Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 33 n° 338

Posts Tagged ‘protect’

NOAA Says Current Efforts to Protect North Atlantic Right Whales from Deadly Vessel Strikes Not Enough

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 24 gennaio 2021

WASHINGTON — NOAA Fisheries today published an assessment of regulations issued in 2008 to reduce deadly vessel strikes with endangered North Atlantic right whales, of which only about 360 remain. In its report, NOAA Fisheries found that vessels are ignoring voluntary and, in some cases, mandatory speed zones, putting North Atlantic right whales in harm’s way. The assessment is consistent with Oceana’s analysis last year that found ships ignoring a voluntary speed zone in an area south of Nantucket designed to protect endangered North Atlantic right whales. Oceana released the following statement from campaign director Whitney Webber: “We’ve long known that current efforts to protect North Atlantic right whales are not enough, and today the federal government agreed. NOAA’s evaluation of its own rule on vessel speeds related to North Atlantic right whales shows that we need stronger protections for these whales from speeding ships. Heavy vessel traffic puts North Atlantic right whales at great risk of being killed by ship strikes – one of their leading causes of death. With only about 360 whales remaining, time is running out. Oceana previously launched a tool called Ship Speed Watch that allows anyone to monitor the slow zones established to protect North Atlantic right whales. An analysis released in March showed vessels ignoring voluntary speed zones designed to protect this critically endangered species. This data is supported by today’s government analysis. These slow-moving whales, that are often found near shore, must navigate an obstacle course of speeding ships and fishing gear on their north and south migrations every year. Requiring vessels to slow down is the least we can do to help save this iconic species. Studies have found that slowing speeds to 10 knots or less in areas where these whales may be encountered can reduce the risk of death by 86%. NOAA agrees that more needs to be done to protect North Atlantic right whales from vessel strikes. Now it’s time for the federal government to act. Voluntary speed restriction zones must be made mandatory, and the current mandatory speed restriction zones must be expanded and enforced. Oceana calls on NOAA to update the shipping regulations to protect these rare whales before it’s too late.”

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China and the EU agree to protect each other’s food and drink specialities

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 14 novembre 2020

Parliament consented to an agreement by 645 votes, with 22 against and 18 abstentions, signed in September 2020 between the EU and China to ensure that onehundred European products bearing geographical indications (GIs) – including Feta, Münchener Bier, Polska Wódka, or Queso Manchego – will be legally protected in China against imitations and the misuse of a product’s name.In exchange, one hundred Chinese products will benefit from the same form of protection in the EU.MEPs agreed to extend the agreement to a further 175 European and Chinese products within four years. In a resolution adopted by 633 votes, with 13 against and 39 abstentions, Parliament welcomed the agreement, calling it an “important confidence-building exercise” during the ongoing EU-China negotiations on a bilateral investment agreement. At the same time, Parliament expresses its concern about the market-distorting practices used by Chinese state-owned enterprises, forced technology transfers, and other unfair trading practices.Parliament is also deeply concerned by the reported exploitation and detention of Uyghur people in factories in China. With Parliament’s consent, the Council must now adopt the agreement so that it can enter into force at the beginning of 2021. In 2019, China was the third largest destination for EU exports of GI products, including wines, spirit drinks, and agri-food products. In 2018 and 2019 however, 80% of European seizures of counterfeit and pirated goods originated in China, causing losses of €60 billion to EU suppliers, says the draft resolution.

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The response to the current COVID-19 crisis must protect EU employers

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 23 ottobre 2020

Post-COVID-19 EU employment policies should pave way for a new era and boost the EU’s long-term social targets, MEPs said on Thursday. Following the COVID-19 crisis, governments should devote more funds to ensuring that recovery is economically innovative, socially fair, and environmentally responsible, stressed the MEPs. They call on member states to establish specific social progress plans with clear targets outlining social investment and how the principles of the European Pillar of Social Rights will be implemented. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, unemployment in the EU is expected to reach 9.5% in 2020, rising unevenly within the Union, across sectors, and affecting young people disproportionately. In their vote on employment policies of the euro area, MEPs call for this trend to be reversed through an ambitious multiannual financial framework. In a call to action, Parliament also backed the EU’s unemployment reinsurance scheme, which supports short-term national work schemes. MEPs acknowledge that digital solutions are becoming increasingly important, particularly in relation to working from home, which can be instrumental in preserving jobs. Given their importance, Parliament welcomes the updated European Skills Agenda and calls on the Commission to propose an “EU teleworking agenda”, capable of safeguarding decent working conditions.The report on “Employment and social policies of the euro area 2020” was adopted with 466 votes in favour, 189 against and 32 abstentions.

