Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα legislation. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων
Εμφάνιση αναρτήσεων με ετικέτα legislation. Εμφάνιση όλων των αναρτήσεων

Σάββατο, Φεβρουαρίου 07, 2015

Radar used to bust unauthorized basement construction in Beijing

BEIJING, Feb. 7 (Xinhua) -- Radar was used to detect unauthorized basement construction in Beijing as the city gets tough on the potentially dangerous practice.

The crackdown comes after a lawmaker built a basement in his courtyard that caused neighboring houses to collapse, local authorities said Friday.


Radar detection has been employed to monitor whether there are any hollowed areas under roads or houses.

According to the office in Xicheng District responsible for the crackdown, law enforcement can use radar to check renovated houses.

If any unauthorized basements are found, the owners will be ordered to fill in the basements or holes immediately, said Song Jiale, an official with the district government.

He said property ownership certificates will be granted after houses pass the check.

Previously, Li Baojun, a lawmaker from east China's Xuzhou City, Jiangsu Province, had built a 18-meter-deep basement in his courtyard in Xicheng District without permission, which caved in and caused the road and surrounding buildings to collapse on Jan. 24.

The incident has revealed the city's rampant illegal underground construction and caused a stir in the country.

  xinhuanet.com
7/2/15
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Δευτέρα, Ιανουαρίου 19, 2015

EU to work closer with Turkey,Egypt and Gulf countries to combat terrorism

EU leaders have agreed on sharing intelligence with not only member states, but also with other countries, including Turkey,Egypt and Gulf countries to combat terrorism, it was announced Monday.

The decision was made during EU foreign ministers' meeting in Brussels that discussed ways to combat terrorism in Europe and other parts of the world. The meeting comes in the aftermath of the deadly attack on French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and anti-terrorism raids in Belgium.

After the meeting, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters about measures to curb terrorism. "We are looking at specific projects to launch in the coming weeks with some specific countries to increase the level of cooperation on counter-terrorism, and I would name Turkey, Egypt, Yemen, Algeria and the Gulf countries.''

Swedish Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said ''everyone thinks it’s important to engage with Turkey.''

''Turkey is central in so many ways and can play a constructive role if they use their position and setting in the right way,'' Wallstrom added.

Passenger name records
EU leaders also decided to call on the European Parliament to work on implementation of the Passenger Name Record system, which would require EU member states to share information of airline passengers with other countries.

Currently, up to 16 EU countries use the record system without an EU framework.

The legislation was proposed by European regulators in 2011, but later rejected by EU Parliament’s Civil Liberties committee in April 2013. Critics argue that the record system interferes with the right to privacy and protection of personal data.

Improving communication with Arabs

Mogherini said another strategy on developing cooperation on security issues would be to improve communication with the Arab-speaking population in EU and other parts of the world.

''We need to improve our capacity to read Arabic, speak Arabic and listen to messages coming from the Arab world,'' Mogherini said. ''This is basic communication strategy we need to implement.''

Her comments came after calling for a stronger alliance with Arab countries amid deadly terror attacks and arrests across Europe. Mogherini also met Arab League Secretary-General Nabil el-Araby on Monday.

''The threat is not only the one we faced in Paris, but spreading in other parts of the world starting from Muslim countries,'' Mogherini said. ''We need to strengthen our way of cooperating, first of all, with Arab countries.''

"Good cooperation"

Mogherini said an alliance between Europe and Arab countries was needed because Muslims were mostly affected by terrorist attacks.

Mogherini said ''I've always said it is not an issue between Europe or the West and Islam."

"Terrorism and terrorist attacks are targeting most Muslims in the world, so we need an alliance, we need a dialogue there to face the issue together.''

''What we need to do is face terrorism while respecting Islam," she added.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond told reporters ahead of the meeting: ''We have very good cooperation with our partners across the Arab world in counter-terrorism."

