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Wednesday, 26 July 2017
‘Anti-spam’ enforcement authorities in 13 European countries have agreed to share information and pursue complaints across borders in a pan-European drive to combat “spam” electronic mail. They will cooperate in investigating complaints about cross-border spam from anywhere within the EU, so as to make it easier to identify and prosecute spammers anywhere in Europe.

Welcoming the agreement, Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding urged authorities in all EU Member States to join the agreement. “Enforcement authorities in Member States must be able to deal effectively with spam from other EU countries”, she said, “even though at present most spam originates from outside the EU. In parallel, we are working on cooperation with third countries both bilaterally and in international fora like the OECD and the International Telecommunication Union”.

Tuesday, 08 February 2005
The battle to prevent software patents being introduced in Europe received a major boost on Wednesday afternoon when the Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) of the European Parliament (EP) demanded for the Computer Implemented Inventions Directive (CIID) to be rewritten. A European Parliament spokesman confirmed that the President of the European Parliament will asked the European Commission (EC) to take the patent directive back to the drawing board. The spokesman said the EC is not obliged to agree to the EP's request for a restart, but is likely to adhere to the will of the parliament. But an EC spokesman said that the Commission has not yet decided anything and will 'keep its options open'and 'see what happens with the EU Council'.
Opponents of the directive fear that it will herald the widespread patenting of software in Europe.

Friday, 04 February 2005
The Mid-Term Review under the Cotonou Agreement has led to increased increased allocations in many ACP countries. One of them is Tuvalu, one of the smallest and most remote Pacific ACP countries, whose Minister of Finance, Mr Bikenibeu Paeniu and DG Development’s Deputy Director General, Mr Athanassios Theodorakis, on 26 January signed an addendum to the Country Strategy Paper (CSP) for the country, worth an additional €500,000.

This means on average €50 per person, for the country’s less than 10,000 inhabitants and only 26 sq km, of whom the majority lives from subsistence farming and artisanal fishing and whose main export product is stamps. Income disparities are significant between fishermen and farmers - mainly living on remote islands - and the around 4,000 inhabitants of the capital. The EC assistance is therefore mainly intended to improve the quality of life in the outer islands

A new initiative aimed at fostering medical research ethics committees in Africa was launched in Paris on 27 January. The 'networking for ethics on biomedical research in Africa' (NEBRA) initiative, financed under the Sixth Framework Programme (FP6), also intends to encourage the participation of African research ethics committees in the international debate on ethics. 'NEBRA is a logical response to the needs expressed by African partners who want to participate in international medical research and attract medical research for their countries' health priorities,' said NEBRA coordinator François Hirsch, from the French National Institute for Research and Health (INSERM). 'Improved ethical practices will enable the participating countries to attract clinical research fulfilling international requirements in ethics in their regions. As a result, the countries will benefit from the research which will lead to improved management of public health issues like malaria, AIDS and tuberculosis,' he added. The project brings together four African countries, Benin, Gabon, Gambia and Mali, the INSERM, the UK's Medical Research Council (MRC), Germany's Department of Parasitology at the Eberhard Karls University, and the World Health Organisation (WHO). 11 other African countries are also involved in the project as participating countries. Together they will aim to develop a deeper understanding of the ethical issues raised by research in Africa, and identify the people working in that area and their needs.

The Council adopted a Regulation on maximum residue levels of pesticides in food and feed, designed to raise the level of consumer health protection (9262/1/04, 9262/1/04 ADD 1 and 16109/04). The aim of the new, harmonised provisions is twofold: to facilitate trade in food and feed products within the Single Market and with third countries, and to ensure a consistent level of consumer protection across the EU. Under the Regulation, maximum residue levels will always be set at Community level. The role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) is also defined; it will be responsible for risk assessment, based on reports from the Member States. The proposal overhauls and streamlines pesticides legislation by replacing four Directives with a single Regulation, at the same time as amending Regulation 91/414/EEC.