In recent decades, there have been significant developments in the European Union in the field of collective consumer redress. South East European countries (SEE) covered by this paper, in line with their EU accession priorities and duties under Stabilisation and Association Agreements, have to harmonize their national laws with the relevant EU acquis for consumer protection (Chapter 28: Health and Consumer). In these countries, only minimal compliance is achieved. SEE countries have introduced rudimentary collective redress mechanisms, with modest enforcement of collective redress and case law. This paper is based on comprehensive interdisciplinary research conducted for SEE countries on common principles for injunctive and compensatory collective redress mechanisms, emphasizing cross-national comparisons, underlining issues of commonality and difference aiming to develop recommendations for an adequate enforcement of collective redress. SEE countries are recognized by the sectoral approach for regulating collective redress contrary to the majority of EU Member States with having adopted horizontal approach to collective redress. In most SEE countries, the laws do not recognize compensatory but only injunctive collective redress in consumer protection. All responsible stakeholders for implementation of collective redress in SEE countries, lack information and awareness on collective redress mechanisms and the way they function in practice. Therefore, specific actions are needed in these countries to make the whole system of collective redress for consumer protection operational and efficient. Taking into consideration the various designated stakeholders in collective redress in each SEE countries, there is a need of their mutual coordination and cooperation in order to develop consumer protection system and policies. By putting into practice the national collective redress mechanisms, effective access to justice for all consumers, the principle of rule of law will be secured and appropriate procedural guarantees to avoid abusive litigation will be ensured.
There is an urgent need nowadays to reduce energy demand and the current level of greenhouse gas emission and use renewable energy sources increase in energy efficiency. On the other hand, the European Union (EU) countries are largely dependent on energy imports and are vulnerable to disruption in energy supply, which may, in turn, threaten the functioning of their current economic structure. Residential buildings represent a significant part of the energy consumption of the building stock. Only a small part of the building stock is exchanged every year, thus it is essential to increase the energy efficiency of the existing buildings. Present paper focuses on the buildings built with industrialized technology only, and their opportunities in the boundaries of nearly zero-energy regulation. Current paper shows the emergence of panel construction method, and past and present of the ‘panel’ problem in Hungary with a short outlook to Europe. The study shows as well as the possibilities for meeting the nearly zero and cost optimized requirements for residential buildings by analyzing the renovation scenarios of an existing residential typology.
Since 1989, with the Fall of the Berlin Wall, Germany has undergone a profound restructuring political and economic process. When the Euro Crisis broke out, Germany was no longer the “sick man” of Europe. Instead, it had recovered its dominance as the strongest and wealthiest economy within the European Union. With the European Debt Crisis, that has been taking place in the European Union since the end of 2009, Germany´s Chancellor Angela Merkel has gained the power of deciding, so to say, on the fate of the debtor nations, but she neither stands for binding German commitments, nor refuses assistance. A debate on whether Merkel’s hesitation has been deliberated and used as a means of coercion has arisen on international print media, and the Portuguese Press has been no exception. This study, which was conducted by using news reporting, opinion articles, interviews and editorials, published in the Portuguese weekly Expresso and the daily Público, from 2008 to 2015, tries to show how Merkel’s hesitation, depicted in the press by the term “Merkiavelli”, was perceived in Portugal, a country that had to embrace the austerity measures, imposed by the European Central Bank, but defined under Angela Merkel´s leading role.
The construction industry generates large amounts of waste, usually mixed, which can be composed of different origin materials, most of them catalogued as non-hazardous. The European Union targets for this waste for 2020 have been already achieved by the UK, but it is mainly developed in downcycling processes (backfilling) whereas upcycling (such as recycle in new concrete batches) still keeps at a low percentage. The aim of this paper is to explore further in the use of recycled aggregates from construction and demolition waste (CDW) in concrete mixes so as to improve upcycling. A review of most recent research and legislation applied in the UK is developed regarding the production of concrete blocks. As a case study, initial tests were developed with a CDW recycled aggregate sample from a CDW plant in Swansea. Composition by visual inspection and sieving tests of two samples were developed and compared to original aggregates. More than 70% was formed by soil waste from excavation, and the rest was a mix of waste from mortar, concrete, and ceramics with small traces of plaster, glass and organic matter. Two concrete mixes were made with 80% replacement of recycled aggregates and different water/cement ratio. Tests were carried out for slump, absorption, density and compression strength. The results were compared to a reference sample and showed a substantial reduction of quality in both mixes. Despite that, the discussion brings to identify different aspects to solve, such as heterogeneity or composition, and analyze them for the successful use of these recycled aggregates in the production of concrete blocks. The conclusions obtained can help increase upcycling processes ratio with mixed CDW as recycled aggregates in concrete mixes.
