EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.

EU News: A conference organized by the European Commission and Cooperatives Europe in Brussels last week was aimed to highlight the social & economic importance of cooperatives.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Successful initiatives to promote sustainable consumption & production are flourishing around the globe, but further efforts are needed to embed such practices in existing policy frameworks, according to a new Global Outlook Report published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the European Commission.  

The aim is to identify & share promising examples of effective policies and to propose recommendations to help support for SCP move ahead.
Press release & links
 
EU NewsDevising a ‘European Investment Plan’ to create new jobs, reallocating EU structural funds to projects to create them for young people, and introducing a ‘European Youth Guarantee’ to ensure that young unemployed people are not without jobs for more than 4 months, are among the proposals set out by MEPs in a resolution, voted in the Employment & Social Affairs Committee last week, on measures to tackle youth unemployment.
 
Unemployment in the EU averages 10% and youth unemployment 22.1% - up from 14.7% in 2008, notes the resolution, drafted by Pervenche Berès (S&D, FR).  Unemployment ranges from well below 10% in some EU Member States to 50% in those hardest hit by the crisis.
Press release & links
 
EU News: Last week, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted his Opinion on the proposal for a Council Decision on the conclusion of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA).

The Opinion shows that the lack of precision of the Agreement about the measures to be deployed to tackle infringements of intellectual property rights ('IP rights') on the Internet may have unacceptable side effects on fundamental rights of individuals, if they are not implemented properly.
Press release & links
 
DECC: Ministers from across Europe met recently to tackle the crashing price of carbon.  The EU has the world's largest international Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The amount of carbon that companies can emit is capped, and each firm has its own allocation of carbon permits, which they trade freely.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) has adopted his opinion on the Commission's Open Data Package, which includes a series of measures to ‘facilitate a wider & innovative re-use of public sector information (PSI)’.  The opinion highlights the need for specific safeguards for data protection whenever PSI contains personal data.
Press release & links
 
EU News: A Conference, entitled 'Electronic Procurement - Challenges and opportunities' is due to take place on the 26 June 2012, focused on moving to full e-procurement for all public purchases by 2016.  

Despite the undisputable benefits, the EU is lagging behind both its own targets & internationally.  E-procurement is still used in only 5-10% of procurement procedures carried out across the EU despite ambitious political targets.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The EU's next flagship environment strategy, the Seventh Environment Action Programme, must take steps and set targets to protect the EU's environment and spur more efficient use of energy & natural resources, said MEPs voting on a resolution recently.  Environmentally-harmful subsidies should be phased out by 2020.
Press release & links
 
EU NewsParliament has called for a suspension of EU restrictive measures against Burma/Myanmar for an initial period of 1 year, during which political & economic reform in the country should be closely monitored.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB) has endorsed for a public consultation on the ‘Recommendations for the security of internet payments’, in the context of the work undertaken by the European Forum on the Security of Retail Payments (closes 20 June 2012).
Press release & links
 
EU News: The European Medicines Agency’s Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) has recommended the granting of a marketing authorisation for Forxiga (dapagliflozin), a novel treatment for type 2 diabetes mellitus.
Press release & links
 
EU News: The EU's draft budget for 2013, presented recently by the Commission, ‘reflects the European Council's statements that growth & employment in the EU can only be achieved by combining fiscal consolidation and investment into future growth’.  It proposes a 6.8% increase in the level of payments.
Press release & links ~ Related press release ~ Additional press release
 
EU News: The proposed financial transaction tax should be better designed to capture more traders and to make evading it unprofitable, says a resolution adopted last Wednesday by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee. The resolution also says the tax should go ahead even if only some Member States opt for it.
Press release & links
 
ACE: A group of projects conducted by the Collections Trust, aimed at encouraging arts engagement online, has been given a £6.5m boost by the European Commission. The funding boost means the Trust, in collaboration with museums & libraries throughout Europe, can bring many historic artefacts to life in the digital world.
Press release & links
 
EU News: EU Transport Commissioner, Siim Kallas, has set out the Commission's priorities for passenger ship safety. The keynote speech was delivered at a major passenger ship safety conference in Brussels, hosted by the Commission, to launch a consultation with stakeholders on the priority actions to come – See ‘Consultations’ section for more information.
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