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Latest news and information from the European Commission.

EU looks to extend flagship investment plan
The European Commission looked Wednesday to extend its flagship Investment Plan for Europe beyond 2018, hailing its achievements in creating jobs and 'getting Europe investing again'.

Commission pledges new transparency for expert groups
The European Commission has adopted new rules on how it selects the advisory expert groups which provide external expertise to help inform the policy-making process.

Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities
This Register was set up by the Commission to ensure transparency on expert groups assisting the Commission in relation to: the preparation of legislative proposals and policy initiatives; the preparation of delegated acts; the implementation of EU legislation, programmes and policies, including coordination and cooperation with EU Member States and stakeholders in that regard; where necessary, the early preparation of implementing acts, before submission to the committee in accordance with Regulation (EU) N°182/2011.The Register lists both Commission expert groups and other similar entities, i.e. consultative entities set up by the Union legislator and not by the Commission, which have a similar or identical role to that of Commission expert groups and are administered and financially managed by the Commission. For each expert group, the Register provides valuable information including on the Commission department which is running the group, as well as on its members, its mission and tasks. The Register also includes relevant documents which are produced and discussed by the groups.

Spain, Portugal under caution over budget deficits
Spain and Portugal were given one more year to correct their excessive deficits after the European Commission published its Spring economic package Wednesday.

EUR 1.8m EU aid to help redundant Belgian workers
The EU Commission is proposing to provide Belgium with EUR 1.8 million to help 488 workers made redundant by several manufacturers of construction machinery in the Wallonia region.

New EU customs rules into force
New customs rules for the European Union will make life simpler for businesses that trade in Europe and better protect consumers against illegal and counterfeit goods, says the EU Commission.

EU forecasts modest growth amid Brexit warning
The EU forecast continuing modest growth for Europe's economy Tuesday, but warned that the outlook was affected by uncertainty surrounding the Chinese economy and the UK's upcoming referendum on EU membership.

April infringements' package: key decisions
In its monthly package of infringement decisions, the European Commission is pursuing legal action against EU Member States for failing to comply with their obligations under EU law. These decisions, covering various sectors and EU policy areas (see Annex I and II), aim to ensure the proper application of EU law for the benefit of citizens and businesses. The key decisions taken by the Commission (including, 2 letters of formal notice, 35 reasoned opinions and 6 referrals to the Court of Justice of the European Union) are presented below and grouped by policy area.

EU proposes visa-free travel for Ukraine citizens
The EU is proposing lifting visa requirements for citizens of Ukraine by adding the country to its list of countries whose citizens are able to travel without a visa to the Schengen area.

Top Stories from the European Commission - 9-13 March 2020
U.S. travel ban statement - Coronavirus measures for EC staff - European Day of Remembrance of Victims of Terrorism - Circular Economy Action Plan - Interchange Fees Regulation study - Ignitis Group borrows €60m for Polish wind farm - new Industrial Strategy - Comprehensive Strategy with Africa

Top Stories from the European Commission - 16-20 March 2020
rescEU stockpile of medical equipment - Eastern Partnership: Commission proposes new policy objectives for beyond 2020 - Q & A: The Eastern Partnership policy beyond 2020 - COVID-19 EU passenger rights - Future EU-UK Partnership draft legal text - EU Cohesion Policy - COVID-19: State aid Temporary Framework - financing for innovative vaccines company CureVac

Top Stories from the European Commission - 23-27 March 2020
Coronavirus: Commission issues guidance to ensure essential freight keeps moving by air; harmonised standards for medical devices - EU Action Plan for Human Rights and Democracy - Coronavirus: EC approves UK schemes to support SMEs - investigation into proposed acquisition of Tachosil by Johnson & Johnson - Coronavirus: EC approves €1.3 billion Danish scheme to compensate self-employed - guidelines to protect critical European assets and technology in current crisis - Coronavirus: EC approves Italian State guarantee scheme to support SMEs; approves German guarantee measure to further support economy; approves €20 billion Spanish guarantee schemes for companies and self-employed; approves German direct grant scheme to support companies - EC prolongs the validity of block exemption for liner shipping consortia - Coronavirus: EC approves €300 million Luxembourg scheme to support companies - EU's outermost regions: strengthened partnership bears fruit

Top Stories from the European Commission - 24-28 February 2020
EU - African Union Commission-to-Commission meeting - aid for Desert Locust outbreak in East Africa - Altum and EIB join forces for energy efficiency investments in Latvia - European Semester Winter Package - Cooperation in the Age of Brexit - support for Burkina Faso - EU action on by-catch of dolphins and other marine animals - State aid: Romania needs to recover EUR13m incompatible rescue aid from Romanian National Uranium Company, and EUR 36m Romanian rescue aid to state-owned flag carrier TAROM - Future EU-UK Partnership Commission mandate - Commission clears public support to Timisoara Airport - COVID-19 update

Top Stories from the European Commission - 4-8 May 2020
Transition to a climate-neutral economy - fight against money laundering and terrorist financing - Coronavirus: state aid decisions - Spring 2020 Economic Forecast - Coronavirus Global Response - video-conference with employment and social ministers

Top Stories from the European Commission - 10-14 February 2020
Winter 2020 Economic Forecast - Investment Plan for Europe - February infringements package - Multiannual Financial Framework - Safer Internet Day - Women and girls in science

