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Celebrate European Data Protection Day - Keep consumers in control!
Today is the Third European Data Protection Day. Privacy is a fundamental consumer right, that must be respected both offline and online. Yet consumers' privacy is currently more under threat than ever before.

ECAR renews call for EC "Repairs Clause"
The European Campaign for the Freedom of the Automotive Parts and Repair Market (ECAR) has written to the EU Czech Presidency to express its strong support for the European Commission's proposal of a Repairs Clause that liberalises the market in automotive spare parts.

Collective Redress: Going Around in Circles
When things go wrong with a service or product in our mass production and consumption economies, a high number of consumers can easily be affected. It is not hard to imagine situations where several people would want to group their individual claims against the same trader into one single action, and benefit from a collective redress mechanism: consumers who have suffered skin infections due to the leather treatment of their armchairs, passengers who have missed their Christmas holidays because of a rogue tour operator, consumers wanting to act against their bank for illegal overcharges...

Zero Tolerance towards Sexual Exploitation of Children
From 25-28 November, the 3rd World Congress Against Sexual Exploitation Of Children & Adolescents will see Heads of State, government officials, experts and thousands of activists renew global commitments and move forward the global agenda to stop the sexual exploitation of children and adolescents. The previous two Congresses took place in Stockholm in Sweden (1996) and Yokohama in Japan (2001).

Blue Card Scheme still too cautious, EUROCHAMBRES says
Following today's vote by the European Parliament on the proposed Blue Card scheme, EUROCHAMBRES expresses its satisfaction with the fact that, for the first time, the EU is taking a common approach to the issue of legal economic migration.

First REACH hazardous chemicals list is a drop in the ocean
The first-ever list of 15 hazardous chemicals released today by the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) is a welcome start, but it is a drop in the ocean when compared to the hundreds of well-known dangerous substances present in products used every day across Europe, said a coalition of environmental, health, consumer and women’s public interest groups.

European Employment Strategy has paid off: report
The European Employment Strategy has paid off, in terms of creating both more and better jobs, according to the new European Restructuring Monitor’s annual report 2008 from the European Foundation of the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (Eurofound), the Dublin-based EU agency. The report, which examines patterns of employment expansion in Europe between 1995-2006, concludes that women workers in particular have benefited from this period of stronger European employment growth.

TI welcomes new transparency on EU fund beneficiaries but calls for more standardised information
Transparency International (TI) welcomes the European Union's (EU) new system for disclosing the beneficiaries of its funds. The European Commission recently launched several web portals through which information on the recipients of certain EU funds can be accessed. TI calls on EU Member States and the Commission to further enhance the information provided for and published through the disclosure system.

The flexicurity concept and how it is employed in Europe
Flexicurity is a policy approach that attempts to combine flexibility of labour markets for employers and security of employment for employees. It has the potential to substantially enhance the competitiveness of the European economy and create higher levels of employment.

Roaming: No More Nasty Surprises
Will we soon see the end of unpleasant surprises on mobile bills after travelling abroad? Possibly.

2008 Corruption Perceptions Index
Although the European Union and other Western European countries rank at the top of Transparency International’s (TI) 2008 Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), this year’s results show that there is no corruption-free zone in and around the EU.

BEUC welcomes EFSA's approach on Evaluation of Health Claims Made on Foods
BEUC, the European Consumers' Organisation, welcomes the strict approach taken by EFSA's Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies (NDA) when evaluating the first eight applications on claims relating to disease risk reduction and children's health claims.

European NGOs condemn putting aid at the service of immigration control
While European and G8 countries are failing to deliver on their international aid commitments, European Development NGOs are deeply concerned about linking immigration control and development cooperation.

Standby electricity proposal: a clear step toward greener products in Europe
The European Environmental Bureau (EEB), Europe's largest federation of environmental citizens' groups, welcomes national governments' support for a European Commission proposal to cut electricity losses from the standby mode of electrical appliances for a broad range of products.

Cross Border Health Care
BEUC is pleased by the adoption by the European Commission of the long awaited proposal for a Directive on cross border health care.

EEB assesses the achievements of Slovenia’s six-month EU Presidency
Slovenia's Presidency will be remembered for paving the way for an EU agreement on key energy and climate issues in time for the next international climate change summit in Copenhagen in 2009," said John Hontelez, Secretary General of EEB, Europe's largest federation of environmental citizens' groups.

Lobbyist's register - first step towards EU lobbyism transparency?
Transparency International (TI) welcomes the establishment of the European Commission lobbyists' register, initiated by the Commission Vice-President, Siim Kallas, but urges the Commission to think ahead, and to use the lessons learned from its register for the establishment of a mandatory inter-institutional register in 2009, as called for by the European Parliament in April 2008.

New Commission EU lobby register 'weak and unbalanced'
The voluntary EU lobby register launched on 23 June by the Commission is weak and unbalanced, says the Alliance for Lobbying Transparency (ALTER-EU).

ALTER-EU welcomes EP vote on mandatory lobbyists register
The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation in the EU (ALTER-EU) welcomes the European Parliament's approval today of the report on "Framework for the activities of lobbyists in the EU institutions".

EU budget 2009: EUROCHAMBRES urges even more resources for 'competitiveness'
Yesterday the European Commission adopted the Preliminary Draft Budget for 2009. EUROCHAMBRES is pleased to see that, this year again, the bulk of the overall budget (44.7%) is devoted to the 'sustainable growth' heading.

RAPEX report: A step in the right direction…
Today the European Commission is presenting its Annual Report 2007 on the operation of the RAPEX system, the European rapid alert system for all dangerous consumer products (with the exception of food, pharmaceutical and medical devices).

BEUC statement on food labelling
BEUC welcomes the Commission's intention to tackle the severe problem of obesity by using a regulatory approach concerning nutrition labelling. We believe indeed that only mandatory requirements will allow consumers across Europe to be properly informed and make appropriate choices for a healthy diet.

Car industry’s green claims a fairy tale says Greenpeace
As automobile shows opened in Brussels and Vienna today, Greenpeace challenged the European car manufacturers to stop undermining a European proposal for more fuel efficient cars, and instead take real action to lower the climate impact of their fleets.

German car trio and nuclear lobby shamed at 'Worst EU lobbying' awards 2007
BMW, Daimler and Porsche win public vote for "Worst EU Lobbying Award" and German Atomic Forum receives prize for "Worst EU Greenwash".

State aid: SMEs insist on the need to polish "general block exemption"
UEAPME, the European craft and SME employers' organisation, presented the European Commission today with its comments on the first draft "General Block Exemption Regulation" (GBER) on State aid.