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Open Letter to EU Member States on FTA South Korea
The European Commission should improve the conditions of the upcoming free trade agreement (FTA) with South Korea and ensure a more transparent process for all stakeholders. The FTA will have a significant impact on jobs and competitiveness in the EU economy and rushing into signing a bad agreement is wrong.

Consuming the world's resources: Europe's role, Europe's responsibilities
Europe is using increasing quantities of the world's natural resources, according to a new report launched by Friends of the Earth Europe at the 'World Resources Forum' in Davos, Switzerland. The report also shows that Europe is more dependant on imported resources than other global regions.

Greenpeace welcomes European Commission support for international bluefin tuna trade ban
Greenpeace welcomes the European Commission’s decision today to support a ban on the international trade of North Atlantic and Mediterranean bluefin tuna.

Energy-saving light bulbs: good for consumers but outstanding issues need to be addressed
From 1st September 2009, incandescent light bulbs will gradually be removed from the European market. ANEC, the European Consumer Voice in Standardisation and BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, welcome the phasing-out of incandescent light bulbs. Not only will consumers benefit financially from the measure, but most importantly, they will be able to contribute to improved energy efficiency by reducing their energy consumption.

5th EUROCHAMBRES survey on the Services Directive
About 40% of European national Chambers of Commerce believe that their country will not have fully implemented the Services Directive by the 28 December 2009 deadline. This marks the first drop in Chambers' confidence on the directive's implementation throughout EUROCHAMBRES' monitoring of the process.

Joint press release: SEPA risks failure unless corrections are made, say end users
The Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) that aims to establish one set of Europe-wide rules for credit transfers, debt transfers and payment card services risks not being sufficiently taken up by the market and failing to meet its objective to improve the efficiency of cross border euro payments, according to 8 leading European business and consumer organisations.

One year later, EUROCHAMBRES deplores deadlock of Union for the Mediterranean
One year after the optimistic launch of the "Union for Mediterranean", EUROCHAMBRES regrets that none of its two main components have advanced: the ambitious aim of creating a Union for political dialogue on shared Euro-Med challenges was repeatedly blocked by different countries, making their cooperation in this matter conditional on the solution of political conflicts in the region, and the identified priority projects still wait to be kick-started as they suffer from a lack of financing and ownership, with the secretariat of the Union still to be created.

New Microfinance initiative: a valuable tool to stimulate entrepreneurship and create jobs
EUROCHAMBRES warmly welcomes the 'Progress Microfinance Facility' presented by the European Commission today as a sound initiative to encourage and support entrepreneurship. Thanks to this new EUR 100 million fund, people who have lost or are at risk of losing their job and want to start their own micro-enterprise will be able to obtain loans up to EUR 25,000, and be assisted with mentoring, training, coaching and capacity building.

Environment Council weakens controls on industrial emissions
EEB, Europe's largest federation of environmental citizens' organisations, regrets the outcome of today's Environment Council vote on the Directive on Industrial Emissions, during which Council even further weakened the Czech presidency's compromise "middle ground" proposal for industrial emission controls.

Assignment "Strengthening credit operations in a local microfinance organization": Request for Expressions of Interest
The International Finance Corporation (IFC) through its Advisory Services in Europe and Central Asia and via its Azerbaijan and Central Asia Microfinance Transformation Program intends to finance the assignment "Strengthening credit operations in a local microfinance organization".

European Social Partners' revised agreement on parental leave: one extra month of parental leave
On 18 June 2009, in the presence of Vladimir Spidla, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the European Social Partners, have formally adopted an agreement revising their 1995 Framework Agreement on Parental Leave.

Solvency II: One step closer toward a stronger European insurance industry
The Chief Risk Officers' Forum welcomes the European Parliament and the Council's recent decisions to approve the proposed Solvency II directive. The Forum strongly believes the directive represents an important step toward implementing an advanced supervisory and solvency framework which will help strengthen the European insurance industry. The Forum now urges the European Commission to introduce clear and effective implementing measures that will deliver the directive's basic principles.

CEA argues for full renewal of the Insurance BER
CEA urges EC to include standard policy conditions and security devices in the Block Exemption Regulation (BER) renewal.

CEA welcomes EC Communication on supervisory architecture
The CEA, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, welcomes the publication today of the European Commission’s Communication in which it sets out its proposals for a new EU financial supervisory architecture.

EUR 1 trillion EU regulatory burden on business: study
On the eve of Competitiveness Council discussions on better regulation, a new study published by EUROCHAMBRES estimates that complying with and reporting on EU regulation introduced in the last 11 years has cost European businesses over EUR 1 trillion.

European governments can provide EUR 65bn stimulus to economies
Research released in Brussels by leading credit management services company Intrum Justitia shows that European governments could provide a EUR 65bn stimulus to their home economies by simply paying invoices owed to suppliers in full and on time.

Solvency II regulation will enhance policyholder protection
The CEA, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, welcomes today's formal approval of the Solvency II Framework Directive by the EU's Economic and Financial Affairs (Ecofin) Council.

Destructive potential of EU billions
CEE Bankwatch Network and Friends of the Earth Europe today warned that environmentally destructive and economically unsound projects, at a total cost of 23 billion euro, in the ten new EU member states of central and eastern Europe, may receive an 'un-smart' green light as the European Union seeks to rapidly deploy billions of euros to offset the worsening economic crisis.

Commission revision on Late Payments does not go far enough
Intrum Justitia, Europe's leading Credit Management Services company, commends the European Commission's proposal to amend the existing Late Payment Directive and agrees with EU Enterprise Verheugen as describing late payments as a "disease". Intrum Justitia also agrees that SMEs are hard hit by the crisis and the problems of companies' liquidity in a time of the credit crunch must be addressed by the Commission.

Small businesses' confidence hits new record low: first EU SME survey
European SMEs have reached a new record low in business confidence, according to an EU-wide survey recently conducted by UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, and its members.

European Investment Bank loans underline importance of the automobile industry for Europe's economy
The European automobile manufacturers welcome the EUR 3 billion in loans freed today by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to finance automotive projects, most of them concerning ‘green’ investments. As the Bank indicated, in total around EUR 7 billion will become available in the first half of this year and its budget allows maintaining similar levels of financing until 2012. “The arrangement with the EIB underlines the importance of the automobile industry for investments, R&D and employment in Europe as a whole”, says ACEA secretary general Ivan Hodac.

Eurovignette vote: mixed results say business organisations
European business organisations UEAPME Transport Forum, EUROCHAMBRES and EuroCommerce were left with mixed feelings by today's contradictory voting results on the Eurovignette directive at the European Parliament's plenary session.

Successful completion of the first 2009 EU Gateway Business Mission to Japan renews strength of EU- Japan business cooperation
9 March 2009 Press Release

Accounting rules and micro entities - when simplification becomes complication
The European Federation of Accountants and Auditors (EFAA), Europe's leading accountancy organisation dedicated solely to the needs of small and medium-sized businesses, criticised today's communication by the European Commission giving Member States the option to exempt micro entities from preparing and publishing annual accounts.

Services Directive: General improvement, but concerns over impact - EUROCHAMBRES survey
On the occasion of a Czech Presidency conference on the future of services in Prague today, Secretary General Arnaldo Abruzzini presented the findings of the 4th EUROCHAMBRES survey on the implementation of the Services Directive.