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Environmental Impact Assessments: Revision failed to tackle major shortcomings
EUROCHAMBRES had mixed feelings about today’s adoption of the revised Directive on Environmental Impact Assessments by the European Parliament. Although, a further tightening of the provisions could largely be prevented, the European Commission’s initial target of simplifying procedures has clearly been missed.

Commenting on today’s vote, Arnaldo Abruzzini, Secretary General of EUROCHAMBRES stated: “The original directive already necessitates long and bureaucratic authorisation procedures and any additional requirement risks to cause a decline in infrastructure projects and thus reduce job and growth creation opportunities. Therefore, we are relieved that MEPs and Member States understood the issues at stake, and rejected a number of proposals with adverse effects on the European economy.”

“However, we regret that this revision did not respect the general and positive trend of minimising regulatory burdens for businesses. In the end, Environmental Impact Assessments have retained their character as bureaucratic obstacle race”, concluded Mr Abruzzini.
With regard to future law-making, EUROCHAMBRES urges policy makers to ensure a balance between environmental and economic aspects, to align legal requirements with principles of smart regulation and to drop unnecessary burdens for businesses.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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