Author Archives: Randall Davenport

Decision on the system of own resources

Decision on the system of own resources

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Decision on the system of own resources

Topics

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

Budget

Decision on the system of own resources

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities’ own resources.

Summary

The budget of the EU is financed wholly from own resources in order to ensure the orderly development of the Union’s policies. There are three categories of own resources: “traditional own resources”, the own resource based on value added tax (VAT) and the own resource based on gross national income (GNI). Other revenue sources include taxes paid by officials, fines imposed on firms by the Community and interest on late payments.

Own resources ceiling

The own resources ceiling is maintained at 1.24% of the sum of all the EU Member States’ GNIs. The ceiling on annual appropriations for payments is set at 1.31% of that figure. Own resources finance all the expenditure entered in the EU’s general budget. Any surpluses are carried over to the following financial year.

Traditional own resources

Traditional own resources consist of Common Customs Tariff duties and of levies under the common organisation of the market for sugar (“sugar” levies). Member States may retain, by way of collection costs, 25% of the amounts raised.

VAT resource

The own resource based on VAT are levied on Member States’ VAT bases, which have been harmonised for this purpose.

The maximum rate of call of the VAT resource is 0.30%. The maximum VAT base to be taken into account in calculating the rate of call is set at 50% of each Member State’s GNI (“capping of the VAT resource”). For the period 2007-2013 the rate of call of the VAT resource is set at 0.225% for Austria, 0.15% for Germany and 0.10% for the Netherlands and Sweden.

The resource based on GNI

In the light of the revenue generated by the other own resources, the GNI resource is based on the application of a uniform rate to the sum of the GNIs of all the Member States.

For the period 2007-2013, two Member States will benefit from a gross reduction in their annual GNI contribution: an annual reduction of EUR 605 million for the Netherlands and of EUR 150 million for Sweden.

Correction in favour of the United Kingdom

The correction in respect of budgetary imbalances in the United Kingdom is calculated on the basis of the difference between the share of the UK VAT base in the EU’s total VAT base and the share of the United Kingdom in total allocated expenditure.

Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden are entitled to a reduction in their share of the financing of the correction in favour of the United Kingdom, which is reduced to one quarter of its normal value.

Collection of own resources

The method for collecting own resources will continue to be determined by national provisions. The Commission will carry out a regular examination of those provisions. The Member States will regularly inform the Commission of any anomalies having a financial impact with respect to collection.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom OJ L 163 of 23.6.2007

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1287/2003 of 15 July 2003 on the harmonisation of gross national income at market prices (GNI Regulation) [Official Journal L 181 of 19.07.2003].

A growing share of the European Communities’ own resources is based on gross national income at market prices. The Regulation further reinforces the comparability, reliability and exhaustiveness of this aggregate.

Commission Decision 97/245/EC, Euratom of 20 March 1997 laying down the arrangements for the transmission of information to the Commission by the Member States under the Communities’ own resources system [Official Journal L 97 of 12.4.1997].
See consolidated version

Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1553/89 on the definitive uniform arrangements for the collection of own resources accruing from value added tax [Official Journal L 155 of 7.6.1989].
The Regulation lays down a single method for determining the VAT bases in a uniform manner.
See consolidated version

Follow-up reports:

Commission report on the follow-up of traditional own resources in cases of fraud and irregularities [COM(2004)850 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].
Under Regulation (EC) No 1150/2000, Member States are required to inform the Commission of cases of fraud or irregularity with a potential financial impact of over 10 000. The report reviews the situation as regards the system for recovering unpaid customs duties. Such duties form part of the own resources allocated directly to the Community budget. The Member States are responsible for the procedures for recovering customs debt under the control of the Commission. The Commission notes that amounts not recovered are relatively small compared with the total amount involved (160 million).

Commission report to the Council and the European Parliament: Fifth report under Article 12 of Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1553/89 on VAT collection and control procedures [COM(2004)855 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Every three years the Commission draws up a report analysing the procedures applied by Member States for registering taxable persons and for determining and collecting VAT. It also analyses the modalities and results of their VAT control systems and suggests improvements.

Enhancing the Asia strategy

Enhancing the Asia strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Enhancing the Asia strategy

Topics

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

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Enhancing the Asia strategy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 4 September 2001. Europe and Asia: A Strategic Framework for Enhanced Partnerships [COM(2001)469 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Taking account of the developments that have taken place since its 1994 Communication entitled ‘Towards a New Asia Strategy’, the Commission updates the mechanism established by the 1994 strategy. It sets outs a comprehensive strategic framework for relations between Asia, its regions and the European Union (EU) in the coming decade, while recognising the diversity of Asia through different forms of partnership. The Commission aims to strengthen the EU’s political and economic presence in Asia, raising it to a level commensurate with the growing global weight of the enlarged Union.

The new strategy therefore focuses on six key points:

  • strengthening the EU’s engagement with Asia in the political and security fields;
  • further strengthening mutual trade and investment flows with the region;
  • demonstrating the EU’s effectiveness as a partner in reducing poverty in Asia;
  • promoting respect for human rights, democracy, good governance and the rule of law;
  • building global alliances with key Asian partners (to address global challenges and within international organisations);
  • strengthening mutual awareness between the EU and Asia.

The Communication identifies concrete proposals aimed at strengthening EU-Asia relations in these key areas and launching actions on a broader regional scale.

As regards peace and security, the EU must play an active role in regional fora, promote conflict prevention through the sharing of experiences and strengthen EU-Asia dialogue on justice and home affairs, an area that includes, in particular, the right to asylum, immigration and arms trafficking.

Mutual trade and investment flows must benefit from better market access and investment conditions on both sides. Efforts must be made to encourage contacts between the private sector (especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)) and in particular the high technology sector, strengthen dialogue on economic and financial policy, and enhance market access for the poorest developing countries.

In order to reduce poverty, the Commission will give priority in its cooperation programmes to key issues such as education and health, economic and social governance, and the link between environment and poverty. Enhanced dialogue on social policy issues would make it possible to exchange experiences on the most appropriate method of addressing the challenges of globalisation and modernisation.

Promoting civil society and a dialogue between Asia and Europe must encourage democracy, good governance and the rule of law. As regards human rights, constructive exchanges, such as the dialogue with China on human rights, should pave the way for better cooperation.

It is also important to conclude partnerships and build alliances in addressing global issues such as the reform of the United Nations, the World Trade Organisation, the environment and other challenges, for example international crime, terrorism and the spread of AIDS.

The opening of new delegations is one of the instruments that promotes better mutual knowledge between Europe and Asia. Support should also be provided for university, cultural and scientific exchanges and for civil society contacts between the regions.

The Communication also sets out specific measures to target the EU’s initiatives concerning the different component parts of Asia (South Asia, South-East Asia, North-East Asia and Australasia, which is included for the first time in the EU-Asia strategic framework). These measures aim first and foremost to improve relations with certain countries in the region and cover bilateral issues with each country, while providing a framework for the overall relations between Europe and Asia. The Commission favours a pragmatic approach, based on a specific analysis of its relations with each country or group of countries.

At an institutional level, the EU’s relations with Asia have developed considerably in recent years. The first bilateral summit was held in 1991 with Japan. Similar summits have been organised recently with India and China as well as with East Asia as a whole under the ASEM process (Asia-Europe Meeting). At ministerial level, the EU’s dialogue with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) on the one hand, and with Australia and New Zealand on the other, continues to make progress.

