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Health and environment

 

Parliament backs EU-wide plans to stem the spread of invasive alien species

Plenary Session Environment16-04-2014 - 13:29
Asian tiger mosquito feeding on a human blood.  

Measures to stop invasive alien species of plants animals or insects getting into the EU, or limit the ecological and economic damage caused by those that do, were backed by Parliament on Wednesday. The legislation bans species declared to be of “Union concern” and requires more and better-coordinated action by member states to tackle the threat. (Read more: Parliament backs EU-wide plans to stem the spread of invasive alien species )

 

MEPs clamp down on wasteful use of plastic carrier bags

Plenary Session Environment16-04-2014 - 13:14
A shopper with carrier bags as ministers have made a "complete mess" of moves to introduce a 5p charge on carrier bags in England  

EU countries would have to reduce the use of the most common and most polluting plastic bags by at at least 80% by 2019, under draft rules backed by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs recommend using taxes and levies, marketing restrictions or bans. Plastic carrier bag litter is a major environmental problem, known to pollute water bodies and aquatic eco-systems in particular. (Read more: MEPs clamp down on wasteful use of plastic carrier bags )

 

Invasive alien species: "The damage and costs continue to increase"

Plenary Session Environment16-04-2014 - 11:36
Asian hornet preying on a bee  

One of the worst threats to Europe's biodiversity and ecosystems is plant and animals species coming from other countries and continents, which often cause the near extinction of native species. On 16 April MEPs approved new rules to tackle this issue. “Invasive alien species are the second most significant threat to biodiversity after habitat loss and they are also recognised as a major cause of species extinction,” said Pavel Poc, the MEP responsible for steering the proposal through the EP. (Read more: Invasive alien species: "The damage and costs continue to increase" )

 

Paulsen: Important to strike a balance between free trade and disease control

Plenary Session Public health15-04-2014 - 15:08
ITW with Mari Paulsen  

Animal diseases pose a significant risk to public health as most infectious diseases can spread between species. The European Parliament votes 15 April on new rules updating some 40 pieces of European legislation dating back to the 1960s. This would not only clarify who would be responsible for what, but also make prevention a higher priority. We spoke to Marit Paulsen (ALDE, Sweden), responsible for steering the proposal through Parliament, about the difference the new legislation would make. (Read more: Paulsen: Important to strike a balance between free trade and disease control )

 

MEPs back CO2 permit exemption for long-haul flights

Plenary Session Environment03-04-2014 - 12:02

EU legislation on aviation emission allowances would cover only intra-EU flights until the start of 2017, but would apply to all flights to or from the EU thereafter, under rules approved by Parliament on Thursday. The legislation would also require EU member states to report on how they spend revenue from auctioning emission allowances. (Read more: MEPs back CO2 permit exemption for long-haul flights )

 

Medical devices: better controls and traceability to ensure patients’ safety

Plenary Session Public health02-04-2014 - 18:58

Stricter monitoring and certification procedures to ensure full compliance and traceability of medical devices such as breast or hip implants were agreed by Parliament on Wednesday. MEPs also tightened up information and ethical requirements for diagnostic medical devices used for example in pregnancy or DNA testing. (Read more: Medical devices: better controls and traceability to ensure patients’ safety )

 

Clinical trials: clearer rules, better protection for patients

Plenary Session Public health02-04-2014 - 18:50

Pharmaceutical companies and academic researchers will have to post the results of all their European clinical trials in a publicly-accessible database, under a draft law already informally agreed with EU ministers and passed by Parliament on Wednesday. The law also facilitates cross-border cooperation to make clinical trials larger, more viable and more reliable, which should in turn boost efforts to develop special treatments, e.g. for rare diseases. (Read more: Clinical trials: clearer rules, better protection for patients )

 

MEPs back law to curb harmful traffic noise

Plenary Session Public health02-04-2014 - 18:30

Noise limits for cars will be tightened to protect public health, under new rules informally agreed with EU ministers and endorsed by Parliament on Wednesday. The new law requires the introduction of labels to inform buyers of the noise levels of new cars, as well as the addition of sound to hybrid and electric vehicles to alert pedestrians. (Read more: MEPs back law to curb harmful traffic noise )

 
This artist's impression released September 1, 2011 by the European Space Agency(ESA) shows the debris field in low-Earth orbit  

Satellites and space vessels are under threat from the increasing amount of space debris orbiting earth, which is why they need to be monitored. On Wednesday 2 April , Parliament votes on a programme to support member states' efforts to track this "space junk". (Read more: From Sputnik to Gravity: the dangers of space junk and how to deal with it )

 
File photo dated 22/09/09 of an Environment Agency worker inspecting a shipping container filled with refuse.  ©BELGA_PRESSASSOCIATION  

Draft EU rules that would require EU member states to clamp down on illegal waste shipments within the EU and to non-EU countries were backed by the Environment Committee on Wednesday. These rules, informally agreed with EU ministers, would close legal loopholes and entail more inspections. Member states would have to include in their inspection plans a minimum number of physical checks, and inspectors would be given more powers. (Read more: Illegal waste shipments: Environment Committee backs plan to step up checks )