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Europe Economy

EXCLUSIVE / The European Commission is preparing an update of its low-carbon economy roadmap for 2050, acknowledging that the bloc’s current target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions at least 80% by mid-century are insufficient, EURACTIV.com has learned.
www.euractiv.com | 9/21/17
It’s always a pleasure to be praised as strategically important. But when looking at the European Commission’s current proposal for screening foreign direct investments, many entrepreneurs ask: what is the strategy? Thilo Brodtmann explains.
www.euractiv.com | 9/21/17
Angela Merkel appears on course to win a fourth term as Germany’s leader. For markets, the political stability allows a focus on more fundamental changes going on in Europe’s most important economy.
www.wsj.com | 9/20/17
European cities are stepping up their efforts on shared mobility to reduce traffic jams and pollution while generating the most profitable business in this field on the planet.
www.euractiv.com | 9/20/17
Angela Merkel has been derided as Europe's "austerity queen", cheered as a saviour by refugees and hailed as the new "leader of the free world". But as she heads toward a likely fourth term at the helm of Europe's biggest economy, many Germans simply call her the "eternal chancellor".

Do you remember TTIP, the proposed trade deal between the US and the EU? Its negotiations were stopped by the hundreds of thousands of people who took to the streets in the capitals of Europe. 3.3 million signatures were collected against it. Greenpeace played a key role in the resistance against TTIP, by publishing the leaked  texts in May 2016. It caused many European politicians to harden their stance, leading to a breakdown in the trade talks.

Protest ahead of Vote on EU-Canada Trade Deal at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, Feb. 2017

But guess what: while TTIP is now in cold storage CETA, the proposed EU-Canada trade and investment deal is not. It has been ratified by the European parliament, although it has many of the characteristics that made TTIP infamous: special tribunals for multinationals, special access to decision-makers for multinationals, and a lack of environmental safeguards.

Canada has weaker food safety standards than the EU. They have an agricultural economy more heavily dependent on chemical inputs and GMOs. In three new briefing papers, Greenpeace Netherlands and the Institute for Agriculture and Trade policy (IATP) warn that the trade deal gives North American corporations tools to weaken European standards regarding growth hormones, chemical washes, GMOs, animal cloning, and Country of Origin labelling. What they have not achieved so far, via the WTO, they can now start undermining via CETA.

Today is the first day of CETA’s ‘provisional application’, when over 90 percent of the deal enters into force. This is before national and regional parliaments of EU member states have even approved it. The provisional application includes lower tariffs, expanded trade and ‘regulatory cooperation’, which gives corporations privileged access to decision makers.

Through CETA, the EU will become even more embroiled with the Canadian (North American) meat industry. The lack of mandatory US labelling laws on cloning, combined with the frequent trade of live cattle, pigs, genetic material and other animal products between the US and Canada, make the presence of cloned material and cloned offspring in the Canadian meat supply highly likely. This undermines the de facto ban on animal cloning in the EU.

Since last year, GM Salmon is allowed in Canada. About 4.5 tonnes of GM salmon fillets have already been sold in Canada – without labelling. This means that Canadians are not able to distinguish between GM salmon and normal salmon. CETA will enable the salmon exports from Canada to the EU to grow, by lowering tariffs and expanding quota. How will the EU guarantee that no GM Salmon enters it market?

The battle against CETA is far from over. About 30 regional and national parliaments in Europe will decide over the coming months whether to ratify CETA or not. Please get in touch with your MPs: EU member state parliaments should vote no to CETA!


