Commission adopts new framework for European shipbuilding industry

This new framework is to simplify the application of measures to support innovation in shipbuilding industry in the European Union, therefore contributing to improving the competitiveness of the sector. The new rules will take effect from January 1st 2012 and will be applied over two years.

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MEPs adopted a report which highlights the advantages of two-wheeled vehicles for Europe's cities

The Internal Market Committee at the European Parliament adopted a report which points out that Europe's cities would be much less congested and cleaner if more two-wheeled vehicles were used. The report also stressed that motorbikes need to be safer and more environmentally friendly.

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Commission presents a new strategy to improve the SMEs to the funding

The European Commission presented a strategy to promote better access to finance for SMEs. The strategy includes an EU Action Plan which consists in an increase of financial support from the EU budget and the European Investment Bank and a proposal for a regulation setting uniform rules for the marketing of venture capital funds.

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An image of a Spanish Guardia Civil Officer wins the 2011 Law Enforcement Photo Competition

The European law enforcement agency, Europol, has announced the winners of its 2011 Law Enforcement Photo Competition. The first prize has been awarded to Rafael Corral Estacio for an image of a Spanish Guardia Civil Officer on duty which, according to Europol, really captures the daily challenges that nature throws at police work.

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EU leaders remain committed to empowering people with disabilities

Presidents of Commission, Parliament and European Council came together for the first time with the European Disability Forum to discuss issues facing the estimated 80 million Europeans with disabilities. EU leaders remained that the strategy to create a barrier-free Europe for disabled people by 2020 outlines how the EU and national governments can empower people with disabilities so they can enjoy their rights.

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€1,3 billion approved by MEPs for the ITER nuclear fusion research project

The additional funding needed for the ITER project has been approved by Parliament's Budgets Committee. The approval includes to revise the multi-annual financial framework for 2007-2013 and raise the annual budget ceilings for 2012 and 2013. In order to apply this new funding for ITER project, it is still needed the approval by the Parliament as a whole and the Council.

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Council negotiators and MEPs reached an agreement on the new rules to give farmers fairer prices for raw milk

The agreement reached by the Council negotiators and MEPs on fairer prices for raw milk seeks to boost dairy farmers' bargaining power, ensure fairer prices for raw milk they produce and thus help them to prepare for the end of milk quotas in 2015. The agreement still need to be confirmed by the Parliament as a whole and the Council.

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The sales of e-books in the EU market will be investigated by the Commission

The European Commission has opened formal antitrust proceedings to investigate whether some international publishers engaged in anti-competitive practices, possibly with the help of Apple, engaged in anti-competitive practices affecting the sale of e-books, breaching the EU antitrust rules.

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European researchers published new data on how the body's proteins can fight the HIV

A team of British researchers discovered that the SAMHD1 protein prevents the virus from replicating itself within these cells, paving the way for development of drugs that imitate this biological process to ensure that HIV cannot replicate in the sentinel cells of the immune system.

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The Council launches a Joint Programming in research that includes five initiatives

The Competitiveness Council reached an agreement on the launching of a Joint Programming in research. This programming includes five initiatives on Healthy and Productive sea and Oceans, Challenges and Solutions of an urban Europe, Connecting Climate Knowledge for Europe, Water Challenges for a Changing World and the Microbial Challenge.

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Commission seeks to create a simpler, more efficient and more robust VAT system in the EU

The European Commission adopted a Communication on the future of VAT which sets out the fundamental characteristics that must underlie the new VAT regime. According to the Commission, the VAT regime must be made more workable for businesses, VAT must be made more efficient in supporting Member States' fiscal consolidation efforts, and the huge revenue losses that occur today due to uncollected VAT and fraud need to be stopped.

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The new European Protection Order rules backed by MEPs

The Civil Liberties and the Women's Rights Committees endorsed the new European Protection Order (EPO) rules which include that crime victims who are granted protection in one EU Member State will be able to get similar protection if they move to another. According to MEPs, the EPO directive is an important step in building a European area of justice.

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