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Bold measures needed to protect cross-border and seasonal workers in EU, MEPs say

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 24 giugno 2020

MEPs call for urgent action to safeguard health, safety and fair working conditions of cross-border and seasonal workers in the context of COVID-19
The COVID-19-crisis has further exposed and exacerbated social dumping and the existing precariousness of the situations of many mobile workers employed in the EU’s agri-food, construction and healthcare sectors.
In a resolution adopted on Friday, Parliament urges the Commission to assess the employment, health and safety conditions of cross-border and seasonal workers, including the role of intermediary agencies and subcontracting firms, to identify shortcomings in EU and national legislation and, possibly, revise the existing EU laws. The text also calls for a swift and balanced agreement on the coordination of social security systems that is needed to combat social fraud and the abuse of mobile workers’ rights.MEPs urge the Commission to issue new, specific guidelines for cross-border and seasonal workers in the context of COVID-19, to propose long-term solutions to deal with abusive subcontracting practices and to ensure that the European Labour Authority (ELA) becomes fully operational as a matter of priority. Member states must increase the capacity of labour inspectorates and ensure quality housing, which should be decoupled from their remuneration, says the text.The resolution was adopted with 593 votes in favour, 34 against and 38 abstentions.The European Commission is expected to present guidelines to protect cross border and seasonal workers shortly.

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Subsidy ceilings to protect EU funds from oligarchs

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 febbraio 2020

To avoid fraud and an unfair distribution of EU subsidies, the Commission should propose a maximum amount of direct payment per natural person, making it impossible to receive subsidies of hundreds of millions of Euros in one MFF-period. The Commission should also come up with rules to disclose who benefits from agricultural funds.Quoting recent cases in Italy and Slovakia, the committee wants an EU complaint mechanism enabling farmers to inform the Commission when land-grabbing malpractices, misconduct of national authorities, pressure from organised crime and forced labour occur.MEPs ask the Commission to table guidelines to fight conflicts of interest of high-profile politicians and ask the Council to adopt common ethical standards in this regard.
The committee stresses that the newly created EU Public Prosecutor’s Office (EPPO) needs at least 76 additional posts and EUR 8 Million in order to deal with an estimated 3000 cases per year.The committee insists that adopting the regulation enabling EU funds for EU countries to be restricted when the rule of law is violated should be prioritised – this regulation is currently blocked in the Council.
MEPs are especially concerned about the situation in Czechia and ask the Commission to supervise payments to companies directly and indirectly owned by the Czech Prime Minister or other members of the Czech Government.“One of the most worrying issues observed in some Member States is land grabbing or the misuse of EU funds by organised crime. The discharge report we voted on today includes a call to establish a mechanism whereby farmers can issue complaints directly. Furthermore, we ask for a fairer distribution of EU subsidies. It is unacceptable that individual beneficiaries can receive up to three-digit million sums. We also call for EU-wide rules to avoid conflicts of interests of high-level politicians and emphasise the need for common ethical standards”, said the rapporteur for the Commission discharge Monika Hohlmeier (EPP, DE).The Commission discharge, along with the other EU bodies, has to be backed by the full Parliament, with a vote scheduled during the March II session.

