On 1 November 2012 it enters into force the requirements for new types of motor vehicles

The European Commission announced that from 1 November 2012 on new safety requirements for new types of motor vehicles will be mandatory. The requirements include safety belt reminders, safety requirements for electric vehicles, easier child seat anchorages (ISOFIX), better protection of passengers against the displacement of luggage in case of the accident and tyre pressure monitoring system.

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The EU published the specific tariff preferences for developing countries

The revised import preference scheme - known as the Generalised Scheme of Preferences (GSP) - for developing countries most in need, and which will take effect from 1 January 2014, was published by the EU. The new scheme will be focused on fewer beneficiaries (89 countries) to ensure more impact on countries most in need.
 

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The unemployment rate registered a slight increase in September in the euro area

Eurostat informed that compared with August, in the euro area the unemployment rate was slightly higher in September. The EU unemployment rate was 10.6% in September 2012, stable compared with August. The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands, and the highest in Spain (25.8%) and Greece (25.1% in July 2012).

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Political agreement reached by the Council on the new EU regulation for the tachograph

Ministers reached a political agreement at the meeting held on 29 October on the new regulation on the tachograph used in road transport. One delegation, however, it is not supporting the text because it would have liked to see a wider exemption from the obligation to use the tachograph for small and medium-sized enterprises. The aim of the new draft legislation is to make fraud more difficult and to reduce the administrative burden by making full use of new technologies and introducing a number of new regulatory measures.

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Commission and the European Parliament against the Presidency proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework

The negotiation box on the EU long-term budget for 2014-2020 presented by the Cypriot Presidency is not supported by the European Commission nor by the European Parliament. Parliament's negotiators expressed their concern on the proposed cut of €50 billion as compared to the Commission's initial proposal.

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European Court of Auditors finds that EU assistance to Kosovo in the field of the rule of law is not effective

The European Court of Auditors (ECA) has audited the EU’s assistance to Kosovo in the field of the rule of law. The result of this audit shows that the rule of law assistance to Kosovo was not sufficiently effective. Although the EU helped to build capacity, notably in the area of customs, assistance to the police and the judiciary has had only modest success.

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Local and regional authorities need to be more engaged to better deliver the Europe 2020 objectives

The results of the report published by the Committee of the Regions (CoR) show that whilst there is widespread awareness and support for Europe 2020 – the EU’s growth strategy - there is an urgent need to commit more financial resources and to better engage local and regional authorities if its ambitious targets are to be met.

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While the Economic sentiment declines in the euro area, it remains stable in the EU

The Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) remained unchanged in the EU, and declined by 0.7 points in the euro area in October 2012. Consumer confidence remained broadly unchanged. For the same period, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area also decreased. The decline was driven by markedly worsened assessments of order books and past production.

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New directive adopted to reduce emissions from shipping due to the combustion of marine fuels

The Council adopted the directive amending directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels. It renders the most recent International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules on marine fuel standards mandatory in the EU. The directive aims therefore to reduce some certain emissions from shipping considerably and to provide a high level of protection for human health and the environment.

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EU Ministers agreed on a general approach to tackle airport congestion by updating the rules on slots allocation

The Council reached a general approach on a new draft regulation that will in particular allow airlines to sell and buy slots. This new law is aimed to optimise the allocation system against the backdrop of growing airport congestion. In particular, the compromise reached at the Council meeting allows member states to apply temporary restrictions to slots trading in duly justified cases, but gives the Commission the right to oppose such a decision.

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Lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film director Jafar Panahi, two Iranian activists, winners of the Sakharov Prize

The European Parliament announced that this year's winners of the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought are two Iranian activists, lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh and film director Jafar Panahi. In addition, an European Parliament delegation cancelled a visit to Iran after refusal Iranian authorities to meet Sakharov Prize winners.

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New public consultation launched to identify the research directions for future and emerging technologies

The European Commission has opened a public consultation in order to identify promising and potentially game-changing directions for future technological research. The Commission is inviting scientists, researchers, engineers, innovators, artists, entrepreneurs and individuals to submit their ideas before 30 November 2012.

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