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The EU milk sector prepares for the end of milk quotas Choose translations of the previous link 

Phil Hogan © EU

26/03/2015

Agriculture, fisheries and food

The EU milk quota regime comes to an end on March 31, 2015. First introduced in 1984 at a time when EU production far outstripped demand, the quota regime was one of the tools introduced for overcoming these structural surpluses.

 

March infringements package: main decisions Choose translations of the previous link 

European Court of Justice building © EU

26/03/2015

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The Commission has today taken 98 decisions, including 11 reasoned opinions and 8 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Digital Single Market Strategy: European Commission agrees areas for actionChoose translations of the previous link 

Woman with tablet computer and mobile phone © EU

25/03/2015

Science and technology

The College of Commissioners today had a first discussion on the Digital Single Market Strategy due in May – and set out the main areas the Commission will focus its work on to trigger real changes for consumers and businesses alike.

 

Adoption of the 2014 European Neighbourhood ReportsChoose translations of the previous link 

Stethoscope on globe © EU

25/03/2015

External relations and foreign affairs

In a set of annual reports, the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy assessed the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) with the 16 partner countries in the East and the South and made recommendations for the year ahead.

 

How safe are your roads? Commission road safety statistics show small improvement for 2014 Choose translations of the previous link 

Violeta Bulc © EU

24/03/2015

Statistics, Transport and travel

Following two years of solid decreases in the number of people killed on Europe's roads, the first reports on road deaths in 2014 are disappointing. According to the figures released today, the number of road fatalities has decreased by approximately 1% compared to 2013.

 

Keeping consumers safe: nearly 2500 dangerous products withdrawn from the EU market in 2014 Choose translations of the previous link 

Vĕra Jourová © EU

23/03/2015

Environment, consumers and health, Justice and citizens rights

The European Commission published new figures today, showing that in 2014, nearly 2500 products, ranging from toys to motor vehicles, were either stopped before they entered the EU or removed from markets because they were dangerous for EU consumers.

 

Main results of the European Council

European Council family photo © EU

19/03/2015

Energy and natural resources, External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

During the meeting, EU leaders agreed to create an Energy Union. They also discussed economic topics and external relations, the situation in Libya, relations with Russia and Ukraine, and the objectives of the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Riga.

 

Combatting corporate tax avoidance: Commission presents Tax Transparency Package Choose translations of the previous link 

Pierre Moscovici © EU

18/03/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission presented a package of tax transparency measures as part of its ambitious agenda to tackle corporate tax avoidance and harmful tax competition in the EU.

 

Main results of the General Affairs Council

Mr Edgars Rinkevics, Latvian Minister for Foreign Affairs © EU

17/03/2015

Institutional affairs

The Council prepared the European Council of 19-20 March. The main focus will be on the energy union. Foreign relations such as relations with Russia, the situation in Ukraine, preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit and Libya will also be discussed.

 

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council

Ms. Federica MOGHERINI, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy © EU

16/03/2015

External relations and foreign affairs

The Council held an in-depth discussion on EU relations with Africa, covering peace and security, prosperity and partnership. The Council also adopted a strategy outlining how the EU and Member States are planning to counter the threat posed by ISIL/Da'esh and help restore peace and security in Syria and Iraq.

 

Main results of the Agriculture and Fisheries Council

Mr Vytenis Pavilas ANDRIUKAITIS, Member of the European Commission and Mr Janis DUKLAVS, Latvian Minister for Agriculture © EU

16/03/2015

Agriculture, fisheries and food

The Council held a public debate on a proposal on organic farming. Member states took the view that an EU harmonised approach could address the issue of the presence of non-authorised substances in organic products.

 

Main results of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council

Trains and railways © EU

13/03/2015

Energy and natural resources, Science and technology, Transport and travel

The Council held a public policy debate on two proposals to improve rail services in the EU (fourth railway package). Ministers also discussed ways in which transport policy can boost competitiveness, growth and jobs. 