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No more lead in PVC to protect public health, Environment Committee says

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 23 gennaio 2020

To protect human health and the environment, the Environment Committee objected on Tuesday to a Commission proposal allowing lead in recycled PVC. On Tuesday, the Environment Committee adopted a resolution objecting to the Commission’s proposal to amend the rules concerning lead concentration, and particularly concerning lead in PVC. Members consider that the proposed amendments do not protect human health and the environment enough, which is also the primary objective of the REACH regulation.The Commission regulation proposes restricting the use and presence of lead and its compounds in articles produced from Polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a widely produced synthetic plastic, setting a maximum concentration limit of lead of 0,1 % by weight of the PVC material. It also introduces two derogations. MEPs are unhappy with two proposed derogations for recovered PVC materials, which will be in place for 15 years. One would allow concentration of lead up to 2 % by weight of rigid PVC and the other 1 % by weight of flexible/soft PVC.
MEPs recall that lead is a toxic substance that can seriously affect health, including irreversible neurological damage, even in low doses. They believe that the levels proposed by the Commission do not correspond to “safe levels” and underline there are alternatives to PVC available. They also highlight that recycling should not justify the continued use of hazardous substances, as prevention takes priority over recycling.The resolution was adopted with 42 votes to 22 and 4 abstentions. It will now be put to a vote at the February plenary in Strasbourg. If Parliament objects within the deadline set of 27 February 2020, the draft measure shall not be adopted by the Commission. The Commission may either submit an amended draft or present a new one.

Posted in Estero/world news, Politica/Politics | Contrassegnato da tag: , , | Leave a Comment » Introduces New Smart Water Valve+Meter to Better Protect Entire Home

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 6 gennaio 2020

Today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), (Nasdaq: ALRM) introduced the Smart Water Valve+Meter to help people avoid billions of dollars in annual property damage loss from water leaks and use water more efficiently. The device is an innovative addition to the Water Management solution, identifying low and high-volume water leaks and constantly monitoring overall water use and current usage rates in homes and businesses. Deep integration with the platform leverages intelligence and insights to help reduce the risk of losses from water emergencies, while also improving water conservation efforts.Research indicates that adding a smart water solution to security and automation systems can help prevent most of the annual property loss costs from water damage. Despite the constant risk of water leaks, only 6% of homes currently have a smart leak detection system, according to an estimate from Parks Associates. Including the full Water Management solution with an system helps property owners avoid damage from major leaks as well as health and safety issues from prolonged low-volume leaks. Home and business owners may also qualify for insurance discounts.
Designed and developed by Building36, a subsidiary of, the Smart Water Valve+Meter combines cutting-edge technology with high-quality plumbing hardware to help safeguard properties from costly leak repairs and steep water bills. Using data from the device and a suite of water sensors and monitors, the Water Management solution detects both large leaks and small drips early, and intelligently responds to each issue. For example:While the property owner is away, the system detects a large leak from a burst pipe and automatically shuts off water to the home to prevent flooding.
While the property owner is home, the system detects a small leak from a laundry room and sends a notification but keeps the water on to avoid an untimely interruption.The system uses temperature sensors on the Smart Water Valve+Meter along with HVAC and thermostat information to alert the property owner if there is an emerging risk of frozen pipes. While the property owner is away, the system detects a bathroom toilet continually running and closes the water valve to prevent excessive water usage.

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AHF to UN Chief: Do More to Protect Ebola Health Workers in the DRC!

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 16 dicembre 2019

Three months after a visit by UN Secretary-General António Guterres and other officials to the epicenter of the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), health workers continue to be attacked and killed despite promises by the UN chief to bolster security for response personnel. AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) urges Mr. Guterres to utilize the more than 15,000 peacekeeping troops at his disposal under the existing MONUSCO (UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC) mandate to protect the health workers who are risking their lives every day to stamp out Ebola in the world’s second worst outbreak in history.
Dr. Marie-Roseline Bélizaire, field coordinator for the World Health Organization (WHO) in the DRC, described harrowing accounts of her and her team coming under attack by armed rebels on November 28. Four Ebola responders were killed that night. Unfortunately, the UN peacekeepers did not react quickly enough, taking five to six hours to reach WHO staff—far too long when it is clear that response personnel in outbreak areas are under a constant threat of attack. Just last night, Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) announced the evacuation of staff following a third attack on an Ebola health center.
WHO has reported 390 attacks on health facilities involved in the response in 2019 alone, with 11 health workers killed and 80 injured. Since the current outbreak began on August 1 of last year, more than 3,300 people have been infected with Ebola and more than 2,200 have lost their lives.

