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The United Kingdom left the European Union on 31 January 2020, after 47 years of EU membership. In accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement, it is now officially a third country to the EU and hence...

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Cyber attacks: Parliament adopts stricter EU-wide penalties
04/07/2013 - Justice and citizens’ rights

Cyber criminals will face tougher penalties in the EU, under new rules adopted by Parliament. The draft directive, already informally agreed with member states, also aims to facilitate prevention and to boost police and judicial cooperation in this field. In the event of a cyber attack, EU countries will have to respond to urgent requests for help within eight hours.

Justitia und europäische Flagge im Hintergrund © EU
17/07/2013 - Economy and the euro / Justice and citizens’ rights

The European Commission is taking action to improve Union-wide prosecution of criminals who defraud EU taxpayers by establishing a European Public Prosecutor's Office.

Blue Belt: Commission eases customs formalities for ships
08/07/2013 - Economy and the euro / Transport and travel

The Commission has set out plans to ease custom formalities for ships – reducing red tape, cutting delays in ports and making the sector more competitive.

Euro bank-note and coins © EU
24/07/2013 - Economy and the euro / Justice and citizens’ rights

Fraud affecting the EU budget increased slightly in 2012 compared to 2011, according to the Commission's annual report on the "Protection of the EU's Financial Interests". On the expenditure side, in total, €315 million in EU funds were affected by fraud, or 0.25% of the expenditure budget.

Things we learnt in the July plenary
05/07/2013 - Institutional affairs

Croatia was welcomed as the 28th member state in another eventful plenary, while Lithuania replaced Ireland at the helm of the European Union. Parliament voted in favour of Latvia joining the eurozone, gave the green light to a political deal on the EU's long-term budget and selected Emily O'Reilly as the first woman to be EU ombudsman.

Pandemics: EU strengthens its alert and response system
03/07/2013 - Consumer affairs and public health

The EU's ability to cope with serious cross-border health threats such as coronavirus, the 2011 E. Coli epidemic or the 2009 H1N1 flu will be strengthened by legislation. The text introduces an early warning system, facilitates joint buying of vaccines and will make it possible to declare an EU-wide emergency in the event of a crisis.

July 2013: Business and Consumers surveys
30/07/2013 -

The Economic Sentiment Indicator increased by 1.2 points in the euro area and by 2.4 points in the EU, continuing the upward trend observed since May. The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area increased by 0.14 points to 0.53.

Commission proposes Single Resolution Mechanism for the Banking Union
10/07/2013 - Economy and the euro

The mechanism would complement the Single Supervisory Mechanism which, once operational in late 2014, will see the European Central Bank (ECB) directly supervise banks in the euro area and in other Member States which decide to join the Banking Union.

Parliament to launch in-depth inquiry into US surveillance programmes
04/07/2013 - Enlargement, external relations and trade / Justice and citizens’ rights

Parliament's Civil Liberties Committee will conduct an "in-depth inquiry" into the US surveillance programmes, including the bugging of EU premises and other spying allegations, and present its results by the end of this year, says a resolution passed by the full House. Parliament's President and political group leaders formally confirmed the launch of the inquiry. MEPs also call for more protection for whistleblowers.

Small investors to be shielded against reckless risk taking by investment funds
03/07/2013 - Economy and the euro

Small investors should be better protected against investment funds that take excessive or unnecessary risks with their money, thanks to a draft law approved by a show of hands. The law clarifies who is liable for mismanagement of funds and tailors fund managers' remuneration rules to encourage them to take reasonable risks and a long-run view.

Illustration du commerce électronique © UE
23/07/2013 - Consumer affairs and public health / Statistics

Protection of consumer rights still varies greatly between EU countries. Only 35% of Europeans are confident buying online from sellers in other EU countries and seven out of ten consumers do not know what do to when they receive products that they did not order.

EU and industry join forces to invest €22 billion in research and innovation
10/07/2013 - Business, taxation and competition / Research and innovation

The European Commission, EU Member States and European industry will invest more than €22 billion over the next seven years in innovation for sectors that deliver high quality jobs.

Food and bottles in shopping basket © EU
15/07/2013 - Food, farming and fisheries / Consumer affairs and public health

The consultation asks stakeholders, citizens, businesses, NGOs and public authorities for ideas on immediate action to reduce food waste and more generally on how to ensure our food system is using resources efficiently.

Making the EU Solidarity Fund faster and simpler for support after disasters
25/07/2013 - Consumer affairs and public health / EU regional and urban development

European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has presented a proposal to reform the EU Solidarity Fund. The plans will make the fund more responsive and simpler to use with clearer criteria as to who can benefit.

June 2013: Euro area unemployment rate at 12.1% - EU27 at 10.9%
31/07/2013 - Employment and social rights / Statistics

The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.1% in June 2013, stable compared with May. The EU27 unemployment rate was 10.9%, down from 11.0% in May.

European Semester 2013 completed
09/07/2013 - Economy and the euro / Institutional affairs

The Ecofin Council concluded this year's coordination of economic and fiscal policies during the European Semester.

Commission fills legal gaps for unitary patent protection
29/07/2013 - Business, taxation and competition / Economy and the euro / Justice and citizens’ rights

The European Commission has proposed to complete the legal framework for Europe-wide patent protection by updating EU rules on the jurisdiction of courts and recognition of judgements.

New rules on Payment Services for the benefit of consumers and retailers
24/07/2013 - Economy and the euro

The Regulation on interchange fees, combined with the revised Payment Services Directive, will introduce maximum levels of interchange fees for transactions based on consumer debit and credit cards and ban surcharges on these types of cards.

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