Author Archives: Geoffrey Brown

Financial perspectives system and the multiannual financial framework

Financial perspectives system and the multiannual financial framework

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Financial perspectives system and the multiannual financial framework

Topics

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

Budget

Financial perspectives system and the multiannual financial framework

 

The political and institutional balance of the Community’s system of finance gradually was marked by ever-increasing strains in the 1980s. The conflict between the two arms of the budgetary authority (the European Parliament and the Council) meant that the annual budgetary procedure became increasingly difficult to administer and resulted in budgetary imbalances and a growing mismatch between Community resources and requirements. This prompted the Community to introduce a system designed to improve the budgetary procedure.

Through an interinstitutional agreement (IIA), the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission agree in advance on the main budgetary priorities for a period covering a number of years. These budgetary priorities establish a framework for Community expenditure (the multiannual financial framework) in the shape of a financial perspective. The system of financial perspectives thus improves the budgetary procedure whilst ensuring budgetary discipline. The multiannual financial framework is not mentioned in the treaties.

Financial perspective and multiannual financial framework: a means of ensuring budgetary discipline

The multiannual financial framework indicates the maximum amount and the composition of foreseeable Community expenditure. The first Interinstitutional Agreement was concluded in 1988 for the application of the 1988-92 financial perspective (Delors I package), which was intended to provide the resources needed for the budgetary implementation of the Single European Act. Since then, the financial perspectives have been updated in 1992 for the period 1993-99 (Delors II package), in 1999 for the period 2000-06 (” Agenda 2000 “) and in 2006 for the period 2007-13.

The purpose of the financial perspective is therefore to strengthen budgetary discipline, to keep the total increase in expenditure under control and to ensure that the procedure runs smoothly. The multiannual financial framework imposes a dual ceiling on expenditure: one for total expenditure and one for each category of expenditure.

Structure of the mutiannual financial framework

For each programming period, the multiannual financial framework determines “ceilings” (the maximum amounts of commitment appropriations and payment appropriations) per “heading” (the categories of expenditure) for each year. The annual budgetary procedure determines the exact level of expenditure and the breakdown between the various budget lines for the year in question.

The expenditure allocated to each heading is based on the Union’s political priorities for the period in question. The structure of the multiannual financial framework for 2007-13 is as follows:

1. Sustainable growth
1 a. Competitiveness for growth and employment
1 b. Cohesion for growth and employment
2. Conservation and management of natural resources (including market expenditure and direct payments)
3. Citizenship, freedom, security and justice
3 a. Freedom, security and justice
3 b. Citizenship
4. EU as a world player
5. Administration
6. Compensation

The ring-fencing of expenditure headings means that a budget line is financed only from a given heading. Each heading should be well enough financed to allow redeployment of expenditure between operations under the same heading where necessary in order to tackle unforeseen issues.

The “margin for unforeseen expenditure” between the own resources ceiling and the ceiling for payment appropriations has a dual role:

  • to allow the multiannual financial framework to be revised if necessary so as to cover any expenditure which is unforeseen when the financial perspective is adopted;
  • to leave a safety margin should economic growth be lower than forecast; should this be the case, actual GNI will be lower than expected and the ceiling for payment appropriations, which is an absolute amount, can be financed from the own resources margin, within the limits of the own resources ceiling expressed as a percentage of GNP.

Link with the own resources system

The overall ceiling for commitment appropriations is obtained by adding together the various ceilings for individual expenditure headings. To check the compatibility of the financial perspective with the ceiling for own resources, which constitutes the absolute limit on the resources that the Member States can make available to the Union, an annual ceiling is also established for payment appropriations. This is an overall ceiling not broken down by expenditure heading. It is also expressed as a percentage of the Community’s estimated gross national product (GNP).

Rules for applying the financial framework

The rules for applying the financial framework are laid down in the Interinstitutional Agreement, which contains the rules and procedures for the annual management of the financial framework (e.g. technical adjustments, adjustments connected with the conditions of implementation or with enlargement of the Union, and revision of the financial perspective). This makes it possible to improve the annual budgetary procedure.

Each year the Commission, under its own responsibility, makes a technical adjustment to the multiannual financial frameworkfor the coming year. This adjustment concerns the following operations:

  • as the multiannual financial framework is drawn up at constant prices, it has to be adjusted each year to take account of inflation so as to ensure that each expenditure heading retains its initial purchasing power. The technical adjustment is generally made at the beginning of year n-2 for a given year n on the basis of the most recent economic data and forecasts available. No subsequent technical adjustment is made for the year in question;
  • the ceiling on own resources is expressed as a percentage of GNI. Translation of this ceiling into an absolute figure means that, for the purposes of the technical adjustment, the calculation has to be based on the most recent data on Community GNI. It is at this point that compatibility between the total payment appropriations and available own resources is verified.

The Commission can also propose changes to the multiannual financial framework to the two arms of the budgetary authority in two cases:

  • re-scheduling of the payment appropriations available for structural operations where delays have been identified in the programming of such operations;
  • re-evaluation of the needs relating to certain headings as a result of the accession of new Member States.

The two arms of the budgetary authority may, following a proposal from the Commission, decide to revise the multiannual financial framework. This will enable the Community, while respecting the own resources ceiling, to take necessary action not foreseen at the time the financial perspective was drawn up.

EU-China relations: a maturing partnership

EU-China relations: a maturing partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU-China relations: a maturing partnership

Topics

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

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

EU-China relations: a maturing partnership

Document or Iniciative

Commission guidance document of September 10 entitled “A maturing partnership – shared interests and challenges in EU-China relations” (updating of Commission communications of 1998 and 2001 on EU-China relations) [COM(2003) 533 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This document, adopted by the Council on 13 October 2003, reviews the achievements of the 2001 strategy towards China, and the 1998 document aimed at establishing a “global partnership” with the country. The Commission believes that the overall objectives are still largely valid, but recognises the need to update the action plan.