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MEPs choose Wiewiórowski to be the EU’s data protection watchdog

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 29 novembre 2019

Mr Wojciech Wiewiórowski was selected by the Civil Liberties Committee as their top choice to become the next European Data Protection Supervisor.MEPs chose their order of preference of the candidates for the position of European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) in a secret ballot on Tuesday morning:Wojciech Wiewiórowski from Poland was selected as the top candidate with 36 votes,
Yann Padova from France gained 25 votes and Endre Szabó from Hungary obtained 3 votes.
The European Data Protection Supervisor will be jointly appointed by common accord of the European Parliament and the Council for a term of five years.The Civil Liberties Committee Chair will convey the outcome of the Civil Liberties Committee vote to the Conference of Presidents (EP President and the leaders of the political groups). Following their confirmation, the Parliament and the Council will proceed to formally appoint the new European Data Protection Supervisor.

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Working togheter to protect ocean

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 25 novembre 2019

Friend of the Sea lo standard di certificazione globale leader per prodotti e servizi che rispettano e proteggono l’ambiente marino, ha annunciato oggi la certificazione del Centro Studi e Ricerca Ambiente Marino (CE.S.R.A.M.) nella categoria sustainable dolphin and whale watching per gruppi di ricerca scientifica. La certificazione è in merito ai viaggi di studio dell’organizzazione e le sue spedizioni scientifiche e di formazione.CE.S.R.A.M. è un’associazione senza scopo di lucro fondata nel novembre 2010. Con sede in Calabria, perseguono obiettivi di utilità sociale nel campo della protezione e della valorizzazione della natura in generale e dell’ambiente marino in particolare. L’obiettivo dell’organizzazione è promuovere lo studio, la ricerca e la diffusione scientifica. Opera in Italia e all’estero, collaborando con altri enti, associazioni, gruppi e aziende che perseguono interessi simili.Per raggiungere i propri obiettivi, CE.S.R.A.M. organizza congressi e simposi, viaggi di studio e attività di educazione ambientale naturalistica. Offrono anche consulenza scientifica. Le spedizioni di ricerca gestite da CE.S.R.A.M. forniscono formazione scientifica e tecnologica e riqualificazione professionale, in particolare per la crescita e il miglioramento delle competenze professionali. Ciò è realizzato attraverso l’organizzazione di corsi di formazione, stage di lavoro e studio sia presso l’Associazione che presso centri di ricerca, università, enti pubblici e privati e aziende in Italia e all’estero.CE.S.R.A.M. svolge attività di ricerca ad alto livello scientifico, impegnandosi in collaborazione nazionale e internazionale per lo studio, il miglioramento e il monitoraggio dell’ecosistema marino e costiero. Si concentrano sui grampi (Grampus griseus), sulle stenelle striate (Stenella coeruleoalba) e sui tursiopi (Tursiops truncatus). I loro programmi prestano particolare attenzione alle specie protette e a quelle a rischio di estinzione.
Lo standard Friend of the Sea Dolphin e Whale Watching Sostenibile ha l’obiettivo di ridurre al minimo l’impatto su delfini e balene, insieme ai rispettivi habitat, causato dalle imbarcazioni e dalle attività umane. Per fare questo ha creato dei principi chiave di condotta, basati sulle più recenti evidenze scientifiche, come ad esempio il numero massimo di imbarcazioni consentito nella zona di osservazione, il divieto di utilizzo di sonar ed ecoscandagli, lo svolgimento di programmi di addestramento per operatori ed equipaggio e la raccolta di dati scientifici utili alla conservazione delle specie. Lo standard proibisce anche di nuotare con i cetacei e l’uso di plastica mono-uso.

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Smurfing our blue planet: European Union and Smurfs team up to protect the ocean

