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The Beef Hormone dispute

by Politicker 0 Comments

Cattle are given growth hormones in order to promote faster growth.

In order to protect consumer health and safety, the EU has banned imports of hormone treated meat and only allows restricted imports of meat that is certified as produced without the use of hormones.

This has caused a dispute with the US, known as the Beef Hormone Dispute, that has been ongoing since 1989, and is still on-going. The dispute has resulted in the imposition of tariffs on a number of products exported from EU countries to the US.

Read on for more details about the dispute.

Workers’ Rights in the EU

The EU has created a number of directives and regulations, relating to Workers’ Rights, that have been enshrined in European Law.

Every EU worker has certain minimum rights relating to:

  • health and safety at work: general rights and obligations, workplaces, work equipment, specific risks and vulnerable workers
  • equal opportunities for women and men: equal treatment at work, pregnancy, maternity leave, parental leave
  • protection against discrimination based on sex, race, religion, age, disability and sexual orientation
  • labour law: part-time work, fixed-term contracts, working hours, employment of young people, informing and consulting employees

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=706&langId=en&intPageId=205

For example, the EU’s Working Time Directive (2003/88/EC) requires EU countries to guarantee the following rights for all workers:

  • a limit to weekly working hours, which must not exceed 48 hours on average, including any overtime
  • a minimum daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours in every 24
  • a rest break during working hours if the worker is on duty for longer than 6 hours
  • a minimum weekly rest period of 24 uninterrupted hours for each 7-day period, in addition to the 11 hours’ daily rest
  • paid annual leave of at least 4 weeks per year
  • extra protection for night workers
    • average working hours must not exceed 8 hours per 24-hour period,
    • night workers must not perform heavy or dangerous work for longer than 8 hours in any 24-hour period,
    • night workers have the right to free health assessments and, under certain circumstances, to transfer to day work.

There are separate directives on working hours for certain workers in specific transport sectors.

http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?catId=706&langId=en&intPageId=206

Other examples of Workers’ Rights include

  • Equal treatment for part-time workers
  • Rights for new mums
  • 18 weeks of parental leave
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Health and safety
  • Protection if your company is bought out
  • Protection from discrimination on the grounds of race, religion, sexuality, gender reassignment status, belief, and age.

The Trades Union Congress (TUC)

https://www.tuc.org.uk

have produced a document exploring UK employment rights and the EU

UK employment rights and the EU – Assessment of the impact of membership of the European
Union on employment rights in the UK

which is available at

https://www.tuc.org.uk/sites/default/files/UK%20employment%20rights%20and%20the%20EU.pdf

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

A European Health Insurance Card gives you the right to access state-provided healthcare during a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland.

European Health Insurance Card

The EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home. Treatment should be provided on the same basis as it would to a resident of that country, either at a reduced cost or, in many cases, for free. For example, in some countries, patients are expected to directly contribute a percentage towards the cost of their state-provided treatment. This is known as a patient co-payment. If you receive treatment under this type of healthcare system, you are expected to pay the same co-payment charge as a patient from that country.

The EHIC is not an alternative to travel insurance. It will not cover any private medical healthcare or costs, such as mountain rescue in ski resorts, being flown back to the UK, or lost or stolen property. It is therefore important to have both an EHIC and a valid private travel insurance policy in place before you travel. Some insurers now insist you hold an EHIC, and many will waive the excess if you have one.

To be eligible for a card, you must be insured by or covered by a state social security system in any Member State of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. Each separate member of a family travelling should have their own card.

Details on how to obtain a card in the UK is available at

http://www.nhs.uk/NHSEngland/Healthcareabroad/EHIC/Pages/about-the-ehic.aspx

Referendums in the EU by member states

A UK Parliament, House of Commons Briefing Paper was published on 22 April 2016 showing referendums held by EU countries since 1972

Referendums have been held in both candidate states and Member States on EU membership.
EU Treaty amendments, EU enlargement, Economic and Monetary Union. New treaties or new constitutional arrangements have also attracted referendums in some Member States. These may be binding, advisory or consultative.

This document charts referendums held since 1972 on EU matters in candidate and Member States and in Switzerland on its relations with the EU, with brief details on turnout and results.

It also outlines the positions of France and Austria on holding a referendum on EU enlargement, particularly with regard to a possible Turkish accession.

The full report can be found at

http://www.parliament.uk/briefing-papers/CBP-7570

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