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Manfred Weber: We need a new and ambitious European transatlantic agenda

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© European Union 2020 - Source : EP

European Parliament EPP Group leader Manfred Weber, awaiting the outcome of the US elections, is calling for a new transatlantic European agenda.

“We Europeans should focus more on how we imagine our future relations with the United States. We need a new and ambitious European transatlantic agenda “, writes Manfred Weber on Facebook.

The leader of the most influential political group in the European Parliament also stressed in other messages that the European Union’s transatlantic ally would no longer be the same “big brother” and that Europe should militate for its own sovereignty.

Diana Zaim este foto jurnalist, câștigătoare a Premiul Publicului la European Youth Event 2020, cel mai mare eveniment pentru tineri organizat de Parlamentul European. Absolventă a secției germană-portugheză în cadrul Universității din București, Diana urmează în prezent programul de master ”Relații Internaționale și Integrare Europeană” în cadrul SNSPA. Pasionată de promovarea valorilor europene, Diana este parte a comunității Model European Union, cea mai amplă simulare la nivel european a procesului decizional din cadrul Uniunii Europene.

Cristian Bușoi

ITRE Chair Cristian Bușoi calls on EC Vice President Frans Timmermans to make sure the Guidelines of the Single Used Plastic Directive will not go beyond the Directive’s scope

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© European Union 2019 - Source : EP

The ITRE Committee Chair, Cristian Busoi, (EPP) has addressed two written parliamentary questions to Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President of the European Commission regarding critical concerns about the Guidelines of the Single Used Plastic Directive.

“The latest version of the Guidelines shared with the Member States shows a tendency on Commission’s side to widen the Guidelines’ scope compared to the Directive text. Our goal is to help the Member States to implement the Directive at national level effectively. Given the concerns raised by member states, the industry, and civil society, all preoccupied with the European citizens’ interest, I expect the European Commission to offer more clarity on this process and make sure the Guidelines do not go beyond the scope of the Directive. ” stated ITRE Chair, Cristian Busoi, according to a press release.

The two questions are:

1) According to the latest version of the Guidelines, the Commission intends to go beyond the Directive’s scope and objectives. Can you confirm that this will not be the case? When the Commission plans to issue the Guidelines having in mind that they are essential for implementing the SUPD.

2) What are the economic costs of replacing the single-use paper packaging in quick-service restaurants with other materials, which use 0% plastic?

Subsequently, together with 32 colleagues from the European Parliament belonging to four European Political Groups, EPP MEP Cristian Busoi signed a joint letter addressed to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President European Commission in charge of the European Green Deal, Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, and Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, expressing their concerns about the long-waited Guidelines meant to support the Member States for effective implementation of the Single Used Plastic Directive (EU) 2019/904

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Cristian Bușoi

ITRE Chair Cristian Bușoi and other MEPs call on the European Commission to make sure that the Plastic Single-Use Guidelines are consistent and fully aligned with the Directive’s objectives

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© European Parliament

Together with 32 colleagues from the European Parliament belonging to four European Political Groups, EPP MEP Cristian Busoi signed a joint letter addressed to Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice President European Commission in charge of the European Green Deal, Virginijus Sinkevičius, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, and Thierry Breton, Commissioner for Internal Market, expressing their concerns about the long-waited Guidelines meant to support the Member States for effective implementation of the Single Used Plastic Directive (EU) 2019/904, according to a press release.

The latest version of the Guidelines, shared with the Member States, shows a tendency on Commission’s side to widen the Guidelines’ scope compared to the Directive text. The signatory MEPs strongly believe that such an approach will create more problems for the Member States and the industries concerned than serving the public better. 

Based on the conclusions of the recent study conducted by Ramboll, comparing single-use, paper-based food and drink packaging used in European quick-service restaurants, to reusable tableware made by plastic, crockery, glass and metal, 33 mebers of the European Parliament call on the European Commission to pay particular attention to an essential conclusion of this study confirming that single-use paper packaging in quick service restaurants is better for the environment than reusable tableware.

The arguments presented in the letter are overwhelming: multiple-use tableware has 177% more negative impact on climate change, consumes 267% more water and 237% more fossil fuels, and generates 137% more fine particulate matter. Additionally, but equally important: paper single-use dishes are sourced and manufactured in Europe, opposite to plastic, ceramic or glass dishes that are sourced and/or manufacture out of Europe, mainly in Asia and China; paper/board containers are coming from EU sustainable forests; paper fibres can be re-used up to seven times for paper or board production; the disposable paper has a recycling rate as high as 85.6% in Europe. 

The members of the European Parliament consider strange that the European Commission assimilates these materials with plastic waste, despite these facts and the reality that paper disposable is in 55th place of the list of products found on beaches and account for only 0.27% of the marine litter examined. 

“According to the latest version of the Draft Guidelines, shared with the Member States, a polymeric layer measuring just a couple of microns is considered a main structural component of the final product. This goes way beyond rationality and scientific arguments. It also ignores the human health factor. Single-use paper dishes and packaging offer the best protection for food, prevent cross-contamination, and pay an important role in preventing the spread of COVID-19, which the European Environment Agency also recognizes. Therefore, together with my colleagues, we call on the Commission to reconsider the Guidance interpretation, including the single-use paper products within the Directive scope”, declared Cristian Busoi, Chair of ITRE Committee. 

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New Strategy Center organizes The conference “Unmanned Systems Forum.Smart Approach, Fast Development”

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© PatriotFest/ Facebook

The conference “Unmanned Systems Forum.Smart Approach, Fast Development” will take place between February 16-17, organized by New Strategy Center, with the institutional partnership of the Ministry of National Defense.

The debates will focus on topics such as assessing security challenges in the Black Sea region and the potential for using unmanned systems in this area, in rescue operations or for border protection.

The legislation necessary for the use of these systems, the involvement of civil and military research in the programs initiated by the Ministry of National Defense, industrial cooperation are other topics that will be addressed.

The countries in the region are increasing their investments in unmanned systems, and Romania is considering the acquisition and production in the future of such capabilities, very useful for surveillance and reconnaissance missions, including in the exclusive economic zone of the Black Sea.

Civilian and military officials and experts from Romania, NATO and other North Atlantic Alliance and EU countries, as well as representatives of companies with extensive experience in the field, will be present at this conference.

The event is organized under the Chatham House rules and in a mixed format, both with online participation and with a very limited participation in person, in full compliance with the protection measures against Covid-19 applicable in Romania.

More about the event is available on the official website: https://usf.newstrategycenter.ro/.

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