According to the Commission, Bulgaria and Romania have to make further improvements in fighting corruption

The European Commission has made a series of recommendations for further action in Burlgaria and Romania in judicial reform and in the fight against corruption. The Commission also proposes to make an overall assessment of Bulgaria and Romania's progress under the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism since accession in summer of 2012.

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New register for lobbyists launched by the Parliament and the Commission

The joint transparency register for lobbyists and other interest groups is launched on 23 June. The main advantage of this joint register is providing one source of information for citizens and lobbyist will have to register once.

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An international police operation seized almost one tonne of cocaine

Led by the Spanish Civil Guard and coordinated by Europol, almost one tonne of cocaine and 160 kg of hashish have been seized in an international police operation. The huge consignment of cocaine was diluted in 13 tonnes of palm oil that had been shipped from Colombia, via Antwerp in Belgium, before being finally seized in Albania.

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Proposed EU legislation for better protection of crime victims

Since the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the EU has an explicit competence to legislate on the rights of victims of crime. Thus, the European Commission is proposing a package of measures to ensure a minimum level of rights, support and protection for victims across the EU, no matter where they come from or live.

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The Commission called for strengthened international cooperation in the fight against drugs

The European Commission presented new initiatives to fight against drugs at the G8 ministerial meeting in Paris. Commissioner Cecilia Malmström, responsible for Home Affairs highlighted how important is fighting drugs because around 140 tonnes of cocaine are consumed each year in the EU.

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Agreement on the joint register of lobbyists seeking access to Parliament and the Commission

European Parliament gave their backing to plans for a joint register of lobbyists and other interest groups seeking access to Parliament and the Commission. Parliament also endorsed a proposal for a "legislative footprint annex" to reports drafted by MEPs. This annex would list all the lobbyists whom lead MEPs met while a legislative report was being drafted.

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Experts debate over future EU funding for Home Affairs policies within the next programming period

The European Commission brought together on 8 April 2011, representatives from Member States and EU institutions, as well as international organisations and civil society in order to debate over the future of funding in the field of Home Affairs for the next programming period. The Conference on "The Future of EU Funding for Home Affairs: A fresh look" focused on how EU funding for Home Affairs can support EU approach to migration and asylum, as well as fighting against terrorism and organised crime.

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Are EU information critical infrastructures protected against cyber-attacks?

In a report taking stock of progress made in implementing its EU-wide 2009 action plan, the European Commission has highlighted Member States' efforts to protect critical information infrastructures from cyber-attacks and disruptions. However, the report underlines that further action in this area is required, especially regarding the establishment of an efficient network of Computer Emergency Response Teams (CERTs) by 2012.

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Most asylum applicants in the EU in year 2010 came from Afghanistan

According to the data released by the European Statistical Office (Eurostat) in 2010, there were 257,800 asylum applicants registered in the whole European Union, which amounts to 515 applicants per million inhabitants. These figures show a slight decrease regarding application for asylum registered the previous year which amounted to 264,000 applicants.

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Frontex extends to Sardinia Hermes Operation in Lampedusa

The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders (FRONTEX) has announced that due to the notable increase in migratory pressure on Italy and the island of Lampedusa in particular, Frontex has widened the operational area of Joint Operation Hermes and extended its duration for five more months. This extension aims to strengthen Europe’s border control response capability in the Central Mediterranean.

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Commission opens consultation about on-line gambling future in the Internal Market

Although on-line gambling business has experienced a fast development in Europe over the last years, with almost 15,000 websites already identified, there are still many differences in regulations among Member states. Analysing the differences and determining how they work would be key to determine how these differing models can co-exist within the Internal Market. For that purpose the European Commission has launched a public consultation on the Green Paper on on-line gambling in the Internal Market, to gather the opinions from all interested parties.

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