Author Archives: Elizabeth Thompson

Agriculture

Agriculture

Agriculture Contents

  • General framework: Financing, Rural development, Direct support, Structural operations, Competition, Information and statistics
  • Markets for agricultural products: Direct support schemes, Common organisation of agricultural markets (CMO), Sectoral applications, Other products
  • Food:  Food quality, Organic farming, Genetically-modified organisms
  • Environment: Management and conservation of resources, Forest resources and non-food products, Pollution from agriculture
  • Agriculture: enlargement: Pre-accession, On-going negotiations, 2004 and 2007 enlargements

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Agriculture

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Agriculture

Agriculture

The common agricultural policy (CAP) dates back to the early days of European integration, when Member States made a commitment to restructuring and increasing food production, which had been damaged as a result of the Second World War. Today, the CAP still has a pivotal role in the European Union, not just because farmland and forests account for more than 90 % of land within the EU, but also because it has become an essential mechanism for facing new challenges in terms of food quality, environmental protection and trade. The 2003 reform was a key moment in the CAP’s development, adapting the policy to meet the new requirements of farmers, consumers and the planet. This approach continues to form the basis of the future development of the common agricultural policy of an enlarged Union present on the world stage.

Agriculture Contents

  • General frameworkFinancing, Rural development, Direct support, Structural operations, Competition, Information and statistics
  • Markets for agricultural productsDirect support schemes, Common organisation of agricultural markets (CMO), Sectoral applications, Other products
  • FoodFood quality, Organic farming, Genetically-modified organisms
  • EnvironmentManagement and conservation of resources, Forest resources and non-food products, Pollution from agriculture
  • Agriculture: enlargementPre-accession, On-going negotiations, 2004 and 2007 enlargements

See also

Overviews of European Union: Agriculture.
Further information: European Commission Agriculture and Rural Development Directorate-General.

Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in transport

Exemption of certain air transport agreements from EU competition rules

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 487/2009 of 25 May 2009 on the application of Article 81(3) of the Treaty to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices in the air transport sector.

Summary

In accordance with Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex-Article 81(3) of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC)), the Commission may adopt a regulation declaring that certain agreements, decisions and concerted practices are exempt from the prohibition in Article 101(1) TFEU (ex-Article 81(1) TEC).

The Commission may, in particular, adopt such a block exemption regulation in relation to agreements, decisions or concerted practices which concern any of the following:

  • joint planning and coordination of airline schedules;
  • consultations on tariffs for the carriage of passengers and baggage and of freight on scheduled air services;
  • joint operations on new less busy scheduled air services;
  • slot allocation at airports and airport scheduling;
  • common purchase, development and operation of computer reservation systems relating to timetabling, reservations and ticketing by air transport undertakings.

Where circumstances have changed concerning any of the factors which prompted its adoption, it may be repealed or amended. In this case there shall be a transitional period for amendment of the agreements and concerted practices to which the earlier regulation applied before repeal or amendment.

Any such block exemption regulation is adopted for a specified period and will apply retroactively to agreements, decisions and concerted practices which were in existence on the date that the regulation entered into force.

Before adopting such a block exemption regulation, the Commission must publish a draft of the proposed regulation and invite all persons and organisations concerned to submit their comments within a reasonable deadline. The Commission must consult the Advisory Committee on Restrictive Practices and Dominant Positions in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1/2003, once before publishing a draft regulation, and again after the public consultation before adopting the regulation.

This regulation repeals Regulation (EEC) No 3976/87.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 487/2009

1.7.2009

OJ L 148 of 11.6.2009

Bodies and objectives

Bodies and objectives

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bodies and objectives

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Transport > Bodies and objectives

Bodies and objectives

European transport policy aims to reconcile the growing mobility needs of citizens with the requirements of sustainable development. In this regard, it is also related to the development of the internal market and the opening up of competition, to conditions for innovation and to the integration of transport networks. The issue of user safety and protection is also crucial for the transport sector. In addition, different European Union specialist agencies work towards achieving these objectives.

