Author Archives: George Doyle

Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

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Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007 > Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

Bulgaria – adoption of the community acquis

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Strategy for cooperation with China

Strategy for cooperation with China

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for cooperation with China

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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

Strategy for cooperation with China (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

European Commission – China Strategy Paper 2007-2013 .

Summary

Relations between the European Union (EU) and China have progressed towards a strategic partnership. This cooperation, which developed on the basis of a Trade and Economic Cooperation Agreement, now covers a large number of sectors thanks to the establishment of a stronger partnership.

This cooperation programme is an important element of that relationship.

Political dialogue

The partners are continuing to develop their ties through regular political dialogue, particularly in the areas of:

  • climate change and energy;
  • legal and illegal immigration;
  • human rights;
  • trade in goods and services, and market access;
  • the European arms embargo;
  • cooperation on foreign and security policy, with particular attention to conflict prevention and combating weapons of mass destruction;
  • justice, freedom and security, focusing on combating terrorism, organised crime, trafficking of human beings, drugs, and the trafficking of small arms and light weapons.

The political dialogue also serves as a framework for the negotiation of a Partnership and Co-operation Agreement (PCA).

Cooperation priorities

In the area of trade, the partnership supports trade liberalisation and China’s commitments in accordance with the rules of the World Trade Organisation (WTO). China’s significance in international trade is such that the country must demonstrate its ability to respect fair and equitable conditions of competition. Similarly, the EU supports the restructuring of the financial services sector in view of the increase in trade in services.

Cooperation in the area of civilian aviation should help to improve aviation safety and security, considering the rapid development of the aviation market and the country’s position as a transit hub within Asia. Action to provide regulatory technical assistance is in place, as are research projects, including for the development of green air transport.

China must reduce the negative social impact of its economic reforms in order to increase its social and territorial cohesion. This should be done through policies at regional level, employment and decent work, social security and health. The partners may therefore exchange experience in particular areas such as the labour market, social exclusion and pensions.

Similarly, cooperation must be increased in the education and training sector, for the development of student and professional exchange programmes, particularly in the field of science.

Finally, the partners must combine their efforts to combat climate change, to develop legal and economic instruments for environmental protection and to ensure the sustainable management of energy and water resources.

Action plan on animal welfare 2006-2010

Action plan on animal welfare 2006-2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action plan on animal welfare 2006-2010

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Food safety > Animal welfare

Action plan on animal welfare 2006-2010

For the period 2006-2010, the EU is planning general measures aimed at ensuring animal welfare and protection. The measures will focus on improving standards, developing research and indicators, informing professionals and consumers and taking action at international level.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 23 January 2006 on a Community Action Plan on the Protection and Welfare of animals 2006-2010 [COM(2006) 13 – Official Journal C 49 of 28.02.2006].

Summary

The action plan describes the measures the Commission intends to implement between 2006 and 2010 with the aim of developing and guaranteeing animal welfare and protection within the European Union (EU) and in other parts of the world. Its objective is to clarify Community legislation and make provisions for proposals in areas where it is insufficient.

The Commission would like to achieve the following objectives:

  • define more clearly EU action on animal welfare;
  • continue to promote high standards in this field;
  • provide greater coordination of resource;
  • support research and promote alternatives to animal testing;
  • ensure the coherence and coordination of all EU policies on animal welfare;

The action plan defines five main fields of interlinked action with the aim of achieving the stated objectives:

  • upgrading minimum standards
  • promoting research and substitute methods for animal testing;
  • introducing welfare indicators ;
  • ensuring that professionals and the general public are better informed;
  • supporting international initiatives for animal protection.

In terms of minimum standards, the action plan would reinforce the existing Community regulation in line with latest scientific knowledge, practical experience and progress in international fora.It also suggests that the minimum standards should be extended to cover species and issues currently not adequately provided for under EU legislation. Emphasis will inter alia be put on the respect of animal welfare by means of other policies, especially the Common Agricultural Policy (conditions for assistance, possible help in rural development policy).

The action plan recommends encouraging research projects that fill in the gaps and provide a sound scientific framework upon which future developments of EU policy on animal protection and welfare can be based. In addition, it proposes the creation of a European centre or laboratory, whose mission would be to collect, coordinate and exchange information on research and activities. The plan also emphasises the application of the 3Rs Declaration (replacement, reduction and refinement) defined at European level with regard to animal testing.

