A report shows that education budgets in member states are under pressure

The European Commission presented a report which shows that cuts of more than 5% were imposed in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal, while Estonia, Poland, Spain and the UK (Scotland) education's budgets saw decreases of 1 to 5% in 2010. The cuts have also resulted in reductions in the number of teaching staff in 10 member states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and UK.

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The EU-wide passport for SMEs managers of venture capital funds adopted by the Council

The Council adopted two regulations concerning European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds. The regulations introduce uniform requirements for the managers of collective investment undertakings that want to operate under the EU-wide passport. The Council stressed that SMEs backed by venture capital can create high-quality jobs, as venture capital supports the creation of innovative businesses.

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Two new Communications from the Commission on the next steps towards a deep and genuine Economic and Monetary Union

The European Commission presented two new Communications on the Economic and Monetary Union (EMU). The Communication on the ex-ante coordination of plans for major economic policy reforms contains options on how to organise EU-level discussions on large-scale economic policy reforms in the Member States before final decisions are taken at national level. On the other hand, the Communication on a Convergence and Competitiveness Instrument (CCI) sets out options for two instruments: contractual arrangements for member states to undertake specific reforms and financial support to help member states implement these reforms.

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Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council endorsed deal on temporary derogation from the EU emissions trading …

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council backed the informal agreement reached on 12 March by the Council and the European Parliament on the decision derogating temporarily from directive 2003/87/EC establishing the EU scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading. It is expected that formal adoption will be completed before 30 April 2013.

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