The Commission wants to gather views on the double non-taxation of cross-border companies

The European Commission has launched a public consultation in order to know how to tackle double taxation. According to the Commission, the aim of the consultation is to gauge the full scale of the problem and see where the main weaknesses lie. The main problem lies to the fact that double non-taxation deprives Member States of significant revenues and creates unfair competition between businesses in the Single Market.

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The European Commission opens a consultation on the invasive alien species

The European Commission is considering ways to tackle the invasive alien species and it is therefore gathering opinions among the interested parts. Currently, there are many cases where animals and plants have been introduced to an environment that is not naturally theirs, such as Canada geese, American bullfrogs, Japanese knotweed, and are now spreading so fast that they become a threat to biological diversity.
 

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MEPs adopted a resolution which asks clarify air passengers' rights

The resolution adopted at the Transport Committee calls on the need of all-in air fares, airline employees able to help stranded passengers immediately, and proper compensation, when airlines go bust. MEPs agreed that the triple choice of "refunding, rerouting or rebooking" is a basic right in the event of travel disruption and it should be immediately offered to stranded passengers.

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Serbia is closer to be an official candidate for the EU membership

The General Affairs Council meeting ended with the agreement of recommending the status of candidate country to Serbia, following its application for EU membership. On the other hand, it also approved, without discussion, strengthened measures against the Belarusian regime. In response to this decision, the Belarusian authorities asked to the EU Head of Delegation and the Polish Ambassador to leave the country.

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Industry Committee backed new rules to lower mobile roaming rates

MEPs at the Industry Committee have adopted the rules which sets out lower roaming price caps for calls and SMS texts. In addition, for the first time, they would also cap retail data roaming chargers. The rules, who are supposed to be applied from June 2012, have still to be voted by the European Parliament as a whole.

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The Council reinforces the bargaining power of Europeans milk producers

The regulation aimed to improve the functioning of the EU milk sector has been adopted by the Council. With the new rules, the milk producers will increase their bargaining power by allowing them to set up producer organisations that on their behalf negotiate collectively contracts for the deliveries of milk. The new measures should be also seen in the context of abolition of the milk quotas regime from 2015.

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European retailers pay more attention to the environment in their business decisions

The European Retail Forum for Sustainability published a report which highlights that companies in the forum are paying more attention to the greening of their supply chains, sustainable distribution systems and the use of renewable energies.

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European professional footballers work together to fight hunger

The 2012 Campaign "European Professional Football against Hunger", organised by the European Commission, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), and the Association for European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) intends to raise awareness about the urgent need to assist the victims of hunger and to put them back on the path to self-sufficiency. In addition, the funds for the most deprived in the EU has increased by €500 million in 2012.

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Completing the e-Communications Single Market could grow EU GDP by up to €110 billions a year

The European Commission published a study which highlights that if the internal market for electronic communications were completed, the EU gross domestic product (GDP) could grow by up to €110 billion a year. In addition the study carried out by an international team of experts points out three main types of policy measures to tackle obstacles.

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The Commission launched the implementation phase of the European Agenda for Adult Learning

An event celebrated in Brussels by the European Commission marks the launch of the European Agenda for Adult Learning. Overall, this agenda shows a renewed commitment to adult learning at EU level. It focuses on providing second-chance opportunities for low qualified adults by strengthening their basic skills, such as literacy, numeracy and digital knowledge.

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The ECB announced the suspension the eligibility of Greek bonds used as collateral in Eurosystem monetary policy operations

The eligibility of Greek bonds used as collateral in Eurosystem monetary policy operations has been temporarily suspended by the European Central Bank (ECB). Additionally, the Governing Council decided that the liquidity needs of affected Eurosystem counterparties can be satisfied by the relevant national central banks. On the other hand, the President of the Eurogroup assured that it was expected the S&P decision to lower Greek ratings to Selective Default.

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The Council reinforces EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime

The Foreign Affairs Council meeting held on 27 of February ended with the agreement on the decision to strengthen the restrictive measures against the Syrian regime. European Ministers called on President Assad to immediately end the killing of civilians, withdraw the Syrian army from besieged towns and step aside in order to make room for a peaceful transition. In addition, the Council agreed to extend EUNAVFOR Atalanta, the EU operation fighting piracy off the Somali coast, until December 2014.

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