Commission has concerns over the compatibility of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of Hungary with EU legislation

Following a first legal analysis, the European Commission has raised serious concerns over the compatibility of the Fourth Amendment to the Hungarian Fundamental Law with EU legislation and with the principle of the rule of law in a letter sent to Prime Minister Viktor Orbán. Among other issues, the letter refers about the conformity with EU law of the new articles of the Hungarian Constitution on the clause on European Court of Justice judgements entailing payment obligations.

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The CoR calls to ensure adequate planning of regional and local investment for the coming years

President of the Committee of Regions (CoR), Ramon Luis Valcárcel, called for an agreement on the EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) to be reached before the summer, in order to ensure adequate planning of regional and local investment for the coming years. He also expressed serious concerns about the positions expressed by some MEPs who suggested that cohesion policy was rooted in the past.

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Member states' Permanent Representatives endorsed rules on exposure of workers to electromagnetic fields

Member states' Permanent Representatives endorsed the compromise reached between the Council and the European Parliament negotiators, with the help of the Commission, on a new directive on the minimum health and safety requirements regarding the exposure of workers to the risks arising from electromagnetic fields.

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Over 40 parliamentary presidents signed the declaration to relaunch Union for the Mediterranean

Presidents of Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) parliaments approved a declaration which calls for more democratic legitimacy and participation by UfM citizens. They highlighted that projects common to both sides of the Mediterranean in the fields of infrastructure, education and training and female entrepreneurship need renewed financial support and strong parliaments.

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A report highlights areas where the EU should pay particular attention with regard to the EU's Internal Security

According to the European Commission's annual report on the implementation of the EU's Internal Security Strategy, organised crime and cybercrime, along with trafficking in human beings and the increase in violent extremism are major security threats that the EU continues to face, together with money laundering and corruption.

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Member states' representatives endorsed EU Open Data rules

The EU Council's 'Coreper' committee (EU Committee of Member States' Permanent Representatives) backed the EU Open Data rules as proposed by the European Commission. The revision of the 2003 Public Sector Information Directive would make all generally accessible (that is, non-personal) public sector information available for re-use.

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A Commission report points to a progressive deterioration of social dialogue in the European Union

According to the Industrial Relations in Europe 2012 report published by the European Commission, the relations between social partners have been increasingly strained since the crisis began. Budgetary adjustment measures and reforms implemented by governments have contributed to labour relations which are increasingly conflictual in European industry.

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The JRC is working in a system to map the risk of ship strike with endangered whales

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has merged data on daily traffic data and with information on which habitats are favourable to fin whales favourable habitats to produce maps of potential risk of strike. While the Mediterranean Sea is a major forage ground for the endangered fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) it also represents 30% of all international maritime traffic concentrated within only 0.8% of the global ocean surface.

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A network of small power plants capable of replacing traditional power stations, part of an EU-funded project

A team of researchers have created a virtual prototype of the combined power plant developed by the Combined Power Plant 2 Project, that has already shown that it is technologically possible to let each individual producer feed their electricity into the grid and have the grid remain stable during this process.

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Commission warns about excessive macroeconomic imbalances in Spain and Slovenia

The European Commission has presented its conclusions on the in-depth reviews conducted in thirteen Member States economies. These findings indicate that both Spain and Slovenia show excessive macroeconomic imbalances which can represent a serious risk for growth and financial stability.

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Celebrating the first anniversary of the European Citizens' Initiative

One year after the implementation of the European Citizens' Initiative, 27 proposals have already been presented raising more than 1.6 million signatures. To celebrate this first anniversary and the European Citizens' Initiative Day 2013 the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) gathered in Brussels on April 9 different stakeholders who analysed the achievements and weaknesses of this tool of democratic participation.

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Commission proposed to the Council the conclusion of the Protocol amending WTO Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA)

The formal conclusion of the Protocol amending the Agreement on Government Procurement (GPA), the only legally binding agreement in the WTO on the subject of government procurement, was proposed by the Commission to the Council. The European Parliament will also be called upon to give its consent to the conclusion of the Protocol.

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