The action plan is hoping to introduce standardised animal welfare indicators. These indicators would guarantee that the minimum standards or stricter standards have been respected. The action plan also suggests that a Community label be created in order to promote products elaborated under higher animal welfare standards.

The action plan underlines the importance of training professionals, especially in order to disseminate good practice, and of informing consumers to enable them to make more enlightened choices on their purchases.

Under the action plan, the EU will continue to promote animal welfare standards within international fora such as the International Office of Epizootics (IOE) and the European Council. The plan advocates promoting the recognition and importance of these standards within the World Trade Organisation. Closer cooperation is also envisaged between the EU and countries that apply high standards and with developing countries.

The measures foreseen in the action plan will be assessed regularly in order to evaluate the progress made and to program complementary action after 2010.

Context

The action plan responds to the principles laid down in the protocol on animal welfare and protection annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community (EC Treaty). This protocol recognises that animals are sentient beings and that full regard should be paid to animal welfare concerns when formulating or implementing policies relating to agriculture, transport, research and the internal market.

The impact study accompanying the action plan takes stock of the anticipated benefits of the action plan, of the existing legislation and of the research undertaken.

Since 1974, European legislation has been developed with a view to protecting animals and ensuring their well-being on farm holdings, during transport and at the time of slaughter.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Options for animal welfare labelling and the establishment of a European Network of Reference Centres for the protection and welfare of animals [COM(2009) 584 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission wishes to improve information for European consumers on animal welfare matters. In order to do this, it is launching a debate on the labelling of consumer products. By enabling consumers to identify and choose animal welfare-friendly products, the Commission hopes to encourage producers to improve their practices in order to satisfy demand.
This Report should enable the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions to conduct this debate, specifically in the following areas:

  • consumer awareness of animal welfare;
  • animal welfare-friendly products;
  • the terms used on products;
  • third country producers’ access to voluntary certification systems, in compliance with the principles of the World Trade Organisation (WTO);
  • indicators and methods of measuring animal welfare;
  • coordinating centres of scientific research.

The Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

The Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

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Institutional affairs > Building europe through the treaties > The Amsterdam treaty: a comprehensive guide

The Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions

The role of the Court of Auditors as a Community institution has been enhanced:

  • it is now included in Article 5 (ex Article E) of the EU Treaty;
  • it has been given the right to bring actions before the Court of Justice for the purpose of protecting its prerogatives, under Article 230 of the EC Treaty (ex Article 173).

Its powers as a watchdog and investigator have been increased so that more effective steps can be taken to combat fraud to the detriment of the Community budget. It must notify any irregularity in Community revenue or expenditure to the European Parliament and the Council. For this purpose it has been given powers to audit the accounts of external bodies managing Community funds, including the European Investment Bank (EIB).

In the performance of its duties the Court of Auditors may require any relevant documents or information to be produced and may conduct audits “on the spot in the other institutions of the Community, on the premises of any body which manages revenue or expenditure on behalf of the Community and in the Member States, including on the premises of any natural or legal person in receipt of payments from the budget” (Article 248(3)).

In the case of the EIB the Court of Auditors has access to the information needed for the audit of Community expenditure and revenue managed by the Bank. Its rights of access will be governed by an agreement between the Court, the Bank and the Commission (such an agreement already existed, and a Declaration invites the three institutions concerned to maintain it in force).

In addition to this increase in the powers of the Court of Auditors, Article 248 (ex Article 188c) calls for close cooperation between the Court and national audit bodies.

Furthermore, the statement of assurance provided by the Court as to the reliability of accounts and the legality and regularity of the underlying transactions is to be published in the Official Journal of the European Communities.

THE ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE

Consultation of the Economic and Social Committee is mandatory on a wider range of topics. The new areas of the EC Treaty on which the Economic and Social Committee must first be consulted are:

  • the guidelines and incentives for employment (Articles 128 and 129);
  • the social legislation resulting from the agreements reached by management and labour (Articles 136 to 143);
  • implementation of the principle of equal opportunities (Article 141);
  • public health (Article 152).

The Economic and Social Committee may also be consulted by the European Parliament if the latter deems such consultation appropriate.

The administrative structure of the Economic and Social Committee is now separate from that of the Committee of the Regions. The Protocol to the EC Treaty providing for a common organisational structure has been repealed.

THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS

The Committee of the Regions must be consulted in the following additional areas:

  • the areas listed above for the Economic and Social Committee;
  • the environment (Article 175);
  • the Social Fund (Article 148);
  • vocational training (Article 150) ;
  • cross-border cooperation (first paragraph of Article 265);
  • transport (Articles 71 and 80).

The Committee may also be consulted by the European Parliament on other matters.

Like the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions now has its own separate administrative structure. Similarly, it may draw up its own rules of procedure without requiring the unanimous approval of the Council, as was required before.

EU Strategy for Africa

EU Strategy for Africa

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU Strategy for Africa

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

EU Strategy for Africa

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee of 12 October 2005 – EU Strategy for Europe: Towards a Euro-African pact to accelerate Africa’s development [COM(2005) 489 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The EU Strategy for Africa outlines a framework of action for all EU Member States aimed at supporting Africa’s efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In recent years considerable progress has been recorded in Africa, particularly as regards governance and economic growth. The African Union (AU), the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and international organisations have equipped Africa with political and economic roadmaps and a vision for the future. Nevertheless, Africa’s road towards sustainable development remains long.

A very diverse reality

Africa comprises different political regimes, historical experience and cultural, religious, economic and geographical contexts. Furthermore, areas of insecurity and centres of stability coexist. Some African countries have experienced, or are experiencing, sustained periods of peace, security, economic and political stability and democratic participation, while others remain mired in long-term conflict. Heightened instability is linked to a rise in transnational organised crime, resulting in an increased threat of drugs trafficking and consumption, human trafficking, smuggling of natural resources and arms trafficking.

Nevertheless, there is no shortage of growth factors. Sustainable exploitation of natural resources, agricultural development and investment in human resources create a sound investment climate. A number of African countries possess considerable natural resources which permit genuine sustainable development. Commodity-dependent African economies can reduce their vulnerability by acting against the long-term downward trend in prices and against fluctuations in world prices.

A fundamental driver of growth is a reliable and attractive investment climate. A country’s stability and level of governance, transparency, dialogue with the national and international business community, and regional integration are all contributing factors in economic development. New external players, such as Brazil, India and China, are increasingly attracted by Africa’s economic potential, while Africa’s longer-established partners, such as the United States, Japan and Russia, are showing renewed interest in the continent.

In these regions, interconnection is crucial to allowing people easier market access and reducing the costs of doing business. A regional integration process must therefore be developed to strengthen Africa’s position in the world economy.

Social dynamics

Human development also presents a highly varied picture. While several African countries have recorded impressive economic growth, a highly unequal distribution of income often prevents this growth from having a positive impact on poverty levels.

Job creation remains one of the major challenges for poverty reduction and social development, in particular for women and ethnic minorities. The employment situation is closely linked to literacy rates, which are gradually improving. Individuals’ well-being is also dependent on health and hygiene conditions. In particular, the HIV/AIDS pandemic is a heavy burden on many African countries.

Environmental dynamics

The African continent is environmentally very diverse. Climate change will further increase the strain on water resources, affect biodiversity and human health, worsen food security and increase desertification. Flooding and drought are common and are set to increase as a result of climate change, while early-warning systems are inadequate and disaster management is weak. Climate change adaptation is therefore an urgent necessity for Africa’s development.

The desertification process affects almost half of the African continent, the worst-affected areas being located along desert margins. Furthermore, Africa’s renewable water resources fall below the world average and several countries suffer water stress or scarcity. Africa also has 17% of the world’s forests, and deforestation, both for commercial timber and to make room for agriculture, is therefore a major concern.

The principles of the EU-Africa relations

Over the last few decades, the EU has concluded an increasing number of agreements with Africa, including the Lomé Conventions, entered into with the Member States of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries (ACP) Group and since replaced by the 2000 Cotonou Agreement, the South Africa Agreements and the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership and Association Agreement.

So now is the time to develop the basic principles that govern the relationship between Africa and the EU. This Communication envisages three principles:

  • equality, based on mutual recognition and respect for institutions and the definition of mutual collective interests;
  • partnership, i.e. developing links based on political and commercial cooperation;
  • ownership, i.e. strategies and development policies being country-owned and not imposed from the outside.

The EU should engage with Africa’s three levels of governance – national, regional and continental – on the basis of the principle of subsidiarity: only matters which would be dealt with less effectively at a lower level should be reserved for a higher level of governance. The EU should enhance intra-African solidarity between these three levels and raise dialogue with the African continent as a whole to the highest political level.