GENERAL OBJECTIVES OF TRANSPORT POLICIES

  • Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area: Towards a competitive and resource efficient transport system
  • Green Paper: Towards a new culture for urban mobility
  • Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent. Mid-term review of the 2001 White Paper
  • White paper: European transport policy for 2010
  • Freight transport logistics in Europe
  • Cohesion and transport
  • Internalisation of external transport costs

AGENCIES AND BODIES

  • Trans-European Transport Network Executive Agency
  • European railway agency
  • European GNSS Agency
  • Accession to the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF)
  • Maritime safety: European Maritime Safety Agency
  • Civil aviation and the European Aviation Safety Agency
  • European Energy and Transport Forum

Anti-fraud offices

Anti-fraud offices

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Anti-fraud offices

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Fight against fraud > Anti-fraud offices

Anti-fraud offices

The European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) is the core component of the fight against fraud. OLAF is part of the European Commission and conducts fraud investigations in all European Union (EU) countries and within the European institutions themselves. It can also conduct investigations in non-EU countries with which it has agreements.

  • European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)
  • European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC)
  • Advisory Committee for the Coordination of Fraud Prevention (COCOLAF)
  • The Court of Auditors of the European Union

Swine vesicular disease and other animal diseases

Swine vesicular disease and other animal diseases

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Swine vesicular disease and other animal diseases

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Animal health

Swine vesicular disease and other animal diseases

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/119/EEC of 17 December 1992 introducing general Community measures for the control of certain animal diseases and specific measures relating to swine vesicular disease [See amending act(s)].

Summary

Member States must notify the competent authority responsible for carrying out veterinary checks of all cases of diseases covered by this Directive without delay.

Animal diseases

The Directive stipulates measures applicable in the event of an outbreak of one of the following diseases:

  • rinderpest;
  • peste des petits ruminants;
  • swine vesicular disease;
  • bluetongue;
  • epizootic haemorrhagic disease of deer;
  • sheep pox and goat pox;
  • vesicular stomatitis;
  • African swine fever;
  • lumpy skin disease; and
  • Rift valley fever.

Diagnosis

If it is suspected that animals are infected with one of the abovementioned diseases, the official veterinarian is to verify the presence of that disease at the holding. For this purpose, he is to implement investigative measures which include taking samples for laboratories.

The holding concerned, as well as the other holdings which may have caused the disease, are to be placed under official surveillance. The competent authority is to order a number of measures to be taken, including the census and isolation of all the categories of animals of species susceptible to the disease.

The diagnostic process and the use of reagents are to be coordinated by national laboratories, designated by the Member States for each disease. These laboratories are to work in cooperation with the Community reference laboratories.

As soon as the presence of the disease at the holding is confirmed, the competent authority is to apply measures which concern:

  • slaughter of all the animals of species susceptible to the disease;
  • treatment of materials which may be contaminated;
  • cleaning of buildings used for housing animals;
  • wild animals which may be infected.

Derogations may be granted for healthy production units.

Furthermore, the competent authority is to establish, around the infected holding, a protection zone based on a minimum radius of 3 km and a surveillance zone based on a minimum radius of 10 km. Specific measures are to be applied to the animals and holdings situated in these zones within a certain period equal at least to that of the incubation of the disease in question. The residents of these zones are to be informed of the measures taken.

Prevention

The Commission may decide that vaccination is to integrate the preventive measures, though it remains an exception. In this case, the vaccinated animals must be identified by a visible mark and may not leave the vaccination area.

A national contingency plan is to set out, for all the Member States, the measures to be taken in the event of an outbreak of one of the diseases covered by this Directive. These plans are approved by the Commission and may be amended in the light of circumstances.

Committee procedure

The Commission is to be assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 92/119/EEC

4.4.1993

1.10.1993

OJ L 62, 15.3.1993

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2002/60/EC

9.8.2002

30.6.2003

OJ L 192, 20.7.2002

Act of Accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden

1.1.1995

OJ C 241, 29.8.1994

Act concerning the conditions of accession of the Czech Republic, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Cyprus, the Republic of Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Republic of Hungary, the Republic of Malta, the Republic of Poland, the Republic of Slovenia and the Slovak Republic

1.5.2004

OJ L 236, 23.9.2003

Regulation (EC) No 806/2003

5.6.2003

OJ L 122, 16.5.2003

Decision 2008/73/EC

3.9.2008

1.1.2010

OJ L 219, 14.8. 2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 92/119/EEC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Council Directive 2002/60/EC of 27 June 2002 laying down specific provisions for the control of African swine fever and amending Directive 92/119/EEC as regards Teschen disease and African swine fever [Official Journal L 192 of 20.7.2002].