The new maturity of this relationship is based on closer coordination. The range of issues has widened, political dialogue has evolved and a number of sectoral agreements have been concluded. In the current climate, there is undeniable interest in acting as strategic partners, given the increasing importance of both actors on the world stage and their converging positions, particularly with regard to the essential role of organisations and multilateral systems.

Charting a course for EU action

The document sets out five priority areas, each accompanied by its context, its implementation since 2001 and the new actions proposed by the EU and China. The first is shared responsibilities in promoting global governance. According to the Commission, China could play a fundamental role in reconciling the interests of developing and developed countries, and in promoting peace and stability in Asia.

With an increasingly active and constructive foreign policy, China has seen how well the measures proposed by the 2001 strategy have progressed. Political dialogue has been strengthened, with priority on human rights and participation in it diversified. Issues concerning Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao have also been addressed, as have disarmament and global environmental issues.

Co-operation on Burma/Myanmar, illegal migration and trafficking in human beings has been stepped up. On the issue of trafficking, the Commission wants to conclude a readmission agreement.

New actions proposed by the Commission in this area include reinforced political dialogue that stresses quality over quantity through the organisation of more frequent consultations, and the coordination of Member States’ policies towards China, putting China on the agenda in the EU’s dialogue with certain third countries.

There are three levels of priorities for political dialogue:

  • bilateral: human rights, finding a solution to the question of Tibet, illegal migration, greater cooperation in areas of justice and home affairs, Hong Kong, Macao and Taiwan;
  • regional: strengthening cooperation on issues of mutual concern in the region as regards to assuring peace and security, a continuation of China’s dynamic approach in the ASEM process, enhancing consultations with China on the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) to reinforce the ARF’s role on regional security issues;
  • global: more frequent dialogue on global governance issues, the promotion of a coordinated approach and of joint EU-China initiatives, the promotion of multilateralism, of security, non-proliferation/disarmament issues, strengthened dialogue on counter-terrorism, collaboration in the face of global environmental challenges and joint research into SARS.

The second activity is supporting China’s transition to an open society based upon the rule of law and the respect for human rights. China has made progress towards the rule of law, and civil society has developed significantly. There is, however, still a significant gap between the current human rights situation in China and internationally accepted standards. Although EU-China dialogue has borne fruit, through the organisation of seminars, exchanges of views and assistance programmes, there are still issues to be resolved, such as the death penalty, administrative detention and torture. Freedom of expression, of religion and of association and the rights of minorities are still causes for concern.

The proposed new actions involve stepping up cooperation projects to complement the dialogue. This dialogue should be carried out at junior minister level, focusing on areas that are lagging behind, placing emphasis on increased visibility and transparency, and promoting exchanges between experts. Cooperation programmes should revolve around human rights and good governance, with training programmes for legal professionals, and a sharing of know-how and ensuring that it is widely applied. A third aspect involves support for civil society, encouraging contacts and providing assistance for capacity-building and the creation of networks.

Promoting China’s economic opening at home and abroad is the third activity proposed. China’s integration into the world economy is in everyone’s interest, and the Commission is eager to assist in the process. In the wake of its accession to the WTO in 2001, China has benefited greatly from globalisation, becoming a powerhouse of economic growth for the region.

Despite progress in internal reform, some problems remain. They are mainly linked to market access, services, the enforcement of intellectual property rights and adherence to international standards. Reform and opening have been accompanied by a significant rise in unemployment and underemployment, creating a sizeable rural-urban divide.

In 2001, an EU network was created to track China’s implementation of WTO commitments, with regular consultations and joint studies. Sectoral dialogue has also been stepped up, notably with regard to industrial products, the information society, environmental policies, research and the promotion of human development. New bilateral agreements have been drawn up for maritime transport and the “authorised destination status”. Proposals for agreements on administrative assistance for satellite navigation have also been set up.

The Commission believes that new actions are required in the following areas:

  • the WTO, trade and investment; The Commission is putting forward various initiatives for the adoption of WTO commitments, the Doha Development Agenda, regional integration, intellectual property rights, support for initiatives from Community industry, and other measures linked directly to trade;
  • sectoral issues, including industrial products, the information society, sanitary and phyto-sanitary questions, energy and environmental policies, nuclear research, science and technology, the ITER fusion research project and a cooperation agreement in the framework of the Galileo satellite navigation project;
  • economic and social reform; The Commission proposes supporting reforms in all these areas, promoting exchanges of experience in areas of regional and macroeconomic policies, a cooperation project for the reform of social security, dialogue on industrial policy and efforts to involve civil society more closely.

The fourth activity is the EU-China Co-operation Programme – a mutually beneficial partnership underpinning EU objectives. China is part of many Union-financed programmes in the Asian region (the Asia Information Technology and Communication Programme, Asia-Invest, Asia-Link, etc.), which has improved its cooperation with the Union. There is, however, a delay in the implementation of the National Indicative Programme (NIP) for 2002-2004, and the Commission therefore proposes completing the mid-term NIP review and drawing up a new programme to cover 2005-2006. The Chinese authorities should be involved in its preparation, and the multiannual approach should be maintained. Coordination with, and consideration of existing horizontal assistance programmes is also needed.

The fifth and final activity aims at increased EU visibility in China. The increasing access of individual Chinese citizens to sources of information should allow the EU get its message across. The Commission proposes to concentrate on four points: sharing China’s concern for a more balanced international order, the defence of a number of shared values, support for reforms underway in China, and the fact that the EU is a major global trading power and market.

Further Commission proposals in this domain include a series of activities such as a study of the perception of the EU in China, spreading more information, raising awareness in China of EU cooperation with China, and reinforcing people-to-people exchanges. Rationalising the current institutional structure, and prioritising quality and effective coordination are other concerns for which the Commission has solutions to propose.

Related Acts

Council Decision of 16 November 2004 on the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the Government of the People’s Republic of China on cooperation and mutual administrative assistance in customs matters [Official Journal L 375 of 23.12.2004].

