The European Union is responding to the global economic crisis through actions on different levels.
Fast facts, background information, progress and more in depth information on main EU issues
31/05/2013 - Employment and social rights
The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.2% in April 2013, up from 12.1% in March. The EU27 unemployment rate was 11.0%, unchanged compared with the previous month.
31/05/2013 - Business / Institutional affairs
30/05/2013 - Institutional affairs
The Commission has taken 143 decisions, including 15 reasoned opinions and 5 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice. |VIDEO|
30/05/2013 - Business / Economy, finance, tax and competition
In May 2013, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area increased by 0.28 points to ‑0.76. The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased by 1.1 points in the EU, to 90.8, and by 0.8 points in the euro area, to 89.4.
29/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
28/05/2013 - Environment, consumers and health / Justice and citizens rights
New European drug report published: new threats emerging that challenge current models of policy and practice. |VIDEO|
28/05/2013 - Science and technology
Almost half of EU citizens (46%) now go online to look for a job, use the public library, file a tax return, register a birth, apply for a passport or use other eGovernment services.
27/05/2013 - External relations and foreign affairs
The Council discussed the latest developments with respect to the Syrian crisis and repeated its call for the end of all violence. It also reiterated the urgent need for a political solution of the conflict and welcomed the joint US-Russia call for a peace conference on Syria. |PHOTOS|VIDEO|
24/05/2013 - Institutional affairs
During the May plenary MEPs backed plans for an EU bank supervisory system and called on governments to step up their efforts to clamp down on tax evasion. They also approved EU–wide civil law protection for victims of stalking and gender violence and tougher safety rules for offshore drilling.
23/05/2013 - Justice and citizens rights
During the year, OLAF has reinforced its investigative function and achieved significant results. OLAF investigations have become more efficient and the overall average duration of OLAF cases has decreased by seven months, from 29.1 months in 2011 to 22.6 in 2012.
23/05/2013 - Transport and travel
The European Commission has launched a new initiative to improve port operations and onward transport connections at 319 key seaports along Europe’s coastline. The guidelines and legal changes being proposed will help port operators upgrade their services and facilities as well as giving them more financial autonomy. |PHOTOS|
22/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
Extending automatic exchange of information at both the EU and global level is a priority task in fighting tax evasion and tax avoidance, say the EU leaders in the summit conclusions. |PHOTOS 1|2|3|4|VIDEO|
21/05/2013 - Environment, consumers and health
Ninety-four per cent of bathing sites in the European Union meet minimum standards for water quality, according to the European Environment Agency's annual report on bathing water quality in Europe.
17/05/2013 - Culture, education and youth / Institutional affairs
The Council adopted conclusions on the social dimension of higher education. It also held, in public deliberation, a policy debate on the link between teaching professions of the highest quality and achieving better learning outcomes. |VIDEO 1|2|3|4|
16/05/2013 - Environment, consumers and health
In 2012, a total of 2,278 measures against dangerous non-food products, were taken by Member States and reported in the EU Rapid Information system (RAPEX). This indicates a 26% rise in alerts when compared to 2011 figures.
16/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Statistics
Euro area annual inflation was 1.2% in April 2013, down from 1.7% in March. A year earlier the rate was 2.6%. European Union annual inflation was 1.4% in April 2013, down from 1.9% in March. A year earlier the rate was 2.7%.
15/05/2013 - External relations and foreign affairs
Represented at the highest levels, the international community has mobilised decisively in support of Mali's development priorities. Donors have made public financial commitments on the basis of the Plan for the Sustainable Recovery of Mali 2013-2014 (PRED) presented by the Malian government. |PHOTOS 1|2|3|VIDEO 1|2|3|
14/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Institutional affairs
The Council adopted a mandate for the Commission to negotiate updated savings tax agreements with Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Monaco, Andorra and San Marino. It also adopted conclusions on tax evasion and tax fraud. |PHOTOS|VIDEO|
14/05/2013 - Agriculture, fisheries and food / Institutional affairs
As regards agriculture, ministers were briefed on the state of play of the trilogues on the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). Concerning fisheries issues, the Council held a debate on the outcome of the trilogues on the reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP). |PHOTOS 1|2|VIDEO|
13/05/2013 - Agriculture, fisheries and food / Environment, consumers and health
The Action Plan follows from the Atlantic Strategy the Commission adopted in 2011. It aims to show how the EU's Atlantic Member States, their regions and the Commission can help create sustainable growth in coastal regions and drive forward the "blue economy", which has the potential to provide 7 million jobs in Europe by 2020. |PHOTOS|VIDEO|
08/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition / Energy and natural resources / Institutional affairs
President Barroso has made a push to make significant progress on energy and tax fraud and evasion at the European Council on 22 May.
08/05/2013 - Justice and citizens rights
The 2013 EU Citizenship Report sets out 12 concrete ways to help Europeans make better use of their EU rights, from looking for a job in another EU country to ensuring stronger participation in the democratic life of the Union.
08/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
European Commission publishes its proposal for a Directive on the transparency and comparability of payment account fees, payment account switching and access to a basic payment account.
06/05/2013 - Agriculture, fisheries and food / Environment, consumers and health
The European Commission has adopted a package of measures to strengthen the enforcement of health and safety standards for the whole agri-food chain. Food safety is essential to ensure consumers' confidence and sustainability of food production. |PHOTOS|VIDEO 1|2|
06/05/2013 - Environment, consumers and health
The European Commission adopted a new strategy for encouraging the use of green infrastructure, and for ensuring that the enhancement of natural processes becomes a systematic part of spatial planning.
03/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
Following the recession that marked 2012, the EU economy is expected to stabilise in the first half of 2013. GDP growth is projected to turn positive gradually in the second half of the year before gaining some traction in 2014. |PHOTOS|
02/05/2013 - Economy, finance, tax and competition
The Governing Council of the ECB decided to decrease the interest rate on the main refinancing operations of the Eurosystem by 25 basis points to 0.50%, starting from the operation to be settled on 8 May 2013. The interest rate on the marginal lending facility will be decreased by 50 basis points to 1.00%, with effect from 8 May 2013.
02/05/2013 - Business / Economy, finance, tax and competition
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) will drive the recovery in Europe, but they need improved and easy access to finance. Over the last few years the European Commission has been constantly working to improve their situation.