Author Archives: Renee Jackson

Exemptions from consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports

Exemptions from consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Exemptions from consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports

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

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in transport

Exemptions from consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports

1) Objective

To exempt, subject to certain conditions, consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports from the competition rules.

2) Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1617/93 of 25 June 1993 on the application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices concerning joint planning and coordination of schedules, joint operations, consultations on passenger and cargo tariffs on scheduled air services and slot allocation at airports [Official Journal L 155 of 26.06.1993].

Amended by the following measures:

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1105/2002 of 25 June 2002 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1617/93 as regards consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports [Official Journal L 167 of 26.06.2002];
Commission Regulation (EC) No 1083/1999 of 26 May 1999 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1617/93 on the application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices concerning joint planning and coordination of schedules, joint operations, consultations on passenger and cargo tariffs on scheduled air services and slot allocation at airports [Official Journal L 131 of 27.05.1999];
Commission Regulation (EC) No 1523/96 of 24 July 1996 amending Regulation (EEC) No 1617/93 on the application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices concerning joint planning and coordination of schedules, joint operations, consultations on passenger and cargo tariffs on scheduled air services and slot allocation at airports [Official Journal L 190 of 31.07.1996].

3) Summary

Background

Under Regulation No 3976/87, which authorises the Commission to grant block exemptions to certain categories of agreements and concerted practices which relate directly or indirectly to the provision of air transport services, this Regulation is designed to exempt consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports from Article 81(1) of the EC Treaty. The Commission may withdraw the benefit of the block exemption.

Scope

In 1993 the scope of this Regulation was broad enough to include agreements and concerted practices concerning joint planning and coordination of schedules, joint operations, consultations on tariffs and slot allocation at airports which could restrict competition and affect trade between Member States. Numerous successive amendments significantly reduced the scope of this Regulation. It is now limited to consultations on passenger tariffs and slot allocation at airports.

Conditions governing application

The exemption concerning the organisation of consultations on passenger tariffs applies on condition that:

  • participants discuss passenger tariffs only;
  • for each tariff category and for the seasons covered by consultations, passengers are able to combine the service with services on the same route on the same ticket and, in so far as circumstances allow, to replace or change reservations;
  • passenger tariffs are applied on a non-discriminatory basis;
  • participation in consultations is optional and open to all air carriers;
  • consultations are not binding on participants, which means that participants must maintain, after consultations have ended, the right to act independently on passenger tariffs;
  • consultations do not give rise to an agreement on staff pay or other aspects of tariffs covered by the discussion;
  • where tariffs have to be notified, each participant informs the competent authorities of the Member States concerned, on an individual basis, of any tariff not covered by the consultations.

The exemption concerning slot allocation and scheduling applies on condition that:

  • consultations are open to all air carriers;
  • priority rules are drawn up and applied without any discrimination;
  • the priority rules are made available to any interested party on request;
  • new arrivals are entitled to 50% of new or unused slots;
  • by the time of these consultations at the latest, the participating carriers have access to the information.

Air carriers must notify the Member States concerned and the Commission of the date, place and subject of these consultations at least ten days in advance so that observers from the Commission and the Member States can take part in them. Air carriers are required to submit a report on the consultations.

Other provisions

To help the Commission decide whether the block exemption should be extended beyond 30 June 2005, this Regulation requires air carriers participating in conferences to collect certain data on the relative use of the passenger tariffs set in the conferences.

Act Date
of entry into force
Final date for implementation in the Member States
Regulation (EEC) No 1617/93 01.07.1993
Regulation (EC) No 1523/96 20.08.1996
Regulation (EC) No 1083/1999 27.05.1999
Regulation (EC) No 1105/2002 29.06.2002

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

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

Guarantee Fund for external actions

Guarantee Fund for external actions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Guarantee Fund for external actions

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

Budget

Guarantee Fund for external actions

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 480/2009 of 25 May 2009 establishing a Guarantee Fund for external actions (Codified version).

Summary

As a result of its loans to third countries and guarantees covering loans to finance investment operations in these countries, the European Union (EU) is exposed to considerable financial risks. It was with the aim of protecting against such risks that the EU adopted this Regulation establishing a Guarantee Fund for external actions.

This Regulation describes how the Fund operates and lays down the procedure for endowing the Fund and the rules for its management. The main aim of the Fund is to protect European budget appropriations and to contribute to compliance with budgetary discipline.

Mission

The mission of the Guarantee Fund for external actions is to pay the EU’s creditors in the event of default by the beneficiary in respect of:

  • a loan granted or guaranteed by the EU;
  • a guaranteed loan granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB) for which the EU acts as guarantor.

Moreover, the Guarantee Fund can cover only loans and guarantees carried out for the benefit of a third country or for the purpose of financing projects in a third country.

Management and financial endowment

The Commission entrusts the financial management of the Fund to the EIB under a mandate from the EU. The Guarantee Fund is endowed by:

  • direct payments from the general budget of the EU;
  • interest on Fund resources invested;
  • amounts recovered from defaulting debtors.

Pursuant to the interinstitutional agreement of May 2006, which contains the Community financial framework for 2007-2013, financing of the Fund is guaranteed as compulsory expenditure from the general budget of the EU.

Target amount and annual transfer

The target amount refers to the amount of resources required by the Fund in order to fulfil its mission. The Fund’s target amount is set at 9 % of the EU’s total outstanding capital liabilities arising from each loan or guarantee operation, increased by unpaid interest due. The annual transfer from the EU budget to the Fund is calculated by applying the target amount to the outstanding amount of loans granted and guaranteed. The difference between the target amount and the actual value of the Fund’s assets is paid from the general budget of the EU into the Fund, or to the budget in the event of a resulting surplus in the Fund.

The provisioning amount is calculated during financial year “n” on the basis of loans granted and guaranteed during the previous financial year (“n-1”). There is therefore a delay of approximately one year between the time when the amounts become outstanding and the actual provisioning of the Fund.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 480/2009

30.6.2009

OJ L 145 of 10.6.2009

Related Acts

Report from the Commission of 2 July 2010 – Annual Report from the Commission on the Guarantee Fund and the management thereof in 2009 [COM(2010) 805 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Council Regulation (EC) No 1934/2006 of 21 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories [Official Journal L 405 of 30.12.2006].

Regulation (EC) No 1717/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an Instrument for Stability [Official Journal L 327 of 24.11.2006].
This Regulation establishes an instrument for stability which includes development cooperation measures and measures for financial, economic and technical cooperation with third countries.

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

Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation

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

External relations > Relations with third countries > Asia

Partnerships with countries in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decisions 94/578/EC, 95/129/EC, 96/354/EC, 2001/332/EC and 2004/870/EC concerning the conclusion of the cooperation agreements between the European Community, of the one part, and of the other part, the Republic of India, the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, the Kingdom of Nepal, the People’s Republic of Bangladesh and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, respectively.

