ENVIRONMENT MINISTERIAL: BILBAO AGENCY FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY AT WORK APPROVED.

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Two regulations that aim to streamline the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work and the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions have received a final seal of approval from EU member states. Picking up where a previous gathering of their employment and social affairs counterparts left off, environment ministers at a Council meeting in Luxembourg on June 24 formally adopted the two Regulations, which amend the basic legislation establishing the agencies. The Council had agreed in principle to the amended regulations on October 4, 2004, and the European Parliament returned its verdict on the subject on April 28, 2005 (consultation procedure). On June 2, an EU Social Policy and Employment Council reached agreement on the draft Regulations. But they were not due to be formally adopted until a subsequent Council session, as unanimity was required.

Based in the Spanish city of Bilbao, the European Agency for Health and Safety at Work was established in 1994 (2064/94/EC) to gather and disseminate information on safety and health in the...

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