In the Committee on International Trade (INTA) of the European Parliament took place an exchange of views on the implementation of trade preferences with Israel in regards to labelling of settlement products. EPP MEP Ramona Mănescu, member of INTA Committee held an intervention during the exchange of views, rising two questions for the representatives of the European Commission present at the debate: how and if the legislation works in practice and what impact generated in relation with the peace process and the life of the people on the ground.
„Regarding the first question, I see that even some of the people called upon to legislate do not correctly understand the rules concerning the labelling of settlement products. Even if it was mentioned before, I consider it must be repeated: labelling does not mean banning. Member States are free to import any product labelled as coming from the settlements. The decision rest with the European consumers and European companies to decide if they purchase or not such a product”, Mănescu stated.
„Regarding the second question, I can’t overlook an unwanted effect of this piece of EU legislation: it negatively impinge mostly upon the Palestinian population and their jobs. EU came up with this legislative approach to improve Palestinian’s lives. It is part of EU’s effort to support the Palestinian Authority and the peace process. The workers in the companies functioning in the Jewish settlements from West Bank or Gaza are manly Palestinians. Obviously, boycotting products made by Palestinians does not improve their lives. On the contrary, it jeopardise their jobs”, Mănescu added.
Mănescu said that the commercial agreements should be used as instruments meant to encourage trade and develop local economies. ”Palestinians and the areas inhabited by them need and can use our help and assistance, according to Mănescu.
„Israel is the only EU’s partner democracy in the whole Middle East and a very close friend. Together with Israel, EU must work with the Palestinian Authority for the economic development of Palestinian economy – this I believe can prove to be the most solid base for the peace process in the region”, Mănescu added.
Remove online terrorist content. MEP Ramona Mănescu (EPP): If we want to bring those who promote illegal content to justice, we need clear deadlines and coercive measures
If we really want those who create, distribute and promote illegal content, inciting to commit terrorist acts in this case, be brought to justice, coercive measures, clear deadlines and the obligation to act are necessary, declared for CaleaEuropeană.ro MEP Ramona Mănescu (EPP).
The Romanian MEP also said that we can no longer rely on voluntary measures ”when we have content with an obvious terrorist character, but also in the case of misinformation campaigns or other forms of illegal or subversive character.”
”There will always be opposition, and many of the arguments of those who oppose any form of censorship are valid in a perfect world. Unfortunately, we do not live in such a world and we are obliged to take measures to defend the life, security, values and democracy we enjoy today. The signal given by the European Parliament is clear and it must be as quickly as possible in the legislation and practice of the Member States” said MEP Ramona Mănescu.
European Parliament backed on Wednesday a proposal to tackle the misuse of internet hosting services for terrorist purposes. Companies that systematically and persistently fail to abide by the law may be sanctioned with up to 4% of their global turnover.
Internet companies should remove terrorist content within one hour after receiving an order from the authorities, to combat radicalisation and contribute to public security.
Once an internet company hosting content uploaded by users (like Facebook or YouTube) that offers their services in the EU has received a removal order from the competent national authority, they will have one hour to remove it or disable access to it in all EU member states. However, they will not be generally obliged to monitor the information they transmit or store, nor have to actively seek facts indicating illegal activity.
To help smaller platforms, MEPs decided that, when a company has never received a removal order before, the competent authority should contact it, to provide information on procedures and deadlines, at least 12 hours before issuing the first order to remove content that they are hosting.
If a company has been subject to a substantial number of removal orders, the authorities may request that it implements additional specific measures (e.g. regularly reporting to the authorities, or increasing human resources). MEPs in the Civil Liberties Committee agreed not to impose an obligation to monitor uploaded content nor the use of automated tools.
The legislation targets any material -text, images, sound recordings or videos- that “incites or solicits the commission or contribution to the commission of terrorist offences, provides instructions for the commission of such offences or solicits the participation in activities of a terrorist group”, as well as content providing guidance on how to make and use explosives, firearms and other weapons for terrorist purposes.
Content disseminated for educational, journalistic or research purposes should be protected, according to MEPs. They also make clear that the expression of polemic or controversial views on sensitive political questions should not be considered terrorist content.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urges the Romanian government to focus on aviation competitiveness as a means to strengthen the economy of Romania
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) urged the Romanian government to focus on aviation competitiveness as a means to strengthen the economy of Romania. In addition, Romania’s Presidency of the European Union gives it a powerful opportunity to push policies for stronger aviation competitiveness across the whole of the EU.
Air transport is a key enabler of economic activity in Romania, supporting 107,000 jobs and contributing EUR 2.3 billion to the economy. Ten million passengers departed from Romania’s airports in 2017. This figure, however, could rise by 50% by 2037, supporting an additional 23,000 jobs, if Romania enhances the conditions on which its aviation sector can be competitive.
Air Transport Competitiveness in Romania
IATA published a competitiveness report on Romanian aviation which demonstrates a gap between the nation’s competitiveness level (ranked at 4.7) and the overall European average (ranked 5.9). Based on the report findings, IATA highlighted three priority areas:
1. Passenger facilitation
2. Expanded terminal capacity
3. Reduced infrastructure costs.
In addition, airspace modernization is identified as a crucial element to support future growth and efficiency.