Summary

Between 1994 and 2004, the European Union (EU) concluded five similar cooperation agreements with five countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC): Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

These agreements aim to develop the cooperation ties between the partners, while ensuring a respect for human rights and promoting democratic principles.

The main cooperation objectives concern:

  • trade, with the aim of increasing, diversifying and liberalising trade. Therefore, the parties must improve the opening up of their respective markets, and enhance their cooperation in customs matters in accordance with the principles of the World Trade Organization (WTO);
  • economy, in order to improve the business environment, dialogue between economic operators, information exchange, and entrepreneur training;
  • sustainable development, specifically for social progress and combating poverty. The EU must support the progress of partners in the fields of health, education, improving the standard of living, and promoting the role of women in society;
  • the development of human resources, vocational qualifications and the promotion of international standards on decent work;
  • rural development, increasing trade in agricultural, fisheries and farmed products, including the improvement of sanitary and phytosanitary measures.

The Agreements also provide specific objectives depending on the different needs of the country for:

  • scientific and technological cooperation, which should lead to improvements in the technical assistance with Pakistan and Sri Lanka, Bangladesh’s quality and control standards, and the launching of joint research projects, the mobility of researchers, and exchanges of scientific information (particularly in the fields of bio-technology, new materials and geosciences) with India;
  • environmental protection, particularly to support Pakistan and Nepal in natural resource management, erosion and deforestation; Bangladesh for reducing the risks of natural disasters; Sri Lanka for preventing industrial pollution, and India for drafting and implementing environmental legislation, research and training;
  • improving the environment for private investment with India, Nepal and Sri Lanka;
  • developing industry and services with India and Pakistan;
  • protecting intellectual property rights with India and Sri Lanka;
  • cooperation in the fields of information, culture and communications with Pakistan and Bangladesh;
  • promoting the energy sector with India, Pakistan and Nepal, recognising the importance of the energy sector for their economic and social development;
  • combating drug trafficking and money laundering, particularly with Pakistan and Bangladesh using special measures against the production and trafficking of drugs, and also the prevention of drug abuse;
  • tourism with India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, particularly through studies and information exchange.

Context

SAARC is a regional cooperation organisation, established in 1985 in order to accelerate the economic and social development of its Member States. These Member States are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. The EU has observer member status in the organisation, as does Burma/Myanmar, China, South Korea, the United States, Iran, Japan and Mauritius.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 94/578/EC Republic of India

1.8.1994

OJ L 223 of 27.8.1994

Decision 95/129/EC the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

1.4.1995

OJ L 85 of 19.4.1995

Decision 2004/870/EC, Islamic Republic of Pakistan

1.9.2004

OJ L 378 of 23.12.2004

Decision 2001/332/EC People’s Republic of Bangladesh

1.3.2001

OJ L 118 of 27.4.2001

Decision 96/354/EC Kingdom of Nepal

1.6.1996

OJ L 137 of 8.6.1996

Related Acts

Communication concerning the entry into force, in trade between the European Community and the countries of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), of the provisions laid down in Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93, as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1602/2000, concerning the definition of the concept of ‘originating products’ for the purpose of applying tariff preferences granted by the Community to certain products from developing countries (regional cumulation of origin)) [OJ C 265 of 15.9.2000].

Feed hygiene

Feed hygiene

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Feed hygiene

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

Feed hygiene

Document or Iniciative

Regulation 183/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 January 2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Regulation requires feed business operators to comply with obligations relating to hygiene and traceability and the registration and approval of their establishments. The objective is to achieve a high level of protection of human and animal health, notably by ensuring that feed is safe and of good quality.

Scope

The Regulation applies to the activities of feed business operators, starting with primary production of feed * up to and including its placing on the market and imports of products intended for animal nutrition from third countries. This also includes the feeding of food-producing animals.

The following are excluded from the scope of this Regulation:

  • the private domestic production of feed for food-producing animals intended for private domestic consumption and for animals not intended for food production, and the feeding of these animals;
  • the direct supply of small quantities of primary products at local level by the producer to local farms;
  • the retailing of pet food.

Obligations incumbent on operators

Feed business operators responsible for the primary production of feed must take the measures necessary to prevent, eliminate or reduce feed safety hazards during the production, preparation, cleaning, packaging, storing and transport of these products (Annex I). These operators must keep records relating to measures put in place to control contamination hazards.

Feed business operators other than at the level of primary production of feed must adopt appropriate measures to guarantee the safety of the products that they manufacture, transport or use. These measures are detailed more precisely than those concerning the primary production of feed (Annex II) and chiefly concern facilities and equipment used by the operators, staff training, the organisation and monitoring of different stages of production, and the documents which the operators must keep.

Feed business operators other than at the level of primary production of feed must apply HACCP principles (hazard analysis and critical control points) and must keep documents demonstrating that they respect these principles.

These principles prescribe a certain number of requirements to be met throughout the cycle of production, processing and distribution in order to permit, via hazard analysis, identification of the critical points which need to be kept under control in order to guarantee food safety:

  • identify any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels;
  • identify the critical control points at the step or steps at which control is essential;
  • establish critical limits beyond which intervention is necessary;
  • establish and implement effective monitoring procedures at critical control points;
  • establish corrective actions when monitoring indicates that a critical control point is not under control;
  • implement own-check procedures to verify whether the measures adopted are working effectively;
  • keep records to demonstrate the effective application of these measures and to facilitate official controls by the competent authority.

Feed business operators are responsible for any infringement of the law governing feed safety. In order to prepare an effective system of financial guarantees for operators in this sector, the Commission presents a report on financial guarantees in the feed sector to the European Parliament and the Council (see “Related Acts”).

Feed business operators (including those responsible for the primary production of feed) must register their establishments with the competent authority of their Member State. They must provide the authority with up to date information and cooperate with it in the event of controls.

Where required by national or Community legislation, businesses in the food sector must be approved by the competent authority and may not operate without such approval. The competent authority of each Member State must keep a list of approved establishments. When an approved establishment no longer complies with the requirements governing its activities, the approval may be temporarily suspended or revoked.

Operators who import products from third countries must ensure that:

  • the country concerned is included in a list drawn up pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 on official controls of food and feed;
  • the supplier is entered in a list kept by the third country testifying to the firm’s conformity with Community hygiene standards or equivalent standards.

Guides to good practice

The Member States encourage the preparation of national guides to good practice in the feed sector and national guides on the application of HACCP principles. Member States must assess such national guides to ensure that their contents are practicable, that they have been developed taking into account the appropriate principles of the Codex Alimentarius and that all interested parties have been consulted. National guides deemed to be in conformity are forwarded to the Commission, which enters them in a register.

Standardised Community guides may be prepared if the Commission considers this advisable. The Standing Committee on the Food Chain ensures that the content of such guides is practicable, that they have been prepared taking into account the appropriate principles of the Codex Alimentarius, and that the national guides and all the interested parties have been consulted.

