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Issue 2 | June 2011

24 May: Commission brings Intellectual Property Rights into the 21st century

Intellectual property rights (IPR) have been around for centuries. They include patents, trademarks, designs and geographical indications as well as copyright for authors, performers, producers and broadcasters. They affect our daily lives: they protect the technology we use (cars, mobile phones, trains), the food we eat and the music we listen to or the films we watch.

In the last few years, technological change and the growing importance of online activities have completely changed the world in which IPR operates. The current mix of European and national rules are no longer adequate and need to be modernized. Therefore, the Commission has adopted a comprehensive strategy to revamp the legal framework in which IPR operate.

"Our aim is to make Europe's intellectual property framework more efficient, effective and fit for the online world to benefit businesses, users and consumers"

Latest news » « TOP
"Tell us your story" campaign

Have you had challenges related to the European single market? Have you stumbled on obstacles when working or living abroad, traveling, dealing with taxation or doing cross-border business? For example, have you found it hard to get you ID papers or your school qualifications recognized? Or have you faced cumbersome procedures to rent a flat or open a bank account? The Commission is organizing a competition to collect real-life stories, open to all EU citizens, consumers and enterprises. Five finalists will be selected to share their stories on video and live at the Single Market Forum on 2-4 October in Cracow (Poland) where they will be able to make their case with policy makers at the highest level. Deadline for stories is 24 June 2011.

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Industry signs MoU against the sale of counterfeit goods online

On 4 May, the Commission hosted the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at tackling the sale of counterfeit goods over the internet. The memorandum was signed by major internet platforms and right holders from a variety of sectors, including luxury goods, wines and spirits, toys, sporting goods, consumer electronics, film software and games industries. The MoU sets out a series of joint principles including effective measures to prevent offers of counterfeit goods from being listed on internet platforms.

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18 May: Economic and financial affairs council of the EU: Agreement on short selling

EU finance ministers reached an agreement on the Commission's proposal to regulate short selling and sovereign Credit Default Swaps. The next step will be negotiations with the European Parliament. The Commission hopes to see a final agreement shortly which will create common and transparent rules allowing ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) in particular to take decisions quickly and impose bans if necessary. An element of responsibility is brought into the practice of short selling: For instance, the proposal requires that anyone entering into a short sale must at the time of the sale have borrowed the instruments, entered into an agreement to borrow them or made other arrangements to ensure they can be borrowed in time to settle the deal.

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30-31 May: Michel Barnier speaks up for SMEs at Competitiveness council

The EU competitiveness Council met in Brussels under the chairmanship of Mr Zoltan Csefalvay, Minister of State for Strategic Affairs of Hungary. The Commission and Member States made a push on several key issues: patents, the Single Market Act, Innovation, Research, the Digital agenda and Education. Michel Barnier issued a statement on micro-entities: There are over 20 million small businesses in Europe which are the strength of our economy. Too often, small businesses do not find what they want in the single market: they only see disadvantages, barriers and administrative burdens rather than a space that provides the opportunity to grow and prosper..."

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Conference Reports » « TOP
2 May: Well-attended second Financial Integration and Stability Conference

On 2 May 2011, close to 400 people attended this conference organised by the European Central Bank and the Commission. The central theme to the conference was the strengthening of integrated and stable financial markets. Both Commissioner Barnier and Commissioner Rehn expressed the hope that the new supervisory authorities will bring about the cultural changes necessary so that real European level supervision can finally take place. The new authorities need to have the courage to take tough decisions.

Full programme, video, pictures, reports presented and speeches
23 May: High-level conference on security and defence markets and industries

On 23 May the Commission organised a high-level conference on security and defence. The purpose of the conference was twofold: Firstly, to raise awareness about two directives relating to defence issues which will soon come into force. Secondly, to discuss the current state and future perspectives of the sector in the face of extra challenges posed by cuts in public spending. Michel Barnier concluded the conference by stating: "Building a real European defence and security industry (...) requires political will from all our Member States. If we decide against it, we resign ourselves to be at best subcontractors, at worst consumers of goods and products manufactured by others outside Europe. It's a serious issue for our economy. It's an even more serious issue when you consider its effect on Europe's strategic independence and our influence in the world."

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26 and 27 May: Workshops on social entrepreneurship

As part of the preparation work going into a future Commission Initiative on Social Entrepreneurship, DG MARKT invited forty European social economy experts as well as social entrepreneurs to exchange views on topics such as problems with existing legal frameworks, access to funding, visibility and capacity building. Social entrepreneurs play an essential role in the single market, especially where the inclusion of vulnerable and excluded groups is concerned. This is why the Commission is working on ways to encourage this sector of the economy. A follow-up conference will be held on 18 November 2011 in Brussels.

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Visits and Missions » « TOP
Berlin 9 May: Commissioner Barnier sets out his vision for Europe

9 May is Europe Day, when Europeans celebrate the 1950 "Schuman Declaration". Michel Barnier contributed by addressing students at Berlin's Humboldt University on "what Europe needs to be in the future, and what it is not". When talking about Schengen, he said: "A single border has been a formidable step forward and it was a historic decision. It needs to be improved, not watered down."

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Nicosia 12 May: Commissioner Barnier meets Cypriot government about EU Presidency 2012

On 12 May, Michel Barnier visited Nicosia to meet president Demetris Christofias and other government members. Cyprus will be taking over the EU Presidency in the latter half of 2012, when important decisions are expected to be taken in the context of the Single Market Act. Mr Barnier praised Cyprus for being the seventh best out of 27 Member States in the adoption of Directives related to the single market.

Budapest 19 May: European Inventor Award goes to Danish engineer

Michel Barnier presented Danish engineer Jens Dall Bentzen with the prestigious European Inventor award, awarded by the European Patent Office and the European Commission. Bentzen received the prize for his invention of a highly efficient biomass furnace. Michel Barnier: "The nominees that are being honoured at this event are a strong reflection of Europe's capacity for innovation. I am proud that Europe supports a regulatory environment that promotes competition and progress. I hope we will soon be able to deliver unitary patent protection, which will stimulate innovation further."

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New Delhi 16, 17 May: Ms Calvino at EU-India Macroeconomic and Financial Services Dialogue

DG MARKT's Deputy Director General Nadia Calvino visited New Delhi for the EU-India Macroeconomic and Financial Services Dialogue. There were useful exchanges on several financial services issues including banking, securities, financial sector supervision, accounting and auditing, G20 and Financial Stability Board work. In 2012, the EU will be welcoming its Indian counterparts to Brussels for a continuation of the Dialogue.

Consultations » « TOP
05.04.2011 - 22.07.2011 Company Law The EU corporate governance framework

24.03.2011 - 31.07.2011 Gambling Green Paper on online gambling services in the Internal Market
European Parliament » « TOP
Highlights Strasbourg plenary week 9-12 May 2011

For your diary » Latest publications » Question of the Month »
07/06/2011, Brussels
Public Hearing on Directive 2004/48/EC and the challenges posed by the digital environment

30/06/2011, Brussels
Conference on the Modernisation of EU Public Procurement Policy
Single Market News Issue 60

Published 11 April 2011

The fifth European Central Bank Report on Financial Integration in Europe

The European Financial Stability and Integration Report 2010 of the Commission

Have you encountered problems with online music, video's or books not being available because of copyright rules in your country?


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