Dutch Finance Minister Jeroen Dijsselbloem has been elected as the new head of the Eurogroup, replacing the outgoing Jean-Claude Juncker. The 46 year-old, who has been head of the Dutch Finance Ministry for two months, was expected to take over. He said he hoped he would be able to focus on longer-term policies rather than just crisis management. (BBC.CO.UK)

The European Commission intends to place additional obligations on the private sector in order to step up the fight against cyber attacks, according to an EU official. Companies in charge of critical infrastructures, for example, will be required to report serious security incidents to national cyber security authorities to be set up by member states. These measures feature in the draft directive on the security of networks and information systems that the executive will present in early February. The draft directive will form part of the EU’s future cyber security strategy. (EUROPOLITICS.INFO)

European council president Herman Van Rompuy has criticised the British media for “magnifying“ problems such as the eurozone crisis in the EU. The former Belgian prime minister said, “I sometimes feel that the presentation of Europe in parts of the British media gives a very false picture of what the EU is about, what it does, and how it works“. (THEPARLIAMENT.COM)

The price of carbon hit a record low in Europe on Monday as the over-supply of emissions permits during the global economic downturn continued to undermine the carbon market. The price fell below 4.8 euros in early trading, before recovering to above 5 euros by late afternoon. (BBC.CO.UK)

The Italian economy will run a balanced budget in 2013 before returning to growth the following year, the country‘s outgoing finance minister has told the European Parliament. Speaking with MEPs on the Parliament‘s Economic committee on Monday, Finance Minister Vittorio Grilli said that “we expect to have a current account surplus by 2014“ (EUOBSERVER.COM)

The police planned to arraign Former European Commissioner John Dalli over the bribery case that ended his career in Brussels but have been holding off due to his ill-health. Investigators intended calling in Mr Dalli to the Police Depot in Floriana during the first week of January before proceeding with his arraignment but their plans were disrupted when Mr Dalli was taken ill at a Brussels hospital. The former PN Minister has since provided the police with medical certificates saying that he cannot travel. (TIMESOFMALTA.COM)

Although the member states are primarily responsible for media freedom and pluralism, the EU also has an “important role” to play. It should be considered as having competence to act to protect this fundamental right enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. This is one of the recommendations featured in the report by the high-level group on media freedom and pluralism, submitted to the Commission on 21 January. (EUROPOLITICS.INFO)


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