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22 May 2014, 17:09 CET

TiSA to open up new markets for EU services

Posted by Nick Prag at 04 February 2016, 22:25 CET |
Filed under: Trade

Compared to other trade deals, the talks on a Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) have had a pretty smooth ride. TiSA came to the fore this week when Euro-MPs in plenary set out their guidelines for the deal to the Commission, which is negotiating on the EU's behalf.

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Erasmus+ gains good grades, one year on

Erasmus+ gains good grades, one year on

Posted by Nick Prag at 28 January 2016, 16:00 CET |
Filed under: Education

Three reviews of the EU's education funding out this week provided a positive evaluation of the first year of the Erasmus+ programme for education, training, youth and sport between 2014-2020.

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2015 employment review exposes wide disparities in jobs situation in the Member States

Posted by Nick Prag at 21 January 2016, 22:50 CET |
Filed under: Employment

Interesting facts emerge from what is generally a positive outlook on jobs in the EU's 2015 review of employment and social developments.

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Towards a Circular Economy

Posted by Nick Prag at 03 December 2015, 19:20 CET |
Filed under: Environment

While the world's leaders and environmental experts in Paris grapple with trying to agree a global deal on climate change, the European Commission this week set out new proposals for a 'circular economy' which have the potential to fundamentally change the way we live and do business.

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Paris attacks: Europe's new reality

Posted by Nick Prag at 19 November 2015, 18:25 CET |
Filed under: Living & Working in EU

The attacks in Paris were an attack on our freedoms, an attack against our European values and our way of life, an attack against all of us, said president of the European Parliament Martin Schulz this week. "In our grief, we Europeans stand side to side with the French people."

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EU offers investment court for TTIP

Posted by EUbusiness at 12 November 2015, 22:45 CET |
Filed under: Finance, USA, Trade

One issue in particular has been a thorn in the side of the ongoing talks between the EU and US over the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) - the subject of investment protection and resolution of investment disputes.

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Connecting Europe aims for better use of public money

Posted by Nick Prag at 05 November 2015, 22:00 CET |
Filed under: Finance, Transport

The second year of the Juncker Commission continued this week with the investment theme, with the launch of a second call for proposals under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF). This will provide more than EUR 7.6 bn for key transport projects, with EUR 6.5 bn earmarked for countries with Cohesion Fund eligibility.

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No time for 'business as usual' as Commission presents its second work programme

Posted by Nick Prag at 29 October 2015, 18:40 CET |
Filed under: Commission

This is no time for business as usual, said the Commission's First Vice-President Frans Timmermans as he presented the second work programme of the Juncker Commission to Euro-MPs this week.

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Europe's farmers look for help

Europe's farmers look for help

Posted by Nick Prag at 22 October 2015, 22:10 CET |
Filed under: Agriculture

There was no great outpouring of support for European farmers last month, when around 5,000 of them spent a day in Brussels protesting about falling dairy and meat prices.

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New, safe 'Safe Harbour' agreement needed urgently

Posted by Nick Prag at 15 October 2015, 16:55 CET |

MEPs from the Civil Liberties Committee have called on the European Commission to come up with safe alternatives to the EU-US Safe Harbour agreement, in the wake of the European Court of Justice ruling that the arrangement - used by companies like Facebook to send citizens' personal data to the US - was invalid.

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Update for Payment Services Directive opens way for safer and more innovative European payments

Posted by Nick Prag at 08 October 2015, 17:05 CET |
Filed under: SMEs, Consumer, Finance

The final hurdle to an upgraded EU payment services law was cleared on Thursday, when MEPs voted in the revised Directive on Payment Services (PSD2). This aims to make payment transactions safer and terminate card surcharges.

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EU looks to reduce VAT burden for online trade

Posted by Nick Prag at 01 October 2015, 16:55 CET |
Filed under: SMEs, VAT

A new system for VAT for digital products - the EU's response to distortions of the market and loss of revenue through the online economy - has attracted much criticism about the extra burdens it imposes on small businesses.

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VW scandal exposes need for reform

VW scandal exposes need for reform

Posted by Nick Prag at 24 September 2015, 22:35 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Cars

The European Commission this week urged Member States to look into whether vehicles comply with European pollution rules, following the shock revelations that Volkswagen cheated in emission tests on its diesel cars in America.

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Focus on the long-term unemployed

Posted by Nick Prag at 17 September 2015, 21:25 CET |
Filed under: Employment

With more than 12 million people in Europe unable to find a job for more than a year, the Commission this week put forward a Recommendation for Member States to help the long-term unemployed back to work.

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State of the Union 2015

Posted by Nick Prag at 10 September 2015, 22:50 CET |
Filed under: Commission

Wednesday was the day for Europe's version of the US State of the Union address, with Jean-Claude Juncker, president of the European Commission, delivering his annual speech to the European Parliament.

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EU starts work on plans for an Energy Union

EU starts work on plans for an Energy Union

Posted by Nick Prag at 12 February 2015, 17:30 CET |
Filed under: Energy

Apart from the Ukraine crisis, on which EU leaders met at their summit this Thursday, it was the EU Energy Union which took centre stage this last week.

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E-skills the key to unlocking Europe's potential for growth and job creation

Posted by Nick Prag at 19 March 2015, 18:30 CET |
Filed under: Employment, Internet

Last week governments, industry, NGOs and educational bodies from 22 European countries joined forces with the European Commission to push for further action to stimulate the creation of the jobs needed to build a digital single market in Europe.

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New deal for energy consumers

Posted by Nick Prag at 16 July 2015, 17:50 CET |
Filed under: Environment, Energy, Consumer

Apart from Greece, a better deal for energy consumers was the theme of the week, as the Commission presented proposals aimed at delivering a new deal for energy consumers. These included a redesign of the European electricity market, updating energy efficiency labelling, and revising the EU Emissions Trading System.

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EU needs Luxembourg's negotiating skills

Posted by Nick Prag at 09 July 2015, 17:40 CET |

2015 is a special year for EU presidencies: first Latvia - land of my grandparents - now Luxembourg - land of my youth - which took over on 1 July. It is also possibly one of the EU's most challenging years for presidencies.

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Achievements of Latvia's EU presidency

Achievements of Latvia's EU presidency

Posted by Nick Prag at 02 July 2015, 16:50 CET |
Filed under: Latvia, European Council

Latvia ended its six-month stint as President of the Council of the European Union on 30 June. It has stuck to its task admirably, chaired some 200 EU meetings, and delivered a number of major legislative successes.

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