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2011 RAPEX figures released: Numbers down, risks unchanged?
A disturbing 1,803 dangerous products alerts have been revealed with today’s release of the 2011 RAPEX system statistics. This is down by approximately 450 compared to an all-time high in 2010. RAPEX is Europe’s rapid alert system for products risking the safety and health of consumers (excepting food, pharmaceutical and medical devices).

Europe ready for environmental and economic benefits of resource efficiency
European politicians laid foundations for a resource efficient Europe today, with wide political support shown for the need to measure Europe’s resource use. This is a crucial first step towards reducing Europe’s resource use, according to Friends of the Earth Europe, but the European Commission must follow suit in order for Europe to gain the benefits greater resource efficiency brings.

Europe still an attractive business destination, Eastern companies say
Enterprises from the six countries of the Eastern Partnership (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) see the European Union as an attractive business destination and express great optimism towards closer integration with the EU.

EFSA admits failure
For the first time, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) admits that it did not take the necessary action to stop revolving doors. EFSA states that “regrettably” the authority did not follow up the relevant information. Further, the authority acknowledges that it has strengthened internal rules in response.

"Employment package" too shy on SMEs as job creators, warns UEAPME
The "employment package" presented by the European Commission today is spot on when it comes to addressing both the demand and supply sides of labour markets and encouraging structural reforms. However, it is too limited on the key role of small and medium-sized companies as job creators, according to UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation.

Industry and civil society unite in calling for 100% clean energy in Europe
The answer to today's energy and environmental challenges lies in the creation of a cutting-edge economy underpinned by an entirely clean and efficient energy system, said a broad coalition of engineering, energy and technology companies, alongside civil society organisations. A 100 percent renewables declaration was delivered today to Martin Lidegaard, Danish minister for energy and current holder of the EU presidency, at a European Wind Energy Association event in Copenhagen.

Air passengers' rights: key EU vote approaches
In the context of a major EU update of air passengers’ rights, the European Parliament votes Thursday, calling for a strengthening of rights and measures to improve enforcement. MEPs also denounce the lack of transparency of ticket pricing and call for a ‘black-list’ of unfair contracts terms.

Automobile manufacturers call for change of direction in EU trade negotiations
The European automobile manufacturers call on the European Commission and Member States to change their approach in conducting trade negotiations. EU trade policy should help strengthen its domestic manufacturing industries rather than giving up on them for reasons that are unfit.

Parliament and Council must bring "Horizon 2020" in line with SMEs' needs
UEAPME issues position paper; calls for 15% dedicated budget, single entry point; rejects attempts to dilute SME definition

Plunder continues as EU fisheries ministers tinker around the edges of reform
European fisheries ministers meeting in Brussels to discuss the reform of EU fishing rules are expected to ignore the critical imbalance between the bloated size of EU fleets and dwindling stocks, said Greenpeace. Ministers are likely to reach an agreement on how to manage the impact of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy on fishing in foreign waters.

Consumer organisations across EU call on Apple to stop misleading practices on product guarantees
11 consumer organisation members of BEUC are today calling for an immediate halt to misleading practices by Apple in relation to consumers’ product guarantee rights.

Cohesion policy for 2014-2020 must keep a clear focus on SMEs
The new cohesion policy for 2014-2020 must closely associate economic and social partners in programming at all levels, including in the identification of priorities, and secure “ring-fenced” budget quotas for SMEs’ competitiveness and innovation-related activities, according to UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation.

Climate action must not be postponed, ministers told
Proposals for how Europe might tackle climate change over the next 40 years are on the agenda of a meeting of Europe's environment ministers tomorrow (March 9) in Brussels.

CJEU: the end of copyright claims for sport fixture lists
The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today delivered its ruling (case C-604/10) in a case referred from the Court of Appeal (England & Wales).

Stable business confidence hides worrying developments, survey finds
European small businesses are in “wait and see” mode as uncertainty prevails over confidence and a mild recession is under way, according to a survey conducted by UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers’ organisation, and its members.

Stalemate on tar sands
Representatives from European governments met today to vote on plans to keep tar sands out of Europe, but intense lobby pressure from Canada and the oil industry has brought about a stalemate, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.

European chemicals safety net flawed Commission study reveals
A European Commission study on hormone disrupting chemicals has shed a worrying new light on the insufficient way these are assessed before use in consumer products.

European Court calls into question the compliance of the new Italian regulation with EU law
Today the European Court of Justice (CJEU) issued its preliminary ruling in the joint cases Costa and Cifone regarding the access of European operators to Italian gambling licences (cases C-72/10 and C-77/10) under the 2006 reformed Italian gambling legislation. The CJEU confirms that Member States cannot protect vested economic interests and thereby discriminate against new operators under the aegis of consumer protection or fraud prevention.

Futile European Parliament vote on bank deposit guarantees
Today’s European Parliament vote on EU rules governing deposit guarantees – which protect consumers when banks go bankrupt – has regrettably been in vain.

White Paper on pensions: occupational pensions must remain attractive, say SMEs
The proposals put forward by the European Commission's White Paper setting out an agenda for adequate, safe and sustainable pensions unveiled today (Thursday) must avoid raising the cost of occupational pensions for employers and workers, according to UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation.

Organic farming dwarves GM crops in Europe as public rejection hits biotech firms
Public resistance to genetically modified crops has ensured that the area grown in Europe in 2011 remained at 0.1 per cent of all arable land, shows figures released today by Friends of the Earth Europe. In comparison, organic farming accounted for 3.7 per cent.

Rising doubts about safety of genetically engineered plants
In a letter to Commissioner Dalli, Testbiotech and GeneWatch UK give new evidence of EFSA´s failure to perform risk assessment of genetically engineered plants.

EU can wait no longer for Collective Redress
Today’s vote in the European Parliament echoes BEUC in putting clear pressure on the Commission to introduce a system of Collective Redress providing EU consumers with a collective compensation tool for commercial malpractice.

Commission climate paper - Europe can save billions in fuel costs
The European Commission today set out how Europe could increase its climate ambition, presenting a series of pathways to further reduce carbon emissions by 2020.

Major EU update of Data Protection laws: Consumers handed greater control of their data
BEUC welcomes today’s proposed update of EU Data Protection laws by the European Commission. These will make European standards applicable to all companies processing the data of European consumers.