Author Archives: Emma Stahl

Risk and crisis management in agriculture

Risk and crisis management in agriculture

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Risk and crisis management in agriculture

Topics

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

Agriculture > General framework

Risk and crisis management in agriculture

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 9 March 2005 on risk and crisis management in agriculture [COM(2005) 74 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In this communication, the Commission proposes the introduction of measures to help farmers to manage risk and improve their response to crises. It is proposing three categories of new measures.

New options for risk and crisis management tools

Risk * (resulting in a negative outcome) and crises * may have serious economic consequences for businesses, affecting their income. Most of the instruments devised to provide assistance to cope with unforeseeable events rely on ad hoc measures.

The Commission has examined a number of instruments to accompany or partially replace the existing ad hoc emergency measures. The three options proposed by the Commission are as follows:

  • insurance against natural disasters: this would involve the provision of a financial contribution towards the premiums paid by farmers for insurance against income loss as a result of natural disaster, bad weather or disease. This measure would encourage insurance in the sector, which up to now has been underdeveloped as a result of the systemic nature of the risks involved. Reinsurance schemes are also considered;
  • supporting mutual funds: mutual funds are a means of sharing risk among groups of producers, enabling farmers to be compensated in the event of loss. In the past, funds have usually been set up on the initiative of producer groups in the same sector. The Commission is proposing that the setting up of mutual funds in the agricultural sector be encouraged by granting temporary degressive aid for their administration;
  • providing basic coverage against income crises: new instruments could be created to provide basic coverage in the event of liquidity problems or serious loss of income. The reasoning is that, while rural development programmes will be available to support major investment in restructuring and provide aid for structural adjustments, they could prove insufficient.

Training measures could be introduced under the rural development programmes to help improve awareness of current risks and improve risk management strategies.

Safety net in the event of market crisis

The instruments used to influence the market and price situation and address possible crises vary between market organisations. Following the CAP reform, safety net provisions in the event of crisis remain available in several sectors covered by the reform. For other sectors, there is currently no justification for the introduction of an additional general safety net provision. The Commission therefore rules out the introduction of a safety net clause for each common market organisation.

Financing risk and crisis management measures

The Commission proposes that these additional risk and crisis management measures should be funded under the rural development programmes (under the competitiveness priority) out of one percentage point of modulation *. Using modulation would not require additional Community expenditure and would make it possible for the Member States to use a limited amount of rural development funds for these purposes. For the new Member States, in which modulation does not apply, a method enabling those so wishing to allocate funds to these measures will have to be examined.

The use of state aid or top-ups for this type of measure would be subject to the relevant Community competition rules.

Background

An initial analysis of risk management tools was presented by the Commission in January 2001. The conclusions of the Luxembourg Council (June 2003) on the reform of the CAP include a statement by the Commission on this matter, announcing that it would examine specific measures to address risks and crises by the end of 2004.

Key terms used in the act
  • Single payment scheme: the single payment is an annual income payment to farmers calculated on the basis of the aid received over the 2000-02 reference period. The main aim of this payment is to ensure greater income stability for farmers. Farmers are free to decide what they want to produce in response to demand without losing their entitlement to support.
  • Modulation: a mechanism to progressively reduce direct payments to farmers and transfer the funds thus released to the rural development sector.
  • Risk: implies a situation that could have a variety of outcomes, for each of which the probability can be estimated.
  • Crisis: an unforeseen situation that endangers the viability of agricultural holdings, either at local level or across a whole sector of production.

Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013

Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013

Topics

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

Audiovisual and media

Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1041/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing an audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries (MEDIA Mundus).

Summary

This Decision aims at establishing the programme MEDIA Mundus for the funding of projects for international cooperation with professionals from third countries in the audiovisual sector during the period 2011-2013.

Scope

The programme is intended for professionals worldwide. However, the project coordinator must be resident in one of the following countries:

  • Member States;
  • EFTA States that are members of the EEA;
  • countries which declare a willingness to be members of the programme and pay a contribution calculated on the same basis as their contribution to the MEDIA 2007 programme.

What are the conditions for participation in the programme?

Projects proposed must fulfil the following conditions:

  • be carried out jointly by European and third-country professionals;
  • have a minimum of three partners with a view to creating an international network;
  • be coordinated by a European professional and include at least one partner from a third country.

What are the objectives of the programme?