The EU’s response strategy

The EU should strengthen its support in the areas considered prerequisites for attaining the MDGs (peace, security, good governance), areas that create a favourable economic environment for growth, trade and interconnection and areas targeting social cohesion and environment.

The EU will step up its efforts to foster peace and security by means of a wide range of actions, ranging from the support for African peace operations to a comprehensive approach to conflict prevention addressing the root causes of violent conflict. These actions also target cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, as well as support for regional and national strategies for disarmament, demobilisation, reintegration and reinsertion in order to contribute to the reintegration of ex?combatants – including child soldiers – and stabilisation of post-conflict situations.

Despite the progress made in Africa, the road towards good governance remains long. With a view to reforming the State, the EU will work towards building effective and credible central institutions, to which end it will define a Governance Initiative in support of the African Peer Review Mechanism. It will reinforce respect for human rights and democracy, develop local capacity and encourage the decentralisation process, with the aim of promoting democracy and development. It will also encourage African countries to sign and implement the main international instruments of crime prevention.

In order to contribute to the effective reduction of poverty across Africa, the EU will stimulate rapid and broad-based economic growth by supporting macroeconomic stability and assisting in the creation of integrated regional markets. Limited access to transport and communication services, water and sanitation, and energy constrains economic growth. The Commission therefore proposes to establish an EU-Africa Partnership for Infrastructure. Transport policies must also be harmonised through support to the Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Programme and the energy infrastructure must be developed along with integrated water management for its improvement in trans-boundary river basins.

When we consider that 40% of all Africans survive on less than one dollar a day, the EU must contribute to the establishment of social safety for the most vulnerable. In this context, it will support education, access to knowledge and transfer of know-how as a lifelong process going beyond primary education, and promote access to water supply, sanitation and energy, as well as the improvement of health infrastructures and the provision of essential health services.

Particular attention will be paid to employment policies, the promotion of cultural diversity and turning migration into a positive force in the development process.

As regards the environment, the EU’s activities will include the management of environmental diversity, the improvement of sustainable land management to halt desertification, the conservation of biodiversity, limitation of the effects of climate change and support for the sound management of chemicals.

Despite being the main donor to Africa, the EU should increase its financing substantially. In June 2005 the EU committed itself collectively to increase official aid to 0.56% of gross national income (GNI) by 2010 and to 0.7% by 2015. In particular, some €4 billion will be available annually for Sub-Saharan Africa and this Strategy for Africa should constitute the reference framework for the programmes and action under the 10th European Development Fund (EDF).

This Strategy was adopted by the European Council of 15 and 16 December 2005.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – From Cairo to Lisbon – The EU-Africa Strategic Partnership [COM(2007) 357 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

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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

Green Paper on the learning mobility of young people

This green paper launches a public consultation with the aim of boosting mobility opportunities for young people.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 8 July 2009 – Promoting the learning mobility of young people [COM(2009) 329 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Transnational mobility through which young people may acquire new knowledge and skills (learning mobility) enhances personal development and employability. Currently however, the learning mobility of young people is more an exception than a rule, and should therefore be promoted in all disciplines and contexts. As a result, the Commission is launching this public consultation to initiate discussions on how existing and new instruments, as well as public authorities and stakeholders can be mobilised to that end.

The green paper presents a number of issues where further efforts towards learning mobility are needed. The aim is to promote organised mobility that is carried out across borders as well as within and across sectors. While the value of virtual mobility is recognised, the focus is on physical mobility and the challenges arising before, during and after such periods.

Preparing for a period of learning mobility

Preparation is an essential element of any mobility project and needs to be well thought-out in order for the mobility period to be a success. Firstly, this consists of providing good quality and easily accessible information and guidance on mobility opportunities, including on funding, education and training programmes, as well as on any practical issues. Secondly, there is a need to promote and motivate young people to be mobile by informing them of the benefits and guaranteeing the recognition of such an experience. Thirdly, linguistic skills and intercultural competences facilitate mobility, and may be upgraded during mobility periods. However, as a lack of such skills may be a barrier to participation, ways to address these obstacles must be explored.

Other challenges to take into consideration during the preparatory phase include the legal status of the young people in the host countries. A secure framework for the mobility of minors and a European Trainee Statute for the mobility of trainees could help to overcome such legal obstacles. Similarly, the obstacles to the portability of grants and loans as well as to the access to benefits, which often contravene Community law, should be overcome to promote mobility. To this end, the Commission is suggesting the publication of guides for Member State authorities and stakeholders.