Council Directive 2000/75/EC of 20 November 2000 laying down specific provisions for the control and eradication of bluetongue [Official Journal L 327 of 22.12.2000].
This Directive describes, for this disease, the implementation of such measures as official means of investigation, vaccination, an epidemiological enquiry and demarcation of protection and surveillance zones.

Commission Decision 2000/428/EC of 4 July 2000 establishing diagnostic procedures, sampling methods and criteria for the evaluation of the results of laboratory tests for the confirmation and differential diagnosis of swine vesicular disease [Official Journal L 167 of 7.7.2000].
This Decision contains, in its Annex, a detailed manual which describes the procedures to be followed for correct diagnosis of swine vesicular disease. They include procedures for sampling and evaluation of virological results.

Air pollution

Air pollution

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Air pollution

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Environment > Air pollution

Air pollution

Apart from fighting the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, a key objective of environmental legislation is to improve the quality of our air, the pollution of which has repercussions in particular on people’s health and, in the form of phenomena such as acidification and eutrophication, on the environment. European policies are targeting the various types – and sources – of pollutant. Also, in 2005 the Commission proposed a thematic strategy for reducing the number of deaths linked to air pollution by 40% (of 2000 levels) by 2020.

AIR QUALITY

  • Pure air for Europe
  • Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution

ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION

  • National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants
  • Substances affecting the ozone layer
  • Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
  • Protocol on Heavy Metals
  • Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
  • Recovery of petrol vapours during storage
  • Petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of vehicles

LAND MOTOR VEHICLES

All motor vehicles

  • Emissions from heavy duty vehicles (Euro VI): certification rules
  • “Green” vehicles: a European strategy
  • Reduction of pollutant emissions from light vehicles
  • Quality of petrol and diesel fuels: sulphur and lead
  • EU strategy for biofuels

Road vehicles

  • Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from light commercial vehicles
  • Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars
  • Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles
  • Passenger car related taxes
  • Information on the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars
  • Emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles

Off road vehicles

  • Non-road mobile machinery: gaseous pollutants
  • Pollutant gases of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors

OTHER VEHICLES

  • Aviation and climate change
  • Clean Sky
  • Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships

INDUSTRY

  • Industrial emissions
  • Integrated pollution prevention and control (until 2013)
  • Pollutants from large combustion plants
  • Reducing the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Nuclear safety in the Newly Independent States and Central and Eastern Europe

Nuclear safety in the Newly Independent States and Central and Eastern Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Nuclear safety in the Newly Independent States and Central and Eastern Europe

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007

Nuclear safety in the Newly Independent States and Central and Eastern Europe

This Communication evaluates the Commission’s contribution towards the improvement of nuclear safety in the Newly Independent States (NIS) and in Central and Eastern Europe and to present proposals for future Community action.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 6 September 2000. Commission support to nuclear safety in the Newly Independent States and in Central and Eastern Europe.

Summary

Context

1. The Commission adopted a communication in March 1998 setting out the actions taken by the Community in the area of nuclear safety in Central and Eastern Europe and in the Newly Independent States (NIS). The communication contained proposals for future orientation. The present communication aims to provide an update on developments in this sector since 1998 and to present the Commission’s current approach to this subject.

2. The Commission’s Approach

The Commission’s approach is based on two main objectives which are fully in line with the policy of the international community:

  • In the short term, to improve operational safety; to make technical improvements to plants based on safety assessments and to enhance regulatory regimes ;
  • In the long term, to examine the scope for replacing less safe plants by the development of alternative energy sources and more efficient use of energy and to examine the potential for upgrading plants of more recent design.

