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The European Commission adopted a proposal that requires Member States to reduce their use of lightweight plastic carrier bags. Member States can choose the measures they find most appropriate, including charges, national reduction targets or a ban under certain conditions.
Stricter monitoring and certification procedures to ensure full compliance and traceability of medical devices such as breast or hip implants were agreed by Parliament.
The latest Report on the implementation of the Nitrates Directive reveals that nitrates concentrations are slightly decreasing in both surface and groundwater and sustainable agricultural practices are more widespread.
A draft law to make tobacco products less attractive to young people was passed by Parliament. All packs should carry a health warning covering 65% of their surface.
The Commission proposed new legislation to prevent and manage the rapidly growing threat from invasive species. There are currently over 12 000 species present in Europe which are alien to the natural environment.
A new Regulation on biocidal products applying from 1st September will significantly increase the safety and simplify the authorisation procedure of biocides used and placed on the market in the EU.
European Commissioner for Regional Policy, Johannes Hahn has presented a proposal to reform the EU Solidarity Fund. The plans will make the fund more responsive and simpler to use with clearer criteria as to who can benefit.
Protection of consumer rights still varies greatly between EU countries. Only 35% of Europeans are confident buying online from sellers in other EU countries and seven out of ten consumers do not know what do to when they receive products that they did not order.
The consultation asks stakeholders, citizens, businesses, NGOs and public authorities for ideas on immediate action to reduce food waste and more generally on how to ensure our food system is using resources efficiently.
A new study presented by the European Commission finds that the establishment of maritime zones, including Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs), in the Mediterranean would benefit the EU's Blue Growth and wider sustainability agendas.
The EU's ability to cope with serious cross-border health threats such as coronavirus, the 2011 E. Coli epidemic or the 2009 H1N1 flu will be strengthened by legislation. The text introduces an early warning system, facilitates joint buying of vaccines and will make it possible to declare an EU-wide emergency in the event of a crisis.
The European Commission took the first step towards cutting greenhouse gas emissions from the shipping industry. It proposed legislation which will require owners of large ships using EU ports to monitor and report the ships' annual carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The Council adopted stricter capital requirements for banks and investment firms (the "CRD 4 package"). The new rules will be published in the Official Journal before 1 July 2013 and will apply from 1 January 2014.
The Environment Council adopted conclusions on a strategy on adaptation to climate change. The conclusions are a response to the Commission's communication "An EU strategy on adaptation to climate change".
The European Commission sets out EU-wide safety objectives to significantly reduce the risks and protect people and the environment.
Rules on the labelling and content of baby milks and foods for special medical purposes will be better defined in order to protect consumers and distinguish more clearly between foods for normal consumption and foods for specific groups under legislation.