The programme aims to increase the diversity and competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry and to promote Europe’s role in culture.

Information exchange, training and market intelligence

Under the programme, European and third-country professionals meet in order to enhance their understanding of their respective audiovisual markets, particularly in terms of operating conditions, legal frameworks, financing systems and possibilities for cooperation.

It involves establishing professional training on:

  • the conditions of production, co-production, distribution and the exhibition and dissemination of audiovisual works internationally;
  • the inclusion of new technologies throughout the value chain (production, post-production, distribution, marketing and archiving).

Competitiveness and distribution

The introduction of the programme should facilitate the search for foreign partners for European audiovisual works, whilst supporting the organisation of co-production markets.

Moreover, the programme should promote international sales of audiovisual works.

Distribution

At this level, the programme should:

  • improve the programming and exhibition conditions of audiovisual works in European and third-country cinemas;
  • improve broadcasting and distribution conditions for third countries’ audiovisual works on European distribution channels and European works on international distribution channels;
  • facilitate the organisation of events and initiatives, in particular aimed at young audiences.

What is the programme budget?

The financial allocation for implementing the programme throughout the 2011-2013 period is EUR 15 million (of which 13.5 million is dedicated to supporting projects).

Context

Prompted by the effects of the digital revolution on the conditions of production and dissemination of works, the audiovisual sector has changed significantly over the last 20 years, in particular from a technical standpoint. Furthermore, its international role is increasing with regard to the protection of cultural diversity. In this context, the public consultation on MEDIA Mundus demonstrated a willingness among European professionals and their third-country counterparts to cooperate so as to better promote the circulation of audiovisual works and film literacy.

References

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

Decision No 1041/2009/EC

24.11.2009

OJ L 288 of 4.11.2009

Related Acts

Council Decision 2010/478/EU of 26 July 2010 concerning the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation in the audiovisual field, establishing the terms and conditions for the participation of the Swiss Confederation in the Community programme MEDIA 2007, and a Final Act [OJ L 234, 4.9.2010].

The protection of pigs

The protection of pigs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The protection of pigs

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal welfare

The protection of pigs

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/120/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of pigs.

Summary

This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of pigs. The text provides a framework in particular for painful operations: castration, caudal amputation, the elimination of corner teeth, etc.

Scope

Minimum standards apply to all categories of pigs kept for rearing and fattening: piglets (from birth to weaning), weaned piglets (from weaning to 10 weeks old), fatteners (more than 10 weeks old), sows and gilts *, boars *, etc.

These animals are, apart from some exceptions (farrowing sows, boar), to be raised in groups. Farmers must implement measures aimed at fulfilling basic needs and preventing aggression within the group. In particular, pigs must have permanent access to a sufficient quantity of enrichment material in order to enable proper investigation and manipulation activities.

Sows and gilts

Pregnant sows and gilts must, if necessary, be treated against external and internal parasites. Tethering sows and gilts has been prohibited since 1 January 2006.

One week before farrowing, sows and gilts can be isolated. An unobstructed area must be available for natural or assisted farrowing. Boxes must be equipped with piglet protection systems.

Piglets (unweaned)

No piglets shall be weaned from the sow at less than 28 days of age unless the welfare or health of the dam or the piglet would otherwise be adversely affected.

Weaned piglets and rearing pigs

Measures shall be taken to ensure that the animals do not fight. Pigs are to be kept in groups and must not be mixed (except if necessary before weaning or during the week following weaning). Aggressive animals are to be kept away from the group (as are injured animals). Tranquilising medicaments are only to be used to facilitate mixing in exceptional conditions and after consultation with a veterinarian.

Painful operations on animals

A veterinarian or “carer”, trained in aspects relating to animal welfare is authorised to carry out the following:

  • reduction of piglets’ corner teeth,
  • docking of tails (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • castration of males (before the seventh day of life or after this age if carried out by a veterinarian and under anaesthesia and with additional prolonged analgesia),
  • nose-ringing in outdoor husbandry systems.

Neither tail-docking nor reduction of corner teeth must be carried out routinely but only where there is evidence that injuries to sows’ teats or to other pigs’ ears or tails have occurred. Before carrying out these procedures, other measures shall be taken to prevent tail-biting and other vices, taking into account environment and stocking densities. For this reason inadequate environmental conditions or management systems must be changed.

Health

Sick or injured pigs are to be placed in individual enclosures.

