Author Archives: Shirley Brandon

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

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Agriculture > General framework

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006 of 18 September 2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in favour of the smaller Aegean islands and amending Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 [See amending acts].

Summary

The smaller Aegean islands benefit from specific supply arrangements for certain agricultural products and adapted support measures for local agricultural production. These measures, exemplified by this Regulation, aim at promoting the development of these regions which is hindered by a number of geographical and economic factors.

Specific supply arrangements

Supply of agricultural products (a list of which can be found in Annex I of the treaty) that are essential for human consumption or for the manufacture of other products is based on a specific support policy. In this respect, the authorities designated by Greece establish a forecast supplybalance which quantifies annual needs for the products concerned. This forecast is then approved by the Commission.

The products benefit from supply aid which is fixed according to the additional marketing costs. Implementing the specific supply arrangements takes into account certain factors such as the particular needs of the smaller islands, traditional trade flows, the economic aspect of the aid envisaged and the development of local production.

Products covered by this scheme may only be re-exported under the conditions established by the Committee which assists the Commission. These conditions include the reimbursement of aid received. Moreover, products which are processed in the smaller islands using materials which have benefited from the specific supply arrangements may only be exported to third countries or sent to the Community within the maximum quantities defined by the Commission.

Measures in favour of local agricultural production

Greece presents a support programme which is submitted to the Commission for approval. This programme includes measures to foster agricultural production in the smaller islands. The measures must be coherent and compatible with Community legislation and policies, in particular the Common Agricultural Policy.

The support programme may include:

  • a quantified description of the situation as regards agricultural production;
  • the proposed strategy and expected impact in economic, environmental and social terms;
  • an implementation schedule for the measures and a general summary table describing the resources to be mobilised;
  • a justification of the compatibility and coherence of the various measures in the programme and a definition of the criteria and quantitative indicators used for monitoring and assessment;
  • action taken to ensure that the programme is implemented effectively and appropriately;
  • the competent authority designated to implement the programme and associated organisations.

Support measures

The Commission may authorise additional aid in the form of operating aid in the sectors of production, processing and marketing of the said products to implement the support programme.

Financial provisions

The specific supply arrangements and the measures fostering local agricultural production amount to a maximum of EUR 23.93 million per year. With regard to the specific supply arrangements, the maximum annual amount is EUR 5.47 million.

General provisions

The Commission is assisted by the Management Committee for Direct Payments.

Greece presents to the Commission:

  • by 15 February of each year, funding for the implementation of the programme in the following year;
  • by 30 June of each year, a report on the measures laid down in this Regulation.

The Commission presents a general report on the impact of action carried out pursuant to this Regulation to the European Parliament and the Council by 31 December 2011.

Context

The first unique support framework for agriculture in the Aegean islands was presented in Regulation No 2019/93, which laid down specific supply arrangements and specific aid measures for certain sectors such as potatoes, vines and olive growing. In view of the success of this system, this Regulation aims at maintaining this aid whilst reinforcing partnerships with local authorities and giving them more freedom to manage funding.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006

3.10.2006

OJ L 265 of 26.9.2006

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 615/2008

29.6.2008

OJ L 168 of 28.6.08

Regulation (EC) No 72/2009

7.2.2009

OJ L 30 of 31.1.09

The subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 1405/2006 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis only of documentary value.

Related Acts

Application procedure

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1914/2006 of 20 December 2006 laying down detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in favour of the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 365 of 21.12.2006].

This Regulation contains the application procedure for measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands. Concerning specific supply arrangements, it describes the function of administrative components such as the aid certificate and the register of operators, gives details of export conditions and explains the procedure for inspection and exports. With regard to measures in favour of local production, the Regulation describes how the amount of aid is determined, how applications are to be submitted and how aid is paid, as well as the principles governing inspections relating to the proper use of aid and sanctions.
See consolidated version

Transmission of information

Commission Regulation (EC) No 792/2009 of 31 August 2009 laying down detailed rules for the Member States’ notification to the Commission of information and documents in implementation of the common organisation of the markets, the direct payments’ regime, the promotion of agricultural products and the regimes applicable to the outermost regions and the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 228 of 1.9.2009].

European cinema: opportunities and challenges in the digital era

European cinema: opportunities and challenges in the digital era

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European cinema: opportunities and challenges in the digital era

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

Audiovisual and media

European cinema: opportunities and challenges in the digital era

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 24 September 2010 on opportunities and challenges for European cinema in the digital era [COM(2010) 487 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This Communication sets out the strategy developed by the European Commission to help European cinema owners in the transition to digital cinema.

Obstacles to developing digital cinema

The European cinema market is very mixed. It includes different language zones and many different operators. This diversity can make it more difficult for global deals or national roll-outs to be implemented.

Another obstacle lies in the limited levels of activity in many European cinemas. 31% of European screens are in single-screen cinemas while only 10% of European cinemas are multiplexes. In view of the higher costs of digital equipment, this situation makes the digitisation process harder.

