The access to EU funds will be faster and simpler after the 1 January 2013

The European Commission informed that following the recent entry into force of the new Financial Regulation, has adopted its new detailed Rules of application. As of 1 January 2013 thanks to simplified procedures, the delivery of EU funds to businesses, NGOs, researchers, students, municipalities and other recipients will be improved.

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The Commission proposes to streamline legislation on environmental impact assessments

The European Commission presented a new proposal which is intended to lighten administrative burdens and make it easier to assess the potential impacts of major projects, without weakening existing environmental safeguards.

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European regions call for a credible budget for the Connecting Europe Facility

The president of the Committee of the Regions, Ramon Luis Valcarcel, expressed the Committee's support to the demands made by the Commission in regard to the need to increase the budget allocated to the European Union Connecting Europe Facility. It also stressed the key role of the Facility and the actions developed as drivers for growth.

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Unemployment is currently the top priority and main concern across all the EU regions

According to the first ever Eurobarometer survey conducted at a regional level, public perception across the EU of the current economic situation and quality of life indicate major variations not only at national level but even more so at a regional level. The report results also show that with the exception of certain parts of Germany, unemployment is the top priority and main concern across all the EU regions, and environment has almost gone off the agenda of most citizens.

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New partial general approach agreed on rules for EU cohesion policy for 2014-2020 period

A third general approach, which is a political agreement of the Council pending the adoption of a first-reading position by the European Parliament, was agreed by the Council on the cohesion policy legislative package. The approach is partial since some elements are excluded, in particular the sums to be devoted to cohesion policy and the eligibility of different regions.

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Energy Roadmap 2050 needs the support of local and regional authorities

The Committee of the Regions (CoR) has backed the Energy Roadmap 2050, European Commission's plans to reduce energy consumption and commit to shifting towards more sustainable energy resources. However, it urged that far more needs to be done to support local and regional authorities if these objectives are to be achieved.

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The Committee of the Regions formally reacts to the proposals regarding the Multi-Annual Financial Framework

The opinion drafted by the vice presidency of the Committee of the Regions (CoR) calls for an increase in the 2014-2020 budget worth 1.14% of European Union gross national income. This document also reflects CoR's concern about the difficulties that local authorities, regions, and also certain Member states would face in view of the new budgetary framework.

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Committee of the Regions highlights the need for a much simpler regulatory framework for public procurement

According to an opinion to be adopted in CoR's next plenary session, the European Commission failed to simplify the current legislation on public procurements. The CoR's Commission for Economic and Social Policy (ECOS) regrets that the European Commission proposals will entail administrative burden, particularly for local and regional authorities.

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OPEN DAYS 2012 celebrate their 10th anniversary at a critical time for the EU

Regional representatives from around Europe will participate on the biggest annual event in the world of regional and urban policy, the OPEN DAYS 2012 – that will take place on 8-11 October, in the frameworkd of final talks on the EU budget, and when major reforms of how the structural funds operate are on the table.

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