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European Union: Parliament Approves Fourth Money Laundering Directive

(June 18, 2015) On May 22, 2015, the European Parliament adopted its fourth anti-money laundering Directive, designed to contribute more effectively to the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism across the European Union. (Press Release, European Commission, European Parliament Backs Stronger Rules to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (May 20, 2015).) […]

European Union: Member States Disagree over Proposed Cybersecurity Directive

(June 12, 2015) A proposal by the European Commission, adopted in 2013, for a Directive on Network and Information Security (NIS) has recently failed to be endorsed by the Council of the European Union, due to disagreements among the Member States. (European Commission, Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council […]

European Union: EU Signs Agreement with Switzerland to End Banking Secrecy

(June 2, 2015) On May 27, 2015, the European Union and Switzerland signed a new tax transparency agreement. Pierre Moscovici, the EU Commissioner for Economic and Financial Affairs, Taxation and Customs, and Janis Reirs, Latvian Minister of Finance on behalf of the Latvian Presidency of the Council for the EU, and the Swiss State Secretary […]

European Union; Greece: New Agreement on Financial Assistance

(Feb. 26, 2015) On February 20, 2015, the Eurozone members and the newly elected leftist Government of Greece, after tense negotiations, reached a new accord to extend the existing bailout agreement, formally known as the Master Financial Assistance Facility Agreement (MFAFA), for an additional four months. The extension had been requested by the Greek government […]

European Union; Lithuania: Euro Zone Membership on January 1, 2015

(Dec. 18, 2014) Lithuania, after a long and arduous process, has been found by the European Commission and the European Central Bank to meet the required criteria and will join the euro zone on January 1, 2015; as of that date it will also adopt the euro as its currency. With the addition of Lithuania, […]

European Union; Mexico; World Intellectual Property Organization: Agreements on Patents

(Dec. 17, 2014) In September 2014, Mexico’s Institute of Industrial Property (IMPI) and the European Patent Office (EPO) signed an agreement to launch a pilot project in January 2015 known as the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) program. The project is aimed at expediting the approval of patents in Mexico and the European Union by mutually […]

European Union; Sri Lanka: Plan to Contest Decision to End Ban on Tamil Tigers

(Oct. 23, 2014) On October 16, 2014, the European Court of Justice annulled the European Council’s 2006 listing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE, also known as the Tamil Tigers) as a terrorist organization. The step was taken on procedural grounds and left intact the freeze on LTTE assets. According to the Court, […]

Bulgaria; European Union: Bank Depositors Denied Access to Their Deposits in Bulgaria

(Oct. 8, 2014) On September 25, 2014, the European Commission instituted infringement proceedings against Bulgaria arising from its failure to pay the claims of depositors at two closed banks. The Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Bulgarian authorities informing them that the country had committed two violations of European Union legislation: (a) incorrect […]

European Union: New Rules on Unaccompanied Minors Entering the EU Illegally

(July 9, 2014) On June 26, 2014, the European Commission adopted a proposal to amend EC Regulation No. 343/2003, the Dublin Regulation, which establishes that only one EU Member is responsible for handling each asylum application. It also lays down the criteria and ways to determine which Member State of the European Union is responsible […]

European Union: Draft Directive on Damage Claims by Victims of Antitrust Violations

(June 30, 2014) In April 2014, the European Parliament adopted a proposal for a Directive regulating various aspects of actions for damages suffered by victims of antitrust violations. The European Commission initially proposed the Directive in June 2013. (European Commission, Actions for Damages: Proposal for a Directive on Antitrust Damages Actions, EUROPA (last updated Apr. […]