Member states have until 16th March to have integrated the revised Late Payments Directive into their national law

The Directive that obliges public authorities to pay for goods and services within 30 calendar days or, in very exceptional circumstances, within 60 days, has to be integrated into member states national law by 16th March 2013. In particular, the Directive intends to end late payments.

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SMEs identifies the TOP 10 most burdensome EU laws

The results of a public consultation launched by the European Commission shows that SMEs see the biggest difficulties and costs as a consequence of the rules regarding the REACH chemical legislation, value added tax, product safety, recognition of professional qualifications, data protection, waste legislation, labour market related legislation, recording equipment for road transport, public procurement and the modernised customs code. While recognising the overall necessity of having European-wide rules in these areas, the Commission stressed that it will now thoroughly address these concerns via the new Regulatory Fitness and Performance Programme (REFIT) launched in December 2012.

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Seven out of ten Europeans travelled in 2012

According to a Flash Eurobarometer survey published by the European Commission, EU holiday makers, as many as 88% spent their vacations somewhere within the EU, either in their own country or in another Member State. Spain (12%), Italy (8%) and France (7%) are still the most preferred destinations.

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€60 billion more from the EIB over the next three years to promote sustainable growth and jobs

The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group will significantly step up its lending activities for the 2013 to 2015 period to support the recovery of growth in Europe, as announced by its President, Mr Werner Hoyer. The EIB thus will lend an additional €60 billion over the next three years to promote sustainable growth and jobs, bringing annual lending volumes to €65-70 billion.

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The Commission launches in beta version its Open Data Portal

The European Commission is gathering views with regard to the new open data portal recently launched in beta version. According to this European institution, this new Data Portal provides access to open public data from the European Commission. The Commission also highlights that this Data Portal promotes and builds literacy around Europe’s data.

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Commission launched two public consultations on EU measures to fight tax evasion

The European Commission launched two public consultations on specific measures which could improve tax collection - EU Tax Identification Number (EU TIN)- and ensure better tax compliance across the EU - the EU Taxpayer's Code. The consultations will run until 17 May 2013.

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Industry Committee backs Commission's proposal on data protection rules

The European Commission welcomed the adoption of an opinion by the European Parliament’s Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) on the Commission’s proposals to reform the EU’s data protection rules. According to the Commission, the ITRE Committee backed the main innovations of the Commission's data protection reform.

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Legal Affairs Committee backs an optional Common European Sales Law

The European Commission welcomed the draft report issued by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) with regard to the optional EU-wide rules for businesses and consumers who are concluding contracts in the Single Market. According to the Commission, an optional EU-wide contract law would promote growth by making it cheaper for businesses to access new markets and offering consumers a greater choice of products at more competitive prices.

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First step given for establishing a Unified Patent Court in the EU

The international agreement for establishing a Unified Patent Court (UPC) was signed on the 19th of February. According to the Council, the new court will avoid the occurrence of multiple court cases with regard to the same patent in different member states. Bulgaria is expected to sign in the coming days once internal procedures have been completed. Poland and Spain did not sign the agreement.

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The 2013 European Enterprise Promotion Awards are open to applications

The 2013 European Enterprise Promotion Awards, that recognise the best public initiatives and public-private partnerships in promoting business development and entrepreneurship, are open to applications. On this occasion, a new category rewarding successful projects contributing to the green economy has been added.

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