Investment in digital equipment has to be borne by exhibitors, but savings will be made by distributors thanks to the lower cost of digital copies. Investment in very expensive digital equipment may prove to be economically unviable for a number of cinemas, particularly independent or arthouse cinemas.

Finally, a consequence of digitisation will be staff redundancy for projectionists and laboratory technicians. In order to limit the social consequences of the cinema digitisation process, the transition period needs to be carefully managed and significant funding should be allocated for training professionals.

Standardisation and equipment needed for digital transition

The International Organization for Standardisation (IOS) is considering standardising the equipment needed for digital transition based on the model developed by the Digital Cinema Initiative (DCI). This model is based on (among others) “2k” resolution (a resolution of 2048×1080) or “4k” (a resolution of 4096×2160 for screens over 15 metres), and the introduction of the JPEG 2000 format using digital technologies such as HDTV Broadcast, Blu-Ray and video-on-demand. However, 2k equipment is very expensive and European cinemas will not reap short-term benefits from it, except perhaps those that screen 3D films.

Over 80% of European screens are less than 10 metres wide. For this type of screen, it is possible to use projectors with a lower resolution as the quality is more than sufficient and they are less expensive than 2k equipment. However, studios would need to agree to this type of technology being used to screen their films.

The EU shall seize the opportunities offered by the standardisation process in order to obtain the flexibility needed to enable all viable cinemas in Europe to use digital projection.

Possible financing models

Distributors can sign agreements with “integrators” who finance the acquisition of digital cinema equipment on behalf of exhibitors. These intermediaries then collect the distributors’ contribution to repay part of the investment made. However, this VPF (Virtual Print Fee) model may prove to be unsuitable for smaller and arthouse cinemas, and may have an impact on the programming freedom of exhibitors.

Member States or regions may also co-finance cinema digitisation projects using the EU’s Structural Funds through projects linked with urban regeneration, rural diversification, cultural tourism or the information society and human capital, in particular.

Furthermore, arthouse or smaller cinemas could group together and “mutualise” their costs in order to access private investment or European funds, subject to compliance with European competition rules. In addition, they may benefit from State aid for culture and heritage conservation.

Possible intervention at EU level

EU intervention accompanying digital transition will be carried out in accordance with:

  • Article 167 of the TFEU;
  • the UNESCO Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions;

and will take account of the funds available from:

  • the MEDIA Programme;
  • the European Investment Bank (EIB).

The MEDIA Programme is a useful tool in that it:

  • provides a training scheme for professionals;
  • sets digital technology objectives in the field of distribution and dissemination;
  • offers the possibility to create a new action specifically aimed at the digital transition of European cinemas.

Action envisaged by the European Commission between now and 2012 to accompany the transition to digital cinema projection for European cinemas includes:

  • a report on the adoption of digital cinema projection standards;
  • a study on the costs of digital equipment;
  • a Recommendation on promoting digitisation of European cinema;
  • a Communication on appropriate criteria for assessing State aid for digital projection.

African horse sickness

African horse sickness

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about African horse sickness

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Food safety > Animal health

African horse sickness

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/35/EEC of 29 April 1992 laying down control rules and measures to combat African horse sickness [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Directive provides for measures to be taken to combat African horse sickness once an outbreak of the disease is suspected.

Where one or more equidae (horses) on a holding are suspected of being infected with African horse sickness, the official veterinarian must notify the competent authority and take a number of measures, including placing the suspect holdings under surveillance, carrying out a census of the equidae and the infected places, carrying out an autopsy on suspect animals and banning the movement of equidae to or from the suspect holdings.

These measures may only be discontinued by the veterinarian when the competent authority has confirmed that the presence of African horse sickness is no longer suspected.

Where an outbreak of African horse sickness is confirmed, the veterinarian must have all infected equidae slaughtered and the carcases of the animals disposed of. He or she must also extend the measures taken on the holdings concerned to all holdings situated within a 20 km radius, have all animals in this area vaccinated and carry out an epizootiological survey

The competent authority must establish a protection zone (of at least 100 kilometres around the infected holding) and a surveillance zone (of at least 50 kilometres beyond the protection zone), in which certain specific measures are applied. These measures include: identifying all holdings containing equidae, visits and examinations carried out by the official veterinarian and a ban on moving the animals.

People living in these zones must be informed of all the restrictions in force. Systematic vaccination of the animals may be carried out in the protection zone.

Each Member State designates a national laboratory responsible for carrying out the tests laid down in the Directive, then informs the other Member States and the public the address of the laboratory’s contact details. Each national laboratory is required to liaise with the Community reference laboratory which is located in Algete (Spain).

In certain cases Commission experts may carry out examinations on a number of the holdings concerned.

Each Member State must draw up a contingency plan meeting the criteria laid down in the Directive. For example, they must set up a crisis centre and provide a list of local disease control centres and detailed information on the staff involved in control measures.

The Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health assists the Commission in the management of the measures taken against African horse sickness. Its remit includes laying down the duration of the measures and taking additional action.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 92/35/EEC

18.5.1992

31.12.1992

OJ L 157 of 10.6.1992

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

5.6.2003

OJ L 122 of 16.5.2003

Directive 2008/73/EC

3.9.2008

OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 92/35/EEC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference purpose only.

AMENDMENTS TO ANNEXES

ANNEXE I – List of national African horse sickness laboratories:
Decision 2006/911/EC [Official Journal L 346 of 9.12.2006];
Directive 2006/104/EC [Official Journal L 363 of 20.12.2006];
Decision 2007/729/EC [Official Journal L 294 of 13.11.2007];
Directive 2008/73/EC [Official Journal L 219 of 14.8.2008].

ANNEXE II – Community reference laboratory:

Decision 2007/729/EC [Official Journal L 294 of 13.11.2007].

Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

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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 agriculture and fisheries

Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play a decisive role in job creation and, more generally, in enhancing social stability and boosting economic dynamism. However, the modest resources available to them may limit their development. The regulation presented here is designed to help develop their economic activities by exempting from the prior notification requirement state aid to SMEs that is compatible with competition rules.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 70/2001 of 12 January 2001 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the EC Treaty to state aid to small and medium-sized enterprises [See amending acts].

Summary

In line with Regulation (EC) No 994/98, which enables the European Commission to grant exemptions to certain categories of state aid, the regulation presented here recognises the role played by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in creating jobs and economic dynamism in Europe and exempts them from the prior notification requirement where the granting of state aid is concerned.

In view of the difficulties which SMEs may face in gaining access to the new technologies and to technology transfers, the Commission has amended Regulation (EC) No 70/2001 by means of Regulation (EC) No 364/2004. As a result, it will now be possible to set higher ceilings for the exemption of aid to SMEs for research and development purposes. This does not apply to large enterprises, for which the Community framework for state aid to research and development will continue to be used.

The Regulation refers to the definition of “SMEs” used in the Commission recommendation of 3 May 2003.

Scope

The Regulation covers aid granted by a Member State to SMEs, without prejudice to the specific rules laid down by certain regulations and directives on state aid in given sectors such as shipbuilding, but it does not apply to the agriculture, fishing and/or aquaculture and coalmining sectors.

As regards agriculture, SMEs engaged in processing and marketing agricultural products are now covered by the Regulation. However, SMEs active in primary agricultural production are covered by Regulation (EC) No 1857/2006.

Aid for investment

6. SMEs may be granted aid for investment. The investment may be made:

  • in areas which do not qualify for regional aid under Article 87(3)(a) and (c) of the EC Treaty; in this case, the aid intensity may not exceed 15% for small enterprises and 7.5% for medium-sized enterprises;
  • in areas which qualify for regional aid under Article 87(3) (c) of the EC Treaty; in this case, the ceiling for investment aid determined in the regional aid map authorised by the Commission applies and may be increased by ten percentage points, provided that the total net aid intensity does not exceed 30%;
  • in areas which qualify for regional aid under Article 87(3)(a) of the EC Treaty; in this case, the ceiling for investment aid determined in the regional aid map authorised by the Commission applies and may be increased by fifteen percentage points, provided that the total net aid intensity does not exceed 75%.

To find out which regions are covered by Article 87(3)(a) and (c) of the EC Treaty, read the guidelines on regional aid.

The amount of the aid, calculated either as a percentage of eligible investment costs or as a percentage of the wage costs of employment created, may be increased if the aid is maintained in the beneficiary’s region for at least five years and if the beneficiary contributes at least 25% of its funding.

Aid to consultancy services and other services and activities

Under the Regulation, SMEs may be granted aid for consultancy and other services (such services do not constitute a permanent or regular activity and are not connected with the enterprise’s ordinary running costs) and other activities (such as participation in trade fairs and shows) for up to 50% of the costs.

Aid to research and development

Provided that certain criteria are met, aid to research and development that meets the conditions outlined above is exempted from the notification requirement, provided that the aid intensity, calculated on the basis of the project’s eligible costs, does not exceed:

  • 100% for fundamental research;
  • 60% (70% maximum if particular conditions are met) for industrial research;
  • 35% (50% maximum if particular conditions are met) for pre-competitive development.

The definitions of “fundamental research”, “industrial research” and “pre-competitive development” may be found in the Community framework for state aid for research and development.

The amount of aid, which may include staff costs and the costs of materials and research instruments, can be increased by 10% under certain conditions.

Aid for technical feasibility studies

Aid for technical feasibility studies preceding industrial research activities or pre-competitive development activities are exempted from the notification requirement, provided that the gross aid intensity, calculated on the basis of the costs of these studies, does not exceed 75%.

Aid to cover the costs of obtaining licences

Aid to cover the costs of obtaining and validating licences and other industrial property rights is exempted from the notification requirement up to an amount equivalent to that of the aid to research and development which could have been allocated to the research activities leading to the award of the industrial property rights in question.