Proposal of 23 April 2004 for a Council Decision on the signing of the Cooperation Agreement on a Civil Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) – GALILEO between the European Community and its Member States and the People’s Republic of China [COM(2003) 578 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

2004/265/EC: Council Decision of 8 March 2004 concerning the conclusion of thebetween the European Community and the National Tourism Administration of the People’s Republic of China on visa and related issues concerning tourist groups from the People’s Republic of China (ADS) [Official Journal L 083 of 20.03.2004].

Strategy document for China 2002-2006, approved on 1 March 2002 ( )

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 15 May 2001, “EU Strategy towards China: Implementation of the 1998 Communication and Future Steps for a more Effective EU Policy” [COM(2001) 265 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

2000/16/EC: Council Decision of 2 December 1999 concluding the Agreement for scientific and technological cooperation between the European Community and the Government of the People’s Republic of China [Official Journal L 006 of 11.01.2000].

Communication from the Commission of 25 March 1998 – Building a comprehensive partnership with China [COM (1998) 181 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission – A long-term Policy for China-Europe Relations [COM(1995) 279 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Council Regulation (EEC) No 2616/85 of 16 September 1985 concerning the conclusion of abetween the European Economic Community and the People’s Republic of China [Official Journal L 250 of 19.09.1985].

Undesirable substances in animal feed

Undesirable substances in animal feed

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Undesirable substances in animal feed

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal nutrition

Undesirable substances in animal feed

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2002/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 May 2002 on undesirable substances in animal feed [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive sets maximum levels to limit as far as possible the presence of undesirable substances and products in animal feed put into circulation within the European Union (EU).

Undesirable substances

“Undesirable substance” means any substance or product, with the exception of pathogenic agents, which is present in and/or on the product intended for animal feed and which presents a potential danger to animal or human health or to the environment or could adversely affect livestock production. The range of substances covered by the Directive comprises arsenic, lead, mercury, dioxin and certain mustards.

This Directive applies to all products intended for animal feed, including raw materials for feed, additives and complementary feedingstuffs.

List of undesirable substances

The Directive lays down a list of undesirable substances, for which it sets limit values above which their presence in animal feeds is forbidden (see Annex I to the Directive). This list is regularly updated in the light of technical progress.

Investigations

When these maximum levels are exceeded, Member States, in cooperation with the economic operators concerned, must carry out investigations to identify the sources of the substances concerned. They must then inform the Commission of the outcome of these investigations and the measures taken to reduce the level of the substances or eliminate them.

Mixtures

To prevent fraud, the Directive prohibits mixing a product containing undesirable substances with the same product or other products in order to dilute it.

Temporary provisions

There can be no derogations from the Directive. However, where a danger to human or animal health or to the environment becomes apparent, Member States may provisionally take more stringent measures, reducing the maximum level set in the Directive.

Context

Following the dioxin crisis in the late 1990s, the EU made many changes to European undesirable substances in order to improve food security and to better protect human and animal health and the environment.

Directive 2002/32/EC replaces Directive 1999/29/EC as from 1 August 2003.

References

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

Directive 2002/32/EC

30.5.2002

1.5.2003

OJ L 140, 30.5.2002

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

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87, 31.3.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/32/EC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on official controls performed to ensure the verification of compliance with feed and food law, animal health and animal welfare rules.

In the context of the review of food hygiene legislation (“hygiene package”), this Regulation re-organises official controls of food and feed so as to integrate controls at all stages of production and in all sectors. The Regulation defines the European Union’s duties as regards the organisation of these controls, as well as the rules which must be respected by the national authorities responsible for carrying out the official controls, including coercive measures adopted in the event of failure to comply with Community law.

Cotonou Agreement

Cotonou Agreement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cotonou Agreement

Topics

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

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Cotonou Agreement

Document or Iniciative

Partnership agreement 2000/483/EC between the members of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States of the one part, and the European Community and its Member States, of the other part, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000.

Summary

The Cotonou Agreement offers a framework for the European Union’s (EU) cooperation relations for the economic, social and cultural development of the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP).

Centred on the target of reducing, and in the longer-term, eradicating poverty, the cooperation must also contribute to the peace and security and the democratic and political stability of the ACP states. In this regard, the partners to the agreement shall act jointly to gradually achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The Cotonou Agreement is based on equality between the partners and ownership of the development strategies. It was signed on 23 June 2000 for a period of 20 years and may be revised every five years.

Political dimension

The Agreement has a strong political dimension resulting in:

  • regular political dialogue, aimed at strengthening cooperation and promoting an effective system of multilateralism;
  • peace-building policies, conflict prevention and resolution. In this field, the partnership concentrates on regional initiatives and on building local capacities, and also on the involvement of regional organisations such at the African Union;
  • promoting human rights, democratic principles based on the rule of law and transparent and accountable governance. A new procedure has been developed for cases of violation of these elements, stressing the responsibility of the country in question;
  • identifying questions of common interest connected with general (regional integration) or specific (trade, military expenditure, drugs, organised crime, child labour and discrimination) issues;
  • developing cooperation strategies, including an agenda for aid efficiency, sectoral policies concerning the environment, climate change, gender equality and migration;
  • attention paid to the subject of security, in particular with regard to countering the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, provisions on the Statute of the International Criminal Court, provisions on international cooperation in the fight against terrorism and illegal trafficking.

The political dialogue is conducted in a flexible way, under either a formal or an informal framework and at the most appropriate territorial level. The regional organisations and national parliaments may also participate.

The Agreement envisages a substantial role for non-State actors (NSAs) during the design and implementation of development strategies and programmes. In particular, the NSAs are local authorities, civil society organisations and the private sector, which have access to specific partnership financing.

Development strategies and poverty reduction

The Agreement is based on an integrated approach which includes actions for promoting economic, social and human development, as well as regional integration. The action priorities are set for each country in accordance with the principle of differentiation.

Economic development focuses on:

  • macro-economic and structural policies and reforms;
  • sectoral policies (in particular, developing the industrial, agricultural, tourism, fisheries and traditional knowledge sectors);
  • investment and development of the private sector, in particular the cooperation supports public sector investment in infrastructure which promotes the development of the private sector, economic growth and poverty eradication.

