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Stories – June 2014

Market conditions for consumers continue to improve Choose translations of the previous link 

Neven Mimica © EU

30/06/2014

Business, Environment, consumers and health

There is an improved performance across all consumer markets finds the 10th Consumer Markets Scoreboard published today. This improvement is particularly marked for goods markets, while services continue to be the main sources of dissatisfaction.

 

EU leaders choose Juncker to lead the future of the Union

European Council family photo in Ypres © EU

27/06/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

Meeting in the European Council on 26-27 June, EU leaders decided on their candidate for President of the European Commission. They also discussed a strategic agenda for the EU, the peace plan proposal in Ukraine and congratulated Greece for the main achievements of their presidency. 

 

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

Economic Sentiment Graph © EU

27/06/2014

Business, Economy, finance, tax and competition

In June the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased in the euro area (by 0.6 points to 102.0), while it remained broadly stable in the EU. The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased by 0.14 points to +0.22.

 

Faster, better public services for business and citizens as Commission proposes push to sweep away e-barriers Choose translations of the previous link 

Room of people using computers © EU

26/06/2014

Business, Science and technology

The Commission adopts a proposal for a new programme that will help Member States to modernise their administrations and provide interoperable digital services at national and European level.

 

EU candidate status for Albania

View of General Affairs Council meeting room © EU

24/06/2014

Institutional affairs

The General Affairs Council meeting on 24 June granted EU candidate status to Albania, and adopted the EU maritime strategy and solidarity clause. Ministers also dealt with preparations for the upcoming European Council summit. 

 

A New Deal for European Defence: Commission proposes industrial action planChoose translations of the previous link 

Flag in front of Berlaymont building © EU

24/06/2014

Business

The European Commission has presented a roadmap for measures to strengthen the Single Market for defence, to promote a more competitive defence industry and to foster synergies between civil and military research including details and timelines for the actions.

 

Council supports Kiev efforts for a peace plan

Hands holding globe with EU stars © EU

23/06/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

Meeting in the Foreign Affairs Council in Luxemburg, EU ministers discussed the proposal made by Ukraine President Poroshenko for a peace plan and the violent evolution of the situation in Libya, Syria and Iraq.

 

Council closes a double non-taxation loophole

Algirdas Semeta, Gikas Hardouvelis and Olli Rehn © EU

20/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

At the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting the ministers agreed an amendment to EU tax rules that will close a loophole which had allowed cross-border corporations to profit from double non-taxation.

 

Council discusses safety of medical devices

Laszlo Andor and Ioannis Vroutsis © EU

20/06/2014

Employment and social rights, Environment, consumers and health

Meeting in Luxembourg, the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council looked at ways of improving the safety of medical and in vitro devices in the EU.

 

Patient safety: progress made, more neededChoose translations of the previous link 

Doctor and nurse treating patient © EU

19/06/2014

Environment, consumers and health

A patient safety package published by the European Commission highlights how the Commission and EU countries are addressing the challenge of patient safety, progress made since 2012 and barriers to overcome to improve patient safety.

 

REFIT – Commission making EU law lighter, simpler and less costly Choose translations of the previous link 

Documents in folder on table © EU

18/06/2014

Business, Institutional affairs

A Communication adopted today shows that the implementation of the Commission's Regulatory Fitness and Performance programme (REFIT) is in full swing and that EU law is indeed becoming lighter, simpler and less costly.

 

School fruit and vegetables scheme and fisheries discard plans on the Council agenda

Tonio Borg and Georgios Karasmanis © EU

17/06/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

Minsters looked at agriculture and fisheries issues, including progress on the proposal to revise the school fruit, vegetables and milk scheme, and the preparation of discard plans under the new fisheries rules.

