Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

May 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 24 May 2017
In order to safeguard Europe’s most important wildlife areas an EU-wide network of nature protection areas is being established under the Habitats Directive – the Natura 2000 network. The reduction and loss of biodiversity in Europe has accelerated dramatically over recent decades. The pressures responsible for this loss are urban, infrastructure and tourism development, agricultural and forestry intensification.

The lists of sites foreseen in the Habitats Directive are divided in seven bio-geographic regions (Pannonian, Boreal, Continental, Atlantic, Alpine, Macaronesian and Mediterranean) within the territory of the Union. The first list for the Macaronesian region (Madeira, Azores and Canary islands) was agreed in December 2001. The second list was adopted in December 2003 for the Alpine region. The lists are established on the basis of proposals made by the Member States, which are subsequently evaluated with the assistance of the European Environmental Agency.

2005 fish quotas: Commission proposes more stability through the application of long-term strategies to rebuild stocks
Today, the European Commission tabled a proposal on fishing possibilities and attendant measures for 2005. The objective is to rebuild severely depleted stocks and protect those in sound biological state while maintaining, as far as possible, the economic activities of the fleets concerned. The proposal takes account of the latest scientific advice from the independent International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and the Commission’s own Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF), as well as input from stakeholders. The Commission facilitated greater involvement of stakeholders this year by consulting the industry and other interested Parties at an early stage. Essentially, the Commission proposes more stable total allowable catches (TACs), as called for by stakeholders, through the application of multi-annual recovery plans, in line with the long-term approach adopted under the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP). Thus, the Commission does not systematically follow scientific advice to the letter in terms of TACs, but it builds in additional measures that should deliver the long term sustainability of fish stocks. The biggest cuts in quotas and fishing effort relate to fragile deep-sea species. For depleted cod stocks, the Commission proposes further restrictions on fishing effort mostly through closed areas.

Consultation workshops on general surveillance of genetically modified crops
EFSA has established a self-tasking working group to study requirements for Post Market Environmental Monitoring (PMEM WG) in order to produce guidance for both applicants and regulatory authorities. Based on its mandate, the PMEM WG initiated a series of consultation workshops with different stakeholders (applicants, environmental NGOs and scientific institutes, experts from Member States) to establish a rationale and general framework for General Surveillance as a component of Post Market Environmental Monitoring.

Wednesday, 08 December 2004
Commission departments are currently drafting a Thematic Strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources. This Strategy, which is one of seven being produced following the 6th Environmental Action Programme, will aim to reduce the environmental impacts of using natural resources, where natural resources are raw materials such as minerals and biomass, environmental media such as air, water and soil, flow resources such as wind, geothermal, tidal and solar energy and space (land area). This consultation will build on and focus the results of the stakeholder consultations following the Commission’s 2003 Communication, “Towards a thematic strategy on the sustainable use of natural resources”.[1] It seeks to elicit relevant information and opinions from stakeholders on particular measures being considered for inclusion in the final Strategy. The information submitted will feed into the Extended Impact Assessment currently being prepared by Commission departments and which will guide the final Strategy, which should be adopted in summer 2005
The European Commission has re-launched its Taxation and Customs Union website so as to provide more comprehensive policy and practical information on European tax and customs matters. If you are a business searching for VAT rates and practical arrangements applicable in the 25 Member States or rates and rules on tobacco products, alcohol or mineral oils or simply wanting to validate your customer's VAT number, then the new site has now become a "one-stop-shop" for all your needs. The website also offers a wide range of information on customs rules and tariffs for importing products into the EU. Individuals may find it useful to consult the site's sections on "travellers", car taxation and personal taxation.