3. The Implementation of the existing strategy

Generally, the Commission works to promote policy dialogue, to provide technical and financial assistance and to ensure a high level of human health protection in the Member States and neighbouring countries.

The instruments used include:

  • The Financial Framework:

* The Phare (for Central and Eastern Europe) and Tacis (for the NIS) Community programmes to provide technical assistance as well as a number of other programmes;

* Euratom loans;

* On an international level, the EU contribution to the Nuclear Safety Account administered by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD);

* Pre-accession funds to support nuclear safety in the candidate countries. Priority is given to this as part of EU enlargement.

  • The Political Framework:

* In 1992, committees and working parties were set up, bringing together nuclear regulators from the EU, the NIS and countries in Central and Eastern Europe, notably the CONCERT group and the Nuclear Regulators Working Group (NRWG);

*The European Nuclear Installations Safety Group (ENIS) was formed bringing together nuclear regulators and operators from the Member States and candidate countries.

4. Progress to date: In summary, the progress made in nuclear safety in these countries is as follows:

  • Agreement to close non-upgradable units in Lithuania, Slovakia and Bulgaria. The Commission is now working closely with each government to ensure the implementation of the agreed closure commitments and has established three national PHARE programmes.
  • A major contribution to dealing with the problems at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant and the decision to shut it down on 15 December 2000;
  • Continuous on-site assistance in 14 NIS and in Bulgaria ;
  • Independent regulatory authorities have been strengthened through EU technical and financial assistance, notably through the CONCERT and NRWG group;
  • Increased nuclear safety levels in the nuclear power plants under construction in Slovakia, the Ukraine and in Russia through Phare and Tacis (linked with possible Euratom loans);
  • Improved operating practices thanks to the provision of equipment;
  • Attention has been focused on teh problem of waste management and environmental hazards in Central and Eastern Europe. The situation is being comprehensively documented and imported;
  • The profile of the issues related to the decommissioning of nuclear facilities has been raised to take account of other factors, such as technical, legal or environmental issues;
  • The opening of the Russian Methodological and Training Centre (RMTC) was an important factor in the establishment of a State System for Nuclear Material Accounting and Control in Russia.

Furthermore, the EU has provided support for the development and improvement of energy strategies,including the development of alternative energy sources and improving energy efficiency.

In 1992, the Community helped to create the International Centre for Science and Technology (ISTC) in Moscow, which also operates in other NIS countries to redirect the talents of nuclear weapons experts following the fall of the Soviet empire

5. Budget allocated

Over the period 1991-1992, the EU committed a total of EUR 913 million to efforts in this sector. EUR 192 million in Phare and EUR 721 million in Tacis, including a EUR 100 million contribution to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund.

A total of 950 projects have been financed, 300 under Phare and 650 under Tacis. 450 projects are ongoing and another 200 are being prepared. The financial support likely to be provided by the EU is limited compared with needs.

6. Analysis and future prospects: candidate countries

Nuclear energy generation will continue to play an important part in the overall energy mix in at least six of the candidate countries in the foreseeable future. Seven of the thirteen candidate countries have nuclear power plants either in operation or under construction. Three of the candidate countries, Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia, have undertaken to decommission nuclear power units which were considered not to be upgradable at a reasonable cost. The Commission is therefore involved in the implementation of closure commitments on the one hand and in nuclear safety issues such as the modernisation of existing plants on the other.

The Commission has begun to provide financial support for the closure of units in Bulgaria, Lithuania and Slovakia. The closure will take place in stages. In Bulgaria, Kozloduy units 1 and 2 will be closed before 2003. The decision on closure dates for units 3 and 4 will be taken in 2002 in agreement with the Commission. In Lithuania, Ignalina unit 1 will be closed before 2005 and the decision on closure dates for units 3 and 4 will be taken in 2004. The Commission understands that closure will take place by 2009 at the latest. The two Bohunice VI units in Slovakia will be shut down in 2006 and 2008 respectively.

