Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 244

Posts Tagged ‘ministers’

Mobility package: Transport Committee backs deal with EU Ministers

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 gennaio 2020

A deal between Parliament and Finnish Presidency negotiators on reforming the road transport sector was approved by the Transport and Tourism Committee on Tuesday. The revised rules for posting of drivers, drivers’ rest times and better enforcement of cabotage rules (i.e. transport of goods carried out by non-resident hauliers on a temporary basis in a host member state) aim to put an end to distortion of competition in the road transport sector and provide better rest conditions for drivers.The agreement keeps the existing limits to cabotage (three operations within seven days), but in order to tackle fraud, vehicle tachographs will be used to register border-crossings.To prevent “systematic cabotage”, there will also be a “cooling-off period” of four days before more cabotage operations can be carried out within same country with the same vehicle.
To fight the use of letterbox companies, road haulage businesses would need to have substantial activities in the member state in which they are registered. New rules will also require trucks to return to the company’s operational centre every eight weeks.
Since operators increasingly use vans to provide international transport services, those operators (using light commercial vehicles of over 2.5 tonnes) would also be subject to EU norms for transport operators and would need to equip the vans with a tachograph.
EU-wide rules on posting of drivers will give a clear legal framework, so that these rules can be easily applied in the highly mobile transport sector, to prevent differing national approaches and ensure fair remuneration for drivers.The agreed rules stipulate that posting rules apply to cabotage and international transport operations, excluding transit, bilateral operations and bilateral operations with one extra loading or unloading in each direction (or zero on the way out and two on return).
Better working conditions for drivers. The agreed text also includes changes to help ensure better rest conditions for drivers and allow them to spend more time at home.
Companies will have to organise their timetables so that drivers in international freight transport are able to return home at regular intervals (every three or four weeks depending on the work schedule).The mandatory rest period at the end of the week, known as regular weekly rest, cannot be taken in the truck cab, the agreed text says. If this rest period is taken away from home, the company must pay for accommodation costs. In exceptional cases, new rules will allow drivers to exceed the driving time under strict limitations to reach home to take their weekly rest, when they are very close to the home base.The deal will now need to be approved by EU ministers and then by the Parliament as a whole to enter into force.The rules on posting will apply 18 months after the entry into force of the legal act. The rules on rest times, including the return of drivers, will apply 20 days after publication of the act. Rules on return of trucks and other changes to market access rules will apply 18 months after the entry into force of act on market access.

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Rule of law in Hungary: MEPs request to be heard by EU ministers

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 11 aprile 2019

The European Parliament should be represented in a formal Council of Ministers’ meeting discussing Article 7 procedures concerning Hungary, MEPs insist. Following a last-minute invitation by the Romanian Presidency for an informal exchange of views ahead of the General Affairs Council to be held on 9 April, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), Chair of the Civil Liberties Committee, and Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL), rapporteur for the EP proposal calling on the Council to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values, said: “We regret not being able to accept this invitation, due to unavailability at such a short notice. While we thank the Romanian Presidency for this invitation, we would remind of President’s Tajani letter in which he called for the Parliament to be invited to outline its position to a full meeting of the General Affairs Council where the Article 7(1) TEU procedure concerning Hungary will be discussed and for which a reply is still outstanding.
As we already mentioned in previous informal meetings held with the Presidency, to which we have participated in respect of the principle of sincere cooperation, in this procedure, European Parliament, having exercised its right of initiative under the concerned Treaty provision, is to be heard in a Council formal sitting.The European Parliament should not be prevented to exercise its full role, as provided by the Treaties. We continue to be convinced that it is essential for the European Parliament to be invited to a formal Council meeting. Such an in-depth exchange of views in a Council meeting is of the highest significance for the rule of law within the EU, and in line with the principle of sincere cooperation between Institutions”.
In September 2018, the Chamber requested the Council to assess whether Hungary is posing a systemic threat to the EU’s founding values. Should they determine that such a threat exists, EU member states could initiate the procedure laid down in Article 7 the EU Treaty, which may eventually lead to sanctions, such as the suspension of the Hungary’s voting rights in the Council. Judicial independence, freedom of expression, corruption, rights of minorities, and the situation of migrants and refugees are the main Parliament’s concerns.

