EU farm policy must become fairer and less bureaucratic, according to the Agriculture Committee

In a debate with the Commissioner Dacian Cioloş on the CAP reform proposals, the Agriculture Committee agreed that the priority is to meet growing demand for secure supplies of high-quality food and at the same time step up competitiveness in the face of growing market pressures. MEPs also highlighted the need of a EU farm policy fairer and less bureaucratic.

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The European School Milk Scheme is largely ineffective according to the European Court of Auditors

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) audit on the European Union’s School Milk Scheme (SMS) and School Fruit Scheme (SFS) shows that this scheme is largely ineffective and has very little impact. The audit also includes an evaluation of the School Fruit Scheme. ECA concludes that its design gives it a better chance to achieve its objectives than the Milk Scheme.

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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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Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health endorses Commission's proposal on dioxin contamination

The European Commission has put forward four measures in order to prevent dioxin contamination in the food chain. These measures will help to avoid food recalls from the market and financial costs to the consumers and industries due to food crises. They are expected to be implemented by mid 2012.

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Commission launches public consultation on unfair commercial practices affecting European businesses

The European Commission has launched a public consultation to gather more information from companies and other affected parties, about the nature and scale of unfair commercial practices, including online scams. Further to this consultation, the Commission will assess how best to stop rogue traders exploiting loopholes in the rules and make sure that legitimate traders are effectively protected.

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EU Court of Auditors report considers that, although positive, results of ERDF funding to e-government can be improved

According to a special report published by the European Court of Auditors which examines the results of e-Government projects funded under the European Development Fund (ERDF) in four Member States, despite the projects are in fact already operational, the results obtained are much lower than expected. In light of this study, the Court makes some recommendations in order to improve the results in future projects.

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The European Union grants €24 million to fight drought and hunger in the Horn of Africa

The European Commission has announced the mobilization of an additional €24 million envelop to assist vulnerable people threatened by famine and the effects of drought in the Horn of Africa. The European Union is the largest humanitarian donor for the Horn of Africa, providing over €700 million in assistance since the beginning of the year, of which €184 million comes from the European Commission.

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