Conditions for exemption from the notification requirement

The Regulation does not exempt state aid exceeding:

  • total eligible costs of more than EUR 25 million for aid for investment, consultancy services, research and development, technical feasibility studies and licence costs;
  • gross aid of more than EUR 15 million for aid for investment and consultancy services;
  • gross aid of more than EUR15 million for aid for research and development, technical feasibility studies and licence costs;
  • total eligible costs of more than EUR 40 million and gross aid for Eureka projects of more than EUR 10 million.

Exempted aid may not be cumulated with other state aid where such cumulation results in an aid intensity exceeding that fixed by the Regulation. The percentages allowed cover all national or Community aid. All aid over and above the ceilings or amounts mentioned must be notified to the Commission.

To be granted exemption, interested SMEs must apply to the Member State concerned before starting work.

Transparency and monitoring

To ensure effective monitoring and sufficient transparency, the Commission requires Member States:

  • to forward it a summary of the information on an aid scheme within twenty days of its implementation (Annex II);
  • to keep detailed records on aid schemes exempted by the Regulation;
  • to compile an annual report on the application of the Regulation (Annex III).

The notifications of aid to research and development pending on 19 March 2004 are still being assessed in the context of the Community framework for state aid to research and development, whilst all the other notifications pending are assessed in the light of the Regulation’s provisions.

Timeframe

The validity of Regulation (EC) No 70/2001 has been extended once until 31 December 2007 by Regulation (EC) No 1040/2006 and again until 30 June 2008 by Regulation (EC) No 1976/2006.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) 70/2001 02.02.2001 OJ L 10 of 13.01.2001
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 364/2004 19.03.2004 OJ L 63 of 28.02.2004
Regulation (EC) No 1040/2006 28.07.2006 OJ L 187 of 08.07.2006
Regulation (EC) No 1976/2006 24.12.2006 OJ L 368 of 23.12.2006

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1857/2006 of 15 December 2006 on the application of Articles 87 and 88 of the Treaty to State aid to small and medium-sized enterprises active in the production of agricultural products and amending Regulation (EC) No 70/2001 [Official Journal L 358 of 16.12.2006].

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

The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

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Enlargement > Enlargement 2004 and 2007

The 2004 enlargement: the challenge of a 25-member EU

This historic enlargement of the EU from 15 to 25 members is the culmination of a long accession process leading to the reunification of a Europe that had been divided for half a century by the Iron Curtain and the Cold War. It is therefore worth briefly reviewing the preparations for this fifth enlargement of the EU, and the challenges and prospects it brings with it.

Preparations for the fifth EU enlargement

The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 marked the disintegration of the entire Communist bloc in the East. This event was the starting point for the process of European reunification. From then on the EU and the candidate countries worked tirelessly together to prepare the enlargement within the framework of bilateral accession partnerships between the EU and each candidate country. The partnerships set the priorities and precise timetables for the ground which needed to be covered to enable each country to take on the obligations involved in accession.

From 1987 to 1996 thirteen countries submitted applications to join the EU: Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania, Slovakia and Turkey. The Luxembourg European Council of 12 and 13 December 1997 launched the EU enlargement process, in which “each of the applicant States would proceed at its own rate, depending on its degree of preparedness”.

To prepare for EU membership, the candidate countries first signed Europe Agreements (in the case of Central and Eastern European countries) or Association Agreements (Turkey, Cyprus and Malta). The EU supported their work to adopt the Community’s rules through its pre-accession strategy. It gave them financial assistance for developing their institutions, infrastructure and economies.

Country Signing of Europe Agreement or Association Agreement Date of application for accession Association Agreement OJ Reference
Bulgaria

01.03.1993

14.12.1995

OJ L 358 of 31.12.94

Cyprus

19.12.1972

03.07.1990

OJ L 133 of 21.5.77

Estonia

12.06.1995

24.11.1995

OJ L 68 of 9.3.98

Hungary

16.12.1991

31.03.1994

OJ L 347 of 31.12.93

Latvia

12.06.1995

13.10.1995

OJ L 26 of 2.2.98

Lithuania

12.06.1995

08.12.1995

OJ L 51 of 20.2.98

Malta

05.12.1970

03.07.1990

OJ L 61 of 14.3.71

Poland

16.12.1991

05.04.1994

OJ L 348 of 31.12.93

Czech Republic

06.10.1993

17.01.1996

OJ L 360 of 31.12.94

Romania

08.02.1993

22.06.1995

OJ L 357 of 31.12.94

Slovakia

06.10.1993

27.06.1995

OJ L 359 of 31.12.94

Slovenia

10.06.1996

10.06.1996

OJ L 51 of 26.2.99

Turkey

12.09.1963

14.04.1987

OJ 217 of 29.12.64

Accession negotiations began on 31 March 1998 with the six best-prepared countries (Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovenia), and on 15 February 2000 with all the other candidate countries (Bulgaria, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Romania and Slovakia) except Turkey. They were based on the principle of “differentiation”, i.e. each country’s progresses at its own pace according to its level of preparation for accession. The length of the negotiations therefore varied according to each country’s progress.