 

Main results of the Justice and Home Affairs Council

Mr Dimitrios Avramopoulos and Mr Rihards Kozlovskis © EU

13/03/2015

Justice and citizens rights

Ministers welcomed the progress achieved so far in the implementation of the operational actions identified by the Task Force Mediterranean. The Council also discussed the implementation of the measures contained in the recent counter-terrorism statements issued after the latest terrorist attacks in Europe.

 

Things we learnt in plenary: capping payment card fees, assessing candidate countries, debating Nemtsov

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

13/03/2015

Institutional affairs

During the plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs supported the legislation on capping credit card fees and warned candidate countries to get their act together if they want to progress on their path towards the EU. Parliament also debated the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and called for greater efforts to abolish the gender pay gap.

 

Growth, solidarity and paying the bills are Parliament's 2016 budget priorities

Person counting euro notes © EU

11/03/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

Next year’s EU budget priorities should be to foster growth by supporting job-creation, firms and entrepreneurship; to show solidarity with countries both inside and outside the EU; and to put EU finances in order, said Parliament in a resolution.

 

MEPs put an end to opaque card payment fees

Credit card © EU

10/03/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Environment, consumers and health

The fees that banks charge retailers to process shoppers’ payments will be capped, under uniform EU-wide rules, further to a vote in Parliament.

 

Main results of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council

Ms. Marianne THYSSEN, Member of the European Commission; Mr Uldis AUGULIS, Latvian Minister for Welfare © EU

09/03/2015

Employment and social rights, Environment, consumers and health

The Council discussed the employment and social policy aspects of the 2015 European Semester exercise. It endorsed key messages on the financing of social protection systems and adopted conclusions on inclusive labour markets.

 

2015 EU Justice Scoreboard: supporting Member States to improve their justice systems' effectiveness Choose translations of the previous link 

Vĕra Jourová © EU

09/03/2015

Justice and citizens rights

The European Commission has released the 2015 EU Justice Scoreboard, which gives an overview of the quality, independence and efficiency of the justice systems of Member States.

 

Main results of the Environment Council

Miguel Arias Cañete and Kaspars Gerhards © EU

06/03/2015

Environment, consumers and health

The Council discussed the preparations for the UN climate change conference that will take place in Paris in December. Ministers also discussed the environment related aspects of the Annual Growth Survey with a view to the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy.

 

Second estimate for the fourth quarter of 2014 GDP up by 0.3% in the euro area and by 0.4% in the EU28 Choose translations of the previous link 

Euro banknote on euro coins © EU

06/03/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

Seasonally adjusted GDP rose by 0.3% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.4% in the EU28 during the fourth quarter of 2014, compared with the previous quarter, according to a second estimate published by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.

 

Main results of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council

From left to right: Mr Maros SEFCOVIC, Vice President of the European Commission; Ms. Dana REIZNIECE OZOLA, Latvian Minister for the Economy; Mr Miguel ARIAS CANETE, Member of the European Commission © EU

05/03/2015

Energy and natural resources, Transport and travel

The Council had an exchange of views on the energy union, addressing in particular issues such as energy security, completion of the internal energy market, energy efficiency, decarbonisation of the economy and competitiveness. 

 

Completing the internal energy market: €100 million released to connect European energy networksChoose translations of the previous link 

Power poles © EU

05/03/2015

Energy and natural resources

The Commission is opening the call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to help finance key trans-European energy infrastructure projects. €100 million will be made available for projects aimed at ending energy isolation, eliminating energy bottlenecks and to complete the European energy market.

 

Commission outlines remaining key challenges on gender equalityChoose translations of the previous link 

A woman in front of a court building © EU

05/03/2015

Employment and social rights

According to new Eurobarometer statistics, a large majority of citizens (76%) believe that tackling inequality between women and men should be a priority for the EU.

