Annual RAPEX Report 2008 shows rise in number of dangerous products being detected

The number of dangerous consumer products withdrawn from the EU market rose by 16% in 2008 compared to in 2007, the Commission's annual report on the Community rapid alert system for non-food dangerous products ("RAPEX") reveals today. This rise from 1 605 notifications in 2007 to 1 866 last year shows that the capacity of the RAPEX system has substantially increased again in 2008, following a substantial investment of resources and training by the European Commission and Member States.

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EC releases a set of data protection guidelines for the IMI System

The European Commission has published in the OJEU of April 20th 2009 its Recommendation including a set of data protection guidelines for the Internal Market Information System (IMI). These guidelines are not aimed at being an exhaustive list, but rather a easy to use consultation tool for IMI System users.

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Commission launches case against UK over privacy and personal data protection

The Commission has opened an infringement proceeding against the United Kingdom after a series of complaints by UK internet users, and extensive communication of the Commission with UK authorities, about the use of a behavioural advertising technology known as ‘Phorm' by internet service providers.

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EP votes on extending EU Ecolabel system for environment-friendly products

The European Parliament has adopted a first reading agreement on the voluntary EU Ecolabel ("EU flower") system for environment-friendly products to become less costly and bureaucratic to use. This label guarantees a high level of product quality, and respect for environment and human health. Among the criteria for awarding the eco-label will be the reduction of animal testing, as well as other environmental criteria. Furthermore, EC and Member states will set the objective to promote the inclusion of eco-label in the award of public contracts.

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Call for action to to protect Europe from cyber-attacks and disruptions

Electronic communication services and networks provide the backbone of European economy. 93% of EU companies and 51% of Europeans actively used the internet in 2007. However natural disasters, terrorist attacks, malicious human action and hardware failure can pose serious risks to Europe's critical information infrastructures. Recent large scale attacks on Estonia, Lithuania and Georgia proved that essential electronic communication services and networks are under constant threat. Preparing Europe to act in case of major disruptions or attacks is the goal of a new strategy proposed today by the European Commission.

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American brewer Anheuser-Busch will not be allow to register the word “Budweiser” as a CTM

The Court of First Instance has confirmed OHIM's decision not to register the word “Budweiser” as a community trade mark, inter alia for beer, for the American brewer, Anheuser-Busch, as the commercial right to use such term for beer is already held in Germany and Austria by the Czech brewery, Budějovický Budvar.

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New rules on the introduction in the Community of products of animal origin for personal use

The European Commission has established the rules applying to the introduction into the Community of personal consignments of products of animal origin, and has therefore published in the OJEU on March 23rd, Regulation (EC) Nº 206/2009 of March 5th 2009. These provisions amend Regulation (EC) Nº 136/2004 and lay down some rules aiming at ensuring food safety in trade and movement of such products of animal origin.

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Mobile roaming: €0.40 per minute cap from summer 2010

The maximum charge for making mobile phone calls while abroad should fall from the current €0.46 to €0.40 per minute (excl. VAT) in summer 2010, said the Industry Committee on 9 March. But it rejected proposals to set further and lower price caps for 2010-2013.
The Industry Committee amended the 2007 mobile roaming regulation, which would otherwise expire by the end of June 2010, to set a new roaming call price cap (“Eurotariff”) for 2010 to mid-2012 and introduce a price cap for text messages.

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Euro area annual inflation rose to 1.2% in February

Euro area annual inflation was 1.2% in February 2009, up from 1.1% in January, while EU annual inflation was 1.7%, down from 1.8% in January. A year earlier the rate in the Euro area was 3.3%, and 3.5% in the European Union. These figures come from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.

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EC Directive on airport charges enters into force

Directive 2009/12/EC of March 11th 2009 on airport charges, was published by the Official Journal of the European Union on Marcha 15th 2009, with the objective to set common principles for the levying of airport charges at Community airports. Following this objective a common framework regulating the essential features of airport charges and the way they are set will be established for EC airports whose annual traffic is over five million passenger movements.

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EP calls for stronger protection for children using video games

MEPs adopted on March 12th 2009 a report warning about the growing use of online gaming and mobile devices, which make it difficult to control content entering the minors. To resolve this, the EP suggests including a "red button" on computers and consoles, with the parents to block violent games or control access to video games at certain times. The text also encourages the industry to further develop mechanisms of self-contained.

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