In the EU, support to the real economy on the basis of temporary crisis rules dropped to more than 50% in 2011 compared …

The European Commission's 2012 State Aid Scoreboard revealed that the volume of national support to the financial sector actually taken by banks between October 2008 and 31 December 2011 amounted to around €1.6 trillion (13% of EU GDP). Moreover, reflecting both a low uptake by companies and the budgetary constraints of most EU Member States, support to the real economy on the basis of temporary crisis rules dropped to €4.8 billion in 2011, a fall of more than 50% compared with 2010.

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Adopted the new Eastern Partnership Police Cooperation Programme

The European Commission adopted a new programme to support cooperation on police services between the EU and the Eastern Partnership (EaP) neighbouring countries. The Eastern Partnership Police Cooperation Programme is designed to reflect the required reforms of the law enforcement sector to support progress towards deep and sustainable democracy within the European Neighbourhood region.

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Commission informed Samsung of a possible abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules

The European Commission sent a Statement of Objections with its preliminary view that Samsung's seeking of injunctions against Apple in various Member States on the basis of its mobile phone standard-essential patents ("SEPs") amounts to an abuse of a dominant position prohibited by EU antitrust rules.

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Spain is authorised to extend the temporary restriction on access for Romanian workers to the its labour market

The European Commission approved a request from the Spanish authorities to extend the temporary restriction on access for Romanian workers to the Spanish labour market until 31 December 2013 due to serious disturbances on its labour market due to serious disturbances on its labour market. As from 1 January 2014, temporary restrictions on the free movement of Romanian and Bulgarian workers must be lifted in all Member States.

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40% of greenhouse emissions in the EU come from energy industries such as heating plants, power stations and refineries

The European Environment Agency (EEA) published a report which shows that households and industry in the EU were largely responsible for the emissions increase in 2010, together leading to an additional 90 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent compared to 2009. Households and industry in the EU each cause approximately a quarter of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions, according to the report.

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€200 million from the EIB and €200 million more from the Banco de Sabadell to support SMEs

The European Investment Bank (EIB) has signed a loan agreement with Banco de Sabadell to finance the investment projects of SMEs and midcaps. The projects eligible for financing will mostly be located in Spain and to a lesser degree in other EU countries. EIB and Banco de Sabadell will contribute with €200 million each.

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€171,6 million from the EU funds to support on-going reforms in Serbia

The European Commission announced the allocation of €171,6 million to support Serbia's efforts to implement its EU reform agenda. The funds will be aimed at improving social inclusion, (in particular of the Roma population), employment and human resources development, human rights, protection of minorities, anti-discrimination policies and education.

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The Commission wants to modernise, strengthen and rationalise the customs union in the years ahead

The European Commission presented a Communication which takes stock of the current state of the EU customs union, identifies the challenges that it currently faces, and sets out priority actions for ensuring its future evolution.

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The Commission is gathering views on unconventional fossil fuels in Europe

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the future development of unconventional fossil fuels such as shale gas in Europe. All interested individuals, organisations and public authorities are welcome to share their views before 20 March 2013 on the possible opportunities and challenges that may arise from the development of such projects and on the best ways to address the challenges identified so far.

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The Council called for a more robust EU external aviation policy

The Council has called for stronger coordination, unity and solidarity at EU level and for a more robust EU external aviation policy in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the European aviation industry while supporting the interests of European consumers.

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From 21 December, insurers will have to charge the same prices to women and men for the same insurance products

The new EU rules which include that insurers in Europe will have to charge the same prices to women and men for the same insurance products without distinction on the grounds of sex, will enter into force from 21 of December.

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EIB and EESC Presidents called for accelerating investments in the EU to facilitate structural change

Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) agreed that long-term investment can significantly boost growth in times of crisis and constrained public budgets combined with private deleveraging. Both the EIB and the EESC agreed on the need to strengthen the EIB's relations with civil society, and the EESC already strongly supports the actions of the EIB.

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