EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: What should you look for as a parent, to know if a toy is safe or not for your child?  To offer some good advice, European Commission Vice President Antonio Tajani is launching the European Toy Safety Campaign, intended to show how to get the safest toys, and how to use them safely.  

A video clip to be aired on TV stations around Europe explains the issues, reinforced by a card with safety tips to be handed out to consumers all over the EU when they are buying toys.
Press release & links
 
EU News: In 2010, 1 in 5 European consumers encountered problems when buying goods & services in the single market. If a seller refuses to repair your laptop which broke down when under guarantee or if you cannot come to agreement with a travel agent over a refund for a ruined holiday, there are ways to sort it out without going to court.

But, unfortunately, at this stage, out-of-court dispute resolution in the EU is possible only for some business sectors or in some areas. To tackle this issue, the European Commission has unveiled a package of legislative proposals to ‘ensure that all EU consumers can solve their problems without going to court, regardless of the kind of product or service that the contractual dispute is about and regardless of where they bought it in the European single market (that is, at home or abroad)’.
Press release & links
 
EU News: In an informal meeting of the Working Group, the European Commission is discussing with the Member States the draft list of permitted health claims to be authorised for use on food.
Press release & links
 
EU News: EU-funded researchers from Germany, Italy, Israel & the UK have achieved a breakthrough development in robotic neurosurgery.
Press release & links
 
EU NewsBy 2014, all shipments of wood products to the European Union from the Central African Republic will be required to carry a licence certifying their legal origin, after a Voluntary Partnership Agreement (VPA) was signed last week between the EU and the Central African Republic
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission has published recently a regulation harmonising qualification & medical requirements for pilots.
Press release & links
 
EU News: 4 out of 10 EU citizens think that the EU needs better tools to fight organised crime, terrorism & extremism, according to a Eurobarometer poll released recently by the European Commission.
 
The Commission also published the first report on the Internal Security Strategy launched last year, outlining issues that need to be given further attention and taking stock of progress made.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Progress reports published recently on the Single European Sky – far-reaching proposals to put in place a pan-European air traffic management system by 2030 – have ‘set alarm bells ringing’.
Press release & links ~ Single European Sky report
 
EU News: The European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) is to significantly step up its efforts to drive innovation & entrepreneurship in the EU with the creation of 6 new cross-border innovation hubs, known as Knowledge and Innovation Communities (KICs), in 2014-2020.  

The European Commission has allocated a budget of €2.8bn in the next financial framework to enable the EIT to expand & consolidate the development of its existing KICs which focus on climate change, sustainable energy and ICT.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Parliament endorsed the final size & priority spending areas of the 2012 EU budget, as agreed by its negotiating team and the EU Member States on 18 November 2011, in a vote last Thursday.  The increase in payment appropriations will be limited (1.86%) as requested by the Member States.
 
EP conciliation delegation chair Alain Lamassoure (EPP, FR) thinks that the only way forward is to reduce Member States' contributions to the EU budget and replace them with own resources. "There will be no future financial framework without a political agreement on new resources", he said.
Press release
 
EU News: The EC has announced a comprehensive package of measures to ‘help increase the capacity of Europe's airports, reduce delays and improve the quality of services offered to passengers’.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission launched a public consultation (closes on 5 March 2012) on ways to improve the safe-keeping of cultural goods and the return between Member States of national treasures unlawfully removed from their territory – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.
Reducing the strain with the customer advisory bot