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Business news and information from the European Union

EU accepts BT/Ofcom plans for fibre broadband 'virtual unbundling' 02 June 2010, 23:18 CET
The European Commission has accepted UK telecoms regulator Ofcom's proposal to oblige British Telecom to provide 'virtual' access to its optical fibre infrastructure to alternative operators.

EU approves capital injection into Irish Educational Building Society 02 June 2010, 23:11 CET
The European Commission has authorised under EU state aid rules an emergency recapitalisation worth €875 million in favour of the Irish Educational Building Society (EBS) for a period of six months as urgent rescue aid.

Euro-MPs call for harmonisation of copyright at European level 02 June 2010, 17:09 CET
As a response to the growth of unauthorised file sharing of copyrighted works, the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee agreed on Tuesday to urge the European Commission to introduce EU-wide copyright licences in order to combat the breach of intellectual property rights (IPR).

Euro-MPs back new compensation rights for bus, coach and boat travellers 02 June 2010, 16:56 CET
European bus, coach and boat passengers would have the same compensation rights as air passengers under proposals put forward by the European Parliament's transport committee today.

Twelve EU Member States on way to make cross-border divorces easier 02 June 2010, 00:00 CET
European Legal Affairs MPs backed today arrangements which would enable divorcing international couples to choose which EU country's law governs their divorce.

EU aims to bridge the digital divide 01 June 2010, 00:28 CET
EU Transport Ministers at their telecommunications session today approved the European Digital Agenda for high-speed internet and secure digital market, among others, to boost growth and employment in the EU.

Euro-MPs favour new labels for animal-friendly products 01 June 2010, 00:18 CET
A European Parliament committee has voted in favour of new product labelling to help consumers identify and choose animal welfare-friendly products.

EU urges trading partners to remove protectionist barriers 28 May 2010, 22:58 CET
Protectionist barriers are on the increase during the economic crisis, according to an EU report published today. In it, the European Commission calls on the EU's trading partners to remove trade restrictions in order to boost economic recovery.

EU approves acquisition of Mobil Oil Austria by ENI 27 May 2010, 20:56 CET
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of Mobil Oil Austria by Agip Austria, which is wholly controlled by ENI of Italy.

EU seeks high privacy standards in EU-US data protection agreement 26 May 2010, 23:35 CET
The European Commission has adopted a draft mandate to negotiate a personal data protection agreement between the European Union and the United States when cooperating to fight terrorism or crime. The agreement would give citizens more rights to manage their data.

EU approves EUR 10m aid for Dutch energy-saving project 26 May 2010, 23:31 CET
The European Commission has authorised The Netherlands to provide a grant of 10 million euros to Nuon Energy Sourcing NV for a CO2 capture demonstration project.

EU okays Italian compensation for power cuts in Sardinia and Sicily 26 May 2010, 23:28 CET
The European Commission has authorised under EU State aid rules a scheme designed to remunerate companies for the provision of instant interruptibility services (the acceptance of power cuts to avoid black outs) in Italy's largest islands, Sardinia and Sicily.

Belgium-Umicore arrangement 'not state aid': Commission 26 May 2010, 23:27 CET
The European Commission has closed its investigation into an arrangement between Belgium and Belgian-based multinational materials technology company UMICORE, which it says does not constitute state aid.

Lack of progress on single EU telecoms market hurts consumers 25 May 2010, 23:55 CET
Consumers, businesses and the EU economy as a whole are denied the full economic benefits of a truly single and competitive EU-wide telecoms market because of inconsistent application of EU telecoms rules,according to the European Commission's annual report on the Single European Electronic Communications Market.

European SME Week 2010 kicks off 25 May 2010, 23:51 CET
Vice President Antonio Tajani has launched the European SME Week 2010 in Brussels today. This pan-European campaign is designed to promote and support entrepreneurship. Over 3 million people are estimated to participate in the some 1261 events and activities that are being organised in 37 countries across Europe.

EU authorises temporary Finnish financial aid to farmers 25 May 2010, 23:50 CET
The European Commission authorised a Finnish scheme with a budget of €22 million which aims at supporting farmers in Finland who encounter difficulties as a result of the current economic crisis. Aid under this scheme can be granted until 31 December 2010 and will take the form of a direct grant.

EU mulls improvements to European contract law 22 May 2010, 17:39 CET
The European Commission, seeking to boost cross-border trade and to ensure strong rights for consumers, convened a new expert group to propose ways to improve contract law in the European Union.

EU reduces chemicals fees for smaller businesses 22 May 2010, 17:38 CET
The European Commission is taking further measures to ease the implementation of the new EU Regulations on chemicals for small and medium-sized enterprises and reduce costs.

EC approves joint venture between TOTAL and ERG 22 May 2010, 17:37 CET
The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed merger of Total Italia and Erg Petroli (EGP), both of Italy, into a new joint venture, active in the refined oil sector.

European Commission authorises acquisition of Vedici by the 3i investment group 22 May 2010, 17:36 CET
The European Commission has cleared, under the EU Mergers Regulation, the proposed acquisition of the French Vedici group of healthcare facilities by the British investment group 3i.

Euro-MPs call for closer ties between universities and industry 20 May 2010, 23:22 CET
Links between business and the academic world need to be strengthened but higher education institutions must retain their autonomy and public support, says a resolution adopted on Thursday by the European Parliament.

European Commission approves restructuring of Belgian insurance company Ethias 20 May 2010, 23:19 CET
The European Commission has approved under EU state aid rules a €1.5 billion recapitalisation provided by Belgium in the context of the restructuring of Ethias, a Belgian insurer that ran into severe difficulties in 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis.

EU moves to strengthen maritime policy 20 May 2010, 23:19 CET
EU Council of Ministers in June will create a financial instrument to develop a comprehensive maritime policy and will promote the inclusion of a maritime aspect in EU security and defence policies, said on Thursday the Spanish Secretary of State for the EU, Diego Lopez Garrido.

EU Attorneys General want to unify criteria to combat cross-border crime 20 May 2010, 23:17 CET
EU attorneys general are considering the creation of a consultative forum which would enable them to unify criteria and advance towards a common European justice system to combat cross-border crime.

New energy labels for EU household appliances 20 May 2010, 13:04 CET
Labels on household appliances such as fridges, washing machines and ovens will have to include more information on energy consumption, following a vote by MEPs on Wednesday.