Kees Kodde is a trade campaigner with Greenpeace Netherlands

[PR Newswire] Luxembourg -The drive for jobs and growth in the Mediterranean region should be led by the private sector. This was the call today, as the European Investment Bank (EIB) held an international conference in Cairo dedicated to "Boosting investments in the Mediterranean region", in partnership with the Ministry of International Cooperation and Investment, the European Union Delegation to Egypt and the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM). The conference participants discussed regional challenges and opportunities in the con
allafrica.com | 9/19/17
[New Zimbabwe] The Harare International Carnival has been named the best festival in Africa by the Europe Business Assembly (EBA) and conferred the Socrates Award, it has emerged.
allafrica.com | 9/19/17
[PR Newswire] Luxembourg -The European Investment Bank has signed an agreement to invest USD 15 million in Egypt Mid-Cap, a generalist private equity fund targeting growth capital investments in small and medium-sized private companies located in Egypt. The fund has attracted USD 85 million of commitments, including USD 70 million from other international and local co-investors. This is the first EIB operation signed in Egypt under the Risk Capital Facility for the Southern Neighbourhood Countries and the first investment in an Egy
allafrica.com | 9/15/17
France’s Economy and Finance minister Bruno Le Maire said that the priority should be eurozone integration before accepting new members, as European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker defended this week.
www.euractiv.com | 9/15/17
The clarification has come in the wake of media reports saying Thyssenkrupp and Tata Steel may sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) this month.
Lawmakers in the European Parliament will next month examine a draft renewable energy bill that recycling industries warn would allow EU countries to count the burning of biowaste towards their green energy obligations, undermining separate efforts to boost recycling.
www.euractiv.com | 9/12/17
European Commission trade chief, Cecilia Malmström, will travel to Strasbourg on Tuesday (12 September) to seek an agreement with Parliament on new EU anti-dumping rules, but MEPs remain firm and refuse a 'de facto' recognition of Market Economy Status (MES) for China.
www.euractiv.com | 9/12/17
French President Emmanuel Macron urged EU member states on Friday (8 September) to show trust and make “European” investments in Greece in order to avoid pushing the debt-ridden Mediterranean country towards financial options outside Europe.
www.euractiv.com | 9/8/17
The European Central Bank is likely to announce plans next month for phasing out the bond-buying program that has helped reinvigorate the eurozone economy, while the U.S. Federal Reserve is weighing how aggressively to retreat from its own easy money policies.
www.wsj.com | 9/8/17
The European Central Bank is likely to announce plans next month for phasing out the bond-buying program that has helped reinvigorate the eurozone economy, while the U.S. Federal Reserve is weighing how aggressively to retreat from its own easy money policies.
www.wsj.com | 9/8/17
Whilst the European Union is firmly committed to joining the fight against climate change and developing sustainable finance, the significance of the role the European Central Bank can play is being overlooked, write Ludovic Suttor-Sorel and Frank van Lerven.
www.euractiv.com | 9/7/17
Markets are waiting to see whether European Central Bank President Mario Draghi will try to talk the euro down as he discusses the future of stimulus for the 19-country eurozone economy.
www.foxnews.com | 9/7/17
Sweden’s central bank signaled that a small interest rate increase is still many months off--highlighting the caution of Europe’s central banks as they try to balance the effects of a strengthening currency and an improving economy.
www.wsj.com | 9/7/17
The eurozone economy grew more quickly over the 12 months through June than previously estimated, according to figures released Thursday as policy makers at the European Central Bank met to decide what to do with their program of bond purchases.
www.wsj.com | 9/7/17
[Monitor] Kampala -To help Uganda develop enterprises that do not destroy the environment, the European Union (EU) has announced financial support of Euros 100 million (Shs429 billion) for the next three years.
allafrica.com | 9/7/17
The European Union’s economic growth will beat expectations this year, leaving behind a decade of financial crises and creating the new challenge of tackling long-delayed reforms, EU economy chief Pierre Moscovici said.
www.wsj.com | 9/7/17
Prime Minister Theresa May told parliament that while immigration had been good for the economy, last year’s vote to leave the European Union showed that people wanted to control the flow of people coming into the country.

Excerpt from my Internet Law casebook discussing transborder content removal orders, including the Equustek case.

From the Internet's earliest days, the tension between a global communication network and local geography-based laws has been obvious. One scenario is that every jurisdiction's local laws apply to the Internet globally, meaning that the country (or sub-national regulator) with the most restrictive law for any content category sets the global standard for that content. If this scenario comes to pass, the Internet will only contain content that is legal in every jurisdiction in the world — a small fraction of the content we as Americans might enjoy, because many countries restrict content that is clearly legal in the U.S.

Perhaps surprisingly, we've generally avoided this dystopian scenario — so far. In part, this is because many major Internet services create localized versions of their offerings that conform to local laws, which allows the services to make country-by-country removals of locally impermissible content. Thus, the content on google.de might vary pretty substantially from the content on google.com. This localization undermines the 1990s utopian vision that the Internet would enable a single global content database that everyone in the world could uniformly enjoy. However, service localization has also forestalled more dire regulatory crises. So long as google.de complies with local German laws and google.com complies with local U.S. laws, regulators in the U.S. and Germany should be OK...right?

Increasingly, the answer appears to be "no." Google's response to the European RTBF rule has highlighted the impending crisis. In response to the RTBF requirement that search engines to remove certain search results associated with their names, initially Google only de-indexed results from its European indexes, i.e., Google would scrub the results from Google.de but not Google.com. However, European users of Google can easily seek out international versions of Google's search index. An enterprising European user could go to Google.com and obtain unscrubbed search results — and compare the search results with the localized edition of Google to see which results had been scrubbed.

