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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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Priority for apprentices

Posted by Nick Prag at 25 June 2015, 13:30 CET |
Filed under: Employment

More than forty companies and other organisations joined the European Alliance for Apprenticeships this week, committing to making available around 140,000 apprenticeships and training opportunities for young people.

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EU data protection rules set for overhaul

Posted by Nick Prag at 18 June 2015, 16:55 CET |
Filed under: Data protection, Internet

New data protection rules agreed by justice ministers this week give the Council a mandate to start talks with the European Parliament, now set for 24 June.

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Mobility boost for Masters students

Posted by Nick Prag at 11 June 2015, 22:55 CET |
Filed under: Education, Finance

Students looking to take a Master's Degree in another EU country will be keen to look into a loan guarantee scheme offered by the highly successful Erasmus+ programme, as a new agreement worth some EUR 30 million was signed this week.

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An Urban Agenda for Europe

Posted by Nick Prag at 04 June 2015, 17:00 CET |

Europe's cities are the engines of its economy, providing jobs and services, and they serve as hubs that catalyse creativity and innovation. Almost 70% of the EU population now live in urban areas. However, they are also home to some of our greatest challenges: economic, social, environmental and demographic, which are often interrelated.

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