Author Archives: Jacob Lekker

Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

Topics

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

Agriculture > General framework

Information measures relating to the common agricultural policy

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 814/2000 of 17 April 2000 on information measures relating to the common agricultural policy.

Summary

The aims of the information measures relating to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) are:

  • explaining, implementing and developing the CAP;
  • promoting the European model of agriculture and helping people to understand it;
  • informing farmers and other parties active in rural areas;
  • raising public awareness of the issues and objectives of the CAP.

The information measures are as follows:

  • specific or annual nformation measures such as talks, audiovisual productions, information campaigns, information stands at agricultural fairs, mobile workshops, etc. presented by organisations (legal persons) established in a Member State for at least two years, such as agricultural NGOs, consumers’ associations, public authorities, the media or universities.
  • activities implemented at the Commission’s initiative.

Measures covered by a legal obligation and those receiving funding under another Community action may not claim aid under this Regulation.

The Community cofinancing rate, under the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF), generally amounts to 50% of the eligible costs. In special cases, it may be 75 %.

Events eligible for Community cofinancing for information measures in the field of the CAP include information measures such as televised debates, audiovisual productions, seminars, publications, participation in international events or information campaigns including several of the measures referred to above.

The Commission publishes a call for proposals in autumn each year (in 2009, publication took place on 9 September and proposals were to be submitted by 31 October).

Projects are selected on the basis of their quality and cost-effectiveness.

For measures to be cofinanced in 2010, the amount of funding is at least EUR 20 000 and at most EUR 200 000. The end of the evaluation procedure has been set at 30 April 2010 in the knowledge that the applications selected will be the subject of an agreement between the Commission and the recipients governing the rights and obligations arising from the Commission’s funding decision.

The European Commission monitors, checks on and analyses measures receiving Community funding.

The European Commission regularly issues a report on the implementation of information measures to the Parliament and to the Council.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation No 814/2000

17.4.2000

OJ L 100 of 17.4.2000.

Related Acts

Implementing procedures

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2208/2002 of 12 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 814/2000 on information measures relating to the common agricultural policy [Official Journal L 337 of 13.12.2002].
Amended by Regulation (EC) No 1820/2004 [Official Journal L 320 of 21.10.2004].

Online access to Europe’s cultural heritage

Online access to Europe’s cultural heritage

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Online access to Europe’s cultural heritage

Topics

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

Audiovisual and media

Online access to Europe’s cultural heritage

Europeana, the European digital library, which will provide the public with a single access point to Europe’s cultural heritage. The main issues addressed concern digitisation, online accessibility and digital preservation of cultural material.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 11 August 2008 – Europe’s cultural heritage at the click of a mouse: Progress on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation across the EU [COM(2008) 513 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication sets out the progress achieved thus far and the steps that still need to be taken in order to develop Europeana, the European digital library. Particular emphasis is on the actions carried out by Member States to implement the Commission Recommendation 2006/585/EC of 24 August 2006 on the digitisation and online accessibility of cultural material and digital preservation, which was endorsed in the Council Conclusions of 20 November 2008.

Europeana will be a common multilingual point of access to digitised European material. In 2007, its development received new impetus, especially through the creation of the European Digital Library Foundation that brings together different cultural sectors. The demo site of Europeana was published in February 2008 with the aim that the prototype will be launched in November of the same year. This prototype is to be developed into a fully operational service within the following two years.

The issues yet to be addressed in the development of Europeana include the:

  • incorporation of in-copyright material;
  • provision of multilingual search and retrieval functions;
  • integration of collaborative tools;
  • promotion of Europeana to the wider public.