Animal nutrition

Animal nutrition

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Animal nutrition

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal nutrition

Animal nutrition

The agrifood sector in the European Union produces around 120 million tonnes of animal feedingstuffs annually. Good quality animal nutrition is essential, as it affects animal health and consequently food safety. Legislation on labelling and the circulation of animal feedingstuffs has been supplemented so as to shift the emphasis more towards the protection of human and animal health. In addition to the rules on hygiene and the monitoring of animal feedingstuffs, the EU thus regulates certain substances and products in order to limit or even prohibit their presence in animal feedingstuffs.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

  • Feed hygiene
  • Undesirable substances in animal feed
  • Marketing of feed

OFFICIAL CONTROL OF ANIMAL FEEDINGSTUFFS

  • Official feed and food controls

ADDITIVES IN ANIMAL NUTRITION

  • Use of additives in feedingstuffs
  • Community strategy against antimicrobial resistance

TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES

  • Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)

GENETICALLY MODIFIED FEEDINGSTUFFS

  • Traceability and labelling of GMOs
  • Food and Feed (GMO)

ANIMAL WASTE AND PATHOGENIC AGENTS

  • Animal by-products
  • Animal by-products not intended for human consumption

OTHER FEEDINGSTUFFS

  • Preparation and marketing of medicated foodstuffs for animals
  • Animal nutrition: specifications on certain proteins

The gradual establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice

The gradual establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The gradual establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice

Topics

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

The gradual establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice

For more than 20 years now the Member States have joined forces to combat international phenomena such as terrorism, drug trafficking or illegal immigration. By 1986, however, when freedom of movement for people was recognised as a key element of the internal market, it was clear that this type of informal cooperation between the member states’ governments was no longer adequate to combat the international spread of crime networks or satisfy the public’s need for security in Europe. It was therefore decided to incorporate cooperation on justice and home affairs into the Maastricht Treaty so as to make it a fully-fledged policy of the European Union.

An intergovernmental pillar has been grafted onto the Community pillar and legal instruments of a new kind have been created. Cooperation on these lines was set up following the entry into force of the Treaty on European Union in 1993 but has not been seen as very satisfactory in terms either of how it works or of the results it has produced. So the revision of the EU Treaty has brought in some major changes in the decision-making process.

To create an area for freedom, security and justice, the Treaty of Amsterdam will introduces a new title headed “Visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons” into the Treaty establishing the European Community. Controls on the external borders, asylum, immigration and judicial cooperation on civil matters all now come under the first pillar and are governed by the Community method. The incorporation of these areas into the Community, however, will be a gradual process dictated by the speed at which the Council of the European Union takes the decisions, to be completed by the latest five years after the entry into force of the new treaty. Only police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters remains under the third pillar, to which the new treaty adds preventing and combating of racism and xenophobia.

These institutional developments bring in new types of decision taking, which should make it possible to adopt more – and more effective – measures, leading to closer cooperation between Member States.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

The beginnings of cooperation (1975-85)

From 1975 onwards intergovernmental cooperation was gradually established in the fields of immigration, the right of asylum and police and judicial cooperation. The first instance of this was the Trevi Group, in which the Ministers for Home Affairs met for the purpose of combating terrorism and coordinating police cooperation on terrorism in the Community. The Ministers in the Group discussed questions relating to law and order and terrorism, and various working parties and subparties were set up under its auspices. The European institutions were at the time excluded from this process, which was conducted on an intergovernmental basis.

From the Single Act to the Treaty of Maastricht (1986-92)

The Single European Act concluded in 1986 was a turning point in this process of cooperation, which up until that point had functioned in a far from transparent way as regards the public and the Community institutions. A new Article 8a defines the free movement of persons as one of the four main constituent elements of the single market and explicitly brings that field within the Community’s sphere of jurisdiction. The new working parties set up after the signing of the Single Act took account of this development and from that point on included observers from the Commission. In addition, the ad hoc working party on immigration, which has since 1986 consisted of the ministers responsible for immigration, and CELAD, the European Committee to Combat Drugs, set up their secretariats with the secretariat of the Council of the European Union. Other working parties were set up, such as the Mutual Assistance Group or GAM, which is responsible for customs matters. A Council consisting of the Member States’ Ministers of Justice used to hold regular meetings. From that time onwards it used to deal with judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters and certain questions falling within the sphere of European political cooperation.

Despite the recommendations on free movement of persons in the Commission’s White Paper of 1985, justice and home affairs continued to be largely matters for intergovernmental cooperation. In 1988, for example, the intergovernmental coordinators’ group on the free movement of persons was instructed by the Rhodes European Council to propose measures for linking the free movement of persons and security together once controls at the internal borders had been abolished. In 1989 this group put forward a proposal for a work programme (the Palma document) advocating a more coordinated approach to the different aspects of cooperation on justice and home affairs. The fact was that the various working parties set up over the years were working separately and drafting their reports for ministers sitting in different combinations. What is more, the European Parliament and the national parliaments were unable to exercise any control over the measures taken in that context, owing to the very nature of the cooperation itself.

The instruments used were those appropriate to a traditional intergovernmental approach: on the one hand, conventions, and, on the other, the drawing up of resolutions, conclusions and recommendations. These acts, the classic instruments of international law, were adopted outside the Council of the European Union. They include the 1990 Dublin Convention determining the State responsible for examining applications for asylum lodged in one of the Member States of the European Communities, and the London resolutions also relating to asylum.

Instruments of a more binding type were adopted by some other Member States during the 1980s. These were the 1985 SchengenAgreement and the 1990 Schengen implementing convention, which set up new operational structures to ensure cooperation between police forces and customs authorities (through the Schengen Information System, SIS). It then became clear that the far from open system of consultation groups needed to be incorporated into a comprehensive structure: not only to make sure that the measures adopted by the Member States in relation to justice and home affairs were more effective but also to coordinate the work of all these bodies and avoid duplication.

Institutionalising cooperation in the fields of justice and home affairs: Title VI of the Treaty on European Union (1992-98)

Title VI was partly modelled on this pre-existing intergovernmental cooperation system, which explains the charges levelled against it that there were too many working levels within the third pillar and that it was over-complicated and not transparent enough. The way the third pillar was structured, on the lines of the Common Foreign and Security Policy, gave the Community institutions only a small part to play and no real way of exercising any control over the Member States’ decisions:

  • the Court of Justicewas competent to interpret conventions only where there is a clause in the text (convention or other) expressly providing for this;
  • the European Parliament could be consulted by the Council, but most of the time it was only informed;
  • the European Commission’s right of initiative was limited to certain areas and was shared with the Member States;
  • the Council was often paralysed by the requirement to take every decision by unanimous vote.

The Treaty of Amsterdam has reshaped cooperation on justice and home affairs by setting up an area of freedom, security and justice. The aspirations are wider and more specific and the methods more effective and democratic, while the institutions have been given a more balanced role to play.

HOW TITLE IV OF THE EC TREATY WORKS

Title IV encompasses the following areas:

  • Free movement of persons
  • Checks at external borders
  • Asylum, immigration and protection for the rights of nationals of non-member countries
  • Judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

These are defined as questions of common interest and previously came under the rules laid down in Title VI of the EU Treaty (commonly known as the third pillar).

Establishing an area of freedom, security and justice in five years

The Treaty of Amsterdamhas transferred these areas to the EC Treaty, where the role of the institutions is very different from the role they used to play under Title VI.

The Council of the European Union will continue to play the main role over the next five years so that it can take a number of decisions in the areas referred to above. The object is to make it easier for European citizens and nationals of non-member countries to move freely, while at the same time building up effective cooperation between the different government departments concerned in order to combat international crime.

The overall institutional machinery

The Council is still the linchpin of the process but it is no longer the only actor involved.

Over the first five years after the new treaty has come into force, the Council will take decisions unanimously on proposals put forward by the Commission or a member state. It has to consult the European Parliament before taking any decision.