The French Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has deemed this outcome unacceptable. As a result, it has demanded that Google honor an RTBF de-indexing request across all of its search indexes globally. In other words, if a French resident successfully makes a de-indexing request under European data privacy laws, Google should not display the removed result to anyone in the world, even searchers outside of Europe who are not subject to European law.

The CNIL's position is not unprecedented; other governmental agencies have made similar demands for the worldwide suppression of content they object to. However, the demand on Google threatens to break the Internet. Either Google must cease all of its French operations to avoid being subject to the CNIL's interpretation of the law, or it must give a single country the power to decide what content is appropriate for the entire world — which, of course, could produce conflicts with the laws of other countries.

Google proposed a compromise of removing RTBF results from its European indexes, and if a European attempts to log into a non-European version of Google's search index, Google will dynamically scrub the results it delivers to the European searcher. As a result, if the European searcher tries to get around the European censored results, he or she will still not see the full search results. (Of course, it would be easy to bypass Google's dynamic scrubbing using VPNs). CNIL has rejected Google's compromise as still unacceptable.

If CNIL gets its way, other governments with censorious impulses will demand equal treatment. But even Google's "compromise" solution — walling off certain information from being available in a country that seeks to censor that information — will be helpful to censors. In effect, the RTBF ruling forces Google to build a censorship infrastructure that regulators can coopt for other censorious purposes. Thus, either way, the resolution to the RTBF's geography conundrum provides a preview of the future of global censorship.

The Equustek Case

The local violation/global removal debate is taking place in other venues as well. In 2017, the Canada Supreme Court ordered Google to globally remove search results based on alleged Canadian legal violations. Google Inc. v. Equustek Solutions Inc., 2017 SCC 34.

In that case, Datalink, a competitor of Equustek, sold products that allegedly infringed Equustek's intellectual property rights. After Equustek sued Datalink, Datalink relocated to an unknown location outside of Canada, putting it out of the reach of Canadian courts. Equustek asked Google to deindex Datalink's website. Google partially deindexed the site from google.ca, but Equustek sought more relief. The Canada Supreme Court ordered global deindexing of Datalink's website:

The problem in this case is occurring online and globally. The Internet has no borders — its natural habitat is global. The only way to ensure that the interlocutory injunction attained its objective was to have it apply where Google operates — globally. As Fenlon J. found, the majority of Datalink's sales take place outside Canada. If the injunction were restricted to Canada alone or to google.ca, as Google suggests it should have been, the remedy would be deprived of its intended ability to prevent irreparable harm. Purchasers outside Canada could easily continue purchasing from Datalink's websites, and Canadian purchasers could easily find Datalink's websites even if those websites were de-indexed on google.ca. Google would still be facilitating Datalink's breach of the court's order which had prohibited it from carrying on business on the Internet....

The order does not require that Google take any steps around the world, it requires it to take steps only where its search engine is controlled....

This is not an order to remove speech that, on its face, engages freedom of expression values, it is an order to de-index websites that are in violation of several court orders....

This does not make Google liable for this harm. It does, however, make Google the determinative player in allowing the harm to occur.

The court noted that Google admitted it would be easy to deindex Datalink's domain name, and the court noted that Google regularly deindexes content for other reasons, such as the DMCA online safe harbor.

The court dismissed the risk of international conflicts-of-laws because everyone apparently accepted that Datalink would violate Equustek's IP rights under other countries' laws. However, the court was surprisingly unspecific about the alleged IP violations, which apparently included trademarks and trade secrets. Due to the ambiguities about the alleged IP violations, the court avoided some subtle IP issues, such as the scope of Equustek's trademark rights (usually trademark rights don't reach beyond a country's borders, so a Canadian court could not order a defendant to stop infringing trademark rights in other countries) and the likelihood that Canadian trade secret laws and remedies differ from the laws and remedies of other countries. See Ariel Katz, Google v. Equustek: Unnecessarily Hard Cases Make Unnecessarily Bad Law, ArielKatz.org, June 29, 2017.

Because the court sidestepped the international conflicts-of-laws issue, the Equustek case's facts do not implicate the more problematic situation where Datalink's content violates Canadian law but is legal in other countries, yet a Canadian court order under Canadian law prevents the content from being available in countries where it was legal. (The CNIL-demanded rule would reach this outcome, because RTBF-scrubbed content illegal in Europe would be almost certainly legal in the U.S.). The court said that Google could challenge the injunction in Canadian courts if the injunction violates other countries' laws — but will Google really spend substantial money and time to defend a third party content by going back to a Canadian court to adjudicate the content's legitimacy?

