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A collection of links to web sites of the European Union institutions and other European business web sites.

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Air Quality Directive
Directive 2008/50/EC on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe including the following elements: - The merging of most of existing legislation into a single directive (except for the Fourth Daughter Directive) with no change to existing air quality objectives - New air quality objectives for PM2.5 (fine particles) including the limit value and exposure related objectives - The possibility to discount natural sources of pollution when assessing compliance against limit values - The possibility for time extensions of three years (PM10) or up to five years (NO2, benzene) for complying with limit values.

European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI)
EFSI is an initiative launched jointly by the EIB Group – the European Investment Bank and European Investment Fund – and the European Commission to help overcome the current investment gap in the EU. EFSI is one of the three pillars of the Investment Plan for Europe that aims to revive investment in strategic projects around the continent to ensure that money reaches the real economy.

Brexit preparedness
Information on the European Commission's work to prepare for the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, including notices to stakeholders, legislative initiatives and other preparedness activities.

EU-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement
The EU has finalised negotiations for a trade agreement with Japan. EU firms already export over €58bn in goods and €28bn in services to Japan every year. But European firms face trade barriers when exporting to Japan which make it hard for them to compete. The trade agreement with Japan will remove these barriers, help the EU shape global trade rules in line with its standards and shared values, and send a powerful signal that two of the world's biggest economies reject protectionism.

EU Water Framework Directive
The EU Water Framework Directive covers all waters, including inland waters (surface water and groundwater) and transitional and coastal waters. Article 8 of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) sets out the requirements for the monitoring of surface water status, groundwater status and protected areas: "Monitoring programmes are required to establish a coherent and comprehensive overview of water status within each river basin district." The objective of monitoring is to establish an overview within each River Basin District. It should also permit the classification of all surface water bodies into one of five classes and groundwater into one of two classes.

Calendar of the Council of the EU meetings (1 July - 31 December 2018) under the Austrian Presidency of the Council
Provisional agendas for Council meetings during the second semester of 2018 (Austrian Presidency). This is a draft programme subject to changes.

EU Presidency
The Presidency of the Council of the European Union is responsible for the functioning of the Council of the European Union, the upper house of the EU legislature. It rotates among the EU Member States every six months. The presidency is not an individual, but the position is held by a national government. The presidency's function is to chair meetings of the Council, determine its agendas, set a work programme and facilitate dialogue both at Council meetings and with other EU institutions. The current presidency (as of July 2018) is held by Austria.

50 years of the EU Customs Union
In 2018 the European Union celebrates the 50th anniversary of the EU Customs Union. Since 1968, the Customs Union has been protecting the safety and security of citizens of its member countries and collecting customs duties that represent an important source of revenue in the EU, whilst transforming customs into a modern and responsive partner to trade. Events are organised all over the European Union to mark the anniversary.

Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan
The primary objective of the Baltic Energy Market Interconnection Plan (BEMIP) initiative is to achieve an open and integrated regional electricity and gas market between EU countries in the Baltic Sea region, ending energy isolation. The initiative's members are the European Commission and Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Finland, and Sweden. Norway participates as an observer.

Market Access database
The Market Access Database (MADB) gives information to companies exporting from the EU about import conditions in third country markets.

Find a company
The 'Find a company' section of the European e-Justice Portal allows you to search for and access company information from the national business registers. In accordance with Directive 2012/17/EU this service is to cover the business registers of all EU countries as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway. Not all of the Member States are currently connected, but more will be on board soon. If you are looking to access information and/or documents from those registers which are not yet part of the 'Find a company' page, you can find links to the respective national registers on our "General information and terms and conditions" page.

EU Rapid Alert System for dangerous non-food products (RAPEX)
The Rapid Alert System enables quick exchange of information between 31 European countries and the European Commission about dangerous non-food products posing a risk to health and safety of consumers.

EU product safety rules
EU rules on product safety are defined in the general product safety directive. Under the directive a product is safe if it meets all statutory safety requirements under European or national law. If there are no regulations or EU standards, the product's compliance is determined according to other reference documents such as national standards, Commission recommendations, codes of practice.