 

Commission makes progress on a European Agenda on MigrationChoose translations of the previous link 

Person pointing on EU flags and map © EU

04/03/2015

External relations and foreign affairs

The European Commission launched its work on a comprehensive European Agenda on Migration. The College of Commissioners held a first orientation debate on key actions to step up the EU's efforts to implement the existing tools and cooperation in managing migration flows from third countries.

 

Environment report shows benefits of EU actionChoose translations of the previous link 

Green landscape © EU

03/03/2015

Environment, consumers and health

A new report shows that Europeans enjoy cleaner air and water, send less waste to landfill and recycle more; while environmental policies drive jobs and growth. 

 

Main results of the Competitiveness Council

European flag at the Justus Lipsius building © EU

02/03/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

The Competitiveness Council took place against the background of the broad priorities of the Latvian presidency to achieve a competitive and digital Europe. It included debates on those areas where the EU's single market and a dynamic innovation policy can increase Europe's capacity to deliver economic growth and jobs.    

 

How is the European Union progressing towards its Europe 2020 targets?Choose translations of the previous link 

Crowd of people and European flag © EU

02/03/2015

Statistics

A set of nine headline indicators and four sub-indicators, compiled by Eurostat, give an overview of how far or close the EU is from reaching its overall targets.

 

February infringements package: main decisions Choose translations of the previous link 

Lady Justice and EU flag © EU

26/02/2015

Institutional affairs

The Commission has today taken 276 decisions, including 44 reasoned opinions and 9 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

January 2015 - Annual inflation down to -0.6% in the euro area - Down to -0.5% in the EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Stethoscope and house made of euro coins and banknotes © EU

24/02/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

Euro area annual inflation was -0.6% in January 2015, down from -0.2% in December. This was the lowest rate recorded since July 2009. In January 2014 the rate was 0.8%. European Union annual inflation was -0.5% in January 2015, down from -0.1% in December. 

 

Unlocking Funding for Europe's Growth - European Commission consults on Capital Markets UnionChoose translations of the previous link 

Coin © EU

18/02/2015

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission has launched its landmark project to unlock funding for Europe’s businesses and to boost growth in the EU’s 28 Member States with the creation of a true single market for capital.

 

Main results of the Economic and Financial Affairs Council

European flag outside Council building © EU

18/02/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The Council discussed a proposal to establish a European fund for strategic investments, which is expected to mobilise at least €315bn in private and public investment.  

 

Europe's Finance Ministers endorse EIB Group engagement in Juncker plan

EU file © EU

17/02/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

Europe’s Finance Ministers welcomed the proposal for the European Investment Bank Group to manage the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) within the EIB under the Investment Plan for Europe announced last November.

 

Main results of the informal European Council

Group photo © EU

13/02/2015

Institutional affairs

EU leaders discussed three challenges facing Europe: restoring peace in Ukraine, fighting terrorism and improving the European Monetary Union.

 

Things we learnt in plenary: Ukraine, terrorism, processed meat, child abduction

Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

13/02/2015

Institutional affairs

The tragedies in Ukraine and the Middle East were among the main subjects debated by MEPs during the February plenary in Strasbourg. Ahead of Thursday's extraordinary European summit, the Parliament also discussed security measures such as the exchange of passenger name records between member states to better track terror suspects. 

 

Parliament sets up a special committee on tax rulings

Euro bills © EU

12/02/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

Parliament as a whole voted to set up a special parliamentary committee to look into EU member states’ "tax rulings and other measures similar in nature or effect" and make recommendations for the future. The committee will have 45 members and is established for an initial period of six months.

 

Debate on front-loading €1 billion for Youth Employment Initiative in 2015

Young people © EU

11/02/2015

Employment and social rights

MEPs debated the latest plan to make €1 billion in Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) funding available in 2015 with Commissioner Marianne Thyssen. A majority of speakers backed the idea of speeding up the delivery of funding for projects to fight youth unemployment, while also developing long-term solutions and introducing structural reforms.

