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EU web links

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

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What Europe Does For Me
The interactive, multilingual, 'What Europe Does For Me' online website, put together by the European Parliamentary Research Service, presents hundreds of easy-to-read, one-page notes giving examples of the positive difference that the EU makes to people's lives. Users can easily find specific information about what Europe does for their region, their profession or their favourite pastime.

European Accessibility Act
The European Accessibility Act aims to improve the functioning of the internal market for accessible products and services by removing barriers created by divergent legislation. This will facilitate the work of companies and will bring benefits for persons with disabilities and elderly people in the EU.

European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Award
The European Capital of Innovation (iCapital) Award recognises and advances innovation in European cities. How to apply, news about the contest and full details of previous years' results.

WIFI4EU - Free Wi-Fi for Europeans
The European Commission wishes to promote free Wi-Fi connectivity for citizens and visitors in public spaces such as parks, squares, public building, libraries, health centres, and museums everywhere in Europe through WiFi4EU.

Non-performing loans (NPLs)
EU and national authorities are joining forces to address the risks related to high stocks of NPLs in Europe. Non-performing loans, or “NPLs”, are bank loans that are subject to late repayment or are unlikely to be repaid by the borrower.

Schengen Area
The Schengen Area is an area without internal borders, an area within which citizens, many non-EU nationals, business people and tourists can freely circulate without being subjected to border checks. Since 1985, it has gradually grown and encompasses today almost all EU States and a few associated non-EU countries.

Access to bank accounts
EU rules allow consumers to open and change bank accounts anywhere in the EU. The directive on payment accounts gives people in the EU the right to a basic payment account regardless of a person's place of residence or financial situation. The directive also improves the transparency of bank account fees and makes it easier to switch banks.

How digital is Europe compared to other major world economies?
The International Digital Economy and Society Index (I-DESI) provides an overall assessment of where the EU stands, compared to non-EU economies, in its progress towards a digital society and economy. First created in 2013, I-DESI compares the average performance of EU member States with 17 non-EU countries, using a similar methodology to the EU DESI index. It measures performance in five dimensions or policy areas: connectivity, human capital (digital skills), use of Internet by citizens, integration of technology and digital public services.

SELFIE
Is your school making the most of digital technologies for teaching and learning? SELFIE is a free, easy-to-use, customisable tool to help schools assess where they stand with learning in the digital age.

LIFE Programme - EU financing for the environment and climate action
LIFE is the EU's financial instrument supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects throughout the EU. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed more than 4,500 projects. For the 2014-2020 funding period, LIFE will contribute approximately EUR 3.4 billion to the protection of the environment and climate.

Erasmus+ student exchange programme
Erasmus+ is the EU's programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe. Its budget of EUR 14.7 billion will provide opportunities for over 4 million Europeans to study, train, gain experience, and volunteer abroad.

Ending unjustified Geoblocking: a short guide for online traders
On 3 December 2018, new rules on geoblocking will enter into force. These measures part of a wider packet of measures under the Digital Single Market Strategy, aimed at boosting cross-border e-commerce in the European Union. These rules will ensure better access to goods and services offered online, create greater certainty for business and build trust amongst consumers and reduce transaction costs and the administrative burden for businesses.

E-commerce in the EU: How you can make the most out of it as a consumer
The Internet has transformed the way we shop. However, persistent online barriers prevent us from enjoying the full access to the goods and services being offered by businesses in the EU. Since the launch of the Digital Single Market Strategy in May 2015, the European Union has been working to break down these barriers. This factsheet summarises what the EU has been doing to boost e-commerce and to create new opportunities for consumers, turning the Digital Single Market into a reality.

Right to water
Right to water is a European citizens initiative launched to ensure that water remains a public service and a public good.

European Youth Portal - Information and opportunities for young people across Europe
The European Youth Portal offers European and national information and opportunities that are of interest to young people who are living, learning and working in Europe. It provides information around eight main themes, covers 35 countries and is available in 28 languages.

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.

Code of Practice on Disinformation
Representatives of online platforms, leading social networks, advertisers and advertising industry agreed on a self-regulatory Code of Practice to address the spread of online disinformation and fake news. This is the first time worldwide that industry agrees, on a voluntary basis, to self-regulatory standards to fight disinformation. The Code aims to set a wide range of commitments, from transparency in political advertising to the closure of fake accounts and demonetization of purveyors of disinformation.

European Battery Alliance
For Europe, battery production is a strategic imperative for clean energy transition and the competitiveness of its automotive sector. Moreover, the Commission's 'New Industrial Policy Strategy' goal is to make the EU the world leader in innovation, digitisation and decarbonisation.

European Health Insurance card
The European Health Insurance Card is a free card that gives you access to medically necessary, state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in any of the 28 EU countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland, under the same conditions and at the same cost (free in some countries) as people insured in that country.

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.