European public affairs

Weekly EU news: Monday 7 July - Friday 11 July 2014

Monday 7 July

Directive 2012/17/EU on the interconnection of business registers entered into force on 7 July 2012. Member States have had two years to adapt their national laws to introduce the first set of provisions in the Directive, including a new obligation on business registers to make available documentation submitted by limited liability companies normally within 21 days of receipt. The second set of provisions in the Directive requires a Business Registers Interconnection System (BRIS) to be established. The technical details of this system will be adopted through an implementing act which will be prepared by the EC by 7 July 2015. Member States will then have another two years to transpose the remaining rules and make the necessary preparations for connecting to the new system.


Tuesday 8 July

Conclusions of the ECOFIN Council.
The Council formally adopted an amendment to EU tax rules that will prevent the double non-taxation of dividends distributed within corporate groups deriving from hybrid loan arrangements. Press release. The Council issued recommendations and opinions on economic, employment and fiscal policies planned by the member states. It also issued a specific recommendation on the economic policies of the euro area, as well as explanations in cases where its recommendations do not correspond with those proposed by the Commission. Details

In the European Parliament, the MEPs elected their chairs and vice-chairs of the parliamentary committees.

DG Economic and Financial Affairs published Economic Paper n° 521: Liberalised Capital Accounts and Volatility of Capital Flows and Foreign Exchange Rates.


Wednesday 9 July

Seven public-private partnerships, established under the EU's new research funding programme Horizon 2020, are being launched today. They represent a total investment of €19.5 billion into research and innovation over the next seven years, where the EU contribution of €7.3 billion will unlock a €12.2 billion investment from the private sector and the Member States. Together with four more public-public partnerships with Member States, they form an Innovative Investment Package representing an investment into Europe's future of over €22 billion. Press release, memo

The European Commission adopted a Communication identifying areas for action to enhance the enforcement of EU antitrust rules by national competition authorities (NCAs). Further progress should be made: guaranteeing the independence of NCAs in the exercise of their tasks and making sure that they have sufficient resources; ensuring that NCAs have a complete set of effective investigative and decision-making tools; and ensuring that effective tools for imposing deterrent and proportionate fines and well-designed leniency programmes are in place in all Member States; and avoiding disincentives for corporate leniency applicants. Press release.

The European Commission has launched a public consultation on proposals to improve merger control at EU level. In its White Paper "Towards More Effective EU Merger Control" the Commission makes proposals that would allow it to better deal with non-controlling minority shareholdings which may affect competition, and that would make referral procedures simpler and faster. Press release.


Thursday 10 July

The European Commission decided to refer to the EU Court of Justice 10 Member States. Financial penalties will be requested against Austria and Poland. The other referrals concern The Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Portugal, Spain and The United Kingdom. Press release.

Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion Commissioner László Andor gave a speech in Brussels:  Opportunities and Challenges in the Croatian labour market.

The European Commission launches its “Connected Communities” initiative – an umbrella for several systems designed to connect towns, cities, local broadband partnerships and operators to the advice they need to access finance and develop tailored business models for bringing fast broadband to their community. All parties working at a local, regional and national level are invited to submit their concepts and plans for broadband deployment projects to the European Commission. Press release and memo.


Friday 11 July


  • House prices, as measured by the House Price Index (HPI), fell by 0.3% in the euro area and rose by 1.0% in the EU3 in the first quarter of 2014 compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Details
  • On 1 January 2014, the population of the EU28 was estimated at 507.4 million, compared with 505.7 million on 1 January 2013. Details.

The European Commission has decided to launch a formal investigation into the possible manipulation of statistics in the region of Valencia (Comunidad Valenciana), Spain. The Commission is not calling into the question the accuracy of statistics in Spain. The investigation will examine whether deliberate or seriously negligent misreporting of expenditure in the region caused Spain's national debt and deficit data to be misrepresented over several years. This is the first time that the Commission draws on its new powers under the "Six Pack" economic governance legislation to investigate suspected manipulation of a Member State's debt and deficit data. If manipulation is confirmed, the Commission may apply appropriate sanctions. Press release and memo.

Agenda of the European Commission