Author Archives: Mithchel Sussex

Employment and Social Policy

Employment and Social Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Employment and social policy


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

Employment and social policy

Employment and social policy

European society is changing, influenced by different factors such as technological progress, the globalisation of trade and an ageing population. European employment, social affairs and equal opportunities policies contribute to improving people’s living conditions with a view to sustainable growth and greater social cohesion. The European Union (EU) plays the role of a trigger in social change. It has introduced a protective legal framework for European citizens. It fosters the cooperation of Member States, the coordination and harmonisation of national policies, and the participation of local authorities, unions, employers’ organisations and other stakeholders involved.

The priority aims of this policy are to increase employment and worker mobility, to improve the quality of jobs and, working conditions, to inform and consult workers, to combat poverty and social exclusion, to promote equality between men and women, and to modernise social protection systems.

Employment and social policy Contents

  • European Strategy for Growth: Europe 2020 Strategy, Intelligent growth, Sustainable growth, Inclusive growth
  • Priorities and objectives: the social agenda:Social agenda
  • Community employment policies: Partnership for growth and employment, Legal instruments for Community employment policies, Skills and mobility, Quality of employment
  • Social and employment situation in europe: Reports, Statistics
  • Job creation measures: General job creation measures, Promoting employment at a local level, Sectoral job creation promotion
  • Employment rights and work organisation: Protection of employee’s rights, Organisation of working time, Corporate social responsibility
  • Social dialogue and employee participation: Cross-industry social dialogue, Sectoral social dialogue, Information, consultation and participation of employees
  • Health, hygiene and safety at work: Equipment, signs and loads, Protection of specific groups of workers, The workplace, Chemical, physical and biological agents
  • Social protection: Coordination of social security regimes, Supplementary pension schemes, Modernising social protection
  • Equality between men and women: Gender mainstreaming, Female employment and entrepreneurship, Combating sexual harassment and violence against women
  • Social measures for target groups: disability and old age: Equal opportunities, Rights and dignity of handicapped persons, Pensions and healthcare for the elderly, Demographic changes
  • Social inclusion and the fight against poverty: Combating social exclusion, Social protection and the fight against poverty
  • Anti-discrimination and relations with civil society: Combating discrimination, Fundemental social rights, Relations with civil society
  • Employment and social policy: international dimension and enlargement: Social development, Measures aimed at target groups, Enlargement

Commission Action Plan towards an Integrated Internal Control Framework

Commission Action Plan towards an Integrated Internal Control Framework

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Commission Action Plan towards an Integrated Internal Control Framework


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


Commission Action Plan towards an Integrated Internal Control Framework

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors of 17 January 2006 entitled “Commission Action Plan towards an Integrated Internal Control Framework” [COM(2006) 9 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


For each financial year, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) issues a Statement of Assurance (DAS) as regards implementation of the budget for which the Commission is responsible. In this connection, the Commission must provide the ECA with audit evidence for each financial year. Given the present Commission’s objective of obtaining a positive DAS during its term of office, it is proposing to introduce an integrated internal control framework.

The communication reports on the progress made since the roadmap and on the gaps identified and lays down the main practical measures to be taken in 2006-07 with a view to introducing a coherent internal control framework. The concrete proposals for action have been grouped around four themes:

  • simplification and common control principles;
  • management declarations and audit assurance;
  • single audit approach: sharing results and prioritising cost-benefit;
  • sector-specific gaps.

Simplification and common control principles

The Commission is aiming to simplify as much as possible the regulatory framework proposed for the period 2007-13, including expenditure eligibility rules. Integrating common internal control principles will ensure that all stakeholders will be bound by a fundamental set of control principles. These common principles will also provide the ECA with a clearer basis for auditing management processes and procedures.

In order to ensure that supervisory and control systems are in place to limit the risk of any irregularity, it is necessary to demonstrate the assurance and to provide evidence that the control strategy is effective.

The Commission wishes to initiate an inter-institutional dialogue on the definition of reasonable assurance in terms of tolerable risk in underlying transactions.

Management declarations and audit assurance

In order to promote management declarations and audit assurance, the Commission intends to encourage declarations at operational level and the drawing up of synthesis reports at national level for each policy area.