After that time, the Council will take decisions only on proposals from the Commission. The Commission, however, will have to consider any request by a member state for a proposal to be put before the Council. After consulting the European Parliament, the Council will have to decide by unanimous vote to apply the codecision procedure and qualified majority voting when adopting measures under Title IV and to modify the clauses relating to the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

Apart from its decision-making role, the Council’s role as a coordinator between the relevant government departments in the member states and between them and the European Commission has been consolidated. The many different levels of working party that currently exist have been abolished. All the working parties now stand on the same footing and report directly to Coreper (Committee of Permanent Representatives).

Some measures, however, come under a different institutional mechanism (Article 67).

The Court of Justice of the European Communities

The new Treaty gives the Court of Justice a larger role to play in the areas of justice and home affairs. Previously it had no powers in these areas and could not review the measures adopted by the Council. Only in the case of Conventions did the Court have the right to interpret their provisions and rule on any dispute over their implementation – and even this only applied if they contained a special clause to that effect.

In the new Title IV, which essentially concerns free movement of persons, asylum, immigration and judicial cooperation in civil matters, the Court of Justice now has jurisdiction in the following circumstances:

  • if a national court of final appeal requires a decision by the Court of Justice in order to be able to give its judgment, it may ask the Court to rule on a question concerning the interpretation of the title or on the validity and interpretation of acts by the Community institutions that are based on it;

similarly, the Council, the Commission, or a member state can ask the Court to rule on a question regarding the interpretation of the new title or of acts adopted on the basis of it.

The Court of Justice does not, however, have the right to rule on measures or decisions taken to abolish all checks on individuals (both EU citizens and non-EU nationals) when they cross the internal borders.

The Member States

The Member States retain their prerogatives, above all as regards the free movement of persons. They continue to have sole responsibility for ensuring law and order and safeguarding internal security. In this context, they may take foreign policy considerations into account.

In the event of an emergency, if there is a sudden influx of nationals of non-member countries into a Member State, temporary measures (for a maximum of six months) may be taken by the Council voting by qualified majority on a Commission proposal in the interests of the Member State concerned with a view to restricting the freedom of movement or entry of the nationals of the non-member country concerned.

The protocols

Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland

These two countries are not taking part in measures under Title IV and are not bound by them. They do not, therefore, take part in votes in areas falling within the area of security, freedom and justice.

If, however, the United Kingdom or Ireland wishes to take part in the adoption and implementation of a proposed measure, they will have to inform the President of the Council within a period of three months starting from the submission to the Council of the proposal or initiative. They will also be entitled to agree to the measure at any time after its adoption by the Council.

Protocol on the application of certain aspects of Article 14 (ex Article 7a) of the EC Treaty to the United Kingdom and to Ireland

The United Kingdom and Ireland reserve the right to exercise controls at their frontiers on persons seeking to enter their territory, in particular citizens of states which are contracting parties to the Agreement on the European Economic Area or to any agreement by which the United Kingdom and/or Ireland is bound, and the right to decide whether or not to let them enter their territory. At the same time, the other member states may exercise controls on all persons coming from the United Kingdom or Ireland.

Ireland has expressed its wish to take part as far as possible in measures adopted under Title IV insofar as they allow the common travel area with the United Kingdom to be maintained. The common travel area is an area of freedom of movement between Ireland and the United Kingdom.

Protocol on the position of Denmark

Denmark is not taking part in measures under Title IV except those determining the non-member countries whose nationals must have a visa when crossing the external borders of the member states and measures introducing a uniform format for visas.

As far as building upon the Schengen acquis is concerned, Denmark will decide whether to implement any decision in its national law within six months after the Council has adopted it.

HOW TITLE VI OF THE EU TREATY WORKS

The object of Title VI (“Provisions on police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters”) is to prevent and combat the following:

  • racism and xenophobia;
  • terrorism;
  • trafficking in persons and offences against children;
  • drug trafficking;
  • arms trafficking;
  • corruption and fraud.

These objectives will be achieved through:

  • closer cooperation between police forces, customs authorities and other competent authorities in the Member States, both directly and through Europol;
  • closer cooperation between judicial and other competent authorities of the Member States, both directly and through Europol;
  • approximation, where necessary, of rules on criminal matters in the Member States.

Clearly, then, the objectives of Title VI of the EU Treaty have been made more specific. Aware that crime extends beyond national borders, the Member States have recognised that the only effective way to fight the international networks that have formed is through closer cooperation.

The overall institutional machinery

The Council of the European Union remains the main actor in the decision-making process under Title VI. To achieve the objectives set out above, it can use the following instruments:

  • joint positions defining the approach of the Union to a particular matter;
  • framework decisions to approximate the laws and regulations of the member states. Like directives (the instruments used in the Community pillar), framework decisions are binding upon the member states as to the result to be achieved but leave the choice of form and methods to the national authorities;
  • decisions for any other purpose except approximating the laws and regulations of the member states. These decisions are binding and the Council, acting by a qualified majority, adopts the measures necessary to implement them at Union level;
  • conventions, which are adopted by the member states in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements. Unless they provide otherwise, conventions enter into force once they have been ratified by at least half of the member states that adopt them.

A coordinating committeeconsisting of senior officials draws up opinions for the Council and helps prepare the ground for its deliberations.

The Commission is fully involved in the discussions in the areas covered by Title VI and its power of initiative has been extended to cover all fields.

The Member States

The new Treaty does not affect the Member States’ exercise of their responsibilities for maintaining law and order and safeguarding internal security.

The Member States have virtually sole responsibility for cooperation in the fields covered by Title VI. To coordinate their action, they inform and consult one another and establish collaboration between their respective government departments.

They uphold common positions adopted under this heading in the international organisations and conferences that they take part in.

The Member States may establish closer cooperation using the EU institutions, procedures and mechanisms. However, this must not encroach on the powers and objectives of the European Community and must be aimed at enabling the Union to develop more rapidly into an area of freedom, security and justice (as the Schengen system succeeded in doing earlier). The Council gives its authorisation by a qualified majority (a vote in favour by at least ten members). If such closer cooperation creates problems for a particular Member State for reasons of national policy, the Council may ask for the matter to be referred to the European Council.

The European Parliament

Before adopting a framework decision or decision or establishing a convention, the Council has to consult the European Parliament.

The Presidency and the Commission will regularly inform the European Parliament of discussions in the areas covered by Title VI.

The European Parliament may ask questions of the Council or make recommendations to it. Each year it will hold a debate on the progress made in the areas of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.

The Court of Justice

The new Treaty recognises that the Court of Justice has jurisdiction to give preliminary rulings on the validity and interpretation of framework decisions and decisions, on the interpretation of conventions and on the validity and interpretation of the measures implementing them.

Regarding preliminary rulings, the Member States are required to make individual declarations accepting the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice and stating which national court or tribunal is empowered to request the Court of Justice for a ruling. Depending on the Member State’s choice, either the national court of final appeal or any court in the country may then ask the Court of Justice for a ruling on any question regarding the interpretation or validity of one of the above acts, if it considers such a ruling necessary to enable it to give judgment.

The Protocols

Protocol integrating the Schengen acquis into the framework of the European Union

The Member States that have signed up to the Schengen Agreements (all the Member States apart from the United Kingdom and Ireland) now conduct their cooperation on abolishing internal borders under the institutional and legal framework of the European Union. The Council has taken the place of the Executive Committee established by the Schengen Agreements.

Ireland and the United Kingdom may take part in some or all of the arrangements under the Schengen acquis after a unanimous vote in the Council by the thirteen participating Member States plus the representative of the Government of the State concerned.

Iceland and Norway are associated with the implementation of the Schengen acquis and its further development.

