EC consults on policy in the field of credit rating agencies

Recent developments during the Euro debt crisis have highlighted the need for a revision on the regulatory framework of credit rating agencies (CRAs). Concerns have risen over the excessive trust put by financial institutions and institutional investors on external ratings instead of carrying an adequate risk assessment. For that purpose, the European Commission has launched a public consultation which will be open until 7 January 2011 in order to calibrate the scope and ambition of any possible future legislative initiative in the field of credit rating agencies.

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EU businesses cut R&D investments by 2.6% in 2009

EU companies cut their research and development (R&D) investments by 2.6% in 2009, the new Industrial R&D Investments Scoreboard reveals. It is the first time that business R&D investments have fallen in a number of years. It should be noted, however, that sales and profits fell by 10% and 21% respectively, and that R&D investment decisions for 2009 were taken in late 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. Under these circumstances, the fact that R&D investments fell so little demonstrates the importance of R&D to businesses.

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EU to ban phosphates in laundry detergents

The European Commission has presented on 4 November a proposal to ban the use of phosphates and to limit the content of other phosphorous containing compounds in laundry detergents. The draft Regulation, which does not affect detergents for automatic dishwashers or those used by professionals yet, aims to reduce the phosphates found in waste water and to improve water quality.

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