The effectiveness of EU funding for municipal waste management infrastructures is limited

The report published by the European Court of Auditors shows that although in almost all the regions selected some improvements in the management of waste were observed, the effectiveness of structural measures funding for municipal waste management infrastructures was hampered by the poor implementation of supporting measures.

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Commission launched a consultation to identify and eliminate any gaps in the internal market for industrial products

The European Commission launched a public consultation to identify and eliminate any gaps in the Single Market legislation for industrial products, in particular if there are any obstacles to the trade of new products and new technologies, such as key enabling technologies or 3-D printing. This public consultation is open to a wide stakeholder audience and the deadline for submissions is 17 April 2013.

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New European Action Plan to boost the cross-border retail

The European Commission presented a European Retail Action Plan to avoid a number of barriers that hinder the smooth functioning of cross-border sourcing, consumer access to cross-border retail services and market entry for retailers. At the same time, the Commission launched a public consultation on unfair trading practices in the business-to-business food and non-food supply chain.

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Projects with mobile technologies to achieve a personalised tourism are boosted by the Commission

The European Mobile and Mobility Industries Alliance (EMMIA), a scheme boosted by the European Commission, aims to develop more sustainable solutions in the field of mobility by enhancing transnational cooperation and access to mobile services.

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The Commission blocks the acquisition of TNT Express by UPS

UPS which is a US-based global provider of specialised transportation and logistics services proposed to acquire TNT Express, a Dutch company also active in the global logistics sector. Now, the European Commission prohibited the proposed acquisition because the take-over would have restricted competition in 15 Member States when it comes to the express delivery of small packages to another European country.

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Economic Sentiment Indicator increased in both the EU and the euro area while Business Climate Indicator broadly unchanged

The European Commission published that in January 2013, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased by 1.4 points in both the EU and the euro area. For the same month, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area remained broadly unchanged at -1.09.

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A new international university ranking launched under the Irish EU Presidency

The new 'multi-dimensional' listing will rate universities according to a broader range of factors, in five separate areas: reputation for research, quality of teaching and learning, international orientation, success in knowledge transfer (such as partnerships with business and start-ups), and contribution to regional growth.

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Commission presents new measures to deliver better quality and more choice in railway services in Europe

The European Commission presented proposals for a Fourth Railway Package to encourage more innovation in EU railways by opening EU domestic passenger markets to competition, as well as substantial accompanying technical and structural reforms.

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New public consultation launched on schemes for Milk and Fruit distribution in schools

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the review of two programmes, the European School Milk Scheme and School Fruit Scheme, respectively providing dairy products and fruits and vegetables to children in schools. The consultation will run until 22 April 2013.

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€50 million from the EU to support the African-led International Support Mission to Mali

The European Commission announced that the EU will allocate €50 million to support an African-led peace operation (AFISMA). The EU’s financial support for AFISMA will come from the African Peace Facility, which is used to support peace operations conducted by the African Union and African regional organisations.

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National parliaments must play a much more active role in the European Semester

According to the European Parliament Vice-President Othmar Karas, national parliaments must play a much more active role in the European Semester because, although it shapes recommendations in almost all policy fields, it is elected representatives who ultimately must take responsibility for decisions.

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The EU will support study to evaluate new fuels for maritime transport

The European Commission announced that with almost €2 million from the TEN-T Programme, it will finance a study looking at the potential beneficial effects of using alternative fuels for port operations. Also, the EU will support with over €1.2 million from the TEN-T Programme a study aimed at identifying and addressing the potential barriers to the construction and operation of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) fuelled vessels.

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