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How can investments (co-)funded by the EU be linked to social criteria? What implications do political measures have on income distribution? How can these be measured? These were some of the questions discussed at an event organised by the Belgian Council Presidency. During three sessions, interesting approaches such as the Do No Significant Harm principle were presented.

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Since 2018, AK has contributed to the analysis of prosperity and well-being in Austria with its AK Well-being Report (AK-Wohlstandsbericht). Austria's social and economic progress is analysed on the basis of the modified "magic polygon" of a well-being oriented economic policy from the perspective of an institution representing the interests of employees. There are five overarching goals and six sub-goals for each of them. The five goals are: Fairly distributed material prosperity, Full employment and decent work, Quality of life, Intact environment, Economic stability.

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Jana Schultheiß

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Nikolai Soukup

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Tamara Premrov

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Astrid Schöggl

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Florian Wukovitsch (Brussels office)

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Judith Vorbach (Brussels office)

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A well-functioning European railway system is crucial for the mobility shift and a just green transition. After two decades, the liberalisation of rail transport is revealing consequences that must be discussed in the interests of workers, passengers and the necessary fight against the climate crisis. To this end, AK EUROPA, together with the Austrian trade union vida and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF), organised the event “Railway liberalisation. Lessons Learned” in Brussels in April 2024.

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The Energy Charter Treaty protects investments in fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. The agreement is no longer fit for purpose and is not compatible with the EU's climate protection targets. The EU Commission therefore proposed the withdrawal of the EU in July 2023. This requires a decision by the EU member states and the approval of the EU Parliament. On 9 April 2024, the relevant committees of the EU Parliament gave the green light.

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The Austrian Chamber of Labour (AK EUROPA), the Austrian trade union vida and the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) jointly organised the event "Railway liberalisation. Lessons learned".

Date Monday, 8th April 2024, 18:30
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The end of the legislative period was characterised by the European Green Deal. One of the numerous proposals to promote the circular economy, which is still being discussed, is a regulation on requirements for the circular design of vehicles and the disposal of end-of-life vehicles. The aim of this regulation is to reduce the environmental impact of the automotive sector and thus contribute to environmental and climate targets. Among other, this is to be achieved through regulations on reuse, recycling and design.

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The EU-Commission has proposed measures to improve the circularity of the automotive sector, covering the design, production and end-of-life management of vehicles. The aim is not only to improve access to resources and support environmental and climate goals, but also to promote value creation and employment. AK welcomes the basic objective of the proposal. The provisions on the reusability, recyclability and recoverability of vehicles and the associated obligation to collect data are very positive.

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Judith Fitz

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Franz Greil

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Florian Wukovitsch (Brussels office)

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Increasingly frequent extreme weather events are affecting people, economies and water supplies. More and more regions in Europe are affected by winter and summer droughts, floods, mudslides and landslides. Groundwater levels in some regions are lower than they have been for a long time.

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Iris Strutzmann

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Thomas Kattnig

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Florian Wukovitsch (Brussels office)

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The EU Commission is proposing an amendment to the Directive to make combined freight transport more attractive. In future, Combined Transport will be subsidised on the basis of external costs and organised digitally. The proposed measures should make it 10 per cent cheaper. AK is fundamentally in favour of more environmentally friendly freight transport. However, it is doubtful whether the proposed measures will actually lead to success.

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The Commission‘s proposal aims to reduce the negative impact of freight transport by promoting a shift from road to inland waterway, rail, short sea shipping and maritime transport within the EU. To this end, binding eligibility criteria are defined that such a service must fulfil. A key innovation is the assessment of transport on the basis of external costs. Another funding criterion will be the mandatory use of electronic transport information platforms (eFTI).

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Franz Greil

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Florian Wukovitsch (Brussels office)

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