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Guides on the EU policy on living and working in the EU.
112 - Europe's single emergency number - guide
To mark "European 112 Day" on 11th February, the European Commission is urging EU Member States to step up their efforts to increase public awareness of the existence of 112, the number which can be used in all Member States to reach emergency services. An EU-wide survey released today shows around three out of four EU citizens still do not know this life-saving number. However, EU telecoms rules require Member States to make their citizens aware of the 112 number. To increase the protection of EU citizens, Member States are further required to improve the accuracy and reliability of caller location information under the new EU telecoms rules, which must be implemented into national law by 25 May this year.
EU Internal Security Strategy in Action - guide
The "EU Internal Security Strategy in Action" comprises 41 actions targeting the most urgent security threats facing Europe. They include a shared agenda to disrupt criminal and terrorist networks, to protect citizens, businesses and societies against cybercrime, to increase EU security by smarter border management, and to strengthen the Union's readiness and response to crises.
Missing children hotline 116 000 - guide
The European Commission today made a final call to 14 EU Member States to make the Europe-wide 116 000 hotline for missing children operational as soon as possible. The hotline provides a single number for missing children and their parents to call for help anywhere in the EU. Having the same hotline will help children and parents in trouble get help when away from home, such as during family holidays. In a report adopted today, the Commission takes stock of the situation in the Member States, proposes common minimum quality requirements for the service throughout the EU and gives Member States a last chance to make the hotline operational before considering legislative measures.
European Disability Strategy 2010-2020 - guide
Most people take it for granted that they can hop on a bus to go shopping, surf the Internet or enjoy a television series. But for the 80 million Europeans with a disability, there may be major obstacles that put these activities out of reach. The European Commission today adopted a new strategy to break down these barriers. The plan outlines how the EU and national governments can empower people with disabilities so they can enjoy their rights. Specific measures over the next decade range from the mutual recognition of national disability cards, the promotion of standardisation to a more targeted use of public procurement and state aid rules. These measures will have substantial societal benefits, but should also produce a knock-on effect on Europe's economy. They could for example enhance the EU market for assisted devices and services, which already today has an estimated annual value of over €30 billion. The Commission will also consider whether to propose a "European Accessibility Act" by 2012 to further develop the Single Market for accessible products and services.
Costs and benefits of maternity and paternity leave - guide
Differing views about the costs and benefits of introducing 18 or 20 weeks of fully-paid maternity leave and two weeks of fully-paid paternity leave were voiced by MEPs and invited experts at a joint workshop held on 5 October by the European Parliament's Women's Right Committee and Employment Committee.
Commission statement - situation of the Roma and EU law on free movement of EU citizens
As announced earlier this month, the European Commission has today assessed recent developments in France and discussed the overall situation of the Roma and EU law on free movement of EU citizens.
Roma people living in the EU - guide
There are between 10 million and 12 million Roma in the European Union, in candidate countries and potential candidate countries in the Western Balkans. Roma people living in the EU are EU citizens and have the same rights as any other EU citizen. A significant number of Roma live in extreme marginalisation in both rural and urban areas and in very poor social-economic conditions. They are disproportionally affected by discrimination, violence, unemployment, poverty, bad housing and poor health standards.
Future of pensions - guide
The European Commission has launched a Europe-wide public debate on how to ensure adequate, sustainable and safe pensions and how the EU can best support the national efforts. Ageing populations in all Member States have put existing retirement systems under massive strain and the financial and economic crisis has only increased this pressure. The consultation document, a Green paper, poses a series of questions inviting all interested parties to contribute views, opinions and ideas on confronting the pension challenge - one of the biggest facing Europe and most parts of the world today – and how the EU can contribute to the solutions.
Firearms for civilian use: stricter EU rules to combat illicit trafficking - briefing
The European Commission has proposed legislation to combat illicit arms trafficking through improved tracing and control of imports and exports of civilian firearms from and to the EU territory. The adoption of the proposal by the European Parliament and the Council of the EU would bring the European Union legislation in line with Article 10 of the UN Firearms Protocol.
EU's modernised social security - Briefing
On 1 May 2010, new regulations on social security coordination in the European Union enter into force. The aim is to make life easier for Europeans on the move.
EC outlines plan to improve mobility within the EU
European leaders endorsed 170 initiatives last December known as the Stockholm Programme. The measures are aimed at creating a genuine European area of freedom, security and justice in the next five years. The Commission has now turned these political objectives into an action plan for 2010-2014.