The world is facing an unprecedented displacement crisis. Recently, over 1.1 million asylum seekers have been granted protection status in the European Union (EU). The majority of these asylum seekers were from countries of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.This influx carries with it a potential introduction of infectious diseases that have been eliminated in the EU, which poses a challenge for EU health authorities. Compared to MENA region countries where Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) endemicity is high to intermediate, member states of the EU show very low (Western Europe) to low (Eastern Europe) levels of HAV endemicity. Because of this situation, there is an ongoing public health concern in high-income countries, like members of the EU, that many adults remain susceptible to HAV outbreaks. The overwhelming majority of the EU members’ states do not include HAV vaccine in their immunization calendars. Hence, this paper urgently calls for the implementation of new policies regarding HAV in EU members’ states.
Fight against migrant smuggling has been put as a priority issues at the European Union policy agenda for more than a decade. The trafficked person, who has been targeted as the object of criminal exploitation, is specifically unique for human trafficking. Generally, the beginning of human trafficking activities is related to profit from the victim’s exploitation. The objective of this paper is to present measures that could result in the limitation of corruption mainly through analyzing the existing legislation framework against corruption in Europe. The analysis is focused on exploring the multiple origins of factors influencing migration processes in Europe, as corruption could be characterized as one of the most significant reasons for refugees to flee their countries. The main results show that law enforcement must turn the focus on the financing of the organized crime groups that are involved in migrant smuggling activities. Corruption has a significant role in managing smuggling operations and in particular when criminal organizations and networks are involved. Illegal migrants and refugees usually represent significant sources of additional income for officials involved in the process of boarding protection and immigration control within the European Union borders.
Waste management decision making in developing countries has moved towards being more pragmatic, transparent, sustainable and comprehensive. Turkey is required to make its waste related legislation compatible with European Legislation as it is a candidate country of the European Union. Improper Turkish practices such as open burning and open dumping practices must be abandoned urgently, and robust waste management systems have to be structured. The determination of an optimum waste management system in any region requires a comprehensive analysis in which many criteria are taken into account by stakeholders. In conducting this sort of analysis, there are two main criteria which are evaluated by waste management analysts; economic viability and environmentally friendliness. From an analytical point of view, a central characteristic of sustainable development is an economic-ecological integration. It is predicted that building a robust waste management system will need significant effort and cooperation between the stakeholders in developing countries such as Turkey. In this regard, this study aims to provide data regarding the cost and environmental burdens of waste treatment technologies such as an incinerator, an autoclave (with different capacities), a hydroclave and a microwave coupled with updated information on calculation methods, and a framework for comparing any proposed scenario performances on a cost and environmental basis.
Human trafficking and smuggling of migrants are criminal activities, which are on the rise over recent years. The number of legal migrants arrived in Europe from outside the European Union are far less than those who want to come and settle in Europe. The objective of this paper is to present the impact on economic and social life of significant measures influencing the smuggling of migrants. The analysis is focused on various complex factors which have multiple origins and are highly influential as regard to the process of migration and the smuggling of migrants. The smuggling of migrants is a criminal activity, directly related to migration. The main results show that often the routes chosen for smuggling of migrants are circuitous, as smugglers carefully avoid strictly controlled roads, checkpoints, and countries or jurisdictions where there is efficiency of justice, with particular emphasis on the law on trafficking of persons and smuggling of migrants.
The article deals with one of the most significant issues concerning the functioning of the internal market of the European Union – the free movement of workers and free movement of persons. The purpose is to identify the political and legal effects of the “renationalisation process” on the EU and its Member States. The concept of renationalisation is expressed through Member States’ aim to verify the relationship with the EU. The tendency is more visible in the public opinion of several MS’s of the ‘EU core’ and may be confirmed by the changes applied by the regulatory body. The thesis for the article is the return of renationalisation tendencies in the area of the Single Market, which is supported by, among others, an open criticism of the foundations of EU integration or considerations on withdrawal from the EU by some MS. This analysis will focus primarily on the effects that renationalisation may have on the free movement of persons. The free movement of persons is one of the key issues for the development of the European integration. It is still subject to theoretical reflections, new doubts and practical issues. The latest developments in politics, law and jurisprudence demonstrate the need to reflect on the attempts to redefine certain principles regarding migrant EU workers and their protection against nationality-based discrimination.