Other measures proposed by the Commission in order to promote management declarations and audit assurance are aimed at:

  • examining the utility of management declarations outside shared and indirect centralised management mode;
  • promoting best practices for increasing the cost-benefit of audits at project level;
  • facilitating additional assurance from supreme audit institutions (SAIs) regarding the management of Community funds.

Single audit approach; sharing results and prioritising cost-benefit

In order to avoid duplication of control work, sharing control information makes for greater effectiveness at each level in the chain. In the single audit approach, the sharing of audit and control data is key to improving the targeting of audit and control efforts.

A model for determining costs and for estimating and making an initial analysis of the costs of controls must be introduced for shared management and centralised indirect management.

The Commission stresses the importance of initiating pilot projects for evaluating the benefits to be gained from the different controls.

Sector-specific gaps

The proposed integrated framework must be capable of flexible application given the varying nature of individual EU policies. The Commission proposes measures for closing the gaps via management plans, with back-up in the form of annual activity reports from its participating departments.

The controls under shared management (in particular as regards the Structural Funds) at regional level must be analysed, and especially the existing statements. In this connection, promotion of the “contracts of confidence” initiative for the Structural Funds provides audit assurance on an annual basis.

Lastly, the Commission proposes establishing common guidelines per policy family in 2006 and 2007 in order to adopt consistent approaches, notably with regard to management of the risk of errors in the Structural Funds.


For the Action Plan, the Commission has based itself primarily on:

  • ECA Opinion No 2/2004 on the “single audit” model (and a proposal for a Community internal control framework);
  • the Commission communication of June 2004 on a roadmap to an integrated internal control framework;
  • the assessment of gaps between the internal control framework within the Commission departments and the control principles set out in Opinion No 2/2004 of the Court of Auditors;
  • four Commission working groups that helped in October 2005 to draft the questions to be addressed in the communication;
  • the conclusions of the ECOFIN Council of 8 November 2005;
  • the reactions of the European Parliament and the Court of Auditors.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors on the progress of the Commission Action Plan towards An Integrated Internal Control Framework [COM(2007) 86 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament and the European Court of Auditors of 15 June 2005 on a roadmap to an integrated internal control framework [COM(2005) 252 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Opinion No 2/2004 of the Court of Auditors of the European Communities on the “single audit” model (and a proposal for a Community internal control framework) [Official Journal C 107, 30.04.2004].

These two documents provide the reference framework for the Action Plan. They should help to set in place an integrated framework for ensuring effective and efficient internal control of European funds. This framework should be the basis on which the ECA will draw up the DAS.

Possibilities for cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao

Possibilities for cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Possibilities for cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao


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

Possibilities for cooperation with Hong Kong and Macao (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 25 October 2006 entitled “The European Union, Hong Kong and Macao: possibilities for cooperation 2007-2013” [COM(2006) 648 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Cooperation between the European Union (EU) and the Hong Kong and Macao Special Administrative Regions (SARs) is based principally on economic, trade and financial actions.

Since the handover of Hong Kong and Macao to China, these two SARs have been governed by the “one country, two systems” principle. In effect, their governments possess a high degree of autonomy in trade, fiscal, financial and regulatory matters, as well as their own legal and market economy systems. They are also members of international bodies such as the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the World Customs Organization (WCO).

Greater cooperation

The region of Hong Kong is a major maritime and air transportation hub in Asia. It is a major trading partner of the EU; thousands of European companies and citizens are established there. European diplomatic presence is represented there by a permanent office and a European chamber of commerce, in addition to the diplomatic and trade missions of Member States.

Cooperation between Hong Kong and the EU is based on a set of agreements on:

  • trade, under the framework of WTO multilateral commitments;
  • customs cooperation, specifically with the aim of combating fraud and piracy;
  • readmission of persons residing without authorization.

However, cooperation must also progress in the areas of competition rules and intellectual property rights.

The EU is Macao’s third largest trading partner. The close links it retains with Portuguese culture also contribute to the strength of its cooperation relations with the EU.

The partners concluded a trade cooperation agreement in 1992, which acted as a framework for funding projects in different areas (training, tourism, European studies, services, law, etc.), as well as a readmission agreement for persons in 2002.