 

Main results of the General Affairs Council

Mr Maros SEFCOVIC, Vice President of the European Commission; Mr Evangelos VENIZELOS, Greek Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mr Tonio BORG, Member of the European Commission © EU

10/02/2015

Institutional affairs

The Council discussed a revision of the EU's multiannual financial framework (MFF) for 2014-2020. The aim of the revision is to allow the EU to transfer € 21.1 billion of unused commitments from 2014 to subsequent years. 

 

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council

Council building © EU

09/02/2015

External relations and foreign affairs

The Council unanimously adopted additional listings concerning separatists in Eastern Ukraine and their supporters in Russia. These consist of an asset freeze and a travel ban on 19 persons and 9 entities involved in action against Ukraine's territorial integrity. 

 

Winter Economic Forecast: outlook improved but risks remainChoose translations of the previous link 

Pen on graph © EU

05/02/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

For the first time since 2007, the economies of all European Union Member States are expected to grow again this year, according to the European Commission's winter forecast.

 

Juncker Commission makes 1 billion euro available for the young unemployedChoose translations of the previous link 

Young woman looking for job adverts © EU

04/02/2015

Employment and social rights

The European Commission proposes to make 1 billion euro from the Youth Employment Initiative available as early as this year. This change will increase by up to 30 times the pre-financing Member States receive to boost youth employment - reaching up to 650 000 young people and helping them get into work, faster.

 

Pension funds should benefit from a further two year exemption from central clearing requirements Choose translations of the previous link 

EU flag in front of Commission building © EU

03/02/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission has published a report that recommends granting pension funds a two-year exemption from central clearing requirements for their over-the-counter (OTC) derivative transactions.

 

Main results of the Foreign Affairs Council

Federica Mogherini at the press conference © EU

29/01/2015

External relations and foreign affairs

The Council met in an extraordinary session to discuss the latest escalation of violence in Ukraine. It strongly condemned the indiscriminate shelling of residential areas, especially in Mariupol, and the escalation of fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

 

Investment plan for Europe

Pierre Moscovici, Pier Carlo Padoan and Kristalina Georgieva © EU

27/01/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The Council discussed a proposal to establish a European fund for strategic investments, which is expected to mobilise at least €315bn in private and public investment.

 

Commission and Parliament Implement New Rules on Transparency Register Choose translations of the previous link 

Woman and man holding folders © EU

27/01/2015

Institutional affairs

A new version of the EU Transparency Register is being launched today following joint work by the European Commission and the European Parliament.

 

ECB announces expanded asset purchase programme

European Central Bank building in Frankfurt © EU

22/01/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

Aimed at fulfilling the ECB’s price stability mandate, this programme will see the ECB add the purchase of sovereign bonds to its existing private sector asset purchase programmes in order to address the risks of a too prolonged period of low inflation.

 

Commission and EIB launch new advisory service on financial instruments Choose translations of the previous link 

Jyrki Katainen © EU

19/01/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission, in partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB), is launching fi-compass, a new advisory service on financial instruments for the European Structural and Investment Funds.

 

EU research efforts at front line of fight against Ebola Choose translations of the previous link 

Scientist working in an Ebola treatment center © EU

16/01/2015

Environment, consumers and health, Science and technology

The European Commission is announcing eight research projects into Ebola that will be funded with a total of €216 million. These projects will develop in particular vaccines and rapid diagnostics tests, which are key to overcoming the current Ebola crisis.

 

Things we learned in plenary: Paris attacks, GMOs, rotating presidencies

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

16/01/2015

Institutional affairs

The Parliament paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Paris on Monday at the start of the January plenary. On the legislative side, MEPs approved a proposal to give member states more flexibility to restrict or ban GMOs on their territory.

