Commission sets the roadmap to implement the Common Approach for the reform of decentralized agencies

The European Commission adopted in December 2012 a roadmap describing the actions to be implemented in order to help to improve the performance, governance and transparency of European agencies. The measures described in the document which fall under the responsibility of the European Commission will start to be implemented in 2013 and are to be concluded by the end of 2014.

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European Food Safety Authority sets safe levels for possible presence of mercury in food

The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has established Tolerable Weekly Intakes (TWIs) to protect consumers from the possible presence of the main forms of mercury found in food. Although the average exposure to the main types of mercury does not reach the maximum levels, some consumer groups might be especially concerned and therefore new scientific information regarding its toxicity needed to be established.

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The European Commission clears the resolution plan for Dexia under certain conditions

The European Commission has announced its approval to the aid granted by Belgian, French and Luxembourg governments for the resolution of the financial group Dexia. According to the Commission's decision, this plan will allow the residual group to exit from the market altogether.

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One million hours of European film heritage are still without being digitally preserved

The European Commission published a report which shows that most European film heritage institutions have not yet adapted to the digital revolution and are not yet able to preserve film digitally. According to the figures, yet only 1.5% of European film heritage is commercially or freely accessible to the public.

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The Commission gathers opinions on state aid rules for agriculture and forestry

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the state aid rules applicable in the agricultural and forestry sector. The deadline for submissions in this public consultation is 20 March 2013.

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European Parliament and the Council reached an agreement on rules on foods for vulnerable persons

The Council announced the approval of new agreement reached with the European Parliament on foods considered essential for certain vulnerable persons such as babies and young children. The new regulation seeks to clarify the legal framework relating to these foods by avoiding the overlap between the specific legislation applicable to such foods and the legislation applicable to normal food.

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€1.73 million from EU funds to INTERPOL in support of its efforts to combat wildlife crime

The European Commission will allocate €1.73 million over the next three years to INTERPOL in support of its efforts to combat wildlife crime and protect the world’s natural resources from the illegal international trade in wild flora and fauna. Also, the European Commission decided to provide €2 million to prolong the MIKE programme, a mechanism that monitors and addresses elephant poaching across the African continent.

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The EU needs to redouble efforts to keep sufficient quantity and quality of fresh water

The European Environment Agency (EEA) took stock of the 2012, ‘European Year of Water’, and also presented important findings in many other areas, including air, climate, biodiversity and chemicals. According to EEA, Europe needs to redouble efforts to keep sufficient quantity and quality of fresh water to maintain our ecosystems that sustain our society and economy.

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€68 million from EU funds to support energy reform and local development in Ukraine

The European Commission allocated additional EU funding for Ukraine for 2012. The support is part of the Eastern Partnership and will focus on energy reform and the involvement of citizens in local development. This is the second part of the Annual Action Programme 2012 for Ukraine. The first part of the programme was adopted in August 2012 and amounted to €70 million.

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The transatlantic cooperation from some Star alliance members may harm premium passengers on the Frankfurt-New York route

The European Commission has concerns that transatlantic cooperation of Lufthansa, United and Air Canada may harm premium passengers on the Frankfurt-New York route because it could result in higher prices, in breach of EU antitrust rules. The Commission has therefore invited interested parties to comment on commitments proposed by the three companies to address competition concerns about their transatlantic cooperation.

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€84,8 million from the EU funds to support reforms in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The European Commission announced the allocation of €84,8 million in Bosnia and Herzegovina to support reforms necessary to help the country move forward on its path towards European integration.

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The R&D intensity of European ICT sector was more than four times the average of all business sectors in the EU

A new report showed that the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) sector is one of the most research intensive sectors in the EU economy. In 2009 the ICT sector accounted for 17% of the EU's total business R&D expenditure, while only representing 4% of the EU's Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This share of GDP - stable over the last few years - amounted to a value added of €470 billion in 2009 and represented over 6.1 million jobs.

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