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EU Commission regulation proposal on sound level of motor vehicles- the relevance of EP Plenary vote

In December 2011, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation aimed at tightening noise emissions standards for cars, vans, lorries and buses. Although the Environmental Committee of the European Parliament has voted for tighter future noise limits for vehicles, the rapporteur disappointingly announced he would repeat the vote in a full Parliament Plenary. The Plenary vote took place on 6th February 2013. What’s the problem? More than 200 million European (...)

[EPT] Car noise pollution - new EU regulation - sound level of motor vehicles

Sound level of motor vehicles In December 2011, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation aimed at tightening noise emissions standards for cars, vans, lorries and buses. To become law, the regulation now needs approval by the Parliament and member states. Vehicle noise standards were last updated in 1996, so were long overdue. More than 200 million European citizens (one in three) are regularly exposed to traffic noise levels that put their health at risk. One in (...)

Governments should act in the best interest of stateless children

Citizenship is the “right to have rights”. Without citizenship, one lacks not only political rights, but often social and economic rights as well. On a symbolic level, citizenship implies being a full member of a national community, and even further, of humanity. On his statement Nils Muižnieks, Commissioner for Human Rights argues in favour of the protection of stateless children. Key messages The best interest of the child is to have citizenship There should be no (...)

[Seminar report] Tackling Health Inequalities through Investing in Housing

The event ’Tackling Health Inequalities through Investing in Housing’ focused on the connection between health inequalities and affordable housing. It emphasised that investment in good quality housing can bring returns in health and environmental outcomes. Evidence shows that decent housing is an important social and environmental determinant of health These determinants lie outside of the health sector . Nevertheless, neither health professionals nor health policymakers (...)

Attitudes of Europeans Towards Air Quality

Air quality is a major concern for European citizens and is an area in which the EU has been particularly active over the last 30 years. As part of continuing efforts to improve air quality and air pollution, the European Commission is currently undertaking a comprehensive review of EU air policy, with a view to revising the Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution and associated legislation in 2013. The EU’s key objective in relation to air quality is "to achieve levels of air quality (...)

Children and Their Connection with Nature

The working group meeting hosted by MEP Judith Merkies (S&D, NL) and Gerald Häfner (Greens, DE) examined why children’s connection with nature is important and how can it be stimulated. During the Meeting, Tim Gill, British author and public speaker, presented the outcomes of the ’Sowing the Seeds’ project. Previous research has suggested that a child’s contact with nature is particularly important. Natural environments are said to have restorative qualities (...)

Public Consultation on ensuring sustainable development globally: EU follow-up to Rio+20.

The Rio+20 World Summit was held in Rio de Janeiro in June this year and followed previous related UN summits - Stockholm (1972), Rio de Janeiro (1992) and Johannesburg (2002). The aim of Rio+20 was to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development by assessing progress to date, identifying remaining gaps in the implementation of past commitments, and addressing new and emerging challenges. Background The Summit’s focus was on two intertwined themes: "a Green (...)

European Mayors support our Citizens Initiative on Water and Sanitation as a Human Right. What about you?

On the Human Rights Day, mayors from 10 major European cities have appealed to their citizens to support the European Citizens’ Initiative on Water and Sanitation that EPHA and partners support and promote, together with the European Federation of Public Services Unions (EPSU). On the 10 December 2012, mayors from Amsterdam, Brussels, Copenhagen, Genoa, Ghent, Leicester, Nantes, Naples, Paris, Moita and Vienna have joined forces with civil society and trade union campaigners to call (...)

Energy and Health: How are these Policies Connected? Why should we Tackle Energy Poverty?

Energy poverty is spreading throughout the European Union’s Member States, with 50 and 125 million European citizens at risk. Bringing together all European stakeholders, this conference discussed the different aspects of energy poverty (housing, health, social exclusion, etc.) and will look at proposals for immediate and more lasting solutions in order to overcome this issue The European Local Inclusion and Social Action network (Elisan) in collaboration with the European Economic (...)

Plain cigarette packaging introduced today in Australia

Today, December 1st, Australia is making public health history by being the first country in the world to implement plain packaging for cigarettes. After long debates, strong pressure from the tobacco industry that went as far as to the country’s High Court, Australia becomes today the first country in the world to sell its cigarettes in plain packaging. Consisting of a standard shape without branding, design, logo or any promotional text, and the brand name appearing in a standard (...)