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Saturday 22.10.2016 | Name days: Irīda, Īrisa

Ten decisions by European Parliament that will soon affect life in Latvia

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUEveryday life, business and state development – the European Parliament made many significant decisions in 2015 that will soon affect many lives in Latvia.

-Travellers who purchase travel packages (plane ticket + hotel + car rent) will have the same level of security as people who buy travel arrangements from tourism agencies;

-It will be cheaper to call home during travel in another country starting from 30 April 2016;

-Residents and small and medium-sized companies will be able to use a simplified EU procedure to recover cross-border debts up to EUR 5,000. It will be faster, cheaper and more convenient;

-European Parliament managed to provide more funding for migration, jobs and youth employment, as well as Erasmus+ student programme and Horizon 2020 research and development programme in the EU budget of 2016. EP also greenlit the EUR 315 billion Juncker investment plan to improve sustainable investments in Europe;

-Stricter measures against money laundering, tax crimes and financing of terrorist organizations. For example, actual owners of enterprises will have to register with central databases of EU member states – this information will be open to competent institutions and individuals with legal interest, such as research journalists. In addition, following the LuxLeaks scandal, which leaked information regarding reduced tax rates for large corporations, the European Parliament has developed proposals for a fairer tax system to the entire European Union;

-Important for buyers and traders – commission fee banks collect from retail traders for payment card transactions will be limited by EU-wide cap. This applies to commission fees for processing payment card transactions within a single member state and other EU member states;

-Starting from 31 March 2018, all new light car and shuttle bus models will have to be equipped with a special eCall function that will automatically inform rescue services about road accidents;

-From now on, drivers will be punished for violations committed in UK, Ireland and Denmark – speeding, not wearing seatbelts helmets (for motorcyclists), using mobile phone while driving, etc.;

-EP has decided to significantly limit the use of plastic bags. EU member states will be able to choose one of two options: making sure plastic bag consumption does not exceed 90 bags starting from 2019 and 40 bags per capita starting from 2025 or make sure plastic bags are no longer provided to residents for free starting from 2018;

-EU member states will have more freedom in matters of genetically modified organisms – prohibit or allow the cultivation of gene-modified plants on their territories regardless of the decision of the European Union.


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