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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

Auf ihrem Treffen in Brüssel einigten sich die Arbeitsminister auf eine Reform des europäischen Netzwerks von Arbeitsverwaltungen, EURES, um eine bessere Arbeitsplatzsuche und bessere Personaldienstleistungen in Europa zu gewährleisten.

 

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.

 

Donald Tusk, new President of the European Council

Donald Tusk and Herman Van Rompuy © EU

01/12/2014

Institutional affairs

On 1 December 2014, Donald Tusk, the former Prime Minister of Poland, replaced Herman Van Rompuy as the President of the European institution.

 

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.

 

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.

 

EU response to Ebola

Catherine Ashton © EU

20/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxemburg, EU ministers discussed joint strategies to contain the Ebola virus. Latest developments in Ukraine, Libya, Iraq, Syria and the Middle east were also on the agenda.

 

Council agrees position on a platform against undeclared work

Laszlo Andor and Giuliano Poletti © EU

16/10/2014

Employment and social rights, Environment, consumers and health

Meeting in Luxembourg, EU employment ministers adopted the position on the proposal that sets up an EU platform to address the issue of undeclared work. This paves the way to starting negotiations with the European Parliament.

 

Gas stress test: Cooperation is key to cope with supply interruptionChoose translations of the previous link 

Gas pipelines © EU

16/10/2014

Energy and natural resources

The report published today presents the results of a modelling exercise conducted by 38 European countries, including EU Member States and neighbouring countries. It analyses different scenarios, in particular a complete halt of Russian gas imports into the EU for a period of six months.

 

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

Gavel on table © EU

16/10/2014

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The Commission has taken 140 decisions, including 39 reasoned opinions and 11 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Improving EU accountability: ECA engages in dialogue with stakeholders at EU and national levelpdf

Olli Rehn, Vitor Caldeira, Ingeborg Grässle and Kevin Cardiff © EU

15/10/2014

Institutional affairs

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has held a high-level conference on 14 October, which brought together many of those concerned with ensuring that the European Union is accountable for public funds put at stake to meet EU objectives.

 

Making EU law lighter, simpler and less costly – taking stock of achievements Choose translations of the previous link 

José Manuel Barroso and Dr Edmund Stoiber © EU

14/10/2014

Institutional affairs

Under the title "Smart Regulation in the EU – Building on a Strong Foundation" politicians, stakeholders and experts have been examining the achievements and persisting challenges in the field of smart regulation, administrative burden reduction and better implementation of EU legislation.

 

Illegal fisheries: green cards for five countries, but red card for Sri Lanka Choose translations of the previous link 

Maria Damanaki © EU

14/10/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

In its fight against illegal fishing activities worldwide, the European Commission has proposed to ban imports of fisheries products from Sri Lanka to tackle the commercial benefits stemming from illegal fishing.

 

Agreement at the Council on Baltic Sea fishing opportunities for 2015

Maria Damanaki and Maurizio Martina © EU

13/10/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

Meeting in Luxembourg, EU agriculture ministers reached political agreement on 2015 fishing opportunities for certain Baltic Sea fish stocks. They also discussed the Russian ban on imports of EU agricultural products.

 

European Commission and data industry launch €2.5 billion partnership to master big data Choose translations of the previous link 

Hand typing on laptop © EU

13/10/2014

Business, Science and technology

The European Commission and Europe's data industry have committed to invest €2.5 billion in a public-private partnership (PPP) that aims to strengthen the data sector and put Europe at the forefront of the global data race.

 

Council discusses further action regarding foreign fighters

Cecilia Malmstrom, Angelino Alfano and Stefano Sannino © EU

10/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Justice and citizens rights

Meeting in Luxembourg, home affairs and justice ministers held an in-depth discussion on the issue of foreign fighters. They also adopted conclusions on better managing migratory flows.

 

Telecoms: Commission to cut number of regulated markets in Europe Choose translations of the previous link 

Neelie Kroes © EU

09/10/2014

Business, Science and technology

Today the European Commission – in agreement with Member States - decided that two telecom markets should no longer be subject to regulation in Europe, and that two more should be redefined to reflect market and technology developments. The rules take effect immediately.

