EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.
Defra: Britain has called on the European Commission to take urgent action to stop the use of illegal fishing nets in the Mediterranean that are decimating endangered bluefin tuna and responsible for indiscriminate slaughter of dolphins and turtles.
Driftnets have been banned in the EU since 2002, but there are regular reports of Italian and French vessels ignoring the ban. Recently a boat owned by marine conservationists Oceana, which was monitoring illegal activity, was attacked by a group of driftnetters off the coast of Southern France.
The UK and Ireland were also unhappy that EU rules requiring any overfished stock to be paid back in future are not being implemented for tuna, but are being implemented for UK and Irish overfishing of mackerel, which are not under threat.
HSE: The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has upheld one of the key elements of British health & safety law - the use of the key phrase ‘so far as is reasonably practicable’.
The European Commission challenged the use of the phrase because the European Directive 89/391/EEC, which lays down EU employers' duties to protect the health and safety of their workers, has no such qualification. The UK robustly defended the case and the ECJ dismissed the European Commission's case and ordered it to pay the UK Government's costs.
Great Britain's achievements in H&S performance are commendable on an international basis. Though some care is needed when making comparisons between countries, according to EU figures showing the annual rate of workplace fatalities in 15 Member States (2003 figures), Great Britain has the lowest rate of 1.1 per 100,000 workers compared with the EU average of 2.5.
Press release ~ European Directive 89/391/EEC ~ Details in Official EU Journal ~ European Court of Justice (ECJ) ~ Judgement press release ~ HSE - Legislation