European Parliament gave green light to open up ground-handling services at major EU airports to more competition

MEPs adopted in plenary session a proposal which aims to open up ground-handling services at major EU airports to more competition by increasing the minimum number of service providers. They added minimum quality standards and safeguard clauses for staff to the proposal.

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The Commission proposes to develop more aerodynamic lorries, and therefore, safer and more environmental

The European Commission presented new EU rules to allow manufacturers to develop more aerodynamic lorries by allowing cabins with a rounded shape and with the use of aerodynamic flaps at the back the trailer. According to the Commission, these measures will considerably improve the aerodynamics of vehicles, saving approximately €5,000 per year in fuel costs for a typical long-distance lorry covering 100,000 km.

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The JRC is working in a system to map the risk of ship strike with endangered whales

The Joint Research Centre of the European Commission has merged data on daily traffic data and with information on which habitats are favourable to fin whales favourable habitats to produce maps of potential risk of strike. While the Mediterranean Sea is a major forage ground for the endangered fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) it also represents 30% of all international maritime traffic concentrated within only 0.8% of the global ocean surface.

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€160.5 million over a period of seven years proposed for combating pollution at sea

The European Commission proposed that funding of €160.5 million over a period of seven years for the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) to allow continued action to combat pollution caused by ships. The funds are intended to maintain the network of specialised anti-pollution vessels.

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MEPs proposed to fund the cleaner scrapping of old ships by a recycling levy

Environment Committee at the European Parliament approved a draft legislation that includes an EU fund to be financed by levies on all ships visiting EU ports, that would make scrapping ships in EU-approved facilities competitive. MEPs proposed that the scheme will be funded by a recycling levy, in line with the "polluter pays" principle.

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Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council endorsed deal on temporary derogation from the EU emissions trading …

The Permanent Representatives Committee of the Council backed the informal agreement reached on 12 March by the Council and the European Parliament on the decision derogating temporarily from directive 2003/87/EC establishing the EU scheme for greenhouse gas emission allowance trading. It is expected that formal adoption will be completed before 30 April 2013.

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In 2012, road fatalities across the EU have decreased by 9% compared with 2011

The European Commission published its statistics on road deaths in the European Union that show that 2012 saw the lowest number of people killed in road traffic in EU countries since the first data were collected. The countries with the lowest number of road fatalities remain the UK, Sweden, the Netherlands and Denmark.

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