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Business news and information from the European Union

MEPs call for UK guarantee of 'level-playing field' after Brexit transition
The EU Parliament called Wednesday for 'dynamic alignment' of EU-UK rules after Brexit transition, and protection for the EU's most sensitive sectors, in the upcoming talks on a new EU-UK partnership.

Coronavirus, Brexit weigh on subdued outlook for EU economy
Subdued, stable growth for Europe's economy is set to continue over the next two years, according to the EU's Winter 2020 Economic Forecast, which warns of potential risks including the coronavirus.

EU limits Cambodia's preferential access to EU market over human rights
The EU Commission withdrew part of the tariff preferences granted to Cambodia under the 'Everything But Arms' trade scheme due to "serious and systematic" violations of human rights principles.

EU rules on tobacco taxation no longer deter smokers
EU rules on the taxation of tobacco, while working well in terms of predictability and stability for EU Member State fiscal revenue, are less effective in deterring consumption, an EU report found on Monday.

Developing countries' exports boosted by EU trade preferences
Exports to the EU from developing countries using special tariff preferences under the EU's Generalised Scheme of Preferences reached a new high of EUR 69 billion in 2018, a report said Monday.

MEPs give EU-Vietnam trade deal the green light
The European Parliament approved Wednesday the EU-Vietnam trade agreement, described as the "most modern and ambitious agreement ever concluded between the EU and a developing country".

EU action on pesticides has made limited progress: auditors
The EU offers few incentives for farmers to reduce their dependency to pesticides, and has been unable to substantially reduce and control risks associated to pesticides use by farmers, says a new report.

Green light for cleaner EU tap water
EU Member States' ambassadors cleared the way Wednesday for final adoption of a proposal to revise the drinking water directive, ensuring that tap water across the European Union is safe to drink.

EU states agree fish quotas for 2020
The EU Council reached political agreement Wednesday on 2020 catch limits for the main commercial fish stocks in the Atlantic, the North Sea and international fisheries in which EU vessels participate.

Western Balkans next target for EU enlargement
The European Commission put forward a proposal Wednesday to strengthen and make the EU accession process more predictable, targeting enlargement to the Western Balkans as a top EU priority.

Brussels opens consultation on Europe cancer plan
The European Commission opened a public consultation Tuesday to gather views on the outline of its Cancer Plan, with the aim of helping to identify priority areas and the scope for future action at EU level.

BlueInvest Fund to unlock potential of EU's blue economy
The EU Commission with the European Investment Fund launched the BlueInvest Fund Tuesday, to provide financing to equity funds that support economic activities related to oceans, seas and coasts.

EU offers zero-tariff trade deal if UK keeps to commitment on 'level playing field'
The EU offered the UK a tariff-free trade deal Monday, so long as it kept to commitments it made in the Political Declaration to a 'level playing field' and preventing unfair competitive advantages.

MEPs call for binding rules on common chargers by summer
MEPs called on the Commission Thursday to put forward beefed-up rules on common chargers by July at the latest, to reduce electronic waste and empower consumers to make sustainable choices.

Green deal at centre of EU Commission's 2020 work plan
The EU's key challenge in 2020 is to grasp opportunities offered by the ecological and digital transitions, its chief Ursula von der Leyen said as she set out her Commission's new Work Programme Wednesday.

Britain leaves the European Union
More than 45 years of the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union came to an end on Saturday, as the UK's EU withdrawal agreement entered into force at midnight CET.

Unemployment in the EU at lowest rate since 2000
The unemployment rate in the 28 EU Member States was 6.2 per cent in December 2019, continuing a steady decline from previous months, according to figures published Thursday by Eurostat.

EU launches 'toolbox' to build secure 5G in Europe
The European Commission endorsed a joint 5G 'toolbox' Wednesday, a concerted EU approach to addressing security risks related to the building and protection of a European infrastructure for fifth-generation of mobile networks.

European Parliament approves UK's Brexit deal
Britain's EU withdrawal agreement has cleared its second-to-last hurdle before entering into force, with the European Parliament's overwhelming approval clearing the way for Brexit to take place Friday.

EU's Erasmus education programme benefits 10 million
More than 10 million young people have taken part in Erasmus, the EU's programme to support and strengthen education, training, youth and sport in Europe, according to its annual report, out Tuesday.

EU + 16 WTO members agree temporary dispute settlement arrangement
The EU and 16 other WTO members agreed Friday to develop a multi-party interim appeal arrangement for participating WTO members to preserve a 2-step dispute settlement system in disputes among them.

Brexit Withdrawal Agreement passes first EU Parliament hurdle
The Brexit Withdrawal Agreement passed its first EU Parliament test Thursday, when its Constitutional Affairs Committee recommended that the Parliament plenary should approve the UK withdrawal terms.

EUR 200m boost for SMEs in EU neighbouring countries
The European Investment Bank and the EU Commission have joined forces in an 'SME Access to Finance' initiative to support economic growth, innovation and employment in EU neighbouring countries.

MEPs back transport package to improve conditions for drivers
A European Parliament committee approved a deal Tuesday to reform the road transport sector with revised rules for posting of drivers, drivers' rest times and better enforcement of 'cabotage' rules.

EP green light for EU-Vietnam free trade deal
The free trade and investment protection agreements between the EU and Vietnam, approved by an EU Parliament committee Tuesday, will remove virtually all tariffs between the two parties over ten years.