1-7 December, 2013
By Alex Beaulieu
he plan o implemen he plain packag-ing o cigaretes in he UK has reurned or a second round o debae. Originally shu down in July, David Cameron is now revis-iing his policy iniiaive.Cameron diched he proposal, saying ha here was no evidence ha he move would be eﬀecive. Almos a year ago, in December 2012, Aus-ralia became he ﬁrs counry in he world o implemen a policy requiring all obacco prod-ucs o be sold in plain carons. Insead o each obacco company providing is own packaging, Ausralian lawmakers decided all cigarete prod-ucs would be sold in sandardized brown pack-ages wih large healh warning labels.By removing he logos and branding ha each obacco company oﬀers, Ausralian o-ﬁcials are encouraging a decrease in smoking amongs he younger generaions. Many young smokers have expressed dissaisacion wih he new packaging, explaining ha hey dislike he way he cigarete carons look. In ac, a recen sudy has suggesed ha smokers are now 81% more likely o consider quiting.Following he implemenaion o his new policy in Ausralia, he UK considered crea-ing a similar plain packaging policy o is own. When he idea was ﬁrs inroduced, however, David Cameron pushed he iniiaive aside. Ac-cording o he Prime Miniser, i was beter o wai unil he success o he Ausralian policy had been deermined.Te decision o emporarily shelve he policy measure caused much oucry wihin he UK. Many hough he Prime Miniser’s elec-ion sraegis, whom has ies o he obacco indusry, was inﬂuencing Cameron’s decision. Now, afer much proesing, he policy has been reinroduced or debae.Te U-urn in Cameron’s opinion has many people excied or he possibiliy o plain ciga-rete packaging. I plain packaging has he abil-iy o discourage smoking, he iniiaive could save housands o lives. As a leading cause o prevenable deah, smoking cigaretes is a habi adoped by hun-dreds o people daily. I he plain packaging amendmen is successully added o he Chil-dren and Families Bill in he House o Lords, he UK could see a signiﬁcan decreased in o- bacco relaed deahs in he uure. MEPs o he Envioronmen Commitee said ha noise limis or cars would be reduced o proec public healh. MEPs also called or he inroducion o labels o inorm consumers abou he noise levels o new cars and he ad-diion o sound o hybrid and elecric vehicles o aler pedesrians. As rapporeur, Miroslav Ouzký (ECR, CZ) saed: “I consider he ﬁnal ex adoped under he rialogue negoiaions as an opimal compromise ha will conribue o he proec-ion o healh in our European ciizens. On he oher hand, i should no cause any loss o compeiiveness or he European auomoive indusry. I believe he proposal ﬁnds broad suppor across he poliical groups in he Eu-ropean Parliamen.”Consan exposure o high levels o ra-ﬁc noise can aﬀec humans, disruping organ uncions and conribuing o cardiovascular and oher diseases, according o research by he European Environmen Agency. Te same sudy also indicaes ha hal o he EU’s urban populaion is exposed o noise levels above 55 decibels (db).MEPs plan o gradually limi he noise lev-els or cars, by reducing i o 68 db in 12 years, rom he curren level o 74 db. More powerul vehicles would be allowed a margin o 1 o 9 exra decibels. MEPs also wan new cars o be labelled o provide consumers wih inorma-ion on heir noise levels.
Adding sound to electric and hybrid car
MEPs are also concerned ha quie elec-ric and hybrid car engines can pose a hrea o pedesrians and cycliss, and propose o add sound o hese vehicles.
By Dan Alexe
“Look a Hollywood movies. You will hear: “You have he righ o remain silen; any-hing you say can be used agains you; you have he righ o speak o a lawyer; i you canno aord a lawyer, one shall be pro- vided o you a he governmen’s expense:” Viviane Reding, he EU’s Jusice Commis-sioner, presened on Wednesday 27 Novem- ber, he Commission’s “package o propos-als o srenghen air rial righs o ciizens caugh in criminal proceedings hroughou he EU” by a hymn o he American “Mi-randa” (he warning given by police in he Unied Saes o criminal suspecs beore hey are inerrogaed). From now on, she said, his is also valid in he EU.he package adoped on Wednesday in-cludes ive proposals:he irs is a direcive o srenghen he pre-sumpion o innocence and he righ o be presen a rial in criminal proceedings: I will guaranee respec or he presumpion o innocence o all ciizens suspeced or ac-cused by police and judicial auhoriies, and i will guaranee, among ohers, he righ o remain silen is guaraneed and no used agains suspecs o secure convicion.Follows a direcive on special saeguards or children suspeced or accused o a crime: I will make sure ha children, who are vul-nerable because o heir age, have manda-ory access o a lawyer a all sages.he oher hree proposals are a direcive on he righ o provisional legal aid or cii-zens suspeced or accused o a crime and or hose subjec o a European Arres Warran; and wo recommendaions on procedural saeguards or vulnerable people suspeced or accused in criminal proceeding. Aer inclusion in he naional legislaions, all his will lead o an American-syle uni-ormisaion o he police procedures and jusice across he EU. For he ime being, as Commissioner Reding has reminded i, in some saes, saying silen sill means ac-knowledging one’s own guil.
Cameron rethinks plain packaging for tobacco
MEPs set to reduce noise limits for cars
Te EU justice and the
Commission inroduces a European “Miranda” warning
By Elena Ralli
European Commission Vice Presiden Ano-nio ajani is raveling o Lisbon oday wih a view o boosing he Poruguese economy. He will be accompanied by Daniel Calleja Crespo, Direcor-General o DG Enerprise and SME Envoy, as well as represenaives o abou 150 European companies ha will discuss opporuniies or collaboraion in key secors o he Poruguese economy such as ourism, agriculure and he economy o he sea. Vice Presiden ajani will also parici-pae in he Europe 2020 sraegy or growh conerence ha will address issues such as inernaionalizaion o SMEs, key enabling echnologies, as well as access o inance which coninues o be one o he main obsa-cles o growh in many souhern European counries.
In he conex o he conerence, Mr ajani will also inroduce COSME, a new € 2.3 billion program or SMEs which aims o address he main challenges hey are cur-renly acing, such as access o inancing, ac-cess o oreign markes, improvemen o he business environmen and suppor o enre-preneurs. his program will help EU ener-prises deal wih curren inancial problems by enabling hem o receive more han 22 billion euros in secured loans over he nex seven years.
Vice Presiden ajani will also parici-pae in a business o business neworking even which will ake place on November 29h and aims o promoe business parner-ships beween Poruguese and oher boh EU and inernaional companies. hese parnerships have he poenial o conrib-ue signiicanly o Porugal’s sea economy, pharmaceuicals and bioechnology, healh-care, ourism and oher secors.Modes growh or 2014Porugal has been severely aeced by he inancial crisis, wih smaller enerprises being hi especially hard. However, orecass indicae ha modes growh is expeced or 2014. So ar, here has been good progress in he ield o adminisraive simpliicaion, as well as in reducing he coss o legislaion or SMEs. he employmen orecas or nex year has also improved.
Boosting SMEs in Portugal
Vice President ajani will introduce COSME, a new € 2.3 billion program for SMEs
AFP PHOTO / LEON NEAL