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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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RAPEX - Latest notifications
The European Commission publishes a weekly overview of the alerts reported by the national authorities, which include information on the dangerous products found, the risks identified and the measures taken in the notifying country in order to prevent or restrict their marketing or use. Measures can be ordered by national authorities ("compulsory measures") or taken directly by economic operators ("voluntary measures"). Each alert also includes information on other countries where the same product has been found and further measures taken.

EU support to SMEs - interactive map
Hundreds of thousands of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and entrepreneurs across Europe have benefited from the financing programmes of the European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) to start, grow and scale up their businesses. This map indicates the location of SMEs that have benefited from EU financial support through EIF-managed financial instruments.

Draft Withdrawal Agreement on withdrawal of United Kingdom from the EU
European Commission Draft Withdrawal Agreement on the withdrawal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland from the European Union and the European Atomic Energy Community

Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations
The Authority for European Political Parties and European Political Foundations (the 'Authority') has been established for the purpose of registering, controlling and imposing sanctions on European Political Parties and European Political Foundations pursuant to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1141/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2014 on the statute and funding of European political parties and European political foundations ('Regulation No 1141/2014').

Habitats Directive
The Habitats Directive ensures the conservation of a wide range of rare, threatened or endemic animal and plant species. Some 200 rare and characteristic habitat types are also targeted for conservation in their own right.

Natura 2000
Natura 2000 is a network of nature protection areas in the territory of the European Union. It is made up of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas designated respectively under the Habitats Directive and Birds Directive.

EU nature and biodiversity law
At EU level, nature and biodiversity are protected by several laws. The EU has been committed to the protection of nature since the adoption of the Birds Directive in April 1979. It provides comprehensive protection to all wild bird species naturally occurring in the Union. The Habitats Directive was adopted in 1992 to help maintain biodiversity. It protects over 1000 animals and plant species and over 200 types of habitat. It also established the EU-wide Natura 2000 network of protected areas. More recently, new legislation has been developed. In 1999, the EU reinforced the role of zoos in the conservation of biodiversity and, in the wake of the EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020, committed to protect native biodiversity and ecosystem services against invasive alien species. We also have legislation regulating certain aspects of wildlife trade.

Cohesion Open Data Platform
Giving access to data on financing and achievements under the ESI Funds 2014-2020. The platform visualises, for over 530 programmes, the latest data available (Dec. 2016 for achievements, Sept. 2017 for finances implemented, daily updates for EU payments).

EU Emissions Trading System
The EU emissions trading system (EU ETS) is a cornerstone of the EU's policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. It is the world's first major carbon market and remains the biggest one.

Geo-blocking
Geo-blocking and other geographically-based restrictions undermine online shopping and cross-border sales. The Digital Single Market strategy includes a commitment for an initiative to end unjustified geo-blocking by way of legislative proposals.

EU Plastics Strategy
There is an urgent need to tackle the environmental problems that cast a long shadow over the production, use and consumption of plastics. The million tonnes of plastic litter that end up in the oceans every year are one of their most visible and alarming signs of these problems, causing growing public concern. The EU Plastics Strategy lays the foundations to a new plastics economy, where the design and production of plastics and plastic products fully respect reuse, repair and recycling needs and more sustainable materials are developed and promoted. This will deliver greater added value and prosperity in Europe and boost innovation. It will curb plastic pollution and its adverse impact on our lives and the environment.

Blockchain Technologies
The European Commission aims to develop a common approach on Blockchain technology for the EU in the international arena. Blockchain may bring great improvements for the European industry - from start-ups to large corporates, administrations and citizens. It can enable the provision of more efficient services and the emergence of new ones by: improving business processes in governments, companies and organisations; enabling new distributed business and interaction models based on direct peer-to-peer exchanges without the need for centralised platforms or intermediaries.

Creative Europe
Creative Europe is the European Commission's framework programme for support to the culture and audiovisual sectors. Creative Europe is divided into two sub-programmes, Culture and MEDIA, and is supported by a cross-sectoral strand.

