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REACH: five years on, is it delivering?

REACH, the European chemicals regulation, started being implemented in June 2007. Five years on, ETUI chemical hazards expert Tony Musu takes stock of this ambitious reform. The former European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) management board member gives his outspoken views on ECHA independence and the impact of industry lobbying, and talks about other crucial issues for workers' health like exposure to nanomaterials and carcinogens.

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New economists’ network for social and ecological alternative to EU austerity

A new European Progressive Economist Network was launched at the Firenze 10+10 forum meeting earlier this month. The objective of the network is to formulate a real alternative economic policy to replace the current neo-liberal austerity narrative.

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Time for a makeover for EU takeovers

The latest issue of the ETUI’s Worker Participation news bulletin was published on 19 November. The editorial lead article written by the Institute’s associate researcher Sigurt Vitols takes a critical look at the European Union’s legislation on company takeovers and finds it lacking in terms of worker involvement rights during the takeover process.

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Ten EU Member States call European Social Dialogue into question


The European social partners in the hairdressing sector (UNI-Europa Hair & Beauty Care on the labour side and Coiffure EU on the employer side) have been working for a number of years to produce a draft text aimed at improving the working conditions of the approximately 1.5 million workers employed in the 400,000 hairdressing salons in the EU.

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Eduday 2012: training for a different, more equal and just economy

EduDay Poster

More than 70 trade union educators from twenty-six European countries gathered in Zagreb, Croatia on 7 November for their first European Eduday. This new ETUI initiative gave European trade union trainers the opportunity to exchange ideas and best practices on how to organise training activities for combatting growing inequality.

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New EU regulation on standardisation acknowledges trade unions as key contributors


On 4 October 2012, the Council of the European Union adopted a new regulation aimed at improving the European standardisation system. With the new regulation, which shall apply from 1st January 2013, European standardisation bodies (CEN, CENELEC, etc.) will be entitled to develop standards for services and not only for products as it was so far the case.

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Stoiber lobbying of former Commissioner Dalli: how independent are Commission expert groups really?

stoiber dalli

EU news website reports that former premier of Bavaria, the conservative Edmund Stoiber, lobbied former Health Commissioner, Malta’s John Dalli, to prevent the revision of the EU tobacco directive from affecting a Bavarian tobacco manufacturer.

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Retirement age debate needs to look at employees’ working conditions

Gérard Valenduc

The European and national policy debates on increasing employment rates of older workers and raising the retirement age should take into consideration the diversity of the occupations of older workers and their working conditions. This was the main conclusion of ETUI’s Monthly Forum “Diversity and inequality: working conditions according to age and occupation in Europe” on 30 October.

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Workers protection and electromagnetic fields: Council adopts compromise

On 4 October, EU ministers for employment and social policy reached an informal agreement (in EU-speak called a “general approach”) on the review of European legislation concerning the protection of workers exposed to electromagnetic fields. The compromise reached in the Council does not take into consideration demands from trade unions to look at the long-term effects on human health of exposure to these fields.

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Commission gives green light for financial transactions tax

Commissioner Semeta

The European Commission adopted on 23 October a proposal for a Council Decision which will allow the introduction of a financial transactions tax (FTT) in ten EU member states.

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