Public consultation launched on how to make EU merger control even more business-friendly

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the proposal for simplifying procedures under the EU Merger Regulation. The proposed initiative is a technical reform within the existing framework of EU merger control as defined by the Merger Regulation. In particular, the Commission proposes to update the Notice on a simplified procedure for treatment of certain mergers.

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New initiatives proposed to improve the effective trade mark protection in the EU

The European Commission presented a package of initiatives to make trade mark registration systems all over the European Union cheaper, quicker, more reliable and predictable. Among them, as regards fees, the Commission is proposing a principle of "one-class-per-fee" that will apply both for Community trade mark applications and for national trade mark applications.

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The compromise text on the "CRD 4" package, approved by the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council

With the exception of the United Kingdom, the Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council approved the agreement already reached by the European Parliament and the Council on the "CRD 4" package amending the EU's rules on capital requirements for banks and investment firms.

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A Commission's study highlights that the employment and social situation in the EU remained critical

The European Commission's latest Employment and Social Situation Quarterly Review published by the European Commission shows that the employment and social situation in the EU remained critical in the fourth quarter of 2012 with employment receding overall and unemployment rising further. Among other things, the report highlights that the tightening of public budgets has adversely affected employment both directly through reduced public sector employment and indirectly through lower aggregate macroeconomic demand.

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Commission raised key questions on the designing of the new international agreement to combat climate change

The European Commission published a consultative paper that launches a public debate on how best to design a new international agreement to combat climate change, which is to be completed by the end of 2015 and to apply from 2020.

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New rules proposed to cut broadband installation costs in the EU

The European Commission presented a draft regulation aimed at cutting by 30% the cost of rolling out high-speed Internet. The new rules leave organisational issues very much to the discretion of member states.

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Croatia is ready to join the EU, according to the European Commission

The European Commission's last Monitoring Report on Croatia's preparations for joining the EU show that this country has completed the ten priority actions identified in the previous report in October, and has shown the will and ability to fulfil all outstanding commitments in good time before accession.

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The innovation divide between member states is widening

The results of the European Commission Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 show that while the most innovative countries have further improved their performance, others have shown a lack of progress. Sweden remains at the top, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are the countries that have most improved since last year.

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MEPs call for the development of supplementary pension schemes

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted a resolution which stressed that safeguarding public pensions to ensure decent living standards for all in old age must remain a priority in Europe. MEPs also emphasised that public pensions remain the most important source of income for pensioners.

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The Commission seeks opinions on how to foster the supply of long-term financing

The European Commission published a public consultation under a Green Paper with the aim at gathering views on how to foster the supply of long-term financing and how to improve and diversify the system of financial intermediation for long-term investment in Europe.

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The Commission puts forward a proposal to make the EU more attractive for foreign students and researchers

The proposal presented by the Commission responds to the need to give the Union a legislative framework that would maximize its ability to attract talent. Current rules applied to visa award for students or researcher willing to come to Europe are unclear and lack from unity between Member states. The recast proposal presented by the Commission aims to put an end to this situation.

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Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana, short-listed cities to be the European Green Capital in 2015

These four cities have been selected by the European Commission to move to the next phase of this award that distinguishes European cities which stand out for their efforts to protect the environment. The four short-listed finalists have been selected among a group of eight candidates cities .

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