In the field of rail transport, Hungary and Spain have failed to comply with their obligations under EU law

The European Commission welcomed the European Court of Justice (ECJ)'s judgments which confirmed that Hungary and Spain have failed to comply with their obligations under EU law in the field of rail transport. On the other hand, Austrian and German rail transport legislation complies with EU law ruled in favour of the European. Although the Commission respects the Court's interpretation of the current law, it remains convinced that a more effective separation between an infrastructure manager and other rail operations is essential to ensure non-discriminatory access for all operators to the rail tracks, and thus to stimulate growth in the rail sector.

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The Youth Guarantee proposal moves forward following Council agreement

The European Commission welcomed the political agreement reached on the proposed Youth Guarantee Recommendation at the EU's Council of Employment and Social Affairs Ministers on 28th February. The Youth Guarantee implies that member states should put in place measures to ensure that young people up to age 25 receive a good quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving school or becoming unemployed.

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The European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on capital requirements for banks

The Irish Presidency of the Council confirmed that on the 27 February, it reached a breakthrough in talks with the European Parliament on an overhaul of banking rules increasing EU financial stability. According to the Irish Presidency, the provisional deal includes restrictions on bankers pay to make sure that pay practices do not lead to excessive risk-taking. It also includes new provisions to making European banks more transparent.

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MEPs backed the proposal to suspend temporarily the EU CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for intercontinental flights

The Environment Committee at the European Parliament backed a proposal to suspend temporarily the EU CO2 Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for intercontinental flights, so as to enable International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to agree worldwide measures. The ETS will continue to apply to flights between EU airports.

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The proposed takeover of the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus by Ryanair has been prohibited by the Commission

The European Commission announced the prohibition, on the basis of the EU Merger Regulation, of the proposed takeover of the Irish flag carrier Aer Lingus by the low-cost airline Ryanair. The Commission concluded that the merger would have harmed consumers by creating a monopoly or a dominant position on 46 routes where, currently, Aer Lingus and Ryanair compete vigorously against each other.

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