New areas for cooperation

The partners identify a set of priorities aimed at expanding their cooperation. The EU must also endeavour to participate in the actions of trilateral cooperation undertaken by Hong Kong, Macao and mainland China.

In the areas of trade and customs, there is a need to:

  • improve the exchange of information and coordination on bilateral and multilateral trade;
  • strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights, combat smuggling and make shipping more secure;
  • develop exchanges of best practice on competition policy and public procurement;
  • support businesses, and inform them of the possibilities to access markets, specifically to the benefit of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs);
  • encourage university exchanges, in particular concerning training on business management.

The partners also need to give new impetus to their financial cooperation by developing dialogue and through regulatory convergence (investment funds, company law, etc.). In addition, the cooperation should contribute towards compliance with the principles of good fiscal governance in order to promote the business environment, growth and jobs.

Cooperation must also make progress with regard to immigration and university exchanges.

As regards transport, maritime security and regulation must be the subject of enhanced cooperation. Similarly, the partners share common interests on matters relating to legal certainty for air carriers and civil aviation.

Action must also be taken to improve the protection of health, food and product safety, and in particular to promote the implementation of rapid alert systems for foodstuffs and compliance with EU safety standards.

Effort must be made to promote environmental protection, particularly through combating air and water pollution, and reducing industrial emissions.

Related Acts

Joint Report to the European Parliament and the Council: Annual Report Hong Kong 2010 [COM(2011) 204 Final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Joint Report to the European Parliament and the Council: Annual Report Macao 2010 [COM(2011) 205 Final – Not published in the Official Journal].

European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter

European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter


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

Food safety > Animal welfare

European Convention on the protection of animals at the time of slaughter

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 88/306/EEC of 16 May 1988 on the conclusion of the European Convention for the Protection of Animals for Slaughter.


This Convention applies to the movement, lairaging, restraint, stunning and actual slaughter of domestic solipeds, ruminants, pigs, rabbits and poultry.

The purpose of the Convention is to lay down uniform methods for sparing animals, as far as possible, suffering and stress.

To achieve that end, the countries that have approved the Convention must respect certain rules concerning, among other things, the delivery of animals to slaughterhousese, their lairaging until they are slaughtered (premises for lairaging and the care of animals) and slaughter methods, including in the case of ritual slaughter (restraint and stunning are compulsory without exception).

The design, construction and facilities of slaughterhouses and their operation must be such as to ensure that the rules laid down in the Convention are complied with.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 88/306/EEC OJ L 137 of 2.6.1988

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC) No 1099/2009 of 24 September 2009 on the protection of animals at the time of killing. [Official Journal L 303 of 18.11.2009].

European Commission

European Commission

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Commission


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

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

European Commission

A protocol on the institutions with the prospect of enlargement has been annexed to the EU Treaty and to the Treaties establishing the European Communities. It lays down a number of institutional conditions that will have to be met at the next enlargement and provides for another Intergovernmental Conference to be convened before the membership of the European Union exceeds twenty. The present structure is the legacy of an organisation designed for six Member States and although it has been adjusted to take account of the accession of new members, it still operates today on the same institutional principles.

Consequently the European Commission is faced with various questions concerning in particular its composition, the role of its President and its democratic legitimacy. The Amsterdam Treaty attempts to answer the questions by pursuing the objective of strengthening the institution of which the main role is to represent the general interests of the Union completely independently.

The new Treaty changes the procedure for confirming the Commission to consolidate its legitimacy along the lines etched out by the Maastricht Treaty. As for the optimum size of the Commission, the Protocol on the institutions has tied this issue to reweighting the votes in the Council.

In addition, in a Declaration to the Final Act, the Intergovernmental Conference called on the Commission to submit to the Council, by the end of 1998, a proposal to amend the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission (comitology).


The composition of the Commission is closely connected to the question of collective responsibility.

This is a distinctive feature of the structure of the Commission and means that decisions adopted by the Commission reflect the views of the full body, rather than the views of individual members. With enlargement, it is feared that a significant increase in the number of Commissioners might increase their responsiveness to national considerations to the detriment of collective responsibility. On the other hand, limiting the number of members is a delicate issue since it would mean that not all nationalities would be represented.

