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EU pressure for lower carbon dioxide emissions from trucks, buses and coaches

April 7, 2016 5:58 PM
More investment in skills, and the completion of the digital single market, are among the top priorities in order to relaunch economic growth in Europe, analysts and policymakers agreed during a European Commission conference on Wednesday (6 April.), reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/innovation-industry/news/europe-looks-for-digital-growth-recipe-to-revive-ailing-economy/
Europe should respond to the Brussels terror attacks by forcing a more aggressive exchange of information between "stupid, national, proud" governments, as well as overhauling its law enforcement agency Europol and heeding America's post-9/11 playbook, according to top-level EU and U.S. policymakers in Politico's Caucus: http://www.politico.eu/article/politico-caucus-policymakers-share-intel-but-dont-betray-liberty-brussels-terror-attacks-counter-terrorism-isil-security/
The European Commission on Wednesday (6 April) launched its bid to reform the EU's common asylum system, including a push for the automatic, mandatory relocation of refugees across Europe, reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/commission-unveils-asylum-reform-plans/
Politico says that in essence, the Commission wants to install a permanent version of the emergency refugee relocation plans agreed in 2015. They hope those ideas will get an easier ride than the initial emergency plans, now that refugee arrivals are slowing: https://dub129.mail.live.com/?tid=cmAJKwo3785RGQsQAcxO2YFA2&fid=flinbox
According to the New York Times, the proposals would create a quota mechanism to deal with exceptional situations when a country is confronted with an unmanageable crisis. An alternative would allow for the establishment of a permanent system to redistribute asylum seekers: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/world/europe/eu-migrants-asylum.html?emc=edit_ee_20160407&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=74103272
But EUobserver reports that opposition from central Europe to mandatory EU mechanisms for sharing asylum seekers between member states is throwing doubt on the European Commission's proposed reforms to the bloc's asylum laws: https://euobserver.com/migration/132951
The European Court of Justice has ruled that German authorities should not extradite suspected criminals to other countries, if their fundamental rights are put in jeopardy in the receiving country. EurActiv Germany reports: http://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/ecj-makes-landmark-ruling-on-prisoner-extradition/
The European Commission is pushing local authorities to digitise cities and make them more efficient-one radical plan bubbling up could minimise the number of cars on city streets, reports EurActiv. The EU executive has funded research projects and set up a working group to pin down strategies that will help boost so-called smart cities in Europe, a term used to describe the move towards digital city infrastructure: http://www.euractiv.com/section/innovation-industry/news/netflix-like-city-transport-app-could-mean-people-buy-less-cars/
Pressure is mounting on manufacturers to lower carbon dioxide emissions from trucks, buses and coaches. The European Commission is planning to introduce the first EU-wide standards to measure CO2 from heavy duty vehicles this summer, as a first step to regulate emissions. EurActiv reports: http://www.euractiv.com/section/transport/linksdossier/hold-what-is-the-eu-doing-about-truck-co2-emissions/#ea-accordion-background
EU Digital Commissioner Günther Oettinger announced that the executive will propose its new copyright law in September or October. But, in the interim, ferocious debate is raging over whether it should include a controversial 'Google tax', reports EurActiv: http://www.euractiv.com/section/digital/news/fight-over-google-tax-brews-ahead-of-autumn-copyright-proposal/
Maltese journalists and bloggers have found that the only minister from an EU member state identified in the Panama papers of clients of tax evasion schemes is Malta's Health and Energy Minister, Konrad Mizzi. According to EurActiv, news of Mizzi owning an offshore company was out before the Panama Papers were published on Monday (4 April): http://www.euractiv.com/section/justice-home-affairs/news/sole-eu-minister-named-in-panama-papers-is-maltas-konrad-mizzi/
EUobserver speculates that a Maltese minister, or the whole government, could be next to fall in the Panama Papers scandal amid street protests due in Valletta on Sunday (10 April): https://euobserver.com/justice/132947
The EU has "a duty" to stop the kind of tax avoidance uncovered in the Panama Papers scandal, the European commissioner for taxation, Pierre Moscovici, said Wednesday. Politico reports: http://www.politico.eu/article/pierre-moscovici-european-union-must-act-quickly-on-panama-papers/
Greece's public finance data has seen "a real improvement" in the past six years, the head of the European Union's statistical office has said, EUobserver reports: https://euobserver.com/institutional/132939
Europe's far-right politicians are desperate to make friends with Donald Trump, but the U.S. Republican candidate is snubbing them - at least for now, reports Politico: http://www.politico.eu/article/donald-trump-snubs-eu-far-right-marine-le-pen-geert-wilders/
Yesterday's Dutch referendum, in which an association agreement between the EU and Ukraine was rejected, was the result of a mix of arguments and does not mean that all No voters fundamentally want to leave the EU, according to a Dutch university expert, reports EUobserver: https://euobserver.com/beyond-brussels/132960
According to EurActiv, Dutch voters on Wednesday (6 April) rejected a European pact with Ukraine in a referendum seen as a barometer of anti-EU feeling, dealing an embarrassing blow to the government in charge of the rotating EU presidency, sending shockwaves throughout the Union: http://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/dutch-voters-reject-eu-ukraines-association/
The New York Times says voters in the Dutch referendum on Wednesday overwhelmingly rejected a trade and cooperation agreement between the European Union and Ukraine, casting doubt over the future of the accord and delivering a new blow to supporters of European integration: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/world/europe/dutch-voters-reject-european-union-deal-with-ukraine.html?emc=edit_ee_20160407&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=74103272&_r=0