Enterprise Europe Network

Weekly digest - EU news for businesses 29/01

Events to look out for

SAVE THE DATE: European Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) 2018 – 4-8 June, Brussels (BE). Your innovative solution can be considered for an Award if it is based in an eligible country, has a practical application that can be replicated elsewhere, and is ongoing or ended after June 2017. Learn more, apply or nominate someone by 23 February.

Funding available

Boost of EUR 100 million for microfinance and social enterprises in Europe from the Investment Plan for Europe. Investment in microfinance and social enterprises is set to receive a significant boost. The EU's financing programme for Employment and Social Innovation (EaSI) will receive an additional EUR 100 million for its Guarantee scheme.

EUR 1.3 billion for Italian SMEs in the Mezzogiorno region. The European Investment Fund (EIF) has signed five synthetic securitisation transactions in Italy, with the following commercial banks: Banca di Credito Popolare, Banca Popolare di Bari, Banco di Napoli, UniCredit and Unione di Banche Italiane. The EIF securitisation transactions provide guarantees on over EUR 2.9 billion of existing loan portfolios to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) allowing the five banks to provide EUR 1.3 billion of new lending to SMEs in Mezzogiorno.

EU policies for better business

European Commission publishes guidance on upcoming new data protection rules. The Commission published guidance to facilitate a direct and smooth application of the new data protection rules across that enter into force in the EU as of 25 May. With just over 100 days left before the application of the new law, the guidance outlines what the European Commission, national data protection authorities and national administrations should still do to bring the preparation to a successful completion. There is also a practical online tool for businesses to learn about the new rules.

Trade negotiations: European Commission reports on latest progress in talks with Mercosur. Last week the Commission published a report summarising the progress made during the latest negotiating round for the EU-Mercosur trade agreement.

Antitrust: European Commission fines Qualcomm. The European Commission has fined Qualcomm EUR 997 million for abusing its market dominance in LTE baseband chipsets. The decision concludes Qualcomm has abused this market dominance by preventing rivals from competing in the market.

Get involved

The future of EU finances: have your say on the EU budget after 2020. All EU citizens are invited to say where they think the EU has the most value added and where it should focus its investment to maximise the impact of each euro invested. The public consultations are open until 8 March 2018.

Social Challenges Innovation Platform: second call is open! Think you can solve a key social challenge? Apply to SocialChallenges.eu for a chance to receive a EUR 30,000 grant and support to develop your idea.

Updated on 15 February 2018