There is also a need to assure that the mobility period is of a high quality, to which both the sending and receiving institutions should commit. Appropriate mechanisms should be set up for selecting participants in a fair and transparent manner, as well as for matching participants and receiving institutions. A number of charters, such as the European Quality Charter for Mobility, could be used to guide this work, as could learning/training agreements drawn up by the sending and hosting institutions together with the participants. Finally, measures should be taken to reach disadvantaged groups, so that they may also benefit from the opportunities of learning mobility.

The stay abroad and follow-up

Proper arrangements should be in place to receive young people during their mobility periods abroad. It is particularly essential that the hosting institutions provide mentoring support to young people in order to help them integrate better into the host environment. Concerning the follow-up, mobility periods must be appropriately recognised and validated in terms of both formal and non-formal learning. To this end, a number of European instruments are already available (such as ECVET, EQF, Europass), but greater use should be made of them at the regional and sectoral levels.

A new partnership for mobility

In order to overcome the continuing obstacles to mobility, it is imperative to mobilise actors and resources at all levels. A new partnership should be established between public authorities, civil society and partners from the business world. At the same time, the funding base needs to be enlarged to provide mobility opportunities to all groups of young people.

Virtual mobility can provide an added value by acting as a catalyst for physical mobility, as well as by providing an international dimension to learning for those who cannot or do not want to go abroad. “Multipliers”, such as teachers and trainers at all levels, youth workers, as well as people who have been mobile are important in motivating young people to embark on a period of mobility. Any obstacles to their involvement in promoting mobility should be removed and opportunities for their mobility encouraged.

At the moment, mobility has wide backing. However, it is essential to turn this support into concrete targets, based on which Member States, regional authorities, institutions and organisations may define their mobility strategies. Strategic benchmarks should also be established to complement those developed at European and national levels.

Background

The Commission invites stakeholders and the wider public to respond to the issues raised in this green paper before 15 December 2009. The Commission will propose follow-up actions on the basis of these responses.

Maritime safety: tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated ballast oil tankers

Maritime safety: tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated ballast oil tankers

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Maritime safety: tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated ballast oil tankers

Topics

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

Transport > Waterborne transport

Maritime safety: tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated ballast oil tankers

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 2978/94 of 21 November 1994 on the implementation of IMO Resolution A.747(18) on the application of tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated ballast oil tankers [Official Journal L 319 of 12.12.1994].

Summary

The aim of the Regulation is to encourage the use of oil tankers fitted with segregated ballast capacity by requiring the Community’s port and pilotage authorities either to apply the recommendations of Resolution A.747(18) or to permit a system of rebates on dues, such as that provided for in the said Resolution.

The Resolution invites governments to advise port authorities to apply to all tankers with segregated ballast tanks the recommendation of deducting the segregated ballast tank tonnage from the gross tonnage wherever their dues are based on the latter, and to advise pilotage authorities to act in accordance with the same recommendation.

The Regulation applies to oil tankers:

  • equipped with tanks especially designed to carry segregated ballast;
  • designed, built, adapted, equipped and operated as segregated ballast oil tankers, including double hull tankers of an alternative design;
  • meeting the requirements of the 1969 International Convention on Tonnage Measurement of Ships;
  • holding the International Tonnage Certificate (1969).

The Regulation requires the body issuing the International Tonnage Certificate (1969) to specify both the tonnage of the segregated ballast tanks of the vessel concerned – as calculated in accordance with the method set out in Annex I to the Regulation – and the reduced gross tonnage of the vessel.

Where port authorities base the dues payable by an oil tanker on its gross tonnage, they must, in accordance with the provisions of Resolution A.747(18), deduct the tonnage of the segregated ballast tanks from the vessel’s gross tonnage so that their calculations are based on the resulting reduced gross tonnage. Dues thus calculated must be at least 17% lower than those for an oil tanker of the same gross tonnage but without segregated ballast tanks.

Alternatively, the said authorities may assess dues on a basis other than that of gross tonnage as long as the dues are no less favourable than they would have been if calculated by the above method.

The Regulation establishes an advisory committee comprised of Member State representatives and chaired by a Commission representative.

