Enterprise Europe Network

EU news for businesses – weekly digest 27/02/2017

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Events to look out for

Special webinar: How to address IP and standardisation in Horizon 2020, 14 March. The European IPR Helpdesk is joining forces with the EU standardisation bodies CEN and CENELEC to offer a webinar on how to properly deal with intellectual property and standardisation issues in Horizon2020 project proposals. Participation is free but registration is required.

REACH 2018 SME workshop, 9-10 March, Vienna (Austria). This two-day workshop gives the opportunity for small companies in Central and Eastern Europe to get practical advice on their REACH registration directly from staff of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). Participation is free but registration is required.

Webstream: CEF Telecom calls, Virtual Info Day, 28 February. The grants under the Connecting Europe Facility Telecom will help European businesses to hook up to core digital services platforms. Supported projects will contribute to the creation of a European ecosystem of interoperable and interconnected digital services. This virtual info day will cover the priorities of the calls and offer the opportunity to ask questions directly to European Commission staff.

Funding available

HRK 350 million for Croatian small and medium-sized enterprises. The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Privredna banka Zagreb (PBZ) have signed an agreement under the EU's programme for the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses (COSME) that will allow PBZ to provide around EUR 45.7 million of loans to small businesses in Croatia.

EUR 23 million for Italian small and mid-cap businesses. The EIF and Banco delle Tre Venezie (BTV) have signed a loan guarantee agreement under the EU's programme for the competitiveness of small and medium-sized businesses (COSME) that will allow BTV to offer attractive loans to Italian small and medium-sized businesses, primarily in the Veneto region over the next three years.

EU policies for better business

Data protection: better rules for small business. Stronger rules on data protection will apply in the EU from May 2018. Citizens will have more control over their data and businesses will benefit from a level playing field: one set of rules for all companies operating in the EU, wherever they are based. Find out what this means for your company.

Health and safety at work is everybody’s business - Practical guidance for employers. The European Commission has published a practical guide on health and safety at work. The guide provides an overview of the main obligations, existing tools and resources to help employers applying occupational safety and health rules.

Entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. Last week the Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) – the most significant multilateral trade deal concluded since the establishment of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) – entered into force. The agreement aims to simplify and clarify international import and export procedures, customs formalities and transit requirements. It will make trade-related administration easier and less costly. The agreement will also help improve transparency, increase possibilities for small companies to participate in global value chains, and reduce the scope for corruption.

Get involved

Consultation: Information and assistance needs of businesses operating cross-border within the EU. What do businesses expect in terms of online information and personalised assistance in order to comply with rules in another EU Member State? Answer this survey by the European Commission until 3 March 2017.

The European Commission launches a public consultation on the review of key competences for lifelong learning. This consultation aims to determine which skills and competences young people need to acquire to succeed in the job market, with a particular focus on entrepreneurship education. The consultation is open until 19 May 2017.


Is your small business investing in innovation?  You may qualify for the "Smart Specialisation for SME innovation" category of the RegioStars Awards 2017. Take a look and apply until 10 April 2017. 

Updated on 3 March 2017