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Facing its worst crisis in six decades, the European Union received the Nobel Peace Prize on Monday for promoting peace and human rights in Europe following the devastation of World War II. About 20 European government leaders, including German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President François Hollande and British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, attended the award ceremony in the Norwegian capital. EU president Herman Van Rompuy said the bloc would emerge strengthened from its current crisis to symbolise hope again. (FRANCE24.COM)

After countless twists and turns, the European unitary patent seems to be materialising. The Competitiveness Council rallied behind the Cyprus Presidency’s compromise to break the stalemate on a legislative package crucial to the competitiveness of European companies, since it will facilitate the process of obtaining protection for inventions in the EU and significantly lower the cost. (EUROPOLITICS.INFO)

Malta faces new elections after its government collapsed on Monday over negotiations for next year‘s budget. Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi lost his one-vote majority after a dissenting MP reportedly voted against the budget bill in protest over transport reforms.Parliament will be dissolved on 7 January and new elections are set to be held in early March, Mr Gonzi told journalists. (BBC.CO.UK)

Mario Monti is in talks with centrist groups urging him to stand in Italy’s elections early next year it emerged on Monday as pressure mounted on the technocrat prime minister from the financial markets, fellow European leaders and the Church to stay in politics to safeguard his reforms. Italy’s government borrowing costs rose and its stock market fell sharply after his surprise decision over the weekend to stand down earlier than expected rekindled uncertainty over one of the eurozone’s more vulnerable economies. (FT.COM)

Czech president Vaclav Klaus has refused to sign the Lisbon Treaty addendum creating the eurozone‘s new rescue fund, the European Stability Mechanism, Czech media reports. The Senate on Thursday called on Klaus to sign the text, in effect since September, with the Czech Republic the last country to complete ratification. (EUOBSERVER.COM)

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