Protocol annexed to the Treaty establishing the European Community on asylum for nations of the Member States of the European Union

Since all the Member States of the European Union already respect human rights and fundamental freedoms, an application for asylum by a national of a Member State may be taken into consideration only in the following cases:

  • if the Member State of which the applicant is a national takes measures derogating from its obligations under the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms;
  • if the Council has determined that there has been a serious violation of human rights in the country of the applicant;
  • if a Member State should so decide unilaterally (Belgium has undertaken to give individual consideration to any application for asylum in order to comply with its earlier international obligations: the 1951 Geneva Convention and the 1967 New York Protocol).

CROSSING THE INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL BORDERS

The Council of the European Union, within a period of five years from the entry into force of the Treaty, must adopt the measures necessary to attain the objectives set by the Treaty of Amsterdam.

Checks on persons at the internal borders of the European Union

All checks on persons, whether citizens of the Union or nationals of non-member countries, at the internal borders of the Union are to end.

In contrast to the other areas covered by Title IV, the Court of Justice does not have jurisdiction to pronounce on the validity and implementation of measures in this area.

Crossing the external borders of the European Union

The Council lays down the standards and procedures to be followed by Member States in carrying out checks on persons at the external borders of the European Union.

Common rules on visas for intended stays of up to three months include the following:

  • a list of non-member countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement;
  • the procedures and conditions for issuing visas by Member States;
  • a uniform format for visas (Member States will issue the same format of visa to nationals of non-member countries);
  • rules on a uniform visa (the issuing of visas by the Member States is governed by common rules).

The general procedure for decisions under Title IV requires measures under the second and fourth points above to be taken by the Council acting unanimously. Within five years after the new Treaty has come into force, such measures will have to be taken by codecision with the European Parliament.

By way of an exception to the general procedure applied under this Title, measures under the first and third points above are decided by the Council by a qualified majority, acting on a proposal from the Commission after consulting the European Parliament.

Free movement of nationals of non-member countries

Measures will have to be adopted setting out the conditions under which nationals of non-member countries will have the freedom to travel within the territory of the Member States during a period of no more than three months.

Protocol on external relations of the Member States with regard to the crossing of external borders

The Member States retain the right to conclude agreements with non-member countries as long as they do not conflict with Community law and other relevant international agreements.

ASYLUM AND IMMIGRATION POLICIES

Within five years after the Treaty of Amsterdam has come into force, the Council has to adopt measures in various areas relating to asylum and immigration. This time limit does not, however, apply to measures on ensuring a balance between Member States in accommodating refugees and displaced persons, on the conditions of entry and residence for immigrants, and on the rights of nationals of non-member countries.

Asylum policy

International rules on asylum were laid down by the Geneva Convention of 1951 and the New York Protocol of 1967 on the status of refugees. In addition, there will be consultations with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and other relevant international organisations on questions of asylum policy. Against this background, the Council takes decisions to determine:

  • the criteria and mechanisms for determining which Member State is responsible for considering an application for asylum submitted by a national of a non-member country in one of the Member States;
  • minimum standards on the reception of asylum-seekers in the Member States;
  • minimum standards with respect to the qualification of nationals of non-member countries as refugees;
  • minimum standards on procedures in Member States for granting or withdrawing refugee status.

Other measures on refugees and displaced persons that also have to be adopted are:

  • minimum standards for giving temporary protection to displaced persons from non-member countries who cannot return to their country of origin and for persons who otherwise need international protection;
  • promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving and bearing the consequences of receiving refugees and displaced persons (the problem of refugees from former Yugoslavia in Germany, in particular, has shown how useful such a measure would be if such a situation were to arise again).

In the event of one or more Member States being confronted with an emergency situation characterised by a sudden inflow of nationals of non-member countries, the Council may, acting by qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, adopt provisional measures of a duration not exceeding six months.

Immigration policy

For this policy, measures will be adopted in the following areas:

  • conditions of entry and residence, and standards on procedures for the issue by Member States of long-term visas and residence permits, including those for the purpose of family reunion;
  • illegal immigration and illegal residence, including repatriation of illegal residents.

Measures will also be adopted defining the rights and conditions under which nationals of non-member countries who are legally resident in a Member State may reside in another Member State.

The Member States may maintain or introduce national provisions under their immigration policies as long as they are compatible with the Treaty of Amsterdam and with international agreements.

JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CIVIL MATTERS

Since judicial cooperation in civil matters has cross-border implications, measures in this area are adopted under the arrangements of Title IV of the EC Treaty. The aims are as follows:

  • assisting other Member States in understanding judicial and extra-judicial acts adopted in a particular Member State; improving and simplifying cooperation in the taking of evidence and the recognition and enforcement of decisions in civil and commercial cases, including decisions in extra-judicial cases;
  • promoting the compatibility of the rules applicable in the Member States concerning the conflict of laws and of jurisdiction;
  • eliminating obstacles to the proper functioning of civil proceedings, if necessary by promoting the compatibility of the rules on civil procedure applicable in the Member States.

JUDICIAL COOPERATION IN CRIMINAL MATTERS

The goals set for the development of judicial cooperation in criminal matters are:

  • facilitating and accelerating cooperation between competent ministries and judicial or equivalent authorities of the Member States in relation to proceedings and the enforcement of decisions;
  • facilitating extradition between Member States;
  • ensuring compatibility in rules applicable in the Member States, as may be necessary to improve such cooperation;
  • preventing conflicts of jurisdiction between Member States;
  • progressively adopting measures establishing minimum rules relating to the constituent elements of criminal acts and penalties in the fields of organised crime, terrorism and illicit drug trafficking.

The objectives remain general and there is no specific timetable. Nevertheless, with a subject as complex as this, the fact that there is now a list of targets to be achieved represents a major first step in judicial cooperation.

POLICE COOPERATION

Police cooperation is reflected in joint operations agreed by the Council of the European Union and through Europol.

Common action

Common action includes:

  • operational cooperation between the police, customs and other specialised law enforcement services of the Member States in relation to the prevention, detection and investigation of criminal offences;
  • the collection, storage, processing, analysis and exchange of relevant information, including information on suspicious financial transactions;
  • cooperation and joint initiatives in training, the exchange of liaison officers, secondments, the use of equipment, and forensic research;
  • the common evaluation of particular investigative techniques in relation to the detection of serious forms of organised crime.

This list is not exhaustive.

The European Police Office (Europol)

The Council is also required to promote cooperation through Europol and, within five years after the new Treaty has come into force, to adopt measures to enable Europol:

  • to facilitate, support and coordinate specific investigative operations by the competent authorities of the Member States;
  • to ask the competent authorities of the Member States to conduct their investigations and to develop specific expertise which may be put at the disposal of the Member States to assist them in investigating cases of organised crime;
  • to work in close cooperation between prosecuting/investigating officials specialising in the fight against organised crime.

Lastly, the Council is to establish a research, documentation and statistical network on cross-border crime.

Operations carried out in the area of police cooperation (including Europol activities) are subject to appropriate jurisdictional control by the competent authorities under the rules applying in each member state.

INCORPORATING THE SCHENGEN AREA INTO THE EUROPEAN UNION

The abolition of border checks within what has been described as the Schengen area became possible because of an initiative by Germany, France and the Benelux countries in 1985. The Schengen Convention of 1990 laid down common rules for visas, the right of asylum, checks at the external borders and cooperation between police forces and customs authorities to allow freedom of movement for individuals within the territories of the signatory countries without disturbing law and order. A reporting system has been set up for the exchange of data about the identity of individuals. Member States of the European Union (apart from the United Kingdom and Ireland), plus Norway and Iceland, have joined this intergovernmental initiative.

