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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Council and Parliament agree on new rules to simplify access to EU funds

New rules aimed at equipping the EU budget with simpler financial rules while securing sound treatment of European taxpayers' money were agreed by the Council and the European Parliament. This financial regulation contains all the principles and rules for the implementation of the EU budget and is applicable to all areas of expenditure and all revenue.

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€436 million of EU agricultural policy funds unduly spent by Member States, claimed back by the Commission

The European Commission will recover a total of €436 million of CAP expenditure from the Member States. This money returns to the EU budget because of non-compliance with EU rules or inadequate control procedures on agricultural expenditure. In addition, in order to take account of the financial pressures being felt by some Member States due to the financial crisis, the reimbursement of disallowed funds will be up to 18 months for some Member States. The first Member State to apply for this facility is Greece.

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New action plan to support jobs and growth in the European outermost regions

The European Commission published a Communication that proposes a renewed strategy for eight regions: the four French overseas departments, the overseas Collectivity of St Martin; the Portuguese autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira and the Spanish Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands. The Commission highlighted that the aim is to support the outermost regions realise their potential above all through diversification and modernisation of their economies.

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RegioStars 2012 Awards to innovative EU-funded projects

The European Commission awarded projects from Sweden, Poland, Austria, and two transnational partnerships the RegioStars 2012 Awards. The projects are included in five prize categories for good practice in regional development to projects with EU co-investment.

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EU Agriculture ministers have different positions on the rural development proposal within the CAP reform

The debate held by ministers at the Council meeting of 18 of June shows a broadly support to the principle that the CAP should significantly contribute to addressing the challenges concerning environment. However the Council is divided on setting a threshold in recital 28 of the rural development proposal. On the other hand, Ministers approved the conclusions on the protection and welfare of animals.

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