This study presents a project that tests and adjusts active European learning and teaching methods in Indonesian universities to increase their external impact on enterprises and other organizations; it also assesses the implementation of the Erasmus+ projects funded by the European Union. The project is based on the approach of innovation pedagogy that responds to regional development needs and integrates applied research and development projects into education to create capabilities for students to participate in development work after graduation. The assessment of the Erasmus+ project resulted in many improvements that can be made to achieve higher quality and innovativeness. The results of this study are useful for those who want to improve the applied research and development projects of higher education institutions.
Financial derivatives are considered to be risky investment instruments which could possibly bring another financial crisis. As prevention, European Union and its member states have released new legal acts adjusting this area of law in recent years. There have been several cases in history of capital markets worldwide where it was shown that legislature may affect behavior of subjects on capital markets. In our paper we analyze main events on selected European stock exchanges in order to apply them on three chosen markets - Czech capital market represented by Prague Stock Exchange, German capital market represented by Deutsche Börse and Polish capital market represented by Warsaw Stock Exchange. We follow time series of development of the sum of listed derivatives on these three stock exchanges in order to evaluate popularity of those exchanges. Afterwards we compare newly listed derivatives in relation to the speed of development of these exchanges. We also make a comparison between trends in derivatives and shares development. We explain how a legal regulation may affect situation on capital markets. If the regulation is too strict, potential investors or traders are not willing to undertake it and move to other markets. On the other hand, if the regulation is too vague, trading scandals occur and the market is not reliable from the prospect of potential investors or issuers. We see that making the regulation stricter usually discourages subjects to stay on the market immediately although making the regulation vaguer to interest more subjects is usually much slower process.
An outstanding part of the animal products are based on the grasslands, due to the fact that the grassland ecosystems can be found all over the globe. In places where economical and successful crop production cannot be managed, the grassland based animal husbandry can be an efficient way of food production. In addition, these ecosystems have an important role in carbon sequestration, and with their rich flora – and fauna connected to it – in conservation of biodiversity. The protection of nature, and the sustainable agriculture is getting more and more attention in the European Union, but, looking at the consumers’ needs, the production of healthy food cannot be neglected either. Because of these facts, the effects of two specific composts - which are officially authorized in organic farming, in Agri-environment Schemes and Natura 2000 programs – on grass yields and sward compositions were investigated in a field trial. The investigation took place in Hungary, on a natural grassland based on solonetz soil. Three rates of compost (10 t/ha, 20 t/ha, 30 t/ha) were tested on 3 m X 10 m experimental plots. Every treatment had four replications and both type of compost had four-four control plots too, this way 32 experimental plots were included in the investigations. The yield of the pasture was harvested two-times (in May and in September) and before cutting the plots, measurements on botanical compositions were made. Samples for laboratory analysis were also taken. Dry matter yield of pasture showed positive responses to the rates of composts. The increase in dry matter yield was partly due to some positive changes in sward composition. It means that the proportions of grass species with higher yield potential increased in ground cover of the sward without depressing out valuable native species of diverse natural grasslands. The research results indicate that the use of organic compost can be an efficient way to increase grass yields in a sustainable way.
A survey was conducted in the five rice-growing regions in Guyana to determine the presence of aflatoxins in multiple fractions of rice in June/October 2015 growing season. The fractions were paddy, steamed paddy, cargo rice, white rice and parboiled rice. Samples were analyzed by High Performance Liquid Chromatography. A subset of the samples was further analyzed by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) for concurrence. All analyses were conducted at the University of Missouri, USA. Of the 186 samples tested, 16 had aflatoxin concentrations greater than 20 ppb the recommended limit for aflatoxins in food according to the United States Food and Drug Administration. An additional three samples had aflatoxin B1 concentrations greater than the European Union Commission maximum levels for aflatoxin B1 in rice at 5 µg/kg and total aflatoxins (B1, B2, G1 and G2) at 10 µg/kg. The survey indicates that there is no widespread aflatoxin problem in rice in Guyana. The incidence of aflatoxins appears to be localized.
