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Commission authorises Austrian scheme for farmers aid
The European Commission authorised an Austrian scheme with a budget of approximately €1.2 million which aims at supporting farmers in Austria who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis.

Commission acts to bolster citizens' protection and security
The European Commission today presented concrete actions – with set timetables – to boost citizens' ability to work, travel and study outside their home countries, thereby enhancing citizens' security.

Commission revises EU competition rules
The European Commission has adopted a new Regulation that 'block exempts' distribution and supply agreements at different levels of the production and distribution chain.

EU Court outlines practice for reimbursement in long distance contracts
When a consumer withdraws from a long distance contract within seven working days, the entirety of the sum, including delivery fee, must be repaid to the consumer, the European Court of Justice has ruled.

Customs security procedures in a few clicks: new European portal
The European Commission has launched the first phase of a new web portal to help businesses to understand and follow the customs procedures for importing goods into and exporting goods from the EU.

EU greenlights Polish CO2 emissions allocation plan
The European Commission has no objections to Poland's new national allocation plan for distributing CO2 emission allowances for the 2008-2012 trading period of the EU Emissions Trading System.

First European research strategy on neurodegenerative diseases gets underway
Some of the world's top neurodegenerative disease experts gathered in Stockholm, Sweden on 15 April to start working on a pan-European research agenda that will guide the work of the new Joint Programme on Neurodegenerative Diseases (JPND). The JPND is the first Joint Programming initiative to get underway, and its launch marks a step change in the way research is funded and coordinated in Europe.

EU Court upholds French law over Dali's IP royalties
The European Court of Justice has ruled against Spain in a legal dispute over claims to the IP royalties of Savaldor Dalí's artwork. In its ruling the ECJ upheld French law which entitles members of the painter's family the royalty payments from resale in France.

Commission approves second prolongation of Slovenian liquidity scheme for the financial sector
The European Commission has authorised, under EU state aid rules, the second prolongation until 30 June 2010 of a Slovenian liquidity scheme for the financial sector.

Ministers agree improvements to energy performance of buildings
The Council of Ministers agreed today on improvements to the energy performance of buildings directive which aim to clarify, strengthen and extend the scope of the current Directive and to reduce the large differences between Member states' practices in this sector.

Ministers agree on labelling of energy-related products
The Council of Ministers agreed today to extend the Directive on the indication by labelling, restricted to household appliances, to all energy-related products.

Commission authorises French funding for Daher-Socata and Sogerma
The European Commission has authorised France under EU State aid rules to grant repayable advances of €35.14 million to Daher-Socata (€12.34 million) and Sogerma (€22.8 million).

Commission approves €19 million German support to Salzgitter AG
The European Commission has authorised Germany to grant €19.1 million for an energy-saving steel production project run by Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH, a subsidiary of the Salzgitter AG group.

Commission increases electricity trading capacity on the Swedish borders
The European Commission has adopted a decision rendering legally binding commitments offered by Svenska Kraftnät (SvK) that will increase trade in electricity within Sweden and between Sweden and neighbouring countries.

Publishers demand new cultural model and copyright protection
Publishers and experts participating in the first day of the European seminar "The digitisation of cultural materials" called for new legal and technological measures to protect authors' rights and to slow down the harmful effects of intellectual piracy.

CAP reform must benefit society as a whole, say MEPs
EU plans to reform the much-maligned Common Agricultural Policy must be shaped with the help and backing of EU citizens, say MEPs, to ensure that the post-2013 CAP benefits society as a whole.

Europe strikes against the smuggling of counterfeit goods
Millions of counterfeit goods have been seized in a European Joint Customs Operation code-named Matthew II, the results of which were published today. The operation was aimed at detecting the smuggling of cigarettes in commercial consignments entering the EU by road.

Commission calls for eco-innovation projects from SMEs
The European Commission today launched a €35 million call for projects that turn environmental challenges into business opportunities.

Belgium's curb on foreign students criticized by EU Court
The European court of Justice has ruled that Belgium should provide evidence that a 2006 Decree, which limits the number of foreign students enrolling in medical schools to 30%, is appropriate and proportionate.

MEPs propose further amendements to the regulation on biocidal products
MEPs last week proposed further amendments to a regulation concerning the placing on the market and use of biocidal products.

MEPs to vote on amendments to the rules of invoicing
MEPs are set to vote on 22 April on a proposal on the common system of value added tax as regards the rules on invoicing.

Commission will revise competition rules in distribution sector
The Commission next week is due to update the rules providing a 'safe harbour' for agreements between manufacturers and distributors.

Fisheries: MEPs debate imports, wages and quality
At a public hearing on the common organisation of the fishery market on Thursday, MEPs debated how to ensure fair income for fishermen and how European producers can compete with third countries.

MEPs draft a report on cross-border crisis management
MEPs drafted yesterday a report with recommendations to the Commission on cross-border crisis management in the banking sector.

MEPs back new regulation to limit animal testing
Legislation to regulate the use of animals for scientific experiments has moved a step closer after Parliament and Council representatives reached on Wednesday an agreement on the final details of draft legislation in the pipeline.