European Commission

Corruption in Bulgaria down, says World Bank report

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Trends in corruption in business-government interactions are decreasing in many of the countries in transition, including in Bulgaria, according to the World Bank report on corruption combat in the Eastern Europe and former Soviet...

Romania, Bulgaria, hopeful of EU accession

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The European Commission said that while it will postpone the publication date of crucial reports on the progress of Turkey and Croatia towards European Union membership, that the keenly awaited reports on the date...

Rajoy gives plan to fight EU illegal migration

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The President of the Spanish Partido Popular (PP) and leader of the opposition, Mariano Rajoy, visited Brussels last week to present a package of measures to solve Europe’s migration crisis, a very important issue...

Copper cartel feels the heat of EU fines

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The European Commission last Wednesday announced that it had fined 30 companies a total of 314.7 million Euro for “participating in a copper fittings cartel.” The 11 groups to which these companies belong are...

New state aid plan gets facelift

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The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had a lot to smile about as the European Commission offered a revised proposal to raise the subsidies limit up to 200,000 Euro, which will not be considered...

Pollution from small or non-industrial sources in EU focus

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The European Commission last Monday published its first combined inventory of small and non-industrial pollution sources online. For the first time, viewers can see what levels of pollution are produced by cars, airplanes, ships,...

EU immigration action takes several measures

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Last Tuesday saw several developments at the European Commission to handle the immigration question, notable in several Mediterranean countries. To start with, the first meeting of the European Commission’s Task Force on Migration was...

New Zealand-EU reach butter agreement

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New Zealand and the European Union have reached an interim arrangement to allow their disputed butter trade to resume but have been unable to agree on a long-term settlement, Trade Minister Phil Goff said...

Big boost given to EU energy crop sector

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Eight more member states of the European Union are set to benefit from the energy crop premium introduced by the 2003 Common Agricultural Policy reform, thus increasing the maximum area which can benefit from...

Get on the European Mobility Bus and try working abroad

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A Europe with no internal borders means European citizens can move freely within the European Union. Encouraging Europeans to make the move and work in another country has taken on a new concept for...

ECJ rejects language test in Luxembourg ruling

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Last week’s ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has cleared the way for the commercial lawyers who want to practice in Luxembourg courts, but lacks competency in the language of the jurisdiction,...

EU hails acquittal of Turkish writer, demands legal changes

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The European Union on September 21 welcomed the decision of authorities in Turkey to drop charges against Turkish novelist Elif Safak but urged Ankara to amend its penal code, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported. Turkey...

Merkel ally demands halt to EU talks with Turkey

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Edmund Stoiber, the Bavarian premier who is a key ally of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, on September 20 called for the European Union to halt accession talks with Turkey, news reports said. He said...

US, EU want greater reforms in China

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US Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson last week in Beijing called for China to move more quickly in installing economic reforms, as the European Commission said it was working with that country to...

Australia chides EU over US trade talks

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Australia launched a push last week to break the stalemate in the latest round of global trade talks, which is pitting the European Union against the United States, with Canberra chiding the Europeans for...

EU warns UK deficit cutting on track, but shaky

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Britain seems “just on track” to cut its excessive budget deficit within European Union limits, but the situation remains shaky, news reports cited the European Commission as saying on September 20. Owing to better-than-expected...

Support scheme for EU banana producers planned

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The European Commission has unveiled plans to reform the European Union’s subsidy scheme for its banana producers, ending compensation payments for drops in prices and instead giving direct aid to countries growing the fruit....

EU’s new state aid plan gets facelift

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The small and medium enterprises (SMEs) had a lot to smile about as the European Commission offered a revised proposal to raise the subsidies limit up to 200,000 Euro, which will not be considered...

Pollution from small or non-industrial EU sources in focus

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The European Commission on Sept. 18 published its first combined inventory of small and non-industrial pollution sources online. For the first time, viewers can see what levels of pollution are produced by cars, airplanes,...

EU immigration action takes several measures

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Tuesday saw several developments at the European Commission to handle the immigration question, notable in several Mediterranean countries. To start with, the first meeting of the European Commission’s Task Force on Migration was held...

Three years recovery period for pension funds

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Pensions funds in a position of underfunding will get a reprieve of three years instead of one year to recover, a majority within the parliament has indicated, ipe.com newsletter reported last week.The three large...

The cost of governing Europe is expensive

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While the European Parliament has its headquarters in Brussels, it travels monthly to Strasbourg, France for plenary sessions where members meet in committee, debate, and vote on adoption of reports and proposals.But it is...

Musharraf calls for help to fight “imported” terrorism

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Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf last week urged the European Union for investment and trade deals to help his country fight terrorism, which he said was “imported” to Pakistan. Musharraf also warned the West that...

Presidency threatens EC jobs

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Nearly 2,000 European Commission employees may find themselves without jobs if the ambitious plans of the European Council get the go-ahead later this year. The Finnish Presidency which runs from July to December this...

EU cites lack of political cooperation in FYROM

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The European Union on September 12 rebuked government and opposition in FYROM for not cooperating enough in making the country fit for aspired EU membership, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported. “It is important to have...

EU helps fight illegal migration

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Representatives of Bosnia’s government, the European Commission and the International Organisation for Migrations (IOM) signed a document in Sarajevo on September 13 aimed at establishing a reception centre for irregular migrants in Bosnia, Deutsche...

EU set to start talks on closer ties this month

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The European Commission on Monday said it would open talks on closer ties between the European Union and Montenegro at the end of this month and urged the country to speed up reforms, Deutsche...

Anti-terror measures won’t target race, religion

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The European Union last week - in a statement marking the fifth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the US - said that while the fight against terrorism is a priority for...

Minimum tax rates on alcohol could go up

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The European Commission has proposed raising minimum taxes levied on beer and spirits within the European Union, but said that the move would hardly affect retail prices or consumers, although it is opposed by...

Lobbyists okay “minimum” transparency rules

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The Society of European Affairs Professionals (SEAP) said it will accept “increased transparency” in regulating the ethical behaviour of lobbyists in Brussels, who deal with EU officials regularly. SEAP claimed to set “high ethical...

European Mobility Week sets in motion

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This Friday, September 22 is Car-Free Day across the European Union, as the highlight of European Mobility Week 2006, which started last Saturday and ends this Friday. This time, instead of encouraging physical activity...

New project guidelines for European transport network

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The trans-European transport network (TEN-T) projects were given a favourable review last Wednesday by European coordinators who were designated in July 2005 to evaluate the progress on certain TEN-T projects and to make recommendations...

EU fights against obesity-related disease

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The European Commission gave another shot in the arm to promote healthy lifestyles based on the results of a public consultation last week. The efforts of this consultation were to promote healthy diets and...

Presidency “Finnish” on jobs

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 Nearly 2,000 European Commission employees may find themselves without jobs if the ambitious plans of the European Council get the go-ahead later this year. The Finnish Presidency which runs from July to December this...

Mauritania gets EU funds for elections

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The European Commission last Wednesday announced to deploy a European Union Election Observation Mission (EOM) to observe legislative and municipal elections in Mauritania, scheduled for November 19 and 26, 2006. Commenting on the decision...

Commission says innovation important for EU economy

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The European economy is out of the stagnation and is inching towards recovery and not only to sustain it on track but also to accelerate the pace, and the European commission came out with...

European Commission okays drug, social projects for Ukraine

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It was reported on September 7 by the website en.for-ua.com that the European Commission allotted 450,000 Euro for Ukrainian projects within the framework of Aid Program for Prevention of Drug Trafficking and Drug Addiction...