The financial crisis continued to exert a significant impact in holding back economic growth in 2012

The European Financial Stability and Integration Report (EFSIR) presented by the European Commission shows, among other conclusions, that European proposals for the establishment of a banking union stem from the need to deepen economic and financial integration in Europe.

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The deal on the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism (SSM), approved by the Coreper

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council approved a compromise agreed with the European Parliament on the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism (SSM) for the oversight of credit institutions. Once formally approved by both institutions, the Council and the Parliament, the European Central Bank will assume its supervisory tasks within the SSM either on 1 March 2014 or 12 months after entry into force of the legislation.

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European Court of Justice dismissed the actions brought by Spain and Italy on the enhanced cooperation for a single patent

The actions brought by Spain and Italy against the Council’s decision authorising enhanced cooperation in the area of the single European patent have been dismissed by the European Court of Justice because it as held to be unfounded Spain and Italy’s argument that the protection conferred by that unitary patent would not be advantageous in terms of uniformity.

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Barroso proposes to explore with the budgetary authority the possibility of frontloading future MFF assistance for Cyprus

The President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, suggested to explore with the budgetary authority the possibility of frontloading future MFF assistance for Cyprus, in his letter to reply the letter he received from President of Cyprus, Nicos Anastasiades, regarding EU funding for Cyprus. In his letter, Mr Anastasiades suggested that Cyprus might be given increased allocations under both cohesion and rural development policy. However, Mr Barroso replied that no unallocated margin was left in these headings under the European Council approach.

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The CoR made it clear that independence movements on the part of a region must be seen as internal matters

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) made it clear that demands for autonomy and independence movements on the part of a region must be seen as internal matters for the member state concerned. In addition, according to the CoR, in the hypothetical situation where such a region would become independent and wants to remain in the EU, it would have to apply to become a member of the EU like any state.

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Eurogroup welcomed the staff-level agreement reached between Cyprus and the Troika

The Eurogroup published a statement that welcomed the staff-level agreement that has been reached between Cyprus and the Troika institutions on the policy conditionality underlying the macroeconomic adjustment programme. Besides, the European Commission, ECB and IMF concluded the review mission to Greece which includes a staff-level agreement with the authorities on the economic and financial policies needed to ensure the program remains on track to achieve its objectives.

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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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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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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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Mayors of EU capital cities welcomed Commission's initiative to open a direct dialogue with the capital cities

In a declaration endorsed by mayors of EU capital cities, they welcomed the initiative of the European Commission to open a direct dialogue with the capital cities and to give EU cities a higher profile as direct partners for the EU. Mayors agreed that capital cities are the laboratories where solutions to the EU's social and economic problems must be found.

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Commission stresses that departing from the adjustment plan would aggravate the difficulties in Portugal

The European Commission has backed the Portuguese government decision to continue with the adjustment plan further to the Constitutional Court ruling which declared unconstitutional the Portuguese budget for year 2013. The Commission stressed that not continuing with the adjustment plan could increase the difficulties in the Portuguese recovery process.

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