Platform on Electronic Data Retention for the Investigation, Detection and Prosecution of Serious Crime

It has been approved by a Commission Decision of 25 March 2008 and it will apply until 31 December 2012. The ‘Platform on Electronic Data Retention for the Investigation, Detection and Prosecution of Serious Crime’, a group of 25  experts in matters relating to retention of personal data for law enforcement purposes in the electronic communications sector. The group is set up in order to submit by 15 September 2010 to the European Parliament and Council an evaluation of the application of the Directive and its impact on economic operators and consumers

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EU warns against 'criminalising' filesharers

People should not be criminalised for the file-sharing of copyrighted material if they are not profiting from doing so, the European Parliament has recommended.

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Child-resistant lighters Commission Decision

The Official Journal of the European Union has published last 19th April 2008 a Commission Decision prolonging the validity of Decision 2006/502/EC requiring Member States to take measures to ensure that only lighters which are child-resistant are placed on the market and to prohibit the placing on the market of novelty lighters.

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250 million Europeans regularly use Internet


More than half of Europeans are now regular Internet users, 80% of them have broadband connections and 60% of public services in the EU are fully available online. Two thirds of schools and half of doctors make use of fast Internet connections, thanks to strong broadband growth in Europe.

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RAPEX Report shows rise in number of dangerous products being detected

The number of dangerous products removed from the EU market rose by 53% in 2007 compared to in 2006, the Commission's annual report on the Rapid Alert System (RAPEX) reveals today. This rise from 1 051 notifications in 2006 to 1 605 last year shows that Member States' surveillance capacities are improving year on year

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Further improvements should be considered on the ePrivacy Directive

On 10 April, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) adopted an Opinion on the European Commission's proposal amending, among others, the Directive on Privacy and electronic communications, usually referred to as the ePrivacy Directive.

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Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union

The European Commisison has launched last 1st april 2008 a new comunication related to the Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union (COM2008 169 Final). The objective is to maintain the pivotal position of Customs as a modern, responsive partner to trade, protecting the fiscal, safety and security interests of the Community and cooperating with other government.

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Commission authorises GM maize GA21

The European Commission on the 28th of March 2008, adopted a Decision authorising the GM maize GA21 for feed and food use and for import and processing. In fact, the placing on the market of food and feed produced from GA21 is already authorised in the EU.

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EC imposes 899 meuro penalty on Microsoft

The European Commission has imposed a penalty payment of € 899 million on Microsoft for non-compliance with its obligations under the Commission’s March 2004 Decision prior to 22 October 2007. The Decision on 27th February 2008, adopted under Article 24(2) of Regulation 1/2003, finds that, prior to 22 October 2007, Microsoft had charged unreasonable prices for access to interface documentation for work group servers. The 2004 Decision, which was upheld by the Court of First Instance in September 2007, found that Microsoft had abused its dominant position under Article 82 of the EC Treaty, and required Microsoft to disclose interface documentation which would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to achieve full interoperability with Windows PCs and servers at a reasonable price.

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EC new boost for the internal market

The European Commission welcomed ,on the 21st February 2008, the adoption by the European Parliament of a broad package of measures to facilitate the functioning of the internal market for goods. This will make it easier for companies, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises, to sell their products in the EU whilst increasing the protection of consumers. For industrial products existing market surveillance systems will be strengthened and for the first time aligned with import controls. Accreditation has also been introduced. This is a formal system which may now be used to ensure that conformity assessment bodies (or testing and certification laboratories) provide the high quality services that manufacturers need. The introduction of these measures serves to reinforce the role and credibility of CE marking. Improvements are also proposed for the trade with goods which do not fall under EU-legislation. From now it will also be the duty of a Member State that intends to refuse market access for products that are legally marketed in other Member States to talk to the enterprise and to give detailed objective reasons for any possible refusal, This creates new benefits for entrepreneurs as well as for consumers broadening their choice. It is expected that the Council of the EU will approve the package of measures soon, so it can enter into force next year.

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