The grim reality of recession will demand a tribute in terms of jobs lost, it will also hamstring our capacity for innovation, and waste the potential for creativity of the coming generations, said participants of the conference on "The role of European investments for companies and employment in the future financial perspectives" held yesterday in the European Economic and Social Committee. The challenges that lie ahead can only be beaten through a strategy jointly agreed at EU level, they concluded.
Public procurement: good news but also concerns for SMEs - The European Commission presented this week a package of proposals to modernise the EU rules on public procurement. UEAPME welcomed the simplification measures suggested by the EC, such as lower turnover requirements for tender participants and the introduction of self-declaration in the initial tender stages. It also praised the Commission for promoting the division of tenders into lots, a measure that can boost SMEs' share of public contracts, and for its stance on the use of environmental and social criteria in public tenders, which as requested by UEAPME will be strictly related to the specific contract and not the company. On the other hand, the Commission suggested increasing the use of the "negotiation" procedure. This can trigger the risk of intransparent procedures to the advantage of insiders and incumbents, warned UEAPME, which also criticised the shorter deadlines introduced, that will make it more difficult for SMEs to prepare tenders in due time.
Response statistics for Consultation on options to reduce plastic carrier bags and options to improve the biodegradability requirements in the Packaging Directive and the visibility of biodegradable packaging products to consumers. Statistics are based on 15538 responses.
European Court of Auditors reports says that incorrect levels of VAT are paid on goods imported into the EU. The European Court of Auditors (ECA) said that member states are failing to ensure that the correct level of value-added tax (VAT) is being paid on goods imported into the EU and transported across borders inside the Union. A special report released by the ECA on 13 December has looked into a customs procedure - number 42 - that is used to provide importers an exemption from VAT on goods that are being sold in another EU member state.
LN 132 and 133 published on 24 April 2009 announced the amendments to the VAT Act (Chapter 406 of the Laws of Malta) which will come into force on 1 January 2010, 1 January 2011, 1 January 2013 and 1 January 2015. These changes implement the EU "VAT Package" adopted in February 2008 which announced changes to the place of supply of services rules, additional compliance requirements and revised procedures for recovering VAT incurred in Member States other than a business's home state. The proposed changes to the ‘place of supply' rules are relevant in the context of cross-border provision of services, and their primary scope is to ensure a level playing field for businesses which supply services within the EU.