The Eurogroup reaffirmed the importance of fully guaranteeing deposits below €100 000 in the EU

Jeroen Dijsselbloem, President of the Eurogroup, reaffirmed the Eurogroup's readiness to stand ready to discuss with the Cypriot authorities a draft new proposal, which it expects the Cyprus authorities to present as rapidly as possible. In a meeting with MEPs, Mr Dijsselbloem also told them he doubted that there really was a possible 'Plan B'.

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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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MEPs and the Irish Presidency of the EU reached a deal on banking supervision legislation

The European Parliament's negotiators and the Irish Presidency of the EU Council reached a deal on banking supervision legislation. According to MEPs, the deal will strengthen EU-level oversight of many EU banks.

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The Commission reduces the fees and charges that SMEs have to pay to register chemicals

With the aim at helping SMEs that produce or trade chemicals to remain competitive during the current difficult market situation, the European Commission lowered the fees and charges that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have to pay to register chemicals.

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Political agreement reached in the Council on the reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP)

EU Agriculture Ministers reached an agreement on a general approach on the four main proposals for regulations within the framework of reform of the common agricultural policy (CAP). This agreement will enable negotiations to be launched between the Parliament and the Council with a view to political agreement in June this year.

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MEPs propose to establish a public prosecutor to protect EU financial interests

The Special Committee against Organised Crime in the European Parliament suggested to the EU that it should establish a public prosecutor to protect its financial interests and introduce an EU-wide definition of Mafia-style crime. MEPs' proposal also suggests that all member states should simplify their rules on confiscating criminals' assets.

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€33 million more from the EU funds to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

The European Commission announced the EU decision of allocating €33 million to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). According to the Commission, the mission plays an essential role in securing the country on its path towards lasting peace, prosperity and stability.

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Public consultation launched on small-scale cross-border disputes in the EU

The European Commission has launched a public consultation that seeks opinions on how to improve access to justice for consumers and small businesses in small-scale cross-border disputes. With this consultation, the Commission intends to improve confidence in cross-border shopping, helping consumers and businesses make full use of Europe’s Single Market.

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In 2012, road fatalities across the EU have decreased by 9% compared with 2011

The European Commission published its statistics on road deaths in the European Union that show that 2012 saw the lowest number of people killed in road traffic in EU countries since the first data were collected. The countries with the lowest number of road fatalities remain the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark.

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