Feed

The Directive also provides for standards concerning feeding in “sufficient quality” and “permanent” access to drinking water. All pigs must have access to food at the same time as other animals in the group. Animals must be fed at least once a day.

Accommodation

Standards concerning floor area are set according to the weight of the animal: between 0.15 m2 for pigs weighing less than 10 kg and 1 m2 per animal over 110 kg, 1.64 m2 per gilt, 2.25 m2 per sow, 6 m2 for a boar (10 m2 if the boar is used for natural service).

Some accommodation standards will only apply after 1 January 2013 (for buildings constructed before 2003 or after the date of accession to the EU).

Floors must be smooth but not slippery so as to prevent injury to the animals.

The lying area must be comfortable, clean and dry.

Environment

Continuous noise as loud as 85 dB is to be avoided. Light intensity is to be at least 40 lux for eight hours.

Inspections

Member States must carry out inspections each year on a statistically representative sample.

The Commission may send veterinary experts to make on-the-spot checks in the farms with the assistance of national inspectors.

Specific provisions

Member States may apply stricter provisions on their own territory than those laid down in this Directive. In this case, they shall inform the Commission of any such measures beforehand.

Context

This Directive codifies and replaces Directive 91/630/EEC and its subsequent amendments.

Key terms of the Act
  • Gilt: a female pig after puberty and before farrowing.
  • Boar: a male pig after puberty, intended for breeding.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/120/EC

10.3.2009

1.1.2008

OJ L 47 of 18.2.2009

African swine fever

African swine fever

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about African swine fever

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

African swine fever

Document or Iniciative

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 [See amending acts].

Summary

The Directive lays down the minimum control measures where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed.

Any suspected or confirmed case of the disease must be notified to the competent authority. The Member State concerned informs the Commission and the other Member States of cases of swine fever, outbreaks of the disease and the results of epidemiological inquiries.

Suspected cases of African swine fever on a holding

Where a case is suspected, the Member State must immediately open an official investigation to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease. If the presence of African swine fever on a holding cannot be ruled out, the holding must be placed under official surveillance and restrictions must be placed on the movement of pigs, carcasses, and products that might spread the disease, as well as the movement of persons and vehicles to and from the holding.

An epidemiological inquiry must be carried out.

Confirmation of African swine fever on a holding

If the presence of African swine fever is officially confirmed, all the pigs on the holding are to be killed and their carcasses processed. All material (meat, semen, ova) or waste that might be contaminated must be destroyed, processed or treated to ensure destruction of the virus.

In the case of holdings consisting of two or more separate production units, derogations may be granted for healthy production units on specific, strict conditions.

In addition, all premises, vehicles and equipment that might be contaminated must be cleaned and disinfected under official supervision.

The competent authority must also establish around the outbreak site:

  • a protection zone with a radius of at least three kilometres, itself included in a
  • surveillance zone of a radius of at least 10 kilometres.

Special security measures must be implemented in these zones, in particular a census of all the holdings, a ban on the movement and transport of pigs and cleansing and disinfection measures. The competent authority may authorise, on strict conditions, the removal of pigs from a holding in the surveillance or protection zones within no less than 30 and 40 days respectively after the completion of the preliminary cleansing and disinfection, and, if necessary, disinsectisation of the infected holding.

Where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed in a slaughterhouse or means of transport

Where there is a suspicion of the disease, it must be officially confirmed or ruled out.

Where the presence of the disease is confirmed, all susceptible pigs must be killed and all material (carcases, offal and waste) from animals that might be contaminated must be processed to ensure that the virus is destroyed.

Cleansing, disinfection and, if necessary, disinsectisation of buildings and equipment, including vehicles, must take place under official supervision.

An epidemiological inquiry is carried out. The measures provided for in suspected cases are carried out on contact holdings *. The measures provided for in confirmed cases are applied on the holding of origin of the infected pigs.

Pigs may not be introduced into a holding, slaughterhouse or vehicle that has been affected by the disease until after a minimum period.

Where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed in feral pigs

Where the disease is suspected in feral pigs, the Member State must take all appropriate measures to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease.

Where African swine fever is confirmed in feral pigs, the competent authority of the Member State concerned must establish an expert group to provide assistance, which then defines the infected area and establishes the measures to be applied.

The Member State must immediately place pig holdings in the defined area under official surveillance and order that an official census be carried out of all categories of pigs on all holdings, all pigs on holdings be kept isolated from feral pigs and no pigs enter or leave holdings, except where authorised.

