EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: The Single European Sky, the flagship project to create a single European airspace – tripling capacity and halving air traffic costs – is ‘not delivering’.  Vice-President Siim Kallas, European Commissioner for transport, recently announced his intention to take all enforcement actions possible, including infringements where necessary and to present new legislative proposals in Spring 2013.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Ombudsman has criticised the Commission's refusal to publish public consultations in all 23 EU languages. This follows a complaint from a Spanish lawyer about many public consultation documents only being available in English or in a limited number of EU languages, even if they are intended for the general public.
Press release & links
 
EU NewsA start on future economic & monetary union can be made now, by finalising laws already in the pipeline and making the most of what the current EU system already allows, said Economic & Monetary Affairs Committee MEPs on last week.  Their resolution sets out many measures to improve democratic accountability & legitimacy, so as to match transfers of powers to EU level.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Commissioner John Dalli last week announced his resignation as a member of the Commission, with immediate effect, following an investigation by OLAF, the EU's antifraud office, into a complaint made in May 2012 by the tobacco producer, Swedish Match.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission and UN Women recently launched Spring Forward for Women, a new joint regional programme for the South Mediterranean Region.  The programme aims to support national & regional stakeholders to empower women economically & politically in the context of the progress that has followed the Arab Spring.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Recently, the Commission published a proposal to limit global land conversion for biofuel production, and raise the climate benefits of biofuels used in the EU.  The use of food-based biofuels to meet the 10% renewable energy target of the Renewable Energy Directive will be limited to 5%.
 
This is to stimulate the development of alternative, so-called second generation biofuels from non-food feedstock, like waste or straw, which emit substantially less greenhouse gases than fossil fuels and do not directly interfere with global food production.  For the first time, the estimated global land conversion impacts – Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) – will be considered when assessing the greenhouse gas performance of biofuels.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission has proposed to update the Radio Equipment Directive.  The proposal aims to make sure all market players comply with the rules regarding the avoidance of interference, so that consumers do not have problems when opening car doors, monitoring their babies or listening to radio.
 
The Commission also proposes to clarify & simplify the Directive, to facilitate its application and to eliminate unnecessary burden ultimately increasing all stakeholders' confidence in the regulatory framework.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission has concluded that public funding of £3bn granted by the UK for the creation of a bank investing in environmentally friendly projects, is in line with EU state aid rules. The Green Investment Bank (GIB) will invest only in projects that could not obtain sufficient funding from the markets. The set-up of the GIB is expected to further the UK's 2020 target in reducing carbon emissions and accelerate the development of a "green economy".
Press release & links ~ BIS: UK Green Investment Bank gets green light from Europe ~ Green Investment Bank
 
EU News: The European Commission has launched a public consultation with a view to updating the current list of relevant wholesale and retail telecoms markets subject to the Commission's ‘Article 7’ procedure under EU telecoms rules (see MEMO/10/226) – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.
 
EU News: The Commission is issuing new guidelines on inland navigation & nature protection to assist this important sector in applying EU environmental legislation explain how best to ensure that activities related to inland navigation are compatible with EU environmental policy in general and nature legislation in particular  – See ‘Guidance Notes & Best Practice Guides’ section for more information
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