EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.
EU News: The European Commission has adopted proposals for the new Health for Growth and Consumer Programmes. The 2 programmes aim to foster a Europe of healthy, active, informed & empowered citizens, who can contribute to economic growth.
EU News: Customs & Taxation policy make a substantial contribution in helping to raise revenues for the EU and Member States' budgets every year. In addition, these policies deliver considerable benefits to EU citizens and business, whether it is through blocking unsafe or illegal imports, facilitating smooth trade and a strong Internal Market, or cutting compliance costs &red tape for cross-border companies.
In order to build on this work and be fully equipped to meet future challenges in these fields, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for the FISCUS programme. With a budget of €777.6m, the programme will run for 7 years from January 1 2014.
EU News: Legislative reform proposals have been debated at a unique meeting of EP Agriculture Committee MEPs, Member States' farm ministers and the European Commission. The debate focused on direct support for farmers, market regulation, rural development and the financial implications of the reform proposals.
EU News: In an end-of-year housekeeping operation on the EU's 2011 budget, Parliament's Budgets Committee has approved the transfer of €714m from 46 budget lines with surpluses to 57 budget lines that lack adequate funding. However, the Commission calculates that an extra €550m will nonetheless be needed to meet social spending & research commitments for 2011.
EU News: The European Commission and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) have agreed to strengthen their cooperation in the area of migration & mobility. The Framework provides for simpler & more efficient methods of cooperation by simplifying and streamlining the procedure for contractual negotiations between the EU and the IOM.
EU News: The European Commission is establishing a Centre for Media Pluralism & Media Freedom in Florence with a €600,000 grant to the European University Institute's (EUI) Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies.
EU News: EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission, and the German Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Ilse Aigner, have met in Brussels to discuss the way forward for strengthening the EU's data protection rules which currently date back to 1995.
EU news: The European Food Safety Authority has published its third Annual Report on Pesticide Residues. The report shows that compliance rates continue to rise, with 97.4% of the samples analysed falling within the permitted Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs), a rise of about one percentage point since 2008.
EU News: The protection of animals during transport has improved since the pertinent regulation (Regulation (EC) No. 1/2005) was applied on 1 January 2007, a European Commission report concludes. But the report also highlights a series of problems hampering further improvement in the transport conditions of these animals.