Within 90 days of confirmation of a case of African swine fever, Member States must submit to the Commission a plan of the measures to be taken to eradicate the disease in the infected area. When they have been approved by the Commission, these measures replace those laid down previously. 18. Every six months, the Member State concerned must send the Commission and the other Member States a report concerning the results of the eradication plan and the epidemiological situation in the defined area.

Diagnostic procedures

A diagnostic manual sets out all obligations, criteria and procedures to be applied to diagnostic tests and clinical examinations. These operations must take place exclusively in approved national laboratories.

Each Member State shall designate a national laboratory and then communicate the contact details for their laboratory to the other Member States and to the public. This laboratory is responsible for coordinating the standards and methods of diagnosis aiming at detecting the presence of African swine fever. All national laboratories shall work in cooperation with the Community Reference Laboratories located in Valdeolmos (Spain).

Vectors and vaccines

To prevent any risk of propagation, investigations and measures to eradicate the vectors of the disease (ticks) must be carried out on holdings on which it is confirmed.

The use of African swine fever vaccines is prohibited in the territory of the European Union.

Contingency plans

Each Member State must draw up a contingency plan specifying the national measures to be implemented in the event of an outbreak of African swine fever. The plan is to be drawn up in accordance with the criteria and requirements set out in the Directive.

Member States must ensure that a fully functional national disease control centre can be immediately set up in the event of any outbreaks of African swine fever.

Context

This Directive fills a gap in the control of the most dangerous animal diseases. It is based on the rules on classical swine fever adopted in 2001.

Key Terms of the Act
  • Contact holding: a holding where African swine fever may have been introduced, whether as a result of the location, movement of persons, pigs or vehicles or in any other way.

References

Act 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 of 20.7.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/73/EC

3.9.2008

1.1.2010

OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/60/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2003/422/CE of 26 May 2003 approving an African swine fever diagnostic manual [notified under number C(2003) 1696] [Official Journal L 143 of 11.6.2003].

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

Application of certain EU competition rules to agricultural products

Application of certain EU competition rules to agricultural products

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Application of certain EU competition rules to agricultural products

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Agriculture > General framework

Application of certain EU competition rules to agricultural products

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1184/2006 of 24 July 2006 applying certain rules of competition to the production of and trade in certain agricultural products [See amending acts].

Summary

This regulation states that, except for certain exceptions detailed below, Articles 101 to 106 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex-Articles 81 to 86 of the Treaty Establishing the European Community (TEC)) apply to all agreements, decisions and practices referred to in Articles 101(1) and 102 TFEU (ex-Article 81(1) and 82 TEC) relating to the production of, or trade in, agricultural products.

There are three exceptions. These general rules do not apply to:

  • agreements, decisions and practices that form an integral part of a national market organisation;
  • agreements, decisions and practices that are necessary in order to attain the objectives of the common agricultural policy (CAP);
  • certain agreements, decisions and practices of farmers or farmers’ associations belonging to a single European Union (EU) country, provided such agreements do not introduce an obligation to charge identical prices, exclude competition or jeopardise the objectives of the CAP.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 1184/2006

24.8.2006

OJ L 214, 24.6.2006

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

Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007

23.11.2007

OJ L 299, 16.11.2007

Regulation (EC) No 361/2008

14.5.2008

OJ L 121, 7.5.2008

Regulation (EC) No 491/2009

24.6.2009

OJ L 154, 17.6.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 1184/2006 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Participation of the Central and Eastern European candidate countries in Community programmes

Participation of the Central and Eastern European candidate countries in Community programmes

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Participation of the Central and Eastern European candidate countries in Community programmes

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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

Participation of the Central and Eastern European candidate countries in Community programmes

1) Objective

To establish the general terms and conditions for the participation of the Central and Eastern European candidate countries in Community programmes.

