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EU should create own spy agency, Reding says

conference

She added: "I would therefore wish to use this occasion to negotiate an agreement on stronger secret service co-operation among the EU member states - so that we can speak with a strong common voice to the US. The NSA needs a counterweight. My long-term proposal would therefore be to set up a European Intelligence Service by 2020." Recent revelations by US leaker Edward Snowden say that America's National Security Agency (NSA) intercepts millions of Europeans' emails and phone calls. It is also said to spy on 35 world leaders, including bugg... Read More »

EU 2014 work programme – Growth & jobs top the agenda

EU

Some 29 initiatives will be presented in the coming year, with the majority relating to reviews of existing EU rules. Others will focus on modernising areas such as state‑aid rules, industrial policy and completing the single market. The top priority remains growth and jobs, with a particular focus on combatting youth unemployment and easing access to finance. Key priorities during the coming year include: completing the banking union and building towards achieving a genuine economic and monetary union measures to increase investment, ... Read More »

European Council, 24-25 October 2013

parliament

On Thursday 24 October, the opening working session will concentrate on the digital economy. President Barroso will deliver a presentation, after which leaders will discuss and agree Council Conclusions on investing in the digital economy, promoting a consumer-friendly Digital Single Market, and improving skills, innovation and services. A key element of the debate will be the importance of agreeing the "Connected Continent" telecoms package, which is an important step in the completion of the Digital Single Market and will benefit European con... Read More »

Debate on the situation of the Greenpeace activists in Russia

microphone

Russian authorities seized their ship on 19 September, after their protest action against a Gazprom-owned oil platform to prevent drilling in the arctic Barents Sea. ... Read More »

No release of Ukraine former PM despite EU optimism

politics

“These conditions, especially in regards to Yulia Tymoshenko, still remain to be fulfilled,” he said. He added: “After 16 months, and 22 mission visits, we concluded in this point and time that further work is required to ensure compliance.” Parliament president Martin Schulz said the mission would be extended into November. The former prime minister was sentenced to a seven-year jail term in 2011 for abuse of office. Hospitalised and under guard since last April, she requires surgery but has demanded to have her operation in Germany. She fa... Read More »

Making tobacco less attractive to young people

cigarettes

Why is a new tobacco directive needed? Twelve years after the current directive came into force, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death in the EU, killing around 700,000 people per year. Measures taken over the years to cut smoking have had an impact - in the past decade the number of smokers has fallen from nearly 40% in the EU 15 in 2002 to 28% in the EU 27 in 2012 - but tobacco consumption is still a major burden on healthcare systems and the economy. The rules laid down in 2001 are no longer seen as adequate. New flavo... Read More »

EU: Social factors to be considered when setting economic policy

invest

The scoreboard will feature 5 main indicators: unemployment the rate of young people who are neither employed, nor in education/training household disposable income inequality an at-risk-of-poverty index. Social, not just economic Under the plan, unveiled last week, trade unions and employers organisations will be more closely involved in formulating economic policy. The proposal is one of a number of measures designed to improve economic governance following the financial crisis. The plan also responds to a recent EU summi... Read More »

Council adopts the directive on the right of access to a lawyer

law

This directive as agreed sets out minimum rules on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and in European arrest warrant proceedings, on the right to have a third party informed upon deprivation of liberty, and on the right to communicate, while deprived of liberty, with third persons and with consular authorities The directive deals amongst other things with the following: the right of access to a lawyer for suspects and accused persons (when, under which conditions); the principle of confidentiality of communications... Read More »

Tobacco giant spent up €1.25mn on EU lobbying in 2012

cigarettes

The figure, unveiled on Thursday (3 October) by the co-leader of the Green group, German MEP Rebecca Harms, involved meetings in the past year with around a third of the entire European Parliament. “The Philip Morris experience I would say for this parliament is a very dark experience,” she said. PMI declined to comment on the €1.5 million figure, but told this website the broader allegations of heavy lobbying are false. Meanwhile, the vote on the directive, initially scheduled for early September, is said to have been delayed following inte... Read More »

Pilot and crew fatigue — frequently asked questions

plane

The EU current safety rules on pilot and crew fatigue were established in 2006 under Regulation (EC) No 1899/2006 (EU-OPS). These mandatory EU flight duty limitations and rest requirements (or "FTL") for aircrew are usually referred to as "Subpart Q"). The aim is to ensure that flight and cabin crew members perform safety functions on board of aircraft at a proper level of alertness. In a nutshell, the current EU rules require Member States, airlines and aircrew to ensure safe duty rosters. They cover, among other issues, flight duty limits ... Read More »

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