Wednesday, June 16, 2021

ECOWAS Parliament will Ensure Women Issues are Fully Addressed – Speaker Sidie Tunis

By Clement Akoloh The Speaker of the ECOWAS Parliament, Right Honorable Mohamed Sidie Tunis, has given assurance that the West African regional Legislative body would...
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Find out key facts about plastic in the ocean with our infographics, as well discover their impact and how the EU is acting to reduce plastic litter in the seas.

The results of today’s single-use, throw-away plastic culture can be seen on sea shores and in oceans everywhere. Plastic waste is increasingly polluting the oceans and according to one estimation, by 2050 the oceans could contain more plastic than fish by weight.

Plastics is one of the seven areas considered as crucial by the European Commission to achieving a circular economy in the EU by 2050. Besides the European Strategy for Plastics in a Circular Economy, which would phase out the use of microplastics, the Commission is expected to come up with more proposals to address plastic waste, including microplastics, later this year.

Learn more about what the EU does to reduce plastic pollution


EU rules, adopted by MEPs on 27 March 2019, tackle lost fishing gear and the 10 single-use plastic products most widely found on European shores. Together these two groups account for 70% of marine litter. These new rules were also approved by the Council in May 2019.

EU rules, adopted by MEPs on 27 March 2019, tackle lost fishing gear and the 10 single-use plastic products most widely found on European shores. Together these two groups account for 70% of marine litter. These new rules were also approved by the Council in May 2019.

Infographic on key facts and issues caused by plastic waste in the ocean
Infographic on key facts and issues caused by plastic waste in the ocean 

Problem


Plastic doesn’t just make a mess on the shores, it also hurts marine animals who get entangled in larger pieces and mistake smaller pieces for food. Ingestion of plastic particles can prevent them from digesting normal food and might attract toxic chemical pollutants to their organisms.

Humans eat plastic through the food chain. How this affects their health is unknown.

Sea litter causes economic losses for sectors and communities dependent on the sea but also for manufacturers: only about 5% of the value of plastic packaging stays in the economy – the rest is literally dumped, showing the need for a approach focussed more on recycling and reusing materials.

Infographic on plastic and non-plastic marine litter by type

Infographic on plastic and non-plastic marine litter by type 

EU ban on single plastics


The most effective way to tackle the problem is to prevent more plastic getting in the ocean.

Single-use plastic items are the biggest single group of waste found on sea shores: products such as plastic cutlery, drink bottles, cigarette butts or cotton buds make up almost half of all sea litter.

List of top 10 single use plastic items found on beaches
List of top 10 single use plastic items found on beaches 

To address this issue, the EU has implemented a total ban for single-use plastic items for which alternatives in other materials are already readily available: cotton buds, cutlery, plates, straws, drink stirrers and balloon sticks. MEPs also added oxo-degradable plastic products and fast food containers made out of polystyrene to the list .

A range of other measures was approved:

  • Extended producer responsibility, especially for tobacco companies, in order to strengthen the application of the polluter pays principle. This new regime will also apply to fishing gear, to ensure that manufacturers, and not fishermen, bear the costs of collecting nets lost at sea.
  • Collection target of 90% by 2029 for drink bottles (for example through deposit refund systems)
  • A 25% target for recycled content in plastic bottles by 2025 and 30% by 2030
  • Labelling requirements for tobacco products with filters, plastic cups, sanitary towels and wet wipes to alert users to their correct disposal
  • Awareness-raising

For fishing gear, which accounts for 27% of sea litter, producers would need to cover the costs of waste management from port reception facilities. EU countries should also collect at least 50% of lost fishing gear per year and recycle 15% of it by 2025.

Impact of marine litter on fisheries

In a resolution adopted on 25 March, the European Parliament is calling for measures to urgently reduce marine litter, including more restrictions on single-use plastics and increasing the use of sustainably made materials designed for fishing gear.

MEPs have stressed how marine waste damages ecosystems and consumers as well as fishing activities and fishermen.

730 tonnes of waste are dumped in the Mediterranean every day

  •  Fisheries and aquaculture waste accounts for 27% of marine waste. To tackle the phenomena of "ghost gear"(which is the loss of fishing gear at sea), MEPs want mapping, reporting and tracking as well as investment in research and innovation to develop eco-friendly fishing equipment. They also call on the Commission to propose phasing out expanded polystyrene containers and packaging from fishery products, as well as all unnecessary plastic and packaging in general.

