Reducing work-related accidents and illness

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work has launched a Europe-wide information campaign on risk assessment in order to reduce work-related accidents and illness. Every three and a half minutes, somebody in the EU dies from work-related causes. That's more than 150,000 deaths a year as a result of either work-related accidents (8,900) or occupational diseases (142,000).

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MS endorse Commission proposal to reduce standby electricity consumption

In a meeting of the Ecodesign Regulatory Committee held July 7th, EU Member States endorsed the Commission's proposal for a regulation reducing standby energy consumption of household and office products. The regulation lays down energy efficiency requirements for all products sold in Europe, thus cutting the EU's standby electricity consumption by almost 75% by 2020.

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Prior notification of a concentration between Arsenal and DSP

On 17 June 2008, the Commission received a notification of a proposed concentration following a referral pursuant to Article 22(1) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (1) by which the undertaking Arsenal Capital Partners (‘Arsenal’, USA) via Arsenal Capital Partners QPII (‘ACP QPII’) and DAC Acquisition BV acquires within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Council Regulation control of the whole of the undertaking DSM Special Products BV (‘DSP’ the Netherlands) belonging to the Royal DSM NV (‘DSM’, the Netherlands) by way of purchase of shares.

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Ministerial Council of the Energy Community pushes further integration of electricity markets

On Friday, 27 June 2008 in Brussels, the Energy Community Ministerial Council addressed key issues for the functioning of electricity markets in South-East Europe. At this occasion, Commissioner Piebalgs declared: "Last week the European Council reiterated its full support for the European perspective of the Western Balkans and the importance of regional cooperation: the Energy Community is becoming a success story in this respect, but efforts should be pursued."

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Maritime safety: the Commission takes measures against Italy and Slovakia

The Commission decided on the 26th June 2008, to send reasoned opinions to Italy for failure to adequately implement EU legislation on port State control of shipping and to Slovakia for failure to respect EU legislation on ship-source pollution and on the introduction of penalties for persons responsible for polluting discharges.

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"Think Small First": A Small Business Act for Europe

Most jobs in the EU are provided for by Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs), companies of 250 employees or less. They have a crucial importance for the future development, but very often face enormous bureaucratic hurdles and obstacles. European SMEs deserve to be better assisted to fully unlock their potential of long term sustainable growth and of more job creation. To achieve this goal, the European Commission has unveiled the Small Business Act for Europe (SBA), based on ten guiding principles and proposes policy actions to be undertaken by both the Commission and Member States.

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EC publishes guidelines for Member States on how to make public procurement more SME-friendly

In the context of the Small Business Act (SBA), the European Commission has published a set of practical examples and guidelines which will enable Member States and public authorities to make their public procurement rules and practices more friendly for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Public procurement in the EU, the purchases of goods, services and public works by governments and public utilities, is a vast market, worth 1,800 € billion in 2006 and estimated at about 16% of GDP.

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Further steps in the constructive EU-OPEC Energy Dialogue

The fifth ministerial-level meeting of the Energy Dialogue between the European Union (EU) and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) took place in Brussels, on the 24th June 2008.

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"Aho Report" on EU High-Tech Research: A Wake-up Call for Innovation in Europe

Europe has started doing better in high-tech research but still has a lot more to do, particularly to capitalise on the results. This is the conclusion of the independent expert report, chaired by former Finnish Prime Minister Esko Aho, that analysed the effectiveness of Information Society research under the EU's 6th Framework Programme for Research and Development.

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Prior notification of a concentration between Porsche and Volkswagen

On 17 June 2008, the Commission received a notification of a proposed concentration pursuant to Article 4 of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 (1) by which the undertaking Dr. Ing. h.c. F. Porsche AG (‘Porsche’, Germany) acquires within the meaning of Article 3(1)(b) of the Council Regulation control of the whole of the Volkswagen AG (‘Volkswagen’, Germany) by way of purchase of shares.

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