€20 million additional European funds for victims of Pakistan's floods and conflicts

The European Commission announced the allocation of €20 million in additional funding to assist victims of 2011's monsoon floods in Pakistan and people displaced by recent military interventions. The European Union's total assistance for Pakistan (including the contributions of the Commission and those of Member States) amounts to €2,458 billion for the period 2009 -2013.

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The SMEs' access to bank loans continued to deteriorate in 2012, according to a report

The results of the ECB survey shows that euro area SMEs’ external financing needs increased between October 2011 and March 2012. At the same time, the survey results show that access to bank loans continued to deteriorate.

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In 2011 it was detected new drugs at the rate of around one per week in the EU

The EMCDDA–Europol 2011 annual report on new psychoactive substances showed that a total of 49 new psychoactive substances were officially notified for the first time in 2011 via the EU early-warning system (EWS). The report highlights the increasing number and diversity of synthetic cannabinoids (e.g. found in ‘Spice’-like products), of which five new chemical families were detected.

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Eurofound published a report that states the likelihood that the EU is already in a double-dip recession

According to the latest European Restructuring Monitor (ERM) published by Eurofound, for every three jobs lost in the European Union in large-scale restructurings, two new ones were created during the first quarter of 2012. In addition, the report also reveals a weakening EU economy with an increasing likelihood that the Union is already in a double-dip recession.

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The right to be informed in criminal proceedings, regulated under a new European law

The Council gave its green light to the Directive on the right to information in criminal proceedings, that establishes that suspects of a criminal offence will be informed of their rights in a language they understand. This measure has been taken in order to ensure defendants' right to information during criminal proceedings in the EU.

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