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State of Nature: Largest ever assessment draws a mixed picture for Europe’s habitats and species

May 26, 2015 Comments off

State of Nature: Largest ever assessment draws a mixed picture for Europe’s habitats and species
Source: European Commission

The Commission has adopted a new report providing the most comprehensive picture yet on the ‘State of Nature in the EU’. The findings show that the majority of birds have a secure status, and some species and habitats are doing better. Targeted conservation actions have brought successes, but a much greater effort is required for the situation to improve significantly.

Looking at birds, the report concludes that more than half of all wild bird species assessed (52 %) have a secure status. However, around 17 % of the species are still threatened and another 15 % are near threatened, declining or depleted. This includes once common farmland species like the Skylark, Alauda arvensis and the Black Tailed Godwit Limosa limosa.

Looking at other species protected under the Habitats Directive, almost a quarter (23 %) have a favourable assessment. However, over half (60 %) are still in an unfavourable status (with 42 % considered to be unfavourable-inadequate and 18 % unfavourable-bad). Grasslands, wetlands and dune habitats are of particular concern.

Working And Retiring Abroad: Overview On Pension Rights Within The EU

May 25, 2015 Comments off

Working And Retiring Abroad: Overview On Pension Rights Within The EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service
All European countries are free to decide who is to be insured in their social security schemes under their national legislation, which benefits are granted and under what conditions. However, the EU provides common rules to protect citizens’ social security rights when moving within Europe (EU 28 + Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland). Detailed information on these aspects is available on the European Commission webpage ‘EU Social Security Coordination’, which also includes information on ‘Your rights country by country’.

With regard to pensions for EU nationals living in a different Member State, relevant information is also available on the Your Europe dedicated webpage.

The Rights Of LGBTI People In The European Union

May 22, 2015 Comments off

The Rights Of LGBTI People In The European Union
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) persons persists throughout the EU, taking various forms including verbal abuse and physical violence.

Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as a ground of discrimination. However, the scope of these provisions is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education and access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas.

EU — Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Cybersecurity: Jihadism and the internet
Source: European Parliament Think Tank

Since the beginning of the conflict in Syria in March 2011, the numbers of European citizens supporting or joining the ranks of ISIL/Da’esh have been growing steadily, and may now be as high as 4 000 individuals. At the same time, the possible avenues for radicalisation are multiplying and the risks of domestic terrorism increasing. The proliferation of global jihadi messaging online and their reliance on social networks suggest that the internet is increasingly a tool for promoting jihadist ideology, collecting funds and mobilising their ranks.

EU — New forms of employment

May 20, 2015 Comments off

New forms of employment
Source: Eurofound

Across Europe, new forms of employment are emerging that are different from traditional standard or non-standard employment in a number of ways. Some transform the relationship between employer and employee, some change work organisation and work patterns, and some do both. This report identifies nine forms of employment that are new or have become increasingly important in Europe since the year 2000. While there is wide diversity in terms of their characteristics and employment relationship, all the forms aim to increase flexibility for employers and/or employees. Although some have the potential to benefit employers and employees equally, in a few cases concerns have been raised about their impact on working conditions and the labour market. The report concludes with recommendations about the need to raise awareness of the potential problems and establish safety nets for workers. An executive summary and case studies are also available.

Tackling Long-Term Unemployment In The EU

May 19, 2015 Comments off

Tackling Long-Term Unemployment In The EU
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

With the onset of the crisis, unemployment rates have increased sharply throughout Europe and the trend seemed set to continue. However in March 2015, the European Commission reported that, for the first time since 2009, the LTU rate fell slightly. Currently, long-term unemployment (LTU) stands at 4,9% for the EU. LTU remains highest in Greece, Spain, Croatia and Slovakia and lowest in Austria, Sweden and Finland.

Anyone who is without a job for more than 12 months is considered to be long-term unemployed. Affected are people in all age groups, but older workers have the most difficulty to return to the labour market. The nature of one’s previous job also seems to impact chances for re-employment. Common obstacles on the employer’s side are high labour costs, rigid employment protection or lack of incentives. For those affected, being away from the labour market for a long time can have devastating effects, such as social isolation and exclusion, stigmatisation, skills obsolescence and negative effects on family life, health and well-being.

EU Expenditure On Animal And Plant Health And A Safe Food Chain

May 12, 2015 Comments off

EU Expenditure On Animal And Plant Health And A Safe Food Chain
Source: European Parliamentary Research Service

The agri-food sector plays a significant role in the EU’s economy, employing close to 50 million people. EU expenditure on ‘food and feed’ aims to contribute to safety along the food chain, mainly by preventing, controlling and eradicating serious pests and diseases, in animals or plants, and strengthening related controls. Key objectives include safeguarding public health and consumers as well as animal and plant health, and protecting the value of economic sectors related to the food chain.

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