Regulation (EC) No 417/2002

This Regulation generalises the ban on single hull oil tankers, introducing a schedule for their gradual withdrawal in line with the new international arrangements introduced by the Marpol 73/78 Convention (International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships). The new deadlines are:

– 2007 for Category 1 oil tankers delivered in 1981 or later;

– 2015 for Category 2 and 3 oil tankers delivered in 1989 or later.

The Regulation applies to oil tankers of 5 000 tonnes deadweight and above which fly the flag of a Member State or which, irrespective of their flag, enter into a port or offshore terminal under the jurisdiction of a Member State.

It does not apply to ships not used for commercial purposes, such as warships and naval auxiliaries.

Act

Date
of entry into force

Final date for implementation in the Member States

Regulation (EC) No 2978/94

01.01.1996

31.12.1995

Regulation (EC) No 417/2002

27.03.2002

01.09.2002

Related Acts

Regulation (EC) No 2099/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 November 2002 establishing a Committee on Safe Seas and the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (COSS) and amending the Regulations on maritime safety and the prevention of pollution from ships [Official Journal L 324 of 29.11.2002].

Intra-Community trade in and imports of porcine semen

Intra-Community trade in and imports of porcine semen

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Intra-Community trade in and imports of porcine semen

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

Intra-Community trade in and imports of porcine semen

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 90/429/EEC of 26 June 1990 laying down the animal health requirements applicable to intra-Community trade in and imports of semen of domestic animals of the porcine species [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The Directive lays down the animal health requirements applicable to trade in and imports of semen of animals of the porcine species in the European Union (EU).

Intra-Community trade

Intra-Community trade in porcine semen requires compliance with regulations concerning collection, processing, storage and transport as well as provisions on protection against the spread of Aujesky’s disease.

The Directive lays down that each Member State shall send the list of authorised semen collection centres and their veterinary registration numbers to the other Member States and to the Commission. It also lays down that each consignment of semen must be accompanied by an animal health certificate drawn up by an official veterinarian of the Member State of collection.

Imports from third countries

Imports of porcine semen must come from:

  • a country on the list of third countries authorised to export to the EU, and
  • an approved semen collection centre in one of these countries.

Member States shall authorize the import of semen only on submission of an animal health certificate drawn up and signed by an official veterinarian of the third country of collection. The semen must fulfil the animal health requirements adopted for imports of semen from those countries.

Precautionary and control measures

The protective measures laid down by Directive 90/425/EEC apply to intra-Community trade in porcine semen.

The control measures provided for in Directive 90/425/EEC and in Directive 97/78/EC also apply to the trade in porcine semen. They concern controls on the origin, organisation and monitoring of porcine semen.

The Commission’s veterinary experts may carry out on-the-spot checks in cooperation with the competent authorities in the Member States and third countries. These controls ensure application of the Directive.

References

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

Directive 90/429/EEC

12.7.1990

30.12.1991

OJ L 224, 18.8.1990

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

Regulation (EC) No 806/2003

5.6.2003

OJ L 122, 16.5.2003

Directive 2008/73/EC

3.9.2008

1.1.2010

OJ L 219, 14.8.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 90/429/EEC have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2009/893/EC of 30 November 2009 on importation of semen of domestic animals of the porcine species into the Community as regards lists of third countries and of semen collection centres, and certification requirements [Official Journal L 320 of 5.12.2009].

Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage

Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage

Topics

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

Environment > Water protection and management

Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage

Proposal

Proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of a fund for the compensation of oil pollution damage in European waters and related measures [COM (2000) 802 final – Official Journal C 120 E, 24 April 2001].

Summary

Background

This proposal for a regulation forms part of the second package of Community measures on maritime safety. Following the sinking of the Erika, the Commission came to the conclusion that the existing liability and compensation arrangements failed to offer sufficient guarantees against oil pollution damage.

The objective of this proposal from the Commission is to set up a supplementary fund covering liability and compensation for pollution damage caused by oil tankers, designated COPE (Compensation for Oil Pollution in European waters fund), to pay compensation to the victims of oil spills in European waters.

The COPE Fund would top up the CLC (Convention on Liability of the Carrier) and IOPC (International Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage) systems in force at international level.

Content

The objective of this proposal is to ensure adequate compensation for pollution damage in EU waters resulting from the transport of oil by sea and to introduce a financial penalty to be imposed on any person found to have contributed to an oil pollution incident.

