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Business news and information from the European Union

MEPs call for legally binding targets on biodiversity
The European Parliament called Thursday on the upcoming 2020 UN biodiversity conference COP 15 to agree on legally binding targets, as was the case for the Paris agreement on climate change.

20,000 young people set for free EU travel passes
Around 20,000 18-year-olds are set to receive a travel pass under the fourth and latest round of DiscoverEU, the opportunity to explore Europe which attracted some 75,000 applications from across Europe.

MEPs voice concern over citizens' rights post-Brexit
Assurances on the protection of citizens' rights in the UK EU Settlement Scheme and freedom of movement were needed if MEPs are to consent to the UK Withdrawal Agreement, they said Wednesday.

EU, U.S. and Japan agree new global rules on subsidies
The European Union, the United States and Japan announced their agreement Tuesday to strengthen existing rules on industrial subsidies and condemned forced technology transfers practices.

EU sets out plans to finance green economy
The EU unveiled plans Tuesday to finance its new European Green Deal, which it says would lead to more than EUR 1 trillion of public investment through EU financial instruments, as well as private funds.

EU travellers still not aware of their passenger rights
Only 43% of EU citizens who have travelled by air, long-distance rail, coach, ship or ferry in the previous 12 months know that the EU has put in place rights for passengers, a Commission survey said Monday.

Brussels looks to strengthen IPR protection
The EU Commission signalled its intention Thursday to crack down on intellectual property rights infringements, which it says cost European firms billions of euros in lost revenue and put jobs at risk.

Use of EU's space assets under auditor scrutiny
The EU Court of Auditors said Thursday it is examining how effectively the European Commission promotes the uptake of services provided by two of the EU's key space programmes, Copernicus and Galileo.

EU toughens consumer protection for the digital world
New EU rules for consumer protection entered into force on Tuesday, with the aim of toughening up and modernising current EU consumer protection rules, in line with digital developments.

Global level of marine fuels pollution cut from 1 January
From 1 January 2020, the maximum sulphur content of fuels from ships' combustion engines is reduced to 0.5% (down from 3.5%) - reducing air pollution and protecting health and the environment.

Stricter C02 emissions standards for new cars and vans come into force
A new EU Regulation setting stricter CO2 emission performance standards for new passenger cars and for new light commercial vehicles (vans) in the EU came into force on 1 January 2020.

Galway, Rijeka start as European Capitals of Culture
The city of Rijeka in current EU president Croatia and Galway in Ireland began their joint one year tenure of the title of European Capital of Culture on Wednesday 1 January 2020.

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.

New rules to boost crowdfunding across EU borders
The EU Parliament and Council reached provisional agreement Wednesday evening on EU-wide rules to help crowdfunding services function smoothly and foster cross-border business funding.

Booking.com commits to EU demands for transparency
Following dialogue with the European Commission and national consumer authorities, Booking.com has committed to make changes in the way it presents offers, discounts and prices to consumers.

Airbnb does not need estate agent's licence, rules EU Court
France cannot require Airbnb to hold an estate agent's licence as it did not notify the EU Commission of that requirement in accordance with the EU's e-commerce directive, the EU's top Court ruled on Thursday.

EU companies increase R&D investment in face of stiff global competition
Companies' investment in research and development grew for the ninth consecutive year in 2018, though below the global growth rate, driven by the auto, health and ICT sectors - according to an EU report.

EU states agree world's first-ever 'green list' for sustainable investment
EU states endorsed Wednesday a political agreement on a 'green list', a common classification system to encourage private investment in sustainable growth and contribute to a climate neutral economy.

MEPs back measures to cut VAT fraud in e-commerce
The European Parliament gave its approval Tuesday to measures designed to fight e-commerce VAT evasion that would help cut some of the EUR 137 billion lost each year across the EU to VAT fraud.

New EU growth strategy to be based on 'competitive sustainability'
The new von der Leyen Commission presented a rebooted growth strategy Tuesday focused on promoting competitive sustainability and building a European economy 'that works for people and the planet'.

EU, without Poland, agrees to aim for climate neutrality by 2050
EU leaders, not including Poland, endorsed Friday the objective of making the EU climate-neutral by 2050 in line with the Paris agreement, as they ended their two-day summit in Brussels.

New EU cross-border payments rules into force
Consumers and businesses in non-eurozone EU Member States will enjoy cheaper cross-border payments in euro from Monday, as new rules came into force pricing these the same as domestic payments.

EU looks to strengthen trade laws following WTO impasse
The European Commission presented a legislative proposal Thursday to allow the EU to enforce international trade rules where the WTO is no longer able to deliver binding dispute settlement decisions.

New 'Green Deal' is EU's growth strategy, says Commission
The European Commission presented its long-awaited 'Green Deal' Wednesday, a package of measures to boost efficient use of resources, to turn climate challenges into opportunities across all policy areas.

EU water law is 'fit for purpose', says Brussels
The EU Water Framework Directive is 'fit for purpose', the Commission declared Thursday in an evaluation of EU water legislation that shows improved protection for water bodies and flood risk management.