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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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Doing Business in Switzerland (HLBI)
Guide on Switzerland from HLB International, which has produced a series of international booklets on accounting, taxation and company law information.

Business Environment - Switzerland
Snapshot of the business environment for the Swiss economy, from the World Bank.

Draft Directive on Services in the EU internal market
The objective of the Services proposal is to achieve a genuine Internal Market in services by removing legal and administrative barriers to the development of service activities between Member States. The proposed Directive would guarantee service providers more legal certainty if they want to exercise two fundamental freedoms (freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services) enshrined in the EC Treaty. This would make it easier for businesses to provide and use cross-border services in the EU, thus increasing cross-border competition in service markets, bringing down prices and improving quality and choice for consumers. The Directive will also strengthen the rights of users of services, for instance by enshrining the right of non-discrimination.

European Railway Agency
The European Railway Agency has the mission of reinforcing safety and interoperability of railways throughout Europe.

SCADPlus - Database of EU legislative summaries
Summaries of EU legislation. Clear, concise summaries of EU legislation categorised by policy area.

Official Journal of the European Union
Online editions of the Official Journal of the European Union in pdf format

Monthly summary of European Council Acts
This website makes it possible to track the EU Council's activity through monthly summaries prepared by the General Secretariat of the Council of acts adopted by the Council since January 1999. The the General Secretariat publishes a monthly document listing legislative and non-legislative acts of the Council, including the results of votes, explanations of voting and statements for the minutes when the Council is acting in its capacity as legislator.

EU legislation in force
The legislation in force as classified according to the Directory of Community legislation may be accessed from this page. The Directory covers agreements, directives, regulations and decisions. The Directory also gives access to consolidated texts, which have no legal value but which integrate a basic instrument of Community legislation with its subsequent amendments and corrections in a single text.

International Criminal Court
The European Union fully supports the International Criminal Court (ICC). The principles of the Rome Statute of the ICC, as well as those governing its functioning, are fully in line with the principles and objectives of the Union. The consolidation of the rule of law and respect for human rights, as well as the preservation of peace and the strengthening of international security, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and as provided for in Article 11 of the EU Treaty, are of fundamental importance to, and a priority for, the Union.

European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters
This website, managed by the European Commission, contains a large quantity of information about the Member States, Community law, European law and various aspects of civil and commercial law.

European Union Treaties
The European Union is based on the rule of law. This means that everything that it does is derived from treaties, which are agreed on voluntarily and democratically by all Member States. Previously signed treaties have been changed and updated to keep up with developments in society. The most recent one, the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, aims to replace all the existing Treaties with a single text and is the result of the work done by the Convention on the Future of Europe and an Intergovernmental Conference (IGC).

EU decision-making: process and players
The treaties constitute the European Union’s ‘primary legislation’, which is comparable to constitutional law at national level. They thus lay down the fundamental features of the Union, in particular the responsibilities of the various actors in the decision-making process, the legislative procedures, under the Community system and the powers conferred on them. The treaties themselves are the subject of direct negotiations between the governments of the Member States, after which they have to be ratified in accordance with the procedures applying at national level (in principle by the national parliaments or by referendum).

How the EU takes decisions
Decision-making at European Union level involves various European institutions, in particular the European Commission, the European Parliament (EP), and the Council of the European Union. In general it is the European Commission that proposes new legislation, but it is the Council and Parliament that pass the laws.

EUR-Lex is a Commission portal to European Union law. EUR-Lex is a first step in bringing together the whole body of EU official acts for consultation.

European Court of Auditors reports
Annual reports of the European Court of Auditors

Combined Nomenclature
When declared to customs in the Community, goods must generally be classified according to the Combined nomenclature or CN. Imported and exported goods have to be declared stating under which subheading of the nomenclature they fall. This determines which rate of customs duty applies and how the goods are treated for statistical purposes.

HELP - life without tobacco campaign
Young people, non-smokers and those wanting to quit can get help to lead a life without tobacco, according to a 4 year-EUR 72 million EU anti-smoking campaign launched on 1 March 2005. The campaign has been devised for the European Commission by a consortium of health experts and PR professionals.

Future EU Maritime Policy: Green Paper
The Green Paper on a Future Maritime Policy for the Union is the result of over a year of consulting with stakeholders, identifying gaps between sea-related sectoral policy areas and attempting to adopt best practice and learn from obstacles and challenges. The mandate has been to examine all economic activities of Europeans, which are linked to or impact on the oceans and seas, as well as all the policies dealing with them, with a view to finding the best way to extract more benefit from the oceans in a sustainable manner. This Green Paper will be a success if it forges a consensus among stakeholders – the Member States and the citizens – that the EU needs to look at oceans and seas in an integrated manner if Europe is to maintain its resource base and continue being competitive in Maritime Affairs. This is your chance to voice your opinion on the Green Paper and make your ideas known!

EU Budget at a glance
Taxpayers' money is used by the Union to fund activities that all Member States and parliaments have agreed upon in the Treaties. A small amount – around 1% of the Union's national wealth, which is equivalent to about 232 Euro per head of the population - comes into the EU's annual budget and is then spent mainly for its citizens and communities.

European Consumer Centres Network (ECC-Net)
If you have a problem with a product you bought in another European country; if you want to check on your rights and what you are entitled to as a European consumer; if you have a complaint against a company or you are in a dispute with a trader - the network of European Consumer Centres is there to help with such questions and any other problems you may have concerning your activities as a consumer in Europe. The aim being that you should feel as confident when shopping in another country as you do at home.

JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European RegionS)
JASPERS (Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European RegionS) is a major joint policy initiative of the EIB, European Commission (DG REGIO) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). JASPERS will assist beneficiary countries (principally the new Member States and acceding countries of the EU) to absorb EU Structural and Cohesion Funds over the next budgetary planning period 2007-2013.

Anti-dumping in the EU: the basics
Dumping is the sale of a product for export at less than its normal value (i.e.: profitable domestic sales prices or cost of manufacture plus a small allowance for selling, general and administrative costs and profit margin) in the market where it is produced.

Services directive - EP text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on services in the internal market (COM(2004)0002 – C5-0069/2004 – 2004/0001(COD)) - text adopted 16 February 2006

Competition Law and Policy in the European Union - OECD report
In January 2006, the OECD published a report reviewing competition law and policy in the European Union. The report was prepared by the Secretariat of the OECD and formed the basis for a peer review examination of the European Commission in the OECD Competition Committee on 19 October 2005.

Anti-dumping cases
EU anti-dumping - list of cases, timetables and statistics