The EPO announced that Member States agreed on the first two common practices under the Convergence of Practice Initiative.
“We know that companies and inventors seeking patent protection in Europe are sometimes confronted with different practices at national patent offices and the EPO. This can complicate the European patent system, and lead to increased costs and inefficiencies. Through this initiative we are working together to tackle this issue head on, and closer alignment will benefit both patent system users and the offices alike. This is of particular importance for SMEs, for whom differences in practice can be a major obstacle to operating internationally.” said EPO President António Campinos. More info here