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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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Food Waste
Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted annually in the EU, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion euros (FUSIONS, 2016). Wasting food is not only an ethical and economic issue but it also depletes the environment of limited natural resources. All actors in the food chain have a role to play in preventing and reducing food waste, from those who produce and process foods (farmers, food manufacturers and processors) to those who make foods available for consumption (hospitality sector, retailers) and ultimately consumers themselves. The central goal of EU food safety policy is to protect both human and animal health. We cannot compromise on these standards but, in co-operation with Member States and stakeholders, are looking for every opportunity to prevent food waste and strengthen sustainability of the food system. This website provides information on EU actions to tackle food waste, a repository of good practices in food waste prevention, communications materials to help raise awareness and a food waste resources library.

Land use and forestry proposal for 2021-2030
On 20 July 2016 the European Commission presented a legislative proposal to integrate greenhouse gas emissions and removals from land use, land use-change and forestry (LULUCF) into the 2030 climate and energy framework . The proposal follows the agreement with EU leaders in October 2014 that all sectors should contribute to the EU's 2030 emission reduction target, including the land use sector. It is also in line with the Paris Agreement, which points out to the critical role of the land use sector in reaching our long-term climate mitigation objectives.

From institutions to community living - European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights report
Many people with disabilities in the EU still live in institutions. They risk being isolated, marginalised and prevented from living a full, independent life, and face worse conditions than people without disabilities. This calls for systematic changes in the way support for people with disabilities is organised and funded, new reports from the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) reveal. They suggest what people with disabilities need from the EU and its Member States to enjoy living independently with community-based support, simply taking public transport or shopping.

EU Banking Union
The banking union ensures that EU banks are stronger and better supervised. The single supervisory mechanism gives the European Central Bank certain supervisory tasks over the EU financial system. The single resolution mechanism (SRM) is a central institution for bank resolution in the EU, and one of the pillars of the banking union. The European deposit insurance scheme is a proposed scheme to protect retail deposits in the banking union.

Sustainable use of pesticides
This European Commission website contains links to EU Member States' websites on sustainable use of pesticides, including Integrated Pest Management (IPM) , with a view to facilitate the exchange of information between them and increase the flow of relevant information to farmers and the general public.

Animal Welfare in the EU
With the support and close co-operation of the Member States, the European Commission has been promoting animal welfare for over 40 years gradually improving the lives of farm animals. An important step in 1998 was Council Directive 98/58/EC on the protection of animals kept for farming purposes which gave general rules for the protection of animals of all species kept for the production of food, wool, skin or fur or for other farming purposes, including fish, reptiles or amphibians. These rules are based on the European Convention for the Protection of Animals kept for Farming Purposes.

EU public procurement legislation
From 18 April 2016, new rules have changed the way EU countries and public authorities spend a large part of the €1.9 trillion paid for public procurement every year in Europe. This date was the transposition deadline for three directives on public procurement and concessions adopted two years ago. In other words, it was the date by which EU countries must have put in place national legislation conforming to the directives.

EU Sugar Market Observatory
The aim of the Sugar Market Observatory is to provide the EU sugar sector with more transparency by means of disseminating market data and short-term analysis in a timely manner. In addition to the website, which is updated regularly, the Observatory has an Expert Group which meets at least 2 times a year. Summaries of these Expert Group meetings are published below under REPORTS.

EU Tourism Policy
EU policy aims to maintain Europe's standing as a leading destination while maximising the industry's contribution to growth and employment and promoting cooperation between EU countries, particularly through the exchange of good practice. The EU's competence in the tourism is one of support and coordination to supplement the actions of member countries.

EU passenger rights
Have you experienced delays and cancellations? As an air, rail, ship or bus passenger, you have rights when travelling in the EU. Air passenger rights - Rail passenger rights - Bus and coach passenger rights - Ship passenger rights - Download the "Your Passenger Rights" app to your smartphone ( Google Android, iPhone, iPad, Windows Phone )

Employment contracts
The following pages present the minimum requirements set by the EU employment laws. The following information aims to give an overview of employment contracts rules, but won't cover all the details of the rules and provisions.

Fair Taxation of the Digital Economy
The European Commission Communication 'A Fair and Efficient Tax System in the European Union for the Digital Single Market' was adopted on 21 September 2017. The taxation of the digital economy is part of the EU's fair taxation agenda. It wants an ambitious EU agenda on the matter and a common EU approach to influence the international discussions and develop meaningful solutions to taxing the digital economy to be agreed at the international level by spring 2018.