The key elements of social and human development concern:

  • sectoral social policies regarding improving education, health and nutrition systems;
  • youth issues, in particular participation in public life and exchanges between the partner countries;
  • health and access to services, fighting diseases connected with poverty and sexual and reproductive health protection;
  • cultural development.

Regional cooperation and integration are aimed at facilitating development in all sectors. Cooperation must also support inter- regional and intra-ACP cooperation schemes and initiatives, including those involving non-ACP developing countries. Regional cooperation and integration seek, among other things, to:

  • accelerate diversification of the ACP States’ economies;
  • promote and expand trade, which equally benefits the least developed countries (LDCs) among the ACP States;
  • implement sectoral reform policies at regional level.

Lastly, the development strategies systematically take into account three cross-cutting issues:

  • gender equality;
  • sustainable management of the environment and natural resources;
  • institutional development and capacity building.

Economic and trade cooperation

The Agreement complies with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules. It enables the ACP States to play a full part in international trade.

It provides for the negotiation of regional economic partnership agreements with a view to liberalising trade.

The Agreement highlights the vulnerable situation of the ACP states and the importance of cooperation and trade assistance. In this respect, cooperation on trade matters is not restricted to trading activities; it also extends to the protection of intellectual property rights and compliance with international labour standards.

The most vulnerable states

Special treatment is granted to the least developed, landlocked and island ACP States, and to post-conflict countries. They receive special attention in certain areas, namely on matters relating to food security, regional cooperation, transport infrastructure and communications.

Joint institutions

The Council of Ministers meets once a year. It consists of members of the Council of the EU, the Commission and a member of the government of each ACP State. The presidency is held in turn by a member of the Council of the EU and by a member of the government of an ACP State.

It conducts the political dialogue and ensures that the Agreement is properly implemented. It may take decisions that are binding on the parties and draw up resolutions, recommendations and opinions. It may also delegate responsibilities to the Committee of Ambassadors. It presents an annual report to the Joint Parliamentary Assembly on the implementation of the Agreement.

The Committee of Ambassadors assists the Council of Ministers. It is made up of each Member State permanent representative to the EU, a Commission representative and a head of mission for each ACP State to the EU. Its presidency is held in turn by the representative of an EU Member State and by an ACP State.

The Joint Parliamentary Assembly is an advisory body made up of an equal number of Members of the European Parliament and representatives of the ACP States. The Assembly may adopt resolutions and submit recommendations to the Council of Ministers. It meets twice a year in plenary session, alternating between the EU and an ACP country. The members of parliament may also meet at regional or subregional level if desired.

Violation of essential elements of the Agreement

The Agreement lays down measures in cases of non-compliance with the requirements of essential elements of the Agreement, namely respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law.

The Agreement provides for a preliminary consultation procedure, however, in the absence of an acceptable solution, supplementary measures may be taken, including suspension of the Agreement, although this is a last resort.

Context

The Cotonou Agreement represents a new phase in the cooperation between the ACP states and the EU. For certain ACP states, the cooperation started with the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957. It was extended with the two Yaoundé conventions and the four Lomé conventions.

References

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

Agreement 2000/483/EC

1.4.2003

OJ L 317, 15.12.2000

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

Decision 2005/599/EC

21.6.2005

OJ L 209, 11.8.2005

Decision 2010/648/EC

14.5.2010

OJ L 287, 4.11.2010

RELATED ACTS

Trade regime

Proposal for a Council Decision of 30 September 2008 on the signature and provisional application of the agreement establishing a framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on one part, and the East African Community Partner States, on the other part [COM(2008) 521 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The trade regime set out in the Cotonou Agreement and the WTO waiver covering that trade regime expired in December 2007. Thus the establishing of a Framework for an Economic Partnership Agreement (FEPA) between the EU and the East African Community Partner States should allow existing trade relations to be maintained and should serve as a basis for the negotiation of a comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement by the end of 2009.
The FEPA lays down the necessary measures to establish a Free Trade Area, as well as specific provisions on rules of origin, non-tariff measures, trade defence measures, dispute avoidance, fisheries and administrative and institutional cooperation.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 of 20 December 2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements [Official Journal L 348 of 31.12.2007].

This Regulation establishes the list of States benefitting from an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA). It provides for the implementation of this trade regime from 1 January 2008.

Specific provisions

Decision 2008/991/EC n° 3/2008of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers of 15 December 2008 to adopt amendments to Annex IV to the Partnership Agreement [Official Journal L 352 of 31.12.2008].
Annex IV related to the procedures for the implementation and management of the Cotonou Agreement has been amended in order to harmonise the procedures for the awarding and performance of public contracts.

Decision No 2006/1/EC of the ACP-EC Council of Ministers of 2 June 2006 specifying the multi-annual financial framework for the period 2008-2013 and modifying the revised ACP-EC Partnership Agreement [Official Journal L 247, 9.9.2006].
This financing agreement relating to the Cotonou Partnership Agreement covers the period 2008-2013 and provides for an overall budget of more than EUR 24 billion. This envelope includes EUR 2 billion in own resources of the EIB, while the remainder consists of the tenth EDF. On an annual basis, that represents an increase of approximately 35 % compared to the 9th EDF. A larger share of the budget will be devoted to regional programmes, thereby emphasising the importance of regional economic integration for national and local development.

Youth action programme 2000-2006

Youth action programme 2000-2006

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Youth action programme 2000-2006

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

Youth action programme 2000-2006

The Youth Programme offers young people opportunities for mobility and active participation in the construction of the Europe and contributes to the development of youth policy, based on non-formal education. It aims to promote exchanges and discussion meetings between young people, voluntary work, participation and active citizenship, and the innovation and improvement of international training and cooperation skills in the youth field.

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1031/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2000 establishing the “Youth” Community action programme.

