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On 23 March 2021, AK EUROPA, the ÖGB Europabüro and MEP Günther Sidl hosted a Webinar with the title “Informed consumer choices – also regarding genome editing?” The message of the participants was clear: from consumers’ point of view, there is no reason to change the current regulations for new gene technologies.

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Consumer confidence in food in general and GE-free products in particular must not be undermined in any way. An EU-wide approval procedure that includes traceability procedures as well as systems for detection and a clear labelling of GE products is absolutely necessary for consumers in order to keep their “right to choose” and “right to safety”. Consumers must not run the risk of buying untested and unlabelled genetically modified organisms (GMO).

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Iris Strutzmann

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MEP Günther Sidl, AK EUROPA, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour and ÖGB Europabüro, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation would like to cordially invite you to our joint webinar "Informed consumer choices – also regarding genome editing?"

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The Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour (AK) supports the EU’s aim of achieving climate neutrality by 2050. However, AK believes that it is vital that the concerns of workers and the impact on employment and social cohesion are thoroughly examined and understood when developing policy, and that measures in this respect should be optimised to balance the social impact and be democratically justifiable.

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Christoph Streissler

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Exactly one year after introducing the Green Deal, the European Commission presented on 9 December 2020 the Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy. This Strategy outlines the path that the transport sector has to take to ensure the goal of a carbon neutral EU by 2050.

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A year ago, a ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) on the legitimacy of lower wages for cross-border workers on Austrian trains made the headlines. Hence, vida, the trade union representing workers in the transport and service industries in Austria, the European Transport Workers' Federation (ETF) and the AK hosted a Webinar on 30 November 2020 to discuss the significance of the ruling for the fight against wage and social dumping in the transport sector.

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Transport is responsible for a quarter of greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, it contributes to five percent of the EU Gross Domestic Product and employs about eleven million people. Thus, from the Austrian Chamber of Labour’s point of view it is clear that we need a sustainable transport system, which provides more fairness for its employees.

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The European Commission increases its pace to achieve a climate neutral Europe. On 14th October 2020, it published three strategies, which shall take the next steps to implement the Green Deal. One of them concerns a renovation wave with the aim to double the renovation rate.

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In May 2020, the European Commission presented the “Farm to Fork Strategy” as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy to achieve a more climate-friendly agricultural and food system as well as more biodiversity. The Austrian Chamber of Labour welcomes the path taken; however, measures should be socially fair and in accordance with workers’ and consumers’ demands.

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Three years after the proposal of the European Commission to reform rail passenger rights, representatives both of European Parliament and Council reached political agreement on this dossier on 1 October 2020. However, the compromise hardly includes any positive reforms, which would make travelling by rail more attractive to passengers; on the contrary, concrete changes for the worse have been entered.