MEPs reach an agreement with the Council Presidency on EU unitary patent plans

The Legal Affairs Committee and Council Presidency negotiators reached an agreement on plans for an EU unitary patent to cut costs for firms and boost the EU's competitiveness. The deal still needs to be approved by Parliament as a whole and by the Council.

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Public consultations should be published in all EU languages

According to the European Ombudsman, the Commission should publish public consultations in all languages. This follows a complaint from a Spanish lawyer, criticising the fact that many public consultation documents are only available in English or in a few EU languages. The ombudsman also affirms that citizens cannot participate in a consultation if they do not understand it.

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World AIDS Day: The EU plays a decisive role by strengthening its leadership in the response to this disease

On the World AIDS Day, the European Union and its Member States released a statement in which joins with people across the world in memory of the relatives, friends and beloved ones who have lost their lives to AIDS and reaffirms its commitment to support all those who live with HIV and all those who are affected by the epidemic. In addition, they reiterates the EU commitment to work towards the 2015 targets of having 15 million people living with HIV on antiretroviral treatment.

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The Council approved the EU's general budget for 2012

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting approved the EU's budget for next year. In addition, Financial Ministers also adopted a decision on the economic policy conditions enabling the disbursement of a fourth instalment of financial assistance to Ireland.

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Commission proposes funding of €2.5 billions to help SMEs and to boost business competitiveness

The core issues of the new financial support programme for the period 2014-2020 was presented by the Commission. Among them, promote access to finance and encouraging an entrepreneurial culture, including the creation of new enterprises.

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A EU-funded project will test the smart grids in electricity distribution systems

The EU-fund EcoGrid project will run a pilot real-time market place for distributed energy resources on the Danish island of Bornholm by asking 2,000 electricity customers to reduce their power consumption when the wind is either too weak or too strong for the wind turbines on the island to work. The project seeks to reduce the consumers electricity grid.

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