MEPs at the Internal Market Committee ask for a better system of recognising professional qualifications

The Internal Market Committee voted on its input to forthcoming proposal to revise EU rules on cross-border mobility for professionals. MEPs agreed that without compromising the reliability or safety of their services to citizens, the skills of doctors, engineers, dentists and other professionals applying to work in another EU Member State must be recognised faster.

Read more …

EU companies lag behind in R&D investments compared to global competitors

According to the R&D Scoreboard published by the Commission, although the top EU companies recovered strongly in 2010, data for the world's top 1400 companies shows that EU companies as a whole lagging behind major competitors from the US and some Asian economies on R&D growth.

Read more …

The Civil Liberties Committee approved the agreement with Australia on the transfer of air passenger's personal data

MEPs at the Civil Liberties Committee approved the agreement on the transfer of EU air passenger's personal data to the Australian Customs Service. The data will be used to prevent terrorist offences and serious transnational crime. Under the new agreement, the Australian Customs Service would retain the passenger's data for a maximum period of 5 and a half years.

Read more …

The Commission strengthens the competition Hearing Officer role

The European Commission adopted a package of measures aimed at increasing interaction with parties in antitrust proceedings and strengthening the mechanisms for safeguarding parties' procedural rights. Additionally, among the measures adopted, the Commission expands and strengthens the Hearing Officer role.

Read more …

The Commission published for the first time a short term outlook for main agricultural commodity markets

An EU agricultural commodity outlook 2011/2012 has been published by the European Commission. This publication follows the announcement of Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Dacian Cioloş at the G-20 agricultural ministers meeting in June 2011. In addition, the European Parliament debated with the Commissioner the EU farm policy after 2013. In general terms, MEPs approves the CAP reform proposed, but with reservations.

Read more …

Conditioned by a further in-depth investigation, Commission temporarily approves Belgian state aid to Dexia

The European Commission has temporarily approved, under EU state aid rules, the nationalisation of Belgium's second largest bank Dexia Bank Belgium (DBB) through its acquisition by the Belgian State for €4 billion to be paid to Dexia SA. However, the Commission's in-depth investigation will assess whether the acquisition price contains state aid, and if so, whether the aid complies with EU rules for restructuring aid.

Read more …

€6.5 million for humanitarian assistance to victims of Pakistan's floods

In addition to €98 million for humanitarian assistance provided so far in 2011, the European Commission will provide another €6.5 million to bring water and shelter, food and medical care to the victims of the monsoon floods, especially in Sindh province. This second successive year of flooding is affecting over 5.4 million people and has so far displaced more than 1.8 million.

Read more …

Passengers may claim, under certain conditions, compensation for non-material damage suffered for cancellation of a flight

The European Court considers that, under certain conditions, passengers may claim compensation for non-material damage in addition to that awarded for material damage suffered in the event of cancellation of a flight.

Read more …

According to a social survey, EU citizens feel the economy is recovering and also positive regarding their personal …

A new Eurobarometer survey on the EU's social climate shows that although EU citizens remain negative when evaluating the general situation of their country, they seem to feel that the economy is recovering and are largely satisfied and positive regarding their personal situation. The trend towards an improved perception in terms of social protection and inclusion in the near future is clear.

Read more …

New EU-funded study flagged up a number of pesticides that pose a threat to river ecosystems

Pan-European team of scientists has flagged up a number of nasty pesticides that pose a threat to river ecosystems and which they believe should be added to the list of chemicals classified as risky in the EU Water Framework Directive. According to the researchers, their study shows the list needs to be regularly updated.

Read more …

Competition authorities of the EU and of the US agreed to further strengthen cooperation on mergers

On 13 of October, a high-level symposium commemorated the 20th anniversary of the EU-US cooperation agreement. At the celebrations, the competition authorities of the European Union and of the United States have agreed to further strengthen cooperation on mergers investigated in both jurisdictions. The revision provides greater detail on issues regarding timing, collection of evidence and definition of remedies.

Read more …

Commission debated with the Greek authorities the best way to organise technical assistance for Greece

Commission's Task Force for Greece organised its first high level coordination meeting on Wednesday 12 October with the Greek authorities, Member States and international organisations offering technical assistance to Greece. Participants stressed the need for the Greek administration to take full ownership and make best possible use of the available technical assistance.

Read more …