Enterprise Europe Network

Weekly digest - EU news for businesses 07/05/2018

Events to look out for

Virtual info day on the Connected Europe Facility Telecom calls – 17 May. This virtual info day will cover the five priorities of the 2018 CEF Telecom Calls which will open in May 2018. They are: automated translation, eDelivery, eInvoicing, cyber security and public open data.

#BlueInvest 2018 – 17 May, Brussels (BE). Blue Invest is a matchmaking event that will bring together innovators and the financial community to boost the economic potential of the ocean while protecting its marine resources.

How eInvoicing is Connecting Europe: Building a Digital Single Market – 29 May, Brussels (BE). The European Commission is organising an event on B2G eInvoicing and the eInvoicing services available to public and private entities enabling them to comply with regulations on electronic invoicing in public procurement.

Funds available

EUR 640 million for Greek businesses. The European Investment Fund (EIF) and the National Bank of Greece (NBG) have signed three guarantee agreements worth EUR 640 million to improve access to finance for small and medium‑sized enterprises (SMEs) in Greece. Under the new agreement, NBG will provide loans at favourable terms to innovative SMEs and small mid-caps for two years.

EIB Group and BBVA make EUR 98 million available to support Spanish SMEs. The European Investment Bank Group, formed by the European Investment Bank (EIB) and European Investment Fund (EIF), have granted BBVA a EUR 98 million guarantee that will enable the provision of up to EUR 600 million to finance new investment projects of small Spanish businesses.

EIB Group and CaixaBank provide EUR 250m to finance projects led by female entrepreneurs. The European Investment Bank (EIB) Group and CaixaBank have signed a new agreement to support the projects of innovative small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the process of going global. The new EUR 250m credit line will focus on providing financing for projects led by female entrepreneurs wishing to develop innovation-based investments.

EU policies for better business

EU and Iceland further liberalise trade in food and agricultural products. Agreements giving greater market access and protection for EU agri-food products in Iceland entered into force on 1 May. The agreements increase the duty-free access to Iceland's market from 66,4% to more than 95% of EU agri-food products, and offer protection in Iceland to 1150 names registered as EU geographical indications.

EU and Mexico reach new agreement on trade. The European Union and Mexico reached last week a new agreement on trade, part of a broader, modernised EU-Mexico Global Agreement. The agreement tears down most of the remaining barriers to trade between the two parties.

Boosting innovation in the Digital Single Market: freeing up data to power artificial intelligence for Europe. The European Commission presented a series of new initiatives to complete the Digital Single Market and turn data from different countries, sectors and disciplines into a major source of innovation and growth. These include a European approach on artificial intelligence (AI) to put this technology at the service of European citizens and boost Europe's competitiveness, while guaranteeing highest European standards for personal data protection.

Company Law: Commission proposes new rules to help companies move across borders and find online solutions. The European Commission is proposing new company law rules to make it easier for companies to merge, divide or move within the Single Market. The new rules will also ensure that employees' rights are well protected and tax abuse is prevented. The rules will stimulate the growth potential of European companies by digitalising the process of setting-up and running a business.

Get involved

The EU Business and Biodiversity Platform invites you to share your business action on pollinators. The Platform is collecting the best business practice examples of actions that address the decline of pollinators. They would like to hear from you which existing or new initiative your business has undertaken to protect pollinators. You can share your examples and ideas via email to Lars.Mueller@ec.europa.eu by 31 May 2018. 

Updated on 24 May 2018