EU Legislation, Initiatives, etc.
EU News: A proposal to amend rules on honey to clarify the true nature of pollen following a European Court of Justice preliminary ruling was adopted recently by the European Commission. In line with international WTO standards, the proposal defines pollen as a natural constituent of honey and not as an ingredient.
EU News: For the first time the European Parliament was represented at the UN General Assembly opening this week in New York.
EU News: Almost a third of Europe's city dwellers are exposed to excessive concentrations of airborne particulate matter (PM). Particulate matter is one of the most important pollutants in terms of harm to human health as it penetrates sensitive parts of the respiratory system.
The EU has made progress over the past decades to reduce the air pollutants which cause acidification, but a new report published by the European Environment Agency (EEA) shows that many parts of Europe have persistent problems with outdoor concentrations of PM and ground level ozone.
EU News: On 18 September 2012, the EESC adopted an opinion on the cost of non-Europe, an issue which has resurfaced on the European agenda not only because it is important in mapping a way out of the financial crisis, but also because it is crucial to the success of the Europe 2020 strategy and the next Multi-annual Financial Framework. It is a useful perspective from which to take forward the debate on pursuing European integration at a time of rising anti-European sentiment among citizens, growing populism & extremism.
EU News: The European Commission has presented a strategy to unlock the full potential of the cultural & creative sectors in the EU to boost jobs and growth. The creative & cultural sectors face major challenges stemming from the digital shift & globalisation, as well as from a high fragmentation of markets along cultural and linguistic lines. Access to finance remains a major difficulty.
EU News: The European Commission has decided to refer the UK to the EU Court of Justice (ECJ) for its tax legislation on cross-border loss relief. The Commission considers that the UK has failed to properly implement the ECJ's previous ‘Marks & Spencer’ ruling (Case C-446/03) on this matter.
EU News: The European Commission's new strategy for ‘Unleashing the potential of cloud computing in Europe’ outlines actions to deliver a net gain of 2.5m new European jobs, and an annual boost of EUR 160bn to EU GDP (around 1%), by 2020.
The strategy is designed to speed up & increase the use of cloud computing across the economy and the announcement follows the Commission's 2012 proposal to update the Data Protection rules and comes ahead of a European Strategy for Cyber Security to be proposed in the coming months.