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France and the EU

Latest business news about France and the European Union.

State aid for Beziers airport, Ryanair link in EU probe
The European Commission opened an investigation Monday into whether operating aid granted to Béziers airport in France and marketing agreements with Ryanair are in line with EU State aid rules.

Nantes named European Capital of Innovation 2019
The city of Nantes in north-west France has been named the European Capital of Innovation 2019, the EU Commission announced Wednesday at the European Research and Innovation Days. cannot be registered as a trademark
The French government succeeded Tuesday in its attempt to have the European Court of Justice outlaw an attempt by a French businessman to register the sign '' as an EU trademark.

EU finance ministers close deficit procedure against France
EU finance ministers closed the excessive deficit procedure for France Friday, confirming its deficit has dropped below 3% of GDP. They also issued budgetary recommendations to Hungary and Romania.

Uber France hit by new EU Court blow
EU Member States can prohibit illegal exercise of transport activities in the context of the UberPop service without alerting the Commission in advance of draft criminal legislation, the EU Court ruled Tuesday.

Paris is Europe's most innovative city 2017
The city of Paris was awarded the 2017 European Capital of Innovation Tuesday, with a prize of EUR 1,000,000 granted under the EU's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

France Télécom loses pensions appeal at EU Court
The EU Court of Justice rejected Wednesday an appeal by France Télécom against a European Commission decision over the company's financing of reform of pensions for its civil servants.

Requiring removal of Islamic headscarf at work 'discrimination'
A company policy requiring an employee to remove her Islamic headscarf when in contact with clients is unlawful discrimination, according to the opinion of the EU Court's advocate-general.

EU Strategy for the Alpine Region
The European Commission officially launched the EU Strategy for the Alpine Region (EUSALP) - the fourth EU macro-regional strategy - on 28 July. More than 70 million citizens will reap the benefits of a closer cooperation between regions and countries in terms of research and innovation, SME support, mobility, tourism, environmental protection and energy resources management. This macro-regional strategy concerns seven countries; five Member States - Austria, France, Germany, Italy and Slovenia - and two non-EU countries - Liechtenstein and Switzerland - overall involving 48 regions.

France: country overview
France today is one of the most modern countries in the world and is a leader among European nations. It plays an influential global role as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council, NATO, the G-8, the G-20, the EU and other multilateral organizations. France rejoined NATO's integrated military command structure in 2009, reversing de Gaulle's 1966 decision to take French forces out of NATO. Since 1958, it has constructed a hybrid presidential-parliamentary governing system resistant to the instabilities experienced in earlier, more purely parliamentary administrations. In recent decades, its reconciliation and cooperation with Germany have proved central to the economic integration of Europe, including the introduction of a common currency, the euro, in January 1999. In the early 21st century, five French overseas entities - French Guiana, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, and Reunion - became French regions and were made part of France proper. The most important sectors of France's economy in 2015 were public administration, defence, education, human health and social work activities (23.0 %), wholesale and retail trade, transport, accommodation and food services (17.7 %) and industry (14.1 %). France's main export partners are Germany, Spain and the US, while its main import partners are Germany, Belgium and Italy.

Doing business in France: Staff welfare
France's labour code sets out employees' rights in relation to non-discrimination, gender equality in the workplace, health, maternity and paternity leave, harassment, etc.

Doing business in France: Sustainability
CSR encourages businesses to take account of social and environmental concerns in their business strategies, management and operation methods, and the design of their products and services.

Doing business in France: Environmental rules
France adopted its national sustainable development strategy in 2003 and its environment charter in 2004. The purpose of sustainable development for businesses is to improve and assess environmental, social and economic performance.

EU okays funding mechanism for France Télévisions
The European Commission has approved the annual funding mechanism for France Télévisions, which is deemed to comply with the European Union's state aid rules.

EU approves the acquisition of Giraud by French Geodis
The European Commission has approved, in accordance with the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition by Geodis, which belongs to the SNCF group, of sole control of Giraud, an international road freight group.

EU okays acquisition of French IMS by Jacquet Metals
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the French IMS International Metal Service by the Belgian JSA SA, the holding company of Jacquet Metals of France, both active in the distribution of steel products throughout the EU.

EU approves acquisition of Tarmac of Germany
The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation part of the proposed acquisition of the aggregate activities of Tarmac, part of the UK-based Anglo American group, by Eurovia, part of the French Vinci group.

Commission authorises French funding for Daher-Socata and Sogerma
The European Commission has authorised France under EU State aid rules to grant repayable advances of €35.14 million to Daher-Socata (€12.34 million) and Sogerma (€22.8 million).

EU court orders France Télécom to pay overdue taxes of 1140 million EUR
The European Court of Appeals has confirmed a Commission decision to order the recovery of aid granted to France Télécom in the form of tax breaks. Over a 12-year period, France Télécom benefited from state aid amounting to a potential sum of EUR 1,140 million.

Bredin Prat - Independent French law firm in Paris and Brussels
Bredin Prat is an independent French law firm offering unique expertise in selected practice areas.

EU Court upholds graphite cartel fines
The European Court of Justice has upheld fines, totaling EUR 101.4 million, imposed by the European Commission in 2003, on some of the region's top industrial groups for their role in a cartel that fixed the price of carbon based products.

France Investment Climate 2009
Ensuring that France's investment climate is attractive to foreign investors is a stated priority for the French government, which sees foreign investment as a way to create jobs and stimulate growth.

Representation of the European Commission in France
Contacts of the European Commission representation in France.

France: Economy Overview
France is in the midst of transition from a well-to-do modern economy that has featured extensive government ownership and intervention to one that relies more on market mechanisms.

Access to finance
Entrepreneurs of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have access to only quite limited financial resources. To help them, France offers many sources of financial support.