In response to this problem, the Protocol on the institutions provides that at the next enlargement of the Union the Commission will comprise one national of each Member State, provided that by that date the weighting of the votes in the Council has been modified in a manner acceptable to all Member States. The idea is to revise the scale of weightings so that the relative weight of small and medium-sized countries is not disproportionate to the size of the population.


The role of the President of the Commission is to ensure its unity and effectiveness. The Amsterdam Treaty seeks to strengthen the President’s position in exercising his function.

The amendment to Article 214 (ex Article 158) strengthens the legitimacy of the President by submitting his nomination for approval by the European Parliament. Under the new provisions, the Members of the Commission are now nominated by common accord with the President, rather than simply after consulting him. Article 217 (ex Article 163) also promotes closer coordination between the Members of the Commission by providing that they “will work under the political guidance of its President”.

Declaration 32 to the Amsterdam Treaty will also have the effect of strengthening the President’s role by providing that he will enjoy broad discretion in the allocation of tasks within the Commission, as well as in any reshuffling of those tasks during a Commission’s term of office. The Declaration goes on to note the Commission’s intention to undertake in parallel a corresponding reorganisation of its departments, and in particular the desirability of bringing external relations under the responsibility of a Vice-President in the interests of consistency.


The Commission’s right of initiative has been strengthened in three ways:

  • new provisions will be incorporated in the Treaty establishing the European Community (employment, social affairs, etc.);
  • after a transitional period of five years when the right of initiative is shared with the Member States, questions previously covered by Title VI procedures (asylum, immigration, judicial cooperation in civil matters) will come under the Community and the sole right of initiative will pass to the Commission;
  • in areas under the third pillar (police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters) the Commission will acquire a shared right of initiative with the Member States.

Taking EU-Africa dialogue forward

Taking EU-Africa dialogue forward

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Taking EU-Africa dialogue forward


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

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Taking EU-Africa dialogue forward

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council: The EU-Africa dialogue [COM(2003) 316 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The communication looks at how the EU can mainstream the new pan-African dimension into its cooperation and speaks of the need to build bridges between the different agreements that already exist between the EU and Africa: Cotonou, Euro-MED agreements and the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement with South Africa (TDCA). This could apply to the area of trade, to procurement rules for EU-funded projects, and to the programming of aid.


The main aims of the EU-Africa dialogue are:

  • to strengthen political, economic and socio-cultural EU-Africa relations;
  • to eradicate poverty and attain the Millennium Development Goals in Africa, as well as implementing commitments recently made in international conferences (Doha, Monterrey and the World Summit on Sustainable Development);
  • to promote human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Africa.

The EU-Africa dialogue is organised around eight priority themes in order to achieve concrete outcomes:

  • human rights, democracy and good governance;
  • prevention and settlement of conflicts;
  • food security;
  • HIV/AIDS and other pandemics;
  • environment;
  • regional integration and trade;
  • external debt;
  • the return of illicitly exported cultural goods.

The communication takes each theme in turn, reports on the progress achieved and considers what future progress might be made.

Human rights, democracy and good governance

Dialogue on these themes is conducted around the topics of human trafficking, support for African institutions and the fight against corruption.

The Commission adopted a further communication in October 2003 on governance and development which proposes a new, more pragmatic approach to the promotion of good governance.

With a view to promoting good governance, the EU also proposed an action plan to combat illegal logging in its October 2003 communication on forest law enforcement and forestry management. Illegal logging in some countries has become such a chronic problem that it undermines the rule of law and principles of good governance.

The EU also wishes to deepen cooperation with Africa in the area of human resource development, especially universal primary education for both boys and girls, which is an essential element of the promotion of good governance.

Prevention and settlement of conflicts

The African Union gives priority to addressing conflicts, as shown by the decision taken by the African Union (AU) in July 2002 on setting up a Continent-wide Peace and Security Council and the adoption of a work programme on peace and security by all AU Member States.

In November 2003, the EU Council approved a draft decision on the financing of a Peace Facility for Africa from the European Development Fund (EDF) in response to a request made by the AU summit in Maputo in July 2003. This initiative, designed to support African institutions and measures to promote peace-keeping, will require cooperation between the AU, African regional organisations, the EU and the United Nations.

