Commission reminds Member States their obligation to implement ban on hen cages

Once again, the European Commission has warned Member States about the risks they face for legal actions in the case of not applying the ban on un-enriched cages for laying hens, which will enter into force on 1 January 1 2012. This warning occurs comes after the fact that twelve years after the adoption of EU Directive, little progress was made in its implementation.

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The “Arab Spring”, Belarus civil activist Bandarenka and Colombian San José de Apartadó peace community shortlisted for …

The European Parliament has selected as the three finalist for the Sakharov Prize of year 2011 a group of five activists from the Arab world, as well as Dzmitry Bandarenka and the San José de Apartadó Peace Community. The final winner of the Prize will be announced by the Parliament on 27 October.

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Commission presents its proposals for revision of financial markets regulation

Despite previous regulation on the provision of investment services in financial instruments facilitated a higher degree of competition and more choice for consumers, the financial crisis has underlined some of the shortcomings of such regulation. In order to overcome this deficiency and achieve more efficient, robust and transparent European financial markets, the European Commission has presented its proposals for revision of the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive.

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Commission's report on Trade Restrictive Measures warns against rise of protectionism within G20

According to a monitoring report released by the European Commission, G20 members still have to increase efforts in order to avoid protectionists behaviours in their trade relations. In its report, the Commission warns about the harmful effects of the introduction of new trade barriers and restrictive measures.

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Commission stresses the need for action to protect young people from alcohol-related harm at the EU Alcohol and Health Forum

Although minimum drinking age in most EU Member states is set at 18 years old, the most recent European surveys show that half of school children aged 15 to16 years have drunk alcohol in the past month. In order to tackle this situation and take action to protect young people, experts, industry and other stakeholder have met at the the 9th plenary meeting of the European Alcohol and Health Forum held in in Brussels on 19 October.

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5th Summit of Europe's Regions and Cities will be celebrated in Copenhagen

The Committee of the Regions opens the application time for its 5th Summit of Europe's Regions and Cities. Regional and local authorities, associations and other organisations are invited to apply for participation in this exhibition by sending projects before 7 November. The Summit of Europe's Regions and Cities will take place on 22 and 23 March 2012 in Copenhagen (Denmark).

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Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus and Luxembourg have exceeded their milk quota

Five Member States - Denmark, the Netherlands, Austria, Cyprus and Luxembourg - exceeded their dairy quotas in 2010/2011, resulting in a super levy of about €55.57 million. Total EU production remained well below the total quota volume, despite the overrun of the quotas in these Member States. Overall EU production was 6% below the total EU quotas.

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The Europe's biggest open data event will count with the European Commission participation

Participants from over 40 countries around the world will meet at one of the biggest open data event, the Open Government Data Camp 2011, that will take place on 20-21st October in Warsaw, Poland. Neelie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission and Digital Agenda Commissioner will be one of the speakers at the opening ceremony.

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€50 billion proposed by the Commission to boost the European networks through the Connecting Europe Facility

The European Commission adopted a plan which will fund €50 billion worth of investment to improve Europe's transport, energy and digital networks. This aims at creating jobs and boosting Europe's competitiveness at a time when Europe needs this most. In addition the Commission adopted the terms for the Europe 2020 Project Bond Initiative which will be one of a number of risk-sharing instruments upon which the facility may draw in order to attract private finance in projects.

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European Parliament Journalism Prize 2011 winners announced

The European Parliament's fourth annual prize for excellence in journalism has been granted to French, Italian, Finnish and German journalists. The winners, in four categories, written press, internet, TV and radio, each received €5,000.

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Suspected cartel in the sector of Euro interest rate derivatives will be investigated by the Commission

Commission confirmed that it undertook unannounced inspections at the premises of companies active in the sector of financial derivative products linked to the Euro Interbank Offered Rate (EURIBOR) in certain Member States. In addition, the Economic and Affairs Committee at the EP also announced a deal with the Polish presidency on the regulation beefing up standards and requirements for the practices of short selling and trading in credit default swaps (CDS), a financial product insuring against default.

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The Commission proposes a cross-cutting definition for nanomaterials

The European Commission intends to achieve a common definition for nanomaterials in order to better protect citizens, clearly defining which materials need special treatment in specific legislation. The definition says that nanomaterials are materials whose main constituents have a dimension of between 1 and 100 billionth of a metre and is based, according to the European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik, on scientific input and a broad consultation.

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