EU leaders meet on defence - EUbusiness Week newsletter 642
EUbusiness Week 642 top stories: EU leaders agree limited defence cooperation; EU probes Germany energy price breaks for business; Brussels wants cloned meat off the table; Euro-Banking Authority warns over Bitcoin; Two insecticides a risk for human nervous system; Sweet success as Turkish baklava wins prized EU status
Europe's economy is becoming greener, as Eurobarometer reports smaller
businesses are becoming more resource efficient and contributing more to
the transition to a low-carbon economy. SMEs are getting better at
minimising waste, saving energy and materials. More are also going
organic and use eco-labelling.
No room for complacency, however, says the Commission, as SMEs in the
USA are catching up quicklty. To remain competitive in this key sector,
EU businesses will need more support for cutting costs, boosting
revenues and creating more green jobs.
Service: EUbusiness moves to its reduced service over the break, with the next newswire going out in January. I wish you the Season's Greetings and best wishes for a healthy, peaceful and successful New Year.
1. EU leaders agree limited defence cooperation
European Union leaders agreed limited steps Thursday towards greater
defence cooperation but British opposition to the bloc having its own
armed forces highlighted differences over how far they can go.
Finance ministers reach banking union deal
2. EU probes Germany energy price breaks for business
The Commission has opened a probe into German help for large companies
amid its green energy shift, sparking a warning from Chancellor Angela
Merkel that Berlin would fight back.
Brussels opens probe into UK state aid for new nuclear plant
3. Brussels wants cloned meat off the table
The Commission said Wednesday it would ban meat from cloned animals but
stopped short of imposing restrictions on produce from the offspring of
such animals, a hugely sensitive issue.
4. Euro-Banking Authority warns over Bitcoin
The Union's banking watchdog has issued a warning over virtual currency
trading amid huge swings in the value of Bitcoin, a lack of regulation
and money laundering risks.
5. Two insecticides a risk for human nervous system
The EU has warned that two widely used insecticides, one of which has
been implicated in catastrophic bee population decline, may pose a risk
to human health by harming brain development.
6. Sweet success as Turkish baklava wins prized EU status
While Turkey has vainly clamoured for years to join the European Union, a
sweet pastry made in the country's south-east tasted more success on
Thursday, winning the EU's prized "protected status".
GM potato: the EU's second highest court has annulled a Commission
decision to authorise a genetically modified potato developed by German
giant BASF, saying it had not followed proper procedure.
EUR 70,000 fine urged in easyJet disabled passenger case
Latest Court of Justice judgements
EU Law Firms
Inside the EU Institutions
Ukraine: President Vladimir Putin's move to pull Ukraine back from the
brink of default with a multi-billion dollar aid package is aimed at
preserving Kremlin power in its neighbour as Kiev battles a pro-EU
Turkey signs EU migrant pact as relations thaw
Britain rushes through EU benefits changes
Serbia: Serbia on Tuesday won the European Union's long-sought blessing
to kick off talks on joining the bloc in January, in recognition of its
efforts in normalising ties with Kosovo.
US, EU hold third round of free-trade trade talks
EU hands EUR 147m more to UN agencies to help Syrians
Belgium sells Commission HQ for nearly EUR 640m
Banking Union: Parliament head Martin Schulz warned Thursday that EU
leaders face "very long negotiations" with MEPs over a new bank
regulatory system which many of them believe falls well short of what it
EU takes key step on bank deposit guarantee system
EU must engage Iran on human rights: MEP
Also this week, MEPs agreed with the presidency a provisional deal on common battery chargers for mobile phones, to cut cost and waste; the Civil Liberties Committe said Parliament should consent to a trade deal with the US only if it makes no reference to data protection; and the Transport Committee approved a package of measures to make rail travel more attractive by creating more competition and a common certification scheme for trains.
Other news on EUbusiness this weekEU takes Brazil to WTO over import curbs 19-Dec
Bulgarians not 'beggars' in Britain: foreign minister 19-Dec
EU clears Slovenia bank aid 18-Dec
Italy migrant video sparks European outrage 18-Dec
Eurozone okays EUR 1 bn aid payment for Greece 17-Dec
Asmussen's departure 'a headache for ECB' 17-Dec
Plight of foreign abattoir workers in Germany 15-Dec
EU targets solidarity deals in 2014 13-Dec