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September 2018
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EDITO
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
The European Council held in Brussels yesterday and today examined, among other issues, the climate change.

The European Council notes with great satisfaction the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. In this respect, it wishes in particular to congratulate the Russian Federation on having ratified the Protocol. The European Council welcomes the Commission communication entitled "Winning the battle against global climate change" and calls on the Commission to continue its cost-benefit analysis of CO2 reduction strategies. The European Council emphasises the EU's determination to reinvigorate the international negotiations by:
– exploring options for a post-2012 arrangement in the context of the UN climate change process, ensuring the widest possible cooperation by all countries and their participation in an effective and appropriate international response;
– developing a medium and long-term EU strategy to combat climate change, consistent with meeting the 2ºC objective. In view of the global emission reductions required, global joint efforts are needed in the coming decades, in line with the common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, including significantly enhanced aggregate reduction efforts by all economically more advanced countries.

See document on: Sustainable Development in Africa:is the Climate Right? by the International Research Institute
for Climate Prediction
Wednesday, 23 March 2005
Today the European Commission took stock of the EU legislative framework on Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). During the debate, the Commission confirmed its full confidence in the existing regulatory framework on GMOs, one of the strictest in the world, which provides for a high level of scientific assessment and at the same time safeguards the consumers’ right to choose. The Commission concluded that it would continue to comply fully with its legal obligations and proceed with the approval of pending authorisations as appropriate. While continuing to fulfil the responsibilities imposed on it by the EU legislative framework, the Commission has reflected on the need to develop consensus between all interested parties.

The attached file on Questions and Answers on the Regulation of GMOs in the European Union gives details and links on questions such as:
- What are GMOs?
- Overview of EU legislation on GMOs
- What are the principles introduced by Directive 2001/18/EC?
- What is the procedure for authorising the placing on the market of GMOs as such or as a component in products?
- What is the procedure for authorisation of the experimental release of GMOs into the environment?
- How does the environmental risk assessment procedure work?
- Have GMOs already been authorised for release into the environment?
- Have GMOs already been approved for use in food products?
- Labelling and traceability of GMOs
- What are the rules on co-existence between transgenic crops and traditional or organic crops?

The main features of the Regulation concerning the rules governing the movement and international trade of GMOs which can affect developing countries are:
- the obligation to notify exports of GMOs intended for deliberate release into the environment and secure express consent prior to a first transboundary movement; - the obligation to provide information to the public and to our international partners on EU practices, legislation and decisions on GMOs, as well as on accidental releases of GMOs;
- a set of rules for the export of GMOs intended to be used as food, feed or for processing;
The Regulation (EC) No 1946/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council
of 15 July 2003 on transboundary movements of genetically modified organisms is attached.
Tuesday, 22 March 2005
For Europe to meet the Lisbon and Barcelona targets of increasing research investment and to offset the ”brain drain” of recent decades, much more must be done to bring non-EU scientists into the European research area. On Wednesday the EP Civil Liberties Committee gave its backing to plans by the European Commission to create a special residence permit for non-EU researchers, although MEPs called for greater protection of rights such as family reunification and direct access to social security systems.
The aim of the draft directive is to make Europe more attractive to international researchers by offering them a renewable residence permit with some privileges which differ from a normal visa: once a scientist is invited by a host research organisation in the EU to conduct a research project for more than three months, this person would be entitled to obtain in less than 30 days a residence permit for the duration of the research project in the Member State in question, without needing to apply for a work permit.
Parliament is only being consulted on this legislation and any amendments it adopts are non-binding on the Council of Ministers. The Civil Liberties Committee, in a report by Vincent PEILLON (PES, FR), is urging that mandatory provisions be added on family reunification so that direct family members (spouse or partner, children under 21 or dependent parents) will have the right to join the researcher. The Council wants these measures to be optional for Member States. MEPs would also like the researcher and relatives to have full access to the national sickness insurance scheme. MEPs see mobility as an essential factor in the transfer of knowledge and formation of scientists’ networks, so they passed an amendment to allow the visa holder to conduct part of his/her research work in another Member State. However if the researcher wishes to stay there for more than three months, the second Member State may require a new hosting agreement.
This new directive will be a small but crucial step in the achievement of the ambitious agenda set in Lisbon and Barcelona in 2002, where Member States committed themselves to invest 3% of the national GDP in research and recruit 700,000 researchers in Europe by 2010.

Information auprès de: Maria Andrés Marìn - tel. (32-2) 28 44299;e-mail: libe-press@europarl.eu.int
Louis Michel was pleased that the UK placed illegal logging on the agenda of the G8, as the practice is responsible for vast environmental damage in developing countries and impoverishes rural communities which depend on forest products for a living. It is estimated illegal logging costs governments in developing countries of an estimated €10-15bn every year in lost revenue. It is also closely associated with corruption, and serves to fuel the cycle of bribery and graft which does so much to curtail growth and prosperity in the developing world. However, Commissioner Michel expressed disappointment at the lack of new concrete outcomes.
To build on a commitment taken at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, in May 2003 the Commission published an EU Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement Governance and Trade (FLEGT). The Action Plan sets out a new and innovative approach to tackling illegal logging, which links the push for good governance in developing countries with the legal instruments and leverage offered by the EU’s own internal market.

The core components of the Action Plan are support for improved governance in wood-producing countries, and a licensing scheme to ensure only legal timber enters the EU. This licensing scheme will initially be implemented on a voluntary (but binding) basis, through a series of partnerships with wood-producing countries. Other areas where the Commission proposes action include co-operation with other major consumer markets to stop the trade illegally-harvested timber; and efforts to ensure on legally-harvested timber is sourced through public procurement contracts in the EU.
The European Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid, Louis Michel, welcomed today the clear commitment of the G8 members to put Africa high on its agenda and to coordinate its efforts to increase the international support for development. Louis Michel took part in the G8 Environment and Development Ministerial meeting in Derbyshire, UK.
Commissioner Michel stressed that “more should be done for and by Africa. I welcome the priority given to Africa by the UK’s Presidency of the G8 and looks forward to build on this commitment during the UK’s Presidency of the European Union in the second semester of 2005”.The European Commission welcomed the report of the Commission for Africa as an important contribution in what is a key year for development. The EC shares its emphasis on the role that trade can play as a driver of growth for Africa’s development. The EU “Everything But Arms” scheme fully opens the EU market to least developed countries.
Commissioner Michel will come forward in April with a package of proposals on the future orientation of EU development policy, including an ambitious initiative on Africa, which will be developed in connection with the updated development policy statement.