The Council adopted new accounting rules for the land use, land use change and forestry sector

A decision on accounting rules and information on actions concerning greenhouse gas emissions and removals resulting from activities related to land use, land use change and forestry, was adopted by the Agriculture and Fisheries Council. In addition, the Council adopted a regulation on a mechanism for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions.

Read more …

Commission recommends to EU member states to open negotiations with Serbia on EU accession

The European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published a report that recommends to EU member states that negotiations be opened with Serbia on EU accession, and with Kosovo on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU. This recommendations is based, among other things, on the historic agreement reached by Serbia and Kosovo in the EU-facilitated dialogue.

Read more …

The government debt rose in the EU and the euro area in 2012, while the government deficit of both zones decreased

Eurostat published its figures regarding provision of deficit and debt data for 2012. These figures show that the government deficit of both the euro area and the EU decreased in absolute terms compared with 2011, while the government debt rose in both zones. The data published also show that seventeen member states had deficits higher than 3% of GDP. Spain (-10.6%), Greece (-10.0%), Ireland (-7.6%), Portugal (-6.4%), Cyprus and the United Kingdom (both -6.3%) had the highest deficit in 2012.

Read more …

A report shows that innovation and small business are receiving a huge boost from cohesion policy investments

The European Commission published a report in which shows an overview of how EU Structural Funds are working in member states. According to this report, these funds have already led to progress and improvement for many citizens, such as that 1.9 million more people now have broadband access; or 2.6 million more people are served by water supply, 5.7 million more by waste water projects.

Read more …

The deal on the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism (SSM), approved by the Coreper

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council approved a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism (SSM) for the oversight of credit institutions. Once formally approved by both institutions, the Council and the Parliament, the European Central Bank will assume its supervisory tasks within the SSM either on 1 March 2014 or 12 months after entry into force of the legislation.

Read more …

The Commission consults on the insurance options in the context of natural and man-made disasters

The European Commission presented a strategy on adaptation to climate change, and also a Green Paper on insurance in the context of natural and man-made disasters. This public consultation launches a wide debate on the adequacy and availability of existing insurance options.

Read more …

European Parliament gave green light to open up ground-handling services at major EU airports to more competition

MEPs adopted in plenary session a proposal which aims to open up ground-handling services at major EU airports to more competition by increasing the minimum number of service providers. They added minimum quality standards and safeguard clauses for staff to the proposal.

Read more …

A Parliament's resolution argues that the ECB should do more to promote growth and jobs

MEPs adopted in plenary session a resolution that stresses that the European Central Bank should do more to ensure that its cheap loans to banks were being passed on to the real economy and the ECB itself must become more transparent and accountable in line with its growing role in the Eurozone crisis.

Read more …

MEPs rejected to freeze auctions of a portion of CO2 emission quotas

The European Parliament voted against freezing auctions of a portion of CO2 emission quotas, so as to boost the price of EU polluter's permits. A majority of MEPs felt that interfering with the supply of credits would undermine confidence in the Emissions Trading System (ETS). On the other hand, MEPs agreed to temporarily exclude intercontinental flights from the scheme.

Read more …

New proposal would require large companies to disclose environmental and social information in their annual reports

The European Commission presented a proposal to amend the existing accounting legislation in order to improve the transparency of certain large companies on social and environmental matters. According to the proposal, large companies with more than 500 employees would be required to disclose relevant and material environmental and social information in their annual reports.

Read more …

The CoR proposes to allocate €3.5 billion to provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived in Europe

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has proposed that the European Commission increases by €1 billion more the level of investment for a new Fund dedicated to supporting citizens most in need. Additionally, the CoR rejected the Commission's proposals to allow member states to voluntarily participate in co-financing schemes that use the Fund, arguing that this could take away local and regional authorities' access to vitally needed investment.

Read more …

The biggest anti-terrorism exercise at EU level takes places within the ATLAS Network framework

The European Commission announced that the 2013 practical exercise, named “Common Challenge” that simulates terrorist attacks in nine different EU member states in different areas of public life, will be carried out on April 17 and 18 by the Atlas Network. This network is an association consisting of special police units of the 27 EU member states working on countering terrorism and criminal acts.

Read more …