It is also essential to include measures to improve governance of natural resources within the framework of the EU-Africa dialogue on conflict prevention. Wars are actually waged to gain control of valuable resources for the purposes of private gain and natural resources, which could be exploited to raise money for the public purse, have frequently been used to fund and prolong armed conflict. This phenomenon is now acknowledged as being a major cause of conflicts in Africa.

Food security

The EU-Africa dialogue adopted a joint document reflecting a shared understanding of food security and the role of food aid which provided a basis for developing common positions in the areas of biotechnology, sanitary and phytosanitary standards, animal diseases and agricultural research.

The future dialogue should focus more on the political dimensions of food security, tackling such issues as access to productive resources (land, water) and equity.

HIV/AIDS and other pandemics

The EU and the countries of Africa agree that there is a need to strengthen health systems in African countries within a comprehensive framework of prevention, treatment and care and to increase health financing by the national governments and the international donor community. They also agree on the need for a joint approach in the areas of tiered pricing arrangements, technology transfer and local production so as to improve access to affordable medicines.


While the fight against drought and desertification is considered the main priority, other priorities under this heading include:

  • international environmental governance;
  • cooperation in preparing national strategies;
  • the link between poverty and the environment;
  • the regional dimension of environmental issues;
  • strengthening the capacity of the African countries to negotiate and implement international environmental agreements;
  • jointly looking for ways to improve the Global Environmental Facility;
  • integrated water resources management;
  • the prevention of natural disasters.

Note the EU Water Initiative which promoted the setting up of a European Water Facility to help give people in the African Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP) access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation. Similarly, the creation of a European Energy Facility for ACP countries demonstrates the commitment of the EU to supporting the provision of adequate, affordable, sustainable energy services.

Mainstreaming of environmental issues into poverty eradication efforts should be a basic principle in EU-Africa cooperation considering that environmental protection is not a limitation to development but the base for sustainable livelihoods.

Regional integration and trade

Since the first EU-Africa summit, the EU has stepped up its support for regional integration by contributing to the integration of African countries into the world economy.

The Cotonou Agreement, signed in June 2000, for example, attaches a high priority to promoting regional cooperation and integration. It made substantial changes to the existing system to bring it into line with World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules and to allow the ACP States to participate fully in international trade. October 2003 saw the opening of negotiations on new regional economic partnership agreements with CEMAC (the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa) and ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States).

The EU and Africa will continue their cooperation and regular dialogue on WTO matters notably in the context of the Doha Development Agenda with a view to mainstreaming the development dimension in all areas of negotiations.

External debt

This sensitive issue has generated considerable debate and arguments on either side. As a contribution to the dialogue on debt, the Commission has decided to finance a study that will investigate the sustainability of the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) initiative. The Commission will ensure that the study reflects the views of the Member States, African countries, World Bank/IMF and other interested partners. Once this study is completed, the Commission is willing to table the relevant elements as a contribution to the EU-Africa dialogue.

The return of illicitly exported cultural goods

A set of guiding principles and concrete recommendations for action has been drawn up in the framework of the EU-Africa dialogue. The EU has established a preliminary inventory of all relevant ongoing cooperation activities between EU and African stakeholders.

The dialogue fosters adherence by all countries in the EU and Africa to the relevant international conventions, in particular the 1970 UNESCO Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property and the 1995 UNIDROIT Convention on Stolen or Illegally Exported Cultural Objects.


The communication also highlights ways in which Europe and Africa could initiate a more flexible, simplified, direct and political dialogue.

Potential lines of action are envisaged for strengthening institutional ties between the European Community and the AU:

  • at senior official level;
  • in bi-regional working parties;
  • between the AU and the EU Heads of Mission based in Addis Ababa in the framework of the regular dialogue and coordination for peace and security;
  • between the Brussels-based African Heads of Mission;
  • and, lastly, between the AU/EU Commissions.


The dialogue at continental level between the EU and Africa began in Cairo in April 2000 at the first EU-Africa summit. The aim of the dialogue is to build a strategic partnership with the whole continent based on shared objectives and common values. These can be found in the Treaty of the European Union, the Cotonou Agreement and the Barcelona process, as well as in the Constitutive Act of the African Union (AU), created in 2002, and in the manifesto of NEPAD, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, launched in 2001.

