EU

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European sky protected against unsafe airlines

The European Commission has today adopted the first EU list of airlines which are banned in the European Union. This black list of unsafe airlines will now be published on the Commission’s website. The black list has been compiled on the basis of national contributions and after an in-depth analysis with Member State experts. The list consists of 92 companies which face a complete ban and 3 companies which face operational restrictions. From now on the principle will apply that companies banned in one Member State are banned in the whole EU.

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No subsequent review of decisions contrary to Community Law

In judgement C-234/04 of 16th March 2006 European Court of Justice ruled that a national court does not have an obligation under EC law to re-open and set aside a judicial decision which has become final, even if that decsision turns out to be contrary to Community Law.

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Airline Blacklist Regulation in force

By February 16 2006 each EU member state will have to communicate to the commission all air carriers that are subject to an operating ban in its territory. Within one month the commission will then decide on the imposition of an operating ban throughout the EU and establish a joint list. At least every three months, the commission should consider whether the list needs to be updated. For this reason, member states and the European Aviation Safety Agency should communicate all relevant information to the commission. The list will be published on the Internet and in the Official Journal.

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Assessment of Best practices in Fairgrounds and Amusement Parks in relation to safety of Consumers

The Directorate General Health and Consumer Protection has commissioned Risk & Policy Analysts to undertake an assessment of the best practices for consumer safety in fairgrounds and amusement parks, as during the last 20 years, there has been a constant growth in large amusement parks with ever more extreme rides and it is estimated that there are numerous accidents leading to approx. 19 000 injuries per year most of which involve children (under 15).

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No legal Basis for Transfer of Data from Airline Passenger Name Records to US Authorities?

In his opinion of 22 November 2005 (Cases C-317, 318/04) European Advocate General Léger proposed anullment of Commission and Council decisions on transfer to the American authorities of personal information concerning air passengers. Following the terrorist attacks of 11 September 2001, the United States adopted legislation to require airlines carrying passengers to, from or across United States territory to give the American authorities electronic access to the data contained in their Passenger Name Records.

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Airline black list?

Following the recent aircraft crashes EU-Commission is considering to publish a black list of those airlines which lost their flight permission into one of the member states in the internet . According to British newspaper "The Guardian", traffic commissioner Jacques Barrot would prefer to activate the website as early as October 2005, but final decision may take until the end of the year.

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EU-Parliament voted against transfer of flight passenger data to Canda

The vote was meant as a protest against the fact that EU-Council and Commission are still refusing to grant the Parliament any right of codetermination in security issues. A similiar data transfer agreement with the U.S. has been challenged by the Parliament before the European Court of Justice.The judgement is expected by the end of the year.

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Passengers' Rights Survey

A recently published survey carried out by the EU Commission showed that almost four out of ten citizens are not aware that they conclude a conctract with a transport company when purchasing a ticket and a majority doesn't know about the rights and obligations contained in such contract. The most used means of transport, namely local urban transport and inter-city rail transport have a more negative image whereas air transport has a posive image among most Europeans.

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National Security and Data Protection

Since 5 March 2003, an agreement between the European Commission and United States Customs gives the USA online access to passenger name record (PNR) data of all Europe-based airline carriers for flights that go to, from or through the USA. European privacy protection groups are deeply concerned as airline companies disclose Passenger Name Record data to United States authorities without obtaining passengers' explicit consent.

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