EC presents a set of measures to achieve cheaper and more competitive food prices in Europe

The European Commission has agreed a Communication that aims to improve the functioning of the food supply chain in order to lower prices for consumers. The prices of food have come down significantly from record levels earlier this year but the underlying causes for the surge in agricultural commodity prices in the medium-term -including regulatory restrictions, insufficient competition and speculation, have not disappeared and must be dealt with.

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EC approves public financing of the German JadeWeserPort in Wilhelmshaven

The European Commission decided on December 10th, not to raise any objections to Germany's plan to support the construction of a new port in Wilhelmshaven. The Commission found that the measures adopted by the German authorities are compatible with the Common market.

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Sustainable transport focuses EU Transport Council

he European transport, telecommunications and energy ministers meeting, held in Brussels on December, 8 th under the presidency of Dominique Bussereau, the French Minister of State for Transport, was devoted to air, land and maritime transport. In this meeting EU transport ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the development of safe, sustainable transport focusing in a major part on maritime sector.

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EC welcomes Chinese Taipei accession to WTO GPA as a new opportunity for EU companies

The European Commission warmly welcomed the formal decision by the members of the Committee on Government Procurement to adopt the accession of The Separate Customs Territory of Taiwan, Penghu, Kinmen and Matsu (Chinese Taipei) to the WTO Government Procurement Agreement (GPA).

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EC funds research infrastructures through FP7 Calls for Proposals

The European Commission has published in the Official Journal of the European Union, OJEO, on December, 9th, 2008, FP7-INFRASTRUCTURES-2009-1 Call for Proposals, related to the specific “Capacities” Work Programme of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Community for Research, Technological Development and Demonstration Activities (2007 to 2013).

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Council defines some aspects of the Decision on combating terrorism

On November, 28th, the Council of the European Union adopted Framework Decision 2008/919/JHA, amending Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA. This Framework Decision aims to increase further approximated legislations in Member States in order to strengthen freedom, security and justice in the European Union.

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CESAME Group delivers conclusions on progress made to tackle Post-trading cross-border barriers

The European Commission's Clearing and Settlement Advisory and Monitoring Expert Group, CESAME, has issued a comprehensive report on its four years of work on removing industry-related barriers to the cross-border clearing and settlement of securities transactions. This report gives a concise overview of all the work done by the industry to dismantle the six industry-related "Giovannini Barriers" to post-trading and of the state of play on the nine such Barriers attributed to the public sector. It also provides an overview of other pertinent topics related to post-trading which were discussed by the Group.

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Schengen acquis applicable in the Swiss Confederation

Following the provisions of the Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation concerning the Swiss Confederation’s association with the implementation, application, and development of the Schengen acquis, the Council of the European Union published on December, 5th, 2008, Decision 2008/903/EC, on the full application of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in the Swiss Confederation.

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EC adopts new Directive on temporary agency work

The Official Journal of the European Union, OJEO, published on December, 5th, 2008, the Directive 2008/104/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of November, 19th, on temporary agency work, which ensures the protection of temporary agency workers and recognises temporarywork agencies as employers.

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EC puts forward an Action Plan on e-signatures and e-identification to facilitate cross-border public services provision

The European Commission presented to the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, on November, 28th, a Communication proposing an “Action Plan on e-signatures and e-identification to facilitate the provision of cross-border public services in the Single Market” COM(2008) 798 final.

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EC proposes to limit harmful vapour emissions from service stations

The Commission has proposed legislation to ensure that harmful petrol vapour which escapes during the refuelling of cars at service stations is captured and recycled. Petrol pumps in many service stations across the EU will need to be fitted with equipment that can recover 85% or more of this vapour.

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Protecting bus and maritime passengers' rights

The Commission adopted today two legislative proposals establishing sets of rights for passengers using bus and maritime services on both domestic and international routes. Rights include minimum rules on information for all passengers before and during their journey, assistance and compensation in the event of interruptions of journeys, measures in the event of delays and specific assistance for persons with reduced mobility. Like in the air and rail sectors, proposals foresee independent national bodies for settlement of disputes.

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