The European Commission on Monday proposed banning single-use plastic products such as cotton buds and plastic straws and putting the burden of cleaning up waste on manufacturers in an effort to reduce marine litter.

 

Under the proposal, single-use plastic products with readily available alternatives will be banned and replaced with more environmentally sustainable materials.

 

The proposal also requires EU countries to collect 90 percent of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025 and producers to help cover costs of waste management and clean-up.

 

"Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food," said EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.

 

Plastic accumulating in the world's oceans has become a major policy issue for governments, with scientists warning of their effect on the food chain.

 

Research published in the online journal Scientific Reports estimates a garbage patch of some 79,000 metric tonnes - 1.8 trillion pieces - of plastic has formed in the Pacific Ocean, mainly consisting of fishing nets, plastic containers, packaging and ropes.

 

Earlier this year, Britain also said it planned to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use products.

 

The Commission proposal will still need to be approved by the European Parliament and Council, and the Commission said it hoped for it to be given the green light before the European elections in May 2019.

 

 

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/28/european-union-moves-to-ban-single-use-plastics.html

 

The European Commission on Monday proposed banning single-use plastic products such as cotton buds and plastic straws and putting the burden of cleaning up waste on manufacturers in an effort to reduce marine litter.

 

Under the proposal, single-use plastic products with readily available alternatives will be banned and replaced with more environmentally sustainable materials.

 

The proposal also requires EU countries to collect 90 percent of single-use plastic drink bottles by 2025 and producers to help cover costs of waste management and clean-up.

 

"Plastic waste is undeniably a big issue and Europeans need to act together to tackle this problem, because plastic waste ends up in our air, our soil, our oceans, and in our food," said EU Commission Vice President Frans Timmermans.

 

Plastic accumulating in the world's oceans has become a major policy issue for governments, with scientists warning of their effect on the food chain.

 

Research published in the online journal Scientific Reports estimates a garbage patch of some 79,000 metric tonnes - 1.8 trillion pieces - of plastic has formed in the Pacific Ocean, mainly consisting of fishing nets, plastic containers, packaging and ropes.

 

Earlier this year, Britain also said it planned to ban the sale of plastic straws and other single-use products.

 

The Commission proposal will still need to be approved by the European Parliament and Council, and the Commission said it hoped for it to be given the green light before the European elections in May 2019.

 

The Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture announced on April 25, 2018 that it intends to open a panel at the World Trade Organization against the European Union. The measure comes after the European Union withdraws 20 Brazilian units that sell poultry meat from the list of exporters to the Block, claiming "deficiencies detected in the Brazilian official control system" and, according to Minister Blairo Maggi, arguing on a health issue.

In Brasília, the Ministries of Agriculture, Foreign Affairs and Industry, Foreign Trade and Services met to arrive at a unified strategy and Blairo Maggi said that it is not really a health issue. This is due to the fact that if there is a payment of 1,024 euros per ton and shipping everything as fresh meat, the product enters the European Union without any health problems. That is the argument that will be brought before the WTO.

“The European Commission has said it wants to open talks with Albania and Macedonia to allow the two countries to join the European Union.

EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said the two countries had made significant progress in implementing the reforms demanded by Brussels and that they could join their neighbours Montenegro and Serbia, which are already in negotiations. The move comes ahead of a major EU summit in Sofia next month to discuss the Western Balkan countries’ relationship with the union, and the week a pro-EU president was elected in Montenegro.

Ms Mogherini suggested that Bosnia and Kosovo, two other countries in the region that want to join, had more work to do before talks could start with them – but did not rule out their future accession, stating that “the Western Balkans are Europe, and will be part of the European Union’s future”.

Ms Mogherini said she would be travelling to the region on Tuesday (24/04/18) evening to meet with national leaders there. The European Commission has produced seven individual reports on the Western Balkan countries and Turkey, and their prospects for accession to the EU. All have said they want to join. The High Representative for Foreign Affairs said membership would be conditional on the continuation of reforms.

The European Council, which is made up to the 28 EU leaders and next meets in June, would have to sign off the European Commission’s recommendation for it to become official.

Other than the Balkan states, Turkey has also been a candidate country since 1999 – but talks have stalled and effectively stopped, with several EU leaders saying they would not permit Turkey to join.”

 

Source: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/eu-albania-macedonia-join-new-members-european-commission-enlargement-talks-a8308916.html

The European Commission is proposing a New Deal for Consumers to ensure that all European consumers fully benefit from their rights under Union law.

While the EU already has some of the strongest rules on consumer protection in the world, recent cases like the Dieselgate scandal, have shown that it is difficult to enforce them fully in practice. The New Deal for Consumers will empower qualified entities to launch representative actions on behalf of consumers and introduce stronger sanctioning powers for Member States' consumer authorities.

The New Deal for Consumers will mean:

1. Strengthening consumer rights online, it aims more transparency in online market places and when searching results on online platforms. There will be created also new consumer rights for “free” digital services.

2. Giving consumers the tools to enforce their rights and get compensation with representative actions witch also gives them better protection against unfair commercial practices.

3. Introducing effective penalties for violations of EU consumer law

4. Tackling dual quality of consumer products

5. The New Deal will remove unnecessary burden for businesses, in way to improve the conditions for businesses

 

The Commission's proposals will be discussed by the European Parliament and the Council.

 

Source: European Commission - Press release

The European Commission presented the Action Plan on Military Mobility on 28 March. The objective of Federica Mogherini, the foreign representative of the Union,  is to be more effective in reacting when challenges arise.

The Action Plan was actually decided not by the EU, but by the Pentagon and NATO. In 2015, General Ben Hodges, commander of US gound forces in Europe (US Army Europe), called for the establishment of a “military Schengen Area” so that, to face “Russian aggression”, US forces could move quickly from one European country to another, without being slowed down by national regulations and customs procedures.

This is how the “military Schengen Area” is prepared, with the difference that free-to-circulate are not people but tanks. For this Action Plan been possible the mobility barriers must be removed by modifying infrastructures not suitable for the weight or size of military vehicles, in particular bridges and rails with insufficient load capacity. However, this costs are going to be supported by the European citizens, with consequent cuts to social spending and investments in public utility projects.

 

Source: https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-militarization-of-the-european-union-schengen-area-handed-over-to-us-nato-forces/5634742

 

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro anticipated the presidential election for April 22 and the European Union decided to speak on the matter only two months before the date chosen. In Brussels, the High Representative for Foreign Policy, Federica Mogherini, guaranteed the need for free and fair elections, revealing that these are crucial moments and in what sense the decisions will be taken and the direction of those decisions will also determine the decisions of the Union European Union. The possibility of reaction from the European Union was also pointed out. According to Mogherini, "any decision that does not guarantee free and fair elections creates the need for us to reflect on additional measures."

It is worth remembering that this statement came after an arms embrago, approved in November 2017, and the inclusion of top-level names of members important to Maduro's policy, such as Diosdado Cabello and Maikel Moreno, which means that these people will not be able to enter the European Union and will have resources frozen.

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