In response to the opinion, Canadian law professor Michael Geist wrote:

What happens if a Chinese court orders it to remove Taiwanese sites from the index? Or if an Iranian court orders it to remove gay and lesbian sites from the index? Since local content laws differ from country to country, there is a great likelihood of conflicts. That leaves two possible problematic outcomes: local courts deciding what others can access online or companies such as Google selectively deciding which rules they wish to follow. The Supreme Court of Canada did not address the broader implications of the decision, content to limit its reasoning to the need to address the harm being sustained by a Canadian company, the limited harm or burden to Google, and the ease with which potential conflicts could be addressed by adjusting the global takedown order. In doing so, it invites more global takedowns without requiring those seeking takedowns to identify potential conflicts or assess the implications in other countries.

Michael Geist, Global Internet Takedown Orders Come to Canada: Supreme Court Upholds International Removal of Google Search Results, MichaelGeist.ca, June 28, 2017.

Does the Equustek ruling mean that plaintiffs (both Canadian and non-Canadian) will flock to Canadian courts to sue non-Canadian defendants solely to get global deindexing orders?

Note that Equustek ruling (and the CNIL dispute) avoid an underlying jurisdictional issue because Google has substantial physical presence in both Canada and Europe. Would Canada or Europe have jurisdiction over an Internet service that operates exclusively from the United States?

I encourage you to do a thought exercise: project yourself 20 years in the future. What do you think will be the state of the law on global removals based on local violations? Do you think most countries will have embraced the Equustek approach broadly? If so, do you think the Internet (however you define it) will be better or worse as a result?

* * *

After I wrote this, Google sought legal relief in US courts from the Equustek ruling. For useful perspective on Google's move, read Daphne Keller's analysis.

Written by Eric Goldman, Professor, Santa Clara University School of Law

www.circleid.com | 9/5/17

French tax authorities are reportedly demanding $715 million in taxes from Microsoft, in the latest crackdown by a European country against an American tech firm doing business there. Bringing Tech Giants 'To Heel' in Europe According to the reports, which appeared in the French weekly magazine L’Express this week, the

Continue reading...
www.cmswire.com | 8/31/17
The government of French President Emmanuel Macron unveiled a contentious labor overhaul, a pivotal step in the young leader’s drive to revive France’s economy and shore up the European Union.
www.wsj.com | 8/31/17
There needs to be an EU-wide solution to precarious app economy jobs, said Estonian Labour and Health Minister Jevgeni Ossinovski in an interview with EURACTIV.com.
www.euractiv.com | 8/31/17
A European Commission spokesperson has told EURACTIV.com that any loss in the tobacco industry’s turnover arising from health warnings or plain packaging should be offset against the cost of treating people with smoking-related diseases.
www.euractiv.com | 8/30/17
Europe was the central theme at the launch of the summer summit by the Movement of Enterprises of France (Medef) on Tuesday (29 August). EURACTIV France reports.
www.euractiv.com | 8/30/17
Electricity utility Iberdola is directing 42% of new investments into networks, hoping to reap the benefits of an economy-wide electrification process currently underway in Europe and across the world, a senior company executive has told EURACTIV.
www.euractiv.com | 8/28/17
Immigration to the U.K. from the European Union slowed sharply in the year through March, while business investment in the second quarter was flat, highlighting how last year’s Brexit vote is weighing on the British economy.
www.wsj.com | 8/24/17
The plan to leave the European Union has decreased workers available to British businesses and stalled investment plans, and is seen as holding back economic growth.
www.wsj.com | 8/24/17
High rates of immigration into Britain were a major reason for the vote to leave the European Union last year.
www.dnaindia.com | 8/24/17
Many officials think their attempt to associate with the U.K. and the U.S. undermined what was supposed to be a banner year. A recovering economy has also hurt their arguments—for now.
www.wsj.com | 8/22/17

CARIBBEAN BUSINESSES HAVE to embrace technology if they are to secure a place in the business environment for their products. This advice came from director of sales at European manufacturing firm...