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MEPs and EU ministers agree on closing information gaps to enhance security

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 7 febbraio 2019

Currently, EU information systems used in security, border and migration management do not talk to each other and the information is stored separately in unconnected systems. This creates a risk that terrorists and criminals can escape detection by using multiple or fraudulent identities, endangering the EU’s internal security and making border and migration management more challenging.Making the systems interoperable will enable data exchange. The provisionally agreed measures would facilitate the tasks of border guards, migration officers, police officers and judicial authorities by providing them with more systematic and faster access to various EU security and border-control information systems.
The main elements agreed are:
European search portal allowing simultaneous searches, rather than searching each system individually;
Shared biometric matching service for cross-matching fingerprints and facial images from several systems;
Common identity repository providing biographical information such as dates of birth and passport numbers for more reliable identification;
Multiple identity detector, detecting whether a person is registered under multiple identities in different databases.
Parliament and Council negotiators also agreed on safeguards to protect fundamental rights and access to data.The systems covered by the new rules would include the Schengen Information System, Eurodac, the Visa Information System (VIS) and three new ones: the European Criminal Records System for Third Country Nationals (ECRIS-TCN), the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Travel Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS).

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Rule of law in Hungary: MEPs demand swift action from EU ministers

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 14 novembre 2018

MEPs urge EU ministers to determine if Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU values and to invite the European Parliament to a formal Council meeting. Ahead of the EU ministers meeting today, Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK) and MEP Judith Sargentini (Greens/EFA, NL) discussed the Parliament’s position on the rule of law in Hungary in a preliminary meeting with Member States representatives. In September, the Parliament asked EU member states to initiate the procedure laid down in EU Treaty Article 7 to determine whether Hungary is at risk of breaching the EU´s founding values. Mr. Moraes said: “Today together with the Rapporteur, Judith Sargentini, we were present for a first exchange of views in a preparatory briefing with Members States representatives – which however can in no way be considered a formal Council meeting.” “We thank the Austrian Presidency for organising today’s meeting, and especially the Netherlands, Belgium, Greece and Sweden that were represented at ministerial level for their interest and cooperation. However, we have to emphasize that we await a more appropriate and formal Council meeting for handling a matter of the highest significance for the rule of law within the EU”, Mr. Moraes stressed.Ms. Sargentini, who authored the Parliament’s report on Hungary, said: “An overwhelming majority of the Parliament supported my report in September. It is a clear signal that we must draw a line when it comes to breaches in a Member State of our shared European values of democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights. It is now to the Member States to act in a swift, open and effective manner.” “The time taken by the Council to figure out the process does not improve the situation. To the contrary, new worrying developments have taken place in Hungary since the adoption of my report, such as a new law that would undermine the independence of the Hungarian judiciary even further”, Ms. Sargentini noted.“At todays’ meeting, I appreciated the critical questions from the ministers on the situation of civil society in Hungary and on the way the Parliament and myself as rapporteur have been treated by the Hungarian authorities. We count on the support of the Member States present at this morning’s informal meeting to push for Parliament to present its report in a formal Council meeting”, Ms. Sargentini concluded.
Rule of law in Poland and Hungary are the first items on the agenda of the General Affairs Council meeting. Ministers will also hold the annual rule of law dialogue today.

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Data protection: 24 June press briefing on start of negotiations

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 23 giugno 2015

BruxellesA press briefing on the state of play and next steps in negotiations on the update of EU data protection rules will be given on Wednesday 24 June at 14.00, by Parliament’s chief negotiators, justice ministers from the outgoing and incoming Council presidencies and the EU Justice Commissioner. This joint press conference will be held in the European Parliament immediately after the first round of talks between Parliament, the Council and the Commission. Speakers
• Lead MEP Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/ EFA, DE)
• Civil Liberties Committee Chair Claude Moraes (S&D, UK)
• Latvia’s Minister for Justice, Dzintars Rasnacs, for the outgoing Council Presidency
• Luxembourg’s Minister for Justice, Felix Braz, for the incoming Council Presidency
• EU Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová

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A European action plan for safe and secure seas

