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A collection of links to web sites of the European Union institutions and other European business web sites.

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European Case Law Identifier 12 May 2016, 00:03 CET
The European Case Law Identifier (ECLI) search engine was launched on 11 May 2016. It allows citizens, businesses, legal practitioners and academics to find information on case law published by national and international courts and tribunals more easily. By having easy access to previous cases, they are able to see how similar situations were treated on previous occasions and use this information for their own cases. The search engine provides access to around 4 million case law decisions from the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Patent Office, and 7 Member States: France, Spain, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Germany, the Czech Republic and Finland.

Europe Day, May 9 09 May 2016, 11:57 CET
On the 9th of May 1950, Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. This proposal, known as the "Schuman declaration", is considered to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union. Today, the 9th of May has become a European symbol (Europe Day) which, along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the single currency (the euro), identifies the political entity of the European Union. Europe Day is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and peoples of the Union closer to one another.

Hate crime: compendium of good practices 28 April 2016, 22:02 CET
The compendium of good practices collates practices for combating hate crime from across the EU, with a step-by-step description of the practice broken down by country and category. The aim of the compendium is to help policymakers and practitioners such as law enforcement officers understand what is being done elsewhere in the EU to combat hate crime, and which elements could be adapted for use in their own national contexts. The owner of this compendium, European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA), maintains this section of the website to enhance public access to information about and related to hate crime recording and reporting practices in EU Member States. The practices listed have been submitted by members of the Working Party on Improving Reporting and Recording of Hate Crime in the EU who alone are responsible for the content. FRA accepts no responsibility or liability with regard to the information on this section of the website.

European Railway Agency 28 April 2016, 21:49 CET
The construction of a safe, modern integrated railway network is one of the EU’s major priorities. Railways must become more competitive and offer high-quality, end-to-end services without being restricted by national borders. The European Railway Agency was set up to help create this integrated railway area by reinforcing safety and interoperability. The Agency also acts as the system authority for the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) project, which has been set up to create unique signalling standards throughout Europe.

European Pillar of Social Rights website 10 March 2016, 18:16 CET
Commission president Juncker, State of the Union, 9 September 2015: "I will want to develop a European Pillar of Social Rights, which takes account of the changing realities of the world of work and which can serve as a compass for the renewed convergence within the euro area." On 8 March 2016, the European Commission put forward a first, preliminary outline of what should become the European Pillar of Social Rights.

Gender equality 10 March 2016, 16:47 CET
Equality between women and men is one of the European Union's founding values. It goes back to 1957 when the principle of equal pay for equal work became part of the Treaty of Rome. The European Union's achievements in fostering equality between women and men have focused on treatment legislation; mainstreaming (integration of the gender perspective into all other policies); measures for the advancement of women.

EU Transparency Register 03 March 2016, 15:38 CET
Citizens can, and indeed should, expect the EU decision-making process to be as transparent and open as possible. The more open the process is, the easier it is to ensure balanced representation and avoid undue pressure and illegitimate or privileged access to information or to decision-makers. Transparency is also a key part of encouraging European citizens to participate more actively in the democratic life of the EU. The transparency register has been set up to answer core questions such as what interests are being pursued, by whom and with what budgets. The system is operated jointly by the European Parliament and the European Commission.

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) 02 March 2016, 15:16 CET
EFSA is a European agency funded by the European Union that operates independently of the European legislative and executive institutions (Commission, Council, Parliament) and EU Member States. It was set up in 2002 following a series of food crises in the late 1990s to be a source of scientific advice and communication on risks associated with the food chain. The agency was legally established by the EU under the General Food Law - Regulation 178/2002. The General Food Law created a European food safety system in which responsibility for risk assessment (science) and for risk management (policy) are kept separate. EFSA is responsible for the former area, and also has a duty to communicate its scientific findings to the public.

Geographical indications and traditional specialities 02 March 2016, 13:39 CET
Three EU schemes known as PDO (protected designation of origin), PGI (protected geographical indication) and TSG (traditional speciality guaranteed) promote and protect names of quality agricultural products and foodstuffs. * Protected Designation of Origin - PDO: covers agricultural products and foodstuffs which are produced, processed and prepared in a given geographical area using recognised know-how. * Protected Geographical Indication - PGI: covers agricultural products and foodstuffs closely linked to the geographical area. At least one of the stages of production, processing or preparation takes place in the area. * Traditional Speciality Guaranteed - TSG: highlights traditional character, either in the composition or means of production

DOOR - Database of Origin and Registration 02 March 2016, 13:35 CET
You can search by country, product type, registered name and name applied for, and by: protected designations of origin (PDOs); protected geographical indications (PGIs); traditional specialities guaranteed (TSGs)

The Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI) 25 February 2016, 17:14 CET
The Digital Economy and Society Index (DESI) is a composite index that summarises relevant indicators on Europe’s digital performance and tracks the evolution of EU member states in digital competitiveness.

How digital is your country? - Digital Economy and Society Index progress by country 25 February 2016, 17:13 CET
There are plenty of digital opportunities waiting to be unlocked to benefit European citizens and companies. From shopping or studying online, to paying bills or using public services over the Internet – the Web is the answer, if the right conditions are in place. This is the conclusion of the Digital Economy and Society Index. Data shows that the picture of how digital countries are varies across the EU and that borders remain an obstacle to a fully-fledged Digital Single Market.

