Internal Committee endorsed deal with the Council to improve the effectiveness of customs controls

The Internal Committee in the European Parliament endorsed an draft agreement with the Council to give customs officials at EU borders better tools to confiscate, store and destroy goods that infringe intellectual property rights.

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MEPs backed public procurement concession contracts

The Internal Market Committee at the European Parliament backed the public procurement "concession" contracts in a vote held the 24 of January. According to MEPs, these "concession" contracts enable public authorities to transfer the economic risk of projects such as building roads bridges or sports arenas to the private sector. MEPs stressed that the attribution of a concession is not synonymous with privatisation of public services.

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Turkey becomes the second-largest country of operations for the EBRD

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) announced that Russia remained the EBRD’s biggest country of operations with over €2.5 billion invested in 2012, and Turkey becomes the second-largest country of operations for the EBRD in terms of annual business volume.

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The 2013 work programme European Data Protection Supervisor includes a strategic planning document

The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) published his 2013 work programme in the area of legislative consultation, including his strategic planning document, which is so-called the Inventory. This document identifies issues of strategic importance that will form the cornerstone of his consultation work for 2013.

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The EESC calls for a more realistic approach to Single Market policies

The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) adopted an opinion which calls for a speedy implementation of the measures proposed in the Communication on the Governance of the Single Market published by the European Commission and for swift and high-quality legislative responses to improve the overall implementation of EU rules.

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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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The European Commission supports the continuation of the Eurostars Programme

The roadmap for the continuation of the Eurostars Programme published by the European Commission shows the support of this European institution to the continuation of the Programme. However, this document is published just for information and is subject to change.

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The highest proportions of enterprises with innovation activity were recorded in Germany, Luxembourg and Belgium

A report published by Eurostat shows that 53% of enterprises from industry and services reported innovation activity between 2008 and 2010. However there are important difference among Member States. The highest proportions of enterprises with innovation activity were recorded in Germany,Luxembourg, Belgium, while the lowest were recorded in Bulgaria, Poland, Latvia, Romania and Hungary.

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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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€10 billion capital increase to the European Investment Bank

The 27 EU Member States approved a €10 billion capital increase to the European Investment Bank. The capital increase will allow Europe’s long-term lending institution to provide up to €60 billion, over a 3 year period, in additional lending for economically viable projects across the European Union.

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