|26/10/95, Volume 1, Number 06
DETAILED statistics charting trends in health across the European Union are to be gathered under a new programme which has been approved by the Commission. A total of 13.8 million ecu will be spent collecting and pooling information on, among other things, life expectancy, mental health, working and living conditions and disease prevention in member states. The Commission is hoping that the statistics will help the EU focus on priority health areas.
VICTIMS of the 1991 war in Iraq are to receive 12 million ecu in humanitarian aid from the European Union. The bulk of the money will be used to counter food shortages caused by crop failure, drought and a crippling economic embargo being imposed on the country by the West. The Union has been the largest single donor of aid to Iraq since the war.
THE Commission has called on EU ministers to forge ahead with a political and economic deal with Mexico. The Commission hopes such an agreement, which would replace an accord approved in 1991, would give a boost to economic reforms which are currently under way in the country. Even if ministers comply with the Commission's wishes, however, the European Parliament is likely to object to any such deal if Mexico does not improve its human rights' record.
A COMMUNICATION outlining what form EU assistance to Gaza and the West Bank should take has been approved by the Commission. Union efforts should be focused on organising the first Palestinian general election, building institutions and helping the region to balance its books and develop economically, the communication says. The overall aim of the Union's strategy is to bolster the fledgling Palestinian territory.
THE Commission has agreed on the financing of 22 projects totalling 11.5 million ecu for the 'rehabilitation' of South Africa. Of the total, 5.7 million ecu will go towards ten projects in Angola and 2.75 million ecu towards six projects in Mozambique. The rest of the money will be shared between Namibia, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Tanzania.
THE UK has been given the green light by the Commission to proceed with two controversial road projects following a European Court of Justice ruling earlier this year. That judgement said that the EU's Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Directive should only apply to projects for which consent was sought after 3 July 1988, the latest date for transposing it into national law. The Commission says this means the EIA Directive does not apply to the two road projects in question, the Newbury bypass in England and the M77 in Scotland.
THE Commission has called on member states to show the commitment needed to achieve effective and harmonised implementation of future EU legislation on ambient air quality, complaining in a report of the “lack of consistency” in the implementation of earlier directives. It says the introduction of a harmonised approach to the assessment and management of air quality in the EU is needed to make it easier to identify those areas where action is needed.
LIMIT values should be set for occupational exposure to carcinogens, starting with benzine, according to a new proposal drawn up by the European Commission to amend the existing directive on the protection of workers from the risks related to exposure to carcinogens at work.
IN its 1995 annual report on the “Research and Technological Development Activities of the European Union”, the Commission says that 1994 was a most active and challenging year, with the launch of 6,101 new projects involving 18,261 people.
THE Commission announced this week it has decided to back the extension of the INTAS programme of cooperation with scientists from the ex-Soviet Union until the end of 1988. The Commission had proposed in May that the EU end its participation in programme at the end of this year. It now says the functioning of INTAS has improved, with faster implementation of projects, better financial accounting and efforts to re-examine project selection criteria.
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