The European Commission is making accessibility an essential requirement for rail infrastructure when newly built, upgraded or renewed. Accessibility can be achieved by preventing or removing barriers and through other measures such as provision of assistance. The rules apply to infrastructure (e.g. obstacle-free routes, ticketing, information desks, toilets, visual and spoken information, platform width and height, and boarding aids) and to rail carriages (e.g. doors, toilets, wheelchair spaces, and information).
The Services Directive was adopted in 2006 and is seen as a key tool to removing barriers to operating in Europe's internal market. Currently, only 5-10% of EU GDP is generated by providing cross-border services. Implementing the Services Directive could rise economic output by some 2.6% in five to 10 years, said MEP Anna Maria Corazza Bildt.
The European Commission outlined a series of actions to tackle aggressive commercial practices across the EU such as fake ‘free’ offers, ‘bait and switch’ advertising for products which cannot be supplied, and exhortation of children. Five years after it entered into force, the Commission reviewed the application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and announced plans to step up enforcement of the rules to increase citizens' trust when shopping in Europe’s internal market.
EU shoppers will get easier access to rapid, cheap and impartial mediation in disputes with traders over goods or services thanks to two new laws voted by Parliament on March. They aim to help shoppers to avoid long and costly court cases, especially over on-line or cross-border purchases.
The Regulation (EU) No 181/2011 on bus and coach passenger rights became applicable on March, providing bus and coach travellers throughout the EU with new rights. The regulation lays down travellers' basic rights, and imposes a number of obligations on bus and coach companies and terminal managers concerning their responsibility towards the passengers. Every year about 70 million passengers travel by buses and coaches in the EU.
12 students on Public Relations from West Virginia University are in Italy to work on the communication plan of the 7th European Patients' Rights Day, organized by Active Citizenship Network on the 16th of May 2013 in Brussels.
The European Commission has called on Member States to prioritise social investment and to modernise their welfare states. The Social Investment Package (SIP), adopted by the European Commission, aims to help Member States use their social and health budgets more efficiently and effectively. The investing in health component asserts that health, as well as being a value in itself, is a precondition for economic prosperity. It makes the case for smart investments for sustainable health systems - spending smarter, but not necessarily more, investing in people’s health - particularly through health promotion programmes, and investing in reducing inequalities in health as a means of tackling social exclusion.
Since last September, an inverted triangle will shortly appear on the inside leaflet of certain medicinal products on the EU market, following a legal act adopted by the European Commission. The symbol will allow patients and health care professionals to easily identify medicinal products that are undergoing additional monitoring, and its accompanying text will encourage them to report unexpected adverse reactions through national reporting systems.
Medication errors are the single most common preventable cause of adverse events in medication practice and a major public-health burden with an estimated annual cost between €4.5 billion and €21.8 billion (World Alliance for Patient Safety 2010). Medication errors refer to mistakes in the processes of prescribing, supplying, dispensing, preparing, administering or monitoring medicines in clinical practice. According by the European Medicines Agency (EMA), in Europe the medication-error rate in primary care is estimated at 7.5% at prescription and 0.08% at the dispensing stage, whereas in the hospital setting the rates vary between 0.3 and 9.1% and between 1.6 and 2.1% respectively.
The PRAC welcomed the appointment by the European Commission of one member and alternate each representing healthcare professionals and patient organizations. Filip Babylon will represent healthcare professionals’ organizations and Albert van der Zeijden will represent patients’ organizations for a three-year period. Their alternates are Kirsten Myhr and Marco Greco, respectively. The meeting was made by the European Commission following a public call for expression of interests and a consultation of the European Parliament. The representatives of patients and healthcare professional organizations will fully participate in the work of the PRAC from April 2013. Their role is to bring the views, concerns and experiences of patients and doctors to the PRAC’s scientific considerations thus enriching its decision-making.