BACKGROUND

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 constitutes the cornerstone of the new European legislation on food safety. Adopting the “from farm to table” approach, it aims, by drawing on the latest scientific opinions, to guarantee a high standard of health and safety throughout the food chain. This approach also covers the entire animal feed chain, including the primary production of feed (which is not covered by the old legislation), animal nutrition and the production of feed.

Following the recent health crises and the occurrences of contamination of animal feed and feed materials (bovine spongiform encephalopathy, dioxin, hormones, etc.), the European Union is equipped with an appropriate legal instrument to ensure safety of all kinds of feed, to ensure that all feed businesses operate in accordance with harmonised hygiene requirements, and to improve traceability.

The Regulation replaces Directive 95/69/EC.

Key terms used in the act

Primary production of feed: production of agricultural products, notably including cultivation, harvesting, milking, breeding (before slaughter) or fishing, terminating exclusively in products which have not been subjected to any other processing after harvesting, gathering or capture, with the exception of simple physical processing.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 183/2005

8.02.2005

OJ L 35 of 8.02.2005

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

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on existing legal provisions, systems and practices in the Member States and at Community level relating to liability in the food and feed sectors and on feasible systems for financial guarantees in the feed sector at Community level in accordance with Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 183/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 January 2005 laying down requirements for feed hygiene [COM(2007) 469 – Not published in the Official Journal].

This report consitutes the basis for a system of financial guarantees for feed business operators. On the basis of Regulation (EC) No 183/2005, which assigns to operators financial liability for infringements of Community legislation on the safety of animal feed, this report analyses the different guarantee options which could ensure enforcement of this liability in the framework of an efficient system. With this aim, the report takes account of the role of compulsory and optional insurance, bank guarantees and sectoral pooling systems. The report underlines the complexity of the problem and proposes launching a wide-ranging public debate on the various options. This debate is to take place over the two years following publication of the report and will take the opinions of all stakeholders into consideration.

Fundamental rights and non-discrimination.

Fundamental rights and non-discrimination.

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fundamental rights and non-discrimination.

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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

Fundamental rights and non-discrimination.

The founding Treaties contained no specific provisions on fundamental rights. The credit for gradually developing a system of guarantees for fundamental rights throughout the European Union has to go to the Court of Justice.

The rulings given by the Court have been essentially based on:

  • Article 220 (ex Article 164) of the EC Treaty establishing the European Community, which requires the Court to ensure that the law is observed in the interpretation and application of the Treaty;
  • the political dimension of the Community, which is grounded in a European model of society, including the protection of fundamental rights recognised by all Member States.

By bringing fundamental rights to the fore, those who drafted the Treaty of Amsterdam were endeavouring to give formal recognition to human rights. The provisions of the new Treaty include the following:

  • Article 6 (ex Article F) of the EU Treaty has been amended so as to reaffirm the principle of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • a procedure is laid down for dealing with cases where a Member State has committed a breach of the principles on which the Union is based;
  • more effective action is to be taken to combat not only discrimination based on nationality but also discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation;
  • new provisions on equal treatment for men and women are inserted in the Treaty establishing the European Community;
  • individuals are afforded greater protection with regard to the processing and free movement of personal data;
  • the Final Act was accompanied by declarations on the abolition of the death penalty, respect for the status of churches and philosophical or non-confessional organisations, and on the needs of persons with a disability.

BACKGROUND

The place given to fundamental rights in the Community Treaties has changed considerably since the European venture was first launched. At the outset, fundamental rights were not a central concern of those who drafted the Paris and Rome Treaties, which reflect a sectoral and functionalist approach. The Treaty of Paris, which established the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), is concerned solely with the coal and steel industries. This sectoral approach gained strength after the failure, in 1954, of the European Defence Community (EDC) and the concomitant moves towards political union. It thus became a feature of the Rome Treaties establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and the European Economic Community (EEC). Although the EEC Treaty was wider in scope than the other two, all three Treaties covered well-defined economic spheres.

One consequence of this sectoral approach was to set the founding Treaties apart from any basic law of a constitutional nature which incorporated a solemn declaration on fundamental rights. The Treaties in question were not suited to the inclusion of such a preamble, particularly since the Council of Europe’s European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), signed in 1950, already provided an advanced model for the protection of human rights in Europe.

The situation changed rapidly as the Court of Justice, in the judgments it handed down, began to monitor the respect shown for fundamental rights by the Community institutions and the Member States whenever they took action within the areas covered by Community law. The Court recognised, for example, the right to property and the freedom to engage in economic activity, which are essential to the smooth operation of the internal market. The Court held that fundamental rights ranked as general principles of Community law and that they were based on two:

  • the constitutional traditions of the Member States;
  • the international Treaties to which the Member States belonged (and the ECHR in particular).

In 1977 the European Parliament, the Commission and the Council signed a Joint Declaration in which they undertook to continue respecting the fundamental rights arising from the two sources identified by the Court. In 1986 a further step was taken when the preamble to the Single European Act included a reference to the promotion of democracy on the basis of fundamental rights.

The EU Treaty states that “[t]he Union shall respect fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms signed in Rome on 4 November 1950 and as they result from the constitutional traditions common to the Member States, as general principles of Community law” (Article 6(2), ex Article F.2).

At the same time, the idea that the Community as such should accede to the ECHR had begun to circulate. The Council decided to ask the Court’s opinion on whether membership of the Convention would be compatible with the Treaties. In its opinion of 28 March 1996 the Court held that, as Community law stood at that time, the Community was not competent to accede to the Convention.

As European integration has progressed, the European Union has gradually widened its field of action, reflecting the determination of the Member States to act as one in areas which until now have been a strictly national preserve (e.g. internal security or the fight against racism and xenophobia). In view of these changes, which necessarily go beyond the sectoral context of the Community’s early days and impinge on the daily life of European citizens, there is a need for clear legal texts which proclaim respect for fundamental rights as a basic principle of the European Union. The Treaty of Amsterdam meets this need.

PRINCIPLES

The Treaty of Amsterdam clarifies Article 6 (ex Article F) of the Treaty on European Union by stating unequivocally that the Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States.

It also amends the preamble to the EU Treaty, confirming the Member States’ attachment to fundamental social rights as defined in the European Social Charter of 1961 and the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers of 1989.

Before the Treaty of Amsterdam entered into force, Article F.2 of the EU Treaty stressed respect for the rights guaranteed by the ECHR and those resulting from the constitutional traditions common to the member states. However, under former Article L (now renumbered Article 46) the powers of the Court of Justice did not extend to Article F, so limiting its impact. Since ensuring respect for the law in the interpretation and application of the Treaty is the Court’s task, the scope of fundamental rights was correspondingly reduced.

By amending Article 46, the Treaty of Amsterdam ensures that Article 6(2) will be applied. The Court now has the power to decide whether the institutions have failed to respect fundamental rights.