On the basis of the above-mentioned Recommendation, Member States have progressed on the following:

  • digitisation – Most Member States have established overviews of digitisation activities, as well as strategies and plans for digitisation. However, the overviews are not used in any systematic manner and the strategies and plans do not provide quantitative targets. Further efforts are needed in these areas, as well as in financial planning. While some of the Member States have provided substantial amounts of resources to digitisation, additional funding is needed. This could be achieved through public-private partnerships or through private sponsoring. It is also essential that the output of digitisation continues to rise. To this end, many Member States have established digitisation centres;
  • online accessibility – Many of the Member States have either established or are establishing national portals, which may act as aggregators for Europeana. Most are also working on the standards that are essential for interoperability in Europe. In order to make the availability of in-copyright material possible, some Member States have begun to involve private content holders in their work. With regard to orphan works though, progress seems to be limited. In this regard, some Member States expressed their wish for a European level solution. Similarly, little progress has been made in connection with clearing rights for digitising and making available online works that are out of print or distribution, or to barriers to the use of public domain works. More attention should be given in particular to the latter issue, as it is imperative to continue providing access to such works;
  • digital preservation – Most Member States have begun to formulate digital preservation strategies and some have already established specific preservation plans; yet, the follow-up and financial backing to these remain limited. Multiple copying for preservation purposes is already allowed in most of the Member States, and even the remaining Member States are contemplating the necessary legislative actions. Similarly, the legal deposit legislation is already updated in most Member States, but the differences in materials covered and the deposit criteria are substantial. Many of the Member States have also implemented legislation relating to web harvesting by specified institutions (usually the national library). Otherwise, access to web-harvested material remains restricted due to intellectual property and privacy rights.

Even though Member States have progressed considerably in making cultural information available online, further action needs to be taken in particular with regard to:

  • funding of and quantitative targets for digitisation;
  • support for Europeana;
  • legislative actions and other measures to enable the digitisation and accessibility of orphan works and works that are out of print or distribution;
  • financial and organisational measures relating to digital preservation.

The High Level Expert Group on Digital Libraries, set up in 2006, has given practical assistance to Member States in implementing the above Recommendation. The Group’s work focuses in particular on public-private partnerships, scientific information and copyright issues.

In order to develop the services provided by Europeana, advancements in technical issues are needed, especially to achieve cheaper and better quality digitisation and preservation techniques. The Commission has supported this progress through the Framework Programmes for Research and Development and the eContentplus programme. It has asserted its commitment to continue providing support through policy initiatives and funding programmes for the development of Europeana and other projects that improve the accessibility and preservation of digital cultural material.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – “Europeana: next steps” [COM(2009) 440 final – Not published in the Official Journal.
This Communication sets out the challenges to come concerning the implementation of Europeana.
Europeana’s results are positive, in that it gives access to more than 4.6 million digitised books, newspapers, film clips, maps, photographs and documents and receives contributions from more than 1,000 cultural institutions.
However, the Communication notes several problems connected with:

  • an imbalance between Member States in terms of the provision of cultural material. France has contributed 47% of the digitised objects, while other Member States such as Poland and Hungary have contributed mainly books;
  • copyright, in that recent works enjoy protection which limits access to them, unlike works from before 1900. It is important to establish collaboration with rightholders in order to improve access to protected works. Another challenge lies in the legal consequences of digitisation;
  • the financing and governance of Europeana.

Further efforts are therefore necessary in order to ensure that citizens can enjoy the services of Europeana fully.

Council conclusions of 20 November 2008 on the European digital library Europeana [Official Journal C 319 of 13.12.2008].
In its conclusions the Council of the European Union expressed satisfaction with the gradual establishment of the Europeana European library and the commitment of Member States to this project. In order for the project to be a success, the Council invites Member States to:

  • continue their strategy of implementation of their national objectives;
  • promote synergies between them in the process of digitisation and increasing online accessibility of cultural material;
  • incorporate digital cultural material in Europeana;
  • facilitate digitisation and online access to orphan works.

The European Commission is invited to encourage the development of Europeana and to promote it in Europe and the world, as well as to encourage the establishment of public-private partnerships to develop it.

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

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal welfare

Protection of calves intended for slaughter

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/119/EC of 18 December 2008 laying down minimum standards for the protection of calves.

Summary

This Directive lays down minimum standards for the protection of calves * placed in units in which they are raised for slaughter. These standards, which have been compulsory since 1 January 2007, do not apply to calves kept with the cow for suckling, or to holdings with fewer than six calves.

This Directive does not cover the transport of calves, which is governed by Regulation (EC) No 1/2005.

Group or individual pens

Pens must be constructed in such a way as to allow each calf to lie down, rest, stand up and groom itself without difficulty.