From 1998 the Commission published regular reports every year on the progress of each candidate country. The priorities for each candidate country and the specific support this required were defined in the accession partnerships adopted in 1998 and revised in 1999 and 2002. These documents were the basis for “screenings” (sector-by-sector evaluation) to establish a “roadmap” for each candidate specifying the legislation that needed to be adopted or amended to comply with the Community acquis.

The Copenhagen European Council of December 2002 found that 10 of the 13 candidate countries (Cyprus, Estonia, Hungary, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Slovakia) fulfilled the conditions necessary for joining the EU. They therefore signed their Accession Treaty on 16 April 2003 in Athens and officially joined the EU on 1 May 2004 after the ratification procedures were completed.

To become part of the EU, the ten candidate countries had first and foremost to be recognised as European States (Article 49 of the EU Treaty) and secondly to comply with the principles of freedom, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law (Article 6 of the EU Treaty). They also had to fulfil the economic and political conditions known as the Copenhagen criteria, according to which a candidate country should:

  • be a stable democracy, respect human rights and the rule of law and protect minorities;
  • have a working market economy;
  • adopt the common rules, standards and policies which make up the body of EU law.

The challenges of the fifth EU enlargement

The driving force behind the fifth EU enlargement has been the desire to ensure peace, stability and economic prosperity in a re-unified Europe. Nevertheless, this entails both costs and benefits that it is important to quantify.

Peace, stability and economic prosperity in Europe

The objectives of European unification include:

  • ensuring peace and political stability throughout the continent;
  • securing greater prosperity for Europe’s citizens by extending the European socio-economic model and the euro-zone, while at the same time protecting the environment;
  • furthering democracy through compliance with the EU’s Charter of Fundamental Rights, which is based on the principles of dignity, equality, solidarity and justice;
  • reinforcing Europe’s role internationally, particularly in trade matters;
  • cultural enrichment.

To guarantee that enlargement does not undermine the economic and social achievements of the first forty years of the European project, the EU insisted in its negotiations with the candidate countries on the importance of:

  • liberalising economic and agricultural sectors;
  • reforming the judicial system and the police and combating corruption;
  • applying the rules on food safety;
  • combating organised crime, economic and financial crime, drug trafficking and trafficking in women, while upholding children’s’ rights;
  • upholding minority rights;
  • improving and protecting the environment, particularly in terms of waste management and the safety of nuclear power stations.

The cost and advantages of enlargement

The increase in the number of Member States with differing economic situations, the size of the EU’s population and the number of languages spoken calls for some effort to be made by Member States, particularly in financial terms.

As part of its pre-accession strategy, the EU set up a number of financial instruments (Phare, Ispa and Sapard) to help the candidate countries become members.

From 2000 to 2003 the European Commission devoted 13.2 billion euros to pre-accession expenditure. More than 41 billion euros were released for the period 2004-2006 (40.8 billion for the new Member States: agricultural subsidies, regional and infrastructure assistance, nuclear safety, public administration and border protection; 540 million for all Member States: research, culture and education).

When the ten new Member States joined the EU on 1 May 2004 the pre-accession strategy no longer applied to them, but they still benefit from the pre-accession financial instruments for projects presented before 2005 and are now eligible for the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund.

However, along with these costs go advantages, since the enlargement from 15 to 25 countries has made it possible to extend the area of stability and peace to the whole European continent, and so avoid the recurrence of conflicts such as that in the former Yugoslavia; to stimulate economic growth and trade by expanding the single market from 378 million to 453 million consumers in 2004, with a prospect of more than 480 million by 2007; and to acquire a greater role for Europe on the international stage, particularly in trade negotiations.

The new Member States have also contributed 15 billion euros to the EU budget. As not all the funds made available have been used, the European Commission has calculated that the net budget cost of the fifth enlargement will not exceed 10 billion euros for the period up to 2006.

The outlook for the fifth enlargement: towards an EU of 30 Member States

Having successfully grown from six members to twenty-five, the EU is now preparing for its next enlargement. Bulgaria and Romania signed their accession treaty on 25 April 2005. They should become members of the EU on 1 January 2007.

Turkey submitted its application for membership on 14 April 1987 and officially obtained the status of accession candidate at the Helsinki European Council of December 1999. In its recommendation of 6 October 2004 the Commission said that it considered that Turkey sufficiently fulfilled the Copenhagen political criteria. It therefore recommended commencing accession negotiations (subject to certain conditions) with Turkey. The European Council of December 2004 therefore programmed the commencement of negotiations for October 2005.

Croatia applied for EU membership on 21 February 2003. The June 2004 European Council officially recognised the country as an accession candidate and in November 2004 the Commission recommending opening negotiations. The December 2004 European Council then concluded that accession negotiations with Croatia should start on 17 March 2005 provided that Croatia fully cooperated with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), particularly regarding the arrest of General Gotovina and his transfer to the Hague. However, finding that Croatia had not fully cooperated, on 16 March 2005 the Council of Ministers decided to postpone the commencement of accession negotiations with Croatia indefinitely. It announced that a bilateral inter-governmental conference would be called by common agreement once it was found that Croatia was fully cooperating with the ICTY.