Top Stories from the European Commission - 13-17 April 2020
von der Leyen coronavirus speech to Euro-Parliament - Ukraine: €13 million in humanitarian aid - Coronavirus: EU approach for efficient contact tracing apps - EU rules on asylum and return procedures and on resettlement guidance - European roadmap towards common lifting of containment measures - First unaccompanied children relocated from Greece to Luxembourg - Joint statement by EU and UK negotiators - Coronavirus: Commission guidelines on testing

Top Stories from the European Commission - 27-30 April 2020
EC proposes €279 million for Portugal, Spain, Italy and Austria - Protocol on Ireland / Northern Ireland - State aid: Greek guarantee measure, Lithuanian rent compensation, Slovenian guarantee and rent relief, Danish SME schemes, Walloon economy, German 'umbrella' scheme, Hungarian schemes, France aid to Renault - EIB collaboration with Israel Innovation Authority - Western Balkans' leaders COVID-19 meeting - infringement procedure to safeguard the independence of judges in Poland - banking package to facilitate lending to households and businesses - Petersberg Climate Dialogue - EU and Mexico trade agreement - guidance to mitigate clinical trial disruption - Banking Package to facilitate bank lending - Broadcom

Top Stories from the European Commission - 2-6 March 2020
EU taxation policy - Gender Equality Strategy - Turkey: humanitarian support for refugees - data on tourism accommodation - Shaping Europe's digital future - Negotiations with the UK - actions to support Greece - European Year of Rail - European Green Deal - European Citizens' Initiative - global coalition for biodiversity - financing for Italian SMEs - Eurobarometer environment survey - campaign to tackle undeclared work - progress made by Albania and North Macedonia

Top Stories from the European Commission - 20-24 April 2020
State aid: EC approves Polish schemes to support companies affected by coronavirus; approves Bulgarian scheme to support SMEs affected by coronavirus outbreak; approves Dutch guarantee scheme to support economy; approves Swedish scheme to compensate damages to cultural events; approves merger of Mylan and Pfizer's Upjohn division, subject to conditions; approves Maltese scheme to support R&D; approves Polish loan and guarantee scheme - EC proposes €3 billion macro-financial assistance package to support ten neighbouring countries - EU launches new €50 million pilot to develop skills and education across Europe - exceptional measures to support the agri-food sector - State aid: EC approves Finnish public guarantee and subsidised loan scheme to support companies; approves Estonian schemes in form of direct grants and payment advantages to support companies; approves Slovak employment aid scheme - Global Report on Food Crises reveals scope of food crises as COVID-19 poses new risks to vulnerable countries - Geographical Indications: a European treasure worth €75 billion

Top Stories from the European Commission - 25-29 May 2020
EU4Health Programme - Coronavirus Global response - Takeda-Shire - EU budget for recovery: Recovery and Resilience Facility - public loan facility to support green investments - REACT-EU - Repair and prepare for the next generation

Top Stories from the European Commission - 11-15 May 2020
Indexation of family benefits, child tax credit and family tax credits: Commission takes Austria to Court for discrimination - May infringements package - 70th Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration - State aid decisions - European Investment Bank pipeline - Coronavirus: EU provides support in Horn of Africa region - Travel and tourism in Europe - mobile tracing apps across the EU - guidance on coronavirus-related humanitarian aid to Syria despite sanctions - Fit for Future Platform

Top Stories from the European Commission - 30 March-3 April 2020
Emergency Support Instrument for the healthcare sector - Coronavirus: Commission mobilises all resources - SURE proposal - Coronavirus Response Investment Initiative Plus - April 2020 Infringement cycle - Agriculture and bioeconomy - State aid decisions - Coronavirus: practical guidance to ensure the free movement of critical workers - support for Western Balkan partners to tackle coronavirus - practical guidance on implementing the temporary restriction on non-essential travel to EU

Top Stories from the European Commission - 17-21 February 2020
Better access to finance for Baltic micro-enterprises - Shaping Europe's digital future - aid for Afghan refugees - COVID-19 outbreak - approval for acquisition of joint control over Prosegur Alarmas by Telefónica and Prosegur - Artificial Intelligence - European Data Strategy - EIB lends EUR 50m to dairy cooperative Mlekpol - Green Transition - transparency package - EUR 1.15 billion for reconstruction after earthquake in Albania - EU Interreg programme - EUR 100m for new LIFE Programme projects

EU development aid - highest-ever share of Gross National Income
Preliminary figures show that collectively, the EU - EU institutions and Member States – have increased Official Development Assistance (ODA) to EUR 68 billion in 2015 (up 15% from EUR 59 billion in 2014) – growing for the third year in a row (and reaching its highest level to date). EU collective ODA represented 0.47% of EU Gross National Income (GNI) in 2015, an increase from 0.43% in 2014. This is significantly above the non-EU Development Assistance Committee (DAC) country average of 0.21% ODA/GNI.

Visa reciprocity with US, Canada & Brunei: EU mulls next move
With the U.S., Canada and Brunei continuing to apply visa requirements for citizens of some EU Member States, the European Commission has assessed the legal, political and economic consequences of a possible temporary suspension of the visa waiver with these countries.