| OBC Transeuropa
In Europe, the period 2020-2021 was to mark the turning point in the fight against plastic waste, one of the most urgent problems of our century. Then came the new Coronavirus: with masks, gloves, and anti-contagion packaging, the risk of a step back is increasingly concrete
Maria G. Zornoza
Regulation of the European Parliament is highly voluntary. Compared to 90 percent of Swedish, Danish or Finnish MEPs who disclose meetings with interest groups, only one out of ten Greek, Polish and Bulgarian MEPs do so.
Maria G. Zornoza
Meetings with dozens of assistants and thousands of civil servants fly under the radar of the EU's transparency register. The heads of the pharmaceutical industry, EFPIA is one of the most active lobby groups. In less than a year and a half since the start of the pandemic they have held as many meetings with senior Commission officials as in the last five years.
As the EU sets its sights on harmonising taxation of the rising e-cigarette and heated tobacco products market, lobbyists fight to keep prices down and smokers hooked. The forthcoming negotiations are intertwined with the bitter competition between the two industry giants.
According to the annual assessment of the European Railway Agency, the trend of a steady decrease in the number of rail accidents continues. However, rail-related suicide rates remain roughly the same.
The various COVID-19 related lockdowns and closures of the EU’s borders have reduced mobility, particularly of migrants. First-time asylum applications fell by 37 percent between 2019 and November 2020.
Recently, the Croatian government presented a summary of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. This document is crucial for obtaining 49,08 billion kuna (6,5 billion Euros) from the EU Recovery and Resilience Facility to overcome the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and of earthquakes which hit Croatia last year.
Doctors continue prescribing anti-anxiety medications such as lorazepam or diazepam for long periods despite the risk of addictions. Meanwhile, under-investment in psychological care is making things worse.
Last week, the European Parliament called for the better treatment and management of obesity as average obesity levels in the EU have risen by 161% since 1975.
Member countries will be continuously assessed for meeting targets and reforms in order to receive their share of the recovery fund. If European governments do not comply with the agreed recovery plan, the purse strings will be tightened.