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Business news and information from the European Union

EU acts against UK for not nominating Commissioner
The European Commission sent a letter of formal notice to the United Kingdom Thursday for breaching its EU Treaty obligations by not suggesting a candidate for the post of EU Commissioner.

MEPs vote to close tax loopholes for online platforms
The European Parliament voted Thursday on measures specifying how large online platforms such as Amazon and Ebay are to contribute to closing existing loopholes that currently hinder the collection of VAT.

New labelling for European tyres to save energy
A new tyre labelling scheme for car and trucks, provisionally agreed Wednesday by EU institutions, aims to increase consumer awareness and fuel savings, improve safety and decrease noise pollution.

Gender gap could hold back expected R&D surge: report
Complacency over gender diversity could be an important factor in holding back an expected global surge in research and development activity, according to new research published on Wednesday.

Go-ahead for 13 new EU defence projects
EU defence ministers gave the go-ahead Tuesday to an updated list of 13 new projects to be undertaken under the EU's new 'Permanent Structured Cooperation' defence structure (PESCO).

EU sets up sanctions against Turkey for Cyprus oil drilling
The EU Council adopted a framework for restrictive measures Monday in response to unauthorised drilling by Turkey of hydrocarbons in the Eastern Mediterranean, enabling sanctions on individuals or entities.

First Ebola vaccine receives European approval
The European Commission adopted a decision Tuesday granting the first-ever market authorisation to the company Merck Sharp & Dohme B.V. for a vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus.

Products from Israeli settlements must be labelled as such: EU top Court
Foodstuffs originating in Israel's occupied territories must bear the indication of their territory of origin, the EU's top Court ruled on Tuesday, and be labelled if originating from an Israeli settlement.

New cars in EU will need advanced safety systems from 2022
New cars placed on the EU market from mid-2022 will have to be equipped with advanced safety systems, following adoption by the EU Council of a regulation on the general safety of motor vehicles.

EU states agree measures to combat VAT fraud
The EU Council of finance ministers reached provisional agreement Friday on a set of rules on exchange of VAT payment data to facilitate detection of tax fraud in cross-border e-commerce transactions.

EU-China agree deal on Geographical Indications
The EU and China signed a landmark agreement to recognise each other's protected regional products Wednesday, protecting 100 European GIs in China and 100 Chinese GIs in the EU from imitation.

European economy heading for troubled waters
The Eurozone is heading for a period of high uncertainty, according to the EU's latest economic forecast, released Thursday, as it faces trade conflicts, rising geopolitical tensions, manufacturing weakness and Brexit.

Free EU travel passes for 20,000 young people next summer
18-year-olds in the EU have until 28 November to apply for the latest round of DiscoverEU travel passes, launched Thursday, which give them the opportunity to travel across Europe for free.

Euro-Parliament pushes for CO2 neutrality by 2050
The EU should commit to net-zero CO2 emissions by 2050 at the UN Conference and step up its emissions' reduction ambition for 2030, the European Parliament's Environment Committee said on Wednesday.

Erasmus+: EU publishes 2020 student exchange programme call
The EU Commission published Tuesday its 2020 call for proposals for the Erasmus+ programme - opportunities for young Europeans to study and train abroad - with an expected budget of over EUR 3 billion.

Poland's judicial reform broke EU law: EU top Court
Changes to Polish law lowering the retirement age of ordinary court judges, and setting a different retirement age depending on their gender, are contrary to EU law, the EU's top Court ruled on Tuesday.

French retailers Casino, Intermarché in EU antitrust probe
The EU Commission opened an antitrust investigation Monday to assess whether the French retail groups Casino and Intermarché breached EU competition rules by coordinating their conduct in the market.

EU cuts greenhouse gas emissions, more needed on renewables
The EU cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 2% in 2018, according to preliminary estimates from the European Environment Agency, but progress on renewables is hampered by rising energy consumption.

Fight against fake online news must be stepped up, EU warns Facebook, Twitter
Signatories to an EU code of practice including Facebook, Google and Twitter have shown patchy progress in the fight against online disinformation, says a new report published Tuesday by the EU.

Forest fires hit more European countries than ever before
Wildfires destroyed nearly 178,000 hectares of forests and land in Europe last year, the EU Commission reported Thursday in its Annual Report on Forest Fires in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

EU issues Ecuador with yellow card over illegal fishing
EU efforts to fight illegal fishing worldwide continue as Brussels notified Ecuador Wednesday that it must step up its actions (yellow card) in the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

Brexit: EU formally adopts Article 50 extension to Jan 31
'Make the best use of this time", EU Council president Donald Tusk told the United Kingdom Tuesday, as the EU formally extended the period under Article 50 in which Britain can withdraw from the EU.

Multinationals must disclose where they pay taxes, say MEPs
The European Parliament adopted a resolution Thursday urging EU Member States to get moving on long-overdue rules which would oblige multinationals to disclose what taxes they pay in each country.

Brussels sets out quotas for Atlantic, North Sea fishing
Ahead of a 16-17 December Fisheries Council meeting, the European Commission on Thursday adopted its proposal for fishing opportunities in 2020 for 72 stocks in the Atlantic and the North Sea.

EU SME funding needs better management: auditors
With Brussels allocating over EUR 3.3 bn investment in innovative start-ups through venture capital funds between 2014 and 2022, a comprehensive investment strategy is needed, say EU auditors.