€58 million in European grants to support culture, transport and youth employment in Algeria

The European Union and Algeria have signed three financing agreements on the protection of cultural heritage, support for reform in the transport sector and support for youth employment. These three agreements will be translated in grants for worth of a total of €58 million.

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On 1 November 2012 it enters into force the requirements for new types of motor vehicles

The European Commission announced that from 1 November 2012 on new safety requirements for new types of motor vehicles will be mandatory. The requirements include safety belt reminders, safety requirements for electric vehicles, easier child seat anchorages (ISOFIX), better protection of passengers against the displacement of luggage in case of the accident and tyre pressure monitoring system.

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Political agreement reached by the Council on the new EU regulation for the tachograph

Ministers reached a political agreement at the meeting held on 29 October on the new regulation on the tachograph used in road transport. One delegation, however, it is not supporting the text because it would have liked to see a wider exemption from the obligation to use the tachograph for small and medium-sized enterprises. The aim of the new draft legislation is to make fraud more difficult and to reduce the administrative burden by making full use of new technologies and introducing a number of new regulatory measures.

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EU Ministers agreed on a general approach to tackle airport congestion by updating the rules on slots allocation

The Council reached a general approach on a new draft regulation that will in particular allow airlines to sell and buy slots. This new law is aimed to optimise the allocation system against the backdrop of growing airport congestion. In particular, the compromise reached at the Council meeting allows member states to apply temporary restrictions to slots trading in duly justified cases, but gives the Commission the right to oppose such a decision.

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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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European Parliament requests to member states to urgently merge national air traffic control spaces in Europe

A resolution adopted by MEPs asks to member states to implement the Single European Sky compromise. National air traffic control spaces in Europe urgently need to be merged so as to clear congestion, boost safety, reduce flight times, delays and fares, create jobs and cut CO2 emissions, according to them.

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New guidelines to assist the inland navigation sector and nature protection in the EU

The European Commission published new guidelines explaining how best to ensure that activities related to inland navigation are compatible with EU environmental policy in general and nature legislation in particular. The guidelines are aimed at showing how to apply EU environmental legislation on inland navigation and nature protection.

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The flagship project to create a single European airspace is not delivering after more than 10 years

The European Commission confirms that the Single European Sky is "not delivering" after 10 years on. However, the Commission also announced its intention to present new legislative proposals in Spring 2013 to accelerate implementation, as well as taking all enforcement actions possible, including infringements where necessary. According to the Commission, inefficiencies caused by Europe's fragmented airspace bring extra costs of close to €5 billion each year.

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Business leaders and policy-makers strongly support the Connecting Europe Facility as proposed by the European Commission

During a high-level conference in Brussels, speakers and participants appreciated the innovative character and important added value that the Connecting Europe Facility would provide. According to the European Commission, with up to €50 billion the Connecting Europe Facility could become a key instrument for targeted infrastructure investment at European level to ensure the smooth functioning of the Single Market and boost sustainable growth, jobs and competitiveness across the European Union.

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