Spain was the top foreign destination of EU residents in 2011, followed by Italy and France

Eurostat published its figures regarding tourism in the EU in 2011. In 2011, EU residents made 1.0 billion holiday trips, of which around one quarter were trips outside the country of residence. Highest share of outbound holiday trips in Luxembourg and Belgium and Spain was the top foreign destination of EU residents.

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Commission's decision finding anti-competitive conduct on the part of copyright collecting societies, partially annulled

The European General Court partially annulled the European Commission's decision from 2008 prohibited 24 European collecting societies from restricting competition, in particular by limiting their ability to offer their services to authors and commercial users outside their domestic territory. According to the Court, the Commission has not provided sufficient evidence.

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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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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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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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The Civil Liberties Committee of the European Parliament proposes to strengthen visa reciprocity requirements

Members of the Civil Liberties Committee of the Parliament have approved an amendment to the proposed revision of the visa regulation in order to strengthen the mechanisms aimed at ensuring reciprocity on visa requirements. The principle of reciprocity entails that a third country whose citizens benefit from a visa waiver must give equal treatment to citizens from all EU Member states.

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EESC calls on the Commission to take steps to end to food waste in the EU

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted in its latest plenary session an opinion that calls on the European Commission to take steps to counter this dramatic trend aggravated by the economic crisis which is the food waste in the EU. Food waste amounts to 89 million tonnes a year in the EU, while 79 million EU citizens live below the poverty line.

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Committee of the Regions and the EESC join forces to build a Europe of the people and for the people

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Staffan Nilson, invited Ramon Valcárcel Siso, president of the Committee of the Regions, to attend the latest plenary session of the EESC in order to look at ways of developing political cooperation between the two Committees. The main aim of this action was to join forces in building a Europe "of the people and for the people".

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eHealth Week will be celebrated from 13th – 15th May 2013

The Irish Presidency of the EU Council announced that the eHealth Week will take place from 13th – 15th May 2013. On this occasion, it will focus on the use of technology to revolutionise healthcare delivery and improve patient outcomes.

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