The Commission estimates that the total support will amount to EUR 150 million for Slovakia and EUR 165 million for Lithuania by the end of the present 2000-2006 Financial Perspective. The Commission has proposed a multi-annual assistance package of EUR 200 million for the period up to 2006. The delivery of half of this amount will depend on the confirmation in 2002 on the Understanding on definitive closure dates for Kozloduy units 3 and 4. This support will come under Phare via EBRD-managed international grant funds established on 12 June 2000 to aid the decommissioning of these three stations. It is essential that high safety levels are maintained during the transition period. With regard to other nuclear safety questions, some of the nuclear reactors are either of Soviet or Western design and can be upgraded to acceptable safety levels. These consist of the Kozloduy units 5 and 6 in Bulgaria, the Cernavoda units 1 (operating) and 2 (under construction) in Romania, two of the units in Bohunice and two others in Mochovce in Slovakia, the Krsko station in Slovenia (jointly owned by Slovenia and Croatia), 4 units in Paks in Hungary, 4 units in Dukovany and one in Temelin in the Czech Republic.

The Commission will develop, together with the candidate countries concerned, define other measures that will have to be taken before further assistance is given:

  • Support for nuclear regulators through the “Regulatory Assistance Management Group” (RAM-G) and Technical Support Organisation Group (TSOG);
  • Short term urgent safety improvements to the reactors that will have to be closed down. These concern the need to maintain safety levels in Iglnalina unit 2 and Kozloduy units 3 and 4 in particular, whilst awaiting their closure. No Community assistance will be considered for projects which could contribute to prolonging the operation of these reactors beyond the provisions of the agreed closure commitments.
  • In specific cases, support for the safety enhancing programmes of VVER 440-213 and VVER 1000 reactors, in the form of regulatory review, project management and operational assistance
  • Co-operation on research under the fifth framework programme ;
  • Off-site emergency preparedness, with regard to public health surveillance in particular ;
  • Strengthening of the regulatory and institutional infrastructure with regard to radioactive waste and spent fuel ;
  • Safeguards projects aimed at preventing illicit trafficking.

7. Analysis and future prospects: the Newly Independent States (NIS)

It has been difficult to agree to a general approach to safety issues with some of these countries, mainly due to the fact that both the Community budget and that of the candidate countries available for nuclear safety projects is very small in relation to needs. There are also differences between the different countries: geographical, industrial or even willingness to engage in this debate, amongst others. Future policy of the Commission has to bear these factors in mind. The levels of nuclear safety in these countries are still a cause for concern.

The Tacis programme, which covers the period 2000-2006, sets out three priorities for the nuclear safety programme in the NIS:

  • The promotion of an effective nuclear safety culture;
  • The development and implementation of strategies for dealing with spent fuel, decommissioning and managing nuclear waste;
  • Contribution to international initiatives such as the G7/EU initiative on the closure of Chernobyl.

The programme provides for support in the application of efficient safeguards systems.

Future EU assistance should aim to:

  • Strengthen the role of the national nuclear safety authorities to encourage improved licensing procedures and to ensure regulatory involvement in all relevant nuclear activities;
  • For on-site assistance, linking NIS nuclear power plants with EU operators;
  • Promote some projects in support of nuclear safety;
  • Support regulatory type work, in particular, safety analyses which are compatible with the remaining lifetime of the reactors;
  • Improve spent fuel and radioactive waste management and encourage the timely preparation of decommissioning;
  • Help to improve the corporate structures of nuclear utilities and industrial nuclear operators in order to bring about a financially sound electricity and nuclear sector;
  • Provide Euratom loans in order to improve nuclear safety, especially reactors;
  • Promote and develop safeguards projects with three major objectives: training of inspectors and plant operators, accountability of nuclear material and implementation of measures at plant level to prevent illicit trafficking.

All measures taken will be subject to technical control and will be technically monitored by the Commission.

8. National aspects of the NIS

Armenia
The Armenian government has agreed to close its plant in 2004 provided that a secure energy alternative is available. The Commission is working with the Armenians with regard to its closure, alternative sources of supply and on-site assistance at the Medzamor nuclear power plant.

Kazakhstan
T
he Aktau nuclear power plant has benefited from on-site assistance since 1994. Moreover, a rather unique case in the NIS, the government decided to decommission the plant in 1999. For the time being, assistance is limited to preparing for decommissioning.

