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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 (...)

EPHA open letter to Competitiveness Council in support of Governments’ right to protect the health of its citizens

In light of the upcoming meeting of the Competitiveness Council (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) of 20-21 February, set to discuss "the impact of the EU acquis of hybrid nutrition labelling system recommended in some Member States" (namely, the UK voluntary ’traffic light’ scheme), EPHA sent an open letter to the Council to express its strong support. Subject: 3295th meeting of the Competitiveness Council (Internal Market, Industry, Research and Space) – (...)

Public procurement: Better quality services or short term savings?

On 15 January, the European Parliament voted in plenary to endorse the new EU rules on public procurement. The awarding of public contracts may from now on take into account social and environmental considerations, as well as innovation criteria, but does this really mean that Europeans will benefit from quality services that meet their needs? European Parliament MEPs voted in favour of the public procurement and awarding of concessions directives, as agreed in June 2013 at the Council of (...)

Next presidential trio - what’s there for agriculture and food?

FOODSTUFFS The three Presidencies will work together to ensure a high level of food safety, taking into account the work conducted by the FAO/WHO Codex Alimentarius and the essential role of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) to carry risk assessments as part of authorisation procedures. They will ensure the adoption of the proposed regulation on food intended for infants and young children and on food for special medical purposes, aimed at replacing the current legal regime on (...)

Revamping the EU Single Market

To redress concerns voiced by citizens and business representatives, the Single Market Act II represents a new chapter in the ongoing process towards a deeper and better integrated Single Market, with the current focus firmly lying on job creation, growth and social cohesion. While these factors can impact on health, economic concerns dominate the debate while health and social concerns remain marginal. Single Market Act II As announced in June in its new proposal, the Commission puts (...)

European Commission launches website ahead of Single Market Week

On August 14 the European Commission launched a new website -singlemarket20.eu- to highlight the events being held in the upcoming Single Market Week. Monday 15 October will see the launch of the EU’s Single Market Week, celebrating 20 years of the Single European Market (SEM). Events will be taking place in cities across the 27 EU Member States, aiming to bring together citizens and businesses with Members of the European Parliament, the European Commission, the European Council and (...)

Single Market Act: Correcting the flaws to boost growth

In June 2012, the European Commission published two new Communications to complete the different levers of the Single Market Act - One on the implementation of the Services Directive; the other on better governance for the Single Market. European Commissioner for the Internal Market Michel Barnier also announced a second Single Market Act. The two Communications outline a course of action to ensure that Single Market rules can work better in practice. The Commission is proposing measures (...)

Commission proposes a European Statute for Foundations

The European Commission on February 8 proposed a new statute for European Foundations. It is hoped that this new statute will give increased visibility and increase uniformity of conditions to European foundations working in the public interest. Foundations raise money, give grants and run projects in a number of areas of public interest, including education, research, the arts, health and social services, culture or protection of the environment. Increasingly foundations are working (...)

Danish Presidency EPHA Member Briefing

EPHA has created for its members a briefing with Presidency Priorities, contacts, and a calendar. EPHA briefing on the Danish Presidency for members. The Multiannual Financial Frameworkis among the largest of the many issues that will be on the EU’s legislative agenda during the Danish presidency. The Financial Framework lays out the overarching principles for the EU’s long-term budget. In total, more than 80 legislative proposals will have to be negotiated in parallel, all (...)

Can Europe’s new Quality Framework for SGI protect the social dimension of the Single Market?

On 20 December 2011, the European Commission has adopted a Quality Framework for Services of General Interest (SGI) in the EU, which is to guarantee that high quality services can be provided in an efficient and cost-effective manner in relevant areas such as health care, child care, care for the elderly and social housing. The Quality Framework is meant to reinforce the social dimension of the Single Market. It is hoped that it will help to take better account of the specific nature of (...)