From the age of eight weeks, individual pens are prohibited except in the case of illness. This measure is justified by the gregarious nature of bovine animals.

Before the age of eight weeks, individual pens are permitted. They are to be composed of perforated walls which allow the calves to have visual and tactile contact. Solid walls may be used only to isolate sick animals from the rest of the herd.

Group pens must comply with the following standards relating to space (see table below).

Weight of animal in kg Area in m2

‹ 150

1.5

‹ 220

1.7

› 220

1.8

Calves must not be tethered (except possibly during the feeding of milk for a period of not more than one hour) or muzzled.

Housing, pens, equipment and utensils must be cleaned and disinfected.

Floors must be smooth but not slippery, so as to prevent injury to the calves. The lying area must be comfortable, clean and adequately drained. Bedding is compulsory for calves less than two weeks old.

Health

Each calf must receive bovine colostrum as soon as possible after it is born (within the first six hours of life).

Any calf which is ill or injured must be treated without delay. Veterinary advice must be obtained as soon as possible for any calf which is not responding to the stock-keeper’s care.

Diet

Calves are to be fed at least twice a day. Each calf must have access to food at the same time as the others in the group.

Their food must contain sufficient iron to ensure an average blood haemoglobin level of at least 4.5 mmol/litre, and a minimum daily ration of fibrous food must be provided for each calf over two weeks old.

Diet must be adapted to the age and weight of the animal. It must also be adapted to its behaviour and physiological needs.

Calves over two weeks of age should have access to fresh water.

Monitoring of animals

Housed calves must be inspected at least twice daily and mechanical equipment at least once daily. Where an artificial ventilation system is used, provision must be made for an alarm system (tested regularly) and a ventilation back-up system.

Light levels

Calves should be kept in conditions with natural or artificial lighting (equivalent to the period of natural light between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.).

Inspections

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

The Commission may send veterinary experts to carry out on-the-spot checks with the assistance of the national inspectors.

Imports

To import animals from third countries, a certificate is required stating that they have received treatment equivalent to that granted to animals of Community origin.

Specific provisions

Member States may, within their territories, apply stricter provisions than those laid down in this Directive. In this case, they must inform the Commission in advance of any such measures.

Context

This Directive repeals Directive 91/629/EEC.

Key terms of the Act
  • Calf: a bovine animal up to six months old.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/119/EC

4.2.2009

OJ L 10 of 15.1.2009

Bluetongue

Bluetongue

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bluetongue

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal health

Bluetongue

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2000/75/EC of 20 November 2000 laying down specific provisions for the control and eradication of bluetongue [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive lays down measures to control and eradicate bluetongue.

Suspected or confirmed cases of the bluetongue virus must be notified to the competent authority of the Member State concerned before implementing the required measures.

Measures for suspected cases of the disease

Where the presence of the disease is suspected in a flock, the official veterinarian is to place the holding(s) concerned under surveillance and undertake a certain number of investigative measures (surveillance of the holding, inventory of the animals and the premises, epidemiological survey, etc.) and protective measures (ban on movements of animals, treatment of animals with insecticide, destruction and disposal of animal carcases, etc.).

Measures for confirmed cases of the disease

If the presence of the disease is confirmed, the official veterinarian will extend the measures introduced on suspicion to all holdings within a 20-km radius around the infected holding(s). He will also carry out an epidemiological survey and may launch a vaccination programme around the outbreaks of bluetongue.

Where the presence of the disease is confirmed, the competent authority must establish a protection zone and a surveillance zone around the holdings.

Protection zone and surveillance zone

The protection zone will extend over a radius of at least 100 kilometres around the infected holding(s). Within that zone, all holdings with animals must be identified and the animals may not leave the zone. The competent authority must establish an epidemiological surveillance programme. A vaccination programme may also be set up within the protection zone.

The surveillance zone will extend for at least 50 kilometres beyond the protection zone. Within that zone, the measures for identification, restriction of movement and epidemiological surveillance applicable within the protection zone must be implemented. However, the vaccination of animals against bluetongue is forbidden.

The protection and surveillance zones may be extended or reduced depending on the epidemiological, geographical, ecological or meteorological circumstances.

