EU simplified rules of origin will facilitate developing countries access EU market under GSP

From 1 January onwards new rules of origin will be applied to products imported under the generalised system of preferences (GSP). A new Regulation adopted by the European Commission on 19 November will relax and simplify rules and procedures for developing countries wishing to access EU preferential trade arrangements, while ensuring the necessary controls are in place to prevent fraud.

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Council highlights the role of sport as a source and driver of social inclusion

The Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council meeting in Brussels on 18 November 2010 agreed on a series of conclusions on the role of sport as a source of and a driver for active social inclusion. In this document the Council acknowledges that the sports movement can make an important contribution to issues of public interest such as social inclusion and stressed that this potential should be used at all EU levels in order to allow all citizens, and specially young people, to benefit from it.

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A more sustainable and competitive CAP beyond 2013

The reform and the future of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is undoubtedly one of the biggest challenges of the European Union. Its reformulation, as highlighted by the Commission, affects not only farmers but all citizens as consumers and taxpayers. Achieving a competitive agriculture both from economic and environmental point of view is one of the objectives pursued by the Commission in its Communication on the future of the CAP presented on 18 November.

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Europeana goes far beyond expectations with 14 million European cultural heritage pieces on-line

The rapid increase of resources which are available in Europeana is probably one of the best examples to demonstrate the potential of the Internet for the dissemination of European cultural heritage. This target which is part of the Digital Agenda, will be fully addressed in the report to be submitted early 2011 by the Reflection Group set by the Commission to study the best way to promote European culture through the Internet.

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Council stresses that further pension reforms will be required to ensure system sustainability

Conclusions of the Joint Report by the Economic Policy Committee and the Social Protection Committee on "Progress and key challenges in the delivery of adequate and sustainable pensions in Europe" were on the agenda at the Ecofin Council held in Brussels on 17 November. Ministers approved a report on the sustainability of retirement pensions in view of ageing populations and following the economic and financial crisis.

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EU Regulation on emission allowances auctioning ready to enter into force

The Official Journal of the European Union published on 18 November 2010 Regulation Nº 1031/2010 of 12 November 2010 on the timing, administration and other aspects of auctioning of greenhouse gas emission allowances. This Regulation aims to establish common rules in order to run a single auction system, considered as the most effective for the proper functioning of the single market.

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Large Hadron Collider generates mini Big Bangs


The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) has achieved its goals for 2010 and embarked on a new phase of activity which will see scientists probe the kind of matter that existed just after the Big Bang.

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Commission makes final call for full implementation of 116 000 hotline for missing children

14 Member States still lack to activate the missing children hotline 116 000 which offers help, support and a potential lifeline for missing children and their parents. This fact has been highlighted by the European Commission in the occasion of the celebration of the Expert Conference “Vulnerable Children on the Run, A European Challenge” hosted by Belgian Presidency.

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EC proposes EU priorities on energy infrastructures development

The European Commission has presented on 17 November its energy infrastructure priorities for the next two decades. In the Communication, the Commission defines EU priority corridors for the transport of electricity, gas and oil, and outlines  a new method of strategic planning to coordinate and optimise energy network development on a continental scale.

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EU and US airline industries share similar competitive structures

This is one of the main findings put forward by the report on “Transatlantic airline alliances: competitive issues and regulatory approaches” as a result of a joint research made by the European Commission and the US Department of Transportation. This joint research was aimed at deepening the understanding of transatlantic air services and provide a foundation for substantive cooperation between the Commission and the DOT in the competitive assessment of airline alliances.

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EU and IMF engage in a consultation with Ireland to determine any necessary support

Members of the Eurogroup meeting in Brussels on 16 November held a discussion over the difficulties Ireland is facing in its budgetary, competitiveness and financial sector areas. Ministers, who also reviewed the situation in Portugal and Greece, agreed on taking any coordinated action, in close collaboration with the International Monetary Fund, in order to safeguard the financial stability of the Euro area.

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One more step on "innovation partnerships"

During the European Parliament Part Session held in November, the Chamber passed a resolution backing the EU "innovation partnerships" scheme, which aims to bring together EU, national and regional players across policy areas and industries to tackle specific societal challenges. Following this path the first partnership on "Active and Healthy Ageing" should be launched in early 2011.

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