Category Archives: 2016

UPDATE: Phasing-out roaming charges within EU

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© European commission. Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Mobile roaming charges in the EU are set to end completely by mid-June 2017, and as of 30th April 2016 year rates were capped at a reduced rate as part of the phase-out process.

As the last step towards the end of roaming charges by 15 June 2017, representatives of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed on how to set the prices operators charge each other when their customers use other networks when roaming in the EU.

The EU negotiators agreed on the following wholesale caps:

  • 3.2 cents per minute of voice call, as of 15 June 2017
  • 1 cent per SMS, as of 15 June 2017

They also agreed to a step-by-step reduction over five years for data caps, decreasing from €7.70 per GB (as of 15 June 2017) to €6 per GB (as of 1 January 2018), €4.50 per GB (as of 1 January 2019), €3.50 per GB (as of 1 January 2020), €3 per GB (as of 1 January 2021) and €2.50 per GB (as of 1 January 2022). The agreement is the final step to making “roam-like-at-home” work as of 15 June 2017, as foreseen in the Telecom Single Market (TSM) Regulation. It means that when travelling in the EU, consumers will be able to call, send SMS or surf on their mobile at the same price they pay at home. More information is available on the Commission’s Roaming website.

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Special EU Publications Office newsletter on human rights

human-rights-special-issueThe EU Publications office has produced a special edition of their regular newsletter, focusing on human rights. Publications highlighted include The 2016 edition of The Book of Sakharov Prize Laureates, EU Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy 2015-2019 and The Frozen Conflicts of the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood and Their Impact on the Respect of Human Rights. Look at the full newsletter here (or click on the image to the right) from where you can link through to each publication page on the EU Bookshop.

 

Handbook on European law relating to access to justice

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FRA, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, has published a handbook on access to justice which is now available in 22 EU languages. The handbook summarises key European legal principles in the area of access to justice, focusing on civil and criminal law. It is designed to serve as a practical guide for lawyers, judges and other legal practitioners involved in litigation in the EU, as well as for individuals who work for non-governmental organisations and other entities that deal with the administration of justice.

Read the pdf version here or find our copy on the shelves in Taylor Library.

Scotland’s Place in Europe – paper published today

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First Minister’s Christmas card 2016 featuring Oor Wullie!

The Scottish Government has published a paper detailing “proposals to keep Scotland in the European Single Market, retain freedom of movement, and to equip the Scottish Parliament with the powers it needs to serve Scotland’s interests post-Brexit” as explained on the Scottish Government website. You can read the full paper in html or pdf formats by following the appropriate links on this page . There is a link to the pdf at the end of this post.

 

Scotland’s Place in Europe pdf version.

Annual compilations of LIFE environmental programmes published

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© Andrea Leganza Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

LIFE is the EU’s financial mechanism supporting environmental, nature conservation and climate action projects in the EU.  The successful projects for last year fall into four categories.  Click on the links below to find out more.

One of the supported projects is TRiFOCAL London Transforming City Food Habits for Life on ways to promote a reduction in food waste.

The European Documentation Centre in Taylor Library receives some LIFE publications in hard copy.  Recent titles include:

EYE2016 report: 50 ideas for a better future

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Last May’s European Youth Event (EYE2016) saw 7500 young people from all over Europe and beyond congregate at the European Parliament in Strasbourg to share and discuss ideas, driven by the motto “Together we can make a change”. Topics discussed ranged from space and innovation to climate change, migration and democracy.

Since then a team of young reporters have created a report highlighting 50 ideas for a better Europe. The report also contains interviews, infographics, a political commentary from the European Youth Forum and more. In addition to this there is the EYE2016 ideas tree, a separate document containing all the ideas written by the participants with a handy navigational graphic. Just click on any branch topic to jump to the idea.

French and German language versions of the report are also available.

Creative Europe’s MEDIA programme is 25 this year

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The EU MEDIA programme is 25 years old this year. To mark the occasion they’ve created a general question and answer factsheet as well as a series of country specific factsheets, an infographic, and a number of videos to explain how the EU invests in film, television and video games across Europe, as well as providing training and collaboration opportunities between nation states. Information is available in all official languages of the EU.

See below or click the links above to find out about the MEDIA programme’s activities.

 

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EU MEDIA 25 years infographic

What are the implications for the UK and Ireland’s relationship post Brexit?

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© William Murphy  Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The UK and Ireland have unique historical, economic, cultural and social ties and indeed share a land border.  How will Brexit impact on the Common Travel Area, on trade, on the border, on the peace process and on citizens rights?  In a report published today The House of Lords European Committee looks at all these issues and calls on all parties to the forthcoming Brexit negotiations, to give:

“official recognition to the special, unique nature of UK-Irish relations in their entirety, including the position of Northern Ireland, and the North-South and East-West structure and institutions established under the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement”

Aberdeen University users can access this report as well as other UK Parliament, Scottish Parliament, Northern Ireland Assembly and  the National Assembly for Wales publications on Public Information Online.

Summaries of EU Legislation

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32 Categories © EU Publications Office

The EU Publications Office maintains a Summaries of EU Legislation page on the EUR-Lex site. It provides straight-forward and easily navigable explanations of the main aspects of EU legislation, policies and activities. Included in the 32 topics covered on the site are: agriculture, education, environment, human rights and justice. There is a search function allowing you to search within summaries. Currently there is a short user survey being run for those interested in providing some feedback.

The library documentation team and the EDC have produced a short information guide to EUR-Lex.

Can the UK government launch the process to leave the EU without an Act of Parliament?

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© Jay Gavin Licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

This is what the Supreme Court will be considering today in a case expected to last 4 days.  Follow it live here.

The case is about prerogative powers, defined by the High Court in the original case as “the residue of legal authority left in the hands of the Crown” however as the UK has a sovereign parliament it is argued that prerogative powers cannot be used to overrule legislation. The government argues, however, in does have the prerogative power to “make and unmake treaties” allowing it to launch the process without requiring an Act of Parliament.

The Scottish Government is also involved in this case. The Lord Advocate’s intervention proposes that triggering article 50 requires an Act of the UK Parliament and as a result requires a Legislative Consent Motion of the Scottish Parliament as matters devolved to them are involved.