The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia joins the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism

The European Commission announced that the European Union's Civil Protection Mechanism has its 32nd member the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates European cooperation in disaster response.

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The European Chemicals Agency publishes the first EU Classification and Labelling Inventory

The first EU Classification and Labelling Inventory published opens the way to safer use of hazardous substances. The Inventory compiles information from over 3 million notifications for more than 100.000 substances which allows identifying those that are potentially hazardous and may damage health and the environment.

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Two reports from the Commission show the need to combat the soil degradation within the EU

The European Commission presented two reports, one with the political aspects and a second one with the scientific aspects, on the worrying phenomenon of the soil degradation in the EU. The reports show that between 1990 and 2006, at least 275 hectares of soil per day were permanently lost through soil sealing – the covering of fertile land by impermeable material – amounting to 1,000 km² per year, or an area the size of Cyprus every ten years.

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The EU trade with China continues growing, especially exports

Eurostat published that the EU exports to China up by 21% and imports by 5% in the first ten months of 2011. These figures show that despite the general decline in EU exports in 2009, EU exports to China continued to increase. The EU trade deficit with China increased from 49 billions in 2000 to 169 billions in 2010.

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The European Medicines Agency informs stakeholders on the introduction of new pharmacovigilance legislation

The European Medicines Agency has published a new implementation plan detailing the activities of the new pharmacovigilance legislation scheduled for implementation in 2012 and those activities which will be the focus beyond 2012. With the new legislation, any patient in European Member States will be able to report suspected adverse drug reactions to his or her national medicines authority.

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The EU and India agree to move its trade relationship forward

The 12th summit between the EU and India ended with the commitment of common determination to move the EU-India relationship forward, especially in the field of trade. In addition, it has been recently published that the EU trade in goods with India increased by 20% in the first ten months of 2011. Therefore, the EU remains India's biggest trading partner.

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The EDPS is concerned about data protection issues on the review of EU financial markets legislation

According to the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), the review of EU financial markets legislation has a significant impact on data protection. He also highlighted that the reform presents a golden opportunity for the legislator to guarantee the fundamental right of data protection while taking the specific needs of the financial sector into account.

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New campaign launched by the Commission to promote the 112 emergency number

According to the European Commission, 74% of Europeans don't know what emergency number to call when travelling in the EU. This is the reason why many major rail, air and other transport companies have joined Commission's Vice Presidents Neelie Kroes and Siim Kallas call for carrying out a campaign to raise 112 awareness rates.

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A report shows that the number of graduates specialising in education is falling in the EU

The report presented by the Commission to the Education Ministers Council highlights that funding for education is stable in most Member States and it underlines that higher education remains the best insurance policy against unemployment, with graduates more likely to find a job faster than non-graduates. However, it also warns of growing teacher shortages.

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A new regulation to restrict the phosphates in household detergents adopted by the Council

The Council adopted a regulation following an agreement with the European Parliament in order to restrict the use of phosphates and other phosphorus compounds in consumer laundry and automatic dishwasher detergents in order to reduce the level of phosphorus poured into the waters. In addition to domestic detergents, the scope of the regulation also includes detergents used in public laundrettes.

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EU-funded project develops a sustainable food packaging product

European researchers leaded by the the Spain-based Patronal de la Petita i Mitjana Empresa de Catalunya (PIMEC), have developed a biomaterial from whey protein as well as a commercially viable method of producing multifunctional films on an industrial scale. This sustainable food packaging product is a step ahead of the conventional films based on petrochemicals.

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Agreement reached between the Council and the European Parliament on rules for trading in financial derivatives

The Danish Presidency of the Council of the European Union has informed that an agreement on the new rules for increasing transparency and safety in derivatives trading has been reached by the Council and the European Parliament. According to the Danish Presidency, the new rules reduce the risk that a crisis-hit financial institution can “infect” the rest of the financial system via derivatives markets. The compromise text will now have to be confirmed by the Parliament as a whole and the Council.

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