Summary

The “Youth” Community action programme combines in one instrument several activities which existed in previous programmes such as ” Youth for Europe ” and the European Voluntary Service, for the period 2000-2006. It is also based on the objectives defined by the Commission in its communication ” Towards a Europe of knowledge ” and hence tends to favour the creation of a European educational area.

The main objectives of the programme are as follows:

  • to allow young people to acquire knowledge, skills and competences which may be one of the foundations of their future development;
  • to promote an active contribution by young people to the building of Europe through their participation in transnational exchanges;
  • to foster active citizenship on the part of young people and to enable them to become responsible citizens;
  • to encourage young people’s initiative, enterprise and creativity so that they may take an active role in society and, at the same time, to stimulate recognition of the value of informal education acquired within a European context;
  • to promote respect for human rights and to combat racism and xenophobia;
  • to reinforce cooperation in the field of youth.

The implementation of these objectives at European level will complement measures taken by and in the Member States. The Commission will ensure that action under the programme is consistent with the Community’s other actions and policies.

The following actions will be carried out under the programme:

  • Youth for Europe: mobility activities for groups of young people (from 15 to 25) based on transnational partnerships;
  • European Voluntary Service: participation of young volunteers (between 18 and 25 years) in a Member State other than the one in which they reside, or in a third country, in a non-profit-making and unpaid activity of importance to the community and of a limited duration (12 months maximum);
  • Initiative for youth: support for innovative and creative projects being promoted by young people;
  • Joint actions: Community aid may be provided for actions undertaken jointly with other Community schemes in the field of knowledge policy;
  • Various support measures: activities for cooperation, education and information, designed to encourage innovation and skills in the field of youth.

The programme is aimed principally at young people between the ages of 15 and 25 as well as those involved in youth work. Attention should be paid to ensuring that all young people, without discrimination, have access to the activities under the programme.

The Commission will ensure the implementation of the Community actions covered by the programme in conjunction with the Member States. The Member States will endeavour to take the necessary steps to ensure the efficient running of the programme at national level.

As part of the process of building up a Europe of knowledge, the measures of this programme may be implemented as joint actions with other Community actions which are part of the knowledge policy, particularly Community programmes in the area of education and vocational training of young people.

The Commission is responsible for managing the programme, which is largely decentralised to national employment agencies located in 31 European countries.

The Commission is assisted by a committee comprising representatives from the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

The financial resources for the implementation of the programme proposed by the Commission in the basic act is EUR 520 million over seven years. Because of the accession of the ten new Member States in 2004, this budget has received the favourable opinion of the European Parliament for an increase covering the period 2004-2006. It now amounts to EUR 615 million.

Besides the participation of the 25 Member States of the European Union, the programme is open to the participation of:

  • the EU candidate countries, in accordance with the conditions fixed in the Europe agreements or in existing or anticipated additional protocols governing the participation of these countries in Community programmes (Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey);
  • the countries of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) which belong to the European Economic Area (Iceland, Norway and Lichtenstein)
  • for some of the above-mentioned actions, the programme is also open to the participation of countries from other regions of the world, viz. the Mediterranean partner countries, the Eastern European and Caucasus countries, the countries of South Eastern Europe and Latin America.

The Commission is strengthening international cooperation and the relevant international organisations, particularly the Council of Europe

The programme is regularly monitored by the Commission in conjunction with the Member States. On the basis of the reports to be submitted by the Member States by 31 December 2002 and 30 June 2005 respectively, the Commission will submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

  • an interim evaluation report on the implementation of the programme no later than 30 June 2005 (see below);
  • a final ex-post evaluation report no later than 31 December 2007.

References

Act

Entry into force – Date of expiry

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Decision (EC) No 1031/2000

18.05.2000 – 31.12.2006

OJ L 117 of 18.05.2000

Related Acts

Decision No 1719/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing the Youth in Action programme for the period 2007 to 2013 [Official Journal L 327 of 24.11.2006].

Report from the Commission – Interim evaluation of the Youth Programme 2000-2006 (covering the period 2000-2003) [COM(2004) 158 final of 01.03.2004 – not published in the Official Journal]

The report stresses that the programme’s objectives have largely been achieved. All the players have been involved in the evaluation process, namely the national administrations, national agencies, youth organisations, youth workers and researchers. However, to adapt the programme to changes in the situation and to respond to the recommendations made by the various players on the ground, the Commission proposes:

  • extending the age limits in the new youth programme in 2007;
  • focusing on young people with fewer opportunities and those living in remote rural areas;
  • helping small youth organisations or those which have never submitted projects;
  • creating regional and local information relays to increase proximity to potential beneficiaries without however decentralising financial management;
  • a simpler and administratively less cumbersome application process and a more transparent decision-making process, including the grounds for the rejection of projects;
  • organising more evaluation meetings at European and national level, and promoting widespread dissemination of good practices;
  • enhancing visibility for the programme and each of its actions, making the most of the results obtained;
  • better distribution of tasks within the partnership with the Council of Europe concerning the training of young workers.

Youth for Europe:

  • consider reducing the length of projects in the new Youth Programme;
  • strengthen partnerships between the national agencies responsible for the Youth Programme

European Voluntary Service (EVS):

  • systematically develop the quality and quantity of voluntary activities: 10 000 volunteers are envisaged each year;
  • introduce a collective EVS, enabling groups of volunteers to carry out their EVS together on the occasion of major events;
  • reform and decentralise the procedure for accrediting host organisations and issuing certificates for volunteers;
  • creating more sustainable support for the old voluntary structures.

Initiatives in favour of young people:

  • link Future Capital (action allowing young people to organise a project on their own as an extension of their voluntary service) with the EVS and support the creation of networking projects via the organisation of contact seminars;
  • use this instrument to encourage the active participation of young people and social inclusion.

