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These are the conclusions of the annual SMEs Performance Review and country-specific SBA factsheets published today by the European Commission.
Low digital skills and competences among school pupils and the need to integrate effective use of information and communication technologies into teacher training are among the most pressing challenges faced by European school education today, according to a report.
There has been a marked decrease in the number of on-going infringement cases in recent years whilst the number of cases resolved through in problem solving mechanisms such as EU Pilot has increased, according to the 31st Annual Report on monitoring the application of EU law.
The euro area (EA18) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in August 2014, stable compared with July 2014, but down from 12.0% in August 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.1% in August 2014, the lowest value since February 2012.
During the three-hour hearings EP committees will test the candidate commissioners' expertise and competences ahead of the EP voting on whether to approve the new Commission on 22 October.
The General Affairs Council adopted conclusions on the European Union Strategy for the Adriatic and Ionian Region. Ministers also dealt with preparations for the upcoming European Council summit.
In September the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) decreased in both the euro area (by 0.7 points to 99.9) and the EU (by 1.0 point to 103.6). The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased slightly by 0.09 points to +0.07.
Meeting in Brussels, ministers in charge of competitiveness looked at ways of strengthening industry in the EU and discussed the forthcoming review of Europe's 2020 strategy, which is the EU's 10-year plan for growth and competitiveness.
The Commission has taken 147 decisions, including 39 reasoned opinions and 4 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.
A new study on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme shows that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market.
In a historic vote on Tuesday, Parliamentarians in Strasbourg and Kiev voted simultaneously to approve the EU–Ukraine association agreement. Closer to home, the EP proposed to increase financial aid for farmers affected by the Russian agricultural import ban and urged the EU to use all possible means to combat the Islamic State.
Euro area annual inflation was 0.4% in August 2014, unchanged compared to July. In August 2013 the rate was 1.3%. Monthly inflation was 0.1% in August 2014.
The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU-Ukraine Association agreement, which includes a Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement (DCFTA).
The European Commission published a report on its ambitious science and technology Flagships. The report draws the lessons from setting up the first two such Flagships, Graphene and the Human Brain Project, each representing an investment of EUR 1 billion.
The number of persons employed increased by 0.2% in the euro area (EA18) and by 0.3% in the EU28 in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the previous quarter.
The EU took new sanctions targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with Russia. They will enter into force on 12 September.
EU manufacturing possesses a number of competitive strengths that should be leveraged to promote economic growth, despite the current difficult economic environment. This is the conclusion of the two reports on industrial competitiveness released by the Commission.
The European Commission has invited Member States to propose projects to use €11.9 billion of EU funding to improve European transport connections. This is the largest ever single amount of EU funding earmarked for transport infrastructure.
President-elect Juncker unveiled his team and the new shape of the next European Commission. After the European Union has come through one of the most testing periods in its history, one of the biggest challenges will be to convince citizens that things will change.
During an extraordinary meeting at the Council, EU agriculture ministers debated the Russian ban on imports of EU agricultural products, which includes meat, fish, dairy products, fruit and vegetables.