Derogations and supplementary measures

The Commission, assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health may adopt supplementary or derogatory measures. In particular provisions may be adopted to allow animals to leave the protection and surveillance zones under certain conditions.

National laboratories

Each Member State designates a national laboratory responsible for carrying out the laboratory tests provided for by this Directive and then informs the other Member States and the public of the laboratory’s contact details. Each national laboratory must cooperate with the Community reference laboratory located at Pirbright (United Kingdom).

Context

The outbreak of bluetongue at the end of the 1990s demonstrated that the Community legislation then in force did not deal with the specific features of the disease. This Directive takes over a number of measures laid down by Directive 92/35/EEC concerning African horse sickness, which were adaptable to cover bluetongue.

References

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

Directive 2000/75/EC

22.12.2000

1.1.2002

OJ L 327 of 22.12.2000

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

Directive 2008/73/EC

12.12.2006

OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/75/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Competition in agriculture and fisheries

Competition in agriculture and fisheries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Competition in agriculture and fisheries

Topics

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

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in agriculture and fisheries

Competition in agriculture and fisheries

ANTITRUST LAWS

  • Application of certain EU competition rules to agricultural products

STATE AID LEGISLATION

Agriculture

  • State aid in the agriculture sector
  • Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

Fisheries

  • State Aid: Guidelines
  • De minimis aid for the fisheries sector
  • State aid for SMEs in the fisheries sector
  • Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry

The communication strategy on enlargement

The communication strategy on enlargement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The communication strategy on enlargement

Topics

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

Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007

The communication strategy on enlargement

1) Objective

To summarise the activities carried out within the framework of the communication strategy on enlargement and to set out guidelines for the future.

2) Document or Iniciative

Report from the Commission to the Council of 5 June 2002 – Explaining Europe’s Enlargement [COM(2002)281 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

This report is based on the idea that an enlargement of the present scale requires a communication strategy to keep citizens of the Union and the candidate countries informed, ensure their participation in the process and win their support.

For these reasons, in May 2000 the European Commission launched its communication strategy for enlargement. This strategy explains enlargement and its advantages to citizens of the present Member States and the candidate countries. It stresses, inter alia, that all of the participants stand to gain from the process since it unites Europe and extends peace, prosperity and security to the entire continent.

Responsibility for implementation of the communication strategy lies largely with the representations and delegations of the Commission in the candidate countries and in the present Member States. Representations and delegations establish partnerships with information networks and centres, civil society organisations and national, regional and local authorities. The Commission’s Directorate-General for Enlargement is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the strategy, producing information products for use in the strategy and managing the information contained on the website.

Initially, implementation of the strategy involved concentrating on specific groups; only then did the strategy focus more directly on the general public.

The activities carried out within the context of the strategy encompass public debates, seminars, conferences, research projects, brochures, cultural events as well as collaboration with the media (especially television).

The state of public opinion influences the way in which the Commission manages its communication strategies. The following elements have an impact on the strategy for enlargement:

  • in the candidate countries, the enthusiasm aroused by the prospect of accession is not as strong today as it was in 1989;
  • issues linked to the accession negotiations are at present causing the greatest changes in public opinion in the candidate countries;
  • in the Member States, the level of knowledge about the enlargement process and the candidate countries is not yet sufficient;
  • citizens in regions that border on the candidate countries are more like to harbour concerns about enlargement;
  • many people in both present and future Member States feel that they are not well informed.

In this final phase of the accession negotiations, it is important to provide citizens with better information on the issues surrounding enlargement. The people of the Member States must be better informed of the candidate countries. More needs to be done to explain the positive results achieved, particularly those concerning Phare, Ispa and Sapard as well as the economic and political reform.

Efforts should also focus on informing citizens of the candidate countries about the process.

The next steps in the strategy

Cooperation with governments:

  • the governments are responsible for explaining enlargement to the citizens. The Commission will limit its contribution to developing partnerships with them, providing the necessary information and stimulating debate;
  • the Member States, the Commission and the European Parliament should cooperate in the framework of the communication strategy;
  • the governments of the candidate countries must cooperate.

Cooperation with civil society: the communication strategy must involve all levels of society. More work is needed with the media.