The proposed regulation would apply to safeguard measures to prevent or minimise such risks and to pollution damage caused:

  • in the territory, including the territorial sea, of a Member State;
  • in the exclusive economic zone of a Member State, established in accordance with international law;
  • if a Member State has not established such a zone, in an area beyond the territorial sea of that State and extending not more than 200 nautical miles.

A Fund for Compensation for Oil Pollution will be established to provide compensation to the extent that the protection afforded by the CLC Convention and the IOPC Convention is inadequate.

To this end, the COPE Fund will pay compensation to any person who is entitled to compensation for pollution damage under the IOPC Convention but who has been unable to obtain full and adequate compensation under that Convention.

No compensation will be paid by the COPE Fund until the Commission has approved the results of the relevant assessment of entitlement.

The Commission may decide not to pay compensation to any person in a contractual relationship with the carrier in respect of the operation during which the incident occurred.

Each Member State will be required to communicate to the Commission the name and address of any person who is liable to contribute to the COPE Fund. For the purposes of ascertaining who are liable to contribute to the COPE Fund and of establishing, where applicable, the quantities of oil to be taken into account for each such person, a list must be compiled and kept up to date by the Commission.

Member States will also have to lay down a system for imposing financial penalties on any person found by a court of law to have contributed, by wrongful intentional or grossly negligent acts or omissions, to an incident causing or threatening to cause oil pollution.

Three years after the entry into force of the regulation at the latest, the Commission will submit a report on the efforts made at international level to improve the international insurance and compensation arrangements.

Procedure

Codecision procedure (COD/2002/0326)

On 12 June 2002 the Commission adopted an amended proposal.
On 12 June 2002 the amended proposal was submitted to the European Parliament.

 

Protection of pedestrians and vulnerable road users

Protection of pedestrians and vulnerable road users

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of pedestrians and vulnerable road users

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

Protection of pedestrians and vulnerable road users

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 78/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 January 2009 on the type-approval of motor vehicles with regard to the protection of pedestrians and other vulnerable road users, amending Directive 2007/46/EC and repealing Directives 2003/102/EC and 2005/66/EC (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This Regulation lays down requirements for the construction and functioning of motor vehicles and frontal protection systems *. The aim is to reduce the number and severity of injuries to pedestrians and other vulnerable road users hit by the front of a vehicle.

To which types of vehicle does the Regulation apply?

This Regulation applies to:

  • motor vehicles of category M1 defined in Annex II of the Directive on the EC type-approval system for motor vehicles;
  • motor vehicles of category N1 defined in Annex II of the above-mentioned Directive;
  • frontal protection systems of those vehicles, fitted as original equipment to the vehicles or supplied as separate units.

What are the obligations of the manufacturers?

Manufacturers shall ensure that vehicles placed on the market are equipped with a type-approved brake assist system (BAS) *. They may add a frontal protection system which must comply with the criteria laid down in this Regulation. They shall communicate data on the specifications and test conditions of the vehicles to the vehicle approval authorities.

The manufacturer shall submit to the authorities an application for EC type-approval in the form of an information document containing general information, construction characteristics and information relating to the bodywork of the vehicle.

What are the obligations of the authorities of the Member States?

The approval authority shall grant EC type-approval by type of vehicle where the relevant requirements are met by the manufacturer. Three types of letter are granted according to the requirements met by the vehicle, namely letter A (corresponding to the first level of minimum protection), B (corresponding to the second level of protection) or X (corresponding to a level of protection for certain specific vehicles).

National authorities shall not grant EC type-approval if the frontal protection system does not meet the relevant requirements laid down in this Regulation. On the other hand, vehicles equipped with collision avoidance systems may not have to fulfil the test requirements laid down in this Regulation in the future, upon assessment by the European Commission.

Context

This Regulation repeals Directives 2003/102/EC and 2005/66/EC.

Key terms of the Act
  • Frontal protection system: a separate structure or structures, such as a bull bar, or a supplementary bumper which, in addition to the original-equipment bumper, is intended to protect the external surface of the vehicle from damage in the event of a collision with an object. Structures having a mass of less than 0.5 kg, intended to protect only the vehicle’s lights, are excluded from this definition.
  • Brake assist system (BAS): a braking system with an anti-lock device (ABS) which detects in a fraction of a second that the driver is attempting an emergency brake and triggers the brake automatically in order to achieve the shortest possible braking distance.

Reference

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

Regulation (EC) No 78/2009

24.2.2009

OJ L 35 of 4.2.2009