www.nationnews.com | 8/22/17
Many officials think their attempt to associate with the U.K. and the U.S. undermined what was supposed to be a banner year. A recovering economy has also hurt their arguments—for now.
www.wsj.com | 8/21/17
In its monthly report, the ministry named the issue, which broke out almost two years ago after Volkswagen admitted to cheating U. S. diesel emissions tests, as a threat to Germany along with Britain's decision to leave the European Union and protectionist trade policies by the U. S. government.
www.dnaindia.com | 8/21/17
The European Investment Bank has agreed to lend an Italy-France interconnector project €130 million to support investments.
www.euractiv.com | 8/15/17
[This Day] ?The European Union (EU) and ECOWAS Commission have urged the managers of the Nigerian economy to sign the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) to fast-track its quest for economic diversification and regional integration.
allafrica.com | 8/9/17
Europe’s largest economy is likely to continue to grow at a robust pace, despite some recent weak data points, economists say.
www.wsj.com | 8/8/17
Europe’s largest economy remains on course for robust growth this year despite a decline in factory output in June, economists said.
www.wsj.com | 8/7/17
Europe’s largest economy remains on course for robust growth this year despite a decline in factory output in June, economists said.
www.wsj.com | 8/7/17
Small-business owners are among those who say indecision is damaging the economy as they wait for new rules governing a post-Brexit U.K.
www.npr.org | 8/3/17
Small-business owners are among those who say indecision is damaging the economy as they wait for new rules governing a post-Brexit U.K.
www.npr.org | 8/3/17
[Foroyaa] The European Union (EU) has announced that it has signed a 25 million euros grant (1.25 billion dalasis) with the Gambia as a budget support for the country's struggling economy. This was announced at a ceremony held on Tuesday, August 01, in Fajara.
allafrica.com | 8/3/17

"It will be up to the team and I to ensure that Sega Europe continues to be a leader in the games business around the world. I am very much looking forward to the challenge." ...

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) presented on Tuesday (1 August) a business continuity plan aimed at tackling the potential challenges poised by its relocation from London to another member state after the Brexit decision.
www.euractiv.com | 8/2/17
Eurozone economic growth gathered pace in the three months to June, making it more likely the European Central Bank will remove some of its stimulus measures this year.
www.wsj.com | 8/2/17
Eurozone economic growth gathered pace in the three months to June, making it more likely the European Central Bank will remove some of its stimulus measures this year.
www.wsj.com | 8/1/17
Europe's economic expansion kept on rolling and even picked up a little speed in the second quarter.
www.foxnews.com | 8/1/17

The economy of Europe comprises more than 731 million people in 48 different states. Like other continents, the wealth of Europe's states varies, although the poorest are well above the poorest states of other continents in terms of GDP and living standards. The difference in wealth across Europe can be seen in a rough East-West divide. Whilst Western European states all have high GDPs and living standards, many of Eastern Europe's economies are still rising from the collapse of the communist Soviet Union and former Yugoslavia. Throughout this article "Europe" and derivatives of the word are taken to include selected states whose territory is only partly in Europe – such as Turkey, Azerbaijan, and the Russian Federation – and states that are geographically in Asia, bordering Europe – such as Armenia and Cyprus. Europe was the first continent to industrialize – led by the United Kingdom in the 18th century – and as a result, it has become the richest continent in the world today and the nominal GDP in 2010 is $19.920 trillion (32.4% of the World). Europe's largest national economy is that of Germany, which ranks fourth globally in nominal GDP, and fifth in purchasing power parity (PPP) GDP; followed by France, ranking fifth globally in nominal GDP, followed by the United Kingdom, ranking sixth globally in nominal GDP, followed by Italy, which ranks seventh globally in nominal GDP, then by Russia ranking tenth globally in nominal GDP. These 5 countries are all ranking in the world's top 10, therefore European economies account for half of the 10 wealthiest ones. The end of World War II has since brought European countries closer together, culminating in the formation of the European Union (EU) and in 1999, the introduction of a unified currency – the euro. European Union as a whole is, by far, the wealthiest and largest economy in the world, topping the US by more than 2.000 billions at a time of great economic slowdown– see List of countries by GDP. In 2009 Europe remained the world's wealthiest region. Its $32,7 trillion in assets under management represented more than one-third of the world’s wealth. Unlike North America ($29,3 trillion) it was one of few regions where wealth surpassed its precrisis year-end peak. Of the top 500 largest corporations measured by revenue, 184 have their headquarters in Europe. 161 are located in the EU, 15 in Switzerland, 6 in Russia, 1 in Turkey, 1 in Norway. 19 out of the top 26 nations in the world with the highest nominal GDP per capita are in Europe as of 2010. nr 1 Monaco $203,900 nr 2 Liechtenstein $136,864 nr 3 Luxembourg $104.390 nr 4 Norway $84,543 nr 6 Switzerland $67,074 nr 7 Denmark $55,112 nr 8 San Marino $50,670 nr 10 Sweden $47,667 nr 13 Netherlands 46,418 nr 15 Ireland $45,642 nr 16 Austria $43,723 nr 17 Finland $43,133 nr 19 Belgium $42,596 nr 21 Andorra $41,130 nr 22 France $40,591 nr 23 Germany $40,511 nr 24 Iceland $39,562 nr 25 UK $36,298 nr 26 Italy $33,828


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