MEPs also want to see a reinforced maritime vision in the European Green Deal, the Biodiversity Strategy and the Farm to Fork Strategy and call on the Commission to speed up the development of a circular economy in the fisheries and aquaculture sector.

[post_date_unix] => 1617572872 [post_date] => April 4, 2021 [post_modified] => April 4, 2021 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/parliamentnews360/ [post_author_name] => Clement Akoloh [post_author_email] => senaakoloh@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/plastic-in-the-ocean-the-facts-effects-and-new-eu-rules/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [549] => Array ( [post_id] => 549 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 550 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/how-eu-parliament-wants-to-shape-rules-for-non-personal-data-sharing/ [post_title] => How EU Parliament wants to Shape Rules for Non-Personal Data Sharing [post_title_attribute] => How EU Parliament wants to Shape Rules for Non-Personal Data Sharing [post_excerpt] => [post_content] =>

Find out how MEPs want to shape the EU's rules for non-personal data sharing to boost innovation and the economy while protecting privacy.

Data is at the heart of the EU's digital transformation that is influencing all aspects of society and the economy. It is necessary for the development of artificial intelligence, which is one of the EU's priorities, and presents significant opportunities for innovation, recovery after the Covid-19 crisis and growth, for example in health and green technologies.

Read more about big data opportunities and challenges

Responding to the European Commission's European Strategy for Data, the Parliament called for legislation focussed on people based on European values of privacy and transparency that will enable Europeans and EU-based companies to benefit from the potential of industrial and public data in a report adopted on 25 March 2021.

The benefits of an EU data economy

MEPs said that the crisis has shown the need for efficient data legislation that will support research and innovation. Large quantities of quality data, notably non-personal - industrial, public, and commercial - already exist in the EU and their full potential is yet to be explored. In the coming years, much more data will be generated. MEPs expect data legislation to help tap into this potential and make data available to European companies, including small and medium-sized enterprises, and researchers.

Enabling data flow between sectors and countries will help European businesses of all sizes to innovate and thrive in Europe and beyond and help establish the EU as a leader in the data economy.

The Commission projects that the data economy in the EU could grow from €301 billion in 2018 to €829 billion in 2025, with the number of data professionals rising from 5.7 to 10.9 million.

Europe's global competitors, such as the US and China, are innovating quickly and applying their ways of data access and use. To become a leader in the data economy, the EU should find a European way to unleash potential and set standards.

Rules to protect privacy, transparency and fundamental rights

MEPs said rules should be based on privacy, transparency and respect for fundamental rights. The frree sharing of data must be limited to non-personal data or irreversibly anonymised data. Individuals must be in full control of their data and be protected by EU data protection rules, notably the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The Parliament called on the Commission and EU countries to work with other countries on global standards to promote EU values and principles and ensure the Union’s market remains competitive.

European data spaces and big data infrastructure

Calling for the free flow of data to be the guiding principle, MEPs urged the Commission and EU countries to create sectoral data spaces that will enable the sharing of data while following common guidelines, legal requirements and protocols. In light of the pandemic, MEPs said that special attention should be given to the Common European Health Data Space.

As the success of the data strategy depends largely on information and communication technology infrastructure, MEPs called for accelerating technological developments in the EU, such as cybersecurity technology, optical fibres, 5G and 6G, and welcomed proposals to advance Europe's role in supercomputing and quantum computing. They warned that the digital divide between regions should be tackled to ensure equal possibilities, especially in light of the post-Covid recovery.

Environmental footprint of big data

While data has the potential to support green technologies and the EU's goal to become climate neutral by 2050, the digital sector is responsible for more than 2% of global greenhouse gas emissions. As it grows, it must focus on lowering its carbon footprint and reducing E-waste, MEPs said.

EU data sharing legislation

The Commission presented a European strategy for data in February 2020. The strategy and the White paper on artificial intelligence are the first pillars of the Commission's digital strategy.

Read more about artificial intelligence opportunities and what the Parliament wants

The Parliaments expects the report to be taken into account in the new Data Act that the Commission will present in the second half of 2021.

Parliament is also working on a report on the Data Governance Act that the Commission presented in December 2020 as part of the strategy for data. It aims to increase data availability and strengthen trust in data sharing and in intermediaries.