 

Rail market liberalisation and infrastructure governance proposals debated at the Council

Siim Kallas and Maurizio Lupi © EU

08/10/2014

Transport and travel

Meeting in Luxembourg, transport ministers held a first discussion on the two proposals which are a key part of the 4th railway package. They also adopted a general approach on new rules for market access to port services.

 

EU enlargement in 2014 and beyond: progress and challengesChoose translations of the previous link 

Map of Europe in form of puzzle © EU

08/10/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

In a set of annual reports adopted today, the European Commission has assessed the progress made over the past year by the countries wishing to join the EU in the Western Balkans and by Turkey, and the challenges ahead.

 

Climate action: Reducing the carbon content of transport fuels Choose translations of the previous link 

Petrol pump nozzle and sunflower © EU

07/10/2014

Energy and natural resources, Environment, consumers and health, Transport and travel

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to implement existing obligations in the 2009 amendment of the Fuel Quality Directive.

 

SMEs still struggled in 2013, in spite of signs of positive economic recovery Choose translations of the previous link 

Worker in woodwork shop © EU

03/10/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

These are the conclusions of the annual SMEs Performance Review and country-specific SBA factsheets published today by the European Commission.

 

Horizon Report urges schools to tackle 'wicked' digital skills challenge Choose translations of the previous link 

Students working on computers © EU

02/10/2014

Culture, education and youth, Science and technology

Low digital skills and competences among school pupils and the need to integrate effective use of information and communication technologies into teacher training are among the most pressing challenges faced by European school education today, according to a report.

 

Application of EU Law: how EU Member States performed in 2013Choose translations of the previous link 

Judge holding folder © EU

01/10/2014

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

There has been a marked decrease in the number of on-going infringement cases in recent years whilst the number of cases resolved through in problem solving mechanisms such as EU Pilot has increased, according to the 31st Annual Report on monitoring the application of EU law.

 

August 2014 Euro area unemployment rate at 11.5% - EU28 at 10.1%Choose translations of the previous link 

Workers walking through EU flags © EU

30/09/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in August 2014, stable compared with July 2014, but down from 12.0% in August 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.1% in August 2014, the lowest value since February 2012.

 

Scrutiny time: candidate commissioners’ hearings start today

European Parliament building in Brussels © EU

29/09/2014

Institutional affairs

During the three-hour hearings EP committees will test the candidate commissioners' expertise and competences ahead of the EP voting on whether to approve the new Commission on 22 October.

 

EU strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian region

Ferdinando Nelli Feroci and Sandro Gozi © EU

29/09/2014

Environment, consumers and health, Regions and local development

The General Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region. Ministers also dealt with preparations for the upcoming European Council summit.

 

September 2014: Business and Consumer surveysChoose translations of the previous link 

Graph displaying ESI indicator © EU

29/09/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

In September the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased in both the euro area (by 0.7 points to 99.9) and the EU (by 1.0 point to 103.6). The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased slightly by 0.09 points to +0.07.

 

Council discusses Europe's industrial competitiveness

Maire Geoghegan-Quinn and Stefania Giannini © EU

26/09/2014

Business, Science and technology

Meeting in Brussels, ministers in charge of competitiveness looked at ways of strengthening industry in the EU and discussed the forthcoming review of Europe's 2020 strategy, which is the EU's 10-year plan for growth and competitiveness.

 

September infringements package: main decisionsChoose translations of the previous link 

European Court of Justice building © EU

25/09/2014

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The Commission has taken 147 decisions, including 39 reasoned opinions and 4 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

Erasmus Impact Study confirms EU student exchange scheme boosts employability and job mobility Choose translations of the previous link 

A group of students © EU

22/09/2014

Culture, education and youth, Employment and social rights

A new study on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market.

