In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.
Fast facts, background information, progress and more in depth information on main EU issues
Environment, consumers and health, Transport and travel
The European Commission took the first step towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry. It proposed legislation which will require owners of large ships using EU ports to monitor and report the ships' annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The European Council agreed on a comprehensive approach to combat youth unemployment. It also endorsed country-specific recommendations to guide Member States' policies and budgets, thus concluding the 2013 European semester. In addition, the European Council assessed progress towards the banking union. It also warmly welcomed Croatia as a member of the European Union as of 1 July 2013.
In June the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) improved markedly, continuing last month's increase. Sentiment increased by 1.8 points in both the euro area (to 91.3) and the EU (to 92.6). The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area increased by 0.07 points to ‑0.68.
The Council set out its position on a draft framework for bank recovery and resolution with a view to negotiations with the European Parliament. The Council also approved draft amending budget no. 1 for 2013 providing the EU's 2013 budget with the necessary resources for the accession of Croatia to the EU on 1 July.
More emphasis on environmental protection, mandatory top-ups for young farmers in all member states, stronger farmers' organisations and less red tape when spending EU funds. These are the main lines of the agreement on farm policy struck on Wednesday by Parliament, Council and the Commission. Decisions still need to be taken on capping direct payments to bigger farms and distributing funds between farmers.
The European Commission has proposed a draft directive on e-invoicing in public procurement, accompanied by a communication setting out its vision for the full digitisation of the public procurement process, so-called 'end-to-end e-procurement'.
The call follows the Commission's progress report released which shows that Member States need to do better in implementing their national Roma integration strategies submitted under the EU Framework for national Roma integration strategies.
The Council agreed to recommend to the European Council to open accession negotiations with Serbia. The Council also agreed in principle on draft Council decisions authorising the opening of negotiations on a stabilisation and association agreement (SAA) between the European Union and Kosovo, to be adopted on 28 June 2013, following the necessary procedures.
As regards agriculture, the Council held a debate on the outcome of the trilogues on the proposals for the direct payments regulation, the single common market organisation (CMO) regulation, the rural development regulation and the horizontal regulation within the framework of reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP).
Temporary contracts can be a good opportunity for a young person to get into the labour force in particular if they are linked to education or training, according to the European Commission's latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review.
The Council discussed the situation in Syria. After the meeting, the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy underlined the EU's belief that the crisis must be solved through a political process.
The Council has reached political agreement on a package of measures aimed at combating VAT fraud more effectively.
The Council adopted stricter capital requirements for banks and investment firms (the "CRD 4 package"). The new rules will be published in the Official Journal before 1 July 2013 and will apply from 1 January 2014.
The Commission has taken 186 decisions, including 47 reasoned opinions and 12 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice, out of which 4 include financial penalties.
Advancing global trade, fighting tax evasion and tax avoidance, and increasing transparency were the main themes at the 39th G8 summit held in Lough Erne (UK) on 17 and 18 June.
The Environment Council adopted conclusions on a strategy on adaptation to climate change. The conclusions are a response to the Commission's communication "An EU strategy on adaptation to climate change".
The new rules aim to reduce over-reliance on credit ratings while at the same time improving the quality of the rating process. Credit rating agencies will have to be more transparent when rating sovereign states.
The negotiations will cover three main components: market access, regulatory issues including non-tariff barriers, and the agreement's rules.
The European Commission has proposed a Decision to help public employment services to maximise their effectiveness through closer cooperation to better address the needs of the unemployed and businesses.
EU trade ministers mandated the Commission to negotiate a sweeping EU–US trade and investment pact. The talks are expected to be formally launched at the G8 on 17 June.
Parliament agreed on a common asylum system for the EU and backed a higher budget for a European fund to help the poorest.
Euro area annual inflation was 1.4% in May 2013, up from 1.2% in April. A year earlier the rate was 2.4%. Monthly inflation was 0.1% in May 2013.
The European Commission sets out EU-wide safety objectives to significantly reduce the risks and protect people and the environment.
New rules laying down common procedures and deadlines for handling asylum applications and basic rights for asylum seekers arriving in the EU were endorsed by Parliament.
Under the proposal, dividends, capital gains, all other forms of financial income and account balances, would be added to the list of categories which are subject to automatic information exchange within the EU.
The European Commission has acted to speed up the reform of Europe's air traffic control system. The Commission is looking to head off a capacity crunch as the number of flights is forecast to increase by 50% over the next 10-20 years.
The European Commission puts forward an action plan for the European Steel Industry to help this sector confront today’s challenges and lay the foundations for future competitiveness by fostering innovation, creating growth and jobs.
Rules on the labelling and content of baby milks and foods for special medical purposes will be better defined in order to protect consumers and distinguish more clearly between foods for normal consumption and foods for specific groups under legislation.