The EU and the euro area unemployment rates remained stable in August 2012

The euro area unemployment rate was 11.4% in August 2012, stable compared with July. The EU unemployment rate was 10.5% in the same month, also stable compared with July. However, in both zones, rates have risen compared with August 2011. Once more, the lowest unemployment rate were recorded in Austria (4.5%), and the highest in Spain (25.1%) and Greece (24.4% in June 2012).

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Food industry will be permitted to use in the EU only those flavouring substances featuring on the approved lists

The European Commission adopted two pieces of legislation to permit that flavouring substances in food will become even safer and more transparent. Used to alter the taste and/or odour of food, flavourings substances are used in a wide variety of foods, such as soft drinks, confectionery, cereals, cakes and yoghurts, and have now been evaluated at EU level. Now, only those flavouring substances featuring on the approved lists will be permitted for use by the food industry.

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Key objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy are still far to be reached

Eurostat published a short publication presenting past trends and latest data for each of the headline indicators of the strategy at EU and Member State level. These indicators show progresses but also that there is still work to do to achieving the strategy's goals. The Europe 2020 strategy aims at establishing a smart, sustainable and inclusive economy with high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion.

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The Commission launched a consultation to identify the TOP 10 most burdensome legislative acts for SMEs

The European Commission is looking to cut red tape for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It is therefore launching a consultation process for them and their representative organisations, in order to help to identify the top ten EU legislative acts considered most burdensome by micro-companies and SMEs. The public consultation will be running until 21 December 2012.

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In the second quarter of 2012, labour market and social divergence persist between Member States

The Quarterly Review presented by the European Commission shows that the unemployment and social situation in the EU remained a very serious concern in the second quarter of 2012. It is displayed on the report very significant differences between Member States, but unemployment rising overall, households' financial situation deteriorating and child poverty increasing in all of them.

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The stress test to the Spanish banks shows that the financial assistance agreed in July is adequate

Jean-Claude Junker, President of the Eurogroup, considers that the results of the independent valuation of Spanish banks show that the financial assistance decision to Spain in the form of a banking recapitalisation programme (it would cover financing needs of up to €100 billion) is adequate. Upon approval of the restructuring and/or orderly resolution plans, the recapitalisation of a first group of banks is scheduled to occur by November, according to the European Commission.

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