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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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Digital Skills 22 September 2016, 23:49 CET
The European Commission has set out steps to improve digital skills in Europe, which are the cornerstone of a truly functioning digital society and Digital Single Market. These steps were outlined in the New Skills Agenda for Europe: working together for human capital, employability and competitiveness, adopted recently by the European Commission.

Decommissioning of nuclear facilities 20 September 2016, 15:32 CET
The decommissioning of a nuclear installation such as a power plant or research reactor is the final step in its life cycle. It involves all activities from shut-down and removal of nuclear material to the environmental restoration of the site. The whole process can extend over a period of up to 30 years. By 2025, it is estimated that over a third of the EU's currently operational reactors will be at the end of their life cycle and in need of shut-down.

Cotonou Partnership Agreement 15 September 2016, 12:09 CET
The ACP-EU Partnership Agreement, signed in Cotonou in June 2000, was concluded for a 20-year period from 2000 to 2020. It is the most comprehensive partnership agreement between developing countries and the EU. Replacing the Lomé Convention, it is the framework for the European Union's relations with 79 countries from Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP). In 2010, ACP-EU cooperation has been adapted to new challenges such as climate change, food security, regional integration, State fragility and aid effectiveness. The fundamental principles of the Cotonou Agreement include equality of partners, global participation (States and non-state actors), dialogue and regionalisation. The Cotonou Agreement was designed to establish a comprehensive partnership with 3 pillars: Development cooperation; Political cooperation; Economic and trade cooperation (for the period 2000-2007).

Facility for Refugees in Turkey 08 September 2016, 23:07 CET
Turkey currently hosts more than 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees and the EU is committed to assist Turkey in dealing with this challenge. The Facility for Refugees in Turkey, managing a total of 3 billion EUR for 2016 and 2017, provides for a joint coordination mechanism, designed to ensure that the needs of refugees and host communities in Turkey are addressed in a comprehensive and coordinated manner. The Facility focuses on humanitarian assistance, education, migration management, health, municipal infrastructure, and socio-economic support.

VAT Gap 06 September 2016, 19:01 CET
Member States in the European Union are losing billions of euros in value-added tax (VAT) revenues because of tax fraud and inadequate tax collection systems. The VAT Gap, which is the difference between expected VAT revenues and VAT actually collected, provides an estimate of revenue loss due to tax fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance, but also due to bankruptcies, financial insolvencies or miscalculations.

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) 01 September 2016, 00:10 CET
The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) was established in 1993. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU’s decentralised agencies. The EMCDDA exists to provide the EU and its Member States with a factual overview of European drug problems and a solid evidence base to support the drugs debate. Today it offers policymakers the data they need for drawing up informed drug laws and strategies. It also helps professionals and practitioners working in the field pinpoint best practice and new areas of research.

EU Ecolabel 17 August 2016, 23:44 CET
The EU Ecolabel helps you identify products and services that have a reduced environmental impact throughout their life cycle, from the extraction of raw material through to production, use and disposal. Recognised throughout Europe, EU Ecolabel is a voluntary label promoting environmental excellence which can be trusted.

EU deficit in trade in goods with China hits EUR 180 bn in 2015 12 July 2016, 12:19 CET
On the occasion of the European Union - China summit, which takes place on 12-13 July in Beijing, Eurostat, the EU's statistical office, issued some data on economic relations between China and the EU. Key figures: Trade in goods: China: top EU partner for imports in 2015, accounting for a fifth (20.3%) of all EU imports; China: second largest EU partner for exports in 2015 (9.5% of all exports), after the United States; EU trade in goods balance with China in 2015: deficit of EUR 180 billion, due to surge of imports; Machinery & vehicles dominate both exports and imports; Deficit with China for every EU Member State, except Germany and Finland; Trade in services: EU trade in services balance with China in 2015: surplus of EUR 10.3 billion, due to surge of exports; Foreign direct investment: EU: net investor with China in 2014

EU Presidency 01 July 2016, 17:03 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 July 2016) is held by Slovakia.

Provisional calendar of meetings under the Slovak Presidency of the Council 01 July 2016, 17:03 CET
Provisional agendas for Council meetings during the second semester of 2016 (Slovak Presidency). This is a draft programme subject to changes.

Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORPs) 30 June 2016, 23:56 CET
Occupational pension funds in the EU benefit from the principles of free movement of capital and free provision of services.

Health claims 16 June 2016, 23:30 CET
A health claim is any statement about a relationship between food and health. The European Commission authorises different health claims provided they are based on scientific evidence and can be easily understood by consumers. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is responsible for evaluating the scientific evidence supporting health claims.

Antimicrobial Resistance 16 June 2016, 16:00 CET
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms to resist antimicrobial treatments, especially antibiotics. AMR not only has a direct impact on human and animal health - due to the failure in the treatment of infectious diseases - but also carries a heavy economic cost. AMR is a natural phenomenon but an accumulation of factors, including excessive and inappropriate use of antimicrobial medicines on humans and animals and poor infection control practices, transformed AMR into a serious threat to public health worldwide.

European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) 01 June 2016, 23:57 CET
Are you a project promoter based in the EU, and want to reach potential investors worldwide? Register your project in the European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) and boost its visibility to a large network of international investors! Or are you an investor looking for investment opportunities in areas such as energy efficiency, transport, healthcare, renewable energy, broadband infrastructure or in financing SMEs? The European Investment Project Portal (EIPP) - the meeting place for project promoters and investors - offers a broad choice of viable projects.

Register of Commission expert groups and other similar entities 31 May 2016, 10:44 CET
This Register was set up by the Commission to ensure transparency on expert groups assisting the Commission in relation to: the preparation of legislative proposals and policy initiatives; the preparation of delegated acts; the implementation of EU legislation, programmes and policies, including coordination and cooperation with EU Member States and stakeholders in that regard; where necessary, the early preparation of implementing acts, before submission to the committee in accordance with Regulation (EU) N°182/2011.The Register lists both Commission expert groups and other similar entities, i.e. consultative entities set up by the Union legislator and not by the Commission, which have a similar or identical role to that of Commission expert groups and are administered and financially managed by the Commission. For each expert group, the Register provides valuable information including on the Commission department which is running the group, as well as on its members, its mission and tasks. The Register also includes relevant documents which are produced and discussed by the groups.

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)