Issue 19 | January 2013

EU unitary patent: European Parliament and Council give green light

The EU can at last get a single patent system after thirty years of trying: the European Parliament at its December plenary session endorsed a Council presidency compromise on the patent reform package which was agreed on December 10 at the Competitiveness Council. The new unitary patent will radically reduce, by up to 80%, translation and related costs for obtaining patent protection in 25 Member States of the EU.

"With this far-reaching agreement, the European Parliament and the Council bring a decisive contribution to the implementation of the economic and growth agenda (…) The economy, business and consumers need them. And citizens are also waiting for proof, as today with the patent, of what we are doing together for economic progress and employment - that is for the benefit of all Europeans."

Latest news »« TOP
Banking union: Council agrees position on the single supervisory mechanism

In order to deepen economic and monetary union as one of the remedies of the current crisis, the ECOFIN Council of 13 December reached agreement on a Single Supervisory Mechanism (SSM) for banks in the euro area, on the basis of a Commission proposal. This will not change rulemaking for the Single Market of 27 countries, and it will fully preserve the integrity of the Single Market. This major step towards Banking Union sends a strong political signal of credibility, and shows once again the irreversibility of the euro.

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Commission plans to modernise European company law and corporate governance

European company law and corporate governance should make sure that companies are competitive and sustainable. The European Commission has adopted on 12 December an Action Plan outlining future initiatives in this area.

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Copyright: Commission urges industry to deliver innovative solutions for greater access to online content

The European Commission adopted in December a Communication which sets out parallel tracks of action to be undertaken during this Commission’s term of office to ensure that the EU’s copyright framework stays fit for purpose in the digital environment.

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Commission adopts implementing rules for the Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers (AIFMD)

The Directive on Alternative Investment Fund Managers is one of the measures taken by the European Union in its commitment to fight financial crisis. It aims to create a general and efficient regulatory and monitoring framework for managers of alternative investment funds (hedge funds and private equity) in Europe.

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Your Europe - your practical guide to your rights in the Single Market

The single market opens up many possibilities, whether you wish to travel, study, work or do business in another EU country than your own. But do you really know how it works, and what opportunities are available to you? Commissioner Barnier explains how the website "Your Europe" can help you make the most of your single market.

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Market abuse: Justice Ministers agree Commission proposals on criminal sanctions

Following the recent LIBOR scandal, serious concerns have been raised about the manipulation of benchmarks, which can result in significant losses to consumers and investors, or distort the real economy. European justice ministers meeting in the Council of the European Union have on 7 December reached agreement on the Commission’s proposals for a Directive on insider dealing and market manipulation that will criminalise such behaviour.

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Visits and Missions »« TOP
Commissioner Barnier, Lebanon - 30 November - 2 December 2012

Commissioner Michel Barnier visited Lebanon from 30 November to 2 December. Meetings with President Michel Sleiman, Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the Finance Minister Nahas and the Governor of the Central Bank Riad Salameh were the occasion to present the measures taken in Europe in the framework of G20 and to discuss the regional situation, particularly vis-à-vis the financial crisis and the impact of conflicting neighbours. Many discussions focused on economic reforms and regional integration with a view to reconstruction.

Consultations »« TOP
  11.12.2012  -  08.03.2013Intellectual Property Public consultation on the protection of business and research know-how

  30.11.2012  -  30.03.2013Intellectual property rightsCivil enforcement of intellectual property rights: public consultation on the efficiency of proceedings and accessibility of measures

  29.11.2012  -  22.02.2013Electronic commerceAn integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EU

  22.10.2012  -  14.01.2013Public procurementConsultation on e-invoicing in public procurement

News from the Parliament »« TOP
Strasbourg plenary week (December 10 - 13 2012)
  • Joint debate - European patent
    The European Parliament gave its green light to the future unitary patent in Strasbourg on 11 December. Commissioner Barnier had called on the EP to complete this initiative, more than 30 years after the idea was initiated. He particularly stressed the competitive advantages that a unitary patent protection would bring for SMEs in the acute international competition for innovation. The new system will represent a "one stop- shop" for innovative businesses, with considerably lower costs (from €32.000 to €5.000). It will be based on a unified jurisdiction with the Unitary Patent Court.
  • Short presentation on the Digital Single Market
    The initiative report of M. Arias Echevarria (EPP, ES) positively supports the actions undertaken by the Commission, in particular the ecommerce communication of January 2012, but also the many other initiatives presented in SMA 1 and 2, and Vice- President Kroes's digital agenda. The report was adopted on 11 December with very large support (604 +, 45 -, 15 abstentions).
  • Debate on the enhanced cooperation on the financial transaction tax
    In the debate on the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), EPP, S&D, ALDE, the Greens and GUE expressed their unequivocal support for its introduction in enhanced cooperation. Key issues preoccupying MEPs were the impact on non-participating member states, the intended use of the revenue raised by FTT and the scope of financial products to be covered by the FTT. The report of Ms Podimata was adopted by the plenary the next day (533 +, 91 -, 32 abstentions).
  • Bilateral meetings
    Commissioner Barnier held a few meetings with MEPs on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12, aside of the plenary sitting. On Tuesday he met Vice-President Pittella (S&D, IT) on the single supervisory mechanism, Ms Swinburne (ECR, UK) on Central Securities Depositories regulation and audit. He also met Mr Karas (EPP, AT) in preparation of the trilogues on CRD IV. He met Mr Hökmark (EPP, SE) on resolution, and with Ms Berès (S&D, FR) on PRIPs. On Wednesday morning Pierre Delsaux met Mr Panzeri (S&D, IT) on concessions. Commissioner Barnier participated, with Pierre Delsaux, in a meeting on public procurement reform with rapporteur Mr Tarabella (S&D, BE) and all shadows. Pierre Delsaux also personally met with Ms Vergnaud (S&D, FR) on professional qualifications and with Ms Weisgerber (EPP, DE) on professional qualifications and concessions.

See also:
  Website: IMCO (Internal Market Committee)
  Website ECON (Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee)

Latest publications »Question of the Month »
Single Market News
Nº64 (2012 – II)

20 Years of the European Single Market

Your Europe, Your Rights

The EU and SMEs: A contract for new growth

Do you think that a single patent system will be a positive step forward ?


Results from the last month:
Do you worry about parcel delivery in cross-border transactions ?
YES - 64%
NO - 36%

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