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Transatlantic trade talks: what is the problem?

Posted by Nick Prag at 20 November 2014, 16:50 CET |
Filed under: US, Trade

This week, Europe's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem attempted to breath new life into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks that have run into opposition particularly as regards one of the deal's most controversial components.

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Cameron's anti-EU stance gets a bashing

Posted by Nick Prag at 06 November 2014, 22:30 CET |
Filed under: Commission, UK, politics

The gloves came off when the new European Commission took office this week, with Britain, or at least its prime minister David Cameron, taking some hefty blows.

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EU budgets a touchy topic

Posted by Nick Prag at 30 October 2014, 16:00 CET |
Filed under: Finance

This week marks the last in the Barroso II Commission, and last week's summit was supposed to be a calm transition summit to a new regime at the EU's helm. Instead the stand-out topic of the summit, and of this last week, has been budgets, EU and national.

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The cost of study in Europe

Posted by Nick Prag at 23 October 2014, 17:30 CET |

Students wanting to study in Europe face a wide divergence in the levels of student fees and support, according to the latest report from Eurydice, the network which provides information on European education systems and policies.

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Making big data work

Posted by Nick Prag at 16 October 2014, 16:40 CET |

This week the European Commission launched a partnership with Europe's data industry, planning to invest EUR 2.5 bn in a public-private partnership in a bid to put Europe at the forefront of the global data race.

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EU's eastward march slows down

Posted by Nick Prag at 09 October 2014, 17:25 CET |

Autumn is traditionally the time for the European Commission's annual strategy paper for enlargement. In a set of annual reports adopted this week, it explained EU policy on enlargement, and assessed progress made over the past year by countries wishing to join the EU in the Western Balkans and by Turkey, and the challenges ahead.

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EBU - Eastern Partnership agreement to strengthen independence of East European media

Posted by Nick Prag at 02 October 2014, 23:20 CET |

The agreement on 2 October between the European Commission and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) to work at strengthening the independence of the media in the European Neighbourhood Region (ENP) provides an opportunity to highlight the work of the EBU as well as the key role played by the European Neighbourhood Policy at such a dangerous time in east-west relations.

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Hope lies in Generation Erasmus

Posted by Nick Prag at 24 September 2014, 22:40 CET |
Filed under: Education, Employment

Not a huge surprise to learn that graduates with international experience fare much better on the job market. A study on the impact of the European Union's Erasmus student exchange programme, released on Monday by the European Commission, shows that studying and training abroad makes a real difference to employment prospects.

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Getting young people into work

Posted by Nick Prag at 17 September 2014, 23:35 CET |
Filed under: Employment

Youth employment was the theme of the week in the European Union. This was despite the postponement of a special EU summit on jobs next month which had been called to boost jobs and jump-start the Union's sluggish economy.

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Juncker's new-look Commission - a winning team?

Posted by Nick Prag at 11 September 2014, 22:10 CET |
Filed under: Commission

Last week we learned the names of the new top team for the EU over the next five years. This week Commission President-elect Jean Claude Juncker announced his new Commission team. Is this the start of a new era of policy-making at European level?

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Europeans have the right to re-use and exploit public information

Posted by Nick Prag at 17 July 2014, 18:05 CET |
Filed under: Media, Data protection, Internet

Europeans have a genuine right to re-use open public information. And this week the Commission issued a set of guidelines to help Member States take advantage of the revised Directive on re-use of public sector information.

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Italy off to green start

Posted by Nick Prag at 03 July 2014, 18:55 CET |
Filed under: Environment

As Italy took over at the helm of the EU on 1 July, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi picked out growth as the main objective of his country's six-month stint as EU president.

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EU announces plans to get us off our couches with a European Week of Sport

Posted by Nick Prag at 12 June 2014, 19:05 CET |
Filed under: Sport

On the eve of the Brazil World Cup, the EU's Sports Commissioner Androulla Vassilio announced plans for the first European Week of Sport, to take place in September 2015. The aim of the event is to promote exercise and sport at all levels.

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Taxing the multinationals

Posted by Nick Prag at 05 June 2014, 18:00 CET |
Filed under: Taxation

The issue of transfer pricing may not sound too exciting but it is an important issue of taxation which the European Commission is under increasing pressure to tackle.

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The digital economy - opportunities for entrepreneurship and taxation

Posted by Nick Prag at 29 May 2014, 16:45 CET |
Filed under: Taxation, SMEs, Internet

The report on Taxation of the Digital Economy, released by a High Level Expert Group on 28 May, presents an important challenge for tax systems and governments: to balance the need to encourage a vital sector of Europe's economy with governments' wishes to crack down and tax avoidance and tax evasion.

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Euro-elections 2014 - don't let your vote be a wasted vote

Posted by Nick Prag at 22 May 2014, 17:00 CET |
Filed under: European Parliament

The challenges faced by the EU following the 2014 European elections will no doubt prove a challenge to many of the new MEPs. Voters should consider which candidates are most qualified and capable of doing this work on their behalf. Don't forget to vote.

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1 May: tenth anniversary of the EU's 2004 enlargement

Posted by Nick Prag at 01 May 2014, 21:00 CET |
Filed under: Enlargement

1 May was a day to reflect on how important the EU's largest expansion, the accession of ten new Member States in 2004, has been to the European Union.

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'Final Simplification Scoreboard' heralds simpler EU funding rules

Posted by Nick Prag at 06 March 2014, 16:45 CET |
Filed under: EU Funding

The European Commission adopted its 'Final Simplification Scoreboard' this week – a review of over 120 measures supposed to simplify EU funding rules for Europe's businesses, regions, scientists and NGOs.

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Brazil summit boosts hopes for Mercosur deal

Posted by Nick Prag at 27 February 2014, 16:00 CET |
Filed under: Brazil, Trade

As football fans look forward to this summer's World Cup in Brazil, the country's president Dilma Rousseff met this week with the EU in Brussels in a meeting which re-affirmed the EU's privileged relationship with an important economic and political partner.

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Commission reviews EU's animal welfare strategy

Posted by Nick Prag at 20 February 2014, 18:30 CET |

The European Commission marked the mid-point of the EU's Strategy for the Protection and Welfare of Animals 2012-2015 last week at a conference in Brussels which brought together key stakeholders to review achievements to date and identify challenges ahead.

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