BREACH BY A MEMBER STATE OF THE PRINCIPLES ON WHICH THE UNION IS BASED

The Treaty of Amsterdam proclaims that the Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which are common to the Member States. At the same time, the new Treaty acknowledges that these principles may be infringed by a Member State and lays down the procedure which the Union should follow in dealing with the Member State concerned.

Establishment of the existence of a breach

On a proposal from the Commission or one third of the member states, the Council – in the shape of the heads of state or government – may determine the existence of a breach by a Member State. The breach must be “serious and persistent”. The European Parliament has to give its assent by a majority of its members and a two-thirds majority of the votes cast. The government of the Member State in question is first invited to submit its observations.

The Council’s decision establishing a breach will be considered unanimous even where a Member State abstains.

Suspension of the Member State concerned

Once a serious and persistent breach has been established, the Council may (but need not necessarily) suspend some of the Member State’s rights under the Treaty. However, the country remains bound by its obligations. The suspension of rights might, for instance, involve withdrawing the Member State’s voting rights in the Council.

At this second stage, the Council acts by a qualified majority, disregarding the votes of the Member State concerned.

Variation or revocation of the suspension

If there is a change in the situation that led to a Member State’s suspension, the Council can decide to vary or revoke the measures taken.

When taking such a decision, the Council acts by a qualified majority, disregarding the votes of the Member State concerned.

THE FIGHT AGAINST DISCRIMINATION

Article 12 (ex Article 6) of the EC Treaty provides that any discrimination on the grounds of nationality is prohibited. At the same time, Article 141 (ex Article 119) lays down the principle of non-discrimination between men and women, though only as far as equal pay is concerned.

The Treaty of Amsterdam restates the principle of non-discrimination in stronger terms, adding two new provisions to the EC Treaty.

The new Article 13

This Article complements Article 12, which prohibits discrimination on grounds of nationality. The new Article enables the Council to take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

When the Council acts on the basis of Article 13, it does so unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament.

Declaration regarding persons with a disability

The new Article 13 provides for measures to combat discrimination based on disability. The Intergovernmental Conference that drew up the Treaty of Amsterdam sought to offer an even stronger guarantee by including a declaration in the Final Act, stating that the Community institutions must take account of the needs of persons with a disability when adopting measures to approximate Member States’ legislation..

EQUALITY BETWEEN MEN AND WOMEN

Article 2 of the Treaty provides that it will be the Community’s task to promote the harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of economic activities, environmentally-friendly growth, a high degree of convergence of economic performance, a high level of employment and social protection, the raising of the standard of living and quality of life, economic and social cohesion and solidarity among Member States. Article 3 lists the various measures which the Community should take to carry out the tasks specified in Article 2.

The Treaty of Amsterdam extends these two Articles to include equality between men and women, which previously figured only in Article 141 (ex Article 119) of the EC Treaty (more restricted in scope since it relates only to equal pay). The two additions made are as follows:

Amendment of Article 2

The list of tasks facing the Commission will include the promotion of equality between men and women.

Amendment of Article 3

A new paragraph has been added, reading as follows:

“In all the other activities referred to in this Article, the Community shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women.”

PROCESSING OF PERSONAL DATA

The main Community measure in this area is the 1995 Directive on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data. In the absence of a specific legal basis, this Directive was adopted under Article 95 (ex Article 100a) of the EC Treaty, which concerns the approximation of legislation relating to the single market.

The free movement of persons necessarily entails the establishment of information systems on a European scale. In view of these changes, a new article has been inserted in the EC Treaty, making the rules on the protection of individuals applicable to the Community institutions themselves.

The new Article 286

This Article will consist of two paragraphs which will provide respectively that:

  • from 1 January 1999, Community acts on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data apply to the Community institutions and bodies;

before 1 January 1999, the Council is to establish an independent supervisory body responsible for monitoring the application of those Community acts to Community institutions and bodies.

Pre-accession agricultural instrument

Pre-accession agricultural instrument

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Pre-accession agricultural instrument

Topics

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

Agriculture > Agriculture: enlargement

Pre-accession agricultural instrument (SAPARD)

Sapard is a Community framework for supporting sustainable agricultural and rural development in the central and eastern European applicant countries (CEECs) during the 2000-2006 pre-accession process. It is designed to solve problems affecting the long-term adjustment of the agricultural sector and rural areas and to help implement the Community acquis in matters of the common agricultural policy and related policies.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1268/99 of 21 June 1999 on Community support for pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of central and eastern Europe in the pre-accession period [See amending acts]

Summary

This Regulation is part of the follow-up to the Commission’s ” Agenda 2000 ” Communication and the conclusions of the Luxembourg European Council, which provided for financial aid for the CEECs in the form of structural and agricultural instruments for the period 2000-2006. Sapard and the other 2000-2006 pre-accession instruments have been replaced for the period 2007-2013 by the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA), which is the sole instrument for assisting the candidate countries and the potential candidate countries of the Western Balkans.

Eligible measures

Support for agriculture and rural development is focused on the priorities in this sector, and in particular on:

  • investment in agricultural holdings;
  • improving the processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products;
  • improving structures for quality, veterinary and plant-health controls in the interests of food quality and consumer protection;
  • agricultural production methods designed to protect the environment and maintain the countryside;
  • development and diversification of economic activities;
  • setting up relief and management services for farmers;
  • setting up producer groups;
  • renovation and development of villages and the protection and conservation of the rural heritage;
  • land improvement and re-parcelling;
  • establishment and updating of land registers;
  • improvement of vocational training;
  • development and improvement of rural infrastructure;
  • water resources management;
  • forestry, including forestation, investments in forest holdings owned by private forest owners and processing and marketing of forestry products;
  • technical assistance for the measures covered by this Regulation, including studies to assist with the preparation and monitoring of the programme, information and publicity campaigns;
  • designing and implementing local and regional rural development strategies for rural communities in Bulgaria and Romania.

Complementarity

Community action must complement corresponding national actions or contribute to them. The Commission must ensure that the Community measures bring added value to national initiatives and to the achievement of the Regulation’s objectives.

Natural and legal persons from the Member States, the candidate countries and the Western Balkan countries are eligible to participate in invitations to tender and contracts.

Programming

Rural development measures must be the subject of a plan drawn up at the most appropriate geographical level. Such plans are to be prepared by the competent authorities of the applicant country, cover a period of up to seven years from 1 January 2000 and contain the following information:

  • a quantified description of the current situation showing disparities, shortcomings and potential for development, the main results of earlier operations in the same field, the financial resources deployed and any evaluation results available;
  • a description of the proposed strategy, its quantified objectives, the chosen priorities and the geographical scope;
  • a prior appraisal of the expected economic, environmental and social impact, including effects on employment;
  • an indicative overall financial table summarising the national, Community and, where appropriate, private financial resources earmarked for each of the chosen priorities;
  • for each year covered by the programming period, an indicative financial profile for each source of programme funding;
  • where appropriate, information on any studies, training or technical assistance operations needed for the preparation, implementation or adaptation of the measures concerned;
  • the competent authorities and bodies appointed to carry out the programme;
  • a definition of “final beneficiaries”, i.e. the public or private organisations or enterprises responsible for conducting the operations;
  • a description of the measures contemplated for implementing the plans, and in particular aid schemes;
  • provisions ensuring proper implementation of the programme, including monitoring, evaluation and the fixing of quantified evaluation indicators, and arrangements for controls and penalties;
  • the results of consultations and measures to involve competent authorities and bodies and the relevant economic, social and environmental partners.

