EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: last week President Barroso received the Chairman of the High Level Group of Independent Stakeholders on Administrative Burdens, Dr. Edmund Stoiber, who handed over the Group's report ‘Europe can do more’ on best practice in Member States to implement EU legislation in the least burdensome way.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Commissioner Barnier welcomes final agreement to simplify accounting for Europe's smallest companies.
Press release & links
 
EU News: MEPs have agreed that European Parliament's budget should be frozen, at least in real terms, for 2013, and scrutinized for possible further savings. Following discussion with the Budgets Committee, the Parliament's Bureau will prepare the budget estimates for 2013.
Press release & links
 
EU news: The European Commission has published a White Paper on adequate, safe & sustainable pensions. It looks at how the EU and the Member States can work to tackle the major challenges that confront our pension systems.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The Committee of the Regions has called for a strategic partnership between the European Commission and European networks of cities & regions in the implementation of ‘The New European Agenda for Integration’, and highlights the key contribution of local authorities to the framing & implementation of integration policies.
Press release & links
 
EU NewsCitizens & business often waste energy because ‘they do not realise which appliances & lighting use the most energy’. An EU-funded project tested in the United Kingdom & Bulgaria is helping to change that – showing consumers reduced energy usage by an average of 8% when provided with an ‘information dashboard’ about their energy use, called ‘The Digital Environment Home Energy Management System’ (DEHEMS) project.
Press release & links
 
EU News: To help Member States' authorities & developers manage the environmental consequences of construction projects more easily, the Commission has brought together all existing EU legislation governing environmental impact assessments.
 
The original Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive and its 3 subsequent revisions have been combined to create a more compact, clearly translated & user-friendly version which has recently come into force.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission has proposed to suspend EUR 495 184 000 of Cohesion Fund commitments taking effect on 1 January 2013, representing 0.5 % of GDP and 29% of the country's cohesion fund allocations for 2013.  

This unprecedented step follows the Commission's repeated warnings to Hungary urging it to step up its efforts to end the country's excessive government deficit, and its subsequent failure to take appropriate action.
Press release & links
 
PC&PE: The Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee has concluded that radical reform is needed to ‘ensure that the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) delivers for the fish, the fishermen, and the coastal communities that depend on them’.
 
In a new report, the Committee examines the EU's proposals for reform of the CFP, which sparked a public outcry last year over the amounts of fish discarded.   The Committee notes that the Commission has baulked at repatriation of fishing policy through a full-scale Treaty change, but highlights an alternative.
Press release & links
 
FCO: Foreign Office Minister, Lord Howell has outlined UK support for action to address the crisis in the Eurozone during a recent debate in the House of Lords.  He said: "Addressing the eurozone problems in a realistic and sustainable manner is one of the best ways in which the conditions for renewed economic dynamism can be found and secured, both here and across the whole European economic space..
Press release & links
 
EU NewsThe European Commission has launched an in-depth consultation on the future of European company law – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.
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