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EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: A campaign to raise 112 awareness rates, after a survey has indicated that only 34% of regular travellers and 26% of all Europeans know this is the single emergency number they can call, both in & outside their home country when in trouble.
Press release & links

EU News:  Several Member States, including Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium, may face serious teacher shortages in the future, according to a new report published by the European Commission, entitled 'Key Data on Education in Europe 2012'. 
Press release & links 

EDPS:  The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has issued a Follow-up Report outlining the status of compliance of European institutions & bodies with the Video-Surveillance Guidelines issued by the EDPS. 
Press release & links 

EU News:  The European Commission has adopted a strategy to shift the European economy towards greater and more sustainable use of renewable resources.   The Commission's strategy & action plan, ‘Innovating for Sustainable Growth: a Bio economy for Europe ’, outlines a coherent, cross-sectoral and inter-disciplinary approach to the issue of renewable biological resources. 
Press release & links

EU News:  A step towards a safer use of hazardous chemicals has been taken with the publication of the first EU Classification and Labelling Inventory.  Released by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA), it lists the classification of all the chemical substances used in the EU which allows identifying those that are potentially hazardous and may damage health and the environment. 
Press release & links 

EU News:  The scientific report 'The state of soil in Europe'  has been published by the European Commission's Joint Research Centre, in collaboration with the European Environment Agency, and provides a comprehensive overview of our present understanding of soil resources and degradation processes
Press release & links 

EU News:  The EU’s new rules on economic governance, the so-called ‘six-pack’ has 2 legs: fiscal & macroeconomic surveillance.  The macroeconomic imbalances procedure is a new tool that helps detect & correct risky economic developments.  Its first ever annual Alert Mechanism Report (AMR), adopted last week, kicks-off the surveillance. 

The European Commission identified 12 EU Member States whose macroeconomic situation needs to be analysed in more depth.  Among the reasons for calling for in-depth analysis on these 12 countries are the following for the UK

UKImportant loss in export market shares over the last decade, despite some recent stabilisation. The high level of private debt should be seen in conjunction with a weak public finance situation. The household debt largely reflects mortgages in a context of high accumulated increases in house prices.  Moreover, the economic reading of the scoreboard points to the need for further analysis of the drivers and policy implications of large & sustained current account surpluses.

Press release & links

EU News:  Rules to enable new bluetongue vaccines to be used more efficiently, and thus make farmers' lives easier, were approved by the EU Parliament last Tuesday.  If Member States put these rules into effect quickly, then the new vaccines could be used for the 2012 vaccination campaign.

Press release & links

EU News:  The Commission has welcomed the European Parliament's adoption of the 5-year Radio Spectrum Policy Programme (RSPP) which will allow sufficient spectrum to be made available for wireless applications and services such as high speed 4th generation (4G) wireless broadband.  Radio spectrum supports 3.5m jobs & more than €250bn of economic activity each year in Europe , including incredibly popular services such as wireless broadband.

Wireless broadband is also playing an important role ensuring every European access to basic broadband by 2013 and to fast & ultrafast broadband by 2020.

Press release & links

EU News:  New legislation to boost dairy farmers' bargaining power to get fair prices for their raw milk and help them prepare for the end of milk quotas in 2015 was approved by the Parliament last Wednesday.  It will enable farmers' organisations to negotiate raw milk prices on their behalf without falling foul of competition law.  To enter into force, the new regulation still needs to be formally endorsed by the Council.  It will apply until the end of June 2020.

Press release & links

EU News:  High Performance Computing (HPC) is critical for industries that rely on precision & speed, such as automotive & aviation, and the health sector.  For these reasons, the Commission recently sets out a plan for the EU to reverse its relative decline in HPC use & capabilities.  Under this plan the EU will double its investment in HPC (from €630m to €1.2bn) and before 2020.  Half of the investment would be for development & training and for new centres of excellence, creating thousands of jobs.

Press release & links

EU News:  Corruption remains a major problem in the countries of the European Union and levels are thought to have risen over the last 3 years, according to the Eurobarometer survey published by the Commission recently. The data shows that almost three quarters of Europeans continue to see corruption as a major problem and think that it exists at all levels of government.  8% of respondents say that they have been asked or expected to pay a bribe in the past year.

Press release & links

EU News:  The European Commission has launched a public consultation, to get stakeholders' views on the application of the 2004 EU Guidelines on state aid to maritime transport.  Submissions can be made until 14 May 2012 – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information. 

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