Protocol integrating the Schengen acquis into the framework of the European Union

The Member States that are signatories to the Schengen Agreements now conduct “closer cooperation” on the abolition of internal frontiers within the institutional and legal framework of the European Union. The Council of the European Union has taken the place of the Executive Committee established by the Schengen Agreements. The common rules referred to above have been incorporated either into Title IV of the EC Treaty or into Title VI of the EU Treaty. Any new proposal in the areas of visas, right of asylum, checks at the external borders and cooperation between police forces and customs authorities will rely on one of these new bases.

The arrangements will help to further the goal of free movement for persons enshrined in the Single European Act in 1986. At the same time they guarantee democratic control and give citizens channels for appealing to the courts if their rights are called into question (the Court of Justice and/or national courts, depending on the area concerned).

Ireland and the United Kingdom may take part in some or all of the provisions of the Schengen acquis after a unanimous vote in the Council by the thirteen states that are parties to the Agreements and the representative of the Government of the State concerned.

Iceland and Norway are associated with the implementation of the Schengen acquis and its further development.

The Schengen acquis

The following acts are described as the Schengen acquis:

  • The Agreement signed in Schengen on 14 June 1985 between the Benelux countries, Germany and France on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders.
  • The Convention signed in Schengen on 19 June 1990 between Belgium, Germany, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands implementing the Agreement of 14 June 1985, with related Final Act and common declarations.
  • The Accession Protocols and Agreements with Italy (signed on 27 November 1990), Spain and Portugal (signed on 25 June 1991), Greece (signed on 6 November 1992), Austria (signed on 28 April 1959) and Denmark, Finland and Sweden (signed on 19 December 1996), with related Final Acts and declarations.
  • Decisions and declarations adopted by the Executive Committee established by the 1990 Implementation Convention, as well as acts adopted for the implementation of the Convention by the organs upon which the Executive Committee has conferred decision-making powers.

THE RENUMBERING OF THE TREATIES

The entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam involves a general renumbering of the titles and articles of the various treaties.

Articles K.1 to K.14 of Title VI of the EU Treaty have been renumbered 29 to 42.

European Youth Pact

European Youth Pact

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

Topics

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

Education training youth sport > Youth

European Youth Pact

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 30 May 2005 on European policies concerning youth: Addressing the concerns of young people in Europe – implementing the European Youth Pact and promoting active citizenship [COM(2005) 206 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Communication draws attention to the three strands of the Pact adopted by the European Council in March 2005:

  • employment, integration and social advancement;
  • education, training and mobility;
  • reconciliation of family life and working life.

The measures to be taken in these three areas will have to be fully incorporated into the revised Lisbon Strategy, the European Employment Strategy, the Social Inclusion Strategy and the ” Education and Training 2010 ” work programme.

For the purpose of implementing the different measures, the Member States will draw on the “integrated guidelines for growth and employment”, within the framework of the Lisbon Strategy.

The Commission’s text highlights the aspects of the integrated guidelines and the Community Lisbon programme that are relevant to the Pact.

Measures for the employment, integration and social advancement of young people

The following guidelines have the most relevance for young people:

  • promotion of a life-cycle approach to work (entailing, inter alia, renewed efforts to build employment pathways for young people and to reduce youth unemployment, in tandem with resolute action to eliminate gender gaps in employment, unemployment and pay);
  • creation of inclusive labour markets for job-seekers and disadvantaged people;
  • improvement in the matching of labour market needs;
  • expansion of investment in human capital;
  • adjustment of education and training systems in response to new skills requirements.

The Member States will receive financial assistance from the European Social Fund and the European Investment Bank for implementing the necessary measures. The Commission wants the Member States to devise tailor-made action plans providing job search assistance, guidance services and training. The Communication also proposes that:

  • the Commission and the Member States give priority to young people in the mutual learning programme on employment in 2005;
  • the Commission and the Member States, through the Social Inclusion Strategy, improve the situation of the most vulnerable young people;
  • the Commission launch a study on the social integration of highly disadvantaged young people in 2005.

Measures for education, training and mobility

The priorities are:

  • reducing the number of early school leavers;
  • widening access to vocational, secondary and higher education, including apprenticeships and entrepreneurship training;
  • defining common frameworks to make qualification systems more transparent;
  • tackling the validation of non-formal and informal learning;
  • implementing the Europass decision;
  • developing a “Youthpass”.

The Commission intends, during 2005 and 2006, to:

  • adopt a Communication on entrepreneurship education;
  • propose a European Qualifications Framework;
  • adopt a Recommendation on key competences.

The Communication looks at ways of enhancing young people’s mobility, highlighting a number of initiatives:

  • in 2006, the European Year of Worker Mobility, specific initiatives will be taken for the benefit of young people entering the job market;
  • from 2007, there will be follow-up to the 2002-05 action plan of the Commission and the Member States for skills and mobility;
  • the Member States will be asked to boost implementation of the Recommendation on the mobility of students, persons undergoing training, volunteers, teachers and trainers;
  • the Commission will adapt tools such as EURES and PLOTEUS with a view to enhancing the opportunities for young people to work and study abroad;
  • the Commission will, in 2005, make recommendations on a mobility card for young people in Europe;
  • the Commission will think about extending the “Working holidays” initiative;
  • the Commission and the Member States will, in 2007, implement new forms of European Voluntary Service.

Measures for reconciling family life and working life

The Communication makes it clear that a better balance is needed between work and family life in order to tackle the problems associated with demographic ageing and a low birth rate. With a view to better reconciling family and working life, the Commission will encourage:

  • the Member States to make provision for quality accessible and affordable childcare facilities and care for other dependants;
  • the Member States, assisted by the Commission, to develop new forms of work organisation, such as flexitime, tele-working, maternity and parental leave.

Following on from the Green Paper on Europe’s changing demographics, the Commission has launched a process of consultation with the aim of identifying policies to be pursued or reinforced at European and national levels.

THE ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP OF YOUNG PEOPLE

The citizenship of young people is a focal point of the open method of coordination. With a view to improving participation, information, voluntary activities and knowledge of youth issues, the Council adopted 14 common objectives in 2003 and 2004. In its Communication of October 2004 [COM(2004) 694 final], the Commission gave a positive evaluation of the activities conducted at European level, while stressing the need for suitable measures at national level to consolidate the common objectives.

The Pact and associated actions ought to give rise to better understanding and greater knowledge of youth in the areas concerned, namely:

  • employment;
  • integration and inclusion;
  • entrepreneurship;
  • mobility;
  • recognition of youth work.

THE YOUTH DIMENSION IN OTHER POLICIES

The Communication draws attention to other policies which are relevant to young people:

  • since 2005, the European campaign “For Diversity – Against Discrimination” has been extended to young people;
  • a European initiative for the health of children and young people is planned for 2006;
  • studies focusing specifically on youth will be undertaken as part of the Sixth Research Framework Programme;
  • the Seventh Research Framework Programme will include youth-related research, which could focus on the impact of young people’s participation in representative democracy and voluntary activities;
  • the Commission will launch, in 2005, a public consultation on sport.

SUPPORT PROGRAMME

Policy actions targeting young people should be accompanied by programmes supporting projects that encourage young people to become active citizens. Various European programmes support such projects:

  • European Social Fund;
  • European Regional Development Fund;
  • Rural Development Fund;
  • ” Youth ” and “Youth in Action”;
  • Integrated Lifelong Learning Programme;
  • ” Citizens for Europe “;
  • Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme;
  • Marie Curie Programme;
  • European Science Education Initiative.

