Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

November 2017
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EDITO
Wednesday, 22 November 2017
EU drafts new rules on patents: On 29 October, the European Commission (EC) issued a new draft resolution on patents and access to medicines. It will give European governments the legal right to suspend drug patents, which will allow European manufacturers to export cheaper generic versions to developing countries. This change in law follows a decision at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in August last year to lift restrictions on the export of generics.

This report warns that despite the Fischler reforms, agricultural developments after the accession of ten new member states to the European Union are likely to cause a great deal of social and environmental damage, partly due to flaws in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). The main risks connected to CAP but also to the newcomers' entry into the single market include: increased use of chemical pesticides and fertilisers in fields, resulting in higher health risks, more water pollution, soil damage, and a loss of biodiversity. EU membership offers the new countries distinct opportunities:subsidies to boost organic agriculture and to maintain extensive farming on pastures and meadows; legislation on some hazardous pesticides, higher animal welfare standards, and legislation limiting pollution from farms, thus protecting public health.
It is now up to the new member state governments to make sure that EU membership and CAP money will provide quality food, rich biodiversity, clean rivers and rural jobs.
CROSS-EUROPEAN CONSORTIUM LAUNCHES A WOMEN AND YOUNG RESEARCHERS' RESOURCE
A new resource Centre promoting gender equality in research and development and young scientists in the Central European region started its activities in September 2004 with the launch of the website. The Centre is the first regional centre to advance the position of women scientists and of young scientists in Central Europe.
The results from the Commission's consultation on the Green
paper on Anti-Discrimination and Equal Treatment are now published and can
be found on the Commission website. There were approximately 1500 replies to
the consultation. Two responses of particular interest are: To the question:
Do you agree that efforts to tackle sex discrimination in the EU should be
linked more closely to efforts to tackle discrimination on grounds of racial
or ethnic origin, religion or belief, age, disability and sexual
orientation? 81.6% agreed. The response to the question: Do you agree that
it remains necessary to tackle specifically sex discrimination and the
promotion of gender mainstreaming? 84.8% agreed.
CONFERENCE: SOCIAL POLICY AGENDA 2006-2010: NGOS SET OUT A VISION FOR SOCIAL
POLICY BASED ON FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS, October 20-21st - Social NGOs launched
an alternative vision for European social policy at a conference, which
gathered ministers, members of the European Parliament and high-level
Commission officials. Mary McPhail, EWL Secretary General, chaired the
session on Equality and Non-Discrimination. The Social Policy Agenda
proposals advanced by social NGOs include not only designing better social
policies, but also providing an impetus for making all of the EU's policies
more "social". The Social Platform's proposals focus on the policy areas
where social NGOs have experience, for example they propose ways to
strengthen the open method of coordination. Partnerships between different actors, including trade unions, would help strengthen efforts to include more vulnerable groups in society.