Stories – November 2013

Woman in job centre © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Euro area unemployment rate at 12.1% - EU28 at 10.9%


The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.1% in October 2013, down from 12.2% in September. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with September.


Person holding folder with EU flag © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission proposes rules to help protect against the theft of confidential business information


The European Commission has proposed new rules on the protection of undisclosed know-how and business information (trade secrets) against their unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure.


Viviane Reding © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

The Right to… - a Fair Trial! Commission wants more safeguards for citizens in criminal proceedings


The European Commission has presented a package of proposals to further strengthen procedural safeguards for citizens in criminal proceedings. The aim is to guarantee fair trial rights for all citizens, wherever they are in the European Union.


Maria Damanaki © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

European Commission intensifies the fight against illegal fishing


Following a formal warning one year ago, the European Commission intensifies its fight against illegal fishing by identifying Belize, Cambodia and Guinea as non-cooperating third countries.


Worker in woodwork shop © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Growth prospects for SMEs are encouraging


2013 is likely to mark a turning point for the EU small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The total employment in the EU SMEs is expected to increase by 0.3% and value-added by 1% as compared to 2012.


Workers passing through EU flags © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Free movement of people: five actions to benefit citizens, growth and employment in the EU


The joint responsibility of Member States and the EU institutions to uphold EU citizens' rights to live and work in another EU country is underlined in a policy paper just adopted by the European Commission.


Algirdas Šemeta © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Tackling tax avoidance: Commission tightens key EU corporate tax rules


The proposal will close loopholes in the Parent-Subsidiary Directive, which some companies have been using to escape taxation. In particular, companies will no longer be able to exploit differences in the way intra-group payments are taxed across the EU to avoid paying any tax at all.


Employee at work in laboratory © EU

Horizon 2020 research programme: more support for small firms and new players


Horizon 2020, the EU's €70.2 billion framework programme for research and innovation in 2014-2020, was approved by MEPs.


Dacian Cioloş © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Towards a new European agricultural and agri-food product promotion policy


This new promotion policy, which benefits from a more substantial budget and will in the future be supported by a European executive agency, is intended to act as key for opening up new markets.


Woman holding folder © EU

40% of seats on company boards for women


Companies listed on stock exchanges in the EU would have to bring in transparent recruitment procedures so that by 2020, at least 40% of their non-executive directors are women, under a draft EU directive voted by Parliament.


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November infringements package: main decisions


The Commission has taken 248 decisions, including 58 reasoned opinions and 12 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.


Two people shaking hands © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission Proposal on Small Claims helps consumers and SMEs


The European Commission has proposed to strengthen the position of consumers and businesses in low-value cross-border disputes.


Olli Rehn © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Europe's budgetary surveillance moves into full gear


The European Commission today presented a major package of budgetary surveillance announcements, covering 13 euro area Member States and 3 non-euro Member States, with a special focus also on the euro area as an economic entity in its own right.


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October 2013: Euro area annual inflation down to 0.7% - EU down to 0.9%


Euro area annual inflation was 0.7% in October 2013, down from 1.1% in September. A year earlier the rate was 2.5%. Monthly inflation was -0.1% in October 2013.


Film reels and two people in background © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission adopts new film support rules


The new Cinema Communication allows aid for a wider scope of activities, highlights Member States' discretion in defining cultural activities worthy of support, introduces the possibility to give more aid to cross-border productions and promotes film heritage.


Two workmen unloading bricks from truck © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Globalisation Adjustment Fund provided over €73.5 million to support 15 700 EU workers in 2012


The European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) helped a total of 15 700 workers dismissed due to the economic crisis and the effects of globalisation find new job opportunities in 2012, according to a report today by the European Commission.


Euro symbol, banknotes and coins © EU

EU budget for the financial year 2014 agreed


On 11 November the Council and the European Parliament agreed on the 2014 EU budget and on the financing of € 400.5 million to redress damages from natural disasters in four member states.


Summit banner and flags of EU and South Korea © EU

EU-Korea summit marks 50 years of cooperation


The 7th EU-Republic of Korea summit, which took place in Brussels, celebrated 50 years of bilateral relations between the EU and South Korea. Leaders marked the occasion with the adoption of a joint declaration.


European Central Bank building in Frankfurt © EU

European Central Bank lowers interest rates


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 0.25% and 0.75% respectively. The interest rate on the deposit facility will remain at 0.00%.


Hand injecting maize © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

GMO: Commission asks Council to agree on its proposal to grant Member States more subsidiarity on cultivation


On the 26th September 2013, the General Court of the European Union delivered a ruling finding that the Commission failed to act on a GMO cultivation request which had been submitted twelve years ago in 2001. In line with this ruling, the Commission today acted by referring the cultivation request to the Council of Ministers.


Olli Rehn © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Autumn 2013 economic forecast: Gradual recovery, external risks


In recent months, there have been encouraging signs that an economic recovery is underway in Europe. After contracting up to the first quarter of 2013, the European economy started to grow again in the second quarter and real GDP is set to continue growing in the remainder of this year.


50 euro note and calculator © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

EU accounts signed off, but errors persist in all main spending areas, say EU Auditors


As independent auditor, the ECA has signed off the 2012 accounts of the European Union, as it has done each year since the 2007 financial year. But in most spending areas of the EU budget the report finds that the legislation in force is still not fully complied with.


Janez Potočnik © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission proposes to reduce the use of plastic bags


The European Commission adopted a proposal that requires Member States to reduce their use of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Member States can choose the measures they find most appropriate, including charges, national reduction targets or a ban under certain conditions.