2) Acts

Decisions of the EU-candidate country Association Councils adopting the terms and conditions for the participation of the candidate countries in Community programmes:

Decision of the EU-Hungary Association Council, 18 December 2001 [Official Journal L 46 of 16.02.2002];

Decision of the EU-Slovenia Association Council, 25 January 2002 [Official Journal L 115 of 01.05.2002];

Decision of the EU-Latvia Association Council, 12 February 2002 [Official Journal L 82 of 26.03.2002];

Decision of the EU-Slovakia Association Council, 18 February 2002 [Official Journal L 82 of 26.03.2002];

Decision of the EU-Romania Association Council, 18 February 2002 [Official Journal L 91 of 06.04.2002];

Decision of the EU-Estonia Association Council, 27 February 2002 [Not published in the Official Journal];

Decision of the EU-Poland Association Council, 28 February 2002 [Official Journal L 91 of 06.04.2002];

Decision of the EU-Czech Republic Association Council, 27 March 2002 [Official Journal L 140 of 30.05.2002];

Decision of the EU-Bulgaria Association Council, 5 June 2002 [Not published in the Official Journal];

Decision of the EU-Lithuania Association Council, 18 June 2002 [Official Journal L 280 of 18.10.2002].

3) Summary

The Luxembourg European Council (December 1997) highlighted participation in Community programmes as a way of intensifying the pre-accession strategy for the candidate countries.

As regards the ten candidate countries of Central and Eastern Europe, namely Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, participation in Community programmes is already provided for in their respective Europe Agreements. These stipulate that the conditions for participation are determined by specific decisions of the respective Association Councils.

The present decisions thus establish the terms and conditions for the participation of these countries in Community programmes.

These countries may participate in all Community programmes that have been or will be open to them.

Their participation in the programmes will be subject to the same conditions, rules and procedures as those applied to the participants from Member States. Representatives of the candidate countries will be able to act as observers at the meetings of the committees for the programmes to which they are making a financial contribution.

The terms and conditions for the participation of the countries in each Community programme, in particular their financial contribution, are determined by the Commission and the competent authorities in each country.

Act Date
of entry into force
Deadline for transposition in the Member States
Decision of the EU-Hungary Association Council 01.01.2002
Decision of the EU-Slovenia Association Council 01.02.2002
Decision of the EU-Latvia Association Council 01.03.2002
Decision of the EU-Slovakia Association Council 01.03.2002
Decision of the EU-Romania Association Council 01.03.2002
Decision of the EU-Estonia Association Council 01.03.2002
Decision of the EU-Poland Association Council 01.03.2002
Decision of the EU-Czech Republic Association Council 01.04.2002
Decision of the EU-Bulgaria Association Council 01.07.2002
Decision of the EU-Lithuania Association Council 01.07.2002

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Exceptional trade measures

Exceptional trade measures

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Exceptional trade measures

Topics

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

Enlargement > The stabilisation and association process: the western balkans

Exceptional trade measures

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1215/2009 of 30 November 2009 introducing exceptional trade measures for countries and territories participating in or linked to the European Union’s Stabilisation and Association process (codified version).

Summary

The Western Balkan countries benefit from exceptional trade measures for their imports into the European Union (EU). These countries and territories are part of the Stabilisation and Association process.

The exceptional trade measures shall apply until 31 December 2010.

Trade preferences

Products originating in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo shall be imported into the European Union without customs duties * or charges having equivalent effect and without quantitative restrictions * or measures having equivalent effect.

In addition, these trade preferences shall apply to certain agricultural products.

Conditions for entitlement

To benefit from the preferential measures, countries and territories must:

  • comply with the definition of originating product provided for in Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93; the products must have been wholly manufactured or have undergone sufficient processing in the country or territory;
  • undertake not to increase the level of taxes or restrictions on products imported from the EU;
  • combat fraud by means of administrative cooperation with the EU.

Beneficiaries should also engage in effective economic reforms and in cooperation with other countries concerned by the Stabilisation and Association process, in particular through the creation of a regional free trade area.

The Commission may suspend the trade preferences in whole or in part if a country fails to comply with its obligations.

Agricultural and fishery products

The customs duties applicable to certain fishery products and certain wines shall be suspended, within the limits defined in Annex I.

The customs duties applicable to imports of veal (baby beef) originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo are defined in Annex II. The volume of the total annual tariff quota * is 11 475 tonnes, distributed as follows:

  • 1 500 tonnes (carcass weight) for products originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • 9 175 tonnes (carcass weight) for products originating in the customs territories of Serbia and Kosovo.

Imports of sugar products originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Kosovo shall be subject to annual tariff quotas:

  • 12 000 tonnes (net weight) for products originating in Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • 180 000 tonnes (net weight) for products originating in the customs territories of Serbia and Kosovo.

Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 establishes procedures for the implementation of tariff quotas in relation to these products.

The Commission may take protective measures if imports of agricultural and fishery products cause serious disturbance to the EU’s internal market.

Keywords
  • Customs duties: a duty which alters the price of an imported product, irrespective of its name or technique, which results in a restriction on the free movement of goods.
  • Quantitative restriction: any trade regulation which may have the effect of limiting imports of goods, in terms of quantity or value (e.g. import quota).
  • Tariff quota: a trade measure which permits the total or partial suspension of the duties normally paid on an imported product, during a period of time or for a limited volume.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 1215/2009

4.1.2010 – 31.12.2010

OJ L 328 of 15.12.2009

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1215/2009 introducing exceptional trade measures for countries and territories participating in or linked to the European Union’s Stabilisation and Association process [COM(2010) 54 final- Not published in the Official Journal].
This Proposal aims to extend the validity of the trade preferences granted to the Western Balkan countries until 2015.
Procedure: 2010/0036/COD

Advisory Committee on Vocational Training

Advisory Committee on Vocational Training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Advisory Committee on Vocational 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

Advisory Committee on Vocational Training

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2004/223/EC of 26 February 2004 laying down the rules of the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training.

Summary

Over the 40 years since its creation, the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training has provided the Commission with opinions on vocational training issues, including Commission communications and other strategic documents, specific undertakings such as the establishment of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, and the preparation, evaluation and optimisation of Community action programmes in the field of vocational training.

Taking account of the social, political and institutional changes which have taken place since the creation of the Advisory Committee on Vocational Training, the new rules adopted require each Member State to provide three members: representing the interests of its government, trade unions and employers’ organisations respectively. These representatives, appointed for a three-year term of office (renewable), meet within the Committee and form three interest groups.

The Committee is chaired by the Director-General in charge of vocational training at the Commission. It meets at least twice a year and delivers reasoned opinions, adopted by an absolute majority of the votes validly cast. The following persons may attend Committee meetings as observers: the Director of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop), the Director of the European Training Foundation (or representatives), and interest group representatives from the member countries of the European Economic Area. The Commission provides secretarial services for the Committee.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/223/EC 6.03.2004 OJ L 68 of 6.03.2004

Building europe through the treaties

Building europe through the treaties

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Building europe through the treaties

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Institutional affairs > Building europe through the treaties

Building europe through the treaties

The signing of the Community Treaties (ECSC in 1951, EEC and Euratom in 1957) marked the starting point for over 50 years of European treaties. The ‘founding’ Treaties establishing the European Communities and the European Union, together with the major amending Treaties, constitute the primary legislation; in other words, they are the supreme law of the Union and of the European Communities.
The Treaties, which are agreed by the Heads of State and Government of the Member States, contain the formal and substantive rules on the basis of which the institutions implement the various policies of the Communities and of the Union. They lay down the formal rules, setting out the division of powers between the Union and the Member States, and conferring powers on the institutions. They also determine the substantive rules defining the scope of policies and the activities of the institutions within each policy area.

  • Introduction
  • The Lisbon Treaty: a comprehensive guide

SUBSEQUENT AMENDMENTS: FROM THE SINGLE ACT TO THE TREATY OF NICE

  • The Single European Act
  • Treaty of Maastricht on European Union
  • The Amsterdam treaty: a comprehensive guide

FROM THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES TO THE EUROPEAN UNION

  • Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, ECSC Treaty
  • Treaty establishing the European Economic Community, EEC Treaty – original text (non-consolidated version)
  • Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom)

Network for the surveillance and control of communicable diseases

Network for the surveillance and control of communicable diseases

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Network for the surveillance and control of communicable diseases

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Network for the surveillance and control of communicable diseases

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 1998 setting up a network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the Community [see amending acts].

Summary

The network for epidemiological surveillance and control concerns the following communicable diseases:

  • diseases preventable by vaccination;
  • sexually transmitted diseases;
  • viral hepatitis;
  • food-borne diseases;
  • water-borne diseases and diseases of environmental origin;
  • nosocomial infections;
  • other diseases transmitted by non-conventional agents;
  • communicable diseases which may lead to emergencies of international concern, as described in Annex 2 of the International Health Regulations;
  • vector-borne diseases;
  • zoonotic diseases;
  • other communicable diseases of public health importance, including deliberately released diseases.

