Tuesday, 30 April 2013

"Tymoshenko... selective justice by Ukraine," Says Brok

Reacting to today's ruling by the European Court of Human Rights in the case of Julia Tymoshenko vs. Ukraine, the Chairman of the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, Elmar Brok MEP, said: "The ruling by the European Court of Human Rights confirms the trial against Ms Tymoshenko was politically-motivated. Ms Tymoshenko must be freed immediately."

"The ruling illustrates the selective and politically-motivated justice in Ukraine. The European Court of Human Rights found that Ms Tymoshenko's pre-trial detention had been arbitrary. Ukraine is still miles away from fulfilling European standards.


Thursday, 25 April 2013

Damanaki Launches Online Fisheries Intelligence Tool

Commissioner Maria Damanaki has launched the new European Market Observatory for Fishery and Aquaculture Products (EUMOFA) at the European Seafood Exposition. The Observatory is an EU-wide interactive web-tool offering up-to-date data on volume, value and price of fisheries and aquaculture products throughout the supply chain, from when they land to port to when they are displayed on supermarket shelves.

“If you want to know market trends and market drivers for wild or farmed seafood products, the Market Observatory is the tool for you," said Commissioner Damanaki. She continued: "what counts today is value, not volume, of production. With this modern tool we empower economic actors through accurate, real-time market information”.

Polio Eradication, Barroso Pledges EU Assistance

Speaking at the Global Vaccine Summit, Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, said: "In the future, as in the past, the European Union will be a key ally in the global effort for immunisation... A significant part of EU aid – over one fifth - goes to social sectors. This means that half a billion a year goes to health initiatives, because that is where it makes a real difference for our partners."

Barroso added: "The impressive results that have been achieved over the years in polio eradication are an excellent example for the comprehensive division of labour between us and our partners. Government efforts, public and private donors have all made this possible, with the European Union contributing substantially. Broader policies to address the broader social issues that impact health are indispensable to make specific immunisation campaigns effective and sustainable."

"No Time To Waste In EU-US Trade Talks" Says Schaake

Dutch Member of the European Parliament Marietje Schaake (D66/ALDE) and the International Trade Committee of the European Parliament have supported commencement of negotiations between the EU and the US for a trade and investment treaty (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP).

Schaake said: "The preparatory work is done; the contours of the treaty are appearing. Now the real work will start. Although the agreement can be a good opportunity for increasing jobs and economic growth, negotiations will be challenging. If we succeed, European manufacturers, service providers and investors will be able to do business with the US, and vice-versa, on new markets in and less complicated ways."

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Kroes On Media Convergence Internet-TV, TV-Internet

Millions of Europeans catch up with their favourite TV series on a smartphone on the way to work, watch online content on their living room TV, or put their own user-generated content online. There are more than 40.4 million "connected TVs" in Europe, and they could be in the majority of EU households by 2016.

Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President said: "Connected TV is the next big thing in the creative and digital worlds. Convergence between sectors means people can enjoy a wider choice of great content - but it also creates disruptions and challenges. We need a converged and EU-wide debate to help deal with these changes. To help business flourish, nurture creativity and protect our values".

These changes are sweeping away traditional boundaries between consumers, broadcast media and the internet. The Commission wants to explore what this convergence of technology and content could mean for Europe's economic growth and innovation, cultural diversity, and consumers, especially those that may need protection, such as children.

EURODAC Fingerprint System Targets Asylum Seekers

“Law enforcement access to the fingerprints stored in EURODAC on a ‘hit or not’ basis in cases of serious crime or terrorism is a major step forward in speeding up the fight against crime”, explained Monica Macovei MEP after the adoption of her Report on the establishment of EURODAC, a database for the comparison of fingerprints of asylum seekers.

“Safeguards for protecting individual rights are there; EURODAC can be accessed only as a last resort”, she added. The Report was adopted by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs which also adopted the Report on the minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting and withdrawing international protection.