Do we know our data protection rights?

Results of Flash Eurobarometer survey on Data Protection that was conducted in January 2008 have been published. Previous waves of the survey had been performed three times before, in 1991, 1996 and 2003. Fieldwork was carried out from January 8th to 12th, 2008. Over 27,000 randomly selected citizens aged 15 years and over were interviewed in the 27 EU Member States.

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Member States to stabilize waste production by 2012

Waste production should be stabilized by 2012, said the Environment Committee in a second reading report, adopted on Arpil 9th 2008, on a proposal to revise the EU framework directive on waste. For MEPs, a crucial aim is to reduce the amount of landfill and incineration, both of which cause pollution. The committee voted to reinstate most of Parliament's first reading amendments that were not taken up by the Council, and reiterated Parliament's call for re-use and recycling targets.

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Euro area unemployment stable at 7.1% EU27 down to 6.7%

Eurstat (the Statistical Office of the European Communities) has published official findings concerned with unemployment in Europe.

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Community litigation increase 10% in the last year.

The statistics concerning the Court of Justice’s judicial activity in 2007 reveal a distinct improvement compared with the preceding year. In particular, the reduction, for the fourth year in a row, of the duration of proceedings before the Court should be noted, as should the increase of approximately 10% in the number of cases completed compared with 2006.

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Better protection for pedestrians and cyclists

8,000 pedestrians and cyclists are killed and 300,000 injured across the EU each year. The Transport Committee - in a vote on Wednesday - is backing Commission proposals to reduce this number via requirements for road vehicles covering systems for collision avoidance, frontal protection, brake assistance and other obligations for car manufacturers.

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More safety on our roads

The Commission on the 19th of March 2008, adopted a proposal for a Directive aimed at facilitating the cross-border prosecution of traffic offences which imperil road safety. Technical measures and legal instruments are to be put in place which will enable EU drivers to be identified and thus prosecuted for offences committed in a Member State other than the one where his or her vehicle is registered. This will make an appreciable difference to road safety in Europe by bringing about a positive change of behaviour in both non-resident and resident drivers. It will also end the unequal treatment which often exists between these two groups of road users.

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EU public continues to favour recent CAP reforms

For the second year running, EU citizens have given a strong endorsement to recent changes to EU farm policy. This is one of the main findings of a poll examining the attitudes of citizens to agriculture and the Common Agricultural Policy. This survey, following on from a similar one conducted in 2006, confirms a predominantly favourable reaction to key elements of the 2003 agreement on CAP reform.

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Enhance accessibility of rail transport for persons with reduced mobility

The European Commission has approved A Technical Specification for Interoperability (‘TSI’) relating to ‘persons with reduced mobility’. The TSI shall be fully applicable to the trans-European conventional rail system and the trans-European high-speed rail system. The official decision was publsihed in the Official Journal (OJ) of the Eropean Union on 7th March 2008.

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EU adopts Multi-annual Framework Agency for Fundamental Rights

On 7th March 2008, the EC published its official text of the Council decision of 28 February 2008 implementing Regulation (EC) No 168/2007 as regards the adoption of a Multi-annual Framework for the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights for 2007-2012.

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Women in power still trapped by glass ceiling

Despite recent progress, women in Europe are still shut out of top posts in both politics and business, says a new European Commission report. Across the EU, 24% of parliamentarians are women – up from 16% a decade ago – with a similar proportion holding ministerial office. In the private sector, men still represent 9 out of 10 board members in top companies and two-thirds of company bosses. The report coincides with International Women's Day on 8 March and comes ahead of a new European network of women in power, to be launched later this year.

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ICT products for disabled and elderly

European Commission Directorate General for Information Society and Media wish to increase accessibility to ICT products and services by disabled and elderly people. In view of existing problems faced by disabled and elderly users when accessing ICT products and services, the study aims at putting forward potential solution(s) to deal horizontally with the issue of accessibility in order to give those users the same rights as other end users.

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