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Smoking, Bank Cards, a World Gathering, Rights of the Child

  • May 27th, 2007
  • Posted by EUEditor

eu-flag-reduced-larger6.pngNew initiatives include online help for smokers, uniform bank card rules for all of the European Union, help for abused children, and a mini-United Nations of Asian and European states.

EUROPEANS PUTTING OUT THEIR SMOKES

European citizens have given a vote of support for smoke-free zones, in an EU survey which reveals also that one in three smokers have tried to give it up in the last twelve months.

An overwhelming 88% support smoke-free offices, other indoor workspaces, and public places. A majority also supports smoke-free bars (62%) and restaurants (77%). A majority of smokers themselves back the bans, and support was highest in countries where bans are already in place.

The survey was completed in time for World No Tobacco Day on 31.5.07, when the EU will launch an email coaching service to help people stop smoking.

BANK CARDS THE SAME IN ALL COUNTRIES

New Europe-wide legislation is being prepared to standardise the forms for consumer credit loans in all the EU countries.

It means that for such loans as holidays, weddings or a new car, citizens will receive the same information: interest rates, number and frequency of payments, obligations to take out insurance, withdrawal provisions and charges for defaulting. There will be a new single method for calculating APR (Annual Percentage Rate of Charge), which according to the European Commission will disclose the “real cost of credit”. It says that despite the existence of the single European market credit card business remains based in national markets, with less scope for competition that the whole market can provide.

HELP FOR CHILDREN

The EU is sponsoring an on-going forum for exchange of information among authorities and stakeholders in cases of missing and sexually exploited children, with the first meeting scheduled for Berlin on 4.6.07.

This was announced on 25.5.07, declared International Missing Children’s Day, and forms part of an EU strategy on the rights of the child.

ASIA-EUROPE GATHERING THIS WEEK

Foreign Ministers from 43 Asian and European countries will meet in Hamburg on 28-29 May as a clearing-house for global issues. Those will include climate change, globalisation and competitiveness, sustainable development, intercultural and interfaith dialogue, human rights, and intellectual property standards. The countries taking part account for 60% of the world’s population and 60% of world trade. Asian participants include the ASEAN countries of South-east Asia, China and India.

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