The Commission adopted a measure to reinforce requirements for GM food/feed applications

The European Commission adopted a measure on requirements to be fulfilled by companies when submitting applications for the authorisation of new GMOs for food/feed uses. With this Regulation, the Commission seeks to reinforce and improve the authorisation process of GM food and feed and to clarify the requirements for submitting a request. The new rules will apply 20 days following publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

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The Business Climate Indicator (BCI) and the Economic sentiment worsened for the euro area

In March 2013, the Business Climate Indicator (BCI) for the euro area decreased by 0.14 points to 0.86. The European Commission confirms that the assessment of the adequacy of stocks of finished products also worsened, albeit to a lesser extent. The Commission's figures also show that for March 2013, the Economic Sentiment Indicator in the euro area also declined. The Commission highlighted that the decline was driven by decreases in all business sectors, while consumer confidence remained broadly stable.

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Public consultation launched on how to make EU merger control even more business-friendly

The European Commission launched a public consultation on the proposal for simplifying procedures under the EU Merger Regulation. The proposed initiative is a technical reform within the existing framework of EU merger control as defined by the Merger Regulation. In particular, the Commission proposes to update the Notice on a simplified procedure for treatment of certain mergers.

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New initiatives proposed to improve the effective trade mark protection in the EU

The European Commission presented a package of initiatives to make trade mark registration systems all over the European Union cheaper, quicker, more reliable and predictable. Among them, as regards fees, the Commission is proposing a principle of "one-class-per-fee" that will apply both for Community trade mark applications and for national trade mark applications.

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The Commission seeks opinions on how to foster the supply of long-term financing

The European Commission published a public consultation under a Green Paper with the aim at gathering views on how to foster the supply of long-term financing and how to improve and diversify the system of financial intermediation for long-term investment in Europe.

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The EU-wide passport for SMEs managers of venture capital funds adopted by the Council

The Council adopted two regulations concerning European venture capital funds and European social entrepreneurship funds. The regulations introduce uniform requirements for the managers of collective investment undertakings that want to operate under the EU-wide passport. The Council stressed that SMEs backed by venture capital can create high-quality jobs, as venture capital supports the creation of innovative businesses.

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The Commission reduces the fees and charges that SMEs have to pay to register chemicals

With the aim at helping SMEs that produce or trade chemicals to remain competitive during the current difficult market situation, the European Commission lowered the fees and charges that small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) have to pay to register chemicals.

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The Late Payments Directive does not necessarily apply to the stock of commercial debt of public administrations

Commission's Vice Presidents Olli Rehn and Antonio Tajani have made a joint statement in which remains the Late Payments Directive, that must have been transposed and applied as of 16 March 2013, does not necessarily apply to the outstanding stock of commercial debt. In particular, in the case of Italy, the authorities have decided that the new rules will apply only to contracts signed since 1 January 2013.

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New High Level Group established to examine the challenges facing the business services in the single market

The European Commission announced the creation of a new High Level Group (HLG) to examine the challenges facing the business services sector and the obstacles to a well-functioning single market in this field.

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Commission's new plans to tackle aggressive commercial practices across the EU

The European Commission presented a new strategy to fight against aggressive commercial practices across the EU to step up enforcement of the rules to increase citizens' trust when shopping in Europe’s internal market.

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