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Stories – January 2014

People outside job centre © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Euro area unemployment rate at 12.0% - EU28 at 10.7%

31/01/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.0% in December 2013, stable since October. It was 11.9% in December 2012. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.7% in December 2013, down from 10.8% in November.

 

Dacian CioloĊŸ © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission proposes to combine and reinforce existing school milk and school fruit schemes

30/01/2014

Culture, education and youth, Environment, consumers and health

In a context of declining consumption among children for these products, the aim is to address poor nutrition more effectively, to reinforce the educational elements of the programmes and to contribute to fight against obesity.

 

Traders at work © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Structural reform of the EU banking sector

29/01/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission has proposed new rules to stop the biggest and most complex banks from engaging in the risky activity of proprietary trading.

 

Viviane Reding © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission acts to defend voting rights of EU citizens abroad

29/01/2014

Justice and citizens rights

The European Commission has issued guidance to EU-Member States which have rules in place leading to a loss of voting rights for citizens in national elections, simply because they have exercised their right to free movement in the EU.

 

Judge holding folder © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

January infringements package: main decisions

23/01/2014

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 134 decisions, including 22 reasoned opinions and 7 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

President Barroso, Commissioner Oettinger and Commissioner Hedegaard © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

2030 climate and energy goals for a competitive, secure and low-carbon EU economy

22/01/2014

Energy and natural resources, Environment, consumers and health

Supported by a detailed analysis on energy prices and costs, the 2030 framework will ensure regulatory certainty for investors and a coordinated approach among Member States, leading to the development of new technologies.

 

José Manuel Barroso and Antonio Tajani © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission calls for immediate action for a European Industrial Renaissance

22/01/2014

Business, Employment and social rights

The European Commission is urging Member States to recognise the central importance of industry for creating jobs and growth and to mainstreaming industry-related competitiveness concerns across all policy areas.

 

László Andor © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Annual Review highlights need to address risks of in-work poverty

21/01/2014

Employment and social rights

The review shows how taking up a job can help people to get out of poverty, but only in half of the cases: much depends on the type of job found, but also on the household composition and labour market situation of the partner.

 

Catherine Ashton © EU

Council lifts certain EU sanctions on Iran

20/01/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Ministers in the Foreign Affairs Council suspended certain EU restrictive measures against Iran, following confirmation of Iran's compliance with nuclear measures in the agreed joint action plan.

 

Underwater turbine © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission sets out an action plan to support the development of blue energy

20/01/2014

Energy and natural resources, Science and technology

The action plan should help drive forward this nascent 'blue energy' sector towards full industrialisation. Ocean energy covers all technologies to harvest the renewable energy of our seas and oceans other than offshore wind.

 

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

Commission to tackle tax discrimination against mobile EU citizens

20/01/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

Member States' tax provisions are to be scrutinised to ensure that they do not discriminate against mobile EU citizens, in a targeted initiative launched by the Commission.

 

Different professions and EU flags © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Employment: Commission proposes to improve EURES job search network

17/01/2014

Employment and social rights

The pan-European job search network EURES would be strengthened to provide more job offers, increase the likelihood of job matches and help employers, notably small and medium businesses, to fill job vacancies faster and better, under a proposal just presented by the European Commission.

 

European Parliament building in Strasbourg © EU

Things we learnt in plenary: EU presidency, greener vans, public procurement

17/01/2014

Institutional affairs

The Greek presidency of the EU Council was welcomed by the Parliament in 2014's first plenary. MEPs approved new rules to make vans emit less CO2 by 2020, make public procurement more efficient and give the self-employed better social protection.

 

Euro banknote on euro coins © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

December 2013: Euro area annual inflation down to 0.8% - EU stable at 1%

16/01/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

Euro area annual inflation was 0.8% in December 2013, down from 0.9% in November. A year earlier the rate was 2.2%. Monthly inflation was 0.3% in December 2013.

 

Joaquín Almunia © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission adopts new rules on risk finance

15/01/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission has adopted new guidelines setting out the conditions under which Member States can grant aid to facilitate access to finance by European SMEs and companies with a medium capitalization (the so-called "midcaps").

 

Draft of contract in folder © EU

New EU-procurement rules to ensure better quality and value for money

15/01/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

New EU rules on public procurement and concession contracts approved by Parliament will ensure better quality and value for money when public authorities buy or lease works, goods or services.

 

Car exhaust and fumes © EU

CO2 emissions: cleaner vans by 2020

14/01/2014

Environment, consumers and health, Transport and travel

The CO2 emission limit for new light commercial vehicles sold in the EU is to be reduced from 203 g/km today to 147 g/km by 2020, under draft legislation approved by the European Parliament.

 

László Andor © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Commission publishes guide on application of ‘Habitual Residence Test’ for social security

13/01/2014

Employment and social rights, Justice and citizens rights

The new guide gives more clarity about the EU 'Habitual Residence Test' and will facilitate its application in practice by Member States' authorities.

 

Credit card © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA): Commission introduces an additional transition period of six months

09/01/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

The Commission has adopted a proposal to give an extra transition period of six months during which payments which differ from the SEPA format can still be accepted so as to ensure minimal disruption for consumers and businesses.

 

View of financial district in Frankfurt © EU

European Central Bank keeps interest rates unchanged

09/01/2014

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 0.25%, 0.75% and 0.00% respectively.

 

Workers with helmets © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

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

08/01/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area (EA17) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.1% in November 2013, stable since April. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable since May. 

 

László Andor at the press conference © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Structural and investment funds: Commission boosts partners' role in planning and spending

07/01/2014

Employment and social rights, Regions and local development

The European Code of Conduct on the Partnership Principle requires Member States to strengthen cooperation between their authorities responsible for spending EU structural and investment funds and project partners.

 

Banner on the Berlaymont for the entry of Latvia into the euro area © EUChoose translations of the previous link 

Smooth euro changeover in Latvia: already two-thirds of cash payments in euro only

06/01/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

Latvia adopted the euro on 1 January, thus becoming the 18th member of the euro area. The changeover is proceeding according to plan.