Modern EU

International Internet Magazine. Baltic States news & analytics Monday, 16.07.2018, 11:31

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Promoting “creative business”: Commission’s proposal for the next budget

Promoting “creative business”: Commission’s proposal for the next budget


For the next long-term 2021-27 EU budget, the European Commission is proposing to increase funding for Creative Europe, the EU program to support numerous cultural and creative sectors, as well as audiovisual works in the member states, to about € 2 bln. The Baltic States have a great chance to use financial support for creative businesses.

Keyword tags: Culture, EU – Baltic States, Funds, Modern EU

EU Customs Union celebrates its 50th anniversary

EU Customs Union celebrates its 50th anniversary


European Customs Union terns 50! During these years the Customs Union has developed into a cornerstone of the Single Market, kept the EU trade borders safe while protecting European citizens from prohibited and dangerous goods. It also facilitated a growing portion of global trade: EU customs handled 16% of the world's commerce in 2017. In short, it has been one of the greatest EU achievements.

Lifting trade and investment barriers for European businesses

Lifting trade and investment barriers for European businesses


New annual report “Trade and Investment Barriers” recently published shows that the European Commission has eliminated many trade barriers for the EU companies in trade with foreign countries. About 90 barriers were lifted for businesses through the EU Market Access Partnership since the end of 2014 and 45 during only one year -2017.

Farming in the EU and the Baltic States: time for change

Farming in the EU and the Baltic States: time for change


Most of the agricultural plots in the EU states are quite small – less than 5 ha, with quite low level of concentration of arable lands: about 3% of EU farms are of 100 ha and more, though they occupy over half of Europe’s arable land. The farmers are becoming older: one third is 65 years of age and older, while only 11% of farmers were younger than 40 years old.

Research and innovation activities in Europe: solid background for growth

Research and innovation activities in Europe: solid background for growth


The Commission's 2018 European Innovation Scoreboard shows that the EU's innovation performance continues to improve, but further efforts are needed to ensure Europe's global competitiveness.


The EU new VAT system facing modern challenges

The Commission has welcomed the agreement reached by the EU states (22.06.2018) on new tools to close loopholes in the EU's Value Added Tax system. Existing inconsistencies can lead to large-scale VAT fraud causing losses of €50 billion for the EU states' budgets each year. New VAT system will provide the EU states with a reliable exchange information system to cooperate closely in combating criminal and terrorist activities.


Life without plastic: European future

New EU rules on plastic are expected to reduce excessive amounts of harmful plastic litter in oceans and seas, which are growing fast. The Commission’s new rules are targeting 10 single-use plastic products most often found on Europe's beaches and seas. These plastics constitute 70% of all marine litter items.


“Total defense” alert from Sweden

So-called “total defense” concept becomes dominating in countries around the Baltic Sea region. For example, German federal defense ministry recently raised doubts on country’s readiness in a military conflict. These days, Swedish government wanted to prepare citizens for a possible crisis or even a war. Sounds of alert are heard in states around Baltics...


Promoting cultural heritage in the European continent

The European Commission decided to support 29 “cultural projects” selected out of initial 77 applications to promote cultural heritage in Europe. This support is within the events conducted during the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage. Sadly enough, no projects from the Baltic States have been selected...


New rules for organic farming: a new Regulation is on the way

After the Council approved the Regulation draft for the organic farming in the member states, the Commission made a statement concerning modernisation of the sector and the harmonisation of rules covering organic production both within the EU and in non-EU countries. Once adopted, the new rules will enter into force in January 2021. The Baltic States agro-policy shall take this trend seriously.


In most European countries life is fair

People in most European states think that life is generally “fair”. However, in numerous states citizens have some concerns over income inequality, justice, political decisions, etc. Particularly different opinions are among the citizens in the Baltic States; there are reasons to believe that politicians in the Baltics would take European analysis seriously.


Digital transformation in the EU: the Baltic States are catching up

In the EU’s 2018 Digital Economy & Society Index (DESI) index, the Baltic States’ performance looks pretty good. DESI monitors the EU states’ performance in digital connectivity, digital skills, online activity, the digitisation of businesses and digital public services. DESI-2018 shows that digital connectivity has improved but is still insufficient to address fast socio-economic growth.


Appeal to citizens through an online dialogue on European future

New European Commission’s idea of addressing people in an online dialogue to find out the most optimal EU’s future seems problematic. The appeal to people would not help much: the EU is an inter-governmental organisation with the states as the main “actors” in European integration and cooperation. The “peoples’ voce” in the EU is already concentrated in the European Parliament, the only elected EU institution; probably, it is not enough anymore…


Towards European labour market: making skills visible in the EU

In mid-April 2018, the EU member states adopted the Commission's proposal to revise the Europass framework. The revision, which aims at simplifying and modernising the Europass CV and other skills tools for the digital age, will enable people across the EU to make their skills and qualifications more visible, and will help policy makers to anticipate labour market needs and trends.


Active financial support to SMEs in the Baltic States

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Swedbank agreed to support financially about 5 thousand SMEs in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. The EU Programme for Employment and Social Innovation, EaSI participates too. The financial support is aimed at boosting employment in the Baltics and getting more people into jobs, especially the most vulnerable people on the labour market.

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