[post_date_unix] => 1617465554 [post_date] => April 3, 2021 [post_modified] => April 3, 2021 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/parliamentnews360/ [post_author_name] => Clement Akoloh [post_author_email] => senaakoloh@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/how-eu-parliament-wants-to-shape-rules-for-non-personal-data-sharing/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [546] => Array ( [post_id] => 546 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 547 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/meps-envision-deeper-strategy-for-a-new-eu-africa-partnership/ [post_title] => MEPs Envision Deeper strategy for a new EU-Africa partnership [post_title_attribute] => MEPs Envision Deeper strategy for a new EU-Africa partnership [post_excerpt] => [post_content] =>

Europe and Africa must move away from a donor-recipient relationship, Parliament says, as MEPs vision for a deeper relationship between the two continents.

On Thursday, MEPs adopted a wide-ranging strategy for a new EU-Africa partnership by 460 votes in favour, with 64 votes against and 163 abstentions.

The strategy emphasises that human development must be at the centre of future EU-Africa relations, prioritising education, including teacher training, reducing early school leaving, and concentrate on the inclusion of girls. A future EU-Africa strategy should also aim to improve health care and national health systems.

Additionally, MEPs call for cooperation on issues such as the green transition, energy, digital transformation, sustainable jobs, good governance and migration, as already identified by the Commission and the European External Action Service.

Empowering Africa

MEPs underline that the EU-Africa relationship must “move beyond the donor-recipient relationship”. Instead, the EU and Africa should cooperate on equal terms, as part of an EU-Africa strategy that empowers African governments to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), curb climate change, and foster gender equality, among other targets. To achieve this, MEPs call for substantial funds to be earmarked for the SDGs in the upcoming external financial instrument NDICI - Global Europe.

Expectations for a future strategy

Parliament’s expectations for the future EU-Africa strategy also include long-term EU financial and technical support for African countries to boost climate adaptation, and today’s report includes a demand for Europe to support African regional integration with the intention of eventually helping to reduce the continent’s dependence on foreign imports.

The EU also has to encourage African ambitions for a continental free trade area, while international lenders, such as the IMF and the World Bank, should do more to relieve African government debt, MEPs stress.

Finally, they demanded the EU protects sexual and reproductive health and rights in the new partnership, alongside the safeguarding of the human dignity of refugees and migrants.

Quote

Rapporteur Chrysoula Zacharopoulou (Renew, FR), said: Africa, in all its diversity and desire to release its untapped potential, will have a decisive impact on the future of the world. Our African friends are our allies and all Europeans have to grasp the importance and the opportunity that this partnership offers to us. This Parliament wants a partnership that places human relationships at its centre, which starts with reinforcing Africa's healthcare systems; we also have to implement an EU-Africa Green Pact. To succeed, we will need all 27 member states - and not just a select few – to actively engage in this partnership.”

Next steps

The resolution will contribute to the development of the future EU-Africa strategy. The process will be concluded with the adoption of the joint strategy at the EU-African Union Summit, to be held later this year.

Background

In 2020, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced the renewal of the EU-Africa relationship.

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By ANDREW RETTMAN 

The European Parliament has urged EU states to go after alleged Syrian war criminals in Europe, 10 years after the start of the bloodiest war in its neighbourhood.

"Persons responsible for core international crimes must be duly prosecuted, including by EU member states ... [as] lack of accountability provides a breeding ground for further atrocities," the parliament said in a non-binding resolution adopted last week.

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ByShem Oirere

March 15, 2021

The European Parliament has voted in favor of a new fisheries control system that could pave the way for reforms of key fishing regulations in place for the last 10 years.

The approval of the new system, which received 401 votes in favor, 247 against, and 47 abstentions from members of the  European Parliament (MEPs), is a major boost to efforts to achieve and maintain sustainable fishing activities – including in Africa, where several countries have signed fisheries partnership agreements with the European Union.

With the vote, select MEPs are expected to launch talks with the European Council as seafood industry operators prepare to adopt the new fisheries control system, which allows four years from the date it takes effect for compliance.

The introduction of the use of technology in enforcing fishing regulations – improving security and transparency and ensuring seafood consumers “know when, where, and how the products they buy are caught” – is a central component of the approved fisheries control system.

The new fishing regulations now require mandatory use of on-board cameras in carrying out checks on landing obligations for a “minimum percentage” of vessels longer than 12 meters, and which have been identified as “posing a serious risk of non-compliance.”

“The equipment will also be imposed as an accompanying sanction for all vessels that commit two or more serious infringements,” E.U. Parliament said.

To woo more vessel owners into voluntarily deploying on-board cameras, the new regulations have proposed incentives “such as additional allocation of quotas or having their infringement points removed.”

