EU bulletin 8th January 2016 EU's top priority to reduce asylum seekers

January 8, 2016 7:24 PM

Hungary could accept the UK's proposed changes to the EU, if the curbing of in-work welfare benefits does not discriminate against Hungarians working and paying taxes in the UK, prime minister Viktor Orban said on Thursday (7 January), according to a report in EUobserver: https://euobserver.com/political/131743

The Dutch EU presidency and the European Commission have said their top priority in the next six months is to reduce the number of asylum seekers, reports EUobserver: https://euobserver.com/news/131735

The European Union hopes that the new Common Agricultural Policy will help feed the world's growing population while decreasing its environmental footprint, according to a report in EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/video/making-eu-farming-innovative-320782

In February, the European Commission will present a controversial proposal to harmonize the use of the radio spectrum in the EU, including the 700 MHz band, amid growing disparities among member states, EurActiv has learned. See its report here: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/digital/commission-unveil-key-spectrum-harmonisation-proposal-february-320779

A legal analysis of whether new plant breeding techniques should fall under EU GMO legislation will be completed by the first quarter of 2016, a European Commission spokesperson has told EurActiv.New breeding techniques (NBTs) focus on developing new seed traits within a given species through genetic engineering, according to EurActiv's exclusive report: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/agriculture-food/commission-decide-new-breeding-techniques-within-three-months-320784

We may be seeing the end of austerity in Europe, but without coordinated EU policy, any attempt to relaunch the European economy will fail, according to an analysis by La Tribune, relayed via EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/sections/euro-finance/are-we-seeing-end-austerity-europe-320756

The European Commission has adopted a series of cross-border cooperation programmes totalling €1 billion, supporting social and economic development in the regions on both sides of the EU's external borders. See the Commission's press release here: http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_IP-16-6_en.htm

The EU has committed a total of €12.7 billion to support 263 transport infrastructure projects which will deliver faster, safer and greener mobility. Details here: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/news-events/newsroom/%E2%82%AC12.7-billion-way-support-263-key-european-transport-infrastructure-projects

The European Investment Bank Group (EIB and EIF) will support Dutch micro-finance institution Qredits in giving very small businesses in the Netherlands access to finance. The European Investment Bank has agreed a €100 million loan facility with Qredits, while the European Investment Fund has also signed an agreement with Qredits to cover part of the credit risk of new loans worth €25 million for microbusinesses and SMEs. See the press release here: https://ec.europa.eu/commission/2014-2019/katainen/announcements/investment-plan-eu225-million-microbusinesses-netherlands_en

Border controls will be brought back between Northern Ireland and the Republic if the United Kingdom votes to exit the European Union, Taoiseach Enda Kenny has warned, according to a report in the Irish Times: http://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/brexit-would-see-return-of-border-controls-kenny-warns-1.2487554