The publication of information on the beneficiaries of European agricultural funds will increase transparency

The European Commission adopted a proposal aimed to apply new rules with regard to the publication of information on the beneficiaries of European agricultural funds. The proposal takes into account the legal constraints inherent to the protection of personal data by setting certain limits. This proposal follows a Court of Justice of the European Union judgment which, on 9 November 2010, had partially invalidated the regulations on transparency in the agricultural sector.

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The Commission works to avoid costly and time-consuming legal procedures to consumers in cross-border disputes

A new report from the European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net) published by the European Commission shows that the European Small Claims Procedure to resolve small cross-border disputes is often under used. According to the report, this is mainly because judges are not aware of the procedure, something the Commission intends to tackle vigorously.

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New restrictions on the access to chemicals that can be used to make home-made explosives

The Civil Liberties Committee in the European Parliament endorsed a draft law to restrict the general public's access to chemicals that can be used to make home-made explosives. Once definitly approved, the new law will mean that consumers will have to obtain a licence to buy these products, although some exemptions will be possible. The text has been already agreed by Parliament and Council representatives.

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EU High Representative regrets the possible consequences of the verdict review against Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine

EU High Representative Catherine Ashton and European Commissioner Štefan Füle following the outcome of the review by Ukraine’s Higher Specialized Court for Civil and Criminal Cases of the verdict against former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, stressed the importance for the Ukrainian authorities to redress the effects of selective justice. This would also require implementation of further judicial reform steps. At the same time, the European Commission published a call for proposals for projects to support justice sector reforms in Ukraine.

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Spanish Coastal Law new draft will improve legal certainty for EU citizens owning properties on the Spanish coast

The European Commission has expressed its satisfaction with the commitment of the Spanish authorities to improve legal certainty for European citizens who purchased a property on the Spanish coast. This decision follows numerous complaints received from both Spanish citizens and citizens from other Member states who own properties in Spanish coast.

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European Ombudsman confirms that ECB's letter to Spanish government contained no suggestion for constitutional reform

This decision of the European Ombudsman is referred to a complaint filed in September 2011 by a Spanish lawyer. In his claim, the complainant alleged that the European Central Bank had not sufficiently justified the denial of access to a letter sent by the ECB to Spanish authorities where it allegedly included indications, recommendations and guidelines on budgetary matters.

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New EU rules enters in force to simplify international successions

On 27 of July, the EU Official Journal will publish the new rules that will bring legal certainty and will make it easier for European citizens to handle the legal side of an international will or succession. The Member States now have three years to align their national laws so that the new EU rules become effective.

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The Commission proposes criminal sanctions for the manipulation of benchmarks, including LIBOR and EURIBOR

Due to the recent LIBOR scandal, serious concerns have been raised about false submissions of banks' estimated interbank lending rates. Therefore, the European Commission decided to act to address this kind of market manipulation, by adopting amendments to the proposals for a Regulation and a Directive on insider dealing and market manipulation, including criminal sanctions.

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Commission will review the Early Warning System in 2013

The European Commission's announcement that it will review its "Early Warning System" (EWS) has been welcomed by the European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros. The review covers changes aimed at ensuring that the operation of the EWS respects fundamental rights, such as the right to be heard.

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MEPs reject ACTA

The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was rejected by the European Parliament in plenary session. This means that it cannot become law in the EU.

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Local and regional authorities have an active role in tackling corruption in the public sector

The Committee of the Regions' (CoR) CIVEX commission organised a seminar on "Local democracy and good governance" whose main conclusions were that local and regional authorities have an active role in ensuring transparency in the public sector and tackling corruption, thus achieving good governance and sound administration for their citizens.

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International Trade Committee says no to ACTA

The Committee in the European Parliament responsible for the report regarding Anti-Countefeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA), the International Trade Committee, recommended to vote no to this agreement in plenary session. The vote in this Committee was divided: nineteen MEPs voted against ACTA, and twelve in favour, with no abstentions.

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