 

Employment and Social Developments: Annual Review highlights key factors behind resilience to crisis Choose translations of the previous link 

Marianne Thyssen © EU

15/01/2015

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Employment and social rights

Countries providing high quality jobs and effective social protection as well as investment in human capital have proved to be more resilient to the economic crisis. This is one of the main findings of the 2014 Employment and Social Developments in Europe Review.

 

Commission presents law for the European Fund for Strategic Investments Choose translations of the previous link 

Euro symbols on cranes © EU

13/01/2015

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

Just 50 days after announcing its ambitious Investment Plan for Europe to boost jobs and growth, the European Commission today adopted the legislative proposal for the European Fund for Strategic Investments, which will be established in close partnership with the European Investment Bank (EIB).

 

Parliament backs GMO opt-out for EU member states

Hand injecting maize © EU

13/01/2015

Agriculture, fisheries and food, Environment, consumers and health

New legislation to allow EU member states to restrict or ban the cultivation of crops containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on their own territory, even if this is allowed at EU level, was passed by MEPs.

 

Cutting red tape: Savings of up to €48 million thanks to new rules for cross-border judgments Choose translations of the previous link 

Gavel on table © EU

09/01/2015

Business, Environment, consumers and health, Justice and citizens rights

New rules applying as of tomorrow mean businesses and consumers will be able to resolve cross-border legal disputes more easily – bringing expected savings of up to €48 million each year in the EU.

 

European Commission publishes TTIP legal texts as part of transparency initiative Choose translations of the previous link 

Documents in folder on table © EU

07/01/2015

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, External relations and foreign affairs

The European Commission today published a raft of texts setting out EU proposals for legal text in the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) it is negotiating with the US.

 

November 2014: Euro area unemployment rate at 11.5% - EU28 at 10.0%Choose translations of the previous link 

People representing various professions © EU

07/01/2015

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in November 2014, stable compared with October 2014, but down from 11.9% in November 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.0% in November 2014, down from 10.1% in October 2014 and from 10.7% in November 2013.

 

2 major challenges for Europe: investment and Eastern neighbourhood

European Council group photo © EU

18/12/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

EU leaders focused on Europe's two most important challenges: boosting investment, and the situation at its eastern borders. It was the first European Council chaired by Donald Tusk as President and it followed a shorter format, a 'one day summit'.

 

Council reaches political agreements on CO2 emissions from ships and plastic bag use

Karmenu Vella and Giuseppe Castiglione © EU

17/12/2014

Environment, consumers and health

Meeting in Brussels, EU environment ministers reached an agreement on new EU-wide rules for CO2 emissions from ships. They also agreed on new rules to limit to use of lightweight plastic bags across the EU.

 

Parliament approves EU budgets for 2014 and 2015

Euro symbol, notes and coins © EU

17/12/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

Parliament approved the draft EU budget for 2015 and a top-up of the 2014 one. The budget foresees €145.32 billion in commitments and €141.21 billion in payments for 2015, and an extra €4.25 billion to settle unpaid bills in 2014.

 

Enlargement process crucial to the EU

Karte Europas © EU

16/12/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs, Regions and local development

The General Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the EU enlargement process and on the role of the Council in safeguarding rule of law. It also dealt with preparations for the upcoming European Council.

 

Agreement on 2015 fishing opportunities reached in the Council

Vytenis Pavilas Andriukaitis, Maurizio Martina and Phil Hogan © EU

16/12/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

Meeting in Brussels, ministers reached a political agreement on 2015 fishing opportunities for certain fish stocks in EU and non-EU waters and in the Black Sea. The Council also discussed agricultural issues, such as agricultural expenditure and young farmers.

 

A New Start: European Commission work plan to deliver jobs, growth and investment Choose translations of the previous link 

Person holding folder with EU flag © EU

16/12/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Employment and social rights, Institutional affairs

The European Commission adopted its Work Programme for 2015 – setting out the actions the Commission intends to take over the next 12 months to make a real difference for jobs, growth and investment and bring concrete benefits for citizens.