This article provides a conceptual framework of the freedom of media and its correlation with democracy. In a democracy, media should serve the publics’ right to know and reflect human rights violations and offer options for meaningful political choices and effective participation in civic affairs. On that point, the 2013 events at Gezi Park in Turkey are a good empirical example to be discussed. During the events, when self-censorship was broadly employed by mainstream Turkish media, social media filled the important role of providing information to the public. New technologies have made information into a fundamental tool for change and growth, and as a consequence, societies worldwide have merged into a single, interdependent, and autonomous organism. For this reason, violations of human rights can no longer be considered domestic issues, but rather global ones. Only global political action is an adequate response. Democracy depends on people shaping the society they live in, and in order to accomplish this, they need to express themselves. Freedom of expression is therefore necessary in order to understand diversity and differing perspectives, which in turn are necessary to resolve conflicts among people. Moreover, freedom of information is integral to freedom of expression. In this context, the international rules and laws regarding freedom of expression and freedom of information – indispensable for a free and independent media – are examined. These were put in place by international institutions such as the United Nations, UNESCO, the Council of Europe, and the European Union, which have aimed to build a free, democratic, and pluralist world committed to human rights and the rule of law. The methods of international human rights institutions depend on effective and frequent employment of mass media to relay human rights violations to the public. Therefore, in this study, the relationship between mass media and democracy, the process of how mass media forms public opinion, the problems of mass media, the neo-liberal theory of mass media, and the use of mass media by NGOs will be evaluated.
The research concentrates on the role of tourism in generating female employment and on impact of gender discrimination in tourism sector. Unfortunately, in many countries there are still some barriers to the inclusion of women at all hierarchical levels of tourism labor market. Research analysis focuses on EU countries where tourism is a main employer of women. The analysis shows that women represent over third persons employed in the non-financial business economy and almost two thirds in core tourism activities. Women's gross hourly earnings in accommodation and food services were below those of men in the European Union and only countries who recorded increase of gender pay gap from the beginning of crisis are Bulgaria and Croatia. Women in tourism industry are still overrepresented in lower status jobs with fewer opportunities for career progression and are often treated unequally.
Environmental and health safety of condiments used for spicing food products in food processing or by culinary means receive relatively low attention, even though possible contamination of spices may affect food quality and safety. Contamination surveys mostly focus on microbial contaminants or their secondary metabolites, mycotoxins. Chemical contaminants, particularly pesticide residues, however, are clearly substantial factors in the case of given condiments in the Capsicum family including spice paprika and chilli. To assess food safety and support the quality of the Hungaricum product spice paprika, the pesticide residue status of spice paprika and chilli is assessed on the basis of reported pesticide contamination cases and non-compliances in the Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed of the European Union since 1998.
Despite all the wide research and literature on the subject, changing and challenging times often present themselves with new objectives, fluid politics, and everlasting point of views. Much is said about the subject and the trend nowadays is watching every European Union (EU) intervention as a form of neo colonialism or a form of establishing new markets. The paper will try to establish a perspective on EU influences, policies and impacts analyzed from multidimensional point of view, not limiting itself on a narrow external dimension, focusing on a broader understanding of it diverse contribution to global governance and peace keeping. Tending to be critical, this paper tends to fall out of extremes, nether holding a Eurocentric position, nor falling for cheap critic to the whole failures and impact of EU policies. The ambition is to show EU as a contributing factor while keeping in mind its nature as a multi layered actor and with not necessarily coinciding interests among its member states.
Sub-Saharan Africa is described as the second fastest growing in mobile phone penetration in the world more than in the United States or the European Union. Mobile phones have been used to provide a lot of opportunities to improve people’s lives in the region such as in banking, marketing, entertainment, and paying for various bills such as water, TV, and electricity. However, the potential of mobile phones to enhance teaching and learning has not been explored. This study presents an experience of developing and delivering SMS based quiz questions used to assess mastery of subject content knowledge of science and mathematics secondary school teachers in Tanzania. The SMS quizzes were used as a follow up support mechanism to 500 teachers who participated in a project to upgrade subject content knowledge of teachers in science and mathematics subjects in Tanzania. Quizzes of 10-15 questions were sent to teachers each week for 8 weeks and the results were analyzed using SPSS. Results show that teachers who participated in chemistry and biology subjects have better performance compared to those who participated in mathematics and physics subjects. Teachers reported some challenges that led to poor performance, This research has several practical implications for those who are implementing or planning to use mobile phones in teaching and learning especially in rural secondary schools in sub-Saharan Africa.