UK joins EC Regulation on the law applicable to contractual obligations

The Official Journal of the European Union, OJEU, has published on January 15th, the Decision adopted by the Commission on December 22nd 2008 on the request from the United Kingdom to accept Regulation (EC) Nº 593/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council on the law applicable to contractual obligations (Rome I).

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EIB and CAF will increase cooperation for development in the Andean region

The European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Corporación Andina de Fomento (CAF) have committed to increasing their cooperation and coordination in providing finance for the development of CAF's shareholder countries. EIB Vice-President, Carlos Costa, and CAF Executive President, L. Enrique García, signed the corresponding Joint Statement in Luxembourg this week.

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EC publishes new recommendations for the issuing of euro coins

The Official Journal of the European Union has publisehd on january, 14th 2009, the Commission Recommendation of December, 19th 2008 on common guidelines for the national sides and the issuance of euro coins intended for circulation. These recommendations contain some common rules which must be followed by the participating Member States as regards issuing and changes to the national side of the euro coins.

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More that 3 million .eu domains already registered

Two and a half years after its launch, the “.eu” top-level internet domain confirms its success with the registration of the third million domain, made by a German citizen on January, 11th 2009. These figures rank “.eu” as the fourth most popular internet domain among European country domains and the ninth worldwide.

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EC adopts a new Directive on general arrangements for excise duties on energy, alcohol and manufactured tobacco

Council Directive 2008/118/EC concerning the general arrangements for excise duty has been published in the OJEU on January, 14th 2009. This new text, whose main objective is to ensure common arrangements in relation to certain aspects of excise duty, replaces Council Directive 92/12/EEC of February, 25th 1992 on the general arrangements for products subject to excise duty and on the holding, movement and monitoring of such products. As the previous text  has been substantially amended several times, it turned to be necessary to replace it in the interests of clarity.

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EP calls to limit aid to financial institutions and large companies

The European Parliament has adopted a report calling on Member States and the Commission to adequately assess the support given form public sector to financial institutions and big companies in response to the current economic situation. The report argues that these aids should be limited to what is strictly necessary for the maintenance and development of the European economy and not respond to purely national interests.

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EP calls for the immediate cease of violence between Israel and Palestine

At the opening of the plenary session on Monday January 12th, EP President Hans-Gert Pöttering called for an immediate cease-fire and the end to the violence between Israelis and Palestinians. President Pöttering accused Hamas of starting the escalation of violence, but he also reminded that the right to defence does not justify violence against civilians. He suggested a political solution to the conflict and supported the plan promoted by France and Egypt.

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EC calls for possible observations on OP Trust, Deutsche Bank London, Lloyds TSB Bank, BNP Paribas and Porterbrook Leasing …

The Official Journal of the European Union published on its C Series on January, 13th, 2009, a prior notification of concentration between the companies OP Trust, Deutsche Bank London, Lloyds TSB Bank, BNP Paribas and Porterbrook Leasing. Interested third parties are invited to submit their possible observations by January 24th.

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Results of the extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council to address the gas supplies crisis

Due to the situation caused by the interruption of gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine, an extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council took place in Brussels on January, 12th 2009, under the Presidency of the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade. At this meeting EU Ministers welcomed the steps taken by  Czech Presidency to tackle the crisis.

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EC calls for proposals for EU-Canada Transatlantic Exchange Partnerships in higher education

The Commission will fund with more that 1.1 M€ Transatlantic Exchange Partnerships within the EU-Canada  programme for co-operation in higher education, training and youth. Applications may be submitted until April, 1st 2009.

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EC sets up the Committee of Experts on Posting of Workers

The Commission has set up, by Decision 2009/17/CE, published in the Official Journal of the European Union, the Committee of Experts on Posting of Workers. This Committee will engage with the public bodies responsible for control, such as labour inspectorates. It will also, at appropriate levels and in accordance with national law and practice, formally and regularly involve the social partners, in particular representatives of the social partners in sectors with a high incidence of recourse to posted workers.

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ECPS calls for higher privacy safeguards in its second Opinion on ePrivacy Directive

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted on January, 9th 2009, an Opinion on the review of the Directive on Privacy and electronic communications, usually referred to as the ePrivacy Directive. The recommendations presented in this Opinion aim at streamlining some of the provisions of the Directive, while at the same time ensuring an adequate level of data protection and privacy.

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