 

A EU regional strategy for Syria and Iraq

Federica Mogherini © EU

15/12/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Syria and Iraq as well as the fight against ISIL were the main themes of the Foreign Affairs Council. In the margins of the Council meeting, the first EU-Ukraine Association Council was also organised.

 

Council addresses entrepreneurship in education and training

Tibor Navracsics and Stefania Giannini © EU

12/12/2014

Culture, education and youth

At a meeting of the education, youth, culture and sport Council, ministers adopted conclusions on entrepreneurship in education and training. These conclusions highlight that entrepreneurship requires the development of a series of competences, which should be addressed at all levels of education and training. 

 

Council discussed EU's post-2015 development framework

Federica Mogherini and Neven Mimica © EU

12/12/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

At a meeting of the Foreign Council Affairs on development issues, EU ministers discussed a new framework for the coordination of international aid efforts. They also adopted conclusions on migration in EU development cooperation.

 

Labour mobility: Council reaches an agreement on EURES

Valdis Dombrovskis und Giuliano Poletti © EU

11/12/2014

Employment and social rights

Meeting in Brussels, employment ministers agreed on the reform of the European network of employment services, or EURES, to provide better job search and recruitment services across Europe.

 

Food: EU consumers to benefit from better labelling as of 13 December 2014 Choose translations of the previous link 

Food and bottles in shopping basket © EU

11/12/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food, Environment, consumers and health

As of 13 December 2014, new EU food labelling rules, adopted by the European Parliament and the Council in 2011, will ensure that consumers receive clearer, more comprehensive and accurate information on food content, and help them make informed choices about what they eat.

 

Investment plan for the EU gets backed by the Council

European flag outside Council building © EU

09/12/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

EU finance ministers gave their broad support to the Commission's recently announced €315 billion investment plan. They also approved two measures for combating tax fraud and tax avoidance, and agreed on the calculation of the contributions to the single resolution fund.

 

Council discusses follow-up action on the 2030 climate and energy framework

Maros Sefcovic and Claudio De Vincenti © EU

09/12/2014

Energy and natural resources, Transport and travel

EU energy ministers discussed the follow-up to the 2030 climate and energy framework following the European Council meeting in October. They also adopted conclusions on the completion of the EU internal energy market.

 

Investment Offensive for Europe: EU Task Force identifies 2,000 potential projects worth €1.3 trillion Choose translations of the previous link 

Workers and machinery in factory © EU

09/12/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

The EU Task Force on Investment published a report showing that there is significant potential for investment in Europe. It identifies around 2,000 projects across Europe worth some €1.3 trillion of potential investments.

 

Council discusses data protection reform

Vera Jourova and Andrea Orlando © EU

05/12/2014

Justice and citizens rights

At the Justice and Home Affairs Council, ministers reached a partial general approach on the proposed data protection regulation.

 

Council discusses action to boost the single market

Jyrki Katainen and Federica Guidi © EU

05/12/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Transport and travel

At their meeting in Brussels, EU competitiveness ministers agreed on what needs to be done to develop the single market and step up Europe's economic integration.

 

The EU’s Centres of Excellence Initiative to tackle safety threats should be carefully nurtured

European Court of Auditors logo © EU

03/12/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Science and technology

The Centres of Excellence initiative refers to the establishment of regional platforms in different regions of the world to tackle chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) risks.

 

General approach on SES II+ package agreed in the Council

Violeta Bulc and Maurizio Lupi © EU

03/12/2014

Transport and travel

Meeting in Brussels, EU transport ministers adopted a general approach on the two proposals in the Single European Sky II+ package. They also discussed the 4th railway package and adopted a general approach on the repeal of a related obsolete regulation.

 

Council discusses new rules for medical devices

Vytenis Pavilas Andriukaitis and Beatrice Lorenzin © EU

01/12/2014

Environment, consumers and health

Meeting in Brussels, health ministers discussed draft legislation that seeks to improve the safety and innovation in medical and in vitro diagnostic devices in the EU.

