The agreement removes duties on 98% of products that the EU trades with Canada
The Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between the EU and Canada entered last Thursday into force provisionally, the EU press service reported. Its application follows the approval by Member States, expressed in the Council, as well as by the European Parliament. It will only enter into force fully, however, when all Member States have ratified the Agreement. The Commission will now work with Member States and Canada to ensure its smooth and effective implementation. “This agreement encapsulates what we want our trade policy to be - an instrument for growth that benefits European companies and citizens,” EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said.
Stronger supervision for the Capital Markets Union tabled
The Commission proposed last Wednesday reforms in order to pave the way for further financial integration and a full Capital Markets Union, to promote jobs, growth and investments in Europe and to strengthen the Economic and Monetary Union, the EU press service reported.
 
New certificates will ensure the reliability of the billions Internet of Things devices
Maria Koleva, Brussels
With two key proposals on stepping up the EU's cybersecurity capacity and on ensuring the free flow of non-personal data across the Union, presented by the Commission on 19 September, the EU executive is taking a decisive step to make the digital single market “a reality on the ground”.
 
UK business asks for transition period
British business leaders last Monday urged PM Theresa May to seek a three-year transitional period after Brexit, warning failure to secure more time would jeopardise “our collective prosperity,” British media reported. In a letter organised by the Confederation of British Industry, executives from 120 businesses with more than one million employees again warned of a so-called “cliff edge” in which Britain leaves the EU in March 2019 without a new trade deal or enough time for companies to adjust.
Recording energy performance contracts in national accounts
The Statistical Office of the European Commission, Eurostat, published last Tuesday an updated guidance note on the recording of energy performance contracts (EPCs) in government accounts, the EU press service reported. The revised guidance clarifies the accounting rules applied to the treatment of energy performance contracts. It follows up on the work already undertaken by Eurostat to clarify the accounting rules for various types of public investment. The full guidance note is available at the Eurostat webpage.
Seeking local gain of clean, smart mobility
Maria Koleva, Brussels
Dedicated to clean, shared and intelligent mobility, this year’s Commission campaign European Mobility Week, a 16th in a row, inspired from 16 to 22 September over 2,000 cities across the EU to stage performances, design vibrant happenings and announce car-free days to encourage its citizens of all ages to take part in developing sustainable urban mobility in their own towns.
Why Sofia should host EMA
The Bulgarian capital city would be a perfect new seat for the European Medicines Agency (EMA) was said in Brussels on 19 September during the public presentation of Sofia’s candidacy that took place at the Permanent Representation of Bulgaria to the EU.
Privacy Shield moment of truth
The first annual review of the EU-US Privacy Shield was held last week with the aim to establish whether EU citizens' privacy is being adequately protected under the new treaty. Justice Commissioner Vera Jourova, who arrived in the US for the review, described it as the “moment of truth” for the agreement, amid concerns Donald Trump's 'America First' philosophy could derail the deal.
Making non-personal data flow freely across EU
The Commission proposed last Tuesday a new set of rules to govern the free flow of non-personal data in the EU in yet another step to unlock the full potential of European data economy, the EU press service reported.
Britain vies for new security treaty
Britain proposed last Monday signing a new security treaty with the EU after Brexit in order to maintain and intensify cooperation to thwart “ever-growing and increasingly cross-border threats,” news wires reported.
Police arrests spark angry protests in Catalonia
Tens of thousands of protesters flooded the streets of Barcelona as well as several Catalan cities last Wednesday after the Spanish police raided regional government offices and arrested officials to halt a banned referendum on independence. Demonstrators waved the red-and-yellow Catalan flag chanting “Occupying forces out” and “Where is Europe?”.
Supporting regions to tear down investment barriers
In attempt to unlock the full economic potential of EU border regions, where more than 150m people live, the Commission launched last Wednesday a new initiative, called the Border Focal Point.
Slovak cities offer free mass transport
Several Slovak cities joined the European Mobility Week (ETM) with offering free public transport, Slovak media reported. Trams, trolley buses and buses in Bratislava and its region were free from 18 to 22 September for everyone who presented a valid driving license from a Member State.
Swiss new cabinet seeks fresh start in EU talks
Switzerland’s putative new foreign minister called on 20 September for a fresh start to tortuous talks on cementing ties with the EU, the neutral country’s most important trading partner, Reuters reports.
In Brief
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OECD: Eurozone will grow as much as US this year
 
Growth rates among the world's major eco­nomies are synchronising at levels not seen in years as the Eurozone catches up with the US, the OECD said last Wednesday in an update of its forecasts. The 19-country Eurozone will grow by 2.1% this year, 0.3% more than its previous prediction in June, as the US forecast of 2.1% remains unchanged. Next year, OECD forecasts growth of 1.9% for the Eurozone, 0.1% more than previously thought, but below its 2.4% projection for the US. The big three Eurozone economies Germany, France and Italy all saw upward revisions.

EU signs €200m assistance programme with Jordan
 
Jordan will receive further Macro-Financial Assistance (MFA), worth €200m, from the EU under an agreement signed last week by Economy Commissioner Pierre Moscovici. This assistance is the second programme Jordan receives following €180m disbursed in 2015. It is part of the EU efforts to help Jordan mitigate the economic and social impact from regional conflicts and the presence of a large number of Syrian refugees. The programme will help Jordan cover its external financing needs in 2017 and 2018, support reform measures in the areas of public finance management and taxation and promote investment.

Memorandum with China on water protection signed
 
Environment Commissioner Karmenu Vella (pictured) and Chinese Minister of Water Resources Chen Lei signed last Thursday a Memorandum of Understanding to establish a dialogue on water policy between the EU and China. The step is a sign of political commitment to the co-operation on water policy, and will help implement the joint priorities between the EU and China in the water sector. The dialogue will cover a number of areas such as developing and enforcing legislation to protect water, integrated water resources management, dealing with water disasters, adaptation to climate change, etc.

EU, UN launch new initiative to protect women and girls
 
The EU on 20 September committed €500m to a new initiative together with the UN focused on eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. The Spotlight Initiative was launched on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York. “We need first to ensure that we keep women and girls safe, in order to empower them to deploy their full potential,” EU High Representative Federica Mogherini (pictured) stressed. Overall, more than a billion lives today are touched by violence against women and girls. 

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