"The Muslim countries of the world are the ones who have suffered the greatest burden of terrorism. They will continue to be in the front line and we have to work closely with them to protect both those countries and European Union countries," Hammond added.

  http://www.aa.com.tr/en/headline/452668--eu-to-work-closer-with-turkey-to-combat-terrorism
19/1/15

Τετάρτη, Δεκεμβρίου 17, 2014

Bulgaria to send delegation to Moscow to discuss South Stream (reports)

Bulgaria’s Cabinet plans to send a government delegation to Moscow on December 19 to discuss the prospect of reviving the South Stream gas pipeline project, Russian and Bulgarian media quoted Economy Minister Bozhidar Loukarski as saying in Belgrade on December 16, following meetings with Serbian officials.
“Bulgaria never intended to give up on the South Stream project and would like to hear the official position of the Russian Energy minister on it,” he is quoted as saying. He also said that the pipeline could be brought in line with the EU regulations, although it remains unclear to what extent Russia is willing to do so, given that EU rules were one of the main obstacles cited by Russian president Vladimir Putin when he announced the project’s cancellation in Ankara on December 1.

It is unclear, also, whether Russia has agreed on holding such a meeting, with Russian news agency Itar-Tass reporting on December 17, citing unnamed sources familiar with the situation, that Russian energy minister Alexander Novak was still deliberating on the issue of a meeting..........http://sofiaglobe.com/2014/12/17/bulgaria-to-send-delegation-to-moscow-to-discuss-south-stream-reports/

17/12/14
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Πέμπτη, Δεκεμβρίου 04, 2014

South Stream pipeline can be built (European Commission)

The South Stream project can be implemented, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on Thursday.
South Stream can be built, Juncker said after a meeting with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.

Borisov shared the EC president’s view. “We are in favour of South Stream. We want South Stream to be built in compliance with the EU legislation,” he said.
Borisov said the energy ministers of the countries participating in the South Stream gas project would meet in Brussels on December 9.
“The preparations were not stopped. It was scheduled that the South Stream energy ministers would meet on December 9. This meeting will be held and I hope that it will settle problems, including on the Third Energy Package,” Borisov said.
  •  Meanwhile, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Russia’s decision to stop the South Stream gas project is final.
The pipeline will run to Turkey in compliance with the agreements reached by the presidents of both countries, he said.....................http://itar-tass.com/en/economy/765180
4/12/14
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Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 28, 2014

China bans private clubs in historical sites

The Chinese government on Monday issued a ban on private clubs in historical buildings and parks....

Establishing private clubs in such public places is an encroachment upon the common good, and has long been criticized by society, according to the regulation released by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and other departments.

The rule clarifies the definition of historical buildings, ranging from nationwide culture relic protection sites to martyr memorial facilities and religious places.


According to the ban, private clubs include the provision of board and lodging, gyms and entertainment venues.

A national campaign will be launched to clear up such private clubs in historical buildings and parks, said the regulation which will go into effect on Nov. 1, 2014.
Sources: Xinhua  - globaltimes.cn
27/10/14
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Τετάρτη, Οκτωβρίου 08, 2014

Toxic exports allowed: EU drops labeling of Canadian tar sands as highly polluting

The European Commission has proposed a directive that abandons obligatory labeling of tar sands oil as highly polluting, opening way for Canada's sands crude imports and drawing criticism for putting oil producers' interests above the environment.
In light of recent economic tensions with Russia and the EU's energy dependence on its eastern neighbor, the European Commission has published a proposal, the text of which removes one of the biggest obstacles standing in the way of Alberta exporting its oil sands crude to Europe. The revised draft still has to be approved by EU member-states before being passed on to the European Parliament.