Development plans must give priority to measures to improve market efficiency, quality and health standards and measures to maintain jobs and create new employment opportunities in rural areas, with due regard for provisions on the protection of the environment.

Applicant countries should submit their rural development plans within six months of the Regulation’s entry into force. On the basis of these plans, the Commission then has six months to approve the individual rural and agricultural development programmes in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 50 of the Regulation laying down general provisions on the Structural Funds. The Commission must also appraise the proposed plan’s consistency with the Regulation.

Revision of the programme

The programme may be revised and amended in the light of:

  • socio-economic change, new information and the results of the actions concerned;
  • measures taken in the context of the accession partnership and the national programme for the adoption of the Community acquis;
  • the redistribution of resources following an applicant country’s accession to the European Union (Article 15 of the Regulation).

Prior appraisal, monitoring and evaluation

Aid under the Regulation is subject to prior appraisal, on-going monitoring and ex post evaluation. Monitoring is based on specific physical, environmental and financial indicators fixed beforehand, and on annual reports to the Commission from each applicant country.

Compatibility

Measures financed under the Regulation must comply with the commitments given in the accession partnership and be consistent with the principles of the national programme for the adoption of the Community acquis. They must also be consistent with the provisions of the Europe Agreements.

They must also be consistent with the objectives of the common agricultural policy (CAP), especially with regard to the market organisations, and Community structural measures. They must not cause disturbances on the market.

Financial arrangements

Financial assistance under this Regulation is granted during the period from 2000 to 2006. The annual appropriations are authorised within the limits of the financial perspective. The financial contribution may take the form of advances, part-financing or financing.

Within three months of the adoption of this Regulation, the Commission will inform each applicant country of its decisions concerning the indicative seven-year financial allocation.

The financial allocation is based on:

  • farming population,
  • agricultural area,
  • gross domestic product (GDP) in purchasing power parity,
  • specific territorial situation.

Up to 2% of the annual allocation may be used to finance measures taken on the initiative of the Commission for preliminary studies, exchange visits, evaluations and controls.

Rate of contribution

The Community will not normally contribute more than 75% of the total eligible public expenditure. In certain specific cases, it may, however, cover 100% of the total eligible. For revenue-generating investments, public aid may cover up to 50% of the total eligible cost.

Furthermore, Regulation (EC) No 696/2003 increases the natural contribution which may be made to projects to deal with exceptional disasters. This may amount to 85% of total eligible public expenditure or, in the case of revenue-generating projects, 75%.

Financial control

Financial support is governed by the principles laid down in Regulation (EC) No 1258/1999.

The Commission implements expenditure under this Regulation in accordance with the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities, on the basis of the financing memorandum to be drawn up between the Commission and the applicant country.

Without prejudice to checks carried out by beneficiary countries, the Commission and the Court of Auditors may carry out on-the-spot technical or financial audits.

Reduction, suspension or cancellation of aid

If the implementation of a measure does not appear to justify any part of the finance allocated to it, the Commission examines the case, inviting the country concerned or its competent authorities to submit their comments within a specified period. Following the examination, the Commission may reduce or suspend aid for the measure concerned.

Implementing procedures

The Commission will adopt detailed rules for the implementation of the Regulation in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 50(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1260/1999.

It will also adopt detailed financial implementing rules in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 13 of Regulation (EC) No 1258/1999.

Reports

Each year the Commission will report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on support granted under the Regulation.

Publicity

Programmes drawn up under the Regulation must be given appropriate publicity in the applicant countries. Such publicity must inform the general public inter alia of the Community’s role in the aid.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1268/99 29.06.1999 – 31.12.2006 OJ L 161 of 26.06.1999

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 696/2003 20.04.2003 OJ L 99 of 17.04.2003
Regulation (EC) No 769/2004 30.04.2004 OJ L 123 of 27.04.2004
Regulation (EC) No 2008/2004 28.11.2004 OJ L 349 of 25.11.2004
Regulation (EC) No 2257/2004 02.01.2005 OJ L 389 of 30.12.2004
Regulation (EC) No 2112/2005 28.12.2005 OJ L 344 of 27.12.2005

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 447/2004 of 10 March 2004 laying down rules to facilitate the transition from support under Regulation (EC) No 1268/1999 to that provided for by Regulations (EC) Nos 1257/1999 and 1260/1999 for the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia [Official Journal L 72 of 11.03.2004].

CONDITIONS OF ELIGIBILITY FOR AID

Commission Decision 1999/595/EC of 20 July 1999 on the indicative allocation of the annual Community contribution to pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development [Official Journal L 226 of 27.08.1999].
The allocation valid for the period 2000-06 is indicated in the annex to the Decision.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2759/1999 of 22 December 1999 laying down rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1268/1999 on Community support for pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of central and eastern Europe in the pre-accession period [Official Journal L 331 of 23.12.1999].


The Regulation specifies the conditions under which aid can be granted for investment in agricultural holdings, improving the processing and marketing of agricultural and fishery products, agri-environmental measures, training, producer groups and forestry. It also gives details on the eligibility of expenditure, the management body, monitoring indicators, annual and final reports and assessments.
This Regulation has been amended by the following measure:
Regulation (EC) No 2356/2000 [Official Journal L 272 of 25.10.2000
The Regulation amends the provisions of Commission Regulation (EC) No 2759/1999 on aid to improve processing and marketing conditions for agricultural and fishery products and the eligibility of expenditure.
Regulation (EC) No 2251/2001 [Official Journal L 304 of 21.11.2001].
Regulation (EC) No 2251/2002 [Official Journal L 343 of 18.12.2002].
Regulation (EC) No 775/2003 [Official Journal L 112 of 06.05.2003]
Regulation (EC) No 2278/2004 [Official Journal L 396 of 31.12.2004].

DECENTRALISED MANAGEMENT

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2222/2000 of 7 June 2000 laying down financial rules for the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 1268/1999 on Community support for pre-accession measures for agriculture and rural development in the applicant countries of central and eastern Europe in the pre-accession period [Official Journal L 253 of 07.10.2000].
The Regulation lays down the conditions under which management of the aid is handed over to bodies in the ten applicant countries.
It has been amended by the following measures:
Regulation (EC) No 2252/2001 [Official Journal L 304 of 21.11.2001].
Regulation (EC) No 188/2003 [Official Journal L 27 of 01.02.2003]
Regulation (EC) No 1052/2006 [[Official Journal L 189 of 12.07.2006].

