EP Committee approves amendments on Single permit Directive

Non-EU workers in Europe should have the same rights regarding working time, leave and social security as EU nationals, said the Employment Committee on Wednesday. However, MEPs also made it clear that Member States may choose to allow tax benefits only when workers' family members live in the same country. In addition, they backed the Commission's proposal to exclude posted workers from the scope of legislation.

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Europol coordinates police operation against World's largest online paedophile ring

In what has already been qualified one of the biggest investigations of its kind against paedophilia, the police arrested on 16 March 184 suspected child sex offenders and has identified over 200 victims of child abuse. The operation, which counted upon the leading support of Europol, has identified 670 suspects across the world and has achieved to safeguard the highest number of victims in an operation of this kind, with more than 230 safeguarded only the day of the first arrests.

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EESC proposes to link CAP subsidies to public goods and services delivered to society and claims for "active farmer" figure

If society is to enjoy food security and environmental protection, a continuation of support to farmers is crucial. This support, however, can only be effective if subsidies are only paid to active farmers. This is one of the key aspects pointed out at the Plenary Session of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), where after hotly debating an opinion on the future of the Common Agriculture Policy (CAP) was adopted.

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Construction output shows positive results in January 2011

According to the last data released by the European Union Statistical Office (Eurostat), seasonally adjusted production output in the construction sector rose both in the euro area and the European Union as a whole in January 2011. Although the average rate was higher in the eurozone with 1.8% against 1% in the EU27, these are good results for a sector particularly touched by crisis.

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Commission proposes to reform the structure of European Anti-Fraud Office

The European Commission has adopted a proposal to reform the EU's Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), aimed to improve its efficiency, enhances its processes and ensure accountability, while preserving its independence as investigation body. The proposal includes measures to ensure that OLAF's investigations are conducted and followed-up more efficiently, to protect the rights of persons under investigation and to reinforce the cooperation between OLAF and its strategic partners in the fight against fraud.

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Parliament calls for new legislation to fight gender violence against women

recognising rape and other sexual violence against women as a crime throughout the EU, is a key issue which must be addressed by the European Union. This is one of the main aspects which has been pointed out by the member of the Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee of the European Parliament, who also added that all perpetrators of such acts should be automatically prosecuted. These are some of the elements included in a resolution where MEPs call for an EU directive to combat gender-based violence.

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EU co-funded study unveils a gene which increases the risk of kidney diseases


An international team of scientists has identified a mutation associated with a major indicator of chronic kidney disease, namely high levels of albumin protein in the urine. The discovery could lead to new ways of treating kidney disease and slowing its progression. The study, which was partly funded by the EU, is published in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (JASN).

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Commission proposes a common system for European corporate tax base

The aim of this proposal is to significantly reduce the administrative burden, compliance costs and legal uncertainties that businesses in the EU currently face in having to comply with up to 27 different national systems for determining their taxable profits. The proposed Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), would mean that companies would benefit from a "one-stop-shop" system for filing their tax returns and would be able to consolidate all the profits and losses they incur across the EU. Member States would maintain their full sovereign right to set their own corporate tax rate.

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EU to clarify rules on property rights for international couples

The European Commission has proposed EU-wide rules to bring legal clarity to the property rights for married international couples and for registered partnerships with an international dimension. The two proposed Regulations would help identify which law applies to a couple's property rights and the responsible court, and will also provide for rules for recognising and enforcing court judgments on a couple's property in all EU Member States through a single procedure.

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Parliament calls for legal status for EU-level political parties

Constitutional Affairs Committee MEPs meeting on 15 March, called for European-level political parties and foundations to have a legal personality based directly on EU law. Greater flexibility in funding, a higher ceiling for donations and a right for European parties to take part in referendum campaigns are among other suggestions made by Committee.

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EU agrees on voluntary stress tests on all its nuclear power plants

Policy makers and industry representatives meeting at the coordination meeting convened by the Commissioner Günther Oettinger to analyze the situation caused in Fukushima nuclear power plant after the earthquake and tsunami which affected Japan in the previous days, agreed to hold stress tests in all nuclear power plants of the European Union. The European Commission will determine the timing and common standards for such tests which will assess preparedness and resilience of these facilities in view of an eventual incident.

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Ecofin Council reaches agreement on economic governance measures

The Council agreed within the Economic and Financial Affairs Council held on 15 March, a general approach on a package of measures aimed at strengthening economic governance in the euro area, as part of the EU's response to the challenges highlighted by recent turmoil on sovereign debt markets. The agreement will enable the presidency to start negotiations with the European Parliament, with the aim of reaching an overall agreement in June.

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