Role of the network

This network * is to be used for:

  • the epidemiological surveillance * of communicable diseases. The epidemiological surveillance network is to be formed by bringing into permanent communication with one another the European Commission and those structures that, at the level of each Member State, are responsible for collecting information on epidemiological surveillance and coordinating control measures. These structures are to be designated by the Member States within six months of the entry into force of this Decision;
  • setting up an early warning and response system for the prevention and control of communicable diseases *, the network being formed by bringing into permanent communication with one another the Commission and the health authorities of each Member State responsible for determining measures that may be necessary for protecting public health.

The Commission will coordinate the network in cooperation with the Member States. It will be assisted by a committee composed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

Measures to be taken

The European Commission determines certain elements which aim at ensuring the effective operation of the network with regard to epidemiological surveillance and to achieving uniform information. These include:

  • the communicable diseases that are to be covered by the Community network and the selection criteria for these diseases;
  • the case definitions, particularly the clinical and microbiological characteristics of the agent responsible;
  • the nature and type of the data and information to be collected and passed on by the national structures;
  • the epidemiological and microbiological surveillance methods;
  • the guidelines on the protective measures to be taken, particularly at external borders, and above all in emergency situations;
  • information guidelines and good practice guides;
  • the technical means and the procedures by which the data will be disseminated and analysed.

Information to be passed on by the national structures

Each national structure and/or authority must communicate to the network and to the Commission:

  • the information and control measures relating to communicable diseases covered by the Decision;
  • any useful information concerning the progression of an epidemic situation or epidemics that are unusual or of unknown origin in the Member State concerned;
  • any information for evaluation that will aid cooperation between Member States for the purpose of preventing and controlling communicable diseases.

Coordination of activities

Using the network, Members States must:

  • consult each other, in conjunction with the Commission, for the purpose of coordinating their activity to prevent and control communicable diseases;
  • notify the other Member States and the Commission in advance when considering the adoption of control measures for communicable diseases;
  • notify the other Member States and the Commission as soon as possible when urgent control measures need to be adopted to deal with emerging or resurgent communicable diseases.
Key terms of the Act
  • Network: the network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases, namely the system for the exchange of information required to carry out the surveillance, prevention and control of communicable diseases.
  • Epidemiological surveillance: the ongoing systematic collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination of health data, including epidemiological studies, concerning the categories of communicable diseases set out in the Annex. Surveillance focuses in particular on the patterns of disease spread over time and space and analysis of the risk factors for contracting such diseases, for the purpose of enabling appropriate preventive measures and counter-measures to be taken.
  • Prevention and control of communicable diseases: the range of measures, including epidemiological investigations, taken by the competent public health authorities in the Member States to prevent and stop the spread of communicable diseases.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 2119/98/EC

3.1.1999

OJ L 268 of 3.10.1998

Amending Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003

20.11.2003

OJ L 284 of 31.10.2003

Regulation (EC) No 596/2009

7.8.2009

OJ L 188 of 18.7.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 1882/2003 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2002/253/EC of 19 March 2002 laying down case definitions for reporting communicable diseases to the Community network under Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 086 of 3.4.2002].

Commission Decision 2000/96/EC of 22 December 1999 on the communicable diseases to be progressively covered by the Community network under Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 28 of 3.2.2000].

The Decision establishes a list of certain communicable diseases requiring epidemiological surveillance within the Community network. In particular it concerns:

  • diseases preventable by vaccination;
  • sexually transmitted diseases;
  • viral hepatitis;
  • food-borne and water-borne diseases and diseases of environmental origin;
  • other diseases such as serious imported diseases (plague, cholera, malaria, etc.).

The list also refers to other specific health problems: nosocomial infections and anti-microbial resistance.

Commission Decision 2000/57/EC of 22 December 1999 on the early warning and response system for the prevention and control of communicable diseases under Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 21 of 26.1.2000].

The Decision sets out procedures for the exchange of information between Member States and the Commission through the network established and describes the operation of the early warning and response system. The following events must be reported:

  • outbreaks of communicable diseases extending to more than one Member State;
  • spatial or temporal clustering of cases of diseases of a similar type, if pathogenic agents are a possible cause and there is a risk of propagation within the Community;
  • similar clustering outside the Community, if there is a risk of propagation to the Community;
  • appearance or resurgence of a communicable disease or infectious agent which may require coordinated Community action.

There are three activation levels: information exchange, potential threat and definite threat.