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia submitted its accession application on 22 March 2004 but has not yet obtained the official status of candidate country.

The EU is thus working resolutely for new enlargements in the western Balkan region. It believes that these countries are destined to become members of the EU when they are ready.

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

Readmission agreements with the countries of the western Balkans

Readmission agreements with the countries of the western Balkans

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Readmission agreements with the countries of the western Balkans

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

Enlargement > The stabilisation and association process: the western balkans

Readmission agreements with the countries of the western Balkans

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2005/809/EC of 7 November 2005 concerning the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Albania on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation.

Council Decisions 2007/817/EC, 2007/818/EC, 2007/819/EC and 2007/820/EC of 8 November 2007 on the conclusion of Agreements between the European Community and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, the Republic of Montenegro, the Republic of Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the readmission of persons residing without authorisation.

Summary

Any western Balkan country which is not a member of the European Union (EU) and has signed a readmission agreement (“partner country”) shall readmit, at the request of a Member State, its nationals who do not comply with, or no longer comply with, the entry or residence conditions of that State. It agrees to readmit the person concerned if it is proven, or can be validly assumed, that he/she is a national of that country.

The partner country shall also readmit any third-country national who does not comply with, or no longer complies with, the entry or residence conditions of the requesting Member State if it is proven, or can be validly assumed, that the person in question entered directly and illegally into the Member State after staying in, or transiting through, the partner country.

The European Community (EC) has a similar commitment to the partner country: following a request from the authorities of the partner country, a Member State shall readmit any of its nationals who do not comply with, or no longer comply with, the conditions for entry or residence in the partner country, if it is proven, or can be validly assumed, that the person in question is a national of that Member State.

A Member State shall also readmit any third-country national who holds a visa or residence permit issued by that Member State or who has entered illegally and directly into the partner country after staying in, or transiting through, that Member State.

Readmission application

Any transfer of an individual to be readmitted must follow an application known as a “readmission application” submitted by the requesting State to the requested State. However, no application is required when the person is in possession of a valid travel document or an identity card and, where necessary, a visa or a residence permit issued by the requested State.

Readmission applications must include the following information and documentation concerning the person concerned: surname, forenames, date and place of birth, last place of residence, documents attesting his/her nationality, photograph, a note as to whether he/she requires help or care and information on any other protection or security measure which may be necessary for his/her transfer.

Evidence

For the readmission of nationals of the partner country or Member States, readmission agreements list the documents which make it possible to establish:

  • proof of nationality without any further investigation being required;
  • prima facie evidence of nationality. In such cases, the Member States and the partner country shall consider that nationality has been established unless there is proof to the contrary.

For the readmission of third-country nationals, the readmission agreements list the documents which constitute evidence making it possible to establish:

  • proof that the readmission conditions have been fulfilled;
  • prima facie evidence that the readmission conditions have been fulfilled. In such cases, the Member States and the partner country shall consider that the readmission conditions have been fulfilled unless there is proof to the contrary.

Time limits

The requesting State must submit readmission applications for third-country nationals at most one year after becoming aware of the facts.

Replies to applications shall be provided in writing within a set time limit (e.g. 10 days for the readmission agreement with Bosnia and Herzegovina, 12 days for the readmission agreement with Montenegro, 14 days for the readmission agreement with Albania) from the date of receipt of the readmission application. For some readmission agreements, such as those with Serbia and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, this time limit is reduced if the individual is apprehended in the border region of the requesting State. By contrast, it may also be extended by a maximum of six days in certain circumstances.

If there is no reply within the extended time limit, the transfer shall be deemed to have been approved. If the application is rejected, the readmission shall not take place. Rejection decisions must be justified by the requested State. If the application is accepted, the readmission shall take place. In principle, transfers are organised within the three months following acceptance. This deadline may be extended.

How transfers take place

Before repatriating a person, the authorities of the partner country and the Member State concerned shall agree matters in advance in writing, particularly as regards the date of the transfer, the entry point and any escorts which may be required.

Repatriation may take place by air or over land. Air transport may take place on scheduled or charter flights.

Costs

In readmission operations, all transport costs as far as the border of the State of final destination shall be borne by the requesting State.

Joint committees

Joint committees are set up to monitor implementation of each agreement.

Background

Following the outcome of the EU-Western Balkans summit in Thessaloniki on 21 June 2003 (“Thessaloniki Agenda”), the EU institutions began negotiations with a view to concluding readmission agreements with all the countries in the region.

On 13 November 2006, the Council authorised the Commission to begin negotiating readmission agreements with Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. These negotiations led to the adoption by the Council on 8 November 2007 of Decisions providing for the conclusion of the agreements.