At a crucial point in time for EU-Africa relations, this communication takes stock of the dialogue between the two parties and proposes ways of taking it forward.

Youth mobility

Youth mobility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Youth mobility


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

Education training youth sport > Youth

Youth mobility

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 21 November 2008 on youth mobility [Official Journal C 320 of 16.12.2008].


The mobility of young people is essential in promoting a sense of belonging to Europe, enhancing social and occupational integration, and ensuring a competitive European economy. However, the mobility of young people is not widespread, regardless of the success of the Erasmus programme.

All young people in Europe should have opportunities for mobility. This should consist of physical mobility, whereby the young person will stay in another European country to study, do an internship, volunteer or carry out other training. In the educational context, “virtual mobility” may also contribute to the mobility of young people. Through mobility, young people may develop their skills and competences, thus improving their versatility and employability.

A European policy for mobility should be cross-cutting, provide for the arrangements with which opportunities for mobility are prepared and supported, and promote the recognition of learning outcomes from periods of mobility and the development of opportunities for mobility for teachers and trainers. Young people coming from disadvantaged backgrounds or having special needs must receive particular consideration.

In light of the above, Member States are encouraged to:

  • provide further opportunities for cross-border mobility within education, training and volunteering, thereby transforming mobility into a widespread phenomenon;
  • take steps to attain the objectives of the current European Union (EU) programmes for education, youth, culture, citizenship and research;
  • build on the work of the High Level Expert Forum in order to facilitate the participation of all young people in mobility schemes and enhance the mobility of all educational staff;
  • take action at various levels and in partnership with various stakeholders to increase opportunities for mobility.

The Member States and the Commission are invited to set out measures to remove possible barriers to mobility and to ensure the recognition of cross-border mobility periods. In particular, they should:

  • develop scope for mobility by promoting active coordination between stakeholders so that the management of public sector support is enhanced, taking advantage of relevant EU programmes, considering the needs of disadvantaged youth and encouraging the establishment of new opportunities for mobility;
  • inform about mobility programmes by disseminating information via various means to young people and their families, educational staff and youth workers, as well as by supporting the implementation of relevant EU programmes;
  • simplify procedures for implementing the EU programmes, for creating the financial incentive strategies and for enhancing the recognition of learning outcomes from periods of mobility;
  • provide funding sources for mobility through appropriate Community financial instruments such as the Structural Funds and by promoting funding from public and private sectors, with particular support given to disadvantaged youth and youth with special needs;
  • enhance the application of the European Quality Charter for Mobility principles in mobility schemes by promoting the exchange of best practices concerning reception conditions, the provision of proper living and working conditions as well as preparation for mobility, in particular from a linguistic and cultural point of view;
  • increase knowledge of youth mobility through comparable statistics and survey results, as well as by conducting impact assessments on the cultural, educational and professional benefits of mobility.

Furthermore, the Commission is invited to set up a work plan for the incorporation of cross-border mobility into other EU programmes. Information on these programmes should then be disseminated as widely as possible, in order to promote them among young people. To this end, national “one-stop-shops” and a European youth mobility portal should be created. In addition, the Commission must provide a mid-term report on the developments of youth mobility in Europe before the end of 2010, followed by regular reports. Finally, the Commission is requested to provide national authorities and other stakeholders with a guide on European policies that may be used to support mobility, as well as to investigate new financial support mechanisms.


The European Council decided in March 2008 to establish a “fifth freedom” whereby barriers to the free movement of knowledge would be removed. This also entails improved cross-border mobility of students, researchers, scientists and educational staff.

Maritime safety: International Safety Management Code

Maritime safety: International Safety Management Code

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Maritime safety: International Safety Management Code


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: International Safety Management (ISM) Code

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 336/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 on the implementation of the International Safety Management Code within the Community and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 3051/95 (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 64, 4.3.2006].



The Regulation ensures that the Code is implemented correctly, strictly and uniformly in all the Member States in order to enhance safety management and safe operation and to prevent pollution. It applies to:

  • cargo ships flying the flag of a Member State;
  • passenger ships flying the flag of a Member State and engaged on national or international voyages;
  • cargo ships engaged on domestic voyages, whatever their flag;
  • mobile offshore drilling units operating under the authority of a Member State.

