The European Medicines Agency will focus on implementing pharmacovigilance legislation

The European Medicines Agency’s Management Board has endorsed the work programme and budget 2012. The work programme forecasts a stable number of applications for marketing authorisation for human and veterinary medicines in 2012. The work programme is accompanied by a budget of €222.5 million, an increase of 6.5% over 2011.

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Carmakers must reduce emissions to meet 2015 target under European legislation for new passenger cars

The European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report which shows that several carmakers need to make their fleets even more carbon-efficient in order to meet 2012 carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions target. The data also show that almost all manufacturers must reduce emissions to meet 2015 targets under European legislation for new passenger cars.

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The European Investment Bank grants €50 million loan to the Spanish company Industria de Turbo Propulsores

The European Investment Bank (EIB) supports aeronautic research, development and innovation projects and the development of technologies in new areas from “Industria de Turbo Propulsores, S.A.” (ITP) with a loan of €50 million. The activities will be carried out at ITP’s R&D facilities in Ajalvir (Madrid) and Zamudio (Bilbao) and generate around 200 new jobs.

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€3 million more allocated by the Commission to Haiti

The European Commission has allocated a further €3 million to the 2011 humanitarian aid budget for Haiti. The total of humanitarian funding by the Commission in 2011 has been €38.5 million. This additional funding will focus on the response to the earthquake and the cholera epidemic in the country.

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First partnership and cooperation agreement between the EU and Iraq

The Council authorised the signing of a partnership and cooperation agreement with Iraq that will mark the first ever contractual relation between the EU and Iraq. It provides a legal framework covering issues from regular political dialogue to trade relations and regulatory cooperation, and development assistance.

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EESC deplores the uncertainty about the food aid scheme's continuation after 2013

The European Economic and Social Committee welcomed the political agreement reached within the Council that guarantees the continuation of the food aid programme in 2012 and 2013. However, it deeply deplores the uncertainty about the scheme's continuation after 2013 and encourages the Commission to use its right of initiative to draw up a new proposal.

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The Danish EU council presidency will try to make Europe responsible, dynamic, green and safe

The Danish government has just announced its presidency work programme, presidency which starts next 1 January 2012. Besides to have as main objectives to make Europe responsible, dynamic, green and safe, to boost growth will remain top of the Danes to-do list.

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The EU celebrates the 10th anniversary of the introduction of euro notes and coins

The 1 January 2012 will mark 10 years of the introduction of euro notes and coins in the European Union. Among the benefits reached so far thanks to the euro and Economic and Monetary Union, 332 million people no longer have to pay extra costs to exchange currencies and there is more transparency in cross-border transactions, enabling consumers to compare prices between one eurozone country and another.

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The Commission presents its proposal for a supplementary research programme for the ITER

On 21 December, the European Commission presented a proposal for a Council Decision on the adoption of a Supplementary Research Programme for the ITER project for the period 2014-2018. This proposal aims to define the funding arrangement for the EU contribution to the ITER project for that period.

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MEPs call for more transparency in sovereign debt rating

At the meeting the European Parliament Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs held on 20 December, MEPs called for higher transparency in the process of sovereign debt rating. They also advocated for the establishment of measures to reduce the dependence on the three major agencies and recommended to assess potential conflicts of interest between the agencies and the companies they evaluate.

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Scientists warn about the effects of insecticides in European streams

According to the results of a project carried out by German scientists, pollution caused by improper use of insecticides may result in a significant increase in the levels of contamination of watercourses in Europe. The study also proposes the creation of buffer zones along the streams to help reduce the presence of insecticides.

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Council committed to fair play invites to act against match-fixing

According to the conclusions set by the Council in its meeting by the end of November, match-fixing is besides doping one of the most significant threat to contemporary sport. It damages, not only the image of sport, but it also puts into question competitive sport and fair play. For that reason, the Council has invited the European Commission to study this problem and to promote actions in order to tackle its consequences.

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