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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.
The new guide gives more clarity about the EU 'Habitual Residence Test' and will facilitate its application in practice by Member States' authorities.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator increased by 1.6 points in the euro area and by 1.4 points in the EU. The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area remained broadly unchanged at +0.27.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Latvia adopted the euro on 1 January, thus becoming the 18th member of the euro area. The changeover is proceeding according to plan.
The European Council held a thematic debate on defence. It identified priority actions for stronger cooperation. The European Council welcomed the general approach reached by the Council on the Single Resolution Mechanism, which will be a cornerstone of the Banking Union.
The Council agreed a general approach on a proposed single resolution board and a single fund for the resolution of banks.
The Council discussed enlargement and the stabilisation and association process. "Enlargement remains a key policy of our Union" said Linas Linkevičius, the President of the Council after the meeting.
The clean air policy package updates existing legislation and further reduces harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment.
The European Commission has adopted three draft laws on animal cloning and on novel food which will provide legal certainty in this field. Two proposals will ban the use of the cloning technique in the EU for farm animals1 and the imports of these animal clones.
The Council adopted the common agricultural policy (CAP) reform package and transitional CAP measures for 2014 following a first-reading agreement with the European Parliament. Concerning fisheries, the ministers reached a political agreement on fishing opportunities 2014 for certain fish stocks in the Black Sea.
Compared to last year, European SMEs are becoming more resource efficient and are contributing substantially to the transition towards a low-carbon economy, according to the results of the 2013 Eurobarometer survey on "SMEs, resource efficiency and green markets".
Foreign Affairs ministers discussed a wide range of issues, including the latest developments in the Syrian crisis and recent events in Ukraine.
The Commission has adopted a communication on completing the single market for parcel delivery to boost e-commerce in the EU, and to ensure that e-retailers and consumers have access to affordable and high-quality parcel delivery services.
The European Commission adopted "Shift2Rail", a new public-private partnership to invest just under €1 billion in research and innovation to get more passengers and freight onto Europe's railways.
The Foreign Affairs Council dedicated to development issues decided to resume development cooperation with the Republic of Guinea. It also discussed the post-2015 agenda and policy coherence for development.
The EU environment ministers discussed a draft regulation on invasive alien species and a draft regulation on CO2 emissions from maritime transport.