INVOLVEMENT OF YOUNG PEOPLE

As far as the Pact itself is concerned, the European Council has emphasised the need to consult young people and their organisations both on the development of national reform programmes for the Lisbon Strategy and on follow-up action. National youth councils should, in any event, be among those consulted.

The Commission also intends to consult young people and the European Youth Forum on youth policy. This consultation process will culminate in the holding of a Youth Assembly in 2005. In addition, the Commission hopes that this assembly will be a precursor of “annual encounters” between young people and Commissioners.

BACKGROUND

This Communication builds on the European Youth Pact adopted by the Heads of State or Government during the European Council of March 2005.

Adoption of the Pact coincides with the completion of the first cycle of implementing the White Paper on a new impetus for European youth, published in 2001.

Related Acts

Resolution of the Council of 24 November 2005 on addressing the concerns of young people in Europe — implementing the European Pact for Youth and promoting active citizenship[Official Journal C 292/5 of 24.11.2005]
The Council invites the Member States to develop structured dialogue with young people and their organisations at national, regional and local level on policy actions affecting them, with the involvement of researchers in the youth field. It calls on the Member States and the Commission to:

  • encourage the recognition of non-formal and informal learning, for example through developing a “Youthpass” and considering its inclusion in Europass, and consider the validation of such learning;
  • identify obstacles to and exchange, develop and apply good practice concerning young people’s mobility in order to make it easier for them to work, volunteer, train and study throughout the European Union and further afield;
  • evaluate the framework for European cooperation in the youth field in 2009.

Conclusions of the Council Presidency at the end of the European Council meeting on 22 and 23 March 2005

The European Council called on the Member states, within the framework of the European Employment Strategy and the Social Inclusion Strategy, to improve the education, training, mobility, vocational integration and social inclusion of young people, while facilitating the reconciliation of working life and family life.

The Pact should ensure the overall consistency of initiatives to be taken in these different areas. Its success depends on the involvement of all parties concerned, first and foremost youth organisations.

Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances

Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances

Topics

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

Environment > Water protection and management

Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances (until 2013)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/11/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the Community (Codified version).

Summary

This Directive lays down rules for protection against, and prevention of, pollution resulting from the discharge of certain substances into the aquatic environment. It applies to inland surface water, territorial waters and internal coastal waters.

Two lists of dangerous substances have been compiled to combat pollution:

  • discharge of substances in list I must be eliminated; while
  • discharge of substances in list II must be reduced.

Pursuant to Annex IX of the Water Framework Directive (Directive 2000/60/EC), quality objectives and emission limit values are established by the “daughter directives” of Directive 2006/11/EC. Moreover, emission limit values for pollutants must be based on the best available techniques in line with Article 10 of Framework Directive 2000/60/EC.

All discharges of substances included in list I require prior authorisation by the competent authority in the Member State concerned. The authorisation is granted for a limited period and lays down emission standards which may be more stringent than the thresholds set by Community legislation, particularly to take account of the toxicity or persistence of the substance in the environment into which it is discharged. It is up to the Member States to ensure compliance with the emission standards.

For the substances on list II, the Member States adopt and implement programmes to preserve and improve water quality. All discharges are subject to prior authorisation by the competent authority in the Member State concerned that lays down the emission standards.

The Member States draw up an inventory of the discharges into the waters covered by this Directive and may take more severe measures than those laid down by Community legislation to reduce or eliminate pollution caused by dangerous substances.

The Directive lays down a procedure for revising and adding to the lists or transferring specific substances from list II to list I.

Before 22 December 2012, Member States may carry out surveillance and notification pursuant to Articles 5, 8 and 15 of the Water Framework Directive.

Background

This Directive codifies and replaces Directive 76/464/EEC and its subsequent amendments. This codification leads to the clarification and rationalisation of legislation. It takes into account the adoption of the water framework Directive and the international conventions on the protection of water courses and the marine environment.

The Directive is repealed by the Water Framework Directive as from 22 December 2013.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2006/11/EC

24.4.2006

OJ L 64 of 4.4.2006

Related Acts

Environmental quality standards

Council Directive 82/176/EEC [Official Journal L 81 of 27.3.1982].

This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for mercury discharges by the chlor-alkali electrolysis industry].
See consolidated version .

Council Directive 83/513/EEC [Official Journal L 291 of 24.10.1983]
This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for cadmium discharges in the aquatic environment.
See consolidated version .

Council Directive 84/156/EEC [Official Journal L 74 of 17.3.1984]

This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for mercury discharges in sectors other than the chlor-alkali electrolysis industry.
See consolidated version .

Council Directive [Official Journal L 274 of 17.10.1984].
This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for discharges of hexachlorocyclohexane in the aquatic environment.

See consolidated version .

Council Directive 86/280/EEC [Official Journal L 181 of 4.7.1986]. This Directive sets limit values and quality objectives for discharges of certain dangerous substances included in List I of the Annex to Directive 2006/11/EC.

See consolidated version .

Directive 2008/105/CE of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on environmental quality standards in the field of water, amending and repealing Council Directives 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC, 86/280/EEC and amending Directive [Official Journal L 348 of 24.12.2008].
This Directive establishes environmental quality standards (EQS) in the field of water. These quality standards aim to combat surface water pollution by 33 priority chemical substances (Annex II). This Directive provides in particular for:

  • an amendment of the list of priority substances and the corresponding EQS;
  • transparent criteria to designate so-called “mixing” zones, within which standards may be exceeded under certain conditions;
  • the preparation of an inventory of emissions, discharges and losses. This inventory will be used to prepare the Commission Report which will check progress achieved in reducing or ceasing emissions of pollutant substances by 2018.

The Directive supplements the legislative framework introduced by the Water Framework Directive. It allows decisions to be made at all levels of governance. Member States have until December 2009 to prepare plans for the management of hydrographical districts and programmes of measures relating thereto.

Improvement of information

Directive 91/692/EEC [Official Journal L 377 of 31.12.1991].

This Directive aims at rationalizing and improving on a sectoral basis the provisions on the transmission of information and the publication of reports concerning certain Community Directives on the protection of the environment.

Decision 92/446/EEC [Official Journal L 247 of 27.8.1992].

This Decision draws up the outlines of questionnaires needed to monitor the implementation of and compliance with the provisions of all Directives in the water sector, including Directives 76/464/EEC, 82/176/EEC, 83/513/EEC, 84/156/EEC, 84/491/EEC and 86/280/EEC.

Transfer Register

Regulation (EC) No 166/2006 [Official Journal OJ L 33 of 4.2.2006].
The EU introduces a European Pollutant Release and Transfer Register to improve access by the public to information and, in the long term, contribute to preventing and reducing pollution.

SHIFT system

SHIFT system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about SHIFT system

Topics

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

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

SHIFT system

The SHIFT system has been set up to computerise veterinary procedures for animals and animal products being imported into the European Union.

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 92/438/EEC of 13 July 1992 on computerisation of veterinary import procedures (Shift project), amending Directives 90/675/EEC, 91/496/EEC and 91/628/EEC, Decision 90/424/EEC, and repealing Decision 88/192/EEC [See amending acts]

Summary

In view of the considerable progress made towards the harmonisation of the veterinary sector, further measures should be taken for the computerization of veterinary import procedures.

These new measures are all the more necessary now that checks at internal borders have been abolished.

This Decision provides for measures for the computerization of veterinary procedures comprising:

  • an information procedure in cases where an official veterinarian at a border inspection post rejects a consignment;
  • databases containing full information on Community import requirements for animals and products.

The equipment used at border inspection posts may be that used in connection with the ANIMO system.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 92/438/EEC

24.07.1992

OJ L 243 of 25.08.1992

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 806/2003

05.06.2003

OJ L 122 of 16.05.2003

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2003/623/EC of 19 August 2003 concerning the development of an integrated computerised veterinary system known as Traces [Official Journal L 216 of 28.08.2003].