ANNUAL REPORTS AND SPECIAL REPORTS

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Sapard Annual Report – Year 2000 [COM(2001) 341 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission report – General report on pre-accession assistance (Phare, Ispa, Sapard) in 2000 [COM (2002) 781 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Sapard Annual Report – Year 2001 [COM(2002) 434 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission report – General report on pre-accession assistance (Phare, Ispa, Sapard) in 2001 [COM(2003) 329 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission report – General report on pre-accession assistance (Phare, Ispa, Sapard) in 2002 [COM(2003) 844 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Sapard Annual Report – Year 2002 [COM(2003) 582 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission – 2002 Report on phare and the pre-accession instruments for Cyprus, Malta and Turkey [COM(2003) 497 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Sapard Annual Report – Year 2003 [COM(2004) 851 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission 2003 report on Phare and the pre-accession instruments for Cyprus, Malta and Turkey [COM(2005) 64 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission 2004 report on Phare, pre-accession and transition instruments [COM(2005) 701 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – SAPARD annual report [COM(2005)537 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – General report on pre-accession assistance (Phare – Ispa – Sapard) in 2004 [COM(2006) 137 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – SAPARD Annual Report – Year 2005 [COM(2006) 780 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – General report on pre-accession assistance (PHARE – ISPA – SAPARD) in 2005 [COM(2006) 746 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – 2005 report on PHARE, pre-accession and transition instruments – COM(2007) 3 – Not published in the Official Journal].

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

Youth in Action

Youth in Action

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Youth in Action

Topics

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

Education training youth sport > Youth

Youth in Action (2007-13)

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1719/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing the Youth in Action programme for the period 2007 to 2013 [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The Youth in Action programme for the period 2007 to 2013 aims to pursue and strengthen European Union (EU) action and cooperation under the Youth action programme (2000-06) and the programme to promote bodies active in the youth field (2004-06). With a view to involving young people in society as active citizens, the programme is intended to strengthen their sense of belonging to Europe. It also aims to contribute to quality education and training in the broader sense and help young people develop a sense of solidarity and mutual understanding.

Objectives

The programme has five general objectives that complement EU activities (training, culture, sport or employment) and contribute to the development of EU policies (cultural diversity, social cohesion, sustainable development and anti-discrimination). Each of these general objectives is subdivided into specific objectives.

The general objective to promote young people’s active citizenship, which also involves promoting their European citizenship, is made up of ten specific objectives:

  • giving young people and the organisations that represent them the opportunity to take part in the development of society and of the EU;
  • developing a sense of belonging to the EU;
  • encouraging the participation of young people in the democratic life of Europe;
  • fostering young people’s mobility in Europe;
  • developing intercultural learning;
  • promoting the fundamental values of the EU;
  • encouraging initiative, enterprise and creativity;
  • facilitating participation in the programme by young people with fewer opportunities, including young people with disabilities;
  • ensuring that the principle of equality between men and women is respected in selecting the participants for the programme and that gender equality is fostered in the actions;
  • providing non-formal and informal learning opportunities with a European dimension and opening up innovative opportunities in connection with active citizenship.

The general objective to develop solidarity among young people aims to promote tolerance and thus reinforce social cohesion by means of two specific objectives:

  • giving young people the opportunity to express their personal commitment through voluntary activities at European and international level;
  • involving young people in EU solidarity actions.

The general objective to foster mutual understanding between young people in different countries includes three specific objectives:

  • developing exchanges and intercultural dialogue between young people in the EU and in neighbouring countries;
  • promoting the quality of national support structures for young people and the role of persons and organisations active in youth work;
  • developing transnational thematic cooperation projects involving young people and those active in youth work.

The general objective to develop the quality of support systems for youth activities and the capabilities of civil society organisations in the youth field aims to:

  • contribute to the networking of organisations;
  • develop the training of, and collaboration between, those active in youth work;
  • promote innovation in the development of activities for young people;
  • improve information for young people, including the access of young people with disabilities to this information;
  • support long-term youth projects and initiatives of regional and local bodies;
  • facilitate the recognition of young people’s acquired skills;
  • promote the exchange of good practices.

The general objective to promote European cooperation in the youth field takes due account of local and regional aspects and is made up of four specific objectives:

  • encouraging the exchange of good practices and cooperation between administrations and policymakers;
  • encouraging structured dialogue between policymakers and young people;
  • improving knowledge and understanding of youth;
  • contributing to the cooperation between various national and international youth voluntary activities.

Actions

The five actions contained in the programme aim to implement its general and specific objectives. These actions support small-scale projects promoting the active participation of young people, while ensuring the European visibility and impact of projects. These projects are local, regional, national or international, including the networking of similar projects in different participating countries.

The “Youth for Europe” action mainly seeks to strengthen exchanges between young people with a view to fostering their mobility, whilst reinforcing their feeling of being European citizens. The emphasis is placed on participation by young people, whether this is in projects to develop awareness of social and cultural diversity and mutual understanding or to reinforce participation at a linguistic and intercultural level. These exchanges are based on transnational partnerships.

This action also aims to encourage young people to come up with their own projects, thus supporting their initiative, enterprise and creativity.

The participative democracy projects promoting citizenship and mutual understanding also fall within the scope of this action. They support the involvement of young people at local, regional, national or international level, as well as projects and activities based on international partnerships for the exchange of ideas, experiences and good practices at European level on projects at local and regional level.

The “European Voluntary Service” action aims to strengthen young people’s participation in various forms of voluntary activities, both within and outside the EU, with a view to developing solidarity and promoting active citizenship and mutual understanding among young people.

This action supports:

  • young volunteers who take part in a non-profit, unpaid activity to the benefit of the general public in any country other than their country of residence for a period of two to twelve months;
  • volunteer projects involving groups of young people who take part in activities at local, regional, national, European or international level, in fields such as culture, sport, civil protection, the environment and development aid;
  • activities for the training and tutoring of young volunteers and coordination activities for the various partners, as well as initiatives that aim to build on experience gained by young people during European Voluntary Service.

The action covers the volunteers’ expenses, insurance, subsistence and travel, as well as an additional allowance for young people with fewer opportunities where appropriate.

EU countries and the Commission ensure compliance with quality standards, including a non-formal education dimension (activities to prepare young people at a personal, intercultural and technical level and ongoing personal support), the substance of the partnerships and risk prevention.

The “Youth of the world” action contributes to the development of young people’s mutual understanding and active engagement through an open-minded approach to the world. The aim of this action is to support projects conducted with non-EU countries that have signed agreements with the EU relevant to the youth field, such as exchanges of young people and persons and organisations active in youth work. It also supports initiatives that reinforce young people’s mutual understanding, sense of solidarity and tolerance, as well as cooperation in the field of youth and civil society in these countries.

