Euro area annual inflation is expected to be lower in December 2011 than in November.

2.8% is the Euro area annual inflation is expected in December 2011 according to the flash estimation published by Eurostat. In November 2011 the Euro area annual inflation was 3.0%.

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The European Ombudsman received a positive reply from the EU institutions in 78% of cases in 2010

In most cases, the EU institutions reply positively to the European Ombudsman. P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, the European Ombudsman, however, has expressed his concern about the high number of unsatisfactory follow-up replies (10 out of 33) which the European Commission provided in response to his critical remarks.

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Two EU-funded projects investigate how to better measure greenhouse gas emissions

Two new European projects, AMITRAN ('Assessment methodologies for ICT in multimodal transport from user behaviour to CO2 reduction') and INGOS ('Integrated non-CO2 greenhouse gas observation system') launched with the aim to investigate how to measure greenhouse gases.

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The European Year of Active Ageing has started

2012 is the European Year of Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations. The 2012 year's theme is, according to the European Commission, an occasion to reflect on how Europeans are living longer and staying healthier than ever before, and to realise the opportunities that represents. 2011 was the European Year of Volunteering.

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The Commission extends public consultations deadlines to 12 weeks

The European Commission has extended to 12 weeks the period given to citizens, businesses and non-governmental organisations to comment on plans for new policies and legislation. In addition, the Commission has also introduced an alert service for upcoming initiatives.

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€100 million in venture capital investment from EBRD to technology companies

The new venture capital investment programme launched by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) for early and growth stage companies operating in technology sectors, is a commitment to technology financing in the EBRD region. The programme, which includes a €100 million capital pool, will approximately invest in 10-20 companies in the region over the next four years and will seek to invest alongside leading local and international venture capital investors.

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A report shows that EU funding is essential to kick-start investment in infrastructure projects

The mid-term review of Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) investment into the European Economic Recovery Plan (EERP) concluded that the EU funding has been vital for attracting further investment from the private sector and public authorities with regard to the infrastructure projects.

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The Commission asks greater determination to correct the excessive deficit to the Spanish Government

The European Commission Vice President Olli Rehn welcomed the announcement by the Spanish government on the significant package of budgetary policy measures approved. However he regretted the sizable fiscal slippage relative to the 2011 budgetary target. He therefore asked to Spain remaining committed to the fiscal consolidation path and staying determined to correct its excessive deficit by 2013.

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EU-funded project advances in stem cell therapy research

The NEUROSTEMCELL ('European consortium for stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative disease') project, which investigates in maximising prospects for successful clinical trials of stem cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases, has made many progress so far and at the same time it is considering the regulatory, ethical and societal issues linked to the use of stem cells for therapy.

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New report shows that recycling industry can boost the European economy

The European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report in which states the benefits of recycling for the economy, among which providing raw materials, creating jobs and encouraging business opportunities and innovation. The Agency also states that revenues from recycling are substantial and growing fast.

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The European Capitals of Culture 2012, Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia), ready to start working

Guimarães (Portugal) and Maribor (Slovenia) are the European Capitals of Culture 2012 as from 1 January. However the official programme of events begins on 13 January in Maribor and 21 January in Guimarães. Both cities have a busy calendar of events planned for the year.

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Unlimited duty-free access to the EU market for the Western Balkan until 2015

The European Union re-established the exceptional autonomous trade preferences to all Western Balkan countries until the end of 2015. According to the Commission, these trade preferences support economic integration with the EU and hence foster political stability and economic progress in the entire region.

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