Russian Federation
Russia is the only state of the former Soviet Union involved in all aspects of nuclear power and is therefore of particular importance. Nuclear energy is an important source of electricity and the civil nuclear industry is also a major source of employment. Russia clearly wishes nuclear energy to continue to be predominant in its overall energy mix. It continues to build new reactors and has a policy of prolonging of the life-span of its reactors.

The EU and Russia have co-operated in a number of projects under Tacis. However, unlike the case with other countries, EU financial aid is not vital, even if it is considered as a welcome addition to national funding.

There are fundamental differences between the EU and Russian in their approaches to nuclear safety. This is especially clear from Russia’s persistent breaches of its agreement on nuclear safety with the EBRD.

Russia has a policy of extending the life of its first-generation reactors to exceed the nominal lifetime of 30 years. The Commission does not advocate such a policy.

Nevertheless, the Commission does wish to promote increased co-operation with Russia in this field, whilst respecting its national policy. Some of the specific co-operative aspects envisaged by the Commission are: Euratom loan financing, co-operation on nuclear safeguards, co-operation between nuclear regulatory authorities and in radioactive waste management in northwestern Russia, etc.

Ukraine

The Ukraine recieved a grant of EUR 100 million under the Tacis nuclear safety programme 1994-1996. The Commission focused on the following priorities during this period: the establishment of a decommissioning plan for the Chernobyl reactors, support for energy sector reform and for the preparation of the major power replacement project, to ensure that the two new reactors to be built are in accordance with international safety standards.

The Shelter Implementation Plan (SIP) is now being implemented at present under a special fund managed by the EBRD to which Tacis contributed EUR 90.4 million over 1998-1999.

Future strategies include the continuation of assistance to Chernobyl, nuclear safety awareness, encouragement to press ahead with energy sector reform and continued co-operation on the completion of new reactors.

9. Analysis and future prospects: Implementation

During implementation, particularly where tenders are concerned, the Commission must take the specific nature of the nuclear sector into account, namely the absence of competition and the necessity to work with public bodies.

Delays in project implementation are significant. The Commission aims to resolve this problem by clarifying the rules and contract types for each area and by adapting contracts in accordance with the complexity and specificity of this sector. Nuclear safety staff within the Commission have been reorganised to improve efficiency and the Commission has proposed that, from 2001 onwards, there should be a single budget heading for financial assistance to nuclear safety in the NIS.

10. Conclusions

Since 1991, the Commission has made an important contribution towards improving nuclear safety in these countries. However, much remains to be done and the Commission must see to it that nuclear safety remains a high priority in these countries. The Commission must also continue to contribute to building an economic and legal environment to ensure that the necessary work can be completed.

White Paper on Youth

White Paper on Youth

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on Youth

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Youth

White Paper on Youth

Document or Iniciative

European Commission white paper of 21 November 2001 – A new impetus for European youth [COM(2001) 681 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In recent years, Europe has experienced economic and socio-cultural changes that have significantly affected its youth. Hoping to meet the expectations of young people by giving them the means to express their ideas and to make a greater contribution to society, the Commission adopted this White Paper following wide-spread consultations with all relevant stakeholders at both national and European level, including young people themselves.

The White Paper on Youth is also intended as a response to young people’s strong disaffection with the traditional forms of participation in public life. Following the example of the White Paper on Governance, it calls on young Europeans to become active citizens.

In order to help European Union (EU) countries and regions to take action for young people in Europe, the White Paper proposes a new framework for cooperation consisting of two components: increasing cooperation between EU countries and taking greater account of the youth factor in sectoral policies.

Increasing cooperation between EU countries

The “open method of coordination” encourages cooperation between EU countries and takes advantage of best practice developed throughout Europe. It involves setting guidelines for the EU, together with timetables for meeting the short, medium and long-term objectives set by EU countries. It also provides for monitoring mechanisms. In this connection, the White Paper proposes appointing a national coordinator as Commission representative for youth-related issues.