Joint actions:

  • continue to focus on themes specific to youth such as active citizenship;
  • limit the requirement for compatibility to two of the three fields , namely education, training and youth, and make better use of the multiplier effect of joint actions;

Support measures:

  • further strengthen quality in youth work. The SALTO Resource Centres and the Partnership Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission on European Youth Worker Training will be used to achieve this goal;
  • make better use of the full potential of face-to-face communication and information technology to reach a wider range of young people in general and to provide them with in-depth information about YOUTH programme priorities;
  • launch, between now and 2006, calls for large-scale projects on an annual basis to support capacity-building and innovation with regard to international training and cooperation in the field of youth work.

As regards the Partnership Programme between the Council of Europe and the European Commission on European Youth Worker Training, the Commission proposes paying special attention to the efficient use of the competencies and tools at the disposal of the Partnership, e.g. by strengthening the network of trainers who participated in the training measures and capitalising on synergies between the three fields of cooperation (training, research, Euromed) with the Council of Europe.

The Commission could also facilitate access to the programme for organisations located in third countries and give organisations from partner countries the possibility of submitting applications and become leading partners in the projects. It also envisages transposing the model of the EuroMediterranean Youth Action Programme to the Balkans, Eastern Europe and the Caucasus.

 

A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

Topics

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

Transport > Waterborne transport

A strategy for better ship dismantling practices

Many decommissioned European ships end up on the beaches of South Asia where they are dismantled. The absence of environmental protection and safety measures results in a high rate of accidents, health risks and large-scale pollution affecting vast expanses of the coast. The strategy proposed to improve ship dismantling practices includes action aimed at contributing to the implemention of the main elements of an international convention on the recycling of ships which has just been adopted. It also provides for measures aimed at encouraging voluntary action by the maritime transport sector and better application of current Community legislation on waste shipments.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 19 November 2008 – An EU strategy for better ship dismantling [COM(2008) 767 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Union (EU) strategy gives effect to the 2007 Green Paper on better ship dismantling practices. This strategy should guarantee that ships with a strong link to the Union (in terms of flag or ownership) are dismantled only in safe and environmentally sound facilities, in line with the Hong Kong Convention developed by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) and adopted on 19 May 2009.

Such a strategy complies with Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 on waste shipments which transposes the Basel Convention. It thus aims to prevent the export of hazardous end-of-life ships from the EU to developing countries, and to protect human health and the environment during dismantling operations, without creating unnecessary new economic burdens.

Main elements of the strategy proposed by the Commission

The EU strategy proposes a series of measures aimed at improving ship dismantling conditions as soon as possible, in particular during the interim period preceding the entry into force of the new IMO convention. The following measures are envisaged in particular:

  • start preparations to introduce measures on key elements of the new IMO convention, in particular concerning surveys, certification and the inventory of hazardous materials present on board ships;
  • encourage voluntary industry action through various measures, such as awards for exemplary “green” recycling activities, the publication of guidelines and a list of “clean” dismantling facilities.
  • provide technical assistance and support to developing countries for training programmes in safety and the establishment of basic infrastructure for environmental and health protection;
  • improve the application of current rules on waste shipments by intensifying controls in European ports, enhancing cooperation and exchange of information between European authorities and the establishment of a list of ships ready for scrapping.

The strategy also proposes that the Commission should examine the feasibility of the following measures:

  • establish auditing and certification of ship recycling facilities worldwide and evaluate how EU ships might be encouraged to use this scheme;
  • ensure that warships and other government vessels which do not come under the scope of the convention be subject to Community rules for their “clean” dismantling;
  • establish a mandatory international funding system for “clean” ship dismantling.

Context

The preparation of an EU strategy for environmentally sound ship dismantling practices is one of the elements of the Commission action plan on an integrated maritime policy for the European Union.

This Communication has the aim of encouraging debate and paving the way for the legislative proposal to be presented after the adoption of the Hong Kong Convention in May 2009.

Placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products

Placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products

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

Placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products

The European Union has created a secure monitoring framework for placing on the market and importing aquaculture animals and products. This framework is based on the approval of disease-free regions and on categorising different types of diseases to which different health rules will apply.

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 91/67/EEC of 28 January 1991 concerning the animal health conditions governing the placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products [See amending acts]

Summary

This Directive creates a framework designed to overcome obstacles to trade in aquaculture animals while at the same time avoiding the spread of infectious diseases, particularly in disease-free regions of the European Union.

This framework is based on the identification of zones or farms that are free from serious endemic disease. The Directive lays down the criteria and procedures for the granting, maintenance, suspension, restoration and withdrawal of approval of such zones and farms.

It also stipulates the documents required for transport within these zones: aquaculture animals and products must be accompanied by a movement document and a health certificate.

The Directive also lays down Community rules applying to importation from non-member countries in order to protect the health of aquaculture animals in the Member States.

The diseases and the animals likely to be affected are set out in three separate lists:

  • an exotic disease, infectious salmon anaemia, for which all infected fish are destroyed as quickly as possible and any suspected cases of infection lead to a ban on animal movements not authorised by a veterinarian;
  • four serious endemic diseases which must be eradicated in the long term: infectious haematopoietic necrosis and viral haemorrhagic septicaemia for fish, and bonamiosis and marteiliosis for molluscs;
  • some less dangerous diseases for which control and eradication measures are less stringent.

This Directive will be repealed and replaced from 1 August 2008 by Council Directive 2006/88/EC (see “Related Acts” below).

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 91/67/EEC 04.02.1991 01.01.1993 OJ L 46 of 19.02.1991
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 93/54/EEC 30.06.1993 OJ L 175 of 19.07.1993
Directive 95/22/EC 31.10.1995 30.06.1996 OJ L 243 of 11.10.1995
Directive 97/79/EC 19.02.1998 30.06.1999 OJ L 24 of 30.01.1998
Directive 98/45/EC 03.07.1998 30.06.1999 OJ L 189 of 03.07.1998
Regulation (EC) No 806/2003 05.06.2003 OJ L 122 of 16.05.2003

Related Acts

2006/88/EC of 24 October 2006 on animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof, and on the prevention and control of certain diseases in aquatic animals [Official Journal L 328 of 24.11.2006].