The Community shall set up a computer system integrating the functions of the ANIMO and SHIFT systems into a single architecture. The budget available to the Commission for this amounts to EUR 300 000.

Decision 97/394/EC [Official Journal L 164 of 21.06.1997].

Commission Decision of 6 June 1997 establishing the minimum data required for the databases on animals and animal products brought into the Community.

Decision 97/152/EC [Official Journal L 59 of 28.02.1997].

Commission Decision of 10 February 1997 concerning the information to be entered in the computerised file of consignments of animals or animal products from third countries which are re-dispatched.

Standards of quality and safety of organs intended for transplantation

Standards of quality and safety of organs intended for transplantation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Standards of quality and safety of organs intended for transplantation

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

Standards of quality and safety of organs intended for transplantation

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2010/53/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 7 July 2010 on standards of quality and safety of human organs intended for transplantation.

Summary

This Directive sets out a common framework on quality and safety standards for organs * of human origin intended for transplantation into the human body. It also aims to protect donors * and optimise exchanges between Member States and third countries.

Scope

This Directive covers only those organs to be transplanted into the human body, and not the use of organs for the purposes of research.

It applies to:

  • donation *;
  • procurement *;
  • testing;
  • characterisation *;
  • transport;
  • transplantation of organs.

It does not apply to:

  • blood;
  • blood components;
  • human tissues and cells;
  • organs, tissues and cells of animal origin.

Quality and safety of organs

Member States shall implement a quality and safety framework which defines the parameters of all stages of the chain from donation to transplantation *.

These quality and safety frameworks are to fix all of the parameters of the process continuously, from donation to transplantation. They have the following functions in particular:

  • to define traceability * procedures from donation to transplantation or disposal of the organ;
  • to implement standard operating procedures *;
  • to establish the qualifications of personnel.

The procurement of an organ (that has previously been subject to a characterisation) is to be performed in dedicated facilities and under the supervision of a medical doctor as defined in Directive 2005/36/EC.

All procured organs must be characterised before transplantation. The minimum information required includes:

  • le type of donor;
  • the blood group;
  • the cause and date of death of the donor;
  • the clinical history of the donor, including aspects such as neoplasia, hepatisis, HIV or IV drug abuse.

Other complimentary information may be requested, such as the medical history of the donor or, for example, physical and clinical data.

The transport of organs shall be carried out according to clearly defined criteria. The shipping containers used by organisations or companies must contain information such as contact details for the procurement and transplantation organisations, be marked ‘handle with care’ and contain safety instructions and method of cooling.

All organs procured, allocated and transplanted on the territory must be traceable from the donor to the recipient and vice versa in order to safeguard the health of donors and recipients.

If a serious adverse event should occur following organ transplantation, a reporting system, put in place by Member States, should allow relevant information to be reported and transmitted.

Donor and recipient protection

Organ donation must be voluntary and unpaid. However, compensation may be granted to make good the expenses and loss of income related to the donation, while avoiding any financial incentive.

Member States shall be prohibited from advertising the need for, or availability of, organs.

Living donors are to be provided with comprehensive information as to the purpose and nature of the donation, and the consequences and risks involved.

Qualified medical personnel are to select donors on the basis of their health and medical history including a psychological evaluation. These provisions guarantee the quality and safety of organs.

The personal data of the donor shall be protected in line with Directive 95/46/EC. Anonymity is guaranteed.

Competent authorities

Member States shall designate the competent authorities to implement the Directive. They will, in particular, supervise the implementation of the quality and safety framework and exchanges with Member States or third countries;

Context

Over the last 20 years, the use of human organs for transplantation has increased considerably. This technique makes it possible to compensate for the failure of organs such as the liver, lungs or heart. However, this medical practice is associated with risks which this Directive aims to reduce by introducing strict standards concerning the quality and safety of organs.

Key terms used in the act
  • Organ: a differentiated and vital part of the human body, formed by different tissues, that maintains its structure, vascularisation, and capacity to develop physiological functions with an important level of autonomy;
  • Donor: every human source of organs, whether living or deceased;
  • Donation: donating human organs for transplantation;
  • Transplantation: the process of restoring certain functions of the human body by transferring equivalent organs to a recipient;
  • Traceability: the ability for a competent authority to locate and identify the organ at each stage in the chain from donation to transplantation or disposal, this authority, under specified circumstances set out in this Directive being authorised to: identify the donor and the procurement organisation, identify the recipient(s) at the transplantation centre(s), locate and identify all relevant non-personal information relating to products and materials coming into contact with that organ;
  • Standard operating procedures: written instructions describing the steps in a specific process, including the materials and methods to be used and the expected end product;
  • Procurement: a process by which the donated organs become available;
  • Donor characterisation: the collection of the relevant information on the characteristics of the donor needed to undertake a proper risk assessment in order to minimise the risks for the recipient and to optimise organ allocation.

Reference

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

Directive 2010/53/EU

26.8.2010

27.8.2012

OJ L 207 of 6.8.2010

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 8 December 2008 – Action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation (2009-2015): Strengthened Cooperation between Member States” [COM (2008) 819 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Action Plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation (2009-2015) sets out 10 priority actions in this area.

Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact

Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact

Topics

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

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Motor vehicles with trailers: behaviour of steering device under impact (until 2014)

To harmonise the laws of the Member States in respect of the interior fittings of motor vehicles as regards behaviour of steering device under impact.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 74/297/EEC of 4 June 1974 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the interior fittings of motor vehicles (behaviour of steering device under impact) [Official Journal L 165 of 20.06.1974].

Amended by the following act:

Council Directive 91/662/EEC of 6 December 1991 [Official Journal L 366 of 31.12.1991].

3) Summary

These Directives apply to the behaviour of the steering device fitted to category M1 motor vehicles and category N1 vehicles the maximum permissible weight of which is less than 1 500 kg in respect of driver protection in the event of a head-on collision.

Component type-approval procedure for each type of vehicle and steering control:

  • application for EC approval:

– lodged by the manufacturer or his authorized representative with the authorities respnsible for approval within a Member State;

– accompanied by the information requested in line with annex I to the present Directive;

  • approval procedure:

– provision is made for three types of test which concern either the type of vehicle or the type of steering control: these are the impact test against a barrier, the impact test against a test block and the headform test;

– where the type of vehicle or steering control meets the requirements of the tests an EC approval certificate and its annex are issued by the Member State authority that is responsible for approval.

Implementation of the Directive:

  • 1 October 1992: manufacturers voluntarily meeting the safety standards may obtain EC approval;
  • 1 October 1995: mandatory application of the safety standards for:

– component type-approval of the steering device fitted to forward-control category M1 vehicles and to all motor vehicles the maximum permissible weight of which does not exceed 1 500 kg;

– the placing on the market of steering controls intended to be fitted to one or several types of vehicle;

  • 1 October 1996, mandatory application of safety standards concerning:

– the steering device for normal-control category M1 motor vehicles;

– the steering control for all types of vehicle.

These provisions shall only apply from 1 October 1997 to:

  • category M1 vehicles;
  • category N1 vehicles the maximum permissible weight of which does not exceed 1 500 kg.

Procedure for the adaptation of the Directive to technical progress.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Directive 74/297/EEC 10.06.1974 10.12.1975
Directive 91/662/EEC 01.10.1992

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

ETen Programme: support for trans-European telecommunications networks

eTen Programme: support for trans-European telecommunications networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about eTen Programme: support for trans-European telecommunications networks

Topics

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

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

eTen Programme: support for trans-European telecommunications networks

eTen is an essential component of the eEurope 2005 action plan and i2010 aimed at encouraging the development of electronic services, applications and content and speeding up the deployment of secure broadband Internet access.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation No 2236/1995/EC of 18 September 1995 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks, [See amending acts].

