New rules approved by MEPs seek that dairy farmers get fair prices for their raw milk

The European Parliament approved a new regulation that boosts dairy farmers' bargaining power to get fair prices for their raw milk and help them prepare for the end of milk quotas in 2015. To enter into force, the new regulation still needs to be formally endorsed by the Council. It will apply until the end of June 2020.

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Member States will have an environmental impact assessment more user friendly

The European Commission as brought together all existing EU legislation governing environmental impact assessments in order to create a more compact, clearly translated and user-friendly version which comes into force on 17 February 2012. Thus, the administrative burden is reduced and also it helps Member States' authorities and developers to carry out the assessments.

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MEPs ask for an exception to copyright rules to ensure blind people's access to books

The European Parliament adopted a resolution in which it calls on the Council and Commission to support a binding international treaty to make possible the access to books and other published works in special formats to blind people. The resolution says that to make it possible it is required a targeted exception to copyright rules.

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Eurobonds and unblocking the directive on bank deposit guarantee schemes are MEPs priorities

MEPs at the plenary session voted to require riskier banks to contribute more to the schemes than others and say that funding for each scheme should equal 1.5% of the deposits that it covers. In addition, bank deposit guarantee schemes must return €5,000 of a depositor's money within a week of being asked, wherever a struggling bank is unable to do so. They also consider that it are needed shorter-term solutions and Eurobonds for Eurozone stability.

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Regions and cities want to play a major role in the exercise of European governance

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) wants to ensure that cities and regions are more involved in framing, implementing and evaluating EU policies with a territorial impact, and will lay the necessary foundations for the success of those policies. The opinion adopted within its plenary session recommends new measures to consolidate the exercise of European governance.

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The Commission publishes a White paper with recommendations for safe and sustainable pensions

The White paper published by the European Commission looks at how the EU and the Member States can work to tackle the major challenges that confront their pension systems. It puts forward a range of initiatives such as create the right conditions so that those who are able can continue working or ensure people who move to another country can keep their pension rights.

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The European Parliament has given its approval to the EU-Morocco trade deal

MEPs have given its green light to liberalise EU-Morocco trade in agricultural and fisheries products, while adopting a resolution highlighting a number of concerns. A majority of MEPs say the agreement will help alleviate economic, migratory and security problems following the Arab Spring.

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The CoR promotes the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC) for territorial cooperation in EU policies

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) issued a number of recommendation aiming to make the rules more flexible and to promote the European Grouping of Territorial Cooperation (EGTC), the EU's legal instrument for territorial cooperation. According to the CoR, the set-up and operational procedures are still unduly complex, although the instrument is now firmly established and has clearly demonstrated its potential.

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MEPs propose introducing a Youth Guarantee scheme to secure the right of every young person to be offered a job

The European Parliament approved two resolutions which calls on Member States for a deeper economic policy coordination and to act on structural reform recommendations besides to improve transparency. The resolutions which are a reaction to the Commission's annual growth survey and employment guidelines, also call for more effort on growth, employment and poverty.

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Two more years for the food programme for the EU's most deprived citizens

The European Parliament approved the "Food for the needy" programme that supplies food to the EU's most deprived citizens, for two more years, thanks to a rescue plan previously agreed with the Council. The programme will run until the end of 2013, with a budget of up to €500 million per year.

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The Europeans citizens think that the corruption has risen over the last three years

According to the latest Eurobarometer survey, corruption remains a major problem in the countries of the European Union. In addition the 8% of respondents say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year. The economic costs incurred by corruption in the EU are estimated to amount to around €120 billion per year.

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MEPs adopt the Radio Spectrum Policy Programme

The European Parliament approved in the plenary session a deal with Member States on how best to reallocate radio spectrum freed up by the switch from analogue to digital TV to new uses, such as wireless broadband services. The European Commission welcomed the positive vote to the agreement and stressed that the Programme will allow sufficient spectrum to be made available for wireless applications and services such as high speed 4th generation (4G) wireless broadband.

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