This Directive repeals and replaces, as of 1 August 2008, the rules concerning animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products as well as measures for the prevention and control of diseases affecting fish and molluscs. This legislation needs to be updated to take account of developments within the industry, the experience gained and scientific advances in this field, and to bring it into line with international agreements and standards.

Commission Decision 2003/390/EC of 23 May 2003 establishing special conditions for placing on the market of aquaculture animals species considered not susceptible to certain diseases and the products thereof [Official Journal L 135 of 3.6.2003].

Commission Decision 1999/567/EC of 27 July 1999 laying down the model of the certificate referred to in Article 16(1) of Council Directive 91/67/EEC [Official Journal L 216 of 14.8.1999].

See the rules of the hygiene package.

 

Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-european networks

Topics

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

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

TRANSPORT

  • EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network
  • Interoperability of the rail system within the EU
  • Community financial aid to trans-European networks
  • Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system
  • Interoperability of the conventional rail system
  • Connecting the infrastructure network
  • Satellite navigation: Galileo

ENERGY

  • Trans-European energy networks

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision

Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision

Topics

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

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Rear-view mirrors and supplementary devices for indirect vision (until 2014)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2003/97/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 November 2003 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the type-approval of devices for indirect vision and of vehicles equipped with these devices, amending Directive 70/156/EEC and repealing Directive 71/127/EEC [See amending acts].

Summary

Serious traffic accidents often take place at crossroads, junctions and roundabouts due to drivers being unaware of the presence of other road users near their vehicles. Such accidents are more serious when heavy vehicles (trucks, buses, coaches) or vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists, moped users) are involved.

So as to prevent such accidents, the European Union has adopted measures which aim to reduce blind spots in the immediate area around vehicles.

In the light of current technology, the provisions of Directive 71/127/EEC on rear-view mirrors are no longer adequate as regards the exterior field of vision to the side, front and rear of vehicles. Directive 2003/97/EC builds on the existing provisions so as to ensure that the field of vision is extended. In particular, it amends Directive 71/127/EEC, which it will replace and repeal with effect from 26 January 2010.

Directive 2003/97/EC harmonises the provisions concerning the type-approval of devices for indirect vision and of vehicles equipped with these devices.

The new requirements introduced by the Directive principally relate to:

  • an increase in the compulsory minimum field of vision for certain vehicles;
  • the installation of supplementary devices for indirect vision in certain vehicles (e.g. front mirrors on trucks);
  • adaptations to technical progress (e.g. the curvature of the surface of rear-view mirrors);
  • the replacement of some rear-view mirrors with other indirect vision systems (e.g. camera-monitor devices).

The new rules laid down in Directive 2003/97/EC will be implemented progressively. The timetable for introducing the new requirements thus runs from 2005 to 2010.

The vehicles covered by the Directive are motor vehicles of category M (passenger vehicles) and category N (goods vehicles).

Finally, the Commission will carry out a study in 2010 to determine the impact on road safety of the measures introduced by this Directive, particularly as regards vulnerable road users. Additional legislative measures might be proposed on the basis of the conclusions of this study.

Directive 2003/97/EC participates in the efforts of the European road safety action programme to halve the number of road accident victims in the European Union by 2010 .

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2003/97/EC 29.1.2004 25.1.2005 OJ L 25 of 29.1.2004
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2005/27/EC 19.4.2005 19.10.2005 OJ L 81 of 30.3.2005

Related Acts

Directive 2007/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on the retrofitting of mirrors to heavy goods vehicles registered in the Community [Official Journal L 184 of 14.07.2007].

The Directive extends the obligation to install devices for the lateral field of indirect vision to the entire existing fleet of heavy goods vehicles (vehicles of categories N2 and N3).

Directive 2003/97/EC requires new vehicles to be fitted with devices for indirect vision to reduce the blind spot, but it does not apply to vehicles already in circulation. However, it can be estimated that the entire fleet of heavy goods vehicles already in circulation will not have been fully replaced until 2023. In the interim, in order to minimise the risk to vulnerable road users (pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists) of being involved in an accident with a heavy goods vehicle performing a right turn, heavy goods vehicles already in circulation must be retrofitted with rear-view mirrors reducing the lateral blind spots while fulfilling the technical requirements of Directive 2003/97/EC.

Heavy goods vehicles of over 3.5 tonnes and registered after 1 January 2000 should thus no later than 31 March 2009 be fitted with lateral rear-view mirrors reducing the blind spot. In order to pass the compulsory annual roadworthiness test imposed by Directive 96/96/EC, heavy goods vehicles must therefore be fitted with rear-view mirrors that comply with Directive 2007/38/EC.

For the majority of vehicles, the retrofitting can be done at reasonable cost and with devices which are already available on the market. However, to ensure that the retrofitting costs are not higher than the expected benefits, exemptions are provided for vehicles used principally for their historical interest and for vehicles which are equipped with lateral mirrors whose field of vision covers only marginally less than the fields of vision laid down in Directive 2003/97/EC.

Member States must have transposed Directive 2007/38/EC by 6 August 2008. The Commission will present an evaluation report on its implementation no later than four years after the Directive has entered into force. The same safety rules may therefore be extended to vehicles that are not covered, such as light commercial vehicles or passenger buses.

I2010: Digital libraries

i2010: Digital libraries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about i2010: Digital libraries

Topics

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

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

i2010: Digital libraries

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 30 September 2005 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – i2010: digital libraries [COM(2005) 465 final – Official Journal C 49 of 28.2.2008].

Summary

The purpose of the Digital Libraries Initiative is to make Europe’s cultural, audiovisual and scientific heritage accessible to all.

More specifically, the initiative aims to make European information sources more accessible and easier and more interesting to use in an online environment. Taking as its starting point our rich European heritage, the initiative combines cultural diversity, multilingualism and technological progress.

Definition

Digital libraries are organised collections of digital content made available to the public. The content is material that has either been digitised (copies of books and other documents) or that was initially produced in digital format.

There are three priority areas in which the potential of digital technologies is to be exploited to widen access to information:

  • online accessibility;
  • the digitisation of analogue collections;
  • the preservation and storage of digital content.

