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Cyprus; European Union: Ratification of the Lisbon Treaty

(July 2, 2008) On July 4, 2008, the Republic of Cyprus became the twentieth European Union Member State to ratify the Lisbon Treaty (whose formal title is the Treaty of Lisbon Amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community), which was signed on December 13, 2007 (2007 Official Journal of […]

European Union; Israel: Agreement to Upgrade Relations

(July 2, 2008) An upgrade in Israel-European Union relations was announced in Luxembourg on June 16, 2008, during the eighth annual EU-Israel Association Council meeting, headed by Tzipi Livni, Israel's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Dr. Dimitrij Rupel, President of the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council and Slovenian Foreign Minister. The relationship will […]

European Union: Anti-Discrimination Legislation for Homosexuals Abandoned

(May 2, 2008) It has recently been reported that the European Commission has given up its intention to introduce a directive to safeguard the rights of homosexuals, to the dismay of gay and lesbian activists. The Commission has the legal authority to proceed with such a horizontal instrument, based on article 13 of the Treaty […]

European Union: Europol Will Attain New Status by 2010

(May 2, 2008) On April 18, 2008, after protracted negotiations, the Council of the European Union approved a decision to upgrade the status of the European Police Office (Europol), located in The Hague, to an EU Agency, as of January 1, 2010. The decision is designed to achieve two objectives: a) to replace the Europol […]

European Union: Amendment to the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism

(May 2, 2008) In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States, the European Union expedited the adoption of the Framework Decision on Combating Terrorism, which was finally approved on June 13, 2002. The Decision represents the cornerstone of the European Union's struggle to combat terrorism. It harmonizes the definition […]

European Union: Data Protection Supervisor’s Opinion on Fingerprint Proposal

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 26, 2008, the European Union Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS), Peter Hustinx – who is in charge of safeguarding the personal data and the right to privacy of EU citizens – issued an opinion expressing his concern and raising a red flag over the European Commission’s proposal on harmonization of security […]

Bulgaria; European Union: Ratification of Lisbon Treaty

(Apr. 2, 2008) On March 21, 2008, Bulgaria ratified the Lisbon Treaty; seven European Union Members that have endorsed the Treaty thus far. The other Members that have already done so include Austria, France, Hungary, Malta, Romania, and Slovenia. According to its advocates, the purpose of the Treaty, signed on December 13, 2007, by 27 […]

European Union: Code of Conduct on Nanosciences and Nanotechnology Research

(Mar. 2, 2008) The European Commission has a keen interest in the newly emerging fields of nanoscience and nanotechnology. The Commission – in light of the fact that this area of research raises questions pertaining to ethics and fundamental rights and may also have a tremendous positive impact on society and the environment – took […]

European Union: Commission Imposes New Fines on Microsoft

(Mar. 2, 2008) On February 26, 2008, the European Commission, the European Union's main antitrust law enforcer, imposed new fines of €899 million (about US$1.364 billion) on Microsoft for failing to comply with the Commission's decision against the company issued in 2004. This fine is in addition to the initial penalty of €497 million imposed […]

Canada; European Union: Trade Dispute over Seals

(Dec. 2, 2007) The European Union is the second largest market for seal products originating from Canada. Canada annually exports €12.7 million (about US$18.6 million) worth of seal products to the EU. Only white seal cub furs are prohibited for import. This ban has been in place since the 1980s, following the vocal campaign against […]