Energy Efficiency of Buildings
Buildings are responsible for 40% of energy consumption and 36% of CO2 emissions in the EU. While new buildings generally need fewer than three to five litres of heating oil per square meter per year, older buildings consume about 25 litres on average. Some buildings even require up to 60 litres. Currently, about 35% of the EU's buildings are over 50 years old. By improving the energy efficiency of buildings, we could reduce total EU energy consumption by 5-6% and lower CO2 emissions by about 5%.

Medical devices
The diversity and innovativeness of the medical devices sector contributes significantly to enhancing the safety, quality and efficacy of healthcare in the EU. Covering a wide range of products, from simple bandages or sticking plasters to the most sophisticated X-ray equipment, the medical devices sector plays a crucial role in the diagnosis, prevention, monitoring and treatment of diseases. It also helps improve the quality of life of those with disabilities.

Connecting Europe Facility
The Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) is a key EU funding instrument to promote growth, jobs and competitiveness through targeted infrastructure investment at European level. It supports the development of high performing, sustainable and efficiently interconnected trans-European networks in the fields of transport, energy and digital services. CEF investments fill the missing links in Europe's energy, transport and digital backbone.

Action Plan on VAT - Towards a single EU VAT area
On 7 April 2016 the European Commission adopted an Action Plan on VAT - Towards a single EU VAT area. Following adoption of this Action Plan, the European Commission has made a series of proposals to work towards its completion.

Circular economy - Eurostat facts and figures
A circular economy aims to maintain the value of products, materials and resources for as long as possible and minimise the generation of waste. The European Commission published on 16 January a Communication on the monitoring framework for the circular economy and an accompanying staff working document. In order to underpin this initiative, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, is launching a new website section dedicated to circular economy reporting all the indicators of the monitoring framework, updated with latest data, as well as supporting visualisation tools.

Clean Energy for All Europeans
On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a new package of measures with the goal of providing the stable legislative framework needed to facilitate the clean energy transition - and thereby taking a significant step towards the creation of the Energy Union. Aimed at enabling the EU to deliver on its Paris Agreement commitments, the 'Clean Energy for All Europeans' proposals are intended to help the EU energy sector become more stable, more competitive, and more sustainable, and fit for the 21st century. With a view to stimulating investment in the clean energy transition, the package has three main goals: Putting energy efficiency first; Achieving global leadership in renewable energies; Providing a fair deal for consumers

Payment services (PSD 2) - Directive (EU) 2015/2366
In 2015 the EU adopted a new directive on payment services (PSD 2) to improve the existing rules and take new digital payment services into account. The directive became applicable in January 2018. It includes provisions to make it easier and safer to use internet payment services; better protect consumers against fraud, abuse, and payment problems; promote innovative mobile and internet payment services; strengthen consumer rights; strengthen the role of the European Banking Authority (EBA) to coordinate supervisory authorities and draft technical standards

Directive on Payment Services (PSD)
The European Commission is working to create an efficient and integrated market for payment services in the EU. The EU is aiming to create a single payment area which lets citizens and businesses make cross-border payments as easily and safely as they would in their own countries; and where cross-border payments are subject to the same charges as domestic payments.

Novel food
Novel Food is defined as food that had not been consumed to a significant degree by humans in the EU before 15 May 1997, when the first Regulation on novel food came into force.

Preliminary results of the Estonian Presidency of the Council of the European Union
The Estonian Presidency of the Council of the EU worked with a total of 377 drafts, including legislative initiatives, strategies and communications, Estonia also brought new topics to the agenda.

Europass
Europass is a European Union initiative to increase transparency of qualification and mobility of citizens in Europe. It aims to make a person's skills and qualifications clearly understood throughout Europe. Europass consists of five documents: two documents (Europass curriculum vitae (CV) and Europass Language Passport) you can fill in yourself; and three other documents (Europass Certificate Supplement, Europass Diploma Supplement and Europass Mobility) filled in and issued by competent organisations.

Inter-institutional register of delegated acts
This register gives you access to the various steps in the preparation, adoption, scrutiny and publication of delegated acts. Delegated acts supplement or amend existing EU legislation.