The programme distinguishes projects conducted with the neighbouring countries (European neighbourhood policy (ENP) partner countries, Russia and western Balkan countries) from those conducted with other non-EU countries. Preference is given to the exchange of ideas and good practices, the development of partnerships and networks and the development of civil society.

The “Youth support systems” action supports:

  • bodies active at European level: non-governmental organisations (NGOs) pursuing a goal of general European interest and involved in the active participation of young people in public life and society and in the implementation of European cooperation activities in this field;
  • the European Youth Forum and its activities in representing youth organisations vis-à-vis the EU, its function as an information relay to young people or its contribution to the new cooperation framework in the youth field. The annual resources allocated to the Forum shall not be less than EUR 2 million even though at least 20 % of its budget must be covered by non-EU sources;
  • training and networking of those active in youth work, such as project leaders and youth advisers. The support may cover, for example, the exchange of experiences and good practices or the activities of long-lasting, high quality partnerships and networks;
  • projects encouraging innovation and quality, as well as innovative approaches in this field;
  • information activities for young people and persons and organisations active in youth work, such as those improving their access to relevant information and communication services. These may be European, national, regional and local youth portals or measures that promote the involvement of young people in the preparation and dissemination of understandable, user-friendly and targeted information products and advice;
  • partnerships with regional or local bodies whose funding focuses on projects and coordination activities;
  • support for the structures implementing the programme: the national agencies or assimilated bodies (national coordinators, Eurodesk network, Euro-Mediterranean Youth Platform, associations of young European volunteers, etc.);
  • adding value to the programme and its implementation by the Commission through the organisation of events (seminars, colloquia, etc.) or information actions.

The “Support for European cooperation in the youth field” action aims to organise structured dialogue between the various actors in the field of youth, i.e. young people themselves, persons and organisations active in this sector and policymakers. The activities may cover:

  • the promotion of cooperation and exchanges of ideas and good practices and the development of the networks necessary to a better understanding and knowledge of youth;
  • the organisation of conferences by the EU Presidencies and of the European Youth Week and support for objectives in the field of youth through the open method of coordination (OMC) and the European Youth Pact;
  • cooperation between national and international youth voluntary activities;
  • seminars on social, cultural and political issues for young people;
  • the development of political cooperation and cooperation by the EU with other international organisations (the Council of Europe, the United Nations, etc.).

Implementation

The programme is intended for non-profit projects for young people, groups of young people and persons and organisations active in youth work. In principle, it is aimed at young people aged from 15 to 28 (under certain conditions from 13 to 30).

The programme is open to EU countries, European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries that are members of the European Economic Area (EEA), EU candidate countries, countries of the western Balkans, Switzerland (subject to the conclusion of a bilateral agreement) and non-EU countries (or partner countries) that have signed cooperation agreements with the EU relevant to the youth field. It is also open to cooperation with international organisations operating in this field, such as the Council of Europe.

The programme’s budget for the period 2007-13 is € 885 million.

The Commission and the participating countries implementing the programme shall make provision for the necessary structures at European, national and, if required, regional or local level. In this respect, the Commission shall be assisted by a management committee made up of representatives of EU countries and chaired by a Commission representative. Most of the implementation measures must be adopted in accordance to the management procedure. Only decisions regarding the awarding of small grants, which do not involve sensitive decision-making, shall not be adopted in comitology. The programme is mainly managed on a decentralised basis by independent national agencies that must comply with the rules of sound financial management and be subject to audits and financial inspections. However, the centralised projects are managed by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency.

In addition, the Commission and the participating countries shall take appropriate measures to encourage the recognition of non-formal and informal learning of young people (documents, certificates, etc.) and of the experience gained through the programme.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1719/2006/EC

14.12.2006 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 327, 24.11.2006

Amending act(s) Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1349/2008/EC

25.12.2008 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 348, 24.12.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Decision No 1719/2006/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Report to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 20 April 2011 – Interim evaluation of the ‘Youth in Action’ Programme [COM(2011) 220 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Council Decision 2011/82/EU of 31 January 2011 on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Union and the Swiss Confederation establishing the terms and conditions for the participation of the Swiss Confederation in the ‘Youth in Action’ programme and in the action programme in the field of lifelong learning (2007 to 2013) [Official Journal L 32 of 8.2.2011].

Resolution of the Council and of the Representative of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on youth work [Official Journal C 327 of 4.12.2010].

Danube – Black Sea region

Danube – Black Sea region

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Danube – Black Sea region

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

Danube – Black Sea region

Highlight actions to be taken to improve environmental quality in the Danube – Black Sea region and the outline of a strategy aimed at protecting the environment of the region.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission: Environmental cooperation in the Danube – Black Sea region [COM (2001) 615 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

The Danube and the Black Sea constitute the largest non-oceanic body of water in Europe. With enlargement, many of the Danube countries became members of the European Union (EU) and the Black Sea became a coastal area of the EU. As the environmental situation in the region is extremely critical, a strategy is required to rectify it. If this strategy is to be effective, there has to be cooperation between all the countries of the region.

Cooperation before the communication

The Convention on cooperation and protection and sustainable use of the Danube River and the Convention on the protection of the Black Sea against pollution are the current instruments for environmental cooperation. The communication considers that they should be reinforced and that they should form the basis for environmental cooperation in the region.

The European Community is a party to the Danube Convention and the Commission has observer status regarding the Convention on the Black Sea. The Community’s PHARE and TACIS programmes also support environmental projects in the region. Annex 2.3 to the communication lists EU environmental projects carried out in the region.

Main environmental problems in the region

Eutrophication (over-enrichment of the water with organic matter, especially algae, produced by excessive discharges of nutrients) is one of the main environmental problems in both the Danube and the Black Sea. This phenomenon has adverse effects on the biodiversity of the water, wetlands, the surrounding forests, human health and fisheries. Much of the nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) discharged into the water come from agriculture.

Competition for water in the Danube is also a problem, as is over exploitation of surface and groundwater, contamination with hazardous substances and accidental pollution and degradation and loss of wetlands.

Discharge of waste water, oil pollution in the coastal areas and loss of biodiversity including fish stocks are the most serious problems in the Black Sea.

Environmental objectives

The Commission states that the long-term goal is to reduce the levels of nutrients and other hazardous substances in the water in order to allow the ecosystems to recover. The intermediate goal is to implement measures to avoid discharges of nitrogen and phosphorus to the Black Sea (including via the Danube) exceeding 1997 levels.

Other important objectives are mentioned in the communication: protecting and enhancing the status of ecosystems, promoting sustainable water use, reducing pollution of groundwater and mitigating the effects of floods and droughts. The importance of applying the principles of integrated coastal zone management is also underlined.

