Farm to Fork: EU increases the availability of biological pesticides

Farm to Fork: EU increases the availability of biological pesticides

As part of the EU’s transition to sustainable food systems and the work to reduce the use of chemical pesticides under the Farm to Fork Strategy, the EU has taken another important step to ensure access to biological plant protection products for use in fields across member states. Member states have approved new rules to facilitate the approval of micro-organisms for use as active substances in plant protection products. These new rules will provide the EU’s farmers with additional options to substitute chemical plant protection products. Health and Food Safety…

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Commission calls for experts to advise on the implementation of the EU Missions

Commission calls for experts to advise on the implementation of the EU Missions

The Commission has launched a call for experts to join the five Mission Boards who will advise on the implementation of the EU Missions. The Missions aim to deliver solutions to key global challenges by 2030: Adaptation to Climate Change, Cancer, Restore our Ocean and Waters, Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities and A Soil Deal for Europe. Each Board will consist of up to 15 independent high-level experts with diverse profiles, such as from business, public administration, science, culture, citizen engagement, and civil society organisations, from across Europe and beyond. Building…

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Why financial services are counting on digital trust

Why financial services are counting on digital trust

Electronic signatures could become more popular if proposed EU rulebook reforms pass, according to a paper published by the Luxembourg House of Financial Technology. Delano spoke with Lhoft’s Jérôme Verony about digital IDs in the financial sector. The European Commission has proposed changes to the EU’s 2018 regulation on electronic identification and trust services for electronic transactions (known as eIDAS). The refinements could make digital IDs more widely used across the bloc and, coupled with an existing Luxembourg archiving law, could create a “competitive edge” for firms based in the…

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Only a quarter of Brussels restaurants open on New Year’s Eve

Only a quarter of Brussels restaurants open on New Year’s Eve

Only a quarter of Brussels’ restaurants are planning to be open on New Year’s Eve, compared to about half of them on a normal year. The estimate comes from the Brussels Catering Federation, Bruzz reports, and those who are opening are running into issues related to the current coronavirus restrictions, which include an early closing time and limited capacity. “At the moment I have about 35 reservations while I have room for 100 people.” Early closing times deter diners At Odette en Ville, owner Serge Litvine says a festive atmosphere…

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Auto Salon 2022 will go ahead after all

Auto Salon 2022 will go ahead after all

Belgium’s Auto Salon will go ahead as usual in January, according to sources close to the organisation. The planned dates are 14 to 23 January. The announcement comes after a week of uncertainty when the very existence of the Salon seemed to be in jeopardy. The 2022 edition is to be the first time back to normal after two years of pandemic restrictions. The problem was that some major car companies were doubtful they would attend, and some were sure they would not. In June, Volvo said it would not…

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Record-breaking streak continues for fund industry

Record-breaking streak continues for fund industry

The Luxembourg fund industry continued its pandemic recovery in July reaching a record €5.5trn in net assets under management, around €900m more than compared to February 2020, the last pre-pandemic month. Net assets in mutual funds dropped to €4.1trn in March 2020, the month that the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus crisis a global pandemic, from €4.6 trillion a month earlier. But it has been 16 months of steady growth since then, with funds first breaking the €5trn threshold in January this year and now reaching €5.5trn. Over the…

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Lidl comes out with quite a modest step in making consuming less harmful for the environment

Lidl comes out with quite a modest step in making consuming less harmful for the environment

Lidl of Belgium has just switched to the use of more sustainable receipts. The retailer uses the motto: “Making groceries more ecological together.” After the primary and secondary packaging that received a sustainability certificate, it is up to Lidl checkout tickets to become environmentally responsible. The aim of the retail chain is to make shopping more ecological. The new checkout ticket, introduced gradually since April, is blue and made from ecological material certified by FSC, meaning it comes from forests that are managed sustainably. The ink of the checkout ticket…

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Belgian florists’ profits are in full bloom after a year of hardship and challenges

Belgian florists’ profits are in full bloom after a year of hardship and challenges

Belgium’s floriculture sector is thriving after demand for ornamental flowers and plants has risen sharply, which is welcome news after the difficulties faced during the beginning of the coronavirus crisis. The production value of the ornamental plant and tree nursery sector in Belgium amounts to approximately €600 million, according to the Flemish infocentre for agriculture and horticulture (VILT), with around 90% of that value realised in Flanders. The cultivation takes place on 6,500 hectares throughout the country and the sector employs some 3,600 people, including 1,000 seasonal workers. Wim and…

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Decline and near fall of Italy’s Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest bank

Decline and near fall of Italy’s Monte dei Paschi, the world’s oldest bank

Four years after spending €5.4 billion ($6.3bn) to rescue it, Rome is in talks to sell Monte dei Paschi (BMPS.MI) to UniCredit (CRDI.MI) and cut its 64% stake in the Tuscan bank, writes Valentina Za, Reuters. Here is a timeline of key events in the recent history of Monte dei Paschi (MPS), which have made it the epitome of Italy’s banking nightmare. NOVEMBER 2007 – MPS buys Antonveneta from Santander (SAN.MC) for €9bn in cash, just months after the Spanish bank paid €6.6bn for the Italian regional lender. JANUARY 2008…

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Microsoft expands relationship with SES

Microsoft expands relationship with SES

Luxembourg satellite operator SES has signed on Microsoft as the first cloud provider for its next-generation medium Earth orbit system, the company said on Wednesday after unveiling the first satellites of the constellation a day before. SES is planning to launch the first three of its so-called O3b mPower satellites in December and on Tuesday unveiled the hardware at a Boeing factory in California. Two further launches are scheduled for next year. Microsoft has signed up as the network’s first customer providing cloud services, SES said in a statement on…

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