New rules proposed to improve workers' protection from exposure to harmful chemicals

The European Commission has proposed to amend five existing EU health and safety Directives on protection of workers from exposure to harmful chemicals to align them with the latest rules on classification, labelling and packaging of chemicals.

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Eurostat figures warn that children are at greater risk of poverty or social exclusion than the rest of the population in …

According to Eurostat, in 2011, 27% of children aged less than 18 were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in the EU, compared with 24% of adults (aged 18-64) and 21% of the elderly (aged 65 and over). Data by member state shows that the highest shares of those aged less than 18 who were at risk of poverty or social exclusion in 2011 were registered in Bulgaria, Romania, Latvia, Hungary and Ireland.

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A Commission's report shows the improvement of the protection from second hand smoke in the EU in 2012

The European Commission published a report that shows that in 2012 in 28% of Europeans were exposed to second hand smoke in bars in 2012 – down from 46% in 2009. In addition, the report dispels concerns about smoking bans impacting negatively on the revenues of bars and restaurants, by showing that the economic impact has been limited, neutral and even positive over time.

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The new Social Investment Package was presented by the European Commission

The Communication on Social Investment for Growth and Cohesion calls on member states to prioritise social investment and to modernise their welfare states. The Social Investment Package includes a Commission Recommendation against child poverty, calling for an integrated approach to child-friendly social investment.

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EU-wide protection will become a reality to victims of violence

The European Parliament and the Council of Ministers reached a political agreement on a proposal by the European Commission for an EU-wide protection order. The agreement means women who have suffered domestic violence will be able to rely on a restraining order obtained in their home country wherever they are in the EU.

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€1.5 million from EU funds to fight organised crime and human trafficking at EU borders

The European Commission presented a new EU initiative which intends to boost the fight against organised crime and human trafficking in Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Moldova and Turkey. The Commission stressed that this project will promote regional cooperation on this issue through sharing information and best practice between countries and regions.

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The European Union must do much more to cut unemployment, according MEPs

The European Parliament approved three resolutions in relation to the European Commission’s Annual Growth Survey of the EU. According to MEPs, much more must be done this year to cut unemployment, thoroughly democratise EU economic governance and ensure that structural reforms foster growth.

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29 companies are taking part in a self-regulatory exercise to make the internet a better and safer place for kids

The European Commission presented the results of joint commitments from media, technology, telecoms and online companies to make the internet a better and safer place for kids. Among others, all devices (including smartphones, tablets, computers and games consoles) could be equipped with parental control tools and screens with simple tools for users to report harmful content and contact.

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RegioStars 2013 awards have already their winners

The RegioStars 2013 Awards were granted by the European Commission in five categories to projects from Portugal, the UK, Poland, Germany and Lithuania which demonstrate good practice in regional development.

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The Commission wants to ban the amphetamine-like drug 4-MA

The European Commission proposed an EU-wide ban on 4-methylamphetamine – or 4-MA, a synthetic substance with similar physical effects to amphetamines. According to the Commission, this drug has been associated with 21 deaths in four EU countries in 2010-2012 alone.

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