The European Commission announces the 2012 e-Inclusion Awards

e-Inclusion Awards 2012 are now open for entries. This year’s the awards are intended for individuals as well as organisations, business and civil society sectors, working at the local level, rewarding those championing the way forward and exploiting the potential of technology in dealing with today’s challenges.

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Adopted the European Directive to exempts micro-enterprises from accounting and financial reporting obligations

The Council adopted the new rules which relieves very small companies from red tape. The new provisions seek to reduce administrative bureaucracy for small companies. In addition, the Commission presented the report on administrative burden reduction and calls on Member States to learn from each other.

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EU Ministers commit to work on potential pathways for long term finance to fight climate change

Ministers at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting held on 21 February reached an agreement to continue to work together with other countries and relevant stakeholders, on potential pathways for long term finance that may contribute to reaching the long term committed goal of mobilizing jointly US$100 billion per year by 2020 by developed countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions. In addition, they adopted conclusions on the economic aspects of the roadmap to a resource-efficient Europe.

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The Council held a debate on the reform of public procurement policy

The main goal of the debate held by Ministers was to prepare the way to reach an agreement on the main principles of the reform at the Competitiveness Council in May, with the final purpose of getting the reform approved in co-legislation with the European Parliament before the end of 2012. The debate focused on the new general legal framework, more specifically in the degree of flexibility that should apply in the use of competitive procedures with negotiation and the rules for certain categories of services: social, cultural, health, etc.
 

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A key role of the local and regional authorities can help to integrate immigrants from outside the EU

The Committee of the Regions adopted an opinion in which highlight the key contribution of local authorities to the framing and implementation of integration policies. It also calls for a strategic partnership between the European Commission and European networks of cities and regions.

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The policy package agreed between the Greek government and the Eurogroup moves forward

The Eurogroup welcomed the approval the agreement reached with the Greek government on the police package and also for the approval of the package by the Greek parliament. According to the Eurogroup, the new programme provides a comprehensive blueprint for putting the public finances and the economy of Greece back on a sustainable footing and hence for safeguarding financial stability in Greece and in the euro area as a whole.

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