A new European Voluntary Corps to strengthen the EU's Humanitarian Aid

Following the mandate if the Treaty of Lisbon, the European Commission has adopted on 23 November a Communication aiming to establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps. By this means, the Commission intends to enhance existing voluntary schemes through selection, training and deployment of volunteers.

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Parliament proposes to extend aid for non-competitive coal mines until 2018

The European Parliament has voted on Plenary session in favour of extending the deadline proposed by the European Commission for granting aid to non-competitive coal mines. MEPs considered that the deadline should be extended until 31 December 2018, given the serious consequences especially for some EU regions of implementing these new rules.

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EU research now counts with a new JRC scientific facility for measurement and testing

A new scientific facility to develop measurement standards in challenging areas such as life sciences was inaugurated on 23 November at the European Commission's Joint Research Centre in Geel (Belgium). These research facilities will enable the European Commission's Joint Research Centre (JRC) to remain at the forefront of measurement science, by developing internationally-recognised measurement standards.

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EU and US renewed cooperation on trade, climate and security

Leaders from the European Union and the United States meeting in Lisbon on 20 November reaffirmed their close partnership in the main areas of joint collaboration which can be a resource to face shared upcoming challenges. Common values and political experience as well as a deep economic interdependence are the base for cooperation in the main areas addressed during the Summit.

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Never again! EU research at service of history to make sure Holocaust never happens again

The Holocaust, the genocide of some 11 million Europeans, including Jews, Romani and homosexuals, during the Second World War will forever remain in all minds and history books as one of the most horrific events of modern world. Seeking to get a handle on the dispersed information available for Holocaust research across Europe and elsewhere, is a key objective for European researchers.

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Commission presents EU Internal Security Strategy setting a broad common agenda

The European Commission adopted on 22 November the “EU Internal Security Strategy in Action” which includes a series of 41 actions grouped under 5 strategic objectives aiming to disrupt criminal and terrorist networks, protect citizens businesses and societies, as well as increasing security awareness and improve crisis management and readiness. With the Lisbon Treaty as a new legal framework, the Internal Security Strategy in Action should become the shared agenda for the EU over the next four years.

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EP Agriculture Committee's insights on Commission plans about CAP

The European Commission plans to make EU farm policy fairer to farmers, and at the same time more responsive to public concerns. Although this general objective was welcomed by Parliament's Agriculture Committee, also voiced concerns about how the plans could affect farmers, and the difficulty of putting them into practice.

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EU scientists prove robots can learn to 'think'

EU-funded scientists have tested a groundbreaking theory that sees robots learning to 'think' about the actions they can perform on an object. The upshot is that robots can teach themselves by learning from their observations and experiences.

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EU approves financial assistance package for Ireland

Ecofin minister meeting on a conference call on 21 November, approved the request of the Irish Government for financial assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the European Union and euro-area Member States. The European Union and euro-area financial support will be provided under a strong policy programme which will be negotiated with the Irish authorities by the Commission and the IMF, in liaison with the European Central Bank (ECB).

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Regional and local authorities welcome Commission plans for future cohesion policy

Committee of the Regions President Mercedes Bresso supported in a meeting with Commissioner Johannes Hahn that the proposals about future regional funding were a step in the right direction. In the Committee's view, the Commission plans would benefit all regions, supporting their efforts to create better economic opportunities for all, and improving living conditions and sustained development. However, the Committee also considers that the idea of freezing regional aid for overspending countries would unfairly punish regional and local governments for decisions taken at national levels.

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Making European Company Statute really effective for business

The European Commission has presented a Report to the European Parliament and the Council on the application of the Regulation on the Statute for a European Company. In theory, the Statute gives companies operating in more than one Member State the option of establishing themselves as a single company under EU law, allowing them to operate throughout the EU with one set of rules, including a unified management and reporting system.

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Budgets Committee backs EU Solidarity Fund aid for France and Portugal

EU Solidarity Fund aid to repair storm damage in France and Portugal was approved by the Budgets Committee on Thursday. The February 2010 storms flooded large parts of France's Charente-Maritime and Vendée regions, leading to 53 deaths, and caused landslides and severe flooding on the Portuguese island of Madeira. The EU contributions are €35,635,750 for France and €31,255,790 for Portugal.

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