Furthermore, the E.U. Parliament supported a push for harmonizing sanctions, and proposed the introduction of a register – the European Union Register – where all infringements will be recorded to centralize data from all E.U. member-states.

Additionally, some MEPs have called for a clearly defined system of sanctions targeting recreational fishermen to protect marine life. And the E.U. – which has been a strong advocate of traceability in the seafood industry through its Farm-to-Fork Strategy – would now require all member-countries ensure all the seafood bought, sold, and traded in their countries has full-chain traceability, including processed and imported products.

The traceability rules stipulate that information covering the species of fish; the location, date, and time it was caught; and the type of gear used should be easily accessible as the E.U. and its partners work to promote long-term sustainable fishing operations globally.

The new regulations are also aiming to combat ghost gear, requiring all fishing vessels to “notify national authorities when they lose fishing gear and to carry on board the necessary equipment to retrieve it.”

The new regulations have implications on the African seafood market because the E.U. has signed sustainable fisheries partnership agreements worth EUR 111 million (USD 132.7 million) with 13 countries, ranging from a EUR 550,000 (USD 657,477) access deal with Cape Verde to EUR 59 million (USD 70.5 million) for Mauritania.

The E.U. has signed fisheries agreements with other African governments, but since there is no existing protocol yet in force in the deal, they remain dormant. Deals in this category include the E.U.'s compacts with Mozambique, Gambia, and Equatorial Guinea.  

Photo courtesy of Alexandros Michailidis/Shutterstock

[post_date_unix] => 1615846361 [post_date] => March 15, 2021 [post_modified] => March 15, 2021 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/parliamentnews360/ [post_author_name] => Clement Akoloh [post_author_email] => senaakoloh@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/eu-parliament-favors-new-fisheries-control-system-ahead-of-reforms/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [543] => Array ( [post_id] => 543 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 544 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/meps-call-for-eu-and-global-solidarity-for-covid-19-vaccination/ [post_title] => MEPs call for EU and global solidarity for COVID-19 vaccination [post_title_attribute] => MEPs call for EU and global solidarity for COVID-19 vaccination [post_excerpt] => [post_content] =>

The EU must continue its concerted efforts to fight the COVID-19 pandemic and take urgent measures to ramp up vaccines production to meet citizens’ expectations, MEPs say.

In the plenary debate on Wednesday with the Portuguese Presidency and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, MEPs commented on the state of play of the EU’s COVID-19 vaccination strategy.

Many members emphasised that the EU had made the right key decisions, especially on the collective European approach to vaccination and on standing up for its citizens’ rights by putting safety first and enforcing EU liability rules.

President von der Leyen defended the EU’s choice to order vaccines collectively, the need for global solidarity and the decision not to take any shortcuts on the safety and efficiency of vaccines. Lessons must be drawn from past mistakes, she acknowledged, as “we are still not where we want to be in the fight against the virus”.

Solutions to exit the crisis must be found in the spirit of solidarity, between member states as well as at global level, MEPs underlined. The EU has a responsibility for the rest of the world and must ensure vaccines are fairly distributed across the globe, they added, reiterating that “nobody is safe until everybody is safe”.

Members acknowledged that the EU underestimated the challenges of vaccine mass production and that concrete measures to ramp up production must now be taken as a matter of utmost priority. Many MEPs urged the Commission to enforce existing contracts and at the same time support member states in their vaccine deployment strategies.

In order to build citizens’ trust in the vaccination efforts and avoid disinformation, the EU must “tell the truth”, some MEPs pointed out. In this respect, many recalled the need for transparency with regard to contracts, as well as for comprehensive and clear data on vaccines rollout at national level.

Taking into account the large amounts of public money invested, several MEPs also called for increased parliamentary scrutiny of the implementation of the vaccines strategy.