The rise of temporary contracts in Europe - Eurofound report 24 February 2016, 23:58 CET
More than 1 in 10 employees in the EU are employed on temporary contracts, but a majority of them would prefer a permanent contract. Temporary contracts help employers to manage their labour demand, but there are downsides for employees, such as job insecurity and lower pay.

Business Environment - Netherlands 23 February 2016, 23:49 CET
Snapshot of the business environment for the Netherlands economy from the World Bank

Single Resolution Board 17 February 2016, 15:40 CET
The Single Resolution Board (SRB) is the resolution authority for the significant and cross border banking groups established within the EU's participating Member States. In the context of the Single Resolution Mechanism, it works in close cooperation with the national resolution authorities. In the newly created Banking Union the SRB cooperates with the European Central Bank, the European Commission, as well as other European and international institutions. The SRB's mission is to ensure an orderly resolution of failing banks with minimum impact on the real economy and on public finances of the participating Member States and beyond.

Online Dispute Resolution website 16 February 2016, 16:18 CET
The Online Dispute Resolution website is an official website managed by the European Commission dedicated to helping consumers and traders resolve their disputes out-of-court. If you have a problem with something you bought online, you can use this site to reach an out-of-court settlement.

Investment Services Directive – Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID) 11 February 2016, 16:32 CET
The European Parliament and the Council on 14 January 2014 reached an agreement on updated rules for markets in financial instruments, that will improve the way capital markets function to the benefit of the real economy.

Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) 04 February 2016, 22:13 CET
The Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) is a trade agreement currently being negotiated by 23 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), including the EU. Together, the participating countries account for 70% of world trade in services.

Outbreak of Zika Virus Disease 04 February 2016, 17:18 CET
Latest developments in the EU regarding the outbreak of Zika Virus Disease, and how it is being managed in Europe. Information for travellers and EU residents in affected areas.

EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement: Agreed text as of January 2016 01 February 2016, 16:06 CET
The text of the EU-Vietnam Agreement is made public here exclusively for information purposes. The text presented in this document is the text at the end of the negotiations conducted by the European Commission. It will be subject to legal revision in order to verify the internal consistency and to ensure that the formulations of the negotiating results are legally sound. It will thereafter be transmitted to the Council of the European Union and to the European Parliament for ratification. The text presented in this document is not binding under international law and will only become so after the completion of the ratification process.

EUROPOL - the European Police Office 25 January 2016, 15:06 CET
Europol is the European Union’s law enforcement agency whose main goal is to help achieve a safer Europe for the benefit of all EU citizens. We do this by assisting the European Union’s Member States in their fight against serious international crime and terrorism. Large–scale criminal and terrorist networks pose a significant threat to the internal security of the EU and to the safety and livelihood of its people. The biggest security threats come from terrorism, international drug trafficking and money laundering, organised fraud, counterfeiting of the euro currency, and people smuggling. But new dangers are also accumulating, in the form of cybercrime, trafficking in human beings, and other modern-day threats. This is a multi–billion euro business, quick to adapt to new opportunities and resilient in the face of traditional law enforcement measures.

ECRIS (European Criminal Records Information System) 19 January 2016, 23:24 CET
The computerised system ECRIS was established in April 2012 to create an efficient exchange of information on criminal convictions between EU Member States. Examples such as the Fourniret case of 2004 and numerous subsequent studies have demonstrated that national courts frequently pass sentences on the sole basis of past convictions featuring in their national register, without any knowledge of convictions in other Member States. Consequently, criminals were often able to escape their criminal past simply by moving to another Member State. ECRIS has been created to improve the exchange of information on criminal records throughout the EU. It establishes an electronic interconnection of criminal records databases to ensure that information on convictions is exchanged between Member States in a uniform, speedy and easily computer-transferable way. The system provides judges and prosecutors with easy access to comprehensive information on the criminal history of persons concerned, no matter in which Member States that person has been convicted in the past. Through removing the possibility for offenders to escape their criminal past simply by moving from one EU country to another, the system could also serve to prevent crime.

European Capitals of Culture 16 January 2016, 22:05 CET
Each year, cities chosen as European Capitals of Culture - in 2016 they are Donostia-San Sebastián (Spain) and Wrocław (Poland) - provide living proof of the richness and diversity of European cultures. Started in 1985, the initiative has become one of the most prestigious and high-profile cultural events in Europe. More than 40 cities have been designated European Capitals of Culture so far, from Stockholm to Genoa, Athens to Glasgow, and Cracow to Porto. A city is not chosen as a European Capital of Culture solely for what it is, but mainly for what it plans to do for a year that has to be exceptional. Its programme for the year must meet some specific criteria.

EU Presidency 07 January 2016, 22:11 CET
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU legislature. It rotates among the EU Member States every six months. The presidency is not an individual, but the position is held by a national government. The presidency's function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme and facilitate dialogue both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions. The current presidency (as of January 2016) is held by The Netherlands.

Provisional Calendar of Meetings under the Netherlands Presidency of the EU Council 05 January 2016, 12:45 CET
Provisional agendas for Council meetings during the first semester of 2016 (Netherlands Presidency). This is a draft programme subject to changes.