“The commission is today (Tuesday) giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands,” EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement.
“It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states,” Hedegaard added. “I strongly recommend Member States to adopt this proposal and keep the safeguards that will allow cleaner fuels to be used in transport across Europe.”
The desire for a trade deal with Canada had been a factor in revising the draft said EU sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity to Reuters.
Oil sands crude is more damaging to the environment as it emits more carbon over its life-cycle, but under the new draft that was EU will be counting it in the same category as conventional oil, opening way for larger imports from Canada.
The debate about labeling tar sands crude, in the EU started in 2009 when the block approved legislation aimed at cutting greenhouse gases from fuel by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it. The law is part of the EUs broader strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 20 percent by 2020, compared to 1990 levels........................http://rt.com/news/194048-eu-sand-oil-imports/
8/10/14
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Τρίτη, Οκτωβρίου 07, 2014

EU Proposes to Stop Labeling Tar Sands Oil as Highly Polluting (Reports)

MOSCOW, October 7 – The European Commission has proposed eliminating a mandatory requirement to label tar sands oil as highly polluting, Reuters reported Tuesday.

"The commission is today giving this another push, to try and ensure that in the future, there will be a methodology and thus an incentive to choose less polluting fuels over more polluting ones like, for example, oil sands," EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard said in a statement as quoted by Reuters.


"It is no secret that our initial proposal could not go through due to resistance faced in some member states," Hedegaard added.

The revised proposal still has to be debated by EU member-states and also needs a sign off from the European Parliament.

The debate about labeling tar sands, also known as oil sands, dates back to 2009 when the European Union approved legislation aiming to cut greenhouse gases from transport fuel sold in Europe by 6 percent by 2020, but failed to agree how to implement it.

In 2011, the European Commission agreed tar sands should be given a carbon value a fifth higher than for conventional oil, but EU member-states could not agree and the Commission has been reconsidering the proposal ever since.

Oil sands crude, found in clay-like sands, is used by major oil companies, such as BP Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil. It costs more to produce than conventional crude, uses more energy and water and emits more carbon over its life-cycle.

(RIA Novosti)
7/10/14
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Δευτέρα, Σεπτεμβρίου 29, 2014

Commission welcomes the Council's adoption of the Invasive Alien Species Regulation

European Commission, Statement, Brussels, 29 September 2014:

Today the EU adopted legislation that will tackle the rapidly growing threat to biodiversity from invasive species. The Regulation is a crucial step towards achieving the EU's 2020 biodiversity targets, while also delivering on a commitment under the Convention on Biological Diversity to establish rules to address the threats posed by these species.
European Environment Commissioner Janez Potočnik said: "This new Regulation fills a long-recognised gap in EU biodiversity protection.
It is carefully targeted, focusing on the most serious threats from invasive species. By working together within the EU to tackle a problem estimated to cost EUR 12 billion every year, we are taking a decisive step towards meeting our objective of halting the loss of biodiversity in the EU by 2020."
The Regulation equips Europe with an effective system that will prevent the introduction and spread of species that can cause significant adverse impacts on the environment, the economy, and human health. The system will be based on a list of species of Union concern, to be drawn up with the Member States on the basis of comprehensive risk assessments and robust scientific evidence. The list will focus on the species that cause the most serious damage. When considering species for listing, their socio-economic benefits, and the concerns of established commercial sectors, will be taken fully into account.

Background
Alien species are plants, animals, fungi and micro-organisms that have been transported across ecological barriers such as mountain ranges, or oceans as a result of human intervention, and have become established in an area outside their natural range.
About a quarter of these species are brought into Europe intentionally, but most arrive by accident. There are currently more than 12 000 alien species in the European environment. In their new environment, some spread rapidly and become invasive alien species (IAS), causing significant damage to biodiversity, human health or the economy. Roughly 10-15 % of alien species arriving in Europe eventually become invasive.
These species are a major cause of biodiversity loss, and they can also cause significant damage to human health and the economy. Examples include the American bullfrog, allergy-causing ragweed and musk rats that damage infrastructure.
Invasive alien species are estimated to cost EUR 12 billion annually in health care and animal health costs, crop yield losses, fish stock losses, damage to infrastructure, damage to the navigability of rivers, and damage to protected species.
 http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_STATEMENT-14-286_en.htm?locale=en 
29/9/14
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Τρίτη, Σεπτεμβρίου 02, 2014

GMO cultivation in the EU (Questions and answers)

The EU has one of the toughest genetically modified food regulations in the world and the cultivation of GM crops is only allowed following a thorough risk assessment. Yet, as member states are calling for more possibilities to restrict GMO cultivation on their territories, the European Commission has proposed some amendments to the current EU rules. The Parliament and the Council are currently looking at these proposals. Read on to learn more.