The priority areas for this method of work are as follows:

  • introducing new ways of enabling young people to participate in public life. The Commission proposes giving general currency to regional and national youth councils and overhauling the European Youth Forum in order to make it more representative. In 2003 and 2004, the Commission will also launch pilot projects with a view to encouraging participation among young people;
  • improving information on European issues. To this end, the Commission proposes setting up an Internet portal and forum to allow young people to obtain information and express their opinions;
  • encouraging voluntary service. As an educational experience and a way of integrating young people into society, voluntary service plays an important role both at European level, within the European Voluntary Service (the EVS is part of the Youth in Action programme), and at national, regional and local levels, for which EU countries need to make a greater effort to eliminate the remaining obstacles to mobility;
  • increasing knowledge of youth-related issues. This involves, inter alia, networking existing research work and structures at European level.

Incorporating the youth factor into sectoral policies

The White Paper calls for EU and national policies to take greater account of the needs of young people. The policies most concerned are employment and social integration, the fight against racism and xenophobia, education, lifelong learning and mobility. The complex question of young people’s autonomy is also included in the future work programme.

Background

On the basis of Article 149 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), various European level actions related to young people have been developed in recent years in the fields of education, employment, vocational training and information technologies. EU countries have also begun to cooperate on issues related to youth exchanges and mobility.

All of these specific actions have received constant support from the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, either when the programmes were being adopted or in the form of resolutions relating inter alia to the participation of young people or their social inclusion and, later, to young people’s sense of initiative. The Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee have regularly issued positive and encouraging opinions on various aspects of youth. However, greater use needed to be made of this body of information, and this still modest cooperation needed to be consolidated for and with young people themselves.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 22 October 2004 – Follow-up to the White Paper on a New Impetus for European Youth: evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field [COM(2004) 694 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission takes stock of the progress made since the publication of the White Paper, in terms of the mandate expressly conferred upon it by the Council and the undertakings made with regard to all those involved in the process. The Commission’s undertakings have all been fulfilled, and the widespread mobilisation of young people, youth organisations, public authorities, ministers and European institutions has been achieved.
To prevent any loss of the new impetus imparted by the White Paper, the Commission feels that the Council should take account of the following aspects:

  • the priorities of the European cooperation framework must be discussed;
  • the balance between the flexibility and effectiveness of the open method of coordination in the youth field must be reassessed;
  • the open method of coordination must lead to effective action at national level in order to guarantee young people’s support for and commitment to the process;
  • young people should be consulted regularly, in a structured and effective way, at both national and European levels.

Priorities for vocational education and training

Priorities for vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Priorities for vocational education and training

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Priorities for vocational education and training (2011-2020)

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on the priorities for enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training for the period 2011-2020 [OJ C 324 of 1.12.2010].

Summary

The Council sets the priorities of the Copenhagen process for the period 2011-2020. The Copenhagen process aims to improve the quality and attractiveness of Vocational Education and Training (VET) by strengthening cooperation at European level.

These updated objectives will help to achieve the priorities and initiatives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. VET is crucial in achieving two of the strategy’s objectives: by 2020, to increase the percentage of 30-34 year olds graduating from tertiary education to at least 40 %, and to reduce the proportion of early school leavers to below 10 %.

A global vision

The Council estimates that, to be completely effective, VET policies must opt for a global approach taking into account social and employment policies.

By 2020, VET systems should be more attractive and accessible to all, providing quality education with high labour market relevance. They must be flexible enough to allow permeability between the different education systems (school education, higher education, etc.). Continuing VET must be easily accessible and more career-oriented. Options for undertaking part of one’s vocational education or training abroad must be increased.