 

EU Annual Growth Survey 2015: A new Momentum for Jobs, Growth and Investment Choose translations of the previous link 

Valdis Dombrovskis, Marianne Thyssen & Pierre Moscovici © EU

28/11/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Employment and social rights

The 2015 Annual Growth Survey (AGS) published by the European Commission today focuses on putting Europe firmly back on a path of sustainable job creation and economic growth.

 

Connected Continent proposal under discussion at the Council

Günther Oettinger and Antonello Giacomelli © EU

27/11/2014

Energy and natural resources

Telecommunications ministers discussed a proposal amending the EU telecommunications regulatory framework. The Council also adopted conclusions on internet governance.

 

EU launches Investment Offensive to boost jobs and growth Choose translations of the previous link 

Euro symbols on cranes © EU

26/11/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Employment and social rights

The European Commission today announced a € 315 billion Investment Plan to get Europe growing again and get more people back to work.

 

November infringements package: main decisionsChoose translations of the previous link 

Statue of Lady Justice with EU flag in the background © EU

26/11/2014

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The Commission has today taken 205 decisions, including 32 reasoned opinions and 6 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Council addresses European audiovisual policy in the digital era

Council building © EU

25/11/2014

Culture, education and youth

At its meeting in Brussels, the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council adopted conclusions on European audiovisual policy in the digital era. 

 

Commission commits to enhanced transparency Choose translations of the previous link 

EU flag in front of Commission building © EU

25/11/2014

Institutional affairs

The European Commission gave a boost to transparency by committing to publishing information about who meets its political leaders and senior officials and to providing greater access to documents relating to the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States.

 

Making the best use of EU money

Igors Ludboržs © EU

25/11/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

In its landscape review of risks to the financial management of the EU budget, published today, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) identifies key issues for good financial management of the EU's finances.

 

Moving forward with the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP)

Cecilia Malmstrom and Carlo Calenda © EU

21/11/2014

Business, External relations and foreign affairs

At a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on trade issues, the Council confirmed its determination to conclude an agreement with the US as soon as possible.

 

Council discussed EU's €300 billion investment plan for growth and jobs

Ms Corina CRETU, Member of the European Commission, Mr Graziano DELRIO, Italian State Secretary for the Prime Minister’s Office © EU

19/11/2014

Institutional affairs

The General Affairs Council meeting on 18-19 November dealt with preparations for the upcoming European Council. They also discussed the €300 billion investment plan and adopted conclusions on the EU cohesion policy.

 

Council supports a relaunch of the dialogue on Ukraine

Federica Mogherini © EU

17/11/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

At a Foreign Council Affairs meeting, chaired by Federica Mogherini, the new EU High Representative, EU foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in Ukraine. The situation in Middle East was also high on the agenda.

 

Towards a work programme for a new start for Europe Choose translations of the previous link 

Frans Timmermans, Jean-Claude Juncker and Kristalina Georgieva © EU

12/11/2014

Institutional affairs

The Juncker Commission is committed to restoring citizens' confidence by demonstrating that the EU can deliver for them on the big challenges facing European economies and societies. That starts with setting the right priorities for the 2015 Commission Work Programme.

 

Political agreement reached on 2015-2016 fishing opportunities for deep sea stocks

Karmenu Vella and Marco Peronaci © EU

10/11/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

Meeting in Brussels, agriculture and fisheries ministers also held an exchange of views on the proposed reduction of the CAP budget in 2015 and on young farmers in the framework of the new CAP.

 

Preventing tax avoidance in the EU: Council discusses amendment to the parent-subsidiary directive

Pierre Moscovici, Pier Carlo Padoan and Kristalina Georgieva © EU

07/11/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

At the Ecofin meeting the Council discussed the introduction of a draft common anti-abuse clause in the EU's 2011 parent-subsidiary directive. The amendment aims to prevent tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning in the EU in specific situations.