Greater clarity and openness: the Commission will improve the on-line information on the accession negotiations, the pre-accession strategy and the candidate countries.

A continuous commitment to information: the communication measures will continue even after accession with a view to ensuring a smooth transition.

Referenda in the candidate countries: since accession referenda will take place in most candidate countries, public opinion has a key role to play in the ratification of the accession treaties. The strategy must be flexible in order to take account of the topics to be dealt with at that time in each candidate country.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Kosovo – Towards European integration

Kosovo – Towards European integration

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Kosovo – Towards European integration

Topics

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

Enlargement > The stabilisation and association process: the western balkans

Kosovo – Towards European integration

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 17 December 2009 – Kosovo – Fulfilling its European Perspective [COM(2009) 534 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

According to the status defined by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244, Kosovo has made progress towards accession to the European Union (EU). Kosovo participates in the EU’s stabilisation and association process for the Western Balkans.

The progress made relates in the first instance to the adaptation of legislation to European standards and the establishment of a viable fiscal framework. However, Kosovo still faces major challenges on political, economic and social levels.

The EU provides technical and financial assistance to support the reforms. Among other things, Kosovo benefits from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance, the CARDS programme and the Instrument for Stability.

Accelerating reforms

In 2008 and 2009, Kosovo adopted plans for measures corresponding to the objectives of the European Partnership. In particular, the reforms are intended to improve the following:

  • the functioning of the State, the judiciary and public administration;
  • fiscal policy and economic stability;
  • public procurement and the business environment;
  • the fight against corruption, money laundering and organised crime;
  • social cohesion;
  • the protection of minorities, in particular Serbs, and reconciliation between the communities.

Free movement of persons

Kosovo citizens now benefit from simplified procedures for obtaining short-stay visas in EU countries. Visa requirements are to be relaxed further if Kosovo makes progress concerning:

  • readmission arrangements for Kosovo citizens,
  • the fight against organised crime,
  • the security of identity documents,
  • the monitoring of migration and border security.

Kosovo is also to participate in the judicial cooperation work of Europol, Eurojust and Frontex.

Kosovo’s socio-economic development

Kosovo has been relatively little affected by the international economic crisis due to its limited integration into global trade. However, remittances and inflows of foreign investment decreased in 2009. In addition, Kosovo’s budget and trade deficits are considerable.

The EU supports Kosovo in several sectors:

  • trade – the Commission proposes a regime of exceptional trade measures which may be replaced in due time by another preferential regime for products from Kosovo (Pan-Euro-Mediterranean cumulation of origin);
  • macro-economic and fiscal stability – in the context of the EU-Kosovo economic dialogue and Kosovo’s membership of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF);
  • the private sector – to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and to promote privatisation and innovation;
  • social policies and employment – to strengthen job centres, work incentive and social inclusion schemes. In particular, Kosovo is associated with the European PROGRESS programme;
  • education, training and research – in particular through European student exchange programmes and the 7th Framework Programme for Research;
  • culture and civic life – for the benefit of civil society organisations in particular.

Kosovo’s efforts should be extended to new sectors:

  • energy – in order to privatise the sector, to increase energy efficiency and the use of renewable energies;
  • transport – to improve the rail and road infrastructure, and with regard to Kosovo’s participation in the European Common Aviation Area;
  • environment – measures should be taken to protect public health (drinking water, air quality, etc.), and to implement European legislation effectively.

Regional cooperation

Kosovo’s cooperation with the other countries of Southern Europe is essential for its commercial development, economic growth and political stability. However, its participation in regional forums remains a sensitive political issue. Similarly, a blockade has been maintained on Kosovo’s exports to Serbia and on transit trade with Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Kosovo’s external representation is carried out by UNMIK (United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo).

EU-Kosovo dialogue

Kosovo conducts a regular dialogue with the EU on the themes of innovation, the internal market, good governance, agriculture, the economy and infrastructures.

EU financial assistance

Aid allocated by the EU is targeted to a limited number of priorities. The funding allocated under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA) amounts to EUR 359 million for the period 2007-2009 and EUR 206 million for 2010-2012. These funds are to be used to finance cross-border activities.