European Innovation Scoreboard
The European Innovation Scoreboard provides a comparative analysis of innovation performance in EU countries, other European countries, and regional neighbours. It assesses relative strengths and weaknesses of national innovation systems and helps countries identify areas they need to address. The European Innovation Scoreboard 2018 was released on 22 June 2018.

EU-New Zealand Trade Agreement
The European Union has launched negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious trade agreement with New Zealand. Bilateral trade in goods between the two partners has risen steadily in recent years, reaching almost EUR 8.7bn in 2017. The EU is New Zealand's third-biggest trade partner. According to the impact assessment, trade between New Zealand and the EU could increase by 36%; trade in goods could increase by 47%, whereas the services trade could increase by 14%.

Directive on the conservation of wild birds
Directive 2009/147/EC on the conservation of wild birds, adopted in 2009, replaces Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979. It aims to protect all European wild birds and the habitats of listed species, in particular through the designation of Special Protection Areas (often known by the acronym SPA).

The Birds Directive
Europe is home to more than 500 wild bird species. But at least 32 % of the EU's bird species are currently not in a good conservation status. The Birds Directive aims to protect all of the 500 wild bird species naturally occurring in the European Union.

EU-Australia Trade Agreement
The European Union launched negotiations for a comprehensive and ambitious trade agreement with Australia on 18 June. The EU is Australia's second-biggest trade partner. Bilateral trade in goods between the two partners has risen steadily in recent years, reaching almost EUR 48bn in 2017. Bilateral trade in services added an additional EUR 27bn. According to an impact assessment, trade in goods and services between the two partners could increase by around a third.

List of airlines banned within the EU
The EU Safety List - the Community list of air carriers which are subject to an operating ban within the Community - is a list of airlines which the European Commission, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 2111/2005 of the European Parliament and the Council of 14 December 2005 on the establishment of a Community list of air carriers subject to an operating ban within the Community and on informing air transport passengers of the identity of the operating air carrier and on the basis of the advice of the EU Air Safety Committee, decided to subject to either a complete or a partial operating ban within the European Union, for failure to adhere to the applicable international safety standards.

European Peace Facility
To bolster the EU's ability to safeguard European security interests and prevent conflicts, build peace and strengthen international security, EU High Representative Mogherini on 13 June proposed a new European Peace Facility worth EUR 10.5 billion for 2021-2027.

2018 Skills Forecast
The EU agency for the Development of Vocational Training has published its 2018 skills forecast, with insights in tomorrow's trends in skills demand and supply. The Forecast projections suggest that four in five new jobs will require a high level of skills. The Forecast also projects fast growth of high-skills occupations, with some growth in certain less-skilled jobs (for example, sales, security, cleaning, catering and caring occupations).

DiscoverEU travel pass
Are you 18 years old? Are you up for an adventure? If yes, get ready to explore Europe by joining DiscoverEU, an initiative of the European Union allowing around 15,000 young people to receive a travel pass for this summer.

Horizon Europe - the next research and innovation framework programme
For the next long-term EU budget 2021-2027, the Commission is proposing EUR 100 billion for research and innovation. The new Horizon Europe programme will build on the achievements of the previous research and innovation programme (Horizon 2020) and keep the EU at the forefront of global research and innovation. What went into the Commission's proposal for Horizon Europe, legal framework, factsheets, reports and timeline

Annual reports on the implementation of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights
The European Commission published its annual Report on the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights on 6 June 2018. The report highlights that while 2017 was a year of challenges for fundamental rights, the structures and tools in place to make sure the rights of the Charter are a reality have been functioning. Further support to the respect and promotion of fundamental rights, the rule of law and democracy, including the support for a free and vibrant civil society, will remain central in 2018.

InvestEU programme - legal texts and factsheets
The InvestEU Programme will bring together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments currently available and expand the model of the Investment Plan for Europe (the 'Juncker Plan'). With InvestEU, the Commission aims to boost investment, innovation and job creation, triggering an estimated EUR 650 billion in additional investment.