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Germany and the EU

Latest business news about Germany and the European Union.

Brussels probes German grants to public casinos
The European Commission opened an in-depth investigation Monday to assess whether the special tax treatment of public casinos operators in Germany is in line with EU State aid rules.

German energy law did not involve state aid: EU Court
A German law that gave support to businesses producing electricity from renewable energy sources did not involve state aid, the EU Court said Thursday in a ruling annulling the Commission decision.

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.

Brussels approves German rescue aid to Air Berlin
The EU Commission endorsed Monday under state aid rules Germany's plans to grant Air Berlin a temporary EUR 150m bridging loan to allow for the orderly wind-down of the insolvent airline.

Brussels okays German state aid for high speed internet
The EU Commission has endorsed under EU state aid rules three German virtual access products that will allow the use of so-called vectoring technology in state-funded high-speed broadband networks.

German eco cars scheme gets EU green light
A scheme to roll out a user-friendly network for charging electric vehicles across Germany is in line with EU state aid rules, the European Commission announced on Monday.

Russian import duties on German, Italian vans illegal, rules WTO
Anti-dumping duties on vans imported from Italy and Germany, introduced by Russia in 2013, were declared illegal by a World Trade Organization panel saying the duties hindered exports of the vehicles.

Essen is European Green Capital for 2017
From coal and steel industry to the greenest city in North Rhine-Westphalia, the town of Essen in Germany officially became the 2017 European Green Capital on 21 January.

Commission, Germany agree road toll compromise
The European Commission and Germany finally reached agreement Thursday on a solution to end a long-running legal dispute over the planned introduction of a road charge for passenger cars in Germany.

Germany need not recognise nobility of German 'count'
Germany is under no obligation to recognise noble titles awarded to himself by a German national while in Britain, according to a ruling from the European Court of Justice Thursday.

German 2012 energy law involved state aid: EU Court
The European Court of Justice's General Court confirmed Tuesday that a 2012 German law on renewable energy involved State aid, dismissing Germany's action against the Commission.

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.

Jewish life in Germany: Achievements, challenges and priorities since the collapse of communism
A detailed look at Jewish life in Germany based on interviews with a broad range of German Jewish leaders. It explores how Jewish life has changed in Germany since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the challenges posed by the huge influx of Jews and their families from the Former Soviet Union. Part of a four-paper series looking at Jewish life in east-central Europe since the collapse of communism, the Germany report says that the question of whether Jews in German should be sitting on packed suitcases "has been answered with a resounding 'no' by prominent members of the community". Yet the question of how safe Jews are in Germany remains alive and well. The research was conducted by author and journalist Toby Axelrod, and was funded by the Rothschild Foundation (Hanadiv) Europe. A German language version is also available.

EU Strategy for the Danube Region
The EU Strategy for the Danube Region (EUSDR) is a united response to challenges affecting an area which stretches from the Black Forest to the Black Sea, including over 100 million inhabitants. Many of the region’s problems know no borders: flooding, transport and energy links, environmental protection and challenges to security all demand a united approach. The 14 countries in the region, with the support of the European Commission, are cooperating to develop projects and actions that meet these challenges and build prosperity in the Danube region.

Europe figures low in German elections
The upcoming election in Germany is being widely touted as one of the most important elections of 2013. The pending outcome of this election is largely anticipated in Europe. Whilst, Merkel is tipped to win her third campaign, recent election results suggest otherwise.

Excessive Deficit Procedure recommendations on Bulgaria, Germany and Hungary - guide
Along with the country-specific recommendations and the conclusions of the in-depth reviews, the European Commission is today also making three proposals to the Council related to the Excessive Deficit Procedure (EDP). Firstly, the Commission is recommending that the Council abrogate the EDP for Bulgaria and Germany, as foreseen in Article 126(12) of the Treaty. In March, Bulgaria and Germany notified that their 2011 general government deficit was below 3% of GDP. Following the validation of these figures by Eurostat on 23 April 2012, and also taking into account that the Commission's 2012 spring forecast shows that these deficits will remain durably below 3% of GDP, the Commission has concluded that the correction of their excessive deficits is ensured. Secondly, the Commission has adopted a proposal for a Council decision to lift the suspension of commitments from the Cohesion Fund for Hungary, after concluding that the country has taken the necessary action to correct its excessive deficit, in line with the Council Recommendation of 13 March 2012. More specifically, the Commission has concluded in its assessment that the 2012 budget deficit target of 2.5% of GDP is expected to be reached and the 2013 budget deficit is expected to be well below the 3% of GDP reference value, despite the slight weakening of the macroeconomic environment, as indicated by the Commission in its 2012 spring forecast. The Commission will continue to closely monitor budgetary developments in Hungary, in accordance with the Stability and Growth Pact.

Doing business in Germany: Sustainability
Germany has no overall Act covering sustainable development, but rather a sustainability strategy adopted by the Federal Government in 2002.

Doing business in Germany: Staff welfare
Social support in Germany is handled via the individual branches of social security: statutory medical, healthcare, pension, unemployment and accident insurance. The legal basis is provided by the Social Security Code (Sozialgesetzbuch) and the specific Acts.

Doing business in Germany: Environmental rules
The devolution of competences to the Länder means that the Federal Government is responsible for some aspects of environmental protection while the Länder handle others.

EU approves acquisition of Privileg Rights by Whirlpool
The European Commission cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of the Privileg trademark and other rights by Whirlpool of the US.

EU approves acquisition of Mitgas by RWE of Germany
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Mitgas (Germany) by enviaM (Germany), which is wholly controlled by RWE of Germany.

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.

EU questions Italy, Poland and Germany over safety of inland waterways vessels
The European Commission has yesterday sent reasoned opinions to Italy, Poland and Germany for failing to notify measures for the implementation of EU legislation ensuring technical harmonisation and safety on EU inland waterways.

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.

Germany's restriction on Polish labour deemed discriminatory
Germany has infringed Community law by restricting to its own undertakings alone the possibility of entering into contracts with Polish undertakings in respect of work to be carried out within its territory, ruled the European Court of Justice (ECJ). Labelling the restrictions as discriminatory, the ECJ found that they could not be justified by any reasonable means.