EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News10 EU airports are among the 20 top cargo hubs in the world.  The security rules applied in the EU to cargo & mail thus have a considerable global security and economic impact.  Recent events highlight the need for enhanced regulation and cooperation both at EU- and international level.

In the light of recent events, aviation security experts met in Brussels on 5 November under the chairmanship of the Commission to review whether further action was necessary.  The Commission shall report to the EU Council of Transport Ministers meeting on 2 December 2010 under the Belgian Presidency on the follow-up to these measures, with a view to deciding further action.
Press release ~ EC: Aviation Security ~ EC: Air Security Legislation ~ Commission Regulation (EU) No 185/2010 laying down detailed measures for the implementation of the common basic standards on aviation security ~ EC's monitoring report on aviation security
 
EU News: Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Industry & Entrepreneurship, launched the Centre for European Union Small and Medium Enterprises (EU SME Centre) in Beijing on 5 November 2010.  Funded by the European Commission, this new venture will provide information, advice, training and matchmaking opportunities for European SMEs wishing to export to or invest in the Chinese market.
Press release ~ EC: Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) ~ European Small Business Portal
 
EU News: New EU legislation adopted last week will bring down industrial emissions from large combustion plants across the EU, bringing several environmental & health benefits to Europe's citizens, like an expected reduction in premature deaths of 13,000 per year.  

The Directive will enter into force 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal, which is expected before the end of 2010.  Member States will then have 2 years to transpose the Directive into their legislation and to start implementing the new legislation.
Press release ~ EC: Prevention and control of Industrial Emissions
 
EU NewsA person can be excluded from refugee status if he is individually responsible for acts committed by an organisation using terrorist methods. The sole fact that a person has been a member of such an organisation cannot mean that he is automatically excluded from refugee status

The aim of Directive 2004/83/EC is to lay down minimum standards as regards the conditions to be met by third country nationals or stateless persons in order to receive international protection and as regards the content of the protection granted.

In that connection, the Directive provides, inter alia, for the exclusion of a person from refugee status where there are serious reasons for considering that he has committed a ‘serious non-political crime’ or has been guilty of ‘acts contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations’.
Press release ~ Full text of Judgement ~ Directive 2004/83/EC
 
EU News: The European Commission has adopted its Enlargement Package.  This presents the Commission's annual assessment of the European Union's enlargement agenda.  It outlines the current state of preparations, the challenges ahead, and the way forward for the Western Balkans, Turkey and Iceland.
Press release ~ EC: Enlargement Strategy and Progress Reports 2010

EU News: It is time to acknowledge that military intervention in Afghanistan has failed and even led to a deterioration of security there, say MEPs in a controversial report blaming the coalition forces for ‘miscalculating their options’.  A new EU exit strategy needs to be shaped in full co-operation with the Afghans, and including the Taliban at the negotiating table, adds the report, approved in the Foreign Affairs Committee last week.
 
MEPs propose to articulate the new EU strategy for Afghanistan around 4 key factors:
* improving the co-ordination of international aid
* fine-tuning the EU role & involvement of Afghan players in the peace process
* improving the quality of police training
* fighting for the elimination of opium cultivation
Press release ~ EC: Afghanistan
 
EU News: The citizens' initiative needs to be a simple & user-friendly tool, members of the EP Constitutional Affairs Committee were told last week. An earlier admissibility check, a lower threshold for the number of participating countries and an easier signing process were among suggestions made by MEPs who are drafting a report on the matter.

The citizens' initiative is a new instrument introduced by the Lisbon Treaty whereby 1m EU citizens may ask the European Commission to propose a new EU law.  

The Constitutional Affairs Committee plans to vote on the report on the citizens' initiative at its next meeting on 29-30 November 2010.  The plenary vote could then be held in December 2010.  The Member States have asked for 12 months for national implementation of the new legislation.
Press release ~ Citizens' initiative
 
EU News: The Commission's 5th Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion shows that the EU's cohesion policy has made a significant contribution to growth & prosperity and promoting balanced development across the Union.  The report argues that cohesion policy planning and management cycles should be recast to ensure that these objectives are translated into investment priorities.
 
The publication of this report marks the launch of a public consultation process which will run until 31 January 2011.  All stakeholders are invited to submit their views on the different questions raised in the conclusions of the 5th Cohesion Report on-line HERE.
 
The Fifth Cohesion Forum taking place in Brussels on 31 January and 1 February 2011 will provide another opportunity to discuss the orientations & options presented in the report.  The Commission will table formal legislative proposals on the future cohesion policy by the summer of 2011 following the adoption of proposals on the new EU budget.
Press release ~ Fifth Report on Economic, Social and Territorial Cohesion ~ Regional Policy
 
EU News: New EU-wide rules on the marketing of alternative investment funds overcame the final hurdle last Thursday when the European Parliament adopted the directive which will impose registration, reporting & initial capital requirements on these funds.  Parliament successfully pushed through chapters on asset stripping & remuneration principles, as well as strongly influencing the rules on the passport system, depositary liability, capital requirements and the use of leverage.

The directive's rules are to take effect by 2013 and 4 years after this the Commission will undertake a general review of the rules.  ESMA and the Commission will also have the considerable task of fleshing out the details of how the directive works, through guidelines and implementing legislation.
Press release
 
EU News: The European Commission has adopted its fishing opportunities proposal for 2011 setting levels of total allowable catch (TAC) and fishing effort for the Atlantic, the North Sea, and international waters regulated by a Regional Fisheries Management Organisation.
Press release ~ Commission proposes fishing opportunities for 2011
 
EU News: The European Commission has launched a public consultation on the successor to the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme 2007-2013 (CIP) – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.
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