The EU reinforces controls on feed and food imports from Japan

In order to further limit possible risks to the safety of its Food Chain, the European Union decided to reinforce controls on imports of food and feed from certain regions of Japan, where production could be affected by the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

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Commission opens consultation about on-line gambling future in the Internal Market

Although on-line gambling business has experienced a fast development in Europe over the last years, with almost 15,000 websites already identified, there are still many differences in regulations among Member states. Analysing the differences and determining how they work would be key to determine how these differing models can co-exist within the Internal Market. For that purpose the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the Green Paper on on-line gambling in the Internal Market, to gather the opinions from all interested parties.

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Tripartite Social Summit debates impact of budget constraints on jobs and growth

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, the EU Commissioner responsible for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, László Andor, the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and Hungarian Prime minister Viktor Orban – for the Presidency of the Council – have met at the Tripartite Social Summit with European workers' and employers' representatives. The Tripartite Social Summit meets twice a year, ahead of the spring and autumn European Councils and is an important opportunity for institutions and social partners to exchange views.

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Majority of Europeans would change habits and embrace green travel

According to a Eurobarometer survey about two-thirds of EU car users said it was likely they would compromise on a car's speed in order to reduce emissions. Furthermore, more than half motorists  agreed with existing car charges being replaced by new charging schemes based on the actual use of their vehicle and, while most users choose to drive a car because of its convenience, nearly three quarters of EU citizens said they would consider using public transport more frequently if it would be possible to buy a single ticket covering all transport modes.

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The EU, EIB and IMO join efforts to enhance Mediterranean Maritime cooperation

The European Commission, the European Investment Bank and the International Maritime Organization launched on 22 March a study under the Facility for Euro-Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP) on maritime cooperation in the Mediterranean. The study will address key issues for promoting the maritime sector in the Mediterranean by identifying and disseminating best practices major axes.

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EU adopts Decision to implement no-fly zone and extends sanctions on Libya

The Council of the European Union adopted on 23 March 2011 legislation in order to implement United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 which broadened the scope of the restrictive measures against Libya imposed by previous Resolution 1970 and introduced further measures. The assets freeze is extended to new entities, including the National Oil Corporation and also to five subsidiaries of the NOC designated autonomously by the EU.

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Parliament approves limited Treaty amendment to allow stability mechanism

The European Parliament has backed on 23 March a limited Treaty change to allow the establishment of the European Stability Mechanism in the euro area. MEPs welcomed the positive signals given by the Member States on bringing the intergovernmental mechanism closer to the EU framework.

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EU and Central America initial Association Agreement

Representatives of the European Union and Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama) initialled a comprehensive Association Agreement.

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EU to reinforce citizens' rights to consular protection and assistance in third countries

Although many Europeans are not aware of it, the right to ask assistance from any EU consulate or embassy when their Member State is not represented in one country, is part of their rights as EU citizens. Those citizens facing crisis or disaster situations such as those lived in Japan, Libya or Egypt can ask for consulate or embassy assistance, and can also do so in more usual situations such as passport theft or serious accidents.

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EC to create a single legal framework for the right of access to documents of all institutions

The European Commission has adopted a a proposal extending the rules governing public access to documents issued by EU institutions, bodies, offices and agencies. This proposal aims to extend the scope of current rules about access to information in order to put them into line with the Lisbon Treaty and create a single legal framework for the right of access to documents of all the institutions.

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New EU online register grants access to information on authorised pharmaceutical clinical trials

The EU Clinical Trials Register was launched by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on 22 March. This online register will give for the first time public access to information on interventional clinical trials for medicines authorised in the 27 EU Member States and Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The database also allows the public to search for information on clinical trials authorised to be carried outside the EU if these trials are part of a paediatric investigation plan.

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Parliament amends draft text on textile labelling and calls for compulsory “made in” label

The European Parliament Internal Market Committee agreed on 22 March that country of origin labels should be made mandatory for textiles imported from third countries and sold in the EU. This amendment to the new draft on textile labelling, which would provide for consumers not to be misled, would be compulsory for products from third countries and voluntary for EU products.

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