Is it allowed to grow genetically modified crops in the EU?


Yes, but only once they have been authorised at EU level, following a strict risk assessment carried out by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). After authorisation, individual EU countries can only ban the GM product on their territory by using the so-called safeguard clause. They have to justify this decision, showing that the GMO may cause harm to people or the environment.

Are any GMOs already cultivated in the EU and did any member state ban it?

Currently, only one GM crop - insect-resistant maize MON 810 from Monsanto - is grown in the EU. However, some countries - Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg and Poland - adopted safeguard clauses to prohibit its cultivation on their territories.

Why does the EU want to change the current system for authorising GM products?

Some member states asked for more freedom and flexibility to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of GMOs on their territory. In response, the Commission proposed amendments to the current rules and they are currently being discussed by the Parliament and the Council.

When will the new rules take effect?

In 2011 MEPs voted in favour of the proposals albeit with several amendments. The Council reached a political agreement on 12 June 2014, which will allow the Parliament and the Council to continue talks in order  to reach agreement on a common text. The proposal is foreseen for final adoption in 2015.
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/content/20140902STO57801/
2/9/14
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Παρασκευή, Μαΐου 23, 2014

BLUEFIN TUNA: THE LONG PATH OF RECOVERY

Bluefin Tuna is an emblematic species, fished and appreciated all across the globe. But when I took office four years ago, the state of the stocks was extremely alarming. We were exporting and eating more bluefin tuna than we were expected to catch!

In 2012 we managed to take action at global level: we implemented, within the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT), a very strict recovery plan based on advice by scientists.

Quotas have been reduced, our fleet has become smaller and the fishing period has been shortened – this year, it will start next Monday 26 May and already close a month later, on 24 June.

The rules are there, but work remains to be done. We will only be able to preserve bluefin tuna if all actors play by the rules and put the priority on controls. 


The European Commission, the European Fisheries Control Agency (EFCA) and Member States dedicate tremendous resources to enforce the rules. For the 2014 season, we will deploy sea and air patrols to control that the fishing season and quotas are respected. We will monitor catches and inspect caging operations in tuna farms and, if required, take the necessary action to avoid overfishing.

Today we can already see first signs that efforts are paying off. The situation is very different from 2010 when the stock was close to extinction. I am confident that we are on the right path – the path to recovery.

23/5/14 

Πέμπτη, Μαΐου 22, 2014

New EU initiative to protect biodiversity and fight wildlife crime

European Commission, MEMO, Brussels, 22 May 2014:

B4Life: United for Biodiversity
  1. Why do we need EU Biodiversity for Life? What is the value-added?
EU Biodiversity for Life (B4Life) marks a change in the way the EU provides support to protect biodiversity in developing countries. In the face of the growing global threats to biodiversity, it provides for more resources, strengthened capacity and better coordination with partners.