As regards Albania, the process dates back further. On 28 November 2002, the Council authorised the Commission to begin negotiations on a readmission agreement. These negotiations led to the adoption by the Council of a Decision providing for the conclusion of the agreement.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2005/809/EC of 7 November 2005
Republic of Albania
[adoption: consultation CNS/2003/0033]
7.11.2005 OJ L 304 of 23.11.2005
Decision 2007/817/EC of 8 November 2007
Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
[adoption: consultation CNS/2007/0147]
8.11.2007 OJ L 334 of 19.12.2007
Decision 2007/818/EC of 8 November 2007
Republic of Montenegro
[adoption: consultation CNS/2007/0146]
8.11.2007 OJ L 334 of 19.12.2007
Decision 2007/819/EC of 8 November 2007
Republic of Serbia
[adoption: consultation CNS/2007/0153]
8.11.2007 OJ L 334 of 19.12.2007
Decision 2007/820/EC of 8 November 2007
Bosnia and Herzegovina
[adoption: consultation CNS/2007/0142]
8.11.2007 OJ L 334 of 19.12.2007

Cooperation in vocational education and training

Cooperation in vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation in vocational education and training

Topics

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

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Cooperation in vocational education and training (VET)

Document or Iniciative

Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of 24 January 2009, meeting within the Council, on the future priorities for enhanced European cooperation in vocational education and training (VET) [Official Journal C 18 of 24.1.2009].

Summary

These conclusions provide for voluntary measures whereby Member States may cooperate in order to enhance the quality and efficiency of vocational education and training (VET). They identify four priority areas for the period 2008-10 that need to be dealt with, in addition to the priorities and guidelines set out in the Copenhagen process.

Implementing common European tools and schemes to promote cooperation in VET

National qualifications systems and frameworks that are based on learning outcomes should be set up in line with the European Qualifications Framework. It is essential that these as well as the future European Credit system for VET (ECVET) and European Quality Assurance Reference Framework (EQARF) be implemented. To this end, pilot projects, coherent methods and tools, including tools to validate informal and non-formal learning outcomes, as well as quality assurance instruments should be developed.

Promoting the quality and attractiveness of VET systems

The attractiveness of VET should be promoted to all target groups, in particular among students, adults and enterprises. At the same time, it should be ensured that access to and participation in VET is open to all, with due regard given to people or groups at risk of exclusion. Similarly, information, lifelong guidance and counselling services should be made more accessible. Paths enabling the progress from one qualifications level to another should also be made easier.

Common tools should be created to promote the quality of VET systems. In particular, quality assurance mechanisms should be developed through the future EQARF. VET policies should be based on consistent data, the collection of which must be improved. In addition, more should be invested in the training of VET trainers, language learning adapted to VET should be developed, innovation and creativity in VET should be promoted, and the permeability and continuity of learning paths between different levels of education should be enhanced.

Developing the links between VET and the labour market

In order to improve the links between VET and the labour market, it is essential to continue developing forward-planning mechanisms that centre on jobs and skills, recognising possible skill shortages. Simultaneously, the participation of social partners and economic stakeholders in developing VET policies needs to be ensured.

Guidance and counselling services should be improved, so that the transition from training to employment may occur more smoothly. The mechanisms that promote adult training should also be improved to further career opportunities as well as business competitiveness. Furthermore, efforts should be made to proceed with the validation and recognition of informal and non-formal learning outcomes. The mobility of people in work-related training should also be given a boost, in particular by strengthening the appropriate Community programmes. Finally, the role of higher education in VET and in relation to labour market integration should be strengthened.

Enhancing European cooperation

Peer learning activities should be made more effective and their results used to form national policies in VET. It should also be ensured that priorities linked to VET are well integrated and visible within the future strategic framework for European cooperation in the field of education and training. VET should be better linked to policies concerning other education levels, multilingualism and youth. In addition, collaboration with third countries and international organisations needs to be strengthened.

The Commission and Member States are encouraged to implement, within the limits of their respective competences, the measures established under these four priority areas. They should use appropriate means of funding, both private and public, in order to further national level reforms and implement Community tools. They should also continue enhancing the scope and quality of VET statistics as well as developing a clearer VET element for the coherent framework of indicators and benchmarks. In addition, they should continue developing activities concerning future skills needs.

The Commission and Member States should exchange information and collaborate on VET with third countries. Cedefop (European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training) and the European Training Foundation (ETF) are also closely involved in supporting the Commission on VET-related issues.

Food hygiene

Food hygiene

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about 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

Food hygiene

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Regulation replaces Directive 93/43/EEC on the hygiene of foodstuffs *, with a view to establishing a comprehensive and integrated policy covering all food from the farm to the point of sale to the consumer.

Scope

This Regulation seeks to ensure the hygiene of foodstuffs at all stages of the production process, from primary production * up to and including sale to the final consumer. It does not cover issues relating to nutrition or to the composition or quality of foodstuffs.

This Regulation applies to food businesses but not to the primary production of food for private domestic use or the domestic preparation of foodstuffs for private consumption.

General and specific provisions

All food business operators shall ensure that all stages for which they are responsible, from primary production up to and including the offering for sale or supply of foodstuffs to the final consumer, are carried out in a hygienic way in accordance with this Regulation.

