Parliament calls for the introduction of a tax on financial transactions to increase resources and reduce fraud

The resolution on innovative financing adopted by the European Parliament at the Plenary Session held on on 8 March 8 2011 supports that the European Union should promote the introduction of a tax on financial transactions, as this type of tax would improve the functioning of markets and reduce speculation. At the same Session, the Parliament also voted on a second resolution on tax and development aimed to reduce tax evasion and fraud to increase efficiency in aid delivered to developing countries.

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Court of Justice of the EU rejects the creation of a European and Community Patent Court

According to an Opinion issued by the Court of Justice of the European Union on 8 March 2011, the draft agreement for the creation of a European and Community Patent Court would not be compatible with European Union law. This Opinion follows the request made by the Council to the Court of Justice to obtain its opinion on the compatibility of the envisaged agreement with European Union law.

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Despite variations between Member States recycling reached a quarter of total municipal waste treated in 2009

According to the last data released by the Eurostat, EU member States generated 513 kg of municipal waste per person in 2009. However, this amount of waste generated per person varied from 316 kg in the Czech Republic and Poland to 833 kg in Denmark. Figures also varied in terms of the treatment granted, although on average 504 kg of municipal waste per person was treated with any of the methods available.

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Europe celebrates 100th International Women's Day, a century working for gender equality

To celebrate the 100th International Women Day, the European Union wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women throughout all these years around the world both economically, socially, politically and in the cultural fields. Under the theme "Equal access to education, training and science and technology", this day highlights the importance of equal access to training and education in order to really guarantee equal opportunities between women and men.

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Commission closes probe into Hollywood studios after changing terms of contracts for digitisation of European cinemas

The European Commission has closed an antitrust investigation concerning the digitisation of European cinemas after several major U.S. Hollywood film studios revised contract provisions relating to the financing and installation of digital projection equipment in cinemas. The Commission had concerns that the original provisions might hinder small film distributors from getting access to digital cinemas which could be in breach of the EU rules that prohibit restrictive business practices. The revised provisions facilitate the release of independent and art house films in the new state-of-the-art cinemas.

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Commission sets emissions data for the calculation of aviation allowances in the EU trading system

The European Commission has set the historical aviation emissions at 219,476,343 tonnes of CO2, for the purposes of the calculation of the total number of aviation allowances to be available from 2012. This Commission's Decision represents a decisive step for the inclusion of aviation in the EU's emissions trading system (EU ETS) from 1 January 2012.

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Council welcomes EC integrated approach within the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion

Ministers meeting in Brussels on 7 March 2011 for the celebration of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council, issued their conclusions on the European Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion: A European framework for social and territorial cohesion. In their conclusions, ministers stressed the fact that preventing and alleviating poverty and social exclusion will require a coordinated action of all relevant efforts and instruments at EU and national levels.

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Barroso denies the reduction of EC support to European cinema through MEDIA Programme

During his visit to the European Cultural Capital for year 2011, Finnish city Turku, the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso, took the opportunity to deny informations which suggested that the European Commission had the intention to reduce the financial support granted to European film industry through the MEDIA Programme.

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EU, US and Japan harmonize global metrics for data centre energy efficiency

The Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) measurement standard has been chosen by Government organisations in three continents as the common standard for measuring the energy efficiency of data centres. This will allow data centre operators to measure, calculate, improve and communicate the energy efficiencies of their data centres worldwide. Although global taskforce has reached agreement on measurement protocols for PUE, the discussion still continues over additional energy efficiency metrics.

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EESC supports civil society role in the debate over Single Market relaunch

The public hearing of the Single Market Observatory (SMO) of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) in Budapest provided Hungarian civil society organisations a unique opportunity to express their views on how to best relaunch the European Single Market and to debate the Single Market Act with their counterparts at European level.

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How do Europeans eat? EFSA tells us more and explains use of its new food consumption database

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published an overview of its first Comprehensive Food Consumption Database, a new source of information on food consumption in the European Union, containing detailed data for a number of EU countries. The new database will play a key role in the evaluation of the risks related to possible hazards in food in the EU and will allow more precise estimates of consumers’ exposure to such hazards, a fundamental step in EFSA’s risk assessment work.

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Europe celebrates first European Equal Pay Day

The European Union has fixed 5 March 2011 as the date to celebrate the first European Equal Pay Day. This initiative aims to bring attention to the rest of the days that women must work to match the amount of money earned by men, given that according to recent figures women in the European Union earn on average 17.5% less than men during their lifetimes.

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