B4Life is one of EuropeAid’s new flagship initiatives, designed to encourage broad, cross-sector partnerships to tackle major development challenges. For B4Life, this means addressing the related challenges of protecting biodiversity and building sustainable livelihoods in a green economy.
B4Life thus responds both to the growing threat to global ecosystems, including from land use changes, unsustainable use of natural resources, poaching and wildlife crime, pollution and climate change; and to the need of the poorest communities, over 70% of whom live in rural areas and depend directly on ecosystem services for their subsistence.
  1. What are ecosystem services?
Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from the wide variety of ecosystems across the Earth. These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as climate regulation, climate change mitigation, flood and disease control, pollination, and the maintenance of soil fertility; cultural services such as spiritual, recreational and cultural benefits; and supporting services, such as genetic diversity and habitats, that maintain the conditions for life on Earth.
  1. What sort of activities might be eligible for B4Life funding?
B4Life will include projects with biodiversity as their main objective. This will include, for example, projects to support the sustainable management of protected areas, to develop trade in biodiversity-related products for sustainable livelihoods, to reduce deforestation and degradation of mangroves for the protection of coasts and nursery habitats for fish, and to increase monitoring and information sharing to fight wildlife crime.
  1. Which regions/countries are targeted by the initiative?
In line with the EU’s Agenda for Change (its policy blueprint to target its resources where they are most needed and can be the most effective), B4Life will focus on those developing countries most in need and with the greatest potential, by paying particular attention to Least Developed Countries and countries containing “biodiversity hotspots”, the places where ecosystems and their services are the richest but also the most threatened, like the Congo Basin, Madagascar, the West African forests, Tropical Andes, Mesoamerica, Indian Western Ghats, Kalimantan…
  1. What is the timeframe of the initiative?
B4Life will run for the current EU financial period, 2014-2020. During this period, there will be regular calls for project proposals according to the needs identified.
  1. How will it work?
A “B4Life Facility” will be created to manage and coordinate delivery of the initiative. The Facility will provide technical support, enhance communication and coordination towards achieving international biodiversity targets and coherence, promote knowledge exchange for partners and beneficiaries, and enhance the visibility and coherence of the EU biodiversity-related interventions.
  1. What is the ‘Wildlife Crisis Window’?
The wildlife crisis window is a contribution to addressing the wildlife poaching and trafficking crisis throughout the entire chain of wildlife consumption.
The challenge of wild life trafficking is huge and has recently experienced a dramatic acceleration. Illegal wildlife trade of endangered species has a major impact on biodiversity and represents a real threat to national security of many countries, and especially in Africa. Unprecedented poaching levels and sophisticated smuggling capabilities are indicative of organised criminal activity, severely compromising the security of entire communities.
The B4Life wildlife crisis window will scale-up the means allocated to tackle this issue, while addressing both supply- and demand-side, at local, national, regional and international levels. This will include increased protection of priority areas, monitoring and investigation measures and support to organisations specialised in the fight against international trafficking of endangered species.
[europa.eu]
22/5/14
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Σάββατο, Μαΐου 10, 2014

China to end mandatory animal testing for cosmetics

Protecting the rights of animals has become a big issue in many countries, Chinese law currently requires all cosmetics products to be tested on animals -- meaning some international brands have stayed out of the mainland. But the Chinese Government says that from this summer, cosmetics companies will be able to choose whether or not to test on live animals. Ahead of the move, Chinese scientists are now learning about alternative test methods.

Cosmetics are big business in China.

Until now, the fourth-largest cosmetics market in the world has mainly relied on animal-testing to ensure consumer safety.

Each year, some 300-thousand live animals undergo painful testing in Chinese laboratories. But the Government now wants to adopt alternative methods, that have proven track records in other countries.

"Alternative methods use complicated techniques and need more international cooperation." Dr. Cheng Shujun, Guangdong Inspection and Quarantine Bureau said.

Global institutes and experts can help us build advanced labs and improve our experimental ability.

Each year millions of animals, such as mice, rabbits and monkeys are tested worldwide for scientific purposes.

The new regulation will allow both Chinese and foreign companies operating on the Mainland the option to avoid animal testing, if they use ingredients that have already been tested as safe.

Until now, Chinese scientists have had limited access to non-animal testing techniques and facilities. But China is now set to learn from international expertise, and become better equipped.

  • In-vitro and other non-animal techniques will be widely used.

"This alternative method training is very helpful. We mainly focus on experimental practice." Kang Hua, Researcher of Zhejiang Food and Drug Inspecton Inst. said.

The country is rolling out the welcoming mat to companies that refused animal testing and couldn’t get a slice of China’s cosmetics pie.

[english.cntv.cn]
10/5/14

Πέμπτη, Μαΐου 01, 2014

Russia brings case against EU over energy regulations. - World Trade Organization

Russia requested consultations with the European Union (EU) over the latter's regulations in energy sector, starting the first step in a dispute against EU to the World Trade Organization (WTO), announced the world trade watchdog here on Thursday.

