Launching of a real-time passport control capacity at Tripoli International Airport by the EU and INTERPOL

The EU and INTERPOL, in partnership with the Libyan authorities, are launching a key stage of a €2.2 million project funded by the EU's Instrument for Stability aimed at making tangible improvements to Libyan border security and helping security sector reform. In particular, they will inaugurate on 7 March the establishment of a real-time passport control capacity at Tripoli International Airport.

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€30 million more from EU fund to Lebanon to deal with refugee crisis

The European Commission announced that it will provide an additional €30 million to Lebanon to alleviate the impact of the high influx of refugees from Syria. The Commission highlighted that the objective of this special measure is to reinforce the national capacity to deal with the unprecedented number of refugees and provide financial support for the Government’s plan to mitigate the consequences this has for the country.

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As of 1 March, the EU trade agreement with Peru provisionally applies

The trade agreement concluded with Peru in 2012 provisionally applies from 1 of March 2013. According to the European Commission, the Agreement will open up markets for both EU and Peruvian exporters eventually bringing annual savings of more than €500 million. The Commission also stressed that Colombia is expected to join the implementation phase later this year.

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The Commission presented an Action Plan for Visa Liberalisation with Georgia

The European Commission presented an Action Plan that represents a further step towards full visa liberalisation with Georgia. The Commission highlighted that it clearly sets out all technical conditions to be met by Georgia before the possible establishment of a visa-free travel regime.

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€20 million from the EU funds allocated and the EU training mission in Mali launched

€20 million crisis response and stabilisation support package for Mali has been allocated by the European Commission. At the same time, the Council launched the EU mission (EUTM) to support the training and reorganisation of
the Malian Armed Forces.

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€1.5 million from EU funds to fight organised crime and human trafficking at EU borders

The European Commission presented a new EU initiative which intends to boost the fight against organised crime and human trafficking in Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova and Turkey. The Commission stressed that this project will promote regional cooperation on this issue through sharing information and best practice between countries and regions.

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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.

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The Commission announced the resumption of development aid in Mali

European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, announced the fully-fledged resumption of development aid in Mali at the Informal Development Ministers meeting held on February 12 in Dublin. He also underlined that some €250 million may be mobilised for restarting gradually development aid in order to respond to the urgent needs of the Malian people.

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The United States and the European Union agreed to launch negotiations on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership

The EU and US have decided to take their economic relationship to a higher level by agreeing to launch negotiations for a comprehensive trade and investment agreement. When negotiations are completed, this EU-US agreement would be the biggest bilateral trade deal ever negotiated – and it could add 0.5% to the EU's annual economic output.

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