The European Parliament and the Council reached a political agreement on capital requirements for banks

The Irish Presidency of the Council confirmed that on the 27 February, it reached a breakthrough in talks with the European Parliament on an overhaul of banking rules increasing EU financial stability. According to the Irish Presidency, the provisional deal includes restrictions on bankers pay to make sure that pay practices do not lead to excessive risk-taking. It also includes new provisions to making European banks more transparent.

Read more …

The economic crisis remains a key concern for Europeans

The results of a European Parliament latest opinion poll show that Europeans are increasingly interested in European affairs, while the economic crisis remains a key concern, as it has done since 2008.

Read more …

Germany, Poland and Italy are the largest trading partners of Ukraine amongst member states

Eurostat reported that EU international trade in goods with Ukraine grew strongly from 2000 to 2008, then fell sharply in 2009 before partially recovering between 2010 and 2012. In addition, the largest surpluses in trade with Ukraine in 2012 were observed in Germany and Poland, and the largest deficit in Spain. The figures are published on the occasion of the EU-Ukraine summit that takes place in Brussels on 25 February.

Read more …

The forecast shows that GDP in the EU is now bottoming out and economic activity is gradually accelerating

The European Commission published its winter forecast 2012-14 that shows the contrast between the improved financial market situation and the muted macroeconomic prospects for 2013 is to a large extent due to the balance-sheet adjustment process, which continues to weigh on short-term growth.

Read more …

The ECB earned a surplus of €2,164 million in 2012, compared with a surplus of €1,894 million in 2011

On 21 February, the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) approved the audited Annual Accounts of the ECB for the year ending 31 December 2012. The Governing Council decided to transfer as at 31 December 2012 an amount of €1,166 million to the risk provision, which increased it to the level of its present ceiling of €7,529 million. As a result of the transfer to the risk provision, the ECB’s net profit for 2012 was €998 million (2011: €728 million).

Read more …

€3786 million for GMES programme allocated in the proposed multiannual financial framework

The European Space Agency (ESA) welcomed the Council decision to secure the Europe’s Global Monitoring for Environment and Security programme (GMES) EU funding through 2020. Within the new multiannual financial framework, €3786 million was allocated for GMES. ESA highlights that this amount covers GMES Services, In-Situ Component (a network of sensors on the ground, at sea and in the air) and the Space Component, securing funding for the programme’s long-term operational phase.

Read more …

Reached draft deal on the two pack regulations focus on strengthening Commission surveillance of national budgetary and …

The European Parliament and the Council negotiators reached a draft deal on the two pack regulations focus on strengthening Commission surveillance of national budgetary and economic policy and further economic policy coordination. The so-called “two-pack” also lays down clear rules for countries seeking EU financial help.

Read more …

Commission proposes to the Council to participate in negotiations on a new international agreement on trade in services

The European Commission proposed to the Council to give its green light for negotiations on a new international agreement on trade in services. Together, the 21 initial countries (WTO Members) participating in the negotiations represent more than two thirds of world trade in services. The EU wants to develop new rules on trade in services.

Read more …

GDP fell by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU during the fourth quarter of 2012

Eurostat published a flash estimate for the fourth quarter of 2012 which indicates that compared with the previous quarter the GDP fell by 0.6% in the euro area and by 0.5% in the EU. Over the whole year 2012, GDP fell by 0.5% in the euro area and by 0.3% in the EU.

Read more …

Assembly of European Regions regrets the cuts in cohesion policy funding on the Multiannual Financial Framework

The Assembly of European Regions (AER), which is the largest independent network of regions in wider Europe, regrets in a statement the historical reduction in the European Union budget, following the agreement reached between European leaders on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2014-2020.

Read more …

The European Commission launches an observatory to map progress and measure the impact of the bioeconomy

The European Commission announced the launching of an observatory that will gather data to follow the evolution of markets, to map EU, national and regional bioeconomy policies, research and innovation capacities, and the scale of related public and private investments.

Read more …