Monthly Archives: July 2017

Passenger rights in the EU

Cancelled flights
© Copyright Sean O’Neill and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Delays and cancellations while travelling are always frustrating, but what can passengers do when it happens? The European Parliament has produced https://yt.europarltv.europa.eu/embed.min.html?id=6089&lang=en“>this video to explain passenger rights.

There is also the very handy “Your Passenger Rights” app – available on Android, iOS (iPhone and iPad) and Windows Phone – for easy access to the right information when you’re in the thick of things. Download here or from your devices app store.

Advertisements

Brexit and Professional Sport

Cricket_o
© Snapper san. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A new briefing paper by the House of Lords Library looks both at the possible impact of migration negotiations on the status of sports professional in the UK and at the potential economic impact of Brexit on football, rugby and cricket.  The full report is available here.

Brexit and Devolution

flags-of-the-uk
© Ross Strachan. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

The House of Lords European Union Committee has today published a report looking at the technically complex and politically contentious impact of Brexit on the UK’s devolution settlements and to the fundamental constitutional challenges presented to the United Kingdom as a whole.

 “the devolution settlements are built upon UK membership of the EU.

Brexit will remove one of the foundations of the devolution settlements, with potentially destabilising consequences”. (Para. 2)

The report considers whether Scotland could have different Brexit arrangements from the rest of the UK in some areas; the need to protect the Welsh agricultural and manufacturing sector and the distinctive geographical and political issues that Brexit presents to Northern Ireland.

The full report is available here.

 

Healthcare Abroad

Travelling in the EU this summer? Did you know prescriptions issued by a doctor registered in the EU are valid in all EU countries. More information is available here on the specific information your doctor needs to include to enable you to get your prescription medicine dispensed abroad.  

Also remember to take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you on holiday.  This is a free card providing access to state provided healthcare during your stay in any of the 28 EU countries plus Iceland Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.  UK citizens can apply for the card for free here.  An app (iOS, Android, Windows) explains how to use the EHIC. As well as general information about the card the app includes emergency phone numbers, covered treatments and costs and how to claim reimbursement.  

 

New EU Parliament video: Combatting planned obsolescence

obsolescenceIt is a sad fact that many technological items are manufactured to have deliberately limited life spans in order to force consumers to replace products more regularly. To combat this, the European Parliament wants to set minimum resistance criteria for products so that consumers can have a better idea of how durable the item is. If products are built with better quality components that aren’t completely sealed in they will last longer and be more easily repairable. Over three-quarters of EU consumers would prefer to fix broken products than buy new ones, so the will is there. Have a look at this EuroparlTV video to find out more about the issue.

 

The abolition of mobile roaming charges and Brexit

7003178857_e620a54a10_m
© Garry Knight. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Since 15 June 2017 roaming charges in the EU have been abolished allowing mobile customers to use their network provider’s allowance of minutes, text messages and data throughout the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) without incurring additional charges.

The abolition of roaming charges will continue to apply in the UK until it leaves the EU.

A new House of Commons Library briefing paper, available here, looks at possible scenarios after Brexit.

The factsheets below, produced by the European Commission, explain the current pre-Brexit situation.

Roaming factsheet: TechnicalroamingfactsheetEN

Roam Like at Home FAQs: RoamLikeatHomeEN

However, as this BBC article explains, customers are still liable for extra charges if they exceed their contractually agreed data usage limits.

 

 

 

UoA study on the effects of Brexit on the UK’s constitutional dynamics

Aberdeen Uni
© The Oesterschlink family. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

A team from the University of Aberdeen led by Professor Michael Keating, has won a £2.5 million grant from the ESRC to examine, in real time, the effects of Brexit on the constitutional dynamics of the UK.

The team also includes researchers from the universities of Cambridge, Cardiff, Cork and Stirling.

 

“This country is undertaking a real-time experiment in constitutional change and a game without fixed rules or a referee. The project will monitor these claims and decisions, seek to explain them and assess their significance”.

Read more about this project in the University’s press release here.

Estonia takes over the EU Council Presidency

Talinn
© TausP. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Estonia assumed the presidency of the European Council on the 1st of July.  A position it will hold for six months. This is the first time Estonia has held the rotating presidency. More information on what the role involves is available here.  The motto of the Estonian Presidency is “Unity through balance” reflecting its belief that the EU’s role is to find a balance between different views, traditions and interests in Europe to achieve the best possible outcome for European citizens. The four priorities identified by the Estonian government for its presidency are:

  • an open and innovative European economy;
  • a safe and secure Europe;
  • digital Europe and free movement of data;
  • an inclusive and sustainable Europe.

You can follow the Estonian Presidency on Facebook or find out more about Estonia here.

Active Travel

European reg dev
© European Commission

The ERDF Low Carbon Travel and Transport (LCTT) Challenge Fund was launched at the end of  last year with the aim of supporting the development of active travel and low carbon transport hubs. These help deliver one of Transport Scotland’s objectives of encouraging more daily  journeys to be taken by walking, cycling or public transport.

There were 5 successful projects awarded European funding including Sport Aberdeen. Find out more about the ‘Bridge of Don Active Travel Hub’ Project and Scotland’s other winning projects here.

 

 

112 European Emergency Number

112 logo small
logo © European Emergency Number Association

 

Did you know that 112 is a general emergency number available 24/7 in all EU countries, including the UK, to call the fire brigade, ambulance, police or coastguard? The number is free and can be called from landlines, mobiles or payphones.

Operators in many countries can answer the calls not only in their own language, but also in English and French. The operator can also identify where the person making the call is physically located. More information, including additional countries that use 112 as an emergency number, is available here.