The EU measures in question were called "Third Energy Package", a legislation for an internal gas and electricity market which came into force in September 2009.

The package was aimed at further opening up the markets in the region by "ownership unbundling," which requires the separation of companies' generation and sale operations from their transmission networks.


In Russia's complaint filed on Wednesday, a number of EU's measures in this sector, including those pertaining to production, supply and transmission of natural gas or electricity, and the alleged discriminatory certification requirements in relation to third countries, were inconsistent with its obligations and commitments under General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing measures and the Agreement Establishing the WTO, according to the organization.

Response to the request has to be given within 10 days and the member requested shall enter into consultations within a maximum of 30 days after the date of the receipt of the request.

The maximum period of consultations is 60 days after the reception of the request, unless both parties agree otherwise. If consultations fail to resolve the dispute, the complainant may request adjudication by a panel, according to the WTO.
[china.org.cn]

1/5/14
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Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 30, 2014

Russia sues EU over Third Energy Package

Russia has filed a lawsuit with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) against the European Union over the Third Energy Package, a Russian source close to the case told ITAR-TASS on Wednesday, April 30.
“This procedure is provided for in the rules of the Organisation,” the source said, adding that “Russia sent a note to the EU Mission at the WTO and notified the WTO Secretariat thereof”.
The Russian Ministry of Economic Development said earlier it was planning to file such a lawsuit before the end of the first quarter of 2014. In late 2013, Russia filed a lawsuit against the EU over energy adjustments.

Russia’s complaints about the Third Energy Package also remain in force. “We do not remove this issue from the agenda. It’s number two on the list. As regards the Third Energy Package, we are planning to start an investigation within the WTO framework in the first quarter of 2014,” Deputy Minister of Economic Development Alexei Likhachev said in December.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev earlier disagreed with Europe's position on the Third Energy Package as it calls for a revision of existing agreements.
“As for antimonopoly structures, we are not against different procedures if they occur by law, but we think the position on the Third Energy Package is wrong,” Medvedev said.
“Even if it pursues positive goals, it has a significant impact on existing ties and means a rejection of current agreements,” Medvedev said, adding that Russia thinks thought it was a violation.
President Vladimir Putin said he was hopeful that a compromise on the EU Third Energy Package could be reached.
“I do hope very much that we will be able to find a solution to these complex problems and questions through dialogue of partners,” he said.
At the same time, he said it would be unacceptable if the provisions of “the Third Energy Package” were applied retroactively to affect current contracts between Gazprom and consumers.
“All kinds of unilateral decisions are made - ‘the Third Energy Package,’ and it gets applied retroactively in an absolutely unprecedented way, which would seem unacceptable in the modern civilised world, and yet this happens,” he said.
According to Putin, the Third Energy Package can cause damage.
However European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy said that it was designed to ensure a higher degree of competition in the market as EU countries must not depend on any one source of energy supplies.
It confirmed that the EU had no problems with Russian companies if they played by European rules and said that Russia should ratify the Energy Charter in order to reduce risks related to trade and investments in the energy sector.
“The sides are expected to reiterate their intention to develop mutually advantageous energy cooperation for creating an integrated energy complex in Europe, while pressing for strict compliance with existing bilateral and multilateral contractual obligations,” Russian presidential aide Yuri Ushakov said.
  • According to the European Commission, the Third Energy Package should promote competition in the EU energy market and push energy prices down in Europe.
One of its most controversial provisions demands that all energy transit infrastructure be handed over to autonomous operators independent from energy generating and mineral producing companies.
Russian Permanent Representative to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said that the enforcement of this provision has “basically led to nationalisation of pipelines in some East European countries.”..........http://en.itar-tass.com/economy/730117
30/4/14

Τετάρτη, Απριλίου 16, 2014

Invasive alien species: "The damage and costs continue to increase"


One of the worst threats to Europe's biodiversity and ecosystems is plant and animals species coming from other countries and continents, which often cause the near extinction of native species. On 16 April MEPs approved new rules to tackle this issue. “Invasive alien species are the second most significant threat to biodiversity after habitat loss and they are also recognised as a major cause of species extinction,” said Pavel Poc, the MEP responsible for steering the proposal through the EP.


