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Business news and information from the European Union

Euro-MPs urge application of common EU energy rules 09 June 2010, 17:08 CET
The EU should accelerate the application of common energy policy rules, and the policy itself must aim to improve competitiveness, security of supply and sustainability, concluded a joint meeting of over 250 MEPs and MPs from EU Member States in Brussels on Tuesday.

EU to strengthen cross-border cooperation on VAT fraud 08 June 2010, 20:15 CET
EU Finance Ministers today reached an agreement on a draft regulation which will enable EU member states to combine efforts in combating fraud with regard to value-added taxation (VAT).

Sustainable fishing practices cannot be postponed: European Commission 08 June 2010, 20:13 CET
The European Commission calls on EU Member States to urgently take action in implementing the EU 'Mediterranean Regulation', adopted in 2006, which aims to fight overfishing.

EU warns Italy on discriminatory pension age again 04 June 2010, 23:30 CET
The European Commission has issued on Thursday a new request to Italy to comply with a 2008 European Court of Justice ruling that different pensionable ages for male and female civil servants violate the principle of equal pay.

EU to tighten rules on animal experimentation 04 June 2010, 23:27 CET
The EU Council for Justice and Home Affairs has yesterday supported a draft directive for the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, aimed at strengthening the protection of animals whilst allowing research to continue playing a key role in the fight against diseases.

EU takes action against Suez Environnement for antitrust practices 04 June 2010, 23:26 CET
The European Commission has opened formal proceedings against French group Suez Environnement over an alleged breach of a seal affixed during an inspection by the Commission in April at the premises of the French group's subsidiary, Lyonnaise des Eaux.

EU questions Italy, Poland and Germany over safety of inland waterways vessels 04 June 2010, 23:26 CET
The European Commission has yesterday sent reasoned opinions to Italy, Poland and Germany for failing to notify measures for the implementation of EU legislation ensuring technical harmonisation and safety on EU inland waterways.

EU warns Finland on personal tax data 03 June 2010, 22:47 CET
The European Commission today warned Finland that its data protection law may be breaking EU rules. Finnish taxpayers’ personal data is available to the public and is being collected by businesses for sale as special publications, CDs and text messages.

EU accepts BT/Ofcom plans for fibre broadband 'virtual unbundling' 02 June 2010, 23:18 CET
The European Commission has accepted UK telecoms regulator Ofcom's proposal to oblige British Telecom to provide 'virtual' access to its optical fibre infrastructure to alternative operators.

EU approves capital injection into Irish Educational Building Society 02 June 2010, 23:11 CET
The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules an emergency recapitalisation worth €875 million in favour of the Irish Educational Building Society (EBS) for a period of six months as urgent rescue aid.

Euro-MPs call for harmonisation of copyright at European level 02 June 2010, 17:09 CET
As a response to the growth of unauthorised file sharing of copyrighted works, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee agreed on Tuesday to urge the European Commission to introduce EU-wide copyright licences in order to combat the breach of intellectual property rights (IPR).

Euro-MPs back new compensation rights for bus, coach and boat travellers 02 June 2010, 16:56 CET
European bus, coach and boat passengers would have the same compensation rights as air passengers under proposals put forward by the European Parliament's transport committee today.

Twelve EU Member States on way to make cross-border divorces easier 02 June 2010, 00:00 CET
European Legal Affairs MPs backed today arrangements which would enable divorcing international couples to choose which EU country's law governs their divorce.

EU aims to bridge the digital divide 01 June 2010, 00:28 CET
EU Transport Ministers at their telecommunications session today approved the European Digital Agenda for high-speed internet and secure digital market, among others, to boost growth and employment in the EU.

Euro-MPs favour new labels for animal-friendly products 01 June 2010, 00:18 CET
A European Parliament committee has voted in favour of new product labelling to help consumers identify and choose animal welfare-friendly products.

EU urges trading partners to remove protectionist barriers 28 May 2010, 22:58 CET
Protectionist barriers are on the increase during the economic crisis, according to an EU report published today. In it, the European Commission calls on the EU's trading partners to remove trade restrictions in order to boost economic recovery.

EU approves acquisition of Mobil Oil Austria by ENI 27 May 2010, 20:56 CET
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Mobil Oil Austria by Agip Austria, which is wholly controlled by ENI of Italy.

EU seeks high privacy standards in EU-US data protection agreement 26 May 2010, 23:35 CET
The European Commission has adopted a draft mandate to negotiate a personal data protection agreement between the European Union and the United States when cooperating to fight terrorism or crime. The agreement would give citizens more rights to manage their data.

EU approves EUR 10m aid for Dutch energy-saving project 26 May 2010, 23:31 CET
The European Commission has authorised The Netherlands to provide a grant of 10 million euros to Nuon Energy Sourcing NV for a CO2 capture demonstration project.

EU okays Italian compensation for power cuts in Sardinia and Sicily 26 May 2010, 23:28 CET
The European Commission has authorised under EU State aid rules a scheme designed to remunerate companies for the provision of instant interruptibility services (the acceptance of power cuts to avoid black outs) in Italy's largest islands, Sardinia and Sicily.

Belgium-Umicore arrangement 'not state aid': Commission 26 May 2010, 23:27 CET
The European Commission has closed its investigation into an arrangement between Belgium and Belgian-based multinational materials technology company UMICORE, which it says does not constitute state aid.

Lack of progress on single EU telecoms market hurts consumers 25 May 2010, 23:55 CET
Consumers, businesses and the EU economy as a whole are denied the full economic benefits of a truly single and competitive EU-wide telecoms market because of inconsistent application of EU telecoms rules,according to the European Commission's annual report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market.

European SME Week 2010 kicks off 25 May 2010, 23:51 CET
Vice President Antonio Tajani has launched the European SME Week 2010 in Brussels today. This pan-European campaign is designed to promote and support entrepreneurship. Over 3 million people are estimated to participate in the some 1261 events and activities that are being organised in 37 countries across Europe.

EU authorises temporary Finnish financial aid to farmers 25 May 2010, 23:50 CET
The European Commission authorised a Finnish scheme with a budget of €22 million which aims at supporting farmers in Finland who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis. Aid under this scheme can be granted until 31 December 2010 and will take the form of a direct grant.

EU mulls improvements to European contract law 22 May 2010, 17:39 CET
The European Commission, seeking to boost cross-border trade and to ensure strong rights for consumers, convened a new expert group to propose ways to improve contract law in the European Union.