The Regulation does not apply to:

  • warships or troopships owned by a Member State and used only on government non-commercial service;
  • ships not propelled by mechanical means, wooden ships of primitive build, yachts and pleasure craft, unless they are carrying more than 12 passengers for commercial purposes;
  • fishing vessels;
  • cargo ships and mobile offshore drilling units of less than 500 gross tonnage;
  • passenger ships, other than ro-ro passenger ferries, in sea areas of Class C and D as defined in Article 4 of Directive 98/18/EC.

Certification and verification

Member States must comply with the provisions in Part B of the ISM Code and Title II of the Annex to the Regulation.


If a Member State considers it difficult in practice for certain companies to comply with certain requirements of the ISM Code, it may derogate from these provisions by imposing equivalent measures. It may also establish alternative certification and verification procedures. It must then inform the Commission thereof.


Member States must establish a system of effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties for failure to comply with national provisions adopted pursuant to the Regulation.


Member States must report to the Commission every two years on the implementation of the ISM Code. The Commission must use these reports to compile a consolidated report addressed to the European Parliament and the Council.


Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 336/2006 24.3.2006 OJ L 64, 4.3.2006

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 [OJ L 324, 29.11.2002].

Council Directive 98/18/EC of 17 March 1998 on safety rules and standards for passenger ships [OJ L 144, 15.05.1998].

Council Directive 95/21/EC of 19 June 1995 concerning the enforcement, in respect of shipping using Community ports and sailing in the waters under the jurisdiction of the Member States, of international standards for ship safety, pollution prevention and shipboard living and working conditions (port State control) [Official Journal L 157, 7.7.1995].

Council Directive 94/57/EC of 22 November 1994 on common rules and standards for ship inspection and survey organisations and for the relevant activities of maritime administrations [OJ L 319, 12.12.1994].

Intra-Community trade in and imports of bovine semen

Intra-Community trade in and imports of bovine semen

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


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 bovine semen

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 88/407/EEC of 14 June 1988 laying down the animal health requirements applicable to intra-Community trade in and imports of semen of animals of the bovine species [See amending act(s)].


The Directive lays down the animal health conditions applicable to trade in and imports into the European Union (EU) of fresh and frozen semen of animals of the bovine species.

Intra-Community trade

Each Member State must ensure that the semen sent from its territory to that of another Member State satisfies the following conditions:

  • it must have been collected, processed and/or stored in one of the approved collection or storage centres. These centres must meet a range of technical characteristics and be placed under official surveillance of a veterinarian (Annex A);
  • it must have been taken from healthy animals which satisfy a number of conditions. For example, these animals must come from herds of officially tuberculosis, brucellosis and enzootic bovine leukosis free status, they must have been subjected to a period of quarantine of at least 28 days and they must not have been vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease within 12 months prior to collection;
  • it must be accompanied, during transport, by an animal health certificate corresponding to the model contained in this Directive (Annex D).

Imports from third countries

Bovine semen may be imported only from the third countries detailed on list of the authorised countries listed. It must come from collection and storage centres which are approved for import into the EU.

Semen from Non-EU Member Countries may be imported only if:

  • it complies with the animal health requirements affecting intra-Community trade of animals of the bovine species; and
  • it is accompanied by an animal health certificate drawn up by an official veterinarian of the country of collection.

Collection and storage centres

The Commission’s veterinary experts must regularly control the collection and storage centres situated in the Community and in Non-EU Member Countries, in cooperation with local experts.

All sperm collection and storage centres are registered. Each one receives a veterinary registration number. The list of sperm collection and storage centres and their veterinary registration numbers is regulated updated by Member States. The latter then inform the other Member States and the public.

Committee procedure

In managing animal health requirements applicable to trade in bovine semen, the Commission is assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health.


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

Directive 88/407/EEC



OJ L 194, 22.7.1988

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

Directive 90/425/EEC



OJ L 224, 18.8.1990

Directive 93/60/EEC



OJ L 186, 28.7.1993

Directive 2003/43/EC



OJ L 143, 11.6.2003

Regulation (EC) No 806/2003


OJ L 122, 16.5.2003

Directive 2008/73/EC


OJ L 219, 14.8.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 88/407/EEC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2004/639/EC of 6 September 2004 laying down the importation conditions of semen of domestic animals of the bovine species [Official Journal L 292 of 15.9.2004].

