EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: The European Commission presented recently its Communication on ‘Industrial policy: Reinforcing competitiveness’, which looks specifically at the industrial competitiveness performance of the Member States.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Last week saw the launch of ‘Generation Awake. Your choices make a world of difference!’ an EU campaign designed to encourage consumers to make resource efficiency habit. Its aim is to raise awareness about the need to use scarce natural resources wisely and to encourage citizens to think about their impact on the planet when making purchasing decisions.
Press release & links
 
ScotGov: Scottish farmers will be consulted & kept fully informed throughout the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform negotiations, Rural Affairs Secretary Richard Lochhead pledged last week. The 5-point plan, which will ensure that farmers & key stakeholders are aware of the latest developments and can make their voices heard, was announced ahead of the EU Agrifish Council.
Press release & links
 
FCO: Minister for Europe, David Lidington, spoke at Belfast’s Queen’s University last week to encourage British students to consider a career in the EU Civil Service. The UK is currently severely under-represented in the EU Institutions. The UK has 12% of the EU’s population but only makes up 4.8% of EU staff. In the 2010 Recruitment Selection, the UK produced only 1.5% of applicants (750 out of 50,000 applications). This was the lowest of all the member states.
Press release & links
 
EU News: In a monitoring report issued last week, the European Commission finds a lack of progress in the reduction of trade barriers within the group of G20 countries.  It concludes that G20 members have to do more to stick to their initial commitment to refrain from introducing new barriers to trade since the break-out of the crisis.
 
The report counts no less than 424 restrictive measures to open trade since the start of the Commission's monitoring in October 2008. In the past 12 months alone, 131 new restrictions have been introduced while only 40 have been removed.
Press release & links
 
FSA: The level of man-made radioactivity to which people are exposed, remained below the EU legal limit during 2010, says a report published last week. Radioactivity in Food and the Environment (RIFE) 2010 combines the Agency’s monitoring results with those of the Environment Agency, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.
 
It is the most comprehensive annual independent report of radioactivity in food covering the whole of the UK. The survey measures radioactivity from different parts of the food chain, including for people who live close to nuclear sites and eat locally produced food.  The report also assesses how much radioactivity people would absorb from authorised radioactive discharges in the environment, such as in the air.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Commission has once again urged the Member States to implement a ban on un-enriched cages for laying hens, which enters into force on 1 January 2012, and warned that it will adopt measures against those that will fail to comply with the relevant EU legislation.
Press release & links
 
EU News: As part of its work to make financial markets more sound & transparent, the European Commission has adopted a proposal for a Regulation on insider dealing and market manipulation (i.e. market abuse). The proposal aims to update & strengthen the existing framework to ensure market integrity and investor protection provided by the Market Abuse Directive (2003/6/EC).
 
The new framework will ensure regulation keeps pace with market developments, will strengthen the fight against market abuse across commodity & related derivative markets, reinforce the investigative & sanctioning powers of regulators and reduce administrative burdens on small & medium-sized issuers.
Press release & links ~ Related press release
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