Context

Kosovo’s independence has been recognised by 22 out of 27 EU countries. This lack of a shared position does not prevent the EU from adopting measures to support its economic and political development.

In addition, the EU supports Kosovo’s stability through:

  • the presence of a civilian mission in the context of European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP),
  • the appointment of a Special Representative for political reform,
  • the establishment of the European EULEX mission for the rule of law (police, the judiciary and customs).

EUROPASS-Training

EUROPASS-Training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EUROPASS-Training

Topics

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

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

EUROPASS-Training

To enable a person undergoing work-linked training – including apprenticeship – to spend a period of training in another EU Member State and to establish at Community level a record of achievement in the form of a document known as “EUROPASS-Training” attesting to the completion of the training period.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 51/99/EC of 21 December 1998 on the promotion of European pathways for work-linked training, including apprenticeship [Official Journal L 17 of 22.01.1999].

3) Summary

Definitions

European pathways: where there is agreement on the use of the “EUROPASS-Training” document, any period of vocational training pursued by a person in a Member State (host Member State) other than the one (Member State of provenance) where the person is following his/her work-linked training in the context of the said training.

Person in work-linked training: any person of any age undergoing vocational training, irrespective of the level and including higher education. Such training, recognised or certified by the competent authorities of the Member State of provenance in accordance with its existing legislation, procedures and practices, involves structured periods of training in a company and, if necessary, in a training establishment or centre, whatever the person’s status (work contract, apprenticeship contract, scholar or student).

Mentor: any person who, for a private or public employer, or for a training establishment or centre in the host Member State, has the task of assisting, informing, guiding and monitoring trainees throughout their “European pathway”.

EUROPASS-Training: document proving that the holder has completed one or more periods of work-linked training or apprenticeship in another Member State under the conditions set out in the Decision.

Host partner: body responsible for the “European pathway” in the host Member State (company, training establishment or centre, etc.) under a partnership arrangement with the body responsible for organising the training in the Member State of provenance.

In keeping with their system of vocational training, Member States must adopt the necessary measures to ensure that persons in work-linked training can benefit from “European pathways”, which:

  • form an integral part of the training followed in the Member State of provenance;
  • are the fruit of a partnership between the training establishment of provenance and the host partner, which lays down the content, the objectives, the duration and the procedures applicable to the European pathway;
  • are monitored by a mentor;
  • are certified by the body responsible for the training in the Member State of provenance.

A record of achievement, known as EUROPASS-Training, must be issued to all persons completing a European pathway. A Community information document, this record of achievement:

  • specifies the vocational training in which the European pathway was completed, and the final qualification or diploma;
  • specifies the sending and host organisations, and the content and duration of the European pathway;
  • specifies the duties of the mentor, who is responsible for the person undergoing training;
  • is issued by the body at the organisation of provenance responsible for the vocational training undertaken by the person concerned in the Member State of provenance, and is signed jointly by that body, the host partner and the trainee.

These provisions also apply when the European pathway includes a series of training periods in several Member States. As the content of the EUROPASS-Training document must be understood throughout the EU, it must affirm in the different EU languages that the training pathway or periods of training have been completed.

The Commission must ensure overall consistency between the implementation of the “European pathways” and the Community programmes and initiatives in the field of education and vocational training.

The Commission will be responsible for producing, issuing and monitoring the EUROPASS-Training records of achievement as appropriate, in close cooperation with the Member States. Each Member State must designate one or more bodies to be responsible for coordination and implementation at national level, in close cooperation with the social partners and, where appropriate, with representative organisations for work-linked training. Each Member State must take steps to facilitate access to “EUROPASS-Training”, to allow for evaluation of the action undertaken and to promote equality of opportunity. The Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, will introduce a system of mutual information and coordination. The Commission and the Member States must take into account the importance of small and medium-sized enterprises and craft businesses and their specific requirements.

The funds available for implementing the support and accompanying measures are EUR 7.3 million from 1 January 2000 to 31 December 2004.

Three years after the adoption of the Decision, the Commission will submit to the European Parliament and Council a report on its implementation, evaluate the impact of the Decision on the promotion of mobility in work-linked training, including apprenticeship, propose any further corrective measures designed to make it more effective and make any proposals it deems appropriate, including budgetary proposals.

