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Nutrient profiles saved by EP Legal Committee, but vigilance required

Some have interpreted the European Commission’s "Better Regulation" agenda as an opportunity to eliminate nutrient profiles from European legislation. On 16 June, the European Parliament’s Legal Committee voted on the Regulatory Fitness (REFIT) Programme which held two amendments seeking to scrap nutrient profiles. Fortunately, these amendments were rejected. However, a new battle around nutrient profiles may well be around the corner. According to the WHO, nutrient profiling (...)

EPHA joins Better Regulation Watchdog

EPHA has joined more than 50 civil society organisations to create the ‘Better Regulation Watchdog’ – a network to protect citizens’, workers’ and consumers’ rights and health. The network was launched on 18 May in Brussels, one day ahead of the expected announcement of the European Commission’s Better Regulation initiative presented by First Vice-President Frans Timmermans. OPEN LETTER from the Better Regulation Watchdog Network in response to (...)

EPHA joins call for full lobby transparency

In an initiative led by the the campaign organisation ALTER-EU, over 100 NGOs urge the European Commission to take strong and urgent action to create a high-quality and legally-binding EU lobby transparency register. A letter sent by the campaign to First Vice-President Timmermans reads as follows: "This issue is really important to us. Lobby transparency is vital to reduce unethical lobbying and also to begin to ensure a better balance between corporate and public interest groups in (...)
Also about: Transparency , governance

EPHA comment on European Commission investigation into Danish ’fat tax’

Brussels, 9 February 2015 – The European Commission opened last week an investigation looking into whether application of a tax on some high-fat foods by the Danish government between October 2011 until January 2013 involved illegal state aid. Analysis of the impact of the tax, levied on high fat foodstuffs, meat, dairy products and oils, found it to be an effective measure to achieve public health benefits. The tax (which was abandoned without a proper evaluation) enhanced (...)

Smart Regulation: advancing economic competitiveness above the public interest?

The Council of the European Union adopted conclusions on Smart Regulation in December 2014, which re-emphasise that EU regulation is needed to achieve agreed EU policy goals. However, the conclusions call for regulation at minimum cost, while protecting and promoting competitiveness, growth and jobs, as a first priority, whilst merely asking for “due consideration” for protection of consumers, health, the environment and employees. The Council stresses that European regulation (...)
Also about: governance , single market

[Evaluation] European Parliament hearing , Frans Timmermans - European Commissioner-designate for better Regulation, Inter-Institutional Relations, the Rule of Law and Charter of Fundamental Rights & Commission’s first Vice-President

Frans Timmermans performed very well in his hearing, seeming to convince the European Parliament that he was the right person to take on the designated portfolio. He presented himself as a pragmatic person. Responding to the question of MEP In’t Veld (Dutch liberal) whether he would be the “lapdog of governments or the champion of citizen’s rights”, Mr Timmermans replied that he would want to cooperate with everybody. His vision is to have a network of institutions, (...)

EPHA response to the European Commission consultation on Corporate Social Responsibility

22 August 2014 - Over the summer of 2014, the European Commission consulted stakeholders on their Corporate Social Responsibility 2011-2014 strategy: achievements, shortcomings and future challenges. Given the concept of CSR, as part of a wider Smart Regulation agenda, closely linked to other regulatory mechanisms, such as self- and co-regulation, EPHA analysed the notion of CSR, its potential and possible threat to comprehensive public policy making, for the benefit - or harm - of public (...)

Specific food taxes do reduce consumption, new EU report reveals

In the framework of the activities of the High Level Forum for a Better Functioning Food Supply Chain, DG Enterprise and Industry commissioned a study on ’Food taxes and their impact on competitiveness in the agri-food sector’. The study concluded that "Non-harmonised taxes on high sugar, salt and fat products such as soft drinks, sweet and salty foodstuffs do induce a reduction in the consumption of the taxed products, but the exact impact on the competitiveness of the European (...)

[Europe+] Open Letter to new Members of the European Parliament

Brussels, 8 July 2014 – Today marks the official launch of Europe+ (Civil Society for the Renewal of European Democracy), a broad grass-roots alliance which brings together over 40 organisations from civil society calling for renewed and better functioning democracy in the EU. Founded over the past year, during a time when Europe has been facing testing political and economic challenges, Europe+ is being officially launched at the European Parliament. A transparent and inclusive (...)

[Press release] A win for transparency: EPHA calls for TTIP negotiating documents to be opened to public scrutiny

4 July, Brussels – Yesterday the European Court of Justice ruled (1) that access to documents relating to international activity would not be automatically exempt from EU transparency requirements. This decision opens the possibility for the European Commission to make public papers relating to the EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). EPHA welcomes the ruling and calls for the release of all TTIP documents into the public sphere and for the (...)