The CoR proposes to allocate €3.5 billion to provide non-financial assistance to the most deprived in Europe

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has proposed that the European Commission increases by €1 billion more the level of investment for a new Fund dedicated to supporting citizens most in need. Additionally, the CoR rejected the Commission's proposals to allow member states to voluntarily participate in co-financing schemes that use the Fund, arguing that this could take away local and regional authorities' access to vitally needed investment.

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The CoR calls to ensure adequate planning of regional and local investment for the coming years

President of the Committee of Regions (CoR), Ramon Luis Valcárcel, called for an agreement on the EU budget (Multiannual Financial Framework) to be reached before the summer, in order to ensure adequate planning of regional and local investment for the coming years. He also expressed serious concerns about the positions expressed by some MEPs who suggested that cohesion policy was rooted in the past.

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Mayors of EU capital cities welcomed Commission's initiative to open a direct dialogue with the capital cities

In a declaration endorsed by mayors of EU capital cities, they welcomed the initiative of the European Commission to open a direct dialogue with the capital cities and to give EU cities a higher profile as direct partners for the EU. Mayors agreed that capital cities are the laboratories where solutions to the EU's social and economic problems must be found.

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Committee of the Regions and the EESC join forces to build a Europe of the people and for the people

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), Staffan Nilson, invited Ramon Valcárcel Siso, president of the Committee of the Regions, to attend the latest plenary session of the EESC in order to look at ways of developing political cooperation between the two Committees. The main aim of this action was to join forces in building a Europe "of the people and for the people".

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Bristol, Brussels, Glasgow and Ljubljana, short-listed cities to be the European Green Capital in 2015

These four cities have been selected by the European Commission to move to the next phase of this award that distinguishes European cities which stand out for their efforts to protect the environment. The four short-listed finalists have been selected among a group of eight candidates cities .

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First step given for establishing a Unified Patent Court in the EU

The international agreement for establishing a Unified Patent Court (UPC) was signed on the 19th of February. According to the Council, the new court will avoid the occurrence of multiple court cases with regard to the same patent in different member states. Bulgaria is expected to sign in the coming days once internal procedures have been completed. Poland and Spain did not sign the agreement.

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New European Commission's contest for finding low-carbon projects

EU Commissioner for Climate Action, Connie Hedegaard, launched a low-carbon contest, calling on creative and innovative minds from across the EU to put their green initiatives to the test.

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RegioStars 2013 awards have already their winners

The RegioStars 2013 Awards were granted by the European Commission in five categories to projects from Portugal, the UK, Poland, Germany and Lithuania which demonstrate good practice in regional development.

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The 2013 EU Prize for Contemporary Architecture unveils the finalists

The European Commission announced the five finalists together with the Fundació Mies van der Rohe for the 2013 European Union Prize for Contemporary Architecture – Mies van der Rohe Award. In total, 335 works in the 37 European countries which participate in the EU Culture programme were nominated for the award.

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New strategy launched to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards

The European Commission presented a new package of measures to ensure the build-up of alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use. In particular, the Clean Power for Transport Package consists of a Communication on a European alternative fuels strategy, a Directive focusing on infrastructure and standards and an accompanying document describing an action plan for the development of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) in shipping.

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2014 RegioStars Awards launched

The Regional Policy DG of the European Commission announced the launching of the 2014 RegioStars Awards. In addition, the Award Ceremony of the 2013 RegioStars awards will take place the 31 January 2013 at the Palais des Beaux-Arts, Brussels.

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€68 million from EU funds to support energy reform and local development in Ukraine

The European Commission allocated additional EU funding for Ukraine for 2012. The support is part of the Eastern Partnership and will focus on energy reform and the involvement of citizens in local development. This is the second part of the Annual Action Programme 2012 for Ukraine. The first part of the programme was adopted in August 2012 and amounted to €70 million.

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