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

Decision 51/99/EC

01.01.2000

OJ L 17 of 22.1.1999

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – Report on the implementation of Decision 1999/51/EC of the Council of 21 December 1998 on the promotion of European pathways in work-linked training, including apprenticeship [COM(2002) 214 final of 22.05.2002 – not published in the Official Journal]

The report stresses that a large number of European pathways fall within the framework of the Leonardo da Vinci programme, with the other European programmes (Socrates, Youth and Equal) playing a secondary role. The Member States have designated national contact points(pdf) responsible for implementing the initiative as well as for providing information about it and promoting it.

Since the year 2000, some 19 3000 EUROPASS-Training documents have been issued, including 10 000 in Germany, 3 000 in France and 2 000 in the UK. The United Kingdom was the country in which the vast majority of the document holders spent a training period, followed by Spain, Germany and France. The length of the training periods varies from 3 to 15 weeks. Most of the beneficiaries of the EUROPASS-Training arrangement are women (approximately 55 %) and are aged between 17 and 23. The most popular occupations are those in the hotel, catering and tourism industry. Evaluations have been carried out at national level. An interim evaluation will take place at European level in December 2002.

Informing the general public in the event of a radiological emergency

Informing the general public in the event of a radiological emergency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Informing the general public in the event of a radiological emergency

Topics

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

Public health > Threats to health

Informing the general public in the event of a radiological emergency

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 89/618/Euratom of 27 November 1989 on informing the general public about health protection measures to be applied and about steps to be taken in the event of a radiological emergency

Summary

Radiological emergency

A radiological emergency could be any of the following situations:

  • An accident in the territory of a Member State as a result of which a significant release of radioactive material (i.e. exceeding the basic radiation protection standards set out in Directive 96/29/Euratom) occurs or is likely to occur,
  • or the detection of abnormal levels of radioactivity which are likely to be detrimental to public health in that Member State.

Accidents covered

The accidents covered by this Directive are those attributable to the following facilities or activities:

  • any nuclear reactor;
  • any other nuclear-fuel-cycle facility;
  • any radioactive-waste management facility;
  • the transport and storage of nuclear fuels or radioactive wastes;
  • the manufacture, use, storage, disposal and transport of radioisotopes for agricultural, industrial, medical and related scientific and research purposes;
  • the use of radioisotopes for power generation in space vehicles.

Population affected

A distinction is made between:

  • the population likely to be affected, i.e. any population group for which Member States have drawn up intervention plans in the event of a radiological emergency;
  • the population actually affected, i.e. any population group for which specific protection measures are taken as soon as a radiological emergency occurs.

Informing the public

The population likely to be affected must be informed about the health-protection measures applicable to it and about the action it should take in the event of such an emergency. This advance information shall be communicated to the population without any request being made for it.

As soon as a radiological emergency occurs, the population actually affected must be informed without delay of:

  • the facts of the emergency,
  • the steps to be taken,
  • the health-protection measures applicable to the population in question.

Persons who are not on the staff of the facilities and/or are not engaged in the activities in question, but who might be involved in the organisation of emergency assistance, must be given adequate and regularly updated information on the health risks their intervention might involve and on the precautionary measures to be taken. As soon as a radiological emergency occurs, this information must be supplemented appropriately, having regard to the specific circumstances.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Directive 89/618/Euratom

27.11.1989

27.11.1991

OJ L 357 of 7.12.1989

Related Acts

Council Directive 97/43/Euratom of 30 June 1997 on health protection of individuals against the dangers of ionizing radiation in relation to medical exposure, and repealing Directive 84/466/Euratom [Official Journal L 180 of 9.7.1997]

General arrangements for the holding and movement of products subject to excise duty

General arrangements for the holding and movement of products subject to excise duty

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about General arrangements for the holding and movement of products subject to excise duty

Topics

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

Taxation

General arrangements for the holding and movement of products subject to excise duty

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2008/118/EC of 16 December 2008 concerning the general arrangements for excise duty and repealing Directive 92/12/EEC [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This directive establishes the general arrangements for excise duties which affect the consumption of:

  • energy products and electricity covered by Directive 2003/96/EC;
  • alcohol and alcoholic beverages covered by Directives 92/83/EEC and 92/84/EEC;
  • manufactured tobacco covered by Directive 95/59/EC, Directive 92/79/EC and Directive 92/80/EC.

