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European Union Business News from EUbusiness.com

Free ticket for 18-yr-olds in EU to discover Europe
Following the success of the first round of DiscoverEU, the Commission announced Wednesday it will launch a second competition for free tickets for students to travel around Europe on 29 November.

Ministers agree 2019 fishing quotas for Baltic Sea
After day-long talks, EU fisheries ministers agreed Monday on next year's total allowable catches (TACs) and member states' quotas for the ten commercially most important fish stocks in the Baltic Sea.

EU makes progress in fight against travel document fraud
The EU Commission took stock of measures to combat identity fraud Tuesday, implemented under a 2016 action plan to improve security of travel documents as part of the fight against terrorism.

Green light for Singapore-EU trade deal
EU Member States authorised Tuesday the signature and conclusion of the trade and investment agreements between the EU and Singapore, as well as a partnership and cooperation agreement.

Brussels boost for European battery industry
The EU Commission claimed progress Monday in efforts to establish the EU as a lead player in battery innovation and manufacturing, as it struggles to catch up with China with plans for clean energy transition.

Clearer fuel pump labels appear across Europe
A new harmonised set of fuel labels took off across Europe on 12 October, with the aim of giving drivers better information on the suitability of fuels for their vehicles wherever they travel in the EU.

Ministers reach political agreement on business restructuring rules
A new approach to business insolvency in Europe, agreed Thursday by EU justice ministers, will help companies in financial difficulties to restructure early on to prevent bankruptcy and avoid laying off staff.

MEPs back EU ban on single-use plastics from 2021
Single-use plastic items such as plates, cutlery or cotton buds, making up over 70% of marine litter, will be banned under plans backed Wednesday in the EU Parliament's environment committee.

EU Council agrees on new emissions targets for cars and vans
EU environment ministers reached agreement Wednesday on a proposed regulation to set stricter CO2 emission standards for new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles.

EU urged to step up climate action after UN report
Environmental groups urged the EU to take urgent action over climate change Monday, following the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.

Brussels okays Slovakia state aid to Jaguar Land Rover
The EU Commission gave its approval Thursday to Slovakia's EUR 125 million investment aid to Jaguar Land Rover, saying it is in line with EU State aid rules, and will not unduly distort competition.

ECB bonds purchase valid, says EU Court adviser
The decision of the European Central Bank to establish a programme for the purchase of government bonds on secondary markets is valid, in the Opinion of the top EU Court's Advocate-General.

Boost for joint European assessment of medicines
A new law adopted by the European Parliament on Wednesday aims to avoid duplicating national assessments to determine a medicine's added value that help EU countries decide on pricing.

MEPs vote for 30 pct European content for on-demand TV
Members of the European Parliament voted Tuesday on updated rules on audiovisual media services, protecting children better, with stricter rules on advertising, and 30% European content in video-on-demand.

MEPs vote to raise CO2 emissions targets for cars
Market uptake of electric and low- emission cars would be expected to accelerate following a vote Wednesday by the European Parliament to lower CO2 emissions by 20% by 2025, and 40% by 2030.

Ministers make progress on VAT reform and fight against fraud
EU finance ministers agreed Tuesday on new rules to exchange more information and boost cooperation on criminal VAT fraud, as well as measures to cut VAT compliance burdens for companies.

EU finance ministers agree lower VAT for e-publications
Ministers agreed to allow EU states to apply reduced, 'super-reduced' or zero VAT rates to electronic publications Tuesday, thereby allowing alignment of VAT rules for electronic and physical publications.

MEPs look to protect farmers against unfair trading practices
New rules to protect farmers against buyers’ unfair trading practices, approved Monday by the EU Parliament's agriculture committee, have been criticised as a witch hunt against retailers and wholesalers.

Ministers give backing to European supercomputer project
Research ministers gave their backing Friday to the setting up of a new European joint undertaking with the aim of overseeing the pooling of resources into high-performance computing.

Single digital gateway: one-stop shop for online paperwork
The EU Council gave its green light to a single digital gateway Thursday, a one-stop shop for the EU's most common administration procedures, helping people to interact with public administrations.

MEPs cut support for Turkey by EUR 70m over EU values
MEPs on the EU Parliament's budget committee agreed Tuesday to cancel EUR 70 million in pre-accession funds earmarked for Turkey, as they say conditions to improve the rule of law were not met.

Infineon wins review of chip cartel fine at EU Court
The EU's top Court ordered a review Thursday of a fine imposed on Infineon Technologies for taking part in a cartel in the smart card chip market to fine imposed, and dismissed an appeal lodged by Philips.

31m fake goods seized at EU borders in 2017
Customs authorities detained over 31 million fake and counterfeit products at the EU's external border with a street value of over EUR 580m, according to figures released Thursday by the EU Commission.

14 EU countries risk missing recycling targets
14 EU Member States are at risk of missing an EU target of 50 per cent municipal waste recycling by 2020, according to a European Commission report on the implementation of EU waste legislation.

Brussels takes action against UK over Chinese shoe fraud
The EU Commission sent a 'reasoned opinion' to the United Kingdom Monday on account of its failure to act against customs fraud relating to Chinese shoe imports and resulting losses to the EU Budget.