Actions to achieve the environmental objectives

There are three type of action envisaged in the communication:

  • establishment of an operational framework for the entire region: the Commission stresses the urgent need to assist the two existing Conventions on environmental matters and to promote regional cooperation. The communication provides for the establishment of a Task Force and a joint Danube – Black Sea working group. Following this communication, the DABLAS Task Force was set up in November 2001;
  • improved integration of Danube – Black Sea priorities into EU sectoral policies: the Commission will assist in the implementation of the guiding principles of the EC Water Framework Directive and in the conclusion of cooperation agreements for other rivers flowing into the Black Sea. It will promote research in the sector and the ratification of other environmental conventions by the countries of the region and will examine closely the environmental efforts made by Romania;
  • more efficient financial assistance: the Commission will take account of environmental matters in all projects financed by the EU in the area and will attempt to encourage the financial institutions to increase investments. It will study the possibility of the countries of the region one day participating in the LIFE programme.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

 

Veterinary checks, animal health rules, food hygiene

Veterinary checks, animal health rules, food hygiene

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Veterinary checks, animal health rules, food hygiene

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

Veterinary checks, animal health rules, food hygiene

At the beginning of the 2000s, the European Union introduced an initiative called ‘From the Farm to the Fork’ based on risk analysis and traceability, with the aim of guaranteeing food safety. In line with this approach, foodstuffs are monitored at all susceptible stages of the production chain, in order to make sure that strict hygiene rules are adhered to. The EU also regulates on the trade in animals and animal products between Membe States and with third countries. The EU and its Member States have a number of instruments at their disposal to ensure that these checks are carried out properly, such as the European Food Safety Authority or the TRACES system (TRAde Control and Expert System).

CONTROLS AND FOOD HYGIENE RULES

Hygiene package

  • Food hygiene
  • Hygiene for food of animal origin
  • Official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption

Additional acts

  • Food and feed safety
  • Official feed and food controls
  • Animal health rules governing the production, processing, distribution and introduction of products of animal origin for human consumption

INFORMATION EXCHANGES AND VERIFICATION MECHANISMS

  • TRACES system
  • CIS system
  • SHIFT system
  • Mutual assistance between national administrations
  • Training of food safety control authorities

IMPORTS FROM THIRD COUNTRIES AND INTRA-COMMUNITY TRADE

General provisions

  • Imports of products
  • Checks on the imports of live animals
  • Imports of products of animal origin
  • Intra-Community trade and imports of certain animals and their semen, ova and embryos
  • Veterinary and zootechnical checks of animals and products of animal origin for intra-Community trade
  • Animal health and public health: other products of animal origin
  • Marketing of pure-bred animals

Specific provisions – Cattle

  • Intra-Community trade of bovine animals and swine
  • Intra-Community trade in bovine pure-bred breeding animals
  • Intra-Community trade in and imports of bovine embryos
  • Intra-Community trade in and imports of bovine semen
  • Placing on the market and administration of bovine somatotrophin
  • Identification and labelling of beef and veal

Specific provisions – Pigs

  • Identification and registration of pigs
  • Intra-Community trade in and imports of porcine semen
  • Intra-Community trade in breeding pigs

Specific provisions – Ovine and caprine animals

  • Identification and registration of ovines and caprines
  • Intra-Community trade in ovine and caprine animals
  • Intra-Community trade in pure-bred breeding sheep and goats

Specific provisions – Bird species

  • Bird imports
  • Intra-Community trade in poultry and hatching eggs
  • Production and marketing of eggs and chicks

Specific provisions – Equidae

  • Intra-Community movement and importation of equidae
  • Intra-Community trade in equidae and their semen, ova and embryos
  • Competitions and intra-Community trade in equidae

Specific provisions – Meat and meat-based products

  • Prohibition on administering hormones (and other substances) to farm animals
  • Monitoring substances having a hormonal action and other substances in animals and animal products

Other specific provisions

  • Non-commercial movements of pet animals
  • Imports and transit of certain ungulate animals
  • Raw milk and dairy products
  • Untreated and Heat-treated milk
  • Animal health requirements for aquaculture animals and products thereof
  • Placing on the market of aquaculture animals and products

Action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation

Action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Action plan on Organ Donation and 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

Action plan on Organ Donation and Transplantation

Document or Iniciative

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 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European Commission is presenting an Action Plan with the aim of strengthening cooperation between Member States in terms of organ donation and transplantation. This plan is also accompanied by a Proposal for a Directive on standards of quality and safety of human organs intended for transplantation.

This Action Plan lays down ten priority actions grouped under three challenges:

  • increasing organ availability;
  • enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of transplantation systems;
  • improving quality and safety.

Priority Actions for increasing organ availability

It is essential to increase the number of organ donors. To this end, the Plan advocates the appointing of transplant donor coordinators in all hospitals practising organ donation.

Hospitals must also promote Quality Improvement Programmes for organ donation, through a specific methodology. Existing methods are to be compared and those giving most results will be promoted.

Exchange of good practice is also strongly encouraged in the field of organ donation from living donors (concerning deceased donors, it is recommended that the potential of donations be maximised). In this regard, altruistic donation programmes should be set up, whilst storing personal data on donors in line with Directive 95/46/EC.

Good communication within families can have positive consequences on willingness to donate organs by family members. This is why health professionals and patient support groups are to strengthen communication and organise training in this field with families in order to increase organ donation potential.

Mobility of patients and donors should also be prioritised as part of cooperation between Member States. It should be possible to identify all donors in the Union. Tools are to be made available by the Commission to this end.

Priority Actions for enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of transplantation systems

Each Member State should prepare a national programme of priority actions to enhance the efficiency of transplantation systems. In particular, a series of common indicators shall be established to monitor organ donation policy.

The Action Plan strongly supports the drawing up of Community agreements on various aspects of transplant medicine. Cooperation is the best framework to generate joint solutions and monitoring mechanisms.

The Action Plan also invites Member States to establish Community agreements on the monitoring of the extent of organ trafficking in Europe. This trafficking is indeed a scourge in that it is one of the causes of the lack of available organs.

Member States are also invited to introduce a system or structure for the exchange of organs in particular for urgent cases and difficult to treat patients (such as children or patients requiring specific treatment).

Priority actions for improving quality and safety

Information concerning organ donations and transplantation should be compiled in registers to facilitate the evaluation of post-transplantation results. This information will be used in particular to develop good medical practices and to prepare a method to compare performance for the monitoring of organ recipients.

An accreditation system for organ donation, procurement and transplantation programmes should be established as part of a common methodology.

Context

As the Communication Organ donation and transplantation: Policy actions at European Union level had already pointed out, demand for organs outweighs supply all over the European territory. There are currently more than 56 000 patients waiting for an organ from a suitable donor. These shortages generate organ trafficking which is a violation of human dignity and fundamental rights. It is for this reason that Member States should strengthen cooperation in order to preserve organ quality and safety.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 December 2008 on standards of quality and safety of human organs intended for transplantation [ – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Proposal for a Directive on quality and safety standards for human organs intended for transplantation establishes a legal framework in this field.

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