The European Commission proposes to improve public access to documents of the EU institutions

The Commission has adopted changes to the rules of access to documents from EU institutions. These changes reaffirm the Commission's commitment to transparency, up-date the rules to reflect recent case-law and aim to allow the institutions to be more efficient in responding to requests from citizens.

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Euro area unemployment stable at 7.1%

According to the latest figures published by Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, the euro area's (EA15: consists of Belgium, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Cyprus, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland) seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate stood at 7.1% in March 2008, unchanged compared with February. It was 7.5% in March 2007. The EU271 unemployment rate was 6.7% in March 2008, also unchanged compared with February. It was 7.3% in March 2007.

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EC adopts guidelines for State aid to rail undertakings

The European Commission has adopted guidelines for State aid to railway undertakings. The guidelines clarify the rules governing public funding of these businesses. This is one way the Commission is boosting the liberalisation of the industry and ensuring that public funding contributes to sustainable mobility in Europe.

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EC endorses €143 million aid to Ford for two large investment projects in Craiova, Romania

The European Commission has authorised, under EC Treaty state aid rules, €143 million of aid, which the Romanian authorities intend to grant to Ford for the production of vehicles and engines in Craiova, in the South West of Romania.

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EC approves £3.4 million funding for broadband in Scotland

In 2004, the Commission approved a UK state aid measure that increased broadband coverage to 99% of Scottish households. The objective of this second measure is to extend the coverage to the remaining 1% of households in Scotland that still do not have affordable broadband services.

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Brussels finance information activities for young people using 900,000 euros

The European Commission, via the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, have launched a Call for proposals for projects supporting information activities for young people and youth workers. The calls for proposals, framed within the ‘Youth in Action’ programme, will dispose of a budget of 900,000 Euros.

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Responsible nanosciences research: New Code of Conduct

On the 30th of April 2008, the European Commission published the outline of a new Code of Conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies research. This set of regulations provides Member States, employers, research funders, researchers and more generally all individuals and civil society organisations involved or interested in nanosciences and nanotechnologies (N&N) research (all stakeholders) with guidelines favouring a responsible and open approach to N&N research in the Community.

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Non-opposition to Basell and Raffinerie de Berre L'Étang concentration

As part of  information from European Union institutions and Bodies, the EC has published notification of complete non-opposition to the concentration between Basell and Raffinerie de Berre L'Étang. On 4 February 2008, the Commission decided not to oppose the above notified concentration and to declare it compatible with the common market.

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Consumer protection concerning the use of video games

A communication was published on the 22nd of April 2008, from the European Commission (EC), the European Parliment, the Council the European Economic and  SOcail Committee of the regions on on the protection of consumers, in particular minors, in respect of the use of video games.

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Report concerning the Financial Management of the 7th-9th European Development Funds

The European Commission have published their official report, on the 24th April 2008, to the European Parliment, the Council and the European Court of Auditors concerning the Financial Management of the 7th-9th European Development Funds (EDFs) in 2007.

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Demands for quality and quantity of long-term care services

The demands for and costs of long-term care provision in the EU will rise significantly by 2050, according to a new report presented by the European Commission. Meanwhile, the vast majority of Europeans (almost nine out of ten) favour home- or community-based care over care in an institutional setting.

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Improving consumer confidence in payment services

The European Commission has published a report on the actions undertaken on prevention of payment fraud between 2004 and 2007 following an Action Plan on this matter.

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