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The European Commission gave a boost to transparency by committing to publishing information about who meets its political leaders and senior officials and to providing greater access to documents relating to the negotiations for a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the United States.
In its landscape review of risks to the financial management of the EU budget, published today, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) identifies key issues for good financial management of the EU's finances.
At a meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on trade issues, the Council confirmed its determination to conclude an agreement with the US as soon as possible.
The General Affairs Council meeting on 18-19 November dealt with preparations for the upcoming European Council. They also discussed the €300 billion investment plan and adopted conclusions on the EU cohesion policy.
At a Foreign Council Affairs meeting, chaired by Federica Mogherini, the new EU High Representative, EU foreign ministers discussed the latest developments in Ukraine. The situation in Middle East was also high on the agenda.
The Juncker Commission is committed to restoring citizens' confidence by demonstrating that the EU can deliver for them on the big challenges facing European economies and societies. That starts with setting the right priorities for the 2015 Commission Work Programme.
Meeting in Brussels, agriculture and fisheries ministers also held an exchange of views on the proposed reduction of the CAP budget in 2015 and on young farmers in the framework of the new CAP.
At the Ecofin meeting the Council discussed the introduction of a draft common anti-abuse clause in the EU's 2011 parent-subsidiary directive. The amendment aims to prevent tax avoidance and aggressive tax planning in the EU in specific situations.
The European Union and its Member States have now pledged more than €1 billion in response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa. This means the Union has already gone beyond the target set by the European Council on 24 October for €1 billion in assistance to stem the epidemic.
In its annual report on the EU budget published today, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) warns that the budget system is too focused on just getting funds spent and needs to place more emphasis on achieving results. As independent auditor, the ECA signed off the 2013 accounts of the European Union, but stresses that the management of EU spending is not yet good enough overall - either at EU level or in the Member States.
The European Commission's autumn forecast projects weak economic growth for the rest of this year in both the EU and the euro area. Real GDP growth is expected to reach 1.3% in the EU and 0.8% in the euro area for 2014 as a whole.
Today the Juncker Commission is starting its term of office. President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Together with my strong and experienced team I look forward to being at the helm of the European Commission for the next five years."
The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 11.5% in September 2014, stable compared with August 2014, but down from 12.0% in September 2013. The EU28 unemployment rate was 10.1% in September 2014, also stable compared with August 2014 and down from 10.8% in September 2013.
Ideas on how to ensure a simpler, more effective and more fraud-proof VAT system tailored to the Single Market in the EU have been outlined in a paper published by the Commission.
Meeting in Luxembourg, environment ministers adopted conclusions on 'greening' the European Semester and the Europe 2020 strategy.
The Commission, assisted by the European Environment Agency, today releases its annual Progress Report assessing the headway on climate action. According to latest estimates, EU greenhouse gas emissions in 2013 fell by 1.8% compared to 2012 and reached the lowest levels since 1990.
EU leaders agreed to the world's most ambitious 2030 climate energy policy. They also decided to increase EU financial help to €1 billion to fight Ebola and discussed the state of the European economy. Euro area leaders also met in the Euro Summit format to discuss the euro area.
An estimated €177 billion in VAT revenues was lost due to non-compliance or non-collection in 2012, according to the latest VAT Gap study published by the Commission.
MEPs approved the new college of 27 Commissioners, as presented by its President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker, with 423 votes in favour, 209 against and 67 abstentions.
While the European Court of Auditors (ECA) report delivers a positive verdict on the set-up and general effectiveness of blending regional investment facility grants with financial institution loans, it points out a number of key issues which need to be urgently addressed.