MEPs want to set a date to start of accession talks with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The resolution approved by MEPs at the Foreign Affairs Committee recommends to set a date for starting accession negotiations with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. It also stresses the need to press ahead with its integration into Europe. In another resolution that was also approved in the Foreign Affairs Committee, MEPs asked to the five EU Member States that have yet to recognise Kosovo's independence should now do so.

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10 years of the Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM), one of the most important air traffic management projects

The Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM) celebrates its 10th anniversary. With the implementation of RVSM, Europe’s upper airspace capacity grew by 25%, and it helped airlines and other airspace users meet rising demand more effectively and simultaneously make substantial fuel savings.

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Hungary has failed to correct excessive deficit, warns the Council

The Economic and Financial Affairs Council adopted a decision establishing that Hungary has failed to comply with the 2009 Council's recommendation on measures to be taken in order to bring its government budget deficit below the EU's reference value of 3% of GDP. Failure to comply with the Council's recommendations can lead to the suspension of cohesion fund commitments.

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The Council wants to reduce the risk on the derivatives market

Ministers at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council reached an agreement on the draft regulation aimed at increasing transparency on all derivatives and reducing risk in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market in order to facilitate negotiations with the European Parliament. The main change relates to the procedure for authorising central counterparties (CCPs), in particular to the powers of the CCP's "home" member state.

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MEPs at Public Health Committee ask for a new legislation to protect patient safety

The debate held at the Environment and Public Health Committee by MEPs and European Commission representatives ended with the petition to the Commission by MEPs to introduce stricter controls and better traceability of the medical devices such as silicone breast implants.

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€660 million to fund to 294 top researchers over the coming five years across Europe

The European Research Council (ERC) supports with a budget of €660 million 294 senior top researchers in Europe. These established scientists will perform ground-breaking 'blue sky' research over the coming five years across Europe. The projects selected cover a wide array of topics.

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The number of nights spent in hotels by tourists in the EU reached a record number

In 2011, the number of nights spent in hotels and similar establishments in the EU reached a peak of 1.6 billion nights. This means a record number of nights spent in hotels in the EU in 2011 and an increase of 3.8% compared with 2010. The highest numbers of nights spent in hotels were recorded in Spain, Italy, Germany, France and the United Kingdom.

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The Commission refunded €70,000 to the NGO Migration Policy Group

The European Ombudsman has found a friendly solution to the dispute between the European Commission and the NGO Migration Policy Group (MPG) concerning an EU project launched as part of the "European Migration Dialogue". The NGO will receive €70,000 from the Commission.

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The Danish presidency presents its agriculture and fisheries work programme

The Agriculture and Fisheries Council was briefed with a public presentation of the Danish work programme in the agriculture and fisheries sectors. For the Danish Presidency, the EU should promote the transition to a green economy and enhance its focus on sustainability. In addition, ministers had an exchange of views on the CAP reform proposal for a regulation on single common market organisation.

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50th Anniversary of the Common Agricultural Policy

The Commission has launched the CAP@50 communication campaign to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Common Agricultural Policy, a cornerstone of European integration. The year-long communication campaign includes an interactive website and an itinerant exhibition among other activities and events that will be celebrate in the Member States.

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The EU applies restrictive measures against Iran and Syria

The Council agreed on extending the restrictive measures against Iran relating to the EU's serious and deepening concerns over the Iranian nuclear programme. In particular, the Council banned imports of Iranian crude oil and petroleum products. In addition, the Council reinforced the EU's restrictive measures against Syria for the human rights violations.

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The Commission urges to all EU institutions to be restrained in drafting 2013 budgets

The European Commission is urging all the EU institutions to show the utmost restraint in drafting their estimates for their administrative budget in 2013. This is the second year running in asking to the EU institutions to act responsibly in the current climate of austerity. Thus the Commission wants to lead by example: in 2013, it intends to reduce the number of posts in its establishment plans by 1%.

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