Environment Committee approved tougher pest and germ control products

MEPs at the Environment Committee consider that safety checks should be tightened up for pest and germ control products and more approvals should be managed at EU level. The proposed update to existing legislation covers a wide range of "biocides", but not those covered by other legislation, such as agricultural pesticides.

Read more …

MEPs seek to restore the draft budget proposed by the Commission, after cuts done by the Council in July

The Budgets Committee at the European Parliament finalised its position on EU Budget 2012 proposing changes to the modified proposal of the Council. Key changes proposed include increased spending on Palestine, maritime surveillance in the Mediterranean, managing refugee flows, EU2020 growth strategy-related programmes, funding for vegetable producers and development aid for Asia and South America. Proposed savings include €26 million on Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Read more …

Civil Liberties Committee approved a proposal to restrict access to chemicals that can be used to make home-made explosives

MEPs backed a draft law to restrict the general public's access to chemicals that can be used to make home-made explosives. In addition, they amended the draft to clarify licence-to-buy requirements for certain chemicals that can be found, for instance, in fertilizers or pool cleaners and the definition of a "suspicious transaction".

Read more …

MEPs want to do mandatory recycling discarded fridges, phones and other e-waste

The Environment Committee at the European Parliament votes favorably to the proposal concerning changes to the current waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) Directive. According to MEPs, EU Member States should be obliged to collect and recycle more discarded fridges, phones and other e-waste. In addition, MEPs want to make easier for consumers to return small products and harder for unscrupulous operators to ship e-waste illegally out of the EU.

Read more …

Unanimous vote from the Culture and Education Committee to the European Heritage Label deal

The Culture and Education Committee at the European Parliament approved a resolution endorsing a deal with EU Member States to create the European Heritage Label. Under this deal, symbolic sites for Europe's history or integration will be eligible for this label in voluntary basis. This proposal aims to promote educational activities and to raise young people's awareness of Europe's common heritage and identity.

Read more …

€30 million in EU funding to speed up the development of new vaccines

The ADITEC project has been launched with the funding of the European Union in order to speed up the development of novel and powerful immunisation technologies for the next generation of human vaccines has just got under way.

Read more …

A report presented by the Commission confirms that still, only few traders are selling abroad in the EU

The European Commission published a report which shows the results of 305 purchases in 28 countries. Delivery from abroad has turned out to be reliable overall, with 94% of orders delivered (up from 66% in 2003) and only 1% of the products found to be faulty. But shoppers had more problems when returning the goods (as part of the EU-wide cancellation rights), for example with getting the full costs reimbursed.

Read more …

Agreement reached by the Council to reduce risk in the over-the-counter derivatives market

The Council met on 4 of October and reached an agreement on a draft regulation aimed at increasing transparency and reducing risk in the over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives market. The Presidency of the EU, on behalf of the Council, will start negotiations with the European Parliament, with a view to reaching agreement at first reading.

Read more …

The six-pack of measures on economic governance has been adopted by the Council

The Council confirmed its agreement on economic governance. The Council will adopt the package without further discussion, once the texts have been finalised in all official languages following an agreement voted at the European Parliament reached after intensive negotiations.

Read more …

EU and Brazil agrees to step up joint cooperation on cultural issues

Androulla Vassiliou, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Multilingualism and Youth, and Ana de Hollanda, Minister of State of Culture of Brazil signed an agreement which consists in a four-year joint action plan focusing on cultural diversity, cultural heritage and the development of a sustainable cultural and creative economy.

Read more …

SMEs remain the EU's economic backbone, according to a Commission's report

The European Commission presented during the SME Week which is celebrating 3-9 October, its 2010 small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) report "Are EU SMEs recovering from the crisis?". Although the report confirms that SMEs remain the EU's economic backbone, it also too early for a full-fledged SME recovery as employment by SMEs was still lagging behind.

Read more …

Local and regional authorities have a key role to play in EU Eastern Partnership

According to the President of the Committee of the Regions, Mercedes Bresso, EU Eastern Partnership needs local and regional dimension. Ms Bresso presented at the Eastern Partnership summit, the recommendations from a recently launched dialogue with mayors and regional presidents from the neighbouring countries.

Read more …