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 30 aprile 2019

“We have no ocean B, just as we don’t have a planet B”, says João Aguiar Machado, Director-General for maritime affairs and fisheries at the European Commission, as he signs the cooperation agreement with Smurfs. “Marine pollution is one of the most pressing environmental problems, in Europe but certainly also in the rest of the world. With the Smurfs, we have found a partner that can help us reach out globally, while sharing our values and priorities”.“The Smurfs have always been the bearer of noble values”, says Véronique Culliford daughter of Smurf-creator Peyo and president of IMPS, the company behind the Smurfs. “Thanks to this partnership with the European Union, we will be able to share common ideals. The Smurfs might be small in size, but they can make a great difference in working towards our world remaining an enjoyable place to live in. So let’s smurf together for a brighter future!”
Concretely, the EU will spur its embassies across the world and its representations in EU Member States to organise beach clean events together with local organisations, schools etc. In 2018, over 70 actions and nearly 3,000 people participated to this EU Beach Clean-up campaign. The ambition for this year goes even further, says Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary General at the European External Action Service (EEAS), “through EU Delegations, we will encourage children, young people and adults of all countries to follow the example of the Smurfs and take care of our blue planet”.Cleaning up beaches has an instant positive result. Last year, EU delegations in Mozambique and Senegal removed 10 tons of litter from the shores in just one day. But the EU and Smurfs hope their campaign will achieve a longer lasting impact. “By organising these activities, we want to increase global awareness about the state of our ocean, and our individual responsibility to take care of it”, adds Mr Machado. “People will find very familiar things on the beach: plastic bottles, cigarette butts, candy wraps… Cleaning it up, can help us to mind our own daily behaviour and habits.”Of course, goodwill only gets you so far. Countries need to have proper waste management schemes in place, and this is often lacking in developing countries. The EU is also helping with that. Just last year, the EU has committed EUR 9 million to reduce plastic waste and marine litter in South East Asia and EUR 19 million to support a waste management programme for the Pacific region.Within its own territory, the EU is adopting new legislation that will curb single use plastics, especially those items that are most commonly found on the beach. In addition, the legislation focuses on lost fishing gear, which accounts to some 27% of all beach litter. Member States will have two years to turn this legislation into national laws.

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Is Europe doing enough to protect fundamental rights?

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 30 giugno 2017

corte di giustizia europeaChallenges to human rights are multiplying in the European Union, despite the strength of the legal framework we have built since the Second World War. To discuss the magnitude and nature of the challenges and develop solutions, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) is hosting a high-level symposium in cooperation with the Maltese Presidency of the Council of the EU. “Human rights are under threat across the EU,” says FRA Director Michael O’Flaherty. “But the goodwill and support for the vulnerable in so many places around Europe should give us hope. We need to harness this positivity to ensure that human rights remain the bedrock of our societies. And we must do much more to show that human rights are not just for a select few, but for everyone.”“Let us make now the time, when we end the scourge of poverty, within our European Union and beyond, as part of our commitment to secure the rights and freedoms of all,” said Maltese President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca. “Let us affirm the fundamental dignity of all human beings, by acting upon our duty to strive for the best interests all individuals and communities, and especially, the most vulnerable members of our society.”The EU is facing persisting high poverty levels and rates of youth unemployment demoralising to those entering the labour market for the first time. We are also witnessing political groupings that seek to capitalise on fears within the population for their own short-term electoral gains by championing nationalist and sometimes racist agendas. All of this increases the importance and difficulty of communicating human rights, whether as an expert in the field, a politician, or a journalist.‘Is Europe doing enough to protect fundamental rights?’ will take stock of human rights developments in the EU over the last 10 years. The symposium will address the three most burning issues on the EU’s policy agenda by focusing on migration and asylum, insecurity and fear, and poverty and social exclusion. Particular attention will be paid to the children’s perspective, and children themselves will take part in the event as speakers and commentators.FRA’s annual flagship Fundamental Rights Report and Opinions, now available in all EU languages, will be presented at the symposium, and together the Agency’s new report on the detention of child migrants will form the backdrop to the discussions.

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Former Great Barrier Reef head calls for ban on new coal mines to protect the Reef

