Enterprise Europe Network

Weekly digest - EU news for businesses 02/07/2019

Funds available

European Investment Fund (EIF) sets up first operations to support microfinance in Romania. The EIF will increase the capacity of Romanian financial institutions Patria Credit and OMRO to support microcredits and microfinancing loans in Romania. Capacity building for Patria Credit is supported with RON 10m to scale up its businesses and for OMRO with RON 6.5m to enhance its technology, scoring mechanisms and operational flows.

€330 million to support Italian small and medium companies. The EIF and Banco BPM have signed an agreement allowing Banco BPM to make available €330 million in loans to small and medium enterprises in Italy. The new loans will benefit companies operating in the industrial, agricultural, tourism and services sectors, making investments in tangible and intangible assets or to support working capital requirements.

EU policies for better business

European Commission publishes recommendations on improving the Single Market for food. Last week the Commission published a report from the High-Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain. The report provides recommendations in the areas of fair and efficient trading practices, competitiveness and price transparency.

EU Cybersecurity Act enters into force with new EU-wide rules on cybersecurity certification. On 27 June the European Cybersecurity Act entered into force. The new rules in it aim to equip Europe with a framework of cybersecurity certification of products, processes and services. The new European cybersecurity certification framework will boost the cybersecurity of online services and consumer devices by enabling the creation of tailored and risk-based EU certification schemes, contributing to a more robust Digital Single Market.

Chemicals: European Commission and ECHA to scrutinise all REACH registrations by 2027. The European Commission and the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) are taking action to make sure that REACH registration dossiers are compliant with EU legal requirements. A new increased level of compliance will result in improved industry data on chemicals and safer chemicals use in the EU.

European Commission appoints innovation leaders to guide the European Innovation Council and selects projects for funding. Last week, the European Commission appointed 22 exceptional innovators from the worlds of entrepreneurship, venture capital, science and technology to the European Innovation Council Advisory Board. With their expertise from the innovation and business community, the members of the Advisory Board will now be tasked to guide the Commission on strategic as well as operational decisions under the European Innovation Council.

Get involved

Public consultation: European Commission invites comments on simplified rules for State aid combined with EU support. Stakeholders are invited to comment on the proposal to exempt from prior Commission scrutiny under EU State aid rules, aid granted through national funds for projects supported under certain EU centrally managed programmes. These include financing and investment operations under the InvestEU Fund, research and innovation projects having received "Seal of Excellence" and INTERREG projects. Comments can be submitted until 27 September.

Public consultation: have your say on future objectives for EU-funded research and innovation. What do you think are the most pressing challenges that EU-funded research and innovation should tackle? What are the most important impacts – scientific, technological, economic, societal – that EU-funded research and innovation should target? Share your views with the European Commission until 8 September.

The European Resource Efficiency Knowledge Centre – EREK is preparing a short report on the Circular Economy and Resource Efficiency in Europe, focusing on the role of regions and cluster organisations. Do you have an opinion on the needs and obstacles for a circular economy and the role clusters can play? Let EREK know that you are open for an interview by sending an email to Maarten Koopmans.

Apply for the European Commission Expert Group on Clusters. This new group, established by the European Commission, will consist of a maximum of 38 members, including up to 28 governmental experts nominated by Member States and up to 10 individual experts selected through a public call for applications. Interested experts can apply until 29 July.

Updated on 2 July 2019