European retailers want to move to a resource efficient economy

At the Retail Forum in Brussels celebrated on 9 October, European retailers highlighted that is needed to move to a resource efficient economy, and looking to the sustainability goals they had set themselves in key areas in precious years, such as selling more green products, they noted strong progress.

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The Commission presents its proposals to boost the European industry

The European Commission presented three documents aimed at fostering industry sector. The proposals include an Industry Communication calling for short term focussed investment in key industry sectors with high growth prospects; the 2012 Scoreboard on the Member States industrial competitiveness performance; and also the 2012 European Competitiveness Report, which identifies opportunities to make European industries more competitive.

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Single Market Week: Marking the 20th anniversary of the Single Market

The Single Market Week will take place from 15 to 20 October and will bring together policy-makers, social partners, businesses and citizens to discuss the achievements and challenges of the single market. Under the slogan ''Together for new growth'', this year's week marks the twentieth anniversary of the European Single Market.

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The Commission launched a public consultation on certain reduced VAT rates

The European Commission is consulting citizens, businesses and other stakeholders on certain reduced VAT rates, as a part of the wider work being done to fundamentally reform the EU VAT system. The public consultation focuses on three specific areas where reduced VAT rates need to be reviewed.

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The Commission calls on Member States to speedy incorporation of the Late Payment Directive into national law

Antonio Tajani, European Commission Vice President, launched an information campaign across all 27 EU Member States and Croatia, to encourage speedy incorporation of the Late Payment Directive into national law, even before the absolute deadline on 16th March 2013. The Campaign puts particular importance on ensuring that SMEs know the new rights conferred by the directive and how to exercise these rights.

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Each member state will set up an energy efficiency obligation scheme with the new energy efficiency directive

The Council adopted the energy efficiency directive with the Finnish delegation abstaining and the Spanish and Portuguese delegations voting against. According to the Council, the directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to achieve its 2020 20% headline target on energy efficiency. Each member state will also be obliged to set an indicative national energy efficiency target.

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Commission refers four member states to the Court of Justice for not implementing defence procurement rules

The European Commission decided to ask Court of Justice of the EU to fine Poland, The Netherlands, Luxembourg and Slovenia for not implementing defence procurement rules. In particular, the Commission refers this four countries to the Court of Justice for failing to fully implement the Directive on procurement of arms, munitions and war material (and related works and services) for defence purposes, as well as the procurement of sensitive supplies, works and services for security purposes.

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High-level Expert group recommends a mandatory separation of proprietary trading

The European Commission received the recommendations from the High-level Expert group on reforming the structure of the EU banking sector. The group recommends among other things a mandatory separation of proprietary trading and other high-risk trading activities, the possible additional separation of activities conditional on the recovery and resolution plan, and possible amendments to the use of bail-in instruments as a resolution tool.

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Food industry will be permitted to use in the EU only those flavouring substances featuring on the approved lists

The European Commission adopted two pieces of legislation to permit that flavouring substances in food will become even safer and more transparent. Used to alter the taste and/or odour of food, flavourings substances are used in a wide variety of foods, such as soft drinks, confectionery, cereals, cakes and yoghurts, and have now been evaluated at EU level. Now, only those flavouring substances featuring on the approved lists will be permitted for use by the food industry.

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The Commission launched a consultation to identify the TOP 10 most burdensome legislative acts for SMEs

The European Commission is looking to cut red tape for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs). It is therefore launching a consultation process for them and their representative organisations, in order to help to identify the top ten EU legislative acts considered most burdensome by micro-companies and SMEs. The public consultation will be running until 21 December 2012.

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The European Commission wants to speed up and increase the use of cloud computing across the economy

The new strategy presented by the European Commission to drive European business and government productivity via cloud computing, is based in "unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe". The actions foreseen seek to deliver a net gain of 2.5 million new European jobs, and an annual boost of €160 billion to EU GDP by 2020.

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