Commission Decision 2007/240/EC of 16 April 2007 laying down new veterinary certificates for importing live animals, semen, embryos, ova and products of animal origin into the Community pursuant to Decisions 79/542/EEC, 92/260/EEC, 93/195/EEC, 93/196/EEC, 93/197/EEC, 95/328/EC, 96/333/EC, 96/539/EC, 96/540/EC, 2000/572/EC, 2000/585/EC, 2000/666/EC, 2002/613/EC, 2003/56/EC, 2003/779/EC, 2003/804/EC, 2003/858/EC, 2003/863/EC, 2003/881/EC, 2004/407/EC, 2004/438/EC, 2004/595/EC, 2004/639/EC and 2006/168/EC [Official Journal L 104 21.4.2007].

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Interoperability of the rail system within the EU


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

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

Interoperability of the rail system within the EU

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2008/57/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 on the interoperability of the rail system within the Community (Text with EEA relevance).


This directive establishes the conditions to be fulfilled to achieve interoperability * within the EU rail system at the design, construction, placing into service, upgrading, renewal, operation and maintenance stages. Its provisions comply with Directive 2004/45/EC on railway safety and the health and safety of workers.

The gradual implementation of interoperability of the rail system is pursued through the harmonisation of technical standards. Thus this directive covers:

  • essential requirements with regard to safety, reliability, human health, environmental protection, technical compatibility and operation of the system (Annex III);
  • the technical specifications for interoperability (TSIs) adopted for each subsystem or part of subsystem pursuant to this directive;
  • the corresponding European specifications.

The railway network * is broken down into subsystems of a structural nature (energy, control-command and signalling, rolling stock) or functional (operation and traffic management, maintenance and telematics applications). European Union (EU) countries may request that the Commission grant derogations and the Commission may decide to exclude certain measures from the scope of the directive for specific cases and for a set period *.

TSI projects shall be prepared by the European railway agency which will examine the subsystems in consultation with associations and the social partners. Next, the projects shall be submitted to the European Commission which will modify and adopt them, having regard to the right of scrutiny of the Parliament.

Interoperability constituents
* shall be subject to European specifications (such as European standards). They shall be subject to the procedure for “EC” declaration of conformity or suitability for use.

Authorisations for placing in service of vehicles shall be granted by the national safety authorities responsible for each network.


This Directive is a recast of Directive 2001/16/EC applicable to the conventional rail system and Directive 96/48/EC on the trans-European high-speed rail system.

The pursuit of technical harmonisation aims at developing transport services in the EU and with third countries. It facilitates the integration of the market in equipment and services for the construction, renewal and operation of the rail system.

Key terms used in the Act
  • Interoperability: the ability of a rail system to allow the safe and uninterrupted movement of trains which accomplish the required levels of performance for these lines. This ability depends on all the regulatory, technical and operational conditions which must be met in order to satisfy the essential requirements.
  • Network: the lines, stations, terminals, and all kinds of fixed equipment needed to ensure safe and continuous operation of the rail system.
  • Specific case: any part of the rail system which needs special provisions in the TSIs (temporary or definitive) because of geographical, topographical or urban environment constraints or those affecting compatibility with the existing system. This may include in particular railway lines and networks isolated from the rest of the Community, the loading gauge, the track gauge or space between the tracks and vehicles strictly intended for local, regional or historical use, as well as vehicles originating from or destined for third countries.
  • Interoperability constituents: any elementary component, group of components, subassembly or complete assembly of equipment incorporated or intended to be incorporated into a subsystem. The concept covers both tangible objects and intangible objects (such as software).


Act Entry into force Transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/57/EC



OJ L 191 of 18.7.2008

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Directive 2008/57/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EU) No 201/2011 of 1 March 2011 on the model of declaration of conformity to an authorised type of railway vehicle [Official Journal L 57 of 2.3.2011].

Commission Decision 2009/107/EC of 23 January 2009 amending Decisions 2006/861/EC and 2006/920/EC concerning technical specifications of interoperability relating to subsystems of the trans-European conventional rail system [notified under number C(2009) 38] (Text with EEA relevance) [Official Journal L 45 of 14.2.2009].