The innovation divide between member states is widening

The results of the European Commission Innovation Union Scoreboard 2013 show that while the most innovative countries have further improved their performance, others have shown a lack of progress. Sweden remains at the top, followed by Germany, Denmark and Finland. Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia are the countries that have most improved since last year.

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MEPs call for the development of supplementary pension schemes

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted a resolution which stressed that safeguarding public pensions to ensure decent living standards for all in old age must remain a priority in Europe. MEPs also emphasised that public pensions remain the most important source of income for pensioners.

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The Commission seeks opinions on how to foster the supply of long-term financing

The European Commission published a public consultation under a Green Paper with the aim at gathering views on how to foster the supply of long-term financing and how to improve and diversify the system of financial intermediation for long-term investment in Europe.

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The Commission puts forward a proposal to make the EU more attractive for foreign students and researchers

The proposal presented by the Commission responds to the need to give the Union a legislative framework that would maximize its ability to attract talent. Current rules applied to visa award for students or researcher willing to come to Europe are unclear and lack from unity between Member states. The recast proposal presented by the Commission aims to put an end to this situation.

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Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana, short-listed cities to be the European Green Capital in 2015

These four cities have been selected by the European Commission to move to the next phase of this award that distinguishes European cities which stand out for their efforts to protect the environment. The four short-listed finalists have been selected among a group of eight candidates cities .

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Negotiations on the Free Trade Agreement between the European Union and Japan officially launched


The European Union and Japan have officially opened the negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement. These negotiations will cover a wide range of trade-related issues between both parties such as the reciprocal access to public procurement, some regulatory issues, competition and sustainable development.

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The first stage of the StartUp Europe campaign is underway

The European Commission has launched the first of the six parts that form the StartUp Europe campaign. The key objective of the plan is to interconnect the existing ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship in the European Union by facilitating the dialogue and the exchange of experiences. The first step of this plan has been taken by creating the Startup Europe Leaders Club.

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The Eurogroup and the Cypriot authorities reach an agreement for the financial aid programme application

The agreement reached in Brussels by the Eurogroup and the Cypriot authorities includes the necessary elements for the implementation of the future macroeconomic adjustment plan. The agreement will involve the immediate resolution of the second largest bank in Cyprus, the Laiki Bank, as well as the restructuring of the Bank of Cyprus. All insured depositors in all banks will be fully protected in accordance with the relevant EU
legislation.
 

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MEPs stressed that individual investors' money must also be better protected

Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee underlined that investment fund managers' bonuses must be capped, and their salaries must be linked to their funds' performance. According to the responsible MEP of the report, Sven Giegold, the UCITS bonus cap will help strengthen investor protection and reduce risky speculation.

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Commission consults on audiovisual media regulator independence in the EU

The European Commission launched two public consultations on media freedom and pluralism and audiovisual media regulator independence in the EU. The contributions to both consultations can be made until 14th June 2013.

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€24.2 million to help redundant workers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden

5,271 workers in Austria, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Romania, Spain and Sweden will benefit from the just made payments from the European Commission. In particular, the total amount of €24.2 million will help workers in those countries back into employment, following their dismissals in a wide variety of sectors including automotive, motorcycles, mobile phones, metal products, electronic equipment and social work activities.

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Council adopted a new regulatory framework to modernise and expand Europe's energy infrastructure

The Council adopted the regulation on guidelines for trans-European energy infrastructure following an agreement reached with the European Parliament. The regulation gives priority to twelve strategic trans-European energy corridors and areas. The European Commission welcomed Council adoption of the Energy Infrastructure Regulation because it foresees a new more transparent and accelerated permit granting procedure which generally will not exceed 3 years and 6 months.

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