From 21 December, insurers will have to charge the same prices to women and men for the same insurance products

The new EU rules which include that insurers in Europe will have to charge the same prices to women and men for the same insurance products without distinction on the grounds of sex, will enter into force from 21 of December.

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EIB and EESC Presidents called for accelerating investments in the EU to facilitate structural change

Werner Hoyer, president of the European Investment Bank (EIB), and Staffan Nilsson, President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) agreed that long-term investment can significantly boost growth in times of crisis and constrained public budgets combined with private deleveraging. Both the EIB and the EESC agreed on the need to strengthen the EIB's relations with civil society, and the EESC already strongly supports the actions of the EIB.

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The number of employed persons decreased by 0.2% in the EU and in the euro area in the third quarter of 2012

According to the Eurostat first estimate for the third quarter of 2012, the number of persons employed decreased by 0.2% in both the euro area and the EU compared with the previous quarter. Eurostat stressed that these quarterly data on employment provide a picture of labour input consistent with the output and income measure of national accounts.

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MEPs asked the Transport Committee to review the proposal on groundhandling in airports

The European Parliament approved new rules governing decisions on how best to protect local residents against aircraft noise and allocate take-off and landing fairly and flexibly. However the proposal to further increase competition among groundhandling service suppliers at key airports was referred back to the Transport and Tourism Committee for further discussion.

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EU real agricultural income per worker has increased by 1.0% in 2012

According to the latest estimates released by Eurostat, the EU agricultural income per worker that comprises the income generated by agricultural activities over a given accounting period, has increased by 1.0% in 2012, after an increase of 8.0% in 2011.

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European Court of Auditors argues lack of coordination between funds for integration of third-country nationals

A special report published by the European Court of Auditors (ECA) argues that the EU programmes for integration of third-country nationals are hampered by complex design and lack of coordination between funds. The Court therefore recommends simplification of programming arrangements and a comprehensive assessment of integration needs regardless of whether migrants have EU or third-country nationality.

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There is the urgency for Member States and the EU to invest in adequate, sustainable and effective social policies

The Second Annual Convention of the Platform against Poverty and Social Exclusion which took place on 5-7 December 2012 and gathered more than 650 participants from 40 countries, ended with the common call on Member States and the EU to invest in adequate, sustainable and effective social policies that strengthen human capital and social cohesion.

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New website with information on EU Skills Panorama to tackle skills mismatches

The European Commission presented the EU Skills Panorama website that offers quantitative and qualitative information on short- and medium-term skills needs, skills supply and skills mismatches in the EU. The Panorama will highlight the fastest growing occupations as well as the top 'bottleneck' occupations with high numbers of unfilled vacancies.

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The Commission recommends to member states the introducing the Youth Guarantee

The European Commission presented a package of measures, among which it is the introducing the Youth Guarantee, addressed to the member states to help them tackle unacceptable levels of youth unemployment and social exclusion.

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Around 77 million European citizens aged between 25 and 64 have no or low formal qualifications

According to a report published by the European Commission, unemployment is closely related to low skills, and nearly one third of Europe's population have no - or low - formal qualifications. The report suggests to apply mutual experience and policy learning as important tools in the fight against precarity and unemployment.

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