EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

Defra: The Dutch research institute LEI has published a Defra-funded academic study of farm viability without direct payments - ‘Farm Viability in the European Union’.  This was a hypothetical, academic exercise to increase the evidence base on subsidy reform.  The report, which illustrates an extreme scenario, will be a useful base on which to build more practical work.
Press release ~ Farm Viability in the European Union
Newswire – EUDivorcing international couples would be able to choose which EU country's law governs their divorce under enhanced co-operation arrangements unanimously backed by the Legal Affairs Committee last week.  The committee said that, for the first time in EU history, the full Parliament should authorise the 12 Member States that have so far agreed to the plan to start the necessary enhanced co-operation in the field of divorce law.  The plenary vote is scheduled for June or July 2010.
This proposal would allow international couples (couples of different nationalities, couples living apart in different EU countries or living together in a country other than their home country) to choose which law applies if they are to separate, so long as it is the law of a country to which they have a close connection (such as long-term residence or nationality).  For example, it would allow a Franco-German couple living in Belgium to agree whether French or German law applies to their divorce.
If spouses are unable to agree on which law should apply, then this will be decided on the basis of the law of the country where the spouses have their common habitual residence, or failing that, where they had their most recent common habitual residence (provided one still resides there), or failing that, the law of the spouses’ common nationality, or failing that, the law of the court before which the matter is brought.
Press release ~ Committee on Legal Affairs ~ Commission proposal for a Council Decision authorising enhanced cooperation in the area of the law applicable to divorce and legal separation
Newswire – EUTravellers by bus, coach & boat are set to gain new rights similar to those set out in the EU air passenger rights charter, thanks to tougher rules on compensation for delays & cancellations, payments in the event of accidents and assistance for disabled passengers.  The proposed rules are to be put to a vote by Parliament as a whole in July 2010.
MEPs agreed that Member States should be allowed to exclude urban & suburban bus services from the regulation's scope, on condition that they offer a comparable level of passenger rights.  But MEPs did insist on including regional services, unless these are already integrated with other urban or suburban services which ensure a high standard of passenger rights.
Press release
Serco gifts £400,000 for care worker apprenticeships