Leading an agenda for stronger European aviation
The Romania Aviation Day brought together key stakeholders to hear from leading policy-makers such as Dragos Titea (Romanian Secretary of State for Transport), Henrik Hololei (Director General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission), Armand Petrescu, DG Civil Romanian CA, Catalin Radu (Deputy Director, ICAO Air Navigation Bureau), Maria Magdalena Grigore (Romanian State-Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs), Mikolaj Wild (State Secretary in Poland Ministry of Infrastructure), and Romanian MEPs Claudia Tapardel and Marian Jean Marinescu.
Minister Cuc’s keynote speech highlighted his country’s priorities for its Presidency of the European Council. Under the motto “Cohesion, a common European Value” he explained how competitiveness, innovation and digitalization, connectivity, climate and sustainability were all lines of action for transport policy under Romania’s Presidency.
In his keynote address, Rafael Schvartzman highlighted the benefits of modernizing European airspace and the important economic and environmental benefits it would create.
His key recommendations included:
· For States, ANSPs and staff associations to look at how air traffic management staff are deployed this summer to avoid some of the significant delays air travelers suffered last year (Air Traffic Management (ATM) delay in Europe doubled in 2018 and is set to get even worse in 2019).
· Europe’s airspace infrastructure to be modernized and investments aligned between Airlines and Service Providers.
· For governments to treat air transport and air traffic management as a truly global business. Europe’s inconsistent ATM Service levels create delays, and haphazard and indirect flight routings, which all lead to wasted time and higher costs for passengers and airlines. The additional fuel burn also generates an unnecessary increase in CO2 emissions.
Efficient ATM is a bedrock of a high-performance aviation sector. To complement the long-term aim of a Single European Sky to improve the safety, capacity, efficiency, and environmental performance of European airspace, IATA is working with several air navigation service providers on National Airspace Strategies (NAS).
At the Aviation Day the Romanian government announced that it would support the development of a NAS to support more efficient capacity in Romania and to help deliver Single European Sky objectives.
Romanian Air Traffic Services Administration (ROMATSA) and IATA will strengthen their existing cooperation for this initiative, which is aimed at delivering benefits to the travelling public and the wider aviation community, while supporting the economic growth and competitiveness of the Romanian aviation sector. The main aspects of the strategy cover leadership and a collaborative stakeholder approach, airspace management, and technical modernization of the ATM system.
“This week marks two landmark events for Romanian airspace, that will define our evolution in the decades to come. The new ATM system that became operational on the 8th of April implements new functionalities that increase capacity and flexibility, optimize airspace structure and align us with the latest technological developments”, expained Mircea Bostina, Director General of ROMATSA.
”The collaboration with IATA on developing and implementing a national airspace strategy is a natural and much needed step forward in bringing together all aviation stakeholders in Romania and setting together our priorities in order to meet customer demand, deliver on the SES high level goals and increase the competitiveness of the Romanian aviation sector and of the overall economy. We pride ourselves on having written aviation history in the past, but we are just as committed to embracing the future and rising up to the challenge of serving an ever-growing number of passengers at the highest standards of safety and efficiency.”, said Mircea Bostina.
“Romania has a great opportunity to transform its aviation sector if the right policy levers are pulled. Our recommendations are, first, to promote innovative technology and processes to move passengers quickly. Second, to invest in more capacity at airports and in air traffic management. And third, to ensure infrastructure charges are set in transparent consultation with users. If Romania can take these steps, its economic and social development will gain significantly from enhanced air connectivity”, said Rafael Schvartzman, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe.
”The commitment to develop a national airspace strategy shows that the government is already taking the necessary steps to enhance the nation’s aviation competitiveness. Optimizing Romania’s airspace will not only benefit Romania but the wider European network. We congratulate ROMATSA for its vision, and look forward to working with them to make airspace modernization a success.”, added Schvartzman.
The Romanian National Airspace Strategy will include:
· Enhancement of coordination for more efficient flightpaths;
· Airspace optimization at regional level as well as between regions;
· Increased capacity while ensuring safety levels;
· Improved punctuality of flights;
· Better sharing of information across the European air transport network.
MEP Ramona Mănescu (EPP): ”Cohesion means uniting forces at European Union level in solidarity to support the less developed EU regions”
MEP Ramona Mănescu (EPP) has been among the invited guests at the Laude-Reut international diplomatic and global affairs conference, hosted by Israel’s Ambassador to Romania David Saranga and Tova Ben Nun-Cherbis, President of the Laude-Reut Education Complex.
The conference was initiated and organized by the Reut Foundation (the former Ronald S. Lauder Romania Foundation) – the Laude-Reut Educational Complex and is held annually under the auspices of the Parliament of Romania – the Chamber of Deputies, this year being also under the Patronage of the Romanian Presidency of the Council of the European Union , with the motto “Cohesion, a common European value”.
”Cohesion means uniting forces at European Union level in solidarity to support the less developed EU regions. The idea is to make use of the available funds with maximum efficiency. But it also means making policies and making decisions together, to the benefit of everyone. I will start from these ideas the discussion about the future and the prospects of the European Union. In Europe, once the leaders’ generations have changed, such as Havel, Kohl, Thatcher, Mitterrand, or Walesa – they have been slowly and dramatically replaced by populist leaders and more and more blind to new realities and challenges. Those who have dedicated their work to European integration are now being replaced by populists. The EU has been built on values such as solidarity”, said Manescu at the event.
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