In March 2013, the EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with February

Eurostat published its latest figures with regard to the unemployment rate in the euro area and in the EU, which show that the euro area unemployment rate was 12.1% in March 2013, up from 12.0% in February. The EU unemployment rate was 10.9%, stable compared with February. The lowest unemployment rates were recorded in Austria, Germany and Luxembourg, and the highest in Greece, Spain and Portugal.

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The Commission proposes new rules to improve application of workers' rights to free movement

The European Commission proposed new measures to ensure the better application of EU law on people's right to work in another Member State and so make it easier for people to exercise their rights in practice. The lack of awareness or understanding of the free movement rules is a major source of discrimination based on nationality, according to the Commission.

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MEPs amended the youth guarantee proposal to extend this measure to young people under 30

The Employment and Social Affairs Committee adopted an amended proposal on the EU Youth Employment Initiative which extends this measure to young people under 30. Also, MEPs adopted that regions that had youth unemployment rates above 20% in 2012 would be eligible for Youth Employment Initiative help.

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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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Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council agreed to a recommendation establishing youth guarantee schemes

The Council recommendation that aims to ensure that all young people under the age of 25 who lose their job or do not find work after leaving education quickly receive a good-quality offer of employment, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship, the so-called "youth guarantee" schemes, was approved by the Permanent Representatives Committee.

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