Pilot project against youth unemployment
As announced in the April’s “Employment” package, the European Commission undertook a pilot project to help the youth find a job in another EU Country. In its initial stage “Your First EURES job' pilot project” will aim to improve cross-border mobility for 5,000 people. Among the main challenges of this project figures the will to serve as a testing ground for transforming EURES - the network of Member States' employment services – towards a pan-European employment service. To this regard, László Andor, EU Commissioner for employment and social affairs, said that this initiative “marks our first steps towards a more customised job placement service that would help people to find jobs in other European countries”. Four selected employment services from Germany, Spain, Denmark and Italy will help young people look for work in Member States other than their own. “Helping people with relevant skills to find jobs in other countries that need those skills can be part of the solution to Europe's unemployment crisis”, underlined Commissioner Andor. Further information can be found on the website of the European Commission (http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=993
).Commission: proposals to protect consumers
“Empowered and confident” consumers can “fully exploit the potential of the Single Market and enhance innovation and growth. For this reason the strategic vision of the European Commission regarding consumer policy in the coming years – adopted May 22 – “aims to maximise consumer participation and trust in the market”. Built around four main objectives the European Consumer Agenda aims to increase confidence by: reinforcing consumer safety; enhancing knowledge; stepping up enforcement and securing redress; aligning consumer rights and policies to changes in society and in the economy”. To follow this path, the Barroso Commission indicates a set of best practices: “reinforcing consumer safety, enhancing knowledge, Improving enforcement and securing redress, aligning policy to societal change and making it relevant to daily life”. “Growth in the European Union needs both competitive supply and strong demand. Consumers therefore must be as much centre stage of EU policies as businesses. We need confident consumers to drive forward the European economy”, said Viviane Reding, Commission Vice-President and the EU's Justice Commissioner. "We want to stimulate cross-border shopping online. We have taken first steps with the Consumer Rights Directive and with the proposal for modernised data protection rules to boost consumer confidence online”. Now the EU Commission intends to change Community rules regarding “all-included”. Finally, the executive indicated five “key sectors”: food (sustainability and safety); energy (liberalised market and competitive prices); financial sector (protecting financial interests of Europeans); transport (to adapt legislation to modern patterns of travel); digital (online protection). Clean water, good news for the summer
Cyprus, Croatia, Malta and Greece had “excellent reports” on their bathing water sites, according to the 2012 report by the Bathing Water Report of European Environment Agency (EEA) presented May 23. In these countries, more than 90 % of bathing water sites meet the most stringent guide values. The report states that “Spain, Italy and Portugal had more than 80 % of sites with excellent water quality”. At the opposite end of the scale, the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Latvia, Luxemburg and Belgium had “relatively low proportions of sites meeting the strict guide values, especially as regards inland waters”. The figures were released in the framework of the European Green Week (May 22-25), which this year focused on the “water resource” in particular. Environment Commissioner Janez Potoènik said: “I am pleased to note that the quality of Europe's bathing waters generally remains high, and has improved since last year. A clear majority of Europeans are concerned about water quality issues, and want more information on this”. Jacqueline McGlade, Executive Director of the European Environment Agency, said: “In several countries there is still a problem with pollution from agriculture and sewage, so we need to see more efforts to ensure safe and clean water for the public”. The report also shows that the Serpentine Lake in London, which will host several Olympics events, including the Open Water Marathon Swim and the swimming section of the triathlon meets the minimum water quality standards.