2013 would be the year of air

The European Commission adopted a new strategy with regard to the air quality in the EU and has declared 2013 as the year of air, with new proposals on improving air quality across Europe.

Read more …

The Commission proposed new stricter rules on how tobacco products can be manufactured, presented, and sold

The proposal to revise the Tobacco Products Directive presented by the European Commission bans the use of cigarettes, roll-your-own tobacco (RYO) and smokeless tobacco products with characterising flavours and makes the use of large pictorial health warnings mandatory on cigarettes and roll-your-own tobacco (RYO).

Read more …

MEPs asked the Transport Committee to review the proposal on groundhandling in airports

The European Parliament approved new rules governing decisions on how best to protect local residents against aircraft noise and allocate take-off and landing fairly and flexibly. However the proposal to further increase competition among groundhandling service suppliers at key airports was referred back to the Transport and Tourism Committee for further discussion.

Read more …

Digital healthcare in the EU has yet to reap its great potential to improve healthcare and generate efficiency savings

The European Commission presents an Action Plan to address barriers to the full use of digital solutions in Europe's healthcare systems, and to increase the pace of change and improvement in healthcare. In addition, the Commission will publish in 2014 a mHealth (Mobile Health) Green Paper addressing quality and transparency issues.

Read more …

New international Protocol signed by the EU to stop illicit trading of tobacco products

The European Commission announced that on behalf of the EU and its member states it signed the Protocol on the Elimination of the Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products. It was adopted by the Conference of the Parties to the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) with the EU acting as one of the Parties. The Protocol contains provisions on the control of the supply of tobacco products, and is an important part of a comprehensive tobacco control policy.

Read more …

The Commission will propose further €1 billion for Africa clinical trials partnership

The Research, Innovation and Science Commissioner Máire Geoghegan Quinn announced that the European Commission is proposing a fivefold increase in its funding for the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) of up to €1 billion.

Read more …

More than eight million children learn the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables thanks to the School Fruit Scheme

According to the latest report put forward by the Commission, over 54,000 schools took part in the European School Fruit Scheme during the 2010-2011 academic year, distributing up to 43,000 tons of fruit among their students. This Scheme funded with €90 million is aimed at reducing the increase in childhood overweight and obesity in the European Union.

Read more …

New directive adopted to reduce emissions from shipping due to the combustion of marine fuels

The Council adopted the directive amending directive 1999/32/EC as regards the sulphur content of marine fuels. It renders the most recent International Maritime Organisation (IMO) rules on marine fuel standards mandatory in the EU. The directive aims therefore to reduce some certain emissions from shipping considerably and to provide a high level of protection for human health and the environment.

Read more …

EU SMEs can now use a new online risk assessment tool for workplaces

The European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA) launched a free online software to give micro and small businesses across Europe the means of carrying out risk assessments in workplaces in a straightforward and cost-effective way.

Read more …

Pollutants emissions need to be even further reduced in the EU to protect health and the environment

Despite reduction successes, it becomes clear that emissions need to be even further reduced to protect health and the environment. This is the main conclusion drawn from the European Environment Agency (EEA) report ‘Evaluation of progress under the EU National Emission Ceilings (NEC) Directive’ that considers whether the EU has successfully addressed environmental and health objectives set out when the Directive was adopted in 2001.

Read more …