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The European Union significantly increased its funding in response to the Syria crisis at today's Third International Pledging Conference for Syria in Kuwait. Together, the European Commission and Member States pledged close to € 1.1 billion - double the overall EU pledge at the 2014 Conference.
The EU milk quota regime comes to an end on March 31, 2015. First introduced in 1984 at a time when EU production far outstripped demand, the quota regime was one of the tools introduced for overcoming these structural surpluses.
The Commission has today taken 98 decisions, including 11 reasoned opinions and 8 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.
The College of Commissioners today had a first discussion on the Digital Single Market Strategy due in May – and set out the main areas the Commission will focus its work on to trigger real changes for consumers and businesses alike.
In a set of annual reports, the European Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy assessed the implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) with the 16 partner countries in the East and the South and made recommendations for the year ahead.
Following two years of solid decreases in the number of people killed on Europe's roads, the first reports on road deaths in 2014 are disappointing. According to the figures released today, the number of road fatalities has decreased by approximately 1% compared to 2013.
The European Commission published new figures today, showing that in 2014, nearly 2500 products, ranging from toys to motor vehicles, were either stopped before they entered the EU or removed from markets because they were dangerous for EU consumers.
During the meeting, EU leaders agreed to create an Energy Union. They also discussed economic topics and external relations, the situation in Libya, relations with Russia and Ukraine, and the objectives of the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit in Riga.
The European Commission presented a package of tax transparency measures as part of its ambitious agenda to tackle corporate tax avoidance and harmful tax competition in the EU.
The Council prepared the European Council of 19-20 March. The main focus will be on the energy union. Foreign relations such as relations with Russia, the situation in Ukraine, preparations for the Eastern Partnership summit and Libya will also be discussed.
The Council held an in-depth discussion on EU relations with Africa, covering peace and security, prosperity and partnership. The Council also adopted a strategy outlining how the EU and Member States are planning to counter the threat posed by ISIL/Da'esh and help restore peace and security in Syria and Iraq.
The Council held a public debate on a proposal on organic farming. Member states took the view that an EU harmonised approach could address the issue of the presence of non-authorised substances in organic products.
The Council held a public policy debate on two proposals to improve rail services in the EU (fourth railway package). Ministers also discussed ways in which transport policy can boost competitiveness, growth and jobs.
Ministers welcomed the progress achieved so far in the implementation of the operational actions identified by the Task Force Mediterranean. The Council also discussed the implementation of the measures contained in the recent counter-terrorism statements issued after the latest terrorist attacks in Europe.
During the plenary session in Strasbourg, MEPs supported the legislation on capping credit card fees and warned candidate countries to get their act together if they want to progress on their path towards the EU. Parliament also debated the murder of Russian opposition politician Boris Nemtsov and called for greater efforts to abolish the gender pay gap.
Next year’s EU budget priorities should be to foster growth by supporting job-creation, firms and entrepreneurship; to show solidarity with countries both inside and outside the EU; and to put EU finances in order, said Parliament in a resolution.
The Council agreed its negotiating stance on a proposed regulation on a European fund for strategic investments (EFSI).
The fees that banks charge retailers to process shoppers’ payments will be capped, under uniform EU-wide rules, further to a vote in Parliament.
The Council discussed the employment and social policy aspects of the 2015 European Semester exercise. It endorsed key messages on the financing of social protection systems and adopted conclusions on inclusive labour markets.
The European Commission has released the 2015 EU Justice Scoreboard, which gives an overview of the quality, independence and efficiency of the justice systems of Member States.