The Irish Presidency of the EU presents its work programme and priorities on agriculture to ministers

Most of the EU agriculture ministers endorsed the tight schedule proposed by the Irish Presidency for the CAP reform. However, they pointed out that any advancement on the CAP reform is linked to an agreement at the next European summit on a Multi-annual financial framework (MFF) 2014-2020.

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The European Entrepreneurial Region 2014 label competition is open to applications

Three EU regions will be awarded with the label 'Entrepreneurial Region of the Year 2014'. The Committee of the Regions announced that the period for submitting application to this label competition is now open until the 28 February 2013.

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Investments from the Cohesion Policy funds in EU energy efficiency were not cost-effective

The European Court of Auditors assessed whether Cohesion Policy investments in energy efficiency were cost-effective. ECA drew the conclusion that the projects selected by Member State authorities for financing did not have rational objectives in terms of cost-effectiveness, i.e. cost per unit of energy saved.

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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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In the EU, support to the real economy on the basis of temporary crisis rules dropped to more than 50% in 2011 compared …

The European Commission's 2012 State Aid Scoreboard revealed that the volume of national support to the financial sector actually taken by banks between October 2008 and 31 December 2011 amounted to around €1.6 trillion (13% of EU GDP). Moreover, reflecting both a low uptake by companies and the budgetary constraints of most EU Member States, support to the real economy on the basis of temporary crisis rules dropped to €4.8 billion in 2011, a fall of more than 50% compared with 2010.

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Transport Committee adds infrastructure projects to the core network in next Transeuropean Transport Networks (TEN-T)

MEPs at the Transport Committee amended in a vote the map and guidelines for developing the Transeuropean Transport Networks (TEN-T) in 2014-2020. MEPs highlighted that TEN-T funding should help primarily to build or upgrade cross-border sections and missing links so as to remove remaining bottlenecks in the core network by 2030.

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€2.4 million to fund top research chairs in less-developed regions

The European Commission announced that it will start a pilot programme that will suppose that grants of up to €2.4 million will be awarded to universities or research institutions in less developed regions in Europe. According to the Commission, this initiative will support universities and other eligible organisations to achieve the level of research excellence needed to be competitive at international level.

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The Commission's proposals for the reform of the EU State Aid regime, welcomed by the CoR

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) mostly welcomed the proposals presented by the European Commission to reform state aid procedures. The CoR adopted in November plenary session an opinion on EU State Aid Modernisation which called for the extension of the scope of the enabling regulation and for a clarification of the general block exemption regulation. The Commission proposals presented in December partly meets this demand.

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Berlin wins the Access City Award 2013

The European Commission announced that the Access City Award 2013 to the city of Berlin. The prize, which aims to encourage cities to share their experience and to improve accessibility for the benefit of all, has been awarded in recognition of Berlin's comprehensive and strategic approach to creating an accessible city for all.

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