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Protect Your Children; Bringing Business to Book; Gaol for Polluters, and Washington – EU Trade

  • February 12th, 2007
  • Posted by EUA Editor

eu-flag-reduced-larger.pngArrival of the month of February brought a welter of activity at the EU headquarters in Brussels, concentrating on the current main theme of pollution and the environment, but not leaving out business and trade, and the interests of some of the smallest Europeans.ENVIRONMENTAL CRIMES

EU activities for the month include bringing in gaol penalties for environmental offenders.

The legislation proposed by the European Commission (8.2.07), adopted, would commit all 27 EU countries to enforce prison terms of five years for persons responsible for serious offences, up to ten years where there was loss of life.

The move grew out of the dumping scandal in Ivory Coast where toxic waste brought from ports in Europe caused several deaths.

The new laws will cover illegal dumping of toxic waste or nuclear waste, and also attacks on protected wildlife or protected flora.

PROTECTING KIDS ON MOBILES

Protection has been in the air also for Europe’s children, in the form of a new state-and-industry agreement on mobile telephones.

Coinciding with an international Safer Internet Day, the European Commission joined several mobile phone companies in signing a voluntary protocol

Companies will collaborate with the European Commission on the European Framework for Safer Mobile Use by Younger Teenagers and Children, talking in: access control for adult content; awareness-raising campaigns; classification of commercial content according to national standards of decency and appropriateness; and the “fight against illegal content” on mobiles.

On the same day the EC published an assessment of thirty current filtering software services for the Internet, finding that the market had “good tools for filtering pornography in common languages”, but weaker defences with many languages, and in all cases, still at best a 75% chance of screening out unwanted material.

DOHA TRADE ROUND MOVES

The European Trade Commissioner, Mariann Fischer Boel, followed up the recent moves to reopen WTO trade talks, at the Davos Economic Forum, with a trip to Washington (8-9.2.07), The Commissioner was to see the Agriculture Secretary, Mike Johanns, the Trade Representative, Susan Schwab, several leading Congressmen and Senators, and heads of the farm lobby.

BOOK OF FIGURES ON BUSINESS

A heavy book has dropped on the desks of European editors in Brussels: European Business: Facts and Figures, 1995-2005. The 425-page volume, with inserted CD for downloading of figures, has an immense range of information on economic and business progress in the EU countries over the decade, marshaled by industry sector, e.g. Food Beverages and Tobacco; Wholesale Trade, or Communications and Media.

Reference:

European Commission (Eurostat) (2006); European Business: Facts and Figures, Data 2005-2005; ISBN 92-79-03351-4, ISSN 1681-2050; Brussels, European Communities http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (11.2.07)

“Mobile operators agree on how to safeguard children using mobile phones”, EC Brussels, 6.2.07, IP/07/139. http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm – press (11.2.07)

“Making hrte internet safer for children: Europe calls fore determined action on ‘safer Internet day’ 2007”; EC Brussels, 6.2.07, IP/07/140. http://ec.europa.eu/index_en.htm – press (11.2.07)

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