These products are subject to excise duties at the time of:

  • their production, including, where applicable, their extraction, within the European Union (EU);
  • their importation into the EU.

On condition that they do not give rise to formalities on the crossing of frontiers within the EU, EU countries may also levy taxes on:

  • products other than excise goods;
  • the supply of services, including those relating to excise goods, which cannot be characterised as turnover taxes.

This directive applies to the territory of the EU with the exception of certain territories such as:

  • the Canary Islands;
  • the French overseas departments;
  • the Åland Islands;
  • the Channel Islands.

Chargeability, reimbursement, exemption

Excise duties are chargeable at the time of release for consumption in the EU country concerned. The person liable to pay the excise duty is generally the authorised warehousekeeper or the registered consignee.

EU countries may remit or refund excise duty on excise goods which have been released for consumption. EU countries are free to fix the relevant conditions, so long as the result does not create a new class of exemption (see next paragraph).

Excise goods are exempted from payment of excise duty where they are intended to be used:

  • in the context of diplomatic or consular relations;
  • by international organisations;
  • by the armed forces of a State;
  • by the British armed forces stationed in Cyprus;
  • under an agreement concluded with non-EU countries or international organisations.

EU countries may also exempt from payment of excise duty excise goods supplied by tax-free shops * which are carried away in the personal luggage of travellers to a non-EU country by flight or sea-crossing.

Production, processing and holding

The rules concerning the production, processing and holding of excise goods are determined by each EU country. These operations, where the excise duty has not yet been paid, must take place in a tax warehouse *.

Movement of excise goods under suspension of excise duty

Excise goods may be moved under a duty suspension arrangement within the EU, from a tax warehouse or from a place of importation to another tax warehouse, an authorised consignee *, a place of exportation from the EU or a beneficiary of the exemption referred to above (diplomatic or consular relations, international organisations, armed forces, etc.). A movement of excise goods must in principle take place under cover of an electronic administrative document.

The competent authorities of the EU country of dispatch may request from the authorised warehousekeeper or registered consignor * a guarantee which covers the risks inherent in the movement under suspension of excise duty. In principle the guarantee can be provided by another party

Movements and taxation of excise goods after release for consumption

Excise duties may be charged only in the EU country in which the goods are acquired by a private individual for his own personal use and transported from one EU country to another by him. To determine whether the excise goods are intended for a private individual, EU countries take account of:

  • the commercial status of the holder of the goods;
  • the place where the goods are located;
  • any document relating to the goods;
  • the nature of the goods;
  • the quantity of the goods.

Where excise goods intended for consumption in an EU country are held for commercial purposes in another EU country, the goods are subject to the excise duties of the latter country. Excise duties paid in the first EU country may be reimbursed.

In the case of distance selling from one EU country to another, the vendor or his agent must pay excise duty in the EU country of destination.

EU countries may require that excise goods carry tax markings or national identification marks.

Directive 2008/118/EC repeals Directive 92/12/EC from 1 April 2010.

Key terms of the Act
  • Tax-free shop: any establishment situated within an airport or port which is authorised to sell tax-free to travellers leaving the EU.
  • Tax warehouse: a place where excise goods are produced, processed, held, received or dispatched under duty suspension arrangements by an authorised warehousekeeper in the course of his business, subject to certain conditions laid down by the competent authorities of the EU country where the tax warehouse is located.
  • Registered consignee: a natural or legal person authorised by the competent authorities of the EU country of destination, in the course of his business and under the conditions fixed by those authorities, to receive excise goods moving under a duty suspension arrangement from another EU country.
  • Registered consignor: a natural or legal person authorised by the competent authorities of the EU country of importation, in the course of his business and under the conditions fixed by those authorities, to only dispatch excise goods under a duty suspension arrangement upon their release for free circulation.

References

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

Directive 2008/118/EC

 15.1.2009

1.4.2010 

OJ L 9 of 14.1.2009 

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2010/12/EU

27.2.2010

1.1.2011

OJ L 50 of 27.2.2010