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EU and UK flags © EU
On 23 June 2016 citizens of the United Kingdom (UK) voted to leave the European Union (EU).

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Miguel Arias Canete, Elisabeth Kostinger, Karmenu Vella © EU
21/12/2018 - Energy, environment and climate

Environment ministers reached an agreement on the proposed regulation on CO2 standards for heavy-duty vehicles. They agreed on the Council position on the text and set the first-ever EU targets for CO2 emissions of trucks. 

Miguel Arias Cañete, Elizabeth Kostinger © EU
19/12/2018 - Energy, environment and climate / Transport and travel

The Council was updated on the state of play on the clean energy package, the Connecting Europe Facility and the gas directive. Ministers held a first exchange of views on the Commission's strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral economy. 

View of college meeting room © EU
19/12/2018 - Justice and citizens’ rights / Transport and travel

This annual report shows that the visa liberalisation requirements for the concerned countries continue to be met but that action – in some cases immediate – is required for a number of countries in specific areas to ensure this continues to be the case. 

Dimitris Avramopoulos, Vĕra Jourová © EU
19/12/2018 - Justice and citizens’ rights

This year's report shows that the U.S. continues to ensure an adequate level of protection for personal data transferred under the Privacy Shield from the EU to participating companies in the U.S. 

Karmenu Vella and Elisabeth Kostinger © EU
18/12/2018 - Food, farming and fisheries

The Council reached a political agreement on catch limits in the Atlantic and North Sea for 2019, and had an exchange of views on the post 2020 Common Agricultural Policy reform package and the updated EU Bioeconomy Strategy. 

Jean-Claude Juncker © EU
18/12/2018 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / International aid, development and cooperation

Only two months after the launch of the Africa–Europe Alliance, the European Commission is presenting first progress on boosting investment and creating jobs in Africa. 

View of European Council meeting room © EU
14/12/2018 - Institutional affairs

The European Council on 13-14 December 2018 adopted conclusions on the MFF, the single market, migration and other items, namely external relations, climate change, security and defence, disinformation, the fight against racism and xenophobia and citizens' consultations. 

Christmas tree outside European Parliament building, Strasbourg © EU
14/12/2018 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / Institutional affairs

MEPs backed a trade deal with Japan, awarded the Sakharov Prize to Oleg Sentsov and paid tribute to the victims of Tuesday’s terror attack in Strasbourg during December’s plenary session. 

Jean-Claude Juncker, Donald Tusk © EU
13/12/2018 - Institutional affairs

The EU27 leaders held a special meeting of the European Council in Article 50 format to discuss Brexit. They reconfirmed the conclusions of 25 November 2018, in which they endorsed the withdrawal agreement and approved the political declaration. 

Combined European and Japanese flags © EU
12/12/2018 - Enlargement, external relations and trade

The European Parliament gave its consent to the EU’s trade agreement with Japan, the largest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated by the EU. The Economic Partnership Agreement will remove almost all custom duties adding up to €1 billion annually for EU companies.

‘EU budget for the future’ logo © EU
12/12/2018 - Economy and the euro

For next year’s budget, MEPs have secured better support for students, unemployed youngsters and researchers. Commitment appropriations for 2019 total €165.8 billion; payment appropriations total €148.2 billion.

View of Council meeting room © EU
11/12/2018 - Institutional affairs

The Council discussed the next multiannual financial framework, prepared the December European Council and approved its 18-month programme. It also held a hearing on the rule of law in Poland and exchanged views under the Article 7(1) TEU procedure concerning Hungary. 

View of College meeting © EU
11/12/2018 - Security and defence

Good progress is being achieved on a number of security initiatives, including the proposals to remove terrorist content online and to reinforce the European Border and Coast Guard, but more efforts are needed.

Food and bottles in shopping basket © EU
11/12/2018 - Consumer affairs and public health / Food, farming and fisheries

MEPs want the European Food Safety Agency to publish safety studies before a product is authorised to go on to the market. The revised rules aim to make risk assessment more transparent and ensure that the studies used by EFSA to authorise a product to be put on the market are reliable, objective and independent. 

Christian Spahr, Frans Timmermans, Vĕra Jourová © EU
10/12/2018 - Justice and citizens’ rights

The results of the EU Fundamental Rights Agency's latest survey on Antisemitism are particularly worrying: 85% of European Jews consider Antisemitism to be the biggest social or political problem in their home country. 

Dimitrios Avramopoulos, Herbert Kickl © EU
07/12/2018 - Justice and citizens’ rights

The Council agreed its position on the regulation on European production and preservation orders for e-evidence in criminal matters. Ministers also agreed positions on the sales of goods directive and on the revision of so called Brussels IIa regulation. 

Marianne Thyssen, Beate Hartinger-Klein, Valdis Dombrovskis © EU
07/12/2018 - Consumer affairs and public health / Employment and social rights

The Council reached a general approach on proposals for a regulation on establishing the European Labour Authority (ELA) and for a directive on carcinogens or mutagens at work. The Council also adopted a recommendation on strengthened cooperation against vaccine-preventable diseases. 

Andrus Ansip © EU
07/12/2018 - Research and innovation

Delivering on its strategy on artificial intelligence (AI) adopted in April 2018 today the Commission presents a coordinated plan prepared with Member States to foster the development and use of AI in Europe. 

Andrus Ansip, Vĕra Jourová, Julian King and Mariya Gabriel © EU
05/12/2018 - Consumer affairs and public health / Justice and citizens’ rights

To protect its democratic systems and public debates and in view of the 2019 European elections as well as a number of national and local elections that will be held in Member States by 2020, the EU is presenting today an Action Plan to step up efforts to counter disinformation in Europe and beyond. 

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