Anyone doing business with companies and clients in Europe must keep current on decisions taken in the European Parliament. The Parliament's decisions can easily affect business conditions, since they shape the European Union regulations under which european companies operate.
Fortunately, there's a handy news service for maintaining currency. The easiest way to get oriented is to go to http://europa.eu.int/en/news.html. From there, you find four choices:
* "News Flashes and Today's Events" presents 2-line flashes, along with a list of the day's EU events, such as meetings between national leaders and European Parliament debates. The flashes are ready before noon Central European Time.
* "Midday Express" offers fleshed-out stories associated with certain headline flashes (in English or French, depending on the circumstances discussed).
* "News from the European Parliament," a link to the EURO-PARL Press Service.
* "RAPID," a database reflecting "the activities of the European Union as presented by the institutions in their press releases." Managed by the EU's Spokesman's Service, the database contains memos, speeches, proceedings, declarations, and notes from a range of EU institutions. Regular users need an ID and password, but you can visit with "guest" and submit a search for information on a topic of interest. It takes a little fiddling to get used to the way the database and search form work, but it's worth the effort. For example, I looked for anything discussing "environment" between March 1 and 13. RAPID retrieved 23 documents. Right then and there, I could view and download a plain TEXT version or choose …