European legal experts dealing with rights

The European Commission directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities are working towards the establishment, organisation and coordination of a European network of legal experts in the field of labour law, dealing with both individual and collective rights/aspects.

Read more …

Entrepreneurship for the JRC

The Joint Research Centre (European Commission) wants to improve the entreprenerurship spririt between its staff by organising three entrepreneurship training seminars to be carried out in liaison with relevant JRC staff and the Turku School of Economics. As the JRC has seven scientific institutes, located at five different sites in Belgium, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Spain, the training will take place in any of those places.

Read more …

EC employment equality rules

The Commission sent, on the 31 January 2008, reasoned opinions to 11 Member States to fully implement EU rules prohibiting discrimination in employment and occupation on the grounds of religion and belief, age, disability and sexual orientation. The countries concerned – the Czech Republic, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, France, Italy, Hungary, Malta, Netherlands, Finland and Sweden – have two months to respond, failing which the Commission can decide to take them to the European Court of Justice. Also, the Commission sent a letter of formal notice to Germany and two complementary letters of formal notice to Latvia and Lithuania. The Employment Equality Directive (2000/78/EC) was agreed in 2000 with a deadline for implementation into national law of December 2003.

Read more …

Sustainable Energy Cities lead climate change

On 29th January 2008  the European Commission launched the Covenant of Mayors, the most ambitious initiative to date involving the citizens in the fight against global warming. It comes after an informal consultation with numerous cities across Europe, whose Mayors will join the Commission in launching the Covenant. The Covenant consists of the formal commitment of the adhering cities to go beyond the objectives of the EU in terms of reducing their CO2 emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy actions. Almost 100 cities throughout Europe, including 15 capital cities, have expressed their early support for the Covenant.

Read more …

EU improve care for the disabled

Institutional care for disabled people in Europe continues to fall short of acceptable standards in many cases, confirmed a new report released by the European Commission. It recommends a wider use of quality, community-based services, which offer better quality of life to people with disabilities, without necessarily costing more.

Read more …

Debate Europe! Online discussion

On 29th January 2008 Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström and Commissioners Stavros Dimas (Environment) and Andris Piebalgs (Energy), as well as other Commission staff, will be online between 15:00 and 17:00 CET to take part in discussions with European citizens.

Read more …

Strict safety rules for toys

On the 25th January 2007, the European Commission came forward with new measures to improve toy safety in Europe. The Commission wants to strengthen EU-rules, especially those relating to the use of chemical substances in toys. The proposal tabled on the 25th January 2007 aims at enhancing the safety of toys replacing and modernizing the 20 years old Toys Directive 88/378/EEC of 3rd May 1988. The revision has a threefold objective: first and foremost there will be new and higher safety requirements to cope with recently identified hazards, secondly it will strengthen manufacturers’ and importers' responsibility for the marketing of toys and finally it enhances the market surveillance obligations of Member States.

Read more …

NGOs can help EU institutions do a better job

The European Ombudsman, P. Nikiforos Diamandouros, has underlined the importance of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in pointing out possible instances of maladministration in the EU institutions. Over the past ten years, the Ombudsman's office has received almost 1 000 complaints from NGOs and associations. They included alleged maladministration concerning environmental projects, late payment for EU contracts, and lack of transparency in the EU institutions. Among the NGOs that complained were Statewatch, Corporate Europe Observatory, and the European Citizen Action Service (ECAS). Two recent complaints concerning the environmental policy of the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the question of "revolving doors" in the Commission were lodged, respectively, by two Polish NGOs and Greenpeace.

Read more …

EESC tackles elder abuse

This report published should seek to take stock of the current position, setting out prevalence rates and providing information on the various kinds of abuse involved, as well as causes and risk factors. The study should cover care provided both at home and within an institutional setting.

Read more …