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Plans to put a life-saving ‘Dashboard Angel’ in every new car are set to get the green light this week thanks to Labour MEPs and their political group in the European Parliament, which led on the proposal.

Under the new rules, car manufacturers will be required to install an on-board ‘E-Call’ system in new cars, which will automatically dial the emergency services in the event of a serious accident. The system is designed to work with the European-wide 112 emergency services number, ensuring drivers are protected when travelling abroad.

Catherine Stihler MEP, vice-chair of the European Parliament’s internal market committee, and Labour’s European spokesperson on consumer protection issues, said:

“Road safety concerns us all. Knowing that if you are in a serious accident emergency services will be automatically contacted and on their way to help can give all drivers and passengers across the European Union peace of mind and reassurance for families travelling abroad.

“ECall is an effective tool which will help reduce road deaths and save lives across the UK and the EU. As we see technology develop, cars are amongst our everyday objects in which technology will have a direct and important impact. E-call is one of the latest examples of this transformation.”

Lucy Anderson MEP, Labour’s European spokesperson on transport and tourism, added:

“Many people in the UK travel around Europe on business or on holiday, and we also have a large number of visitors from abroad on our roads every year. When accidents occur, if emergency services cannot be alerted quickly because of language difficulties or the inability of car occupants to call for help, the resulting delays can potentially be fatal.

“The E-Call system will allow the emergency services to get to accident scenes faster and could save thousands of lives each year. It is very disappointing the Tories and UKIP in the European Parliament have been opposing this measure, showing yet again they do not take road safety seriously.”

The new rules ensure the e-Call system is dormant until activated in the event of an accident. Vehicles equipped with eCall are not traceable and are not subject to any constant tracking. The set of data sent by the in-vehicle eCall system includes the minimum information required for the appropriate handling of emergency calls."

Labour MEPs to vote for automatic emergency alert system in cars that could save thousands of lives a year

Plans to put a life-saving ‘Dashboard Angel’ in every new car are set to get the green light this week thanks to Labour MEPs and their political group in the...

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Claude Moraes MEP - © European Union 2015 - EP

European leaders must agree to step up search and rescue operations immediately to prevent the tragic loss of lives in the Mediterranean Sea.

That's the message from Claude Moraes MEP, the Labour politician who chairs the influential Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs Committee of the European Parliament.

The call comes after the announcement of plans for an extraordinary European Council summit of national leaders from all 28 EU countries on Thursday.

Claude Moraes MEP said: "The ongoing tragedies in the Mediterranean show that the decision to end Mare Nostrum has been disastrous. There is much to be discussed at this summit, including how we crack down on the criminals who are running these human trafficking operations. But right now lives are being lost on an unprecedented scale. It is essential that Member States react swiftly by implementing a comprehensive search and rescue operation across the Mediterranean.

"Europe has a moral duty to save lives at sea; we must refrain from being passive in response to the situation in the Mediterranean, or countless lives will be lost as a result of EU inaction."

EU leaders must agree immediate action to save lives in Mediterranean

European leaders must agree to step up search and rescue operations immediately to prevent the tragic loss of lives in the Mediterranean Sea.

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Efforts to prevent the trade in minerals from fuelling armed conflict abroad were blocked today (14 April 2015) as Conservative and UKIP MEPs bowed to corporate pressure by opposing plans for full  mandatory trading rules.

However, despite losing today's vote in the European Parliament's trade committee, Labour MEPs have vowed to retable their tougher proposals before the new EU rules are put to the all MEPs for approval in May.

MEPs are debating plans for a proposed voluntary certification system which aims to decrease the trade in gold, tin, tantalum and tungsten used in products on sale in Europe originating from conflict zones.

Labour MEPs have been leading the push for the new certification scheme to be mandatory, requiring companies throughout the entire supply chain to take steps to prevent the trade of conflict minerals.

David Martin MEP, the Labour MEP who coordinates the work of the centre-left Socialists and Democrats (S&D) Group on the trade committee, said:

"A fully mandatory scheme is absolutely vital to stop the European Union being complicit in the devastation caused by the trade in conflict minerals. With the US and China already running mandatory reporting schemes, it is shameful that the EU looks likely to fall short on these proposals.
                                                                                                                                                                                           
"We have had voluntary guidelines in place for five years and over 80% of companies have chosen not to publish any information on their supply chain due diligence. Conservatives and liberals now have to explain why they bowed to corporate pressure and supported a weak and unenforceable system."


Jude Kirton-Darling MEP, who had co-tabled Labour's proposals, said:

"Most people don't realise that these minerals can be found in the electrical products that they use every day and they would be horrified to discover that products on sale in Britain could contain minerals mined in conflict zones. Labour MEPs have been campaigning for legislation on this issue for some time, so it is hugely disappointing that now we have a chance to act, tough action is being blocked by right-wing MEPs."


Seb Dance MEP, who was the lead MEP on this issue for the S&D MEPs on the European Parliament's development committee, added:

"After battling to achieve a comprehensive report on combating conflict minerals both in INTA and DEVE, it is truly disheartening to see the report gutted by a grand coalition of the right. Especially when you consider that the ECR group vote was led by a British MEP from the Conservative Party who made bedfellows with other MEPs such as UKIP to scupper a progressive package that would have drastically improve human rights around the world."

Labour MEPs vow to fight on to block flow of conflict minerals

Efforts to prevent the trade in minerals from fuelling armed conflict abroad were blocked today (14 April 2015) as Conservative and UKIP MEPs bowed to corporate pressure by opposing plans...

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