 

Ebola response: EU scales up aid with planes, material aid and research supportChoose translations of the previous link 

Fahrzeuge bei einer Luftverlastung © EU

06/11/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The European Union and its Member States have now pledged more than €1 billion in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. This means the Union has already gone beyond the target set by the European Council on 24 October for €1 billion in assistance to stem the epidemic.

 

EU must focus on getting better results from its spending, say EU auditors

ECA President Vítor Caldeira © EU

05/11/2014

Institutional affairs

In its annual report on the EU budget published today, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) warns that the budget system is too focused on just getting funds spent and needs to place more emphasis on achieving results. As independent auditor, the ECA signed off the 2013 accounts of the European Union, but stresses that the management of EU spending is not yet good enough overall - either at EU level or in the Member States.

 

2014 Autumn Economic forecast: Slow recovery with very low inflationChoose translations of the previous link 

Jyrki Katainen and Pierre Moscovici © EU

04/11/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

The European Commission's autumn forecast projects weak economic growth for the rest of this year in both the EU and the euro area. Real GDP growth is expected to reach 1.3% in the EU and 0.8% in the euro area for 2014 as a whole.

 

The Juncker Commission takes officeChoose translations of the previous link 

Juncker Commission group photo © EU

01/11/2014

Institutional affairs

Today the Juncker Commission is starting its term of office. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Together with my strong and experienced team I look forward to being at the helm of the European Commission for the next five years."

 

September 2014: Euro area unemployment rate at 11.5% - EU 28 at 10.1%Choose translations of the previous link 

Queue of people outside employment office © EU

31/10/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in September 2014, stable compared with August 2014, but down from 12.0% in September 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.1% in September 2014, also stable compared with August 2014 and down from 10.8% in September 2013.

 

Commission presents options for simpler and more robust future VAT regime Choose translations of the previous link 

Draft of contract in folder © EU

30/10/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

Ideas on how to ensure a simpler, more effective and more fraud-proof VAT system tailored to the Single Market in the EU have been outlined in a paper published by the Commission.

 

Council calls for a 'greener' Europe 2020 strategy

Janez Potočnik and Gian Luca Galletti © EU

28/10/2014

Environment, consumers and health

Meeting in Luxembourg, environment ministers adopted conclusions on 'greening' the European Semester and the Europe 2020 strategy.

 

EU gears up for 2030 with more emissions reductions Choose translations of the previous link 

Power plant and village © EU

28/10/2014

Environment, consumers and health

The Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, today releases its annual Progress Report assessing the headway on climate action. According to latest estimates, EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 fell by 1.8% compared to 2012 and reached the lowest levels since 1990.

 

Europe leads the way in the fight against climate change and Ebola

European Council group photo © EU

24/10/2014

Energy and natural resources, Environment, consumers and health, External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

EU leaders agreed to the world's most ambitious 2030 climate energy policy. They also decided to increase EU financial help to €1 billion to fight Ebola and discussed the state of the European economy. Euro area leaders also met in the Euro Summit format to discuss the euro area.

 

Taxation: Study confirms billions lost in VAT Gap Choose translations of the previous link 

Calculator and 50 euro note © EU

23/10/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

An estimated €177 billion in VAT revenues was lost due to non-compliance or non-collection in 2012, according to the latest VAT Gap study published by the Commission.

 

Parliament elects new European Commission

Juncker Commission group photo © EU

22/10/2014

Institutional affairs

MEPs approved the new college of 27 Commissioners, as presented by its President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker, with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions.

 

EU auditors warn the incoming Commission on the use of blending pdf

Map showing investment facilities © EU

22/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

While the European Court of Auditors (ECA) report delivers a positive verdict on the set-up and general effectiveness of blending regional investment facility grants with financial institution loans, it points out a number of key issues which need to be urgently addressed.