€35,97 million from EU funds to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries

The European Commission has approved a contribution of €35,97 million to the total budget of the 22 programmes to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries. The third countries/regions targeted are: Russia, China, North America, South-East Asia, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, India and South-Korea.

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MEPs want to start negotiations with US in public procurement and financial services

The International Trade Committee approved a resolution that calls on the Council to authorize the start of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the US in June. MEPs highlighted that the negotiating mandate should include public procurement and financial services, but exclude culture.

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The financial crisis continued to exert a significant impact in holding back economic growth in 2012

The European Financial Stability and Integration Report (EFSIR) presented by the European Commission shows, among other conclusions, that European proposals for the establishment of a banking union stem from the need to deepen economic and financial integration in Europe.

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New EU rules could enable firms save billions of euros if they re-use public data instead of producing them from scratch

MEPs at the Industry Committee approved draft EU rules that will enable companies or persons to get access to data such as maps, statistics, weather data, infrastructure listings, data from publicly funded research projects, and digitised books from libraries, which they can then use to develop their businesses. According to MEPs, EU firms could save billions of euros thanks to these draft EU rules that would enable them to re-use public data instead of producing them from scratch

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Commission seeks feedbacks to take them into account in its analysis of Google's commitment proposals

Google has made proposals to try to address the European Commission's four competition concerns. The Commission has concerns that Google may be abusing its dominant position in the markets for web search, online search advertising and online search advertising intermediation in the European Economic Area (EEA). Therefore, the Commission is seeking feedbacks on commitments offered by Google to address these competition concerns.

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The Commission calls on member states to improve training and support for teachers

The European Commission published a report that compiles the latest information on teachers and school leaders, from pre-primary to post-secondary education in the EU, including data on age, gender, working hours and salaries. In the light of the report results, Androulla Vassiliou, Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth stated that all member states should improve training and support for teachers.

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European Web Entrepreneurs of the 2013 Year are SoundCloud and SwiftKey

Alexander Ljung & Eric Wahlforss of SoundCloud are European Entrepreneurs of the Year while Jon Reynolds of SwiftKey is Young European Entrepreneur of the Year (under 30 years). The Europioneer awards are a partnership between the European Commission and The Next Web. On this occasion, 908 nominations were received from across Europe.

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€30 million more from EU funds to support Lebanon in the refugee crisis

The European Commission announced the EU decision to allocate €30 million more to provide additional financial support to Lebanon to mitigate the impact of the Syrian crisis in the country. In addition, €5 million would be designated for Palestine refugees from Syria.

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The Commission consults on regulating about Internet on TV and TV on Internet

The European Commission adopted a Green Paper that opens a public consultation to explore what this Internet on TV and TV on Internet convergence of technology and content could mean for Europe's economic growth and innovation, cultural diversity, and consumers. In particular, the Green Paper asks whether the current approach will also be appropriate in the future.

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MEPs amended the youth guarantee proposal to extend this measure to young people under 30

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted an amended proposal on the EU Youth Employment Initiative which extends this measure to young people under 30. Also, MEPs adopted that regions that had youth unemployment rates above 20% in 2012 would be eligible for Youth Employment Initiative help.

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11 European countries launched the first pan-European university MOOCs (massive open online courses)

The European Commission welcomed the launching of the first pan-European 'MOOCs' (Massive Open Online Courses) initiative. The initiative is led by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU) and mostly involves open universities. So far, it counts with around 40 courses, covering a wide variety of subjects, will be available free of charge and in 12 different languages.

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New platform created by the Commission for fighting tax evasion

The European Commission sets up a Platform for Tax Good Governance that has as main aim to monitor member states' progress in tackling aggressive tax planning and clamping down on tax havens.

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