In addition to our European cultural heritage, another key area for digital libraries is scientific information.

Cultural, social and economic aspects

Digital libraries provide considerable added value in terms not only of cultural visibility, but also of jobs and investment.

Making the wealth of material contained in European libraries, museums and archives (books, newspapers, films, photographs, maps, etc.) available online will make it easier for citizens to appreciate their cultural heritage and use it for study, work or leisure. This will complement and support the objectives of the European Union (EU) action on culture.

Libraries and archives are major sectors of activity in terms of investments and employment. By increasing their use and the visibility of their resources, digitisation could significantly increase their already considerable impact on the economy as a whole.

Digitisation

There are two main reasons for digitising these resources:

  • to provide the widest possible access for the general public;
  • to ensure their survival.

At present, only a small part of our European collections has been digitised. In order to ensure that digitisation proceeds efficiently and at a reasonable pace, a number of challenges have to be overcome, one of these being the remarkable quantity and range of material held by European libraries and archives. The others fall into four categories:

  • financial challenges (the considerable investments and labour required);
  • organisational challenges (the risk of digitising the same works several times, and the need to upgrade the skills of the staff involved);
  • technical challenges (the need to improve digitisation techniques);
  • legal challenges (the compatibility of digitisation with intellectual property rights- IPRs).

Online accessibility

The system used by traditional libraries for lending material is not suitable for the digital environment. In addition, the prior consent of the holder of property rights is needed before material can be made available online, except where the material is in the public domain. Consequently, a European library will basically have to concentrate on public domain material. In some cases, the costs of establishing the IPR-status of a work will be higher than the cost of digitising it and bringing it online. This is particularly true for so-called ‘orphan works’ – films or books for which it is impossible or very difficult to determine who holds the rights.

Improving online accessibility also requires appropriate multilingual services to allow users to explore and work with the content.

Preserving digital content: the present situation and the challenges

Making a digital copy of a book or a film does not necessarily guarantee its long-term survival and so, digitisation without a suitable strategy for preserving material can result in a large-scale waste of resources (human and financial).

In addition, digital preservation is a serious problem for the information society, with the supply of information growing exponentially and content becoming more and more dynamic. At present, we have little experience with digital preservation, the legal framework is evolving, resources are scarce and the outcome of work to preserve content is uncertain.

The main causes of the loss of digital content are the:

  • succession of generations of computer hardware that can render files unreadable;
  • rapid succession and obsolescence of software applications;
  • limited lifetime of digital storage devices, such as CD-ROMs.

Libraries and archives have started tackling the issue of preservation in the digital age on a limited scale. However, within the individual Member States there is, in general, no clear policy.

Although most progress has been made in the area of legal deposit, the scope of this varies widely from country to country.

As with digitisation, the preservation of content also poses a number of challenges:

  • financial challenges (the actual long-term cost of preservation is still not known for sure);
  • organisational challenges (there is a risk that differing approaches will be adopted, effort will be duplicated, working methods will be inappropriate, staff will not have the necessary skills and there will be a lack of cooperation between public and private players);
  • technical challenges (essentially, digital preservation needs to be made more cost-efficient and affordable);
  • legal challenges (as digital preservation depends on copying and migration, it must comply with IPR legislation. The legal deposit of digital material also raises a number of questions, including the different rules in force).

A European response

While organising and funding the digitisation of cultural collections and their digital preservation is primarily a responsibility of the Member States, considerable European added value can be achieved in certain specific areas.

A number of initiatives have already been taken at European level, including:

  • the eEurope Action Plan launched by the Commission in 1999, which was followed by further Action Plans in 2002 and 2005;
  • the Lund Principles and the corresponding Action Plan;
  • the creation of a National Representatives Group on digitisation;
  • the Council Resolution of 25 June 2002 on preserving tomorrow’s memory – preserving digital content for future generations;
  • the Council Recommendation 2005/835/EC of 14 November 2005 on priority actions to increase cooperation in the field of archives in Europe.

Further initiatives will be taken in the near future:

  • a proposal for a Recommendation on digitisation and digital preservation;
  • a Communication on digital libraries of scientific information.

As regards co-financing at Community level, the research programmes, the eContentplus and Culture programmes as well as the Regional Funds will be used for actions with a European interest for the digitisation, digital preservation and accessibility of cultural content:

  • under the Seventh Framework Programme for research and technological development, the Commission will part-finance the establishment of a network of centres of competence for digitisation and preservation;
  • under the eContentplus programme, EUR 60 million will be available in the period 2005-08 for projects improving the accessibility and usability of European cultural and scientific content;
  • the Regional Funds already part-finance digitisation initiatives in some of the Member States;
  • digitisation is one of the principal objectives of the cooperation projects part-financed under the “Culture 2000” programme. Part-financing is also available under the “Culture 2007” programme. This should improve the transnational circulation of cultural works and products.

Related Acts

Commission Recommendation 2006/585/EC of 24 August 2006 on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation [Official Journal L 236 of 31.8.2006].

In this Recommendation, the Commission calls on Member States to speed up the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material (books, films, photographs, manuscripts, etc). The aim is to put Europe’s cultural heritage online through the European Digital Library. To this end, Member States are encouraged to:

  • collect information for producing overviews of digitisation;
  • develop quantitative targets for digitisation;
  • create public-private partnerships for funding purposes;
  • develop facilities for large-scale digitisation;
  • endorse the European Digital Library;
  • improve the conditions in which cultural material is digitised and accessed online.

Furthermore, the Commission is recommending that Member States take steps to further the digital preservation of cultural material by:

  • setting-up national strategies and action plans, and exchanging information on these;
  • establishing appropriate legislative provisions for the multiple copying and migration of digital material, as well as for the preservation of web-content;
  • creating policies and procedures for the deposit of digital material, with due consideration given to the measures of other Member States.

Communication from the Commission of 1 June 2005 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – “i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment” [COM(2005) 229 final – Official Journal C 236 of 24.9.2005].