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Spain tests new border control system for EU
Spain set up a pilot project on Thursday that will help travellers move faster through border crossing points within the European Union, through the use of an automated identification and document verification system, overseen by police officers.

Parliament seeks equal treatment for self-employed
Euro-MPs want to promote female entrepreneurship and are proposing new rules to bridge the gender gap for self-employed workers and their partners and to ensure everyone has social protection.

Levy on private copies may be imposed, says Advocate General
In an opinion given on 11 May 2010, Advocate General Trstenjak ruled that a levy on private copies may be imposed on digital equipment, devices and media only where it may be presumed that they are to be used for private copying.

Commissioner offers preview of Research and Innovation Strategy
The EU's forthcoming Research and Innovation Strategy for Europe will focus on the major societal challenges, have a broad definition of 'innovation' and seek to remove bottlenecks to the flow of knowledge, European Commissioner for Research, Innovation and Science Máire Geoghegan-Quinn has announced.

Commission approves tax exemptions for Finnish Real Estate Investment Trusts (REITs)
The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules the introduction of "Real Estate Investment Trusts" (REITs) in Finland that will be exempted from corporate income tax in order to encourage investment in affordable rental housing.

EU clears Swedish restructuring aid for Carnegie Investment Bank
The European Commission has granted final clearance under the EU state aid rules to the Swedish aid for the restructuring of Carnegie Investment Bank.

State aid: Commission to investigate EUR 20 million capital injections into Elan of Slovenia
The European Commission has opened an in-depth investigation under EU State aid rules into capital injections destined to two subsidiaries of state owned company Elan Skupina in Slovenia.

EU restricts imports of plants from China
The European Union has decided to impose stricter measures for the import from China of plants hosting the harmful citrus long horn beetle, an insect that is not native to Europe and can attack a wide range of plants.

EU ministers adopt rules to prevent injuries to healthcare workers
At a meeting of the EU Council of Education, Youth and Culture today, Ministers adopted a directive aimed at achieving the safest possible working environment for healthcare workers through prevention from injuries.

EU steers its way towards intelligent transport systems
A coherent EU-wide framework for interoperable transport systems is the aim of a proposal adopted by EU transport ministers today. Following negotiations with the European Parliament, the European Council today approved a proposal for a directive on the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) in the field of road transport.

EU approves acquisition of 50Hertz by Elia and Industry Funds Management
The European Commission has authorised under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of joint control over the German transmission system operator 50Hertz Transmission GmbH by Elia System Operator SA/NV of Belgium and Industry Funds Management Pty Ltd (IFM) of Australia.

EU greenlights Otto's acquisition of various Quelle assets
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition by the German Otto Group of certain assets of the Swiss home-shopping companies Quelle Versand AG i.L. (in liquidation) and Spengler Versand AG.

Commission to cut research funding red tape
The European Commission has set out its plans to simplify the procedures for taking part in EU-funded research projects. The Commission hopes that cutting red tape in this way will entice the very best researchers to get involved in the framework programmes.

Commission puts ITER funding in spotlight
The European Commission on 5 May adopted a communication justifying the creation of a sustainable financial framework for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER). EU Member States should provide financial support to the facility, whose expenditure is EUR 4.5 billion more than the initial EUR 2.7 billion planned, the European Commission said.

EU to revise competition rules for motor vehicle distribution and repair
On May 26, the European Commission is due to adopt new competition rules for agreements between vehicle manufacturers and their authorised dealers, repairers and spare parts distributors.

Harmonised EU rules to foster high-speed wireless Internet
The European Commission has adopted a Decision establishing harmonised technical rules for Member States on the allocation of radio frequencies in the 800 MHz band that contribute to the deployment of high-speed wireless internet services by avoiding harmful interference.

Euro-MPs urge standard chargers for electric cars
Standard chargers for electric cars would be a major step towards a single European electric vehicle market, says a resolution adopted by the European Parliament on Thursday.

Commission to ease bottlenecks to financing of smaller businesses
To address the difficult financing situation of SMEs, EU Commissioners proposed today to upgrade the SME Finance Forum into a high-level dialogue between financial institutions and SMEs. The SME Finance Forum 2010, being held in Brussels today, focuses on new strategies for improving access to finance for SMEs.

"Bulk data" transfers to the US against EU law, warn MEPs
Euro-MPs warned today that any new agreement on providing bank data to the United States must avoid "bulk data" transfers until they can be processed within the EU.

Euro-MPs urge tightening of animal welfare rules
More frequent inspections and tougher penalties will be needed to enforce the next EU Animal Welfare Action Plan, says a resolution adopted by the European Parliament today.

Sweden told to comply with EU cosmetics rules
The European Commission has taken further steps against Sweden for infringing EU law on cosmetic products by introducing excessive requirements in the notification of such products.

Commission action makes setting up business in Ireland easier
Following changes to Irish legislation that remove obstacles to setting up a business in Ireland, the European Commission has closed its infringement case.

Incoming British government 'must tackle rising debt'
EU forecasts on the eve of the British general election put Britain under the highest public deficit levels in Europe, with Brussels warning the next government must focus first on the shortfall.

E.ON's commitments open up German gas market to competitors
The European Commission has adopted a decision that renders legally binding commitments offered by E.ON to effectively open up access to the German gas market.

First steps towards reform of EU's Common Fisheries Policy
The reform of the Common Fisheries Policy begins today, stated the Spanish Minister for the Environment, as the Informal Meeting of Fisheries Ministers in Vigo, Spain, got under way on Tuesday.