Posted by fidest press agency su martedì, 22 novembre 2016

Sydney, perla australiana. Australia’s former leading authority on the Great Barrier Reef has called for a stop on the construction of any new coal mines in Australia, sounding the alarm on coral bleaching, rising sea temperatures, and further damage on the Reef. The call comes just days after nations met in Morocco for COP22 to hammer out plans to implement the Paris Agreement.“Australia cannot have a healthy Great Barrier Reef and a continuing coal industry,” Kelleher said. “This year was a wake-up call for everyone that Australia has to step up when it comes to protecting the Reef and a ban on new coal mines would be a necessary first step.”Graeme Kelleher was the first Chairperson and Chief Executive of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA), a government organisation dedicated to the care and development of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. Kelleher held the position for 16 years.The call for a ban on new coal mines comes ahead of the deadline (1 December) for the Australian government to report back to the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, over its handling of the health of the Great Barrier Reef.“The Great Barrier Reef is the “canary in the coal mine”, and right now it’s telling us the climate is sick,” said Shani Tager, Greenpeace Australia Pacific Reef campaigner.“In a world where climate extremes and droughts are becoming more common, governments across the world need to halt all new fossil fuel projects, and urgently shift investment to water efficient wind and solar power.”Recent economic modelling by the Australia Institute found a ban on new coal mines would almost have no impact on the Australian economy, not to mention the benefits of transitioning to 100% renewable power. The coal industry – the biggest single source of emissions – is heading for a terminal decline worldwide. Renewable growth will continue to disrupt the fossil fuel industry: China is growing its economy while reducing its coal consumption, and solar in India has already become cheaper than coal.
In September, the Australian government claimed it had made “good progress” in protecting the Great Barrier Reef during the previous 12 months, despite 22% of the Reef’s coral being killed in the worst coral bleaching event in history.The Australian government has promised to ensure protection of the Reef, but it has also made a number of controversial decisions in defiance of the Paris climate agreement that endanger the Reef. In October 2015 it granted approval to a huge expansion of coal mining in Australia, including the world’s largest new coal mine Carmichael coal mine in Queensland.“It’s not right for this government to pat itself on the back and claim it’s protecting the Reef when nearly a quarter of its coral was killed this year,” said Kelleher.Kelleher is an international specialist in marine parks, has authored several major books and reports on marine environments and was awarded an Officer of the Order of Australia honour. He will endorse a new petition with Greenpeace Australia Pacific, calling for a ban on new coal mines.

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European Parliament debates Safe Harbour ruling at 19.30: How to protect EU citizens’ data in transatlantic transfers?

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 17 ottobre 2015

MEPs debate the impact of the recent european court justice (ECJ) ruling that the Safe Harbour agreement on data transfers to the US is not safe. They are likely to ask Justice Commissioner Věra Jourová to clarify the legal situation following the ruling and demand immediate action to ensure effective data protection for EU citizens. The debate in plenary, with the Commission and Council, starts at 19.30, after the votes.Following a complaint against Facebook by an Austrian citizen, Max Schrems, the European Court of Justice ruled on 6 October that the Commission’s “adequacy decision” was invalid since the Safe Harbour scheme does not offer a level of data protection equivalent to the level of protection in place in the EU. In particular, the Court found that the access enjoyed by the US intelligence services to the transferred data interferes with ‘the right to respect for private life and the right to protection of personal data’.After the ruling, the chair of the civil liberties committee, Claude Moraes (S&D, UK), called on the European Commission to act immediately to provide clarity and proper data protection standards for data transfers to the US. Debate on rise of anti-semitism, islamophobia and hate speech in Europe.

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Greenpeace response to India’s INDC

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 3 ottobre 2015

New-Delhi. India today announced its climate targets as part of the UN negotiations on climate change. Indians government committed to reducing its carbon intensity by 33-35 percent by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. The Indian government aims to do this by increasing the share of installed electric capacity from non-fossil sources to 40 percent by 2030 as well as promising to protect/increase its forest cover so an additional 2.5 billion tonnes of carbon would be sequestered.Responding to the announcement, Pujarini Sen, Climate and Energy Campaigner from Greenpeace India said:“The Indian target to reach 40 percent of electricity from non-fossil sources by 2030 is certainly a step in the right direction. The bulk of energy must be solar and wind, given the potential for renewable energy as well as economic benefits available for India.” “Decentralised renewable energy systems must account for a significant proportion of this target, as this is the opportunity for the 300 million plus Indians who still lack access to electricity. Grid reforms are also essential to reach this target. This commitment is in line with India’s articulation of climate justice, as these are the people most vulnerable to climate change”.The commitment to renewable energy will change the energy matrix in India as renewables currently account for less than 12 percent of energy supply. However, India’s continued commitment to expand coal power capacity is baffling. Further expansion of coal power will hamper India’s development prospects, by worsening the problems of air quality and water scarcity as well as contributing to the destruction of forests and the displacement of communities. Financial analysts have predicted that electricity from renewable energy, especially solar, will be cheaper than coal within a few years.

