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Stories – July 2014

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.

 

Commission announces €100 million Fast Track to Innovation and five innovation prizesChoose translations of the previous link 

A scientist © EU

22/07/2014

Science and technology

The European Commission presents details of a new €100 million "Fast Track to Innovation" (FTI) pilot action and five innovation prizes under Horizon 2020, the European Union's €80 billion research and innovation programme.

 

New report on state of EU Telecommunications marketsChoose translations of the previous link 

Women with tablet computer and smart phone © EU

22/07/2014

Science and technology

The report covers a variety of regulatory issues: market regulation, broadband plans and financing, national regulatory rights of way and access to passive infrastructure, access and interconnection, consumer issues, universal service and net neutrality.

 

Major progress in anti-fraud policy but Member States must do more to combat fraudChoose translations of the previous link 

Euro banknote and coins © EU

17/07/2014

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

Member States must step up their work to prevent, detect and report fraud affecting EU funds, according to the Commission's annual report on the protection of financial interests (PIF report).

 

Special meeting of the European Council

Family photo © EU

16/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Institutional affairs

The European Council met to discuss a number of key appointments to be made for top EU positions. They also discussed new sanctions on Russia and the situation in Gaza.

 

Parliament elects Jean-Claude Juncker as Commission President

Jean-Claude Juncker © EU

15/07/2014

Institutional affairs

With 422 votes in favour, the European Parliament elected Jean-Claude Juncker in a secret ballot as President of the new European Commission to take office on 1 November 2014 for a five year term. The minimum number of votes required was 376.

 

European Commission to tackle unfair practices in the food supply chain Choose translations of the previous link 

Man sorting fruit in warehouse © EU

15/07/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food, Business

The European Commission has adopted a communication encouraging Member States to look for ways to improve protection of small food producers and retailers against the unfair practices of their sometimes much stronger trading partners.

 

Organic farming and 2015 fishing opportunities on the Council agenda

Dacian Ciolos, Maria Damanaki and Maurizio Martina © EU

14/07/2014

Agriculture, fisheries and food

Meeting in Brussels, ministers discussed a proposal to review EU rules on organic production and farming and a communication preparing the ground for new EU fishing quotas for 2015.

 

Online gambling: Commission recommends principles to ensure effective protection of consumers Choose translations of the previous link 

Man using laptop © EU

14/07/2014

Environment, consumers and health

The European Commission has adopted a Recommendation on online gambling services. It encourages Member States to pursue a high level of protection for consumers, players and minors through the adoption of principles for online gambling services and for responsible advertising and sponsorship of those services.

 

Call for local, regional and national leaders to take advantage of new EU broadband funding and support Choose translations of the previous link 

Internet cable © EU

10/07/2014

Regions and local development, Science and technology

The European Commission launches its “Connected Communities” initiative – an umbrella for several systems designed to connect towns, cities, local broadband partnerships and operators to the advice they need to access finance and develop tailored business models.

 

July infringements package: main decisionsChoose translations of the previous link 

Court of Justice of the European Union © EU

10/07/2014

Institutional affairs

The Commission has taken 420 decisions, including 29 reasoned opinions and 12 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.

 

EU-industry partnerships seek innovation boost with first €1 billion for projects Choose translations of the previous link 

Máire Geoghegan-Quinn © EU

09/07/2014

Business, Science and technology

Research partnerships between the EU, the private sector and Member States presented their first calls for projects and partners under Horizon 2020, the EU's €80 billion research and innovation programme.

 

Maritime surveillance: Joining forces with Member States for safer seas and oceans Choose translations of the previous link 

Ships at sea and compass design in water © EU

08/07/2014

External relations and foreign affairs, Justice and citizens rights

The European Commission today took a further step towards more effective and cost-efficient surveillance of European Seas.

 

European Central Bank keeps interest rates unchanged

Euro coins and banknotes © EU

03/07/2014

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.

 

Future of Europe: MEPs debate Italian Council presidency priorities

Matteo Renzi at European Parliament © EU

02/07/2014

Institutional affairs

“If Europe was to take a selfie today, it would be a tired, resigned image," said Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi in a debate with MEPs on his country's priorities for the Council presidency for the next six months.

 

Commission urges governments to embrace potential of Big Data Choose translations of the previous link 

Hand typing on keyboard © EU

02/07/2014

Science and technology

Data collection and exploitation is a growing phenomenon; in response to industry and grassroots demands the European Commission is calling on national governments to wake-up to this “big data” revolution.

 

Commission outlines measures to maximise job opportunities in the green economy Choose translations of the previous link 

Janez Poto─Źnik and László Andor © EU

02/07/2014

Economy, finance, tax and competition, Employment and social rights, Environment, consumers and health

The Green Employment Initiative Communication presents an integrated framework to allow labour market and skill policies to play an active role to support this transition.

 

Martin Schulz re-elected President of the European Parliament

Martin Schulz © EU

01/07/2014

Institutional affairs

MEPs re-elected Martin Schulz as President of the European Parliament for another two and a half year term. The 58-year old German MEP will lead Parliament until January 2017. He won 409 out of 612 valid votes cast in the first ballot.

 

Euro area unemployment rate at 11.6% - EU28 at 10.3% Choose translations of the previous link 

Woman working at desk © EU

01/07/2014

Employment and social rights, Statistics

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.6% in May 2014, stable compared with April 2014, but down from 12.0% in May 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.3% in May 2014, down from 10.4% in April 2014, and from 10.9% in May 2013.