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Ministers held a policy debate on the main actions in support of the European small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Ministers also exchanged views on the framework conditions for a competitive industry in Europe including competitive aspects of other EU policies such as energy, climate, research and trade policies.
The Economic Sentiment Indicator increased by 1.6 points in the euro area and by 2.4 points in the EU. The Business Climate Indicator for the euro area remained broadly unchanged at -0.20 points.
The Commission has taken 220 decisions, including 32 reasoned opinions and 6 referrals to the European Union's Court of Justice.
The two industrial Competitiveness reports published by the European Commission highlight that Member States have made progress in improving the business environment, exports and sustainability. However, many problems still remain.
The European Commission unveils 'Opening up Education', an action plan to tackle this and other digital problems which are hampering schools and universities from delivering high quality education and the digital skills which 90% of jobs will require by 2020.
The Council discussed the remaining questions to be solved with a view to agreement with the European Parliament on the CAP reform.
The report provides a factual base for assessing progress in target areas like open and fair recruitment of researchers or better circulation of scientific knowledge
An estimated €193 billion in VAT revenues (1.5% of GDP) was lost due to non-compliance or non-collection in 2011, according to a new study on the VAT Gap in Member States.
The new rules will enhance the robustness and reliability of benchmarks, facilitate the prevention and detection of their manipulation and clarify responsibility for and the supervision of benchmarks by the authorities.
Under the rules proposed by the Commission today, harmful psychoactive substances will be withdrawn quickly from the market, without jeopardising their various legitimate industrial and commercial uses.
Euro area inflation was 1.3% in August, down from 1.6% in July. A year earlier the rate was 2.6%. Monthly inflation was 0.1% in August 2013.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso delivered his State of the Union address and debated with MEPs about the EU's future. In response to the use of chemical weapons in Syria, MEPs called for a coordinated EU approach, not excluding deterrent measures if political and diplomatic ones fail.
More than 6000 entrepreneurs have already benefitted from loans worth a total of close to €50 million under the European Progress Microfinance Facility, according to the third annual report on this EU instrument.
MEPs gave their green light to the EU bank supervision system which will bring some 150 of the EU's largest banks under the European Central Bank's direct oversight from September 2014.
Reciprocity rules enabling the EU to reimpose visa requirements for nationals of countries that still impose them on EU citizens were adopted by Parliament, in a revision of the EU visa regulation.
The “Connected Continent” legislative package, when adopted, will reduce consumer charges, simplify red tape faced by companies, and bring a range of new rights for both users and service providers, so that Europe can once again be a global digital leader.
President Barroso set out his vision for the EU in the year to come in the fourth annual State of the Union address to the European Parliament in Strasbourg. It was followed by a debate with MEPs and political leaders.
The Commission announced new measures to get more freight onto Europe's rivers and canals. Barges are amongst the most climate-friendly and energy efficient forms of transport but currently they only carry about 6% of European cargo each year.
New rules imposing tougher sanctions for manipulating financial markets, insider dealing or abuse of inside information were voted by the Parliament. These rules will also cover a wider range of trading venues and financial instruments than today's rules and they will apply directly in all member states, which should ensure a high level of investor protection in the EU.
The Commission proposed new legislation to prevent and manage the rapidly growing threat from invasive species. There are currently over 12 000 species present in Europe which are alien to the natural environment.