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EU trademark deal welcome step forward for SMEs

EU trademark deal welcome step forward for SMEs

Posted by Nick Prag at 23 April 2015, 18:05 CET |

It has taken two years of inter-institutional discussions, but on Tuesday the EU's Latvian Presidency reached provisional political agreement with European Parliament representatives on reform of the European trade mark system.

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Are EU charges of unfair practices against Google fair?

Posted by Nick Prag at 16 April 2015, 18:35 CET |
Filed under: antitrust, Consumer, Internet

Internet giant Google again came under EU fire this week when the European Commission formally charged it with abusing the dominance of its search engine, while at the same time launching a sensitive probe into its omnipresent Android mobile phone operating system.

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EU reviews its policy towards its eastern neighbours

Posted by Nick Prag at 26 March 2015, 22:40 CET |

Ukraine and Russia were topics of this week in the European Union, with the Europe's Parliament approving huge financial assistance to Ukraine, while the Commission published country reports on implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy.

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EU Budget 2016 debate gets under way

Posted by Nick Prag at 12 March 2015, 17:31 CET |

The EU got down to preparing plans for next year's budget this week, with the European Parliament targeting growth, solidarity and paying the bills as priorities for the EU Budget 2016.

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EU gender equality has some way to go

Posted by Nick Prag at 05 March 2015, 22:35 CET |

The eve of International Women's Day (8 March) is a good moment to assess the challenges that remain in tackling gender inequalities across the EU.

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Infringements day at the EC

Posted by Nick Prag at 26 February 2015, 18:05 CET |
Filed under: EU Law, Competition

Wednesday was infringements day at the European Commission, a monthly occasion, when the Commission announces the various infringements proceedings it is setting in motion, and including legal actions it is taking against some Member States for failing to comply properly with their obligations under EU law.

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Roadmap for a Capital Markets Union

Posted by Nick Prag at 19 February 2015, 18:00 CET |
Filed under: SMEs, Finance

The building blocks of the European Commission's 'Investment Plan for Europe' began to form this week, with the aim of unlocking funding for EU businesses and boosting growth with the creation of a true single market for capital.

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Caps on inter-bank fees for card payments good for consumers, good for retailers

Posted by Nick Prag at 05 February 2015, 19:20 CET |
Filed under: Consumer, Finance

It's taken a long time, but the European Parliament and the Council have finally agreed a deal on a regulation to cap interchange fees for card-based payments.

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New lobbyists' transparency register has yet to live up to its name

Posted by Nick Prag at 29 January 2015, 17:30 CET |
Filed under: Institutions

The EU Transparency Register, re-launched this week by the Commission and European Parliament, is another positive step on the way to true transparency, but it has yet to live up to its name.

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Latvia presidency looks for progress in key areas

Posted by Nick Prag at 22 January 2015, 22:35 CET |
Filed under: Latvia

Latvia has already outlined the broad priorities for its presidency of the European Union: competitive, digital and engaged Europe. This week, the country's ministers came to the European Parliament, and gave Euro-MPs in committee some details about some of the items of new legislation and initiatives we can expect over the next few months.

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European year of Development 2015

Posted by Nick Prag at 15 January 2015, 21:55 CET |
Filed under: Development

One of the priorities of Latvia in its six-month stint as EU president is to strengthen Europe as a global actor. It is entirely appropriate that 2015 has been designated as the European Year of Development.

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Europe declares solidarity against attack on fundamental values

Posted by Nick Prag at 08 January 2015, 17:05 CET |

EU flags flew at half-mast on Thursday as officials from the European Council, the Commission and Parliament expressed their solidarity with the victims of this week's murderous attack on the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

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Allergy sufferers and fussy eaters to benefit from clearer food labelling from this weekend

Posted by Nick Prag at 11 December 2014, 17:05 CET |
Filed under: Food & Drink, Consumer

The provision of food information to consumers takes a major step forward in the EU this weekend, with a new mandatory food labelling system heading for Europe's supermarket shelves and restaurants.

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Latvia readies for its first EU presidency

Posted by Nick Prag at 04 December 2014, 18:05 CET |

This week Latvia's Prime Minister Laimdota Straujuma and members of the Latvian government visited the European Commission in Brussels to discuss the priorities of Latvia's upcoming Presidency of the EU.

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Boost for EU transparency, but the Commission has further to go

Posted by Nick Prag at 27 November 2014, 17:55 CET |
Filed under: Commission

A boost to transparency in the European Union was promised this week, when the European Commission committed to publishing information about its meetings with lobbyists, as well as providing more access to documents relating to the ongoing talks with the United States for the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

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Transatlantic trade talks: what is the problem?

Posted by Nick Prag at 20 November 2014, 16:50 CET |
Filed under: US, Trade

This week, Europe's Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem attempted to breath new life into the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership talks that have run into opposition particularly as regards one of the deal's most controversial components.

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Cameron's anti-EU stance gets a bashing

Posted by Nick Prag at 06 November 2014, 22:30 CET |
Filed under: Commission, UK, politics

The gloves came off when the new European Commission took office this week, with Britain, or at least its prime minister David Cameron, taking some hefty blows.

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EU budgets a touchy topic

Posted by Nick Prag at 30 October 2014, 16:00 CET |
Filed under: Finance

This week marks the last in the Barroso II Commission, and last week's summit was supposed to be a calm transition summit to a new regime at the EU's helm. Instead the stand-out topic of the summit, and of this last week, has been budgets, EU and national.

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The cost of study in Europe

Posted by Nick Prag at 23 October 2014, 17:30 CET |

Students wanting to study in Europe face a wide divergence in the levels of student fees and support, according to the latest report from Eurydice, the network which provides information on European education systems and policies.

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Making big data work

Posted by Nick Prag at 16 October 2014, 16:40 CET |

This week the European Commission launched a partnership with Europe's data industry, planning to invest EUR 2.5 bn in a public-private partnership in a bid to put Europe at the forefront of the global data race.

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