The Council agreed to use the European Social Fund to reach the EU 2020 objectives

The debate held by the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council showed a consensus on the need to make full use of the European Social Fund (ESF) in order to reach the EU 2020 objectives and to ensure a proper articulation of the ESF with other Structural Funds. In addition, the Council adopted conclusions on the role of voluntary work in social policy.

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The Budgetary Control Committee does not grant a budget discharge to the Council of Ministers

According to the Budgetary Control Committee at the European Parliament, the European Police College (CEPOL) and European Medicines Agency (EMA) should be granted a discharge for the way in which they managed their funding in financial 2009, but the Council of Ministers should not

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The European Commission took stock on EU-funded research projects into cardiovascular health for World Heart Day

On the World Heart Day, celebrated on 29 of September, has been the day in which the European Commission took stock and reflect on some of the research projects into cardiovascular health research it funds. Research into cardiovascular diseases under the 'Health' Theme of the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) has seen around €215 million fund 33 different projects. These projects mainly focus on generating knowledge for improving diagnosis, prevention, treatment and monitoring of diseases of the heart and circulatory system.

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The Commission consults on access to telecoms networks

Two public consultations related to access for alternative operators to the fixed telephone and broadband networks of established operators have been launched by the European Commission. The first consultation concerns more in particular the non-discriminatory access for alternative operators to the infrastructure and services of dominant telecom operators. The second concerns the way national regulators calculate prices that operators have to pay for this wholesale access (cost-orientation remedies).

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Commission suggests adding a second legal base to push forward the Food for the Deprived's proposal

The European Commission puts new amendments on the table to overcome deadlock on Food for the Deprived scheme. The amendments proposed will add a second legal base, namely social cohesion, reflecting the scheme's important social dimension. Moreover, a further change is to remove the proposed provision for co-financing the scheme in future.

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European SMEs has more difficult to get a loan because of the economic crisis

According to the latest statistics published by Eurostat, the economic crisis has made it more difficult for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to access banking credit. The data issued shows that the proportion of unsuccessful loan applications by SMEs has risen. The largest increases in unsuccessful loan applications were observed in Bulgaria, Ireland and Latvia.

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Council on Competitiveness agreed in launching of joint research programming initiative More Years Better Lives

The Competitiveness Council meeting held on 30 of September ended with an agreement reached on the launching of 'More Years Better Lives' initiative, a joint research programme. Ministers agreed that Joint Programming in research in the area of demographic change and population ageing as in the proposed initiative 'More Years Better Lives' will contribute to the reduction of fragmentation of research efforts of Member States.

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MEPs proposed to extend European Globalisation Adjustment Fund crisis measures until end of 2013

The European Parliament approved a resolution proposing to extend European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) crisis measures until the end of 2013. In addition, MEPs backed the Commission's proposal to continue the EGF beyond the current multi-financial framework in a resolution adopted by show of hands.

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