred to the EU level to strengthen economic and monetary union must be matched by enhanced accountability, says a resolution adopted by the European Parliament.
20/11/2012 - Institutional affairs / Justice and citizens rights
It will now be easier for EU citizens living in another Member State to stand as candidates in the 2014 European Parliament elections, following a vote on a European Commission proposal in the European Parliament.
19/11/2012 - Institutional affairs / External relations and foreign affairs
At the meeting of the EU's Foreign Affairs Council, ministers highlighted the EU's support for the efforts of Joint Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi in finding a political solution and welcomed the agreement reached by the Syrian opposition forces, whom the EU considers "legitimate representatives of the aspirations of the Syrian people".
19/11/2012 - Agriculture, fisheries and food
The European Commission presented its proposal for next year's fishing opportunities for fish stocks which are jointly managed with third parties, such as Norway or Regional Fisheries Management Organisations.
16/11/2012 - Environment, consumers and health / Statistics
This is one of the many findings in the "Health at a Glance: Europe 2012", a new joint report by the OECD and the European Commission. From an annual average growth rate of 4.6% between 2000 and 2009, health spending per person fell to -0.6% in 2010.
16/11/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The European Commission is raising awareness about this global problem, in line with commitments made in Rio this summer to reduce the incidence and impacts of such pollution on marine ecosystems.
15/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Statistics
Euro area annual inflation was 2.5% in October 2012, down from 2.6% in September. A year earlier the rate was 3.0%. EU annual inflation was 2.6% in October 2012, down from 2.7% in September. A year earlier the rate was 3.4%.
15/11/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The Commission has launched a Blueprint to Safeguard Europe's Water Resources, a strategy for ensuring that enough good quality water is available to meet the needs of people, the economy and the environment.
15/11/2012 - Energy and natural resources
With its Communication on how to make the internal energy market work the Commission calls on Member States to step up their efforts to transpose and implement the existing EU internal energy market rules.
14/11/2012 - Justice and citizens rights
The Commission has proposed legislation with the aim of attaining a 40% objective of the under-represented sex in non-executive board-member positions in publicly listed companies, with the exception of small and medium enterprises.
14/11/2012 - Transport and travel
The European Commission has agreed with international partners on new internationally harmonised rules on Advanced Emergency Braking Systems (AEBS) and Lane Departure Warning Systems (LDWS) for commercial vehicles.
14/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The Council had to take note of the impossibility to reach an agreement with the European Parliament on the 2013 budget and other related items.
13/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
The Council amended its negotiating position on the so-called "two-pack" of proposals aimed at further improving economic governance in the euro area. The proposals provide for enhanced monitoring of member states' budgetary policies, as well as strengthened surveillance of countries experiencing financial difficulties.
13/11/2012 - Justice and citizens rights
The directive sets out minimum rights for victims, wherever they are in the EU. Member States now have three years to implement the provisions into their national laws.
09/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The Council and the European Parliament, meeting within the Conciliation Committee, could not yet reach agreement on the 2013 EU budget and other related items.
08/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Statistics
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.
08/11/2012 - Business / Transport and travel
The Commission proposes a massive innovative push by streamlining research and innovation under the European Green Vehicle Initiative.
07/11/2012 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
The short-term outlook for the EU economy remains fragile, but a gradual return to GDP growth is projected for 2013, with further strengthening in 2014.
07/11/2012 - Environment, consumers and health
The proposed Regulation aims to reduce F-gas emissions by two-thirds of today's levels by 2030. It also bans the use of F-gases in some new equipment, such as household fridges, where viable more climate-friendly alternatives are readily available.
07/11/2012 - External relations and foreign affairs / Justice and citizens rights / Transport and travel
If fully exploited, the current visa rules could ensure that the EU remains an attractive destination for more tourists/third country nationals, while at the same time boosting EU's economic activity and job creation.
06/11/2012 - Institutional affairs
The 2011 accounts present fairly the financial position of the European Union and the results of its operations and its cash flows for the year. However, payments were affected by material error, with an estimated error rate of 3.9 % for the EU budget as a whole.
06/11/2012 - Regions and local development
The Regional Innovation Scoreboard 2012 provides a comparative assessment of how European regions perform with regard to innovation. The report covers 190 regions across the European Union, Croatia, Norway and Switzerland.
06/11/2012 - External relations and foreign affairs
The overarching theme of the meeting was "Friends for Peace, Partners for Prosperity". The main topics were economic and financial matters, global, regional and socio-cultural issues and the future development of the ASEM.
05/11/2012 - Science and technology
The decision makes it mandatory for Member States to open the relevant spectrum by 30 June 2014 at the latest, and lays down harmonised technical conditions to allow coexistence between different technologies.