Public consultation launched to assess member states' support schemes for films and other audiovisual works

The European Commission published the third and final public consultation in its review of the state aid criteria it uses to assess member states' support schemes for films and other audiovisual works. In particular, the Commission consults on the criteria set out in a draft Communication. Contributions to this consultation can be made until the 28 May 2013.

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Three innovative technology start-ups will compete for the EIT Entrepreneurship Award 2013

CoRehab, Quuppa, Volumental are the three start-ups chosen to compete for the EIT Entrepreneurship Award 2013. Klaus Beetz, Business Director of the EIT ICT Labs stated that the EIT Entrepreneurship Award is a great opportunity to highlight and encourage entrepreneurial ventures that are coached and supported by the Business Developers of the ICT Labs.

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The Commission postpones the correction of the excessive deficit in Spain to 2016

Following the approval of Spain's National Reform Programme and Stability Programme by the Spanish Government, the European Commission welcomed these programmes. The Commission also underlined that the postponement of the correction of the excessive deficit (to below 3% of GDP) to 2016 is consistent with its assessment. On the other hand, the Commission is consulting on the European System of Financial Supervision.

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The Commission proposes new rules to improve application of workers' rights to free movement

The European Commission proposed new measures to ensure the better application of EU law on people's right to work in another Member State and so make it easier for people to exercise their rights in practice. The lack of awareness or understanding of the free movement rules is a major source of discrimination based on nationality, according to the Commission.

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Between October 2012 and March 2013, euro area SMEs reported a deterioration in the availability of bank loans

The report on the results of the “Survey on the access to finance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the euro area” shows an increase in external financing needs for bank loans from SMEs in the EU between October 2012 and March 2013. SMEs also reported a deterioration in the availability of bank loans.

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€35,97 million from EU funds to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries

The European Commission has approved a contribution of €35,97 million to the total budget of the 22 programmes to promote agricultural products in the European Union and in third countries. The third countries/regions targeted are: Russia, China, North America, South-East Asia, Norway, Switzerland, Ukraine, India and South-Korea.

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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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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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New EU rules could enable firms save billions of euros if they re-use public data instead of producing them from scratch

MEPs at the Industry Committee approved draft EU rules that will enable companies or persons to get access to data such as maps, statistics, weather data, infrastructure listings, data from publicly funded research projects, and digitised books from libraries, which they can then use to develop their businesses. According to MEPs, EU firms could save billions of euros thanks to these draft EU rules that would enable them to re-use public data instead of producing them from scratch

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