Slow progress in updating the legal regime for creating European patents - especially as regards biotechnology inventions such as GM foodstuffs - has been attacked by the European Council. The EU#;s highest decision making body – meeting in Stockholm, Sweden – called on the European Commission and Member States to speed up work on the patent system, which would enable European bio-tech companies to obtain pan-EU legal protection for their inventions. The Council also ordered the Commission to examine ways of boosting the European biotechnology sector's competitiveness.