Summary

The eTen Programme (known as TEN Telecom or trans-European telecommunications networks) was initially set up to support the interconnection of telecommunications infrastructure networks, and later in the area of establishment and development of interoperable services and applications and access to them.

Objectives

The objectives of eTen are as follows:

  • facilitating the transition to the information society, while providing experience on the effects of the deployment of new networks and applications on social activities;
  • improving the competitiveness of Community firms, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • strengthening economic and social cohesion, taking into account in particular the need to link island, land-locked and peripheral regions to the central regions of the Community;
  • accelerating the development of new growth-area activities leading to job creation.

Lines of action

To achieve these objectives, the programme supports the following broad lines of measures:

  • action aimed at increasing the awareness of individuals, economic operators and administrations of the benefits they can derive from the new advanced trans-European telecommunications services and applications;
  • action aimed at stimulating combined initiatives by users and providers to launch projects in the sphere of trans-European telecommunications networks;
  • aid to encourage public/private collaboration, in particular through partnerships;
  • stimulation of the supply and use of services and applications intended for small and medium-sized enterprises;
  • promotion of the interconnectivity of networks, and the interoperability * of broadband services and applications.

Projects of common interest supported

Support is granted to projects of common interest identified by the programme. These projects are in six thematic areas focusing on services for the general public:

  • on-line governmental services (“e-government”);
  • on-line health services (“e-health”);
  • encouraging the participation of older people and people with disabilities in the information society (“e-inclusion” *);
  • on-line learning (“e-learning”);
  • increasing user confidence and the security of the services available;
  • facilitating the participation of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the e-economy.

Specific features of the programme

What distinguishes TEN-Telecom from other information society actions is its “preparation for roll-out” approach by supporting as a matter of priority, the phase involving the technical and economic feasibility of a project, and the phases involving the validation * and trans-national deployment * of a service. The validation phase is the critical point in a project since it involves the validation of assumptions made in terms of operational costs, potential income, savings and public benefit. The eTen Programme thus funds projects by helping them to move on from a business case (a good service idea) to the business plan (designed to put the idea into practice).

Beneficiaries

Consortia of a minimum of two legal entities from two different Member States from the enlarged EU can seek funding. The ideal consortium for a project funded by eTen includes all the players in the project’s value chain * that will be necessary for implementing the service, its set-up, deployment and operation.

Award criteria

Funding can only be granted if the project satisfies various criteria, including the following:

  • the proposed service must be based on a mature technology;
  • the project must be innovative and clearly involve problems such that it cannot be financed with private funds;
  • the service must be trans-European *;
  • the service must be in the common interest *.

The decision to grant Community assistance must also take into account:

  • the knock-on effect that Community assistance will have on public and private funding;
  • the soundness of the financial package;
  • the direct or indirect socio-economic effects, in particular on employment;
  • the environmental impact.

Funding

The level of support depends on the type of project. The programme can cover:
– up to 50 % of the costs of market validation for a project which has succeeded in demonstrating its technical and economic feasibility and benefit to end-users;
– up to 10 % until 2005 and up to 30 % since 2006 of the costs of initial deployment of the project, i.e. the launch costs.

Operation

The programme operates by means of calls for proposals published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The eTen programme generally launches calls for proposals once or twice a year. Each call refers to specific areas. The European Commission then selects the projects with the support of a committee of experts from the Member States.

Links with other Community programmes

eTen is coordinated with other Community programmes, in particular the information society technologies research programme (ISP Programme) and the programme for the electronic interchange of data between administrations (IDA). The Structural Funds’ programmes contain various measures targeted on the applications covered by the eTen work programme and the eEurope 2005 action plan assigns them a special role as regards high-speed access in the less-favoured regions.

Key terms used in the act
  • Value chain: this includes all participants involved in the deployment of a service, from the developers, through service and content providers, to users. It can comprise all types of entities such as commercial and public organisations, non-profit associations and citizens.
  • Deployment: the construction and operation of the application to offer the services in a real-life environment.
  • E-inclusion: e-inclusion (integration into the information society) is aimed at strengthening the European social model and addressing the specific needs of the disadvantaged, so that all citizens can benefit from the new opportunities offered by the information society. It promotes independence and accessibility for all.
  • Interoperability: the ability of two or more systems (devices, databases, services or technologies) to interact in accordance with a prescribed method.
  • Service of common interest: a service that is of widespread social or economic benefit.
  • Generic service: a conversational, messaging, retrieval or group service directly usable by a large number of users, which provides common tools for development and implementation of applications, whilst aiding their interoperability.
  • Trans-European: a project designed to satisfy needs existing in several Member States. As a general rule, projects carried out with eTen support must be carried out in several Member States, but implementation in a single Member State is allowed if the project contributes to a broader trans-European interest.
  • Market validation: all activities related to an application/service project aiming at evaluating its technical, economic and financial characteristics.

References

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation 2236/1995/EC[adoption: cooperation SYN/1994/0065]

24.09.1995

JO L 228 of 23.09.1995

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1336/97/CE [adoption: consultation CNS/2000/0128]

11.07.1997

JO L 183 of 11.07.1997

Regulation EC No 1655/1999/CE [adoption: co-decision COD/1998/0101]

18.18.1999

JO L 197 of 29.07.1999

Decision 1376/2002/CE [adoption: co-decision 2001/0296/COD]

30.07.2002

JO L 200 of 30.07.2002

Related Acts

PROGRAMME EVALUATION

Communication of 3 June 2008 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Final evaluation of the eTEN programme [COM(2008) 334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission gives a positive report of the eTen programme. It has allowed considerable knowledge and best practice in terms of deployment of services to be acquired through project implementation. Synergies have been created with the European Cohesion Fund.

The final evaluation notes, moreover, the success of the programme both in project management and the fulfilment of the obectives of growth, employment, social cohesion and greater participation in the knowledge economy.

The ICT strategic component of the “Innovation and Competitiveness” programme should extend the eTen programme and allow its results to be exploited effectively once all projects are completed at the end of 2009.

Commission report of 10 December 2001 on the implementation of Decision No 1336/97/EC on a series of guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks [COM(2001) 742 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report evaluates the programme during the first three years of operation since the new guidelines were adopted in 1997 until June 2000. It mentions a number of factors relating to the operation of eTen, including the profile of programme participants, project results and the state of deployment of completed projects. It also notes that it is difficult to evaluate the social and societal impact of the programme because of the small number of projects completed.

The Commission also makes a number of recommendations covering future strategies for the development of the programme. These recommendations include the following:

  • increased number of deployment projects;
  • increase in the number of projects involving public administrations;
  • granting of support for the interconnection and interoperability of networks necessary for the operation of a public interest service;
  • better coordination with, in particular the other programmes operating in the field of trans-European networks, the Structural funds, the IDA programme and the Socrates programme.

FOLLOW-UP REPORTS

Commission report – 1998 annual report pursuant to Article 16 of Council Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 of 18 September 1995 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial assistance in the field of trans-European networks [COM(1999)0410 final – Not published in the Official Journal];

Commission report of 22 September 2000 – trans-European networks – 1999 annual report pursuant to Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial assistance in the field of trans-European networks [COM(2000) 0591 final – Not published in the Official Journal];

Commission report of 1 July 2002 – trans-European networks 2000: annual report [COM(2002) 344 final – Not published in the Official Journal];

Commission report of 7 August 2002 – trans-European networks: 2001 annual report [COM(2003) 0442 final – Not published in the Official Journal].