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On the 26th September 2013, the General Court of the European Union delivered a ruling finding that the Commission failed to act on a GMO cultivation request which had been submitted twelve years ago in 2001. In line with this ruling, the Commission today acted by referring the cultivation request to the Council of Ministers.
In recent months, there have been encouraging signs that an economic recovery is underway in Europe. After contracting up to the first quarter of 2013, the European economy started to grow again in the second quarter and real GDP is set to continue growing in the remainder of this year.
As independent auditor, the ECA has signed off the 2012 accounts of the European Union, as it has done each year since the 2007 financial year. But in most spending areas of the EU budget the report finds that the legislation in force is still not fully complied with.
The European Commission adopted a proposal that requires Member States to reduce their use of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Member States can choose the measures they find most appropriate, including charges, national reduction targets or a ban under certain conditions.
The euro area seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate was 12.2% in September 2013, stable compared with August. The EU28 unemployment rate was 11%, also stable compared with August.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator increased by 0.9 points in the euro area and by 1.1 points in the EU. The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area continued the upward trend that started in May 2013. It increased by 0.18 points to 0.01.
This is the first of a new series of annual publications providing statistical analyses related to important European Commission policy frameworks or other phenomena in society.
At their meeting on 24-25 October 2013, EU leaders discussed the digital economy, economic and social policy, the Economic and Monetary Union, the Eastern Partnership and migration flows. They also issued a statement on recent developments concerning possible intelligence issues.
The EU should suspend its Terrorist Finance Tracking Program (TFTP) agreement with the US in response to the US National Security Agency's alleged tapping of EU citizens' bank data held by the Belgian company SWIFT, says a non-binding resolution voted by Parliament.
Parliament reversed the Council's proposed cuts in research and employment expenditure in 2014 in a plenary vote in Strasbourg. MEPs also reversed cuts in funding for international policy, such as humanitarian aid to the Middle East and Syrian refugees and added funds for the external border control agency Frontex.
A new standard VAT return, which can cut costs for EU businesses by up to €15 billion a year, has been proposed by the Commission. The aim of this initiative is to slash red-tape for businesses, ease tax compliance and make tax administrations across the Union more efficient.
Stricter monitoring and certification procedures to ensure full compliance and traceability of medical devices such as breast or hip implants were agreed by Parliament.
The 30th Annual Report on monitoring the application of EU law shows how Member States are performing in applying EU law. There were fewer infringements open at the end of 2012 than previous years. The number of cases in problem solving mechanisms such as EU Pilot increased.
The Council adopted a regulation establishing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and agreed to confirm the EU common position for the opening of chapter 22 on regional policy and coordination of structural instruments with Turkey.
The Commission is presenting suggestions on how to reduce gun related violence in Europe. It identifies actions at EU level, through legislation, operational activities, training and EU funding, to address the threats posed by the illegal use of firearms.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper have today reached a political agreement on the key elements of a Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) after months of intense negotiations between EU Trade Commissioner De Gucht and Canadian trade Minister Ed Fast.
The Foreign Affairs Council focussed on EU trade issues, including mandates for investment agreement negotiations with China and with ASEAN countries.
The latest Report on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive reveals that nitrates concentrations are slightly decreasing in both surface and groundwater and sustainable agricultural practices are more widespread.
The Commission has taken 108 decisions, including 12 reasoned opinions and 5 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.
In the most radical overhaul of EU infrastructure policy since its inception in the 1980s, the Commission has published new maps showing the nine major corridors which will act as a backbone for transportation in Europe's single market and revolutionise East–West connections.