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 19 dicembre 2014

European CommissionEU ministers have backed a set of actions to make Europe’s seas safer and to protect the EUs maritime security interests from the threats which it faces. The Action Plan, part of the EU’s Maritime Security Strategy adopted in June 2014, takes a cross-border and cross-sector approach to confronting the seaborne perils which the EU is confronted with. The plan is also central to the EU’s commitment to boost the maritime economy since investments in the European maritime domain can only be prosperous if the seas are safe and secure.
The Maritime Security strategy and its action plan is a response to the new threats which continue to emerge in the ever changing global security environment. The criminal smuggling of people, arms, or drugs is now more organised and more international than ever. Illegal fishing continues to be a plight on our oceans whilst terrorism and cyber-attacks are threats we cannot ignore. These trends jeopardize European and global maritime interests, as well as the prosperity and security of citizens at home and abroad.
The action plan, jointly implemented at European and national level, is made up of five key strands of work:
1) Intensifying EU external action – a better use of the tools at the EU’s disposal, including strengthened political dialogue and development aid
2) Shared maritime awareness and surveillance – focus on developing a common information sharing environment.
3) Capability development reinforced – for instance by promoting dual-use technologies.
4) Working towards a common risk analysis – risk management, protection of critical maritime infrastructure and crisis response will be bolstered
5) Strengthening maritime security research and training
The Action Plan covers both the internal and external aspects of the Union’s maritime security. Its guiding principles are a cross-sectorial approach; rules-based governance of the global maritime domain; respect for existing instruments and competences, as well as maritime multilateralism. The implementation of the 130 specific actions foreseen in the Action Plan will be carried out by EU institutions and by EU Member States. From the external action perspective, this comprises measures such as engaging with third parties on maritime security matters, further promoting the existing international legal framework, particularly the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, contributing to maritime capacity building in third countries, as the Critical Maritime Routes Programme already does, to build on lessons learned as the Contact Group on Piracy off the Shore of Somalia, and to conduct operational activities including missions such as the counter-piracy operation ATALANTA.

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Nato commander meets ministers from Puntland

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 13 luglio 2010

Earlier today, Commodore Michiel Hijmans, Commander of NATO’s counter piracy mission, Operation Ocean Shield, hosted a meeting on board his flagship, HNLMS De Zeven Provinciën, for Ministers from Puntland. It was the first meeting between the Puntland Ministers and Commodore Hijmans (Royal Netherlands Navy), who took up his role 30th of June 2010.
The purpose of the talks was to build on the existing and growing relationship that has developed between NATO and the Puntland authorities. Through these meetings, NATO aims to improve local knowledge and to assist regional states, upon their request, in developing their own ability to combat piracy activities.  Present at the meeting were the Minister of Ports, Fisheries and Counter Piracy, Mr. Said Rage; the Vice Minister of Fisheries, Mr. Mohamed A. Salah; the Director General of Counter Piracy, Mr. Abdirizak Mohamed Ahmed and the Director General of the Ministry of Fisheries, Mr. Abdiwahid Mohamed Hersi. Covering a wide range of topics, the talks were aimed at bringing both sides up to date with the significant progress that has been made in countering piracy in the Gulf of Aden. They also covered ways in which further cooperation between NATO and the Puntland authorities could be developed.   During the talks Commodore Hijmans received a telephone call from the President of Puntland, His Excellency, President Abdirahman Mohamed Mohamud “Farole”. President Farole and Commodore Hijmans spoke about the progress the Farole administration is making to counter piracy off the Horn of Africa and to bring stabilization to Puntland.  Speaking after the talks, Commodore Michiel Hijmans said: “Meetings like this are one of the critical factors to obtain long term successes against piracy in this region.”  NATO works alongside the European Union Task Force (EUNAVFOR) and the Combined Maritime Force (CMF) as well as independent nations to tackle the threat of piracy in the Gulf of Aden and Somali Basin.
NATO has contributed to the international counter piracy effort off the Horn of Africa since December 2008.  The mission has expanded from escorting UN and World Food Programme Shipping under Operation Allied Provider and protecting merchant traffic in the Gulf of Aden under Operation Allied Protector.  In addition to these activities and as part of the latest mission, Operation Ocean Shield, NATO is working with other international bodies to help develop capacity of countries in the region to tackle piracy on their own.    NATO has recently announced its continuing commitment to counter-piracy by extending Operation Ocean Shield to December 2012.  The NATO Task Force consists of 3 ships from Standing NATO Maritime Group 2.  These are:  Hnlms De Zeven Provinciën (Flagship) – Nld Uss Cole – Usa Tcg Gelibolu – Tur

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