 

Things we learned in plenary: Ukraine, Ebola, jobs, medication

Things we learned in plenary: Ukraine, Ebola, jobs, medication

19/09/2014

Institutional affairs

In a historic vote on Tuesday, Parliamentarians in Strasbourg and Kiev voted simultaneously to approve the EU–Ukraine association agreement. Closer to home, the EP proposed to increase financial aid for farmers affected by the Russian agricultural import ban and urged the EU to use all possible means to combat the Islamic State. 

 

August 2014: Euro area annual inflation stable at 0.4% - EU stable at 0.5%Choose translations of the previous link 

Stethoscope on euro coins and banknotes © EU

17/09/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

Euro area annual inflation was 0.4% in August 2014, unchanged compared to July. In August 2013 the rate was 1.3%. Monthly inflation was 0.1% in August 2014.

 

European Parliament ratifies EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

European Parliament in Strasbourg © EU

16/09/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU-Ukraine Association agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).

 

EU Science and Technology Flagships pick up steam - final inclusive structure announcedChoose translations of the previous link 

Neelie Kroes © EU

16/09/2014

Science and technology

The European Commission published a report on its ambitious science and technology Flagships. The report draws the lessons from setting up the first two such Flagships, Graphene and the Human Brain Project, each representing an investment of EUR 1 billion. 

 

Employment up by 0.2% in euro area and by 0.3% in the EU28Choose translations of the previous link 

Workers with helmets © EU

12/09/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The number of persons employed increased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.3% in the EU28 in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter.

 

Industrial competitiveness: Commission reports underline need for incisive action by EU and Member StatesChoose translations of the previous link 

Flags of EU Member States ©  EU

11/09/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

EU manufacturing possesses a number of competitive strengths that should be leveraged to promote economic growth, despite the current difficult economic environment. This is the conclusion of the two reports on industrial competitiveness released by the Commission.

 

Transport: €11.9 billion to improve European connectionsChoose translations of the previous link 

Siim Kallas © EU

11/09/2014

Transport and travel

The European Commission has invited Member States to propose projects to use €11.9 billion of EU funding to improve European transport connections. This is the largest ever single amount of EU funding earmarked for transport infrastructure.

 

The Juncker Commission: A strong and experienced team standing for change Choose translations of the previous link 

Jean-Claude Juncker © EU

10/09/2014

Institutional affairs

President-elect Juncker unveiled his team and the new shape of the next European Commission. After the European Union has come through one of the most testing periods in its history, one of the biggest challenges will be to convince citizens that things will change.

 

Further economic measures on Russia

European flag in front of Council building © EU

08/09/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

On 8 September, the EU adopted a new package of restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Council examines impact of Russian ban on imports of EU agricultural products

Dacian Ciolos and Maurizio Martina © EU

05/09/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

During an extraordinary meeting at the Council, EU agriculture ministers debated the Russian ban on imports of EU agricultural products, which includes meat, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.

 

Formation of Juncker Commission advances Choose translations of the previous link 

Jean-Claude Juncker © EU

05/09/2014

Institutional affairs

President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker today sent the list of Commissioners-designate to Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in his capacity as President of the Council of the European Union.

 

European Central Bank lowers interest rates

Euro notes © EU

04/09/2014

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 will decrease to 0.05% and 0.30% respectively. The interest rate on the deposit facility will decrease to -0.20%.

 

EU auditors report on EU co-funded business incubators for start-ups

European Court of Auditors building © EU

03/09/2014

Business

A report published today by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) reveals that the EU has made a significant financial contribution to the creation of business incubator infrastructure, particularly in Member States in which this type of business support is relatively rare. However, the performance of audited incubators was modest.

 

President-elect Juncker interviews candidates for Commissioner Choose translations of the previous link 

Jean-Claude Juncker © EU

02/09/2014

Institutional affairs

Starting today, President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker will interview each Member State's candidate for Commissioner, before taking a final decision and communicating the list of Commissioners-designate to the Council of the European Union.

 

Special meeting of the European Council

Donald Tusk, Herman Van Rompuy and Federica Mogherini © EU

30/08/2014

Institutional affairs

At the meeting the new President of the European Council and EU High Representative were appointed. EU leaders also discussed the weak economy and the situation in Ukraine, Gaza and Iraq.