 

Taxation trends in the European Union Choose translations of the previous link 

50 euro note and calculator © EU

16/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

The overall tax-to-GDP ratio, meaning the sum of taxes and compulsory social contributions in % of GDP, in the EU28 stood at 39.4% in 2012, up from 38.8% in 2011. The overall tax ratio in the euro area increased to 40.4% in 2012 from 39.5% in 2011.

 

May 2014: Euro area annual inflation down to 0.5% - EU down to 0.6% Choose translations of the previous link 

Rolls of euro coins © EU

16/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Statistics

Euro area annual inflation was 0.5% in May 2014, down from 0.7% in April. A year earlier the rate was 1.4%. Monthly inflation was -0.1% in May 2014.

 

Food Safety: 35 years protecting human and animal healthChoose translations of the previous link 

Tonio Borg © EU

13/06/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

Today's annual report covers the reporting period 2013, where a total of 3 205 original notifications were transmitted through the RASFF, of which 596 were classified as an alert, 442 as information for follow-up, 705 as information for attention and 1 462 as border rejection notification.

 

Council reaches political agreement on new rules for growing GMOs

Connie Hedegaard and Giannis Maniatis © EU

13/06/2014

Environment, consumers and health

Meeting in Luxembourg, ministers in the Council adopted the political agreement text on the draft GMO directive and held policy debates on the 2030 framework and the clean air package.

 

2015 EU draft budget to help Europe's economic growth despite financial constraints Choose translations of the previous link 

Janusz Lewandowski © EU

11/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Institutional affairs

The bulk of the commitments is for future projects that make Europe stronger economically whereas some 40% of the payments still cover EU funded projects from the 2007-2013 financial period.

 

Commission proposes final step in OLAF reform processChoose translations of the previous link 

Algirdas Šemeta © EU

11/06/2014

Institutional affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The Commission has proposed measures to further safeguard procedural guarantees in OLAF investigations, in order to complete the already comprehensive reform of the EU's anti-fraud office.

 

Commission points to innovation reforms to sustain economic recovery Choose translations of the previous link 

Olli Rehn and Máire Geoghegan Quinn © EU

10/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Science and technology

The European Commission has highlighted the importance of research and innovation (R&I) investments and reforms for economic recovery in the European Union, and made proposals to help EU Member States maximise the impact of their budgets at a time when many countries still face spending constraints.

 

Health and safety at work: Strategic Framework sets out EU objectives for 2014-2020 Choose translations of the previous link 

László Andor © EU

06/06/2014

Employment and social rights, Environment, consumers and health

This new Framework aims at ensuring that the EU continues to play a leading role in the promotion of high standards for working conditions both within Europe and internationally, in line with the Europe 2020 Strategy.

 

G7 leaders meet in Brussels

G7 family photo © EU

05/06/2014

External relations and foreign affairs

G7 leaders met to discuss the situation in Ukraine, foreign policy issues, as well as the global economy and trade, energy, climate change and development.

 

European Central Bank lowers interest rates

View of financial district in Frankfurt © EU

05/06/2014

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 0.15% and 0.40% respectively. The interest rate on the deposit facility will decrease to -0.10%.

 

Commission assesses eight EU countries’ readiness to join the euro area Choose translations of the previous link 

Olli Rehn © EU

04/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission has today released its 2014 Convergence Report, which assesses eight Member States' readiness to join the single currency. These countries have made uneven progress on the road to euro adoption, but Lithuania stands out from this group as it now fulfils the convergence criteria.

 

Euro area unemployment rate at 11.7% - EU28 at 10.4%Choose translations of the previous link 

Young woman working in textile factory © EU

03/06/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.7% in April 2014, down from 11.8% in March 2014, and from 12.0% in April 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.4% in April 2014, down from 10.5% in March 2014, and from 10.9% in April 2013.

 

Building growth: Country-specific recommendations 2014 Choose translations of the previous link 

Flags of the 28 EU member countries © EU

02/06/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition

The European Commission has today adopted a series of economic policy recommendations to individual Member States to strengthen the recovery that began a year ago.