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New rules on Travel packages adopted to protect the rights of travellers when booking online

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The new directive will update current EU rules on package holidays by aiming to adapt to travel market developments in order to meet the needs of consumers and businesses in the digital era. It will extend the protection for traditional packages to combinations of separate travel services, in particular if sold online. Latvian Minister for Economics, Dana Reizniece-Ozola, made the following comments: "This piece of legislation will provide travellers and industry with the long-awaited framework which is fit for purpose and future-proof for t... Read More »

New strategy mobilises all EU tools and €1 billion for Syria and Iraq

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With this substantial package, the EU will ensure steady and predictable funding for essential priorities: relief, stabilisation and development in the region, as well as countering the threat posed by terrorist groups like Da'esh. These political, social, and humanitarian measures target Syria and Iraq, but also Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey. High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: " This package will strengthen our actions to help restore peace and security in a region that is so close to us and that has been devastated by... Read More »

EIF met VP Andrus Ansip, EU Digital Single Market Chief

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As the ex Prime Minister of Estonia – Andrus Ansip brings a great digital track record at a much needed time for Europe. Following are the key points of the talk followed by my analysis. Vice-President Ansip started off by referring to the tragic events in France and that they reminded him of the global power and reach of the internet, and of how it can be abused - by some - as a vehicle to fuel hatred and violence. Freedom of the media, including the internet, is a vital channel for the freedom of speech. Freedom of the Internet must ... Read More »

European Commission: Food: EU consumers to benefit from better labelling as of 13 December 2014

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The EU Commissioner in charge of Health and Food Safety, Vytenis Andriukaitis said: "As of 13 December 2014, European citizens will see the results of years of work to improve food labelling rules. Key content information will now be more clearly marked on labels, helping people make informed choices on the food they buy. The new rules put the consumer first by providing clearer information, and in a way that is manageable for businesses." Key changes Some of the key changes to the labelling rules are outlined below: Improved legibili... Read More »

European Parliament elects Juncker Commission

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President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker said: "After a long democratic journey, today my team crossed the finishing line. I feel honoured that my Commission has received the democratic backing of the European Parliament. Now it is time to roll up our sleeves and get down to work: to kick-start economic recovery, create more and better jobs, address the plight of Europe's youth for a better future, protect the most vulnerable in our society and cope with the rapidly deteriorating geopolitical situation. Together, we will succeed." Next Steps N... Read More »

EU celebrates International Day of the Girl Child

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Around the world girls and young women are working hard to make this world a better place. Today the EU salutes the award of the Nobel Peace Prize to Malala Yousafzai and Indian children's activist Kailash Satyarthi. Both have fought tirelessly for a girl's right to education. The EU already acknowledged the outstanding bravery of Malala when the European Parliament awarded her the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought in 2013. As the case of Malala shows, adolescent girls and young women are often exceptionally accomplished, but they are al... Read More »

The Juncker Commission: A strong and experienced team standing for change

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The President-elect personally interviewed all Commissioners-designate and is convinced that his strong and experienced team can deliver, by working collectively, in a more efficient way. President-elect Jean-Claude Juncker said: "In these unprecedented times, Europe's citizens expect us to deliver. After years of economic hardship and often painful reforms, Europeans expect a performing economy, sustainable jobs, more social protection, safer borders, energy security and digital opportunities. Today I am presenting the team that will put Eu... Read More »

A new start for Europe – Jean-Claude Juncker’s Political Guidelines

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After being proposed as candidate for Commission President by the European Council on 27 June 2014, Jean-Claude Juncker needed a majority of 376 votes in the European Parliament. Speaking ahead of the vote, he presented his political guidelines for the next European Commission as set out in a document entitled A new start for Europe: My agenda for Jobs, Growth, Fairness and Democratic Change. ... Read More »

EU countries still slow to act on economic reform recommendations, says European Parliament study

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In a resolution voted in October 2013, MEPs noted that for 2012, substantive action had been taken on only 15% of the recommendations. Many member states, despite themselves endorsing the recommendations at European Council summits, often lag behind when it comes to putting their pledges into practice. Delaying reform inevitably undermines the aim, set by EU heads of state, of better coordinating economic policy across the EU. A detailed study by the European Parliament services, based on analysis by the IMF, the OECD and the European Commis... Read More »

Bertelsmann Stiftung: 2014 European elections: Why voting is important Europe goes to the polls

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Many people feel the European elections are complicated and impossible to communicate effectively to the public back home. Researchers even refer to them as "second-order elections," a reassuring explanation for why voter turnout is so low. Not only is the participation rate lower than for national elections – five years ago it averaged 43 percent throughout the EU – it has fallen compared to past elections and even gone as low as a meager 20 percent in Eastern Europe. The Bundestag, Germany's parliament, lists five good reasons for particip... Read More »

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