 

Euro area unemployment rate at 11.5% - EU28 at 10.2% Choose translations of the previous link 

Woman in job centre © EU

29/08/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in July 2014, stable compared with June 2014, but down from 11.9% in July 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.2% in July 2014, also stable compared with June 2014, but down from 10.9% in July 2013.

 

August 2014: Business and Consumer surveysChoose translations of the previous link 

Pen on graph © EU

28/08/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

In August the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) fell in the euro area (by 1.5 points to 100.6) and the EU (by 1.2 points at 104.6). The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area remained broadly flat (at +0.16) compared to July (+0.17).

 

Commission adopts strategy and action plan for better customs risk management Choose translations of the previous link 

Customs officers removing boxes from containers © EU

21/08/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Justice and citizens rights

Robust customs risk management is essential to protect the safety and security of the EU and its citizens, the interests of legitimate traders and EU financial interests, while at the same time enabling the smooth flow of trade.

 

July 2014: Euro area annual inflation down to 0.4% - EU down to 0.6%Choose translations of the previous link 

Euro symbol, coins and notes © EU

14/08/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

Euro area annual inflation was 0.4% in July 2014, down from 0.5% in June. This is the lowest annual inflation rate since October 2009. In July 2013 the rate was 1.6%. Monthly inflation was -0.7% in July 2014.

 

European Central Bank keeps interest rates unchanged

European Central Bank Building in Frankfurt © EU

07/08/2014

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 0.15%, 0.40% and -0.10% respectively.

 

Adoption of agreed EU sanctions over Russia's role in Eastern Ukraine

EU flags outside Justus Lipsius building © EU

31/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The Council has adopted further EU restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Customs authorities detain nearly 36 million fake goods at EU borders in 2013 Choose translations of the previous link 

Selection of counterfeit products © EU

31/07/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition, Justice and citizens rights

Customs authorities in the EU detained almost 36 million items suspected of violating intellectual property rights (IPR) in 2013, according to the Commission's annual report on customs actions to enforce IPR.

 

July 2014: Business and Consumer surveysChoose translations of the previous link 

Graph displaying ESI indicator © EU

30/07/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

In July the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained broadly stable in the euro area (+0.1 points at 102.2), while it decreased slightly in the EU (by 0.6 points to 105.8). The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased marginally by 0.04 points to +0.17.

 

Additional restrictive measures against Russia

Justus Lipsius building in Brussels © EU

29/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

On 29 July, the EU agreed a package of significant additional restrictive measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with the Russian Federation.

 

Spring 2014 Standard Eurobarometer: The European elections made a differenceChoose translations of the previous link 

Crowd of people and European flag © EU

25/07/2014

Institutional affairs, Statistics

After the European Elections, the number of citizens who feel their voice counts in the EU has risen from 29% in November 2013 to 42%. This is the highest level since this question was first put into the Standard Eurobarometer a decade ago.

 

Lithuania to adopt the euro on 1 January 2015

Group photo © EU

23/07/2014

Institutional affairs

The General Affairs Council celebrated Lithuania's entry into the euro area. Ministers also discussed the Italian presidency work programme and the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy.

 

European Commission proposes a higher and achievable energy savings target for 2030Choose translations of the previous link 

Günther Oettinger © EU

23/07/2014

Energy and natural resources

The proposed target of 30 % builds on the achievements already reached: new buildings use half the energy they did in the 1980s and industry is about 19% less energy intensive than in 2001.

 

Council takes actions on the downing of flight MH17

Ms. Catherine ASHTON, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy © EU

22/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council in Brussels, EU ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine following the downing of flight MH17 as well as further sanctions against Russia. Gaza was also discussed.

 

Commissioner Hahn urges Europeans to help shape a future EU Urban AgendaChoose translations of the previous link 

Commissioner Hahn © EU

22/07/2014

Regions and local development

The Commissioner is calling for a wide engagement by stakeholders and city dwellers in a public consultation alongside a formal Communication just published by the European Commission.