It 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 UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, has now triggered Article 50, the formal notification that signals the beginning of the two-year period within which a withdrawal agreement will be negotiated between the UK and the European Union.
The full text of her letter to the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, is available here.
The latest version of “Brexit: a reading list of post-EU Referendum publications by Parliament and the Devolved Assemblies” compiled by the House of Commons Library is available here.
Also of interest may be a report commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs of the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Internal Policies of the Union entitled “The Brexit Negotiations: An Assessment Of The Legal, Political And Institutional Situation In The UK” available here.
Want to know who’s in charge of the European Parliament? Here’s a useful infographic with the names of the 14 vice presidents and the 5 quaestors who along with the president make up the bureau’s 20 members:
Following the election of Antonio Tajani as president of the European Parliament, MEPs also selected 14 vice-presidents, who chair debates when the president is not in the chamber and who each have a specific portfolio. In addition, the Parliament has five quaestors, officials responsible for administrative and financial matters. The president, 14 vice-presidents and five quaestors – collectively known as the bureau – are all elected for a period of two-and-a-half years.
Also, if you’d like to know more about what the President of the European Parliament does, have a look at the short explanatory video below:
Would you like to gain work experience with the European Parliament?
Applications have opened for paid traineeships for University graduates at the European Parliament starting on the 1st of March 2017and lasting 5 months. Applications must be submitted by the 15th of October.
The Parliament also offers specialised traineeships for journalists and translators.
A study entitled ‘The Evidentiary Effects of Authentic Acts in the Member States of the European Union, in the Context of Successions’, has been published online by the European Parliament.
The paper is the outcome of a European Parliament funded project undertaken by University of Aberdeen Law School staff Members Prof. Paul Beaumont, Dr. Jonathan Fitchen and Jayne Holliday LLM. It is one of three ongoing projects of the Centre for Private International Law.
A discussion of the study will take place in Brussels in December 2016 with Dr. Jonathan Fitchen in attendance.
For more background information have a look here, and the study itself is available to read here.
Last October we told you about a useful source of EU information called Info-Europa, a weekly newsletter that collated the latest information on EU legislation and proposed legislation. It was put together by Patrick Overy, who is based at the European Documentation Centre at the University of Exeter. Sadly this newsletter is being discontinued after 420 issues as the London Office of the European Commission which hosts this newsletter is re-designing its website and will no longer be able to host it in future.
An annual roundup of publications from 2015 based on last year’s newsletters is now available on Exeter’s EDC pages. Find it here. This list of official publications is categorised by subject and contains all major Commission documents in the following series: COM(Commission), JOIN (Joint Action), SEC (Secretariat) and SWD (Staff working document), together with a selection of major new pieces of legislation and press releases from the RAPID database and publications from other EU agencies, including the European Environment Agency and Eurostat.
The format of Info-europa is based on the Spanish newsletter still being produced weekly by Alfonso Moreira of the European Documentation Centre at the University of Valencia . To subscribe send an e-mail to email@example.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
A good way to keep update is a source we have mentioned before from the European Documentation Centre at the University if Cardiff, European Sources Online, which updates information on a daily basis.
And here are some other sources we haven’t mentioned before:
Statewatch which monitors all aspects of civil liberties and human rights in Europe. Regular newsletters are mailed to subscribers. The service is free to use but donations are welcome to support their work;
Organised by the European Parliament, the European Youth Event (EYE) is an opportunity for people between the ages of 16 and 30 to gather in Strasbourg and raise and discuss important issues with European decision makers. If you’re interested in attending EYE 2016, which will take place on 20th-21st May next year, go to the EYE website, their Facebook page or check out the Twitter feed to find out more. In the meantime, have a look at the video below to get a quick flavour of what it’s all about.
The European Union Explained is a series of brief publications that explain what the EU does in different policy areas. Subjects include climate action, energy, environment, food safety, public health, research and innovation, trade and transport.
Copies are available from the free leaflets display next to the EDC Office in the Taylor Library, so come and pick some up!