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Database on the risks of genetically engineered crop plants - Testbiotech offers overview of EU authorisations
Testbiotech is today publishing a database designed to give an overview of the risks associated with genetically engineered plants allowed for marketing in the European Union, or being about to be authorised soon. The current version of the database, called PlantGeneRisk, gives an overview of thirteen genetically engineered crops, four soy plants and nine maize plants. Ten of these plants already have EU authorisation for use, import and usage in food and feed, one of them is also allowed for cultivation. The plants produce insecticides or are tolerant to herbicides, and many also have a combination of both. So far, thirty eight genetically engineered crops have been authorised within the EU for use in food and feed, but no public database is available giving an overview of their risks. In the existing databases provided by state authorities or by institutions which have a close affiliation with industry, the actual risks are mostly marginalized.

SMEs welcome EC plan on access to finance, call for tax reforms to boost venture capital
Tax systems main obstacle to uptake and provision of venture capital; “Basel III” implementation must not harm SME loans, warns UEAPME

Consumers' wish for Santa: Safer toys for Europe's kids
Just as every year, Christmas approaches and family and friends rush to the shops to buy toys for the children. Often spoiling the festive mood is the doubt in the minds of many consumers as to the safety of the toys they buy. ANEC and BEUC warn that the entry into force of the revised Toy Safety Directive earlier this year should not camouflage worrying flaws in the safety of toys sold in Europe.

Europe's commercial vehicle industry calls for integration of transport, industrial and innovation policies
The commercial vehicle manufacturers in Europe call upon EU policy makers to further integrate the Union’s policies for transport, industrial competitiveness and future innovation to help spur sustainable growth.

New MEP code of conduct a step forward: now MEPs must do their homework
A vote in the European Parliament today to introduce a new code of conduct for MEPs has been welcomed by The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation in the EU (ALTER-EU).

Patents on chimpanzees, sperm cells and human genes - European Patents 'black List' published
Today Testbiotech is publishing a “Black List” of European Patents that have already been granted. Ten examples, granted since 2009, were selected for the list in cooperation with the Initiative “No Patents on Life”.

Remote gambling industry challenges Greek protectionist law
The European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) and the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) have today filed a complaint with the European Commission regarding the recently adopted Greek online gambling law. The complaint details a range of non-EU compliant barriers to new market entrants and requests that the Commission, as guardian of the EU Treaties, address this as a matter of urgency.

SMEs broadly welcome new "Erasmus for all" programme
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, welcomed the "Erasmus for all" proposal by the European Commission, which suggests allocating EUR 19 billion towards promoting skills and learning mobility of young people in what will become the successor of the current Lifelong Learning Programme.

New report shows that ACP countries are being hit by harmful EU policies (CONCORD)
In Africa and elsewhere in the developing world, European Union (EU) policies are continuing to seriously undermine people’s rights, because these policies are not coherent with development objectives. The EU fails to comply with its own treaty obligations says a new report by CONCORD, the confederation of European development NGOs.

Bank proposal on current account fee transparency - bold announcement, zero substance
BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation, rejects EBIC’s (European Bank Industry Committee) plans to self-regulate the transparency and comparability of current account fees as instructed by the European Commission. For a paltry number of bank account services (approx. 10), the banks propose to establish a common terminology and information.

Parliament vote on MEP code of conduct - ALTER-EU reaction
Transparency campaigners have welcomed today's vote of the European Parliament constitutional affairs committee (AFCO) on the proposed Code of Conduct for MEPs, but warned that an important loophole on the definition of gifts risks undermining the core of the proposals.

EU warned: biofuels will drive biodiversity loss
Increasing the use of biofuels in Europe will have devastating impacts on wildlife a new scientific assessment has shown.

Directive on Right to Family Reunification must not be reopened
At a public hearing today in the European Parliament, European women’s associations are expected to take a strong stand against any potential renegotiation of European legislation concerning family reunification, which they fear will be to the detriment of migrant women, and to call on the member states to improve access and integration measures.

Commission's strategy on internationalisation is spot on, say SMEs
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, warmly welcomed the "Small Business, Big World" communication released by the European Commission today (Wednesday).

European Parliament supports sustainable public procurement
At today's plenary session, the European Parliament adopted with an overwhelming majority a Resolution on the modernisation of public procurement. The European Parliament confirms the interpretation of the European Union rules by the European Court of Justice, which allows public authorities to compare products on the basis of how they have been produced. The Resolution also asks for clearer EU rules to integrate sustainability at each stage of the procurement process.

CSR Communication: EU must take further steps to hold companies accountable
A Commission plan about how the EU can make companies more accountable is a step towards ending the global damage European businesses cause people and planet, according to the European Coalition for Corporate Justice (ECCJ). However, the plans to improve corporate social responsibility (CSR), unveiled by the European Commission today in the CSR Communication, miss the opportunity to make real progress that would help victims of EU-based companies find justice and hold companies accountable for their impacts.

"Responsible business package": good news on accounting, bad news on CSR, say SMEs
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, was left with mixed feelings by the "responsible business package" presented by the European Commission yesterday (Tuesday).

MiFID II - An opportunity to make Europeans' investments safer
While stock markets and banks are in disarray, Europe's consumers need stable financial markets more than ever to make secure investments. The European Commission is due to unveil an updated 'Markets in Financial Instruments Directive' (MiFID II) Thursday, October 20th. BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation has asked legislators to make consumers' needs their theme in this initiative.

Stronger political focus needed for future of farming
Agriculture ministers must not jeopardise a fairer and greener future for farming in Europe by pushing for industrial farming

New "optional" EU Sales law makes consumer protection a guessing game
BEUC, the European Consumers’ Organisation has strong concerns about the European Commission’s proposal of an “optional” Common Sales Law due October 11.

CAP reform: too little to protect environment and greener farming
European Commission’s plan unlikely to tackle food, farming and biodiversity crises without major improvements

Cohesion policy: SMEs overall satisfied with Commission's proposals
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, was left overall satisfied by the legislative proposals on the new cohesion policy programming period unveiled by the European Commission today (Thursday).

Dangerous chemicals in consumer products: your Right to Know not easy to use
Would you like to know if your carpet or your child’s toothbrush contains any hazardous chemicals? You have the right to ask the trader and manufacturer. But when BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, and its members tested it, we received very few satisfying answers.

SBA implementation slowing down and far from being complete, survey finds
Although more open to including SMEs' concerns in legislation, the European institutions still have a long way to go when it comes to "thinking small first" on business support and administration, according to a survey conducted by UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation.

Electronic waste: SMEs disappointed by Parliament's committee vote
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, was left disappointed by today’s second reading vote at the European Parliament’s Environment Committee on the revision of the Waste Electric and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) Directive.