The first two operational Galileo satellites for smart navigation system were launched

Europe took a major step in its history by launching the first two operational Galileo satellites on Friday 21 October into orbit from the European Space Agency's (ESA) spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana, with a Soyuz launcher to reach their orbit at 23.000 kilometres. The Galileo programme sets up an enhanced global satellite navigation system, providing a highly accurate, guaranteed global positioning service.

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Services markets are the most likely to be failing consumers across the EU

According to the latest Consumer Markets Scoreboard, EU consumers rate poorly financial services, investments (including pensions and securities), mortgages and real estate services. In addition, the electricity supply and fuels have deteriorated most in comparison with 2010.

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The industrial new orders rose in August compared with July

According to the latest data released by Eurostat, the euro area industrial new orders index rose by 1.9% and in the EU new orders increased by 0.4% in August 2011 compared with July 2011. Excluding ships, railway and aerospace equipment, for which changes tend to be more volatile, industrial new orders rose by 0.7% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU.

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EU seeks to increase mutual exchanges with China on education, culture, youth and research

The Commission is preparing to finalise plans for the launch of a "people-to-people" dialogue with China covering education, culture, youth and research. Its aim is to deepen understanding and mutual trust by supporting exchanges between the two strategic partners.

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Member States agreed to fast-track financial reforms because of their significant impacts on jobs and growth

The Member States agreed to accelerate structural reforms in line with the recommendations made in the context of the European semester. The European Council identified a number of priorities which should be fast-tracked because of their significant impact on jobs and growth in the short to medium term. It also called for a stronger focus to the growth-enhancing aspects of the European Union's external policies in order to maximise their contribution to growth in Europe and to shape the conditions to attract more foreign investment.

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Committee of the Regions President underlined that rural areas have high unemployment and lack of basic infrastructure

Mercedes Bresso, CoR President, stressed the need of not leaving rural areas behind by the EU. According to Ms Bresso, reform proposals for EU regional policy and agriculture are a step in the right direction to close these development gaps. She made this statement at the congress organised by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) and the Union of Rural Communes of the Republic of Poland within the framework of the Polish Council presidency.

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