An extra €11.2 billion is required for the EU budget to cover unpaid claims from 2012

The European Commission confirmed that an extra €11.2 billion is required for the EU budget to reimburse beneficiaries of EU funded programmes completed across Europe in 2012 as well as to honour the Cohesion Policy claims that will fall due in 2013. The MEP chairing the Budget Committee in the European Parliament, Alain Lamassoure, stressed that the Commission proposal to settle only part of the EU's €16.2 billion debt rolled over from 2012 threatens the EU with insolvency later in 2013.

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New comparative tool to promote effective justice systems in the European Union

The European Commission presented the ‘European Justice Scoreboard’ that has as main objective to provide objective, reliable and comparable data on the functioning of the justice systems in the EU’s 27 Member States. The 2013 Justice Scoreboard focuses on the parameters of a justice system which contribute to the improvement of the business and investment climate.

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Commission raised key questions on the designing of the new international agreement to combat climate change

The European Commission published a consultative paper that launches a public debate on how best to design a new international agreement to combat climate change, which is to be completed by the end of 2015 and to apply from 2020.

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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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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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A report shows that education budgets in member states are under pressure

The European Commission presented a report which shows that cuts of more than 5% were imposed in Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania and Portugal, while Estonia, Poland, Spain and the UK (Scotland) education's budgets saw decreases of 1 to 5% in 2010. The cuts have also resulted in reductions in the number of teaching staff in 10 member states: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania and UK.

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MEPs propose to establish a public prosecutor to protect EU financial interests

The Special Committee against Organised Crime in the European Parliament suggested to the EU that it should establish a public prosecutor to protect its financial interests and introduce an EU-wide definition of Mafia-style crime. MEPs' proposal also suggests that all member states should simplify their rules on confiscating criminals' assets.

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In 2012, road fatalities across the EU have decreased by 9% compared with 2011

The European Commission published its statistics on road deaths in the European Union that show that 2012 saw the lowest number of people killed in road traffic in EU countries since the first data were collected. The countries with the lowest number of road fatalities remain the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark.

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Commission proposes tailored roadmaps to help member states to get on track with waste management

Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik is participating in a high level seminar in Brussels to help member states that are lagging behind in sustainable waste management practices. The aim is to help optimise their waste policies through tailored Roadmaps with practical recommendations, focusing on the effective implementation of EU waste legislation.

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Budgetary Control Committee approved the 2011 spending for which the Commission was responsible

MEPs at the Budgetary Control Committee in the European Parliament approved the European Commission's management of EU spending under the 2011 budget. MEPs also underlined that spending by member states' administrations under the "shared management" regime - accounting for 80% of the EU budget - had not improved.

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