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Category Archives: European Union

The European flag

Against the blue sky of the Western world, the stars represent the peoples of Europe in a circle, a symbol of unity. Their number shall be invariably set at twelve, the symbol of completeness and perfection.

(Council of Europe. Paris, 7–9 December 1955).

The history of the flag goes back to 1955. The Council of Europe – defending human rights and promoting European culture – adopted the present design for its own use and as such the CoE holds the copyright for the flag. However the Council of Europe agreed that the European Parliament adopted the flag to promote its use, and also by all EU leaders as the official emblem of the European Union. And despite being the flag of two separate organisations, it is often more associated with the EU due to the EU’s higher profile and a heavy usage of the emblem.

Concerning to protocol, it is mandatory for the flag to be used in every official speech made by the President of the European Council and it is often used at official meetings between the leaders of an EU state and a non-EU state, which the national and the European flag appearing together. E.g. in Spain, the Law 39/1981, of 28 October, it approved the use of the flag of Spain and other flags and ensigns. The own flag of ACs should be flown together with the flag of Spain in all civil public buildings of the territorial ambit of that, like the flags of the city halls or other corporations.

Sources of information:

“Flag of Europe” From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.

UNICEF and the EU

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund was created to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination took place in a child’s life. Thus, the international community is faced with increasingly complex humanitarian crises, working in emergencies and humanitarian contexts, both natural and man-made. Moreover the National Committees for UNICEF, work with UNICEF to advocate, educate and raise money for the critical actions that improve children’s lives, and they have a presence in 36 countries.

In emergencies UNICEF supports direct humanitarian action, emergency programmes and policies throughout all its divisions and offices, but concentrates coordination within the Office of Emergency Programmes (EMOPS) based in New York and Geneva. EMOPS coordinates headquarters support to country and regional offices in terms of staffing, funding, donor relations, inter-agency issues or technical guidance. In addition, UNICEF’s Operations Centre (OPSCEN) is a 24-hour, 7 days-a-week, information gathering and dissemination hub within EMOPS.

As a partner for children, the European Union is committed to the Millennium Development Goals and to eradicating poverty by 2015. As the world’s largest donor, the EU provides more than half of total aid to developing countries. So, The European Union development cooperation supports services crucial to children’s rights, such as health, education, and social protection, as well as combating discrimination, child labour and human trafficking. To achieve these objectives, UNICEF and the EU work with other Partners for Children around the world.

Functionally, the European Commission’s EuropeAid Co-operation Office ensures that development assistance is delivered to those who need it worldwide, and the Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO) works closely with UNICEF, and is one of its top donors. Additionally, the Child Rights Toolkit developed by UNICEF and the European Union offers a set of tools and practical guidance on how children’s rights and initiatives to promote the well-being of all children can be effectively integrated and applied across programs in development assistance.

Sources of information:

UNICEF in Emergencies & Humanitarian Action

UNICEF & European Union

Post written by Carmen Rafecas.

The right to personal data protection

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights says that everyone has the right to personal data protection in all aspects of life: at home, at work, while shopping, receiving medical treatment, at a police station or in the Internet. This is a fundamental right for everyone in the EU and must be safeguarded.

When users give their consent for companies to use their personal data, that agreement is given explicitly. On the other hand, providers must take account of the principle of privacy by default which means that the companies will be obliged to inform as clearly and transparency about how personal data will be used.

Personal data is any individual information related to private, professional or public life i.e. name, photo, email address, bank details, posts or social networking websites, medical information, or computer’s IP address, and it could be transferred across borders and store on servers in multiple countries within and outside the EU.

Individuals can be confident online whether it’s shopping for a better deal or sharing information with friends around the world. Europe proposes adequate safeguards for personal data and with lower costs to help stimulate the internal marketing, boost growth, create jobs and foster innovation.

Source of information:

Commission proposes a comprehensive reform of the data protection rules.

Factsheets on data protection reform:

  • Why do we need an EU data protection reform?
  • How does the data protection reform strengthen citizens’ rights?
  • How will the data protection reform affect social networks?
  • How will the EU’s data protection reform strengthen the internal market?
  • How will the EU’s data protection reform make international cooperation easier?
  • How will the EU’s data protection reform simplify the existing rules?
  • How will the EU’s data protection reform benefit European businesses?
  • How will the EU’s reform adapt data protection rules to new technological developments?

Post written by Carmen Rafecas