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Broken promises and lack of support are holding back SMEs: survey
Member States must do much more to put into practice the measures contained in the Small Business Act one year after its entry into force and despite some timid signs of progress, according to a survey conducted by UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation.

Commission must press ahead with bold climate action – Friends of the Earth
Research published today by the European Commission on the impact of cutting more of Europe’s climate-changing emissions by 2020 has been welcomed by Friends of the Earth Europe. The environment group warned however that the EU must further increase its ambition to a 40% reduction in domestic greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and avoid reliance on carbon trading as the solution to the climate crisis.

EP's vote on protection of self-employed respects needs of SMEs
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, welcomed the vote on the adoption of the report at second reading on equal treatment between men and women for self-employed and assisting spouses at the European Parliament’s plenary today.

ESBA Presents its "DIGITAL AGENDA FOR EUROPE: a Small Business Perspective"
On 5 May 2010, the European Parliament adopted a report on "a new Digital Agenda for Europe: 2015.eu".

EU governments bury their head in the sand over Europe’s most dangerous chemicals
At least five national governments are failing to protect citizens and aquatic ecosystems from a highly toxic, gender-bending industrial chemical, according to a new Greenpeace report. Such disregard over nonylphenol (NP) is typical of their attitude towards other dangerous water-based chemicals, said Greenpeace.

Nexus International Association opens doors to Russia for foreign companies
Nexus-Europe GmbH has announced the formation of the Nexus International Association.

Nexus-Europe aids foreign companies’ expansion into Russia
The provider of exhibition and marketing services extends its reputation for reliability and results to companies throughout Europe with an eye toward Russia.

European Parliament takes strong line on SEPA value for payment users
EuroCommerce warmly welcomes the adoption of the resolution on the Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA) by the European Parliament today.

EU Small Businesses Celebrate EP Decision to Exempt Micro-Entities from EU Accounting Burdens
The European Small Business Alliance welcomes today’s decision by the European Parliament to adopt the Commission’s proposal to exempt micro entities from certain EU accounting burdens. The exemption is the first real EU effort specifically aimed at micro-businesses and can be seen as the ‘flagship’ of the EUs overall commitment to reduce administrative burdens by 25% by 2010. The measure is estimated to account for savings of EUR 6.3 billion EU-wide, and is a major step towards achieving this 25% goal.

GM crops failing to tackle climate change: report
On the day of the release of annual industry-sponsored figures, a new report from Friends of the Earth International reveals that claims made by the biotech industry that genetically modified (GM) crops can combat climate change are both exaggerated and premature.

How much do the top 50 companies in the EU spend?
Lobbying in Brussels by Europe's 50 largest companies is happening in secret despite attempts to secure transparency, confirms new research released by Friends of the Earth Europe.

Airline Associations Call on European Commission and Member States to Commit to Urgent Relief Measures for Airlines
Three airline associations – ELFAA (European Low Fares Airline Association), ERA (European Regions Airlines Association) and IACA (International Air Carrier Association) - today called on the European Commission and European Member States to give a firm commitment to support airlines affected by the crisis caused by the volcanic ash dispersion.

Parliament’s OK to accounting exemptions 'a step back for the internal market'
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, criticised today the European Parliament for giving the green light to a deceptive proposal on accounting exemptions, which is unlikely to live up to its claimed cost reduction potential but will decrease transparency and create an uneven playing field between businesses operating in different Member States. Further to MEPs’ vote, Member States could exempt micro-companies with limited liability status from having to draw up and publish annual accounts. According to UEAPME and contrary to some claims, this will not generate a net cost reduction since micro-entities will have to keep filing accounts anyway for national administrations, banks, suppliers and customers. Moreover, red tape will be displaced rather than reduced, as MEPs allowed Member States to add further unspecified obligations to exempted micro-companies. UEAPME therefore recommended simplifying the existing harmonised accounting rules as a more viable alternative and called on the Council to reject the current proposal.

Capital requirements: no regulation before impact assessment, say SMEs
The new capital requirements for the banking sector risk harming SME finance unless their impact on the real economy is assessed beforehand and their scope is fine-tuned to target riskier activities, according to UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation.

Business confidence is on the rise but an upswing is not near: SME survey
Small businesses’ confidence is on the rise for the second semester in a row but remains well below its pre-crisis levels, according to an EU-wide survey recently conducted by UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, and its members.

Meat from cloned animals - on the menu in Europe?
Testbiotech report warns market getting out of control

CEA presses for further work on Solvency II implementing measures
The CEA, the European insurance and reinsurance federation, today reiterated its support for the EU’s new Solvency II regulatory regime but called for more work to be done on the Level 2 measures that will put the flesh on the bones of the Framework Directive. It also called for changes to the draft specifications for the fifth Quantitative Impact Study (QIS 5) that will be carried out later this year to test the likely effects of Solvency II on the insurance industry.

CBI response to industrial emissions directive vote
The CBI, the UK’s leading business group, commented on the outcome of today’s vote on the Industrial Emissions Directive in the European Parliament’s Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety in Brussels.

SMEs poised to profit from RFID technology
A new EU-funded project starting this month and running for two years will help European SMEs in understanding and fully leveraging the potential benefits of Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology, which allows real time data collection without physical or line of sight contact.

Commission defines framework conditions for deploying 'clean and energy efficient vehicles'
The Communication on Clean and Energy Efficient Vehicles, published today by the European Commission in Brussels, identifies the essential framework conditions for a viable transition to sustainable mobility in the European Union.

Transport working time: SMEs deeply concerned by Parliament Committee’s vote
This morning’s vote in the European Parliament’s Employment Committee on the transport working time directive will harm self-employed workers and restrict their freedom to organise their work according to their needs, according to UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation.

Broken EU aid promises push Millennium Development Goals out of reach,says CONCORD as OECD announces aid figures
Figures released today by the OECD show a reduction in EU overseas development aid in 2009. At current levels the European Union will not meet commitments to provide 0.7% of GNI in aid by 2015 to reach the Millennium Development Goals. The news represents yet another broken promise by EU governments and delivers a further blow to the MDGs, which will be reviewed in New York this September.

Power of EU Financial Lobby Must Be Curtailed Following Greek Debacle
The European Commission's new initiatives to regulate financial markets are based on unbalanced advisory groups dominated by financial services lobbyists, new research published by Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) today shows. This has delayed and undermined the quality of the Commission’s regulatory responses to the financial crisis.

European Ecolabel products linked to rainforest destruction activities
The EEB is angered by revelations that illegally harvested wood has found its way into paper awarded with the European Ecolabel, according to a report released on 9 April by FERN. The European Ecolabel is meant to award products of environmental excellence but the EEB has long warned that weaknesses in requirements for forest products could lead to such a situation.

A Genuine Open Sky Still Remains a Distant Dream
Responding to yesterday’s preliminary Second Stage Open Skies agreement between the US and the European Union, IACA and its members are frustrated and disappointed by the failure to agree a balanced deal for all airlines.