CORDIS launches a new service on EU-funded projects

The Community Research and Development Information Service (CORDIS) from the European Commission has launched a new service which unlocks EU-funded projects information. This new service will be a comprehensive reference point for project participants, coordinators and stakeholders.

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EBRD calls for private investment to boost agricultural productivity

The EBRD President, Thomas Mirow, has called for a greater role for private sector in boosting food output. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development will support moves to combat price volatility in order to unleash the untapped production potential.

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Barroso and Van Rompuy welcomed the positive outcome of the referendum on Croatia's accession

The President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy and the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso welcomed in a statement the choice of the Croatian people on the accession referendum with regard to their accession to the EU. It is foreseen that Croatia can become the Union's 28th member on 1 July 2013.

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European Investment Bank signs an agreement with Bankinter to finance SMEs

The agreement signed between the European Investment Bank and Bankinter promotes finance investment by small businesses and midcaps (companies with up to 3,000 employees) for €200 million agreement. This loan is being granted under the Bank’s policy of fostering the development of small and medium-sized companies.

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EMA recommends suspension of marketing authorisations for meprobamate-containing medicines

All marketing authorisations for meprobamate-containing medicines for oral use in the European Union should be suspended, according to the European Medicines Agency. The reason behind is that their risks, particularly the risk of serious side effects affecting the nervous system, are greater than their benefits. EMA also recommends a gradual withdrawal period of 15 months.

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The Commission reviews EU passenger ship safety legislation in relation to the Costa Concordia accident

The Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for Transport wants to that the currently ongoing review of EU passenger ship safety legislation take fully into account any lessons to be learnt from the Costa Concordia tragedy. He also called upon Member States to ratify without delay the latest update of the International Convention for liability of carriers by sea and the compensation of passengers in case of accidents (Athens Convention).

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A European Parliament resolution for urgent measures to halve food waste

The resolution approved by the European Parliament calls on the Commission for urgent measures to halve food waste by 2025 and to improve access to food for needy EU citizens. Among the proposed measures, MEPs suggest that foods close to their expiry dates and damaged food products should be sold at discounted prices, to make them more accessible to people in need.

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Pest products will be subject to tougher safety checks in the EU

MEPs approved a new regulation on the pest control products that introduce stricter controls in order to better protect human health and the environment, while streamlining the marketing approval process. Council, which has already provisionally agreed to the new legislation, must give a formal green light for it to enter into force.

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The Commission starts a dialogue with Kosovo on visa free travel

The European Commission launched a dialogue with Kosovo in order to eventually lift the visa obligation for citizens of Kosovo. Cecilia Malmström, European Commissioner for Home Affairs was in Pristina, assured that whether and how soon citizens obtain the privilege of visa-free travel will depend entirely on the Government of Kosovo's continuing efforts to implement reforms in the rule of law area.

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MEPs agreed that the EU Galileo satellite navigation programme should get long-term funding

The European Parliament approved a resolution on "EU space strategy" in which MEPs agreed that the GMES earth observation programme should be officially included in the EU's multi-annual financial plans and the EU Galileo satellite navigation programme should also get proper long-term funding.

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The economic outlook for EU industry has deteriorated in the latest months

The Commission published its latest outlook for EU industry in which it points out that industry is 1% down. In particular, in the last three months to November 2011, manufacturing production was some 1% higher than a year ago, but also 1% below the level registered in the preceding three months. Furthermore, the Commission confirms that business confidence has declined, but still remains broadly at its long-term average.

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The updated directive setting up better management of e-waste, approved by the European Parliament

MEPs approved the new legislation which establishes new targets for collecting and recycling e-waste. According to the new rules, all Member States must increase their collection of e-waste, regardless of whether they already meet the current flat-rate target of 4kg per person per year. In addition, the directive offers consumers new possibilities to return small waste items.

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