Reforming the European public procurement legislation is a priority to the Commission

The European Commission proposes to modernise the European public procurement Directives in order to support growth and employment. In addition, as a part of an overall programme to modernise public tendering in the EU, the Commission presented a Directive on concessions.

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The Commission asks Member States to act quickly to drive down youth unemployment

The European Commission adopted the 'Youth Opportunities Initiative' in which it asks to the Member States to work for tackling the youth unemployment by helping youngsters develop skills relevant to the labour market or helping young people find a first good job. The Commission has therefore presented concrete measures in order to achieve this goal.

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The Commission proposes to create a quality framework for services of general interest

The European Commission adopted a Quality Framework for Services of General Interest in the EU that, according to the European institution, will provide an essential safety net for citizens in areas such as health care, care for the elderly, child care, assistance to disabled persons and social housing. In addition, the framework intends to help Member States to ensure that the regulatory environment at EU level continues to reinforce the social dimension of the single market.

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MEPs at Legal Affairs Committee gave green light to the EU patent

The package of proposals on the EU patent has got the approval of the Legal Affairs Committee at the European Parliament. According to MEPs, the new EU patent would be substantially cheaper and thus more competitive than current ones. If Parliament as a whole and the Council confirm the deal, a new EU patent will be created.

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Mario Draghi defends the ECB's traditional role at the European Parliament

MEPs held a debate with the ECB's President, Mario Dragui, who defended again the ECB's traditional role, as laid down in the EU treaty. He also took the opportunity to set out his vision for better risk analysis and also the steps needed to emerge from the crisis.

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The Council adopted conclusions on the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020

The Council adopted conclusions on the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 focusing on the concrete measures required to achieve its main targets: protect species and habitats, maintain and restore ecosystems among others. In addition, Environment Ministers also adopted conclusions on the Roadmap to a Resource-Efficient Europe proposal.

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The Commission proposes to modernise the Professional Qualifications Directive

The European Commission proposes to simplify the rules for the mobility of professionals within the EU by offering a European Professional Card to all interested professions. The proposed text also clarifies the framework for consumers, by inviting Member States to review the scope of their regulated professions and by addressing public concerns about language skills.

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More than 110 millions to protect EU financial interests until 2020

The European Commission adopted two proposals, the Hercule III and Pericles 2020 programmes, with a budget of €110 million and €7.7 million respectively in order to protect the financial interests of the EU and Member States' budgets and fight fraud in the EU.

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A report shows the challenges of legal and regulatory aspects on the cross border information exchange

The ENISA Agency published a study which shows the legal and regulatory aspects of information sharing and cross-border collaboration of national/governmental Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) in Europe. According to the report, there exists a delicate balance of investigating, managing and mitigating computer incidents, whilst respecting rights and obligations provided for by certain legal and regulatory frameworks, including data protection and privacy provisions.

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MEPs chosen to represent the Parliament in the drafting of the new intergovernmental agreement

The European Parliament has chosen the MEPs who will represent it in the working group created by the Council to draft the new intergovernmental agreement. The delegation will pay particular attention that the new intergovernmental agreement be a response to the crisis Europe is currently facing.

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640€ million proposed by the Commission in humanitarian aid during 2012

The European Commission announced its World-Wide Decision on Humanitarian Aid for the allocation of 640€ million funding during 2012. The plan foresees interventions in 36 countries or regions. In particular, the largest operation in budgetary terms is sub-Saharan Africa, for which 52% of Commission's humanitarian funding is reserved.

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The Commission doubles the number of grants to young people and university staff involved in the Arab Spring

The European Commission increased in more than doubled the number of education and teaching grants available for young people and university staff from countries involved in the 'Arab Spring' uprisings. Thus through 'Erasmus Mundus' programme, funding for a further 559 scholarships, on top of the 525 that were already planned for 2011-2012, are being allocated to Southern Mediterranean countries.

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