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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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Draft Political Declaration setting out the Framework for the Future Relationship between the EU and the UK 22 November 2018, 17:31 CET
European Council President Donald Tusk on 22 November sent the EU27 Member States the draft Political Declaration setting out the Framework for the Future Relationship between the EU and the UK that has been agreed at negotiators' level and agreed in principle at political level, subject to the endorsement of the Leaders.

What Europe Does For Me 16 November 2018, 00:24 CET
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 08 November 2018, 22:37 CET
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 07 November 2018, 23:09 CET
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.

Non-performing loans (NPLs) 02 November 2018, 00:32 CET
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 31 October 2018, 15:31 CET
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 30 October 2018, 18:08 CET
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? 29 October 2018, 22:45 CET
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 25 October 2018, 22:57 CET
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.

Ending unjustified Geoblocking: a short guide for online traders 25 October 2018, 18:23 CET
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 25 October 2018, 18:19 CET
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.

European Battery Alliance 10 October 2018, 22:41 CET
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 10 October 2018, 18:07 CET
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 11 September 2018, 18:30 CET
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) 20 July 2018, 11:26 CET
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 19 July 2018, 16:03 CET
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 Water Framework Directive 03 July 2018, 23:10 CET
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.

50 years of the EU Customs Union 03 July 2018, 00:25 CET
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 28 June 2018, 23:38 CET
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.

Find a company 27 June 2018, 13:43 CET
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 product safety rules 26 June 2018, 16:20 CET
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 25 June 2018, 13:56 CET
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 21 June 2018, 17:42 CET
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 21 June 2018, 13:32 CET
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 21 June 2018, 13:26 CET
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.