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Seminario: “The Role of Cyber Defence to Protect and Sustain EU Economy”

Posted by fidest press agency su mercoledì, 29 ottobre 2014

cecchignolaIl 30 ottobre a Roma, nella Città Militare della Cecchignola, si terrà il seminario sulla difesa informatica “The Role of Cyber Defence to Protect and Sustain EU” organizzato nell’ambito delle attività del Ministero in occasione della Presidenza di turno italiana del Consiglio dell’ Unione Europea.
Il convegno, attraverso interventi e dibattiti, offrirà una possibilità per discutere sulle sfide e le prospettive future nel settore dello sviluppo industriale sulla sicurezza informatica a protezione e sostegno dell’ economia europea. Il consesso, aperto dal Ministro della Difesa, Roberta Pinotti, vedrà la partecipazione del Ministro della Difesa dell’Estonia, Sven Mikser, del Sottosegretario alla Difesa lettone, Janis Sarts, e del Capo di Stato Maggiore della Difesa, Ammiraglio Luigi Binelli Mantelli. All’evento interverranno, inoltre, il Director Capability, Armament and Technology dell’Agenzia di Difesa Europea (EDA) Air Commodore Peter Round, alte cariche istituzionali e rappresentanti del mondo industriale impegnati nel campo della sicurezza informatica. (Magg. Andrea M. GRADANTE)

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MEPs tighten up rules to protect personal data in the digital era

Posted by fidest press agency su giovedì, 13 marzo 2014

DysonMEPs inserted stronger safeguards for EU citizens’ personal data that gets transferred to non-EU countries in a major overhaul of the EU’s data protection laws voted on Wednesday. The new rules aim both to give people more control over their personal data and to make it easier for firms to work across borders, by ensuring that the same rules apply in all EU member states. MEPs also increased the fines to be imposed on firms that break the rules, to up to €100 million or 5% of global turnover.The EU’s 19-year-old EU data protection laws urgently need updating to keep pace with the progress of information technologies, globalisation and the growing use of personal data for law enforcement purposes.”I have a clear message to the Council: any further postponement would be irresponsible. The citizens of Europe expect us to deliver a strong EU wide data protection regulation. If there are some member states which do not want to deliver after two years of negotiations, the majority should go ahead without them”, explained rapporteur for the general data protection regulation, Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA, DE).”Allow me to express my dissatisfaction and frustration about the fact that it is the Council, or at least some member states, which are preventing us from achieving the goal that we had set, namely to have the data protection reform package passed by the end of this Parliament’s mandate”, said rapporteur for the directive on the protection of personal data processed for law enforcement purposes, Dimitrios Droutsas (S&D, EL).

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Transparency: better access to documents and protection of whistleblowers needed in the EU

Posted by fidest press agency su domenica, 23 febbraio 2014

The widest possible public access to documents is needed to effectively allow citizens to comment on all aspects of EU activity, says a report adopted by the Civil Liberties Committee on Thursday. MEPs call on the Council to finally move forward with the revision of the regulation on access to documents and for a Transparency officer in each EU institution. They also urge for better protection of whistleblowers.
The Lisbon Treaty lays down the fundamental right of access to documents, MEPs stress, recalling that “any decision denying access to documents must be based on clearly and strictly defined legal exceptions, accompanied by reasoned and specific justification, allowing the citizen to understand the denial of access and to make effective use of the legal remedies available”.Citizens have a right to know how the decision-making process works, how their representatives act, hold them accountable and to know how public money is allocated and spent, stresses the report.The EU legislation on access to documents is still not being properly applied by the EU’s administration, says the committee, noting that the “exceptions of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 [on public access to documents] are being applied routinely rather than of exceptionally”. It calls on the institutions, bodies and agencies to strictly apply this regulation, taking full account of the body of case-law on this matter. MEPs express their disappointment with the fact that since December 2011, when Parliament adopted its first reading position on the revision of the regulation, “no progress has been made, since the Council and the Commission did not seem ready to embark on substantive negotiations”. They call on the Council to finally move forward with the revision and on both institutions to agree on a new instrument that provides significantly more transparency.The Civil Liberties Committee calls on all the institutions to evaluate and, where necessary, review their internal arrangements for reporting wrongdoing, and calls for the protection of whistleblowers. “In a healthy democracy citizens should not have to rely on whistleblowers in order to ensure transparency of their governments’ competences and activities”, it adds.
The Commission should table a proposal to protect whistleblowers “not only morally, but also financially in order to properly protect and support whistleblowers as part of the democratic system”, says the text.
MEPs recommend that each EU institution or body appoint from within its management structures a Transparency Officer, to be responsible for compliance and for improving practices. EU institutions should also put in place “public document registers” with clear and accessible structures and good search functionality, they add.
International agreements, such as the envisaged Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) with the US, have binding effects and impact on EU laws. Documents related to them should therefore be public in principle, says the committee.