State of the Union 2017
On Wednesday 13 September 2017, the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, delivered his annual speech on the State of the European Union at the European Parliament. The speech takes stock of Europe's current political and economic landscape. It is an opportunity to review the work of the EU over the past year, and to look ahead to the priorities of the coming year.

Vacuum cleaners
Vacuum cleaners are subject to EU energy labelling and ecodesign requirements. From September 2017, the most efficient vacuum cleaners will carry a label of A+++. These ratings take into account the vacuum cleaners' total power and how efficiently that power is used to pick up dust. With more efficient vacuum cleaners, Europe as a whole can save up to 20 TWh of electricity per year by 2020. This is equivalent to the annual household electricity consumption of Belgium. It also means over 6 million tonnes of CO2 will not be emitted – about the annual emissions of eight medium-sized power plants.

International carbon market
International carbon markets can play a key role in reducing global greenhouse gas emissions cost-effectively. The number of emissions trading systems around the world is increasing. Besides the EU emissions trading system (EU ETS), national or sub-national systems are already operating or under development in Canada, China, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Switzerland and the United States.

Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF)
Created in 1979, RASFF - the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed - enables information to be shared efficiently between its members (EU-28 national food safety authorities, European Commission, EFSA, ESA, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland and Switzerland) and provides a round-the-clock service to ensure that urgent notifications are sent, received and responded to collectively and efficiently. Thanks to RASFF, many food safety risks had been averted before they could have been harmful to European consumers.

How is the EU progressing towards its Europe 2020 targets?
The Europe 2020 strategy, adopted by the European Council in June 2010, is the European Union's agenda for jobs and growth for the current decade. As a main objective, the strategy strives to deliver high levels of employment, productivity and social cohesion in the Member States, while reducing the impact on the natural environment. To reach this objective, the EU has adopted targets to be reached by 2020 in five areas: employment, research & development (R&D), climate change & energy, education and poverty reduction.

EU Stability and Growth Pact
The Stability and Growth Pact (SGP) is a set of rules designed to ensure that countries in the European Union pursue sound public finances and coordinate their fiscal policies.

Invasive alien species
Invasive Alien Species are animals and plants that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into a natural environment where they are not normally found, with serious negative consequences for their new environment. They represent a major threat to native plants and animals in Europe, causing damage worth billions of euros to the European economy every year. As invasive alien species do not respect borders, action at the European level will be more effective than action at the Member State level.

Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor
The Cultural and Creative Cities Monitor is designed to help national, regional and municipal policy makers identify local strengths and opportunities and benchmark their cities against similar urban centres using both quantitative and qualitative data. The platform allows users to browse the 168 selected cities and the quantitative and qualitative information about their performance in the Countries and Cities pages.

Single Market Scoreboard
The Single Market is based on a large body of EU law, accompanied by national transposition measures. However, it is essential to ensure that the Single Market does not exist only on paper but also in reality for citizens and businesses who want to work, travel, shop, invest or do business across borders. This requires effective governance of the Single Market by the European Commission and by the EU and EEA Member States, as well as effective implementation "on the ground", in the Member States. This scoreboard aims to give an overview of the practical management of the Single Market.

EU-Japan trade agreement: texts of the agreement in principle
The agreement in principle – shared with the EU’s Member States and the European Parliament, this website sets out what is in the agreement: summary of the agreement, explanatory factsheets, infographics and the published chapters

European citizens' initiative
A European citizens' initiative is an invitation to the European Commission to propose legislation on matters where the EU has competence to legislate. A citizens' initiative has to be backed by at least one million EU citizens, coming from at least 7 out of the 28 member states. A minimum number of signatories is required in each of those 7 EU Member States.

Antimicrobial Resistance
Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is the ability of microorganisms to resist antimicrobial treatments, especially antibiotics. AMR not only has a direct impact on human and animal health - due to the failure in the treatment of infectious diseases - but also carries a heavy economic cost. AMR is a natural phenomenon but an accumulation of factors, including excessive and inappropriate use of antimicrobial medicines on humans and animals and poor infection control practices, transformed AMR into a serious threat to public health worldwide.

Personal Pensions Products
Personal pensions (also known as 'private pensions') are long-term savings products that individuals contribute to on a voluntary basis, complementing state and workplace pensions. They have a role to play in linking long-term savers with long-term investment opportunities. The Commission is exploring ways to increase choices for retirement saving and build an EU market for personal pensions.