[post_date_unix] => 1613408940 [post_date] => February 15, 2021 [post_modified] => April 2, 2021 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/parliamentnews360/ [post_author_name] => Clement Akoloh [post_author_email] => senaakoloh@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/meps-call-for-eu-and-global-solidarity-for-covid-19-vaccination/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [345] => Array ( [post_id] => 345 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 331 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/watch-awesome-kate-manner-go-full-dancing-pro-in-peru-this-week/ [post_title] => Watch Awesome Kate Manner Go Full Dancing Pro in Peru this Week [post_title_attribute] => Watch Awesome Kate Manner Go Full Dancing Pro in Peru this Week [post_excerpt] => [post_content] => People live better in big houses and in big clothes. I try to contrast life today is full of contrast. We have to change! I am not interested in the past, except as the road to the future. Give me time and I'll give you a revolution. I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.
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the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern, no one wears head to toe designer anymore
There has to be a balance between your mental satisfaction and the financial needs of your company. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. I can design a collection in a day and I always do, cause I've always got a load of Italians on my back, moaning that it's late. Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound. I never look at other people's work. I can't get sucked into that celebrity thing, because I think it's just crass. Give me time and I'll give you a revolution. I can't get sucked into that celebrity thing, because I think it's just crass. Luxury will be always around, no matter what happens in the world. There is always the new project, the new opportunity. Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good. I have a fantastic relationship with money. I use it to buy my freedom.
Elegance isn't solely defined by what you wear. Clothes can transform your mood and confidence
Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good. Abstinence from coffee, tobacco, and alcohol by many Adventists has afforded a near-unique opportunity for studies to be conducted within that population group on the health effects of coffee drinking, free from confounding factors. I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern, very now no one wears head-to-toe designer anymore. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress. Fashion moves so quickly that, unless you have a strong point of view, you can lose integrity. I like to be real. I don't like things to be staged or fussy. I think I'd go mad if I didn't have a place to escape to. You have to stay true to your heritage, that's what your brand is about. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future. [post_date_unix] => 1608345684 [post_date] => December 19, 2020 [post_modified] => December 19, 2020 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/p360/ [post_author_name] => p360 [post_author_email] => maddiiana@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/the-travel-insurance-catch-that-can-double-your-cover-in-two-months/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) [343] => Array ( [post_id] => 343 [post_type] => post [has_post_thumbnail] => 1 [post_thumbnail_id] => 337 [post_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/the-weirdest-places-ashes-have-been-scattered-in-south-america/ [post_title] => The Weirdest Places Ashes Have Been Scattered in South America [post_title_attribute] => The Weirdest Places Ashes Have Been Scattered in South America [post_excerpt] => [post_content] => People live better in big houses and in big clothes. I try to contrast life today is full of contrast. We have to change! I am not interested in the past, except as the road to the future. Give me time and I'll give you a revolution. I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress.
the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern, no one wears head to toe designer anymore
There has to be a balance between your mental satisfaction and the financial needs of your company. A girl should be two things: classy and fabulous. I can design a collection in a day and I always do, cause I've always got a load of Italians on my back, moaning that it's late. Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound. I never look at other people's work. I can't get sucked into that celebrity thing, because I think it's just crass. Give me time and I'll give you a revolution. I can't get sucked into that celebrity thing, because I think it's just crass. Luxury will be always around, no matter what happens in the world. There is always the new project, the new opportunity. Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good. I have a fantastic relationship with money. I use it to buy my freedom.
Elegance isn't solely defined by what you wear. Clothes can transform your mood and confidence
Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good. Abstinence from coffee, tobacco, and alcohol by many Adventists has afforded a near-unique opportunity for studies to be conducted within that population group on the health effects of coffee drinking, free from confounding factors. I think the idea of mixing luxury and mass-market fashion is very modern, very now no one wears head-to-toe designer anymore. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress. Fashion moves so quickly that, unless you have a strong point of view, you can lose integrity. I like to be real. I don't like things to be staged or fussy. I think I'd go mad if I didn't have a place to escape to. You have to stay true to your heritage, that's what your brand is about. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future. [post_date_unix] => 1608345684 [post_date] => December 19, 2020 [post_modified] => December 19, 2020 [post_author_url] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/author/p360/ [post_author_name] => p360 [post_author_email] => maddiiana@gmail.com [post_comments_no] => 0 [post_comments_link] => http://parliamentnews360.com/index.php/the-weirdest-places-ashes-have-been-scattered-in-south-america/#respond [post_theme_settings] => Array ( ) ) ) [loop_pagination] => Array ( [pagenavi_options] => Array ( [pages_text] => Page %CURRENT_PAGE% of %TOTAL_PAGES% [current_text] => %PAGE_NUMBER% [page_text] => %PAGE_NUMBER% [first_text] => 1 [last_text] => %TOTAL_PAGES% [next_text] => [prev_text] => [dotright_text] => ... [dotleft_text] => ... [num_pages] => 3 [always_show] => 1 ) [paged] => 1 [max_page] => 2 [start_page] => 1 [end_page] => 2 [pages_to_show] => 3 [previous_posts_link] => [next_posts_link] => ) [category_id] => 39 )
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