2011-2020 objectives

Several strategic objectives to be achieved by 2020 are defined. Each of them is accompanied by short-term deliverables (2011-2014) to be pursued at national level, together with details of the support provided by the European Union (EU) to achieve them. Six strategic objectives have been identified, namely:

  • making initial VET an attractive learning option. In the short term, national authorities are requested to promote the attractiveness of VET, but also to support activities which enable students to become acquainted with the different vocational trades and career possibilities available.
  • fostering the excellence, quality and relevance of VET to the labour market. Between 2011 and 2014, progress must be made in establishing national quality assurance frameworks. Cooperation between VET institutions and enterprises must also be strengthened, particularly by organising traineeships for teachers in enterprises. VET institutions should receive feedback on the employability of their graduates.
  • enabling flexible access to training and qualifications. At national level and in the short term, it will be necessary to review the use of incentives for participating in VET and the rights and obligations of the stakeholders involved. National authorities should also take appropriate measures to encourage participation in continuing VET. Referencing between the levels of the European Qualifications Framework and those of the national frameworks should be established by 2012.
  • encouraging international mobility in VET. To do so, Member States should specifically encourage students and professionals to participate in a mobility programme, and also encourage local and regional authorities and VET institutions to develop internationalisation strategies. Language learning should be integrated into curricula.
  • promoting innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship, and the use of new technologies. At national level, partnerships between VET institutions, higher education establishments, and design, art, research and innovation centres should be encouraged. VET institutions should be provided with the necessary equipment in terms of new technologies. Promoting practical experience should also encourage entrepreneurship.
  • making VET accessible to all, in particular by improving its contribution to tackling early school leaving. The participation of low-skilled and other ‘at risk’ groups should be encouraged through the use of appropriate guidance and support services, new technologies, and existing monitoring systems.

The Council also defines four transversal objectives:

  • increasing the involvement of VET stakeholders and making the results obtained through European cooperation better known;
  • coordinating the governance of European and national instruments in the areas of transparency, recognition, quality assurance and mobility;
  • intensifying cooperation between VET policy and other relevant policy areas;
  • improving the quality and comparability of data for EU policy-making in VET;
  • making good use of EU support.

Context

The objectives defined in the conclusions have been endorsed by the Bruges Communiquéof 7 December 2010 adopted by the Education Ministers of thirty-three European countries, social partners and the European Commission. This Communiqué constitutes the last update of the Copenhagen process.

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.

Animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption

Animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

Animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2002/99/EC of 12 December 2002 laying down the animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption.

Summary

This Directive harmonises and strengthens veterinary public health requirements scattered throughout the legislation. It makes for stricter application of animal health rules and a broader scope.

The Directive thus covers all production stages of a product of animal origin: primary production, processing, transport, storage and sale. It also applies to live animals intended for human consumption. It lays down animal health conditions applicable to all these stages.

General animal health requirements

The Directive makes the Member States responsible for measures needed to eradicate the transmission of animal diseases and lays down the conditions to be met for products of animal origin, banning those from areas or territories subject to animal health restrictions. In the latter case, the Directive stipulates the conditions for possible derogations.

Veterinary certificates and checks

The Directive specifies when Member States must require veterinary certificates, together with detailed rules for their application.

However, pending the adoption of the whole “hygiene package”, the Member States are responsible for official veterinary controls and measures applicable where infringements of the animal health rules are found.

Imports from non-EU countries

The competent authorities of the Member States must take the necessary measures to ensure that imported products of animal origin comply with the requirements applicable to Community products.

The Directive makes provision for the creation and updating of lists of non-EU countries or regions of non-EU countries from which imports are authorised. It lays down the conditions a country needs to meet to be included in these lists. Among other requirements, the Directive requires non-EU countries and regions to undergo a compulsory Community audit and obtain a veterinary certificate in accordance with the specific procedure set out in the Directive.

The Community inspections and/or audits can be carried out throughout the food chain in the non-EU countries included in the lists.

Revision clause

The Directive contains a revision clause with a view to amending the Annexes, where the following are specified: animal diseases covered (Annex I), description of the compulsory elements, which should include special identification markings for meat from a territory subject to animal health restrictions (Annex II), and general principles of certification (Annex IV).

Background

In January 2000, the Commission presented a complete recast of legislation dealing with food hygiene and veterinary aspects “hygiene package”. This reorganisation comprises five acts on the following subjects:

  • food hygiene;
  • specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin;
  • official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption,
  • animal health rules governing the production, placing on the market and import of products of animal origin for human consumption (the subject of this factsheet);
  • official food and feed controls.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2002/99/EC 01.01.2005 31.12.2004 OJ L 18 of 23.01.2003