Globalisation and the increased use of international transport have made it easier for species to spread to other areas. Some of these are harmless, but others prove detrimental to local animal and plant life and unbalance the ecosystem. The Parliament votes on Wednesday 16 April on new legislation to deal with this issue. Mr Poc, a Czech member of the S&D group, commented: "The new measures should prevent new invasive alien species from entering the EU and to deal more effectively with the ones that are already established in Europe.”

Under the proposal a list of invasive alien species that could prove damaging would be established and those species should not be introduced, transported, placed on the market, offered, kept, grown or released into the environment. “Efforts to minimise the impact of the invasive alien species will be coherent in the member states, cover all of the EU and will be better coordinated, which means that their overall effectiveness will be improved,” Mr Poc said.

Some of hese species can also prove a threat to human health, as they can cause health problems such asthma or allergies and are potential carriers of various diseasesa like the Dengue fever propagated by the Asian tiger mosquito, which first emerged in Europe in 1979 through a shipment of goods from China.

"Invasive alien species are estimated to cost the European Union at least €12 billion per year and the damage and the costs continue to increase,” said Mr Poc.
[europarl.europa.eu]
16/4/14
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Invasive alien species: MEPs reach agreement with the Greek Presidency

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Δευτέρα, Απριλίου 14, 2014

Banking union made easy: a five-minute guide to the EU's new rules


A banking union is being set up by the EU to help keep Europe's financial system stable and prevent another crisis from taking place. It requires finding a fast and efficient way to deal with failing banks while ensuring that taxpayers are spared from paying for bankers' mistakes. As MEPs prepare to vote on 15 April on an agreement with the Council on how to deal with failing banks, we take a closer look at the issues involved. Read on for an overview of how banking in Europe is about to change.


The key ingredients for a banking union

An efficient banking union requires legislation on how to deal with failing banks, protect small depositors and better supervise banks.

Why states keep bailing out failing banks...

Because banks are at the heart of the economy, drawing in deposits, savings and financing investments, their health is of paramount importance. If they get into serious trouble, governments usually opt to bail them out with taxpayers’ money, even if that means a sharp increase in public debt, rather than risk economic meltdown in the wake of bank failures.

...And how to prevent this from happening again

Banking legislation is being reformed in order to prevent countries from using taxpayers' money to shore up failing banks. On 15 April MEPs vote on a deal that would enable authorities to quickly deal with failing banks. For this they would be able to rely on a €55 billion bank-financed fund rather than resorting to taxpayers' money.  Most importantly, bank losses will have to be borne mostly by shareholders and bondholders, giving them more incentive to  protect taxpayers and control bankers' risk taking..

Protecting people's savings

In order to safeguard people’s savings, MEPs will also vote on 15 April on an update of the deposit guarantee scheme directive, which introduces national bank-financed guarantees for savings up to €100,000.

Deposit guarantee schemes are being managed at the national level instead of at the European level.

Better supervision of banks

The Parliament  already supported the establishment of a single supervisory mechanism back in September 2013. This gives the European central bank (ECB) the responsibility to supervise the euro zone’s biggest banks. This will help to identify problems sooner and take care of them efficiently.

Other improvements

The EU also adopted legislation to limit banker bonuses in order to discourage them from taking excessive risks that could take down a bank.

Banks are now also required to hold sufficient capital in order to weather financial difficulties.
 [europarl.europa.eu]
14/4/14

Οι νεκροί Έλληνες στα μακεδονικά χώματα σάς κοιτούν με οργή

«Παριστάνετε τα "καλά παιδιά" ελπίζοντας στη στήριξη του διεθνή παράγοντα για να παραμείνετε στην εξουσία», ήταν η κατηγορία πο...