Commission initiatives to bring more security to Europeans
European leaders endorsed 170 initiatives last December known as the Stockholm Programme, aimed at creating a genuine European area of freedom, security and justice. The Commission has now turned these political objectives into an action plan for 2010-2014.
Communication on Roma in Europe and Progress Report on Roma inclusion 2008-2010
Roma communities, the European Union’s largest ethnic minority, continue to face persistent discrimination and segregation. The European Commission urged EU Member States in a report today to use EU funds for the social and economic integration of Roma. Ensuring these communities’ access to jobs and non-segregated education, housing and health services is vital to their social inclusion, the report said. The integration of the estimated 10 to 12 million Roma – a population as large as Belgium’s or Greece’s – is a joint responsibility of Member States and EU institutions. A separate report evaluated the progress achieved in integration over the past two years.
The European Citizens' Initiative - Briefing
The European Citizens' Initiative (ECI) will allow European citizens for the first time to directly suggest new legislation. An innovation contained in the Lisbon Treaty, the ECI will allow at least one million citizens from at least one third of EU Member States to invite the European Commission to bring forward legislative proposals in areas where the Commission has the power to do so.
Clearer EU rules for international couples - briefing
An Austrian woman marries a British man in the UK. The couple lives for two years in Austria with their son. The husband then leaves and the wife wants a divorce. However, she doesn't know which law will apply to her divorce. Can she get a divorce under Austrian law or does UK law apply? Thousands of Europeans find themselves in such difficult situations each year because each EU country has its own system for deciding which country’s law applies to divorces. The European Commission has proposed a concrete solution: a law that will allow couples to choose which country's laws apply to their divorce. The proposed EU Regulation will help couples of different nationalities, couples living apart in different countries or living together in a country other than their home country. The aim is to lessen the burden on children and to protect weaker partners during divorce disputes. There are around 300,000 international marriages per year in the EU. Today's proposal follows a request from 10 Member States (Austria, Bulgaria, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Romania, Slovenia and Spain) and would be the first time the "enhanced cooperation" mechanism would be used in EU history.
Tackling the gender pay gap - briefing
The European Commission plans to use a series of measures aimed at significantly reducing the pay gap between men and women over the next five years. The average gender pay gap in the EU currently stands at 18%. To lower this rate, the Commission plans to raise awareness among employers, encourage initiatives to promote gender equality and support the development of tools to measure the gender pay gap. On the other hand, new legal measures are not excluded. The Commission intends to consult the European social partners and analyse the impact of a number of options: strengthening sanctions, providing pay transparency and regular reporting on the pay gap. A Eurobarometer survey released today shows that more than 80% of Europeans support urgent action to address the gap.
Frontex and managing the EU's borders - briefing
The Commission has made proposals to strengthen the European Union's border management agency, Frontex. The proposals include reinforcing the legal framework to ensure full respect of fundamental rights during Frontex activities and enhancing the operational capacity of Frontex to support Member States. With the new proposal Member States would put more equipment and more personnel at the Agency's disposal. Frontex would be able to co-lead border patrols operations with EU Member States. It would also be allowed to provide technical assistance to third countries and deploy liaison officers in third countries.
Telecoms: 112 - Europe's single emergency number - briefing
To mark European 112 Day on February 11, the European Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes has written to EU Member States calling on them to intensify their efforts to raise awareness of Europe's single emergency number 112. While awareness has increased slightly, three out of four EU citizens still do not know they can call 112 in an emergency to contact the police, fire brigade or medical services, either from home or when travelling in the EU. Having the reflex to dial this 112 lifeline, which now works in all EU countries, could save lives and reduce injuries.
Sanctions against the employment of illegally staying non-EU nationals
Directive 2009/52/EC targets the employment of non-EU nationals who are illegally staying in the European Union (EU), in order to counteract illegal immigration. It provides for minimum common standards on sanctions and other measures (disqualification from public benefits, etc.) and, in serious cases, criminal penalties against employers of said nationals.
Compensation to crime victims
The aim of Council Directive 2004/80/EC is to set up a system of cooperation to facilitate access to compensation for victims of crimes in cross-border situations. This system operates on the basis of Member States' compensation schemes for victims of violent intentional crime committed in their respective territories.