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To protect the German economy

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 21 Maggio 2010

As Angela Merkel hosts a key finance summit today – more regulation is firmly on the agenda to protect the euro zone economies.  With fears growing in Germany as one of Europe’s biggest economies that German taxpayers are paying for the brunt of the rescue package for the Greek debt crisis, and with the euro continuing to suffer on the world markets, the cost to the German economy is continuing to rise.  German taxpayers are angry that they are bearing the brunt for rescuing debt-laden Greece.  Germany has been helping to stabilise the European single currency, the euro, which has fallen to a four-year low against the dollar this week, and taxpayers no longer seem prepared to pay for the mistakes of their EU partners. Experts warn that the regulation approach proposed by Angela Merkel is seriously flawed and doomed to fail. Christopher Wasserman President of the Zermatt Foundation warns that; The Zermatt Summit, whose inaugural summit is taking place between the 3-5th of June in Zermatt, Switzerland, has been created to allow innovative business leaders, CEOs, senior policy makers and NGOs to discuss how ethics and not the sole pursuit of pure profit can drive business practices forward in the forthcoming years. The main objective of the Zermatt Summit is to formulate a roadmap and focus on three areas: to revisit the corporate raison d’être of the firm, to integrate leadership and ethics, to make corporate statesmanship a reality The Summit will provide a unique forum for participants to ask searching questions on how key decision makers can be influenced to instigate change in company behaviours, cultures and at policy level.  This will result in a series of practical recommendations, which will be widely published to ensure their implementation by business, political and civic leaders.

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To protect people’s health from night noise pollution

Posted by fidest press agency su sabato, 10 ottobre 2009

Today, the WHO Regional Office for Europe launches its Night noise guidelines for Europe.[1] The book provides ground-breaking evidence on how exposure to night noise can damage people’s health, and recommends guideline levels to protect health. The new limit is an annual average night exposure not exceeding 40 decibels (dB). Sleepers that are exposed to higher levels over the year, corresponding to the sound from a quiet street in a residential area, can suffer mild health effects, such as sleep disturbance and insomnia. Long-term average exposure to levels above 55 dB, similar to the noise from a busy street, can trigger elevated blood pressure and heart attacks. One in five Europeans is regularly exposed to such noise levels. “Noise has emerged as the leading environmental nuisance in Europe, and excessive noise is an increasingly common public complaint. The new guidelines will help countries to recognize and address the issues surrounding noise and health,” says Dr Srdan Matic, Unit Head, Noncommunicable Diseases and Environment at the WHO Regional Office for Europe. “Based on a six-year expert evaluation of scientific evidence in Europe, now governments have stronger justifications for regulating exposure to night noise, and clear guidance on what these limits should be.” Thirty-five scientists from medical and acoustical disciplines, and key partners such as the European Commission, were involved in developing the guidelines. Recent research clearly links exposure to night noise with harm to health. Noise can aggravate serious health problems, beyond damage to hearing, particularly through its effects on sleep and the relations between sleep and health. When people are asleep, their ears, brains and bodies continue to react to sounds. Sleep disturbance and annoyance are the first effects of night noise and can lead to mental disorders.  The effects of noise can even trigger premature illness and death. Night noise from aircraft can increase blood pressure, even if it does not wake people. Noise is likely to be more harmful when people are trying to fall asleep and awaken. Recent studies show that aircraft noise in the early morning is the most harmful in increasing the heart rate.

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