MEPs want to start negotiations with US in public procurement and financial services

The International Trade Committee approved a resolution that calls on the Council to authorize the start of Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) talks with the US in June. MEPs highlighted that the negotiating mandate should include public procurement and financial services, but exclude culture.

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Commission recommends to EU member states to open negotiations with Serbia on EU accession

The European Commission and the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy published a report that recommends to EU member states that negotiations be opened with Serbia on EU accession, and with Kosovo on a Stabilisation and Association Agreement with the EU. This recommendations is based, among other things, on the historic agreement reached by Serbia and Kosovo in the EU-facilitated dialogue.

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Over 40 parliamentary presidents signed the declaration to relaunch Union for the Mediterranean

Presidents of Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) parliaments approved a declaration which calls for more democratic legitimacy and participation by UfM citizens. They highlighted that projects common to both sides of the Mediterranean in the fields of infrastructure, education and training and female entrepreneurship need renewed financial support and strong parliaments.

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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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€272.75 million from EU funds to promote regional cooperation in the Western Balkans

A series of measures to promote regional cooperation between Western Balkan countries totalling €272.75 million for the period 2012-2013 were finalised by the European Commission. This European institution highlighted that the funds will support among others cooperation with international financial institutions to mobilise funding and help develop civil society.

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€48 million, the second part of the 2013 assistance package for Palestine, adopted by the EU

In order to ensure that critical support to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) for the provision of vital services in the area of health, education and social services to the Palestinian people is not interrupted, the European Union has adopted the second part of its 2013 assistance package for Palestine.

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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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Croatia is ready to join the EU, according to the European Commission

The European Commission's last Monitoring Report on Croatia's preparations for joining the EU show that this country has completed the ten priority actions identified in the previous report in October, and has shown the will and ability to fulfil all outstanding commitments in good time before accession.

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€33 million more from the EU funds to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM)

The European Commission announced the EU decision of allocating €33 million to the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). According to the Commission, the mission plays an essential role in securing the country on its path towards lasting peace, prosperity and stability.

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