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Transport: New Aviation Regulation Enters into Force
The new Regulation on air transport, the so-called “third package”, reached the final stage of its long revision process when it entered into force on 1 November. The new Regulation replaces the original set of rules that liberalised air transport in the European Union in 1997. Among other things, the new Regulation (No 1008/08 of 24 September 2008; OJ L 239 of 31 October 2008), harmonises the rules in the different EU Member States regarding operating licences and eliminates any remaining intra-EU restrictions concerning the control of airlines and market access, thereby finalising liberalisation within the Single Market. In addition, the new legislation requires that airlines include all taxes and charges in their published ticket prices and prohibits discrimination based on where in the European Union a ticket is purchased.
New rules had become necessary as a result of the dramatic developments that the industry experienced in the last decade: new airlines bringing more competition to the market; the emergence of new business models, e.g., the low-cost airlines; and the substantial increase in the number of routes.
Sports and Media – State Aid: Funding Rules for Public Service Broadcasting under Review
The European Commission has unveiled a draft proposal to change the rules that govern State funding of public service broadcasters (PSBs). In the European Union, PSBs receive more than EUR 22 billion annually from licence fees or direct government aid—making them the third largest recipients of State aid after agriculture and transport.
The current rules concerning PSB funding were promulgated in 2001 and are viewed as outdated because media technologies have changed and advanced. PSBs, like commercial broadcasters, have started new ventures using new media distribution methods. But the commercial sector has increasingly complained that, for example, PSBs use State funds to cross-subsidise their new ventures, distorting competition in these new markets.
The Commission’s proposed rules would introduce increased flexibility, but also more stringent rules on how PSB funding can be used. As regards flexibility, Member States would have discretion to assess their own broadcasting needs, including the need for new services. PSBs would also be permitted to build reserves of 10 per cent to help them deliver on their public service mission and withstand cost fluctuations. At the same time, however, the Commission’s proposed rules would require reinforced control mechanisms to avoid overcompensation of PSBs or cross-subsidisation of commercial activities. The Commission’s proposal was reportedly welcomed by commercial broadcasters, but opposed by PSB organisations that do not want the current rules changed. Interested parties have until
R&D: Commission Proposal on Stronger Animal Protection in Scientific Experiments
The proposal imposes ethical evaluations and authorisations on all projects using animals and sets minimum requirements for housing and care of experimental animals. It also contains certain restrictions on the use of non-human primates and introduces a ban on the use of great apes—chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas and orang-utans—for scientific purposes. However, EU Member States could be authorised exceptionally to conduct experiments on these apes if the survival of the species is at stake, or in the case of a serious pandemic affecting the human population in
The measures contained in the proposal are based on the three R’s principle of: (i) replacing animal use in scientific experiments by alternative techniques not using sentient animals; (ii) reducing animal use to an absolute minimum; and (iii) refining animal use so as to cause the least pain, suffering or distress to animals. The Commission considers that, if continually monitored, these measures should significantly improve animal welfare during experimentation.
Food and Beverage – Trade: EU and
The European Union and
NEXT WEEK’S EVENTS
Monday 10 November –
General Affairs and External Relations Council (
European Council (11 – 12 November 2008)
COURT OF JUSTICE
C-437/07 Commission v
C-324/07 Coditel Brabant
C-227/07 Commission v
Law governing the institutions
C-436/07 P Commission v Alexiadou
C-46/07 Commission v
C-214/07 Commission v
Joined Cases C-352/07, C-353/07, C-354/07, C-355/07, C-356/07, C-365/07, C-366/07, C-367/07, C-400/07 A. Menarini and Others
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE
T-60/07 Spain v Commission
T-7/04 Shaker v OHMI - Limiñana y Bot
T-210/05 Nalocebar v OHMI - Limiñana y Bot
T-373/07 EOS v OHMI (PrimeCast)
T-242/07 Weiler v OHMI - IQNet Association - The International Certification Network (Q2WEB)
T-270/06 Lego Juris v OHMI - Mega Brands (brique de Lego)
T-400/07 GretagMacbeth v OHMI (Combinaison de 24 carrés de couleur)
T-346/07 Duro Sweden v OHMI (EASYCOVER)
T-70/07 Cantieri Navali Termoli v Commission