CAREERS WITH THE EUROPEAN UNION
by the European Personnel Selection Office
After serious accidents in Romania and Spain, the European Union decided that a specific Directive was needed to regulate the management and storage of mining waste. Old installations, where the sites are now closed, represent a real danger. Where necessary, rehabilitation work should be carried out within four years at the waste producers' expense. This point is particularly important for the new central European Member States, where many mining companies have long neglected safety standards. In future, every time a mining site starts up, a financial guarantee will have to be lodged and regularly adjusted to ensure that requirements are met during and after use of the site, for the rehabilitation, not just of the site itself, but also all the land directly affected.
By today, all EU Member States should have transposed into their national legislation an EU Directive setting more ambitious recycling and recovery targets for packaging waste. This type of waste includes packaging made from paper, glass, metals, plastics and wood. The new Directive updates and strengthens an earlier Directive from 1994. It aims to further reduce the negative environmental impact of landfilling and incinerating packaging waste and the production of virgin materials. The new recycling targets are a further step on Europe's way towards a more sustainable society. They strengthen the recycling industry. They also enable consumers to actively participate in recycling schemes and to show their commitment to more responsible management of packaging waste.
The European Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition of the Italian electricity company Edison by the French company EDF and the Dutch company AEM. Following an examination, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the common market. The Commission found that the proposed concentration did not raise any competition problems. However, it will continue to monitor the competitive dynamics of the Italian electricity markets, where prices are among the highest in Europe. Edison is the second-largest electricity producer in Italy. However, its position on the Italian electricity markets is quite small compared to that of the more established operator ENEL, which still controls a large part of the generation capacity and, most of the time, is in a position to set the electricity price on the Italian Power Exchange.
Xplora is a new gateway to science education in Europe. Its aim is to stimulate science education to attract more young people. Teachers will find a wealth of information and resources for primary and secondary education. The section "Megalab" presents experiments and practical, innovative science projects. Studying the stars or plants, conducting experiments on wind energy or hydrogen cells, ... Thanks to Xplora, pupils can now take part in experiments that would not be feasible at school! Xplora also provides teachers, and experts from all comers of Europe with a forum where they can talk to each other on-line, find tools for setting up on-line communities and instructions on free software for science teaching.
The Commission has decided to extend for one last time the period of grace for the introduction of the digital tachograph until 31 December 2005. Although the final date for the introduction of the digital tachograph had been extended until 5 August 2005, an extra period of grace is needed. This decision is justified by the delays encountered by tachograph manufacturers in obtaining type approval for their equipment. It should also allow the Member States to take all the legislative, technical and administrative measures needed. Finally, the aim of the moratorium was to ensure that Member States do not impose penalties on drivers of foreign vehicles entering their respective territories without a digital tachograph. Since then, most Member States have adopted the necessary legal frameworks and application arrangements. The tachograph must be legally recognised and accepted by all Member States from 5 August 2005 onwards.
The European Aviation Security Agency (EASA) was set up in September 2002 to promote a uniformly high level of safety and environmental protection in the field of civil aviation. The Community has powers in the areas of airworthiness and the environmental compatibility of aircraft products, parts and equipment. The EASA is putting in place a surveillance system to monitor the application of Community legislation, evaluate its impact and make any useful suggestions in this area. The EASA is involved in the certification of certain products for bodies, in third countries; the national administrations issue individual certificates and accreditation for most of the bodies on their national territory, on the basis of common rules under the control of the EASA.
The new face of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Commission will be the Estonian Maive Rute, appointed spokeswoman on 13 June 2005. She will defend the interests of a sector representing 25 million businesses and 75 million jobs. "Supporting the [...] SMEs, boosting their energy and creativity are the key to achieving more growth and jobs in the EU," Mrs Rute said. The Commission's main concern is: how can we help SMEs to employ more people? Community actions have been launched to promote the sector and simplify its administrative environment. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan and the European Charter for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises contribute to this positive impetus.
The European Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition by TPV of the activities of the Dutch company Philips Monitors in the sale of flat screens for computer monitors and televisions to original equipment manufacturers. The activities acquired by TPV will be managed by a new company under the exclusive control of TPV. The transaction does not have any harmful effects on competition in the European Economic Area as regards computer monitors for original equipment manufacturers. Although the combined market share of TPV and Philips Monitors is greater than that of their competitors, after the merger the two companies will continue to face strong competition from Samsung, LGE and BenQ in particular. Therefore, it cannot be expected that the new entity would be able to act independently of its customers and competitors, while switching suppliers on the market appears to be feasible within the short term.
© 2013 European Personnel Selection Office