President of the European Council confirms that fighting against unemployment is part of the EU economic strategy

Following the first evening of the Spring European Council, Herman Van Rompuy highlighted that EU leaders agreed that the only way out of the crisis is to keep tackling its root causes. They also reconfirmed the EU economic strategy which has four strands: Restoring financial stability, and maintaining it; Ensuring sound public finances, structurally sound; Urgently fighting unemployment; And reforming for long-term growth and competitiveness.

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MEPs call on the Commission to combat corruption in sports by introducing common penalties

The European Parliament approved a resolution that asks to the European Commission to combat corruption in sports by introducing common penalties for match-fixing. The resolution also urges the European Commission to identify third countries with a view to stepping up collaboration to combat organised crime linked to illegal betting and match-fixing.

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A Commission's report underlines that the struggle against protectionism continues

The Trade and Investment Barriers Report that will be presented to the European Council on 14-15 March 2013, shows that the efforts of the European Commission to fight protectionism over the last year bear fruit and could create better trade and investment conditions for EU companies. However, the Commission also stressed that the struggle against protectionism continues.

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Commission's new plans to tackle aggressive commercial practices across the EU

The European Commission presented a new strategy to fight against aggressive commercial practices across the EU to step up enforcement of the rules to increase citizens' trust when shopping in Europe’s internal market.

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Commission agreed on the draft mandate for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with the United …

The European Commission is ready with a proposed mandate for the future negotiations for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement with the United States. The draft mandate will now be sent to the Council for the Member States to approve it before negotiations can start.

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MEPs voted its position for negotiations with member states on the EU farm policy

The European Parliament voted in plenary session its position for negotiations with EU member states on the CAP reform. This will be the first EU farm policy reform shaped by Parliament as a full co-legislator with EU member states. Among other things, the Parliament voted in favour of the publication of beneficiaries of EU agricultural funding and inserted a list of land-owners.

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The Commission presented a proposal to improve sustainable management of marine and coastal areas

The European Commission presented a project of Directive aimed at establishing a common European framework for maritime spatial planning and integrated coastal management in EU Member States, with a view to ensuring that the growth of maritime and coastal activities and the use of resources at sea and on coasts remain sustainable.

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MEPs rejected the member states deal on the EU budget for 2014-2020

The European Parliament rejected the agreement reached among member states on the EU budget for 2014-2020. In addition to sets out its stance on this topic for negotiating with the Council, MEPs want a political undertaking from the Council that all bills falling due in 2013 will be paid in 2013, so as to avoid "rolling over" a deficit into the new Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

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Member states have until 16th March to have integrated the revised Late Payments Directive into their national law

The Directive that obliges public authorities to pay for goods and services within 30 calendar days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days, has to be integrated into member states national law by 16th March 2013. In particular, the Directive intends to end late payments.

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The “two pack” economic governance legislation approved by MEPs

The European Parliament adopted in plenary session the agreement reached with the Council on the next round of EU economic governance legislation, the so called “two pack”. According to MEPs, these new rules will do more to deliver growth and the European Commission's new powers to vet Eurozone countries' budgets will be better democratically controlled.

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The transfer of competences from national authorities to the European Rail Agency was discussed by the Council

EU ministers on Transport held a debate on the fourth railway package which mainly focused on the proposal for a recast of the 2008 directive on the interoperability of the EU rail system. According to the Council, ministers broadly acknowledged the need to increase the efficiency of the authorisation process. However, misgivings were expressed about the transfer of competences from national authorities to the European Rail Agency as proposed by the Commission.

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Consequences of the economic crisis have a greater impact on women than men

A resolution adopted by the European Parliament in plenary session highlights how women are suffering most from the effects of budget cuts in social policies. Along with this resolution, MEPs also approved two more texts introducing the need to fight gender stereotypes in the EU and about the protection of the rights of women in North Africa.

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