Food business operators carrying out primary production and certain associated activities shall comply with the general hygiene provisions of part A of Annex I. Derogations may be granted for small businesses, provided that they do not compromise achievement of the Regulation’s objectives.

These associated activities are:

  • the transport, handling and storage of primary products at the place of production, where their nature has not been substantially altered;
  • the transport of live animals, where this is necessary;
  • transport, from the place of production to an establishment, of products of plant origin, fishery products and wild game, where their nature has not been substantially altered.

In addition, food business operators carrying out activities other than primary production shall comply with the general hygiene provisions of Annex II.
This Annex sets out the hygiene requirements for:

  • food premises, including outside areas and sites;
  • transport conditions;
  • equipment;
  • food waste;
  • water supply;
  • personal hygiene of persons in contact with food;
  • food;
  • wrapping and packaging;
  • heat treatment, which may be used to process certain foodstuffs;
  • training of food workers.

Member States may adapt the requirements laid down in Annex II to accommodate the needs of food businesses situated in regions suffering from special geographical constraints or affected by supply difficulties which are serving the local market, or to take account of traditional methods of production and the size of farms. The objectives of food safety * shall not however be compromised.

In addition, all food business operators shall comply with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin and, where appropriate, certain specific rules concerning microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, temperature control and compliance with the cold chain, sampling and analysis.

The HACCP system

Food business operators (other than at the level of primary production) shall apply the principles of the system of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) introduced by the Codex Alimentarius (code of international food standards drawn up by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation).

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.

Guides to good practice and guides to the application of HACCP

Member States shall encourage the development of national guides to good practice by food business operators, which shall include guidance on compliance with the general rules of hygiene and the HACCP principles. Member States shall assess such national guides to ensure that their contents are practicable, that they have been developed having regard to the general principles of food hygiene of the Codex Alimentarius and that all interested parties have been consulted. Those national guides deemed to comply with these requirements shall be forwarded to the Commission.

Where a Member State or the Commission considers that there is a need for uniform Community guides, the Commission shall consider the case for such guides. The Standing Committees set up to assist the Commission shall ensure that the contents of these guides are practicable, that they have been developed having regard to the general principles of food hygiene of the Codex Alimentarius and of national guides, and that all interested parties have been consulted.

Food business operators may refer to national guides or Community guides equally.

Registration or approval of food businesses

Food businesses operators shall cooperate with the competent authorities and in particular ensure that all establishments under their control are registered with the appropriate authority and keep this authority informed of any changes (e.g. closure of the establishment).

Where required by national or Community legislation, businesses in the food sector must be approved by the competent authority and shall not operate without such approval.

Traceability and withdrawal of food products

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, food business operators shall set up traceability systems and procedures for ingredients, foodstuffs and, where appropriate, animals used for food production.

Similarly, where a food business operator identifies that a foodstuff presents a serious risk to health it shall immediately withdraw that foodstuff from the market and inform users and the competent authority.

Official controls

The application of HACCP principles by food business operators shall not replace the official controls carried out by the competent authority. Operators are required to collaborate with the competent authorities in accordance with Community legislation or, where none exists, national legislation.

External dimension

Foodstuffs imported into the Community shall comply with the Community hygiene standards or with equivalent standards.

Foodstuffs of animal origin exported out of the Community shall at least comply with the requirements that would apply if they were marketed within the Community, as well as to any requirements that may be imposed by the importing country.

Report to the Council and Parliament

The Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council, where appropriate with any relevant proposals, within five years of this Regulation entering into force, reviewing the experience gained from implementing this Regulation and determining whether it is appropriate to apply HACCP principles to food business operators carrying out primary production activities and the associated activities described above.

BACKGROUND

This Regulation forms part of the “hygiene package”, a body of law laying down hygiene rules for foodstuffs, which, in addition to this Regulation, includes the following acts:

  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin in order to guarantee a high level of food safety and public health;
  • Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 putting in place a Community framework for official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption and laying down specific rules for fresh meat, bivalve molluscs, milk and milk products.

The following acts supplement Community legislation on food hygiene:

  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles of food law. This Regulation explains the food safety procedures and establishes the European Food Safety Authority;
  • Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 reorganising official controls on foodstuffs and feedingstuffs so as to integrate controls at all stages of production and in all sectors;
  • Directive 2002/99/EC laying down the conditions for placing products of animal origin on the market and the restrictions applicable to products from non-EU countries or regions of non-EU countries subject to animal health restrictions.
Key terms of the Act
  • Food hygiene: the measures and conditions necessary to control hazards and ensure fitness for human consumption of a foodstuff;
  • Primary production: the production, rearing or growing of primary products up to and including harvesting, hunting, fishing, milking and all stages of animal production prior to slaughter;
  • Food safety: the assurance that food will not cause adverse health effects to the final consumer when it is prepared and eaten.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004

20.5.2004

OJ L 139 of 30.04.2004

Amending act 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

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs [Official Journal L 338 of 