€230 million in guarantees to back the private issuance of "project bonds" for infrastructure projects in the EU

MEPs approved a plan that has as main objective to attract private investment in transport, energy and information technology network projects. The scheme, that will be managed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), will allocate €230 million in guarantees to back the private issuance of "project bonds".

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EU-UNICEF project launched to ensure birth registration in eight countries across Africa, Asia and the Pacific

In Asia and in Africa, less than half of children are currently registered. The European Commission announced the launching of a EU-UNICEF project to be implemented in Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Myanmar, Mozambique, Uganda, Kiribati, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands and that will replace existing registration processes. €6 million will be allocated to the project in total. In a period of three years the gap between rural and urban rates of birth registration is expected to reduce by at least half thanks to the project.

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The rules on derivatives will apply from the end of 2012

The Council adopted a regulation aimed at increasing transparency in derivatives and reducing risk in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market. This adoption comes after the Council accepted all amendments voted by the Parliament at first reading on 3 July. This regulation is intended to implement commitments made by G-20 leaders in September 2009.

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The Commission presents a new smartphone app to help passengers that travels in air and rail transport

A new app for smartphones was presented by the European Commission with the aim at helping passenger with their rights when travelling this summer. The app is available in 22 EU languages and it currently covers air and rail transport and will be extended to bus/coach and marine travel in 2013 when these rights come into force.

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MEPs give green light to the rules aimed to clarify competition rules for rail transport

The European Parliament approved a new rule which was previously agreed with the Council which aims to stimulate the supply of international freight and passenger services and to improve their quality. In addition, the new rules have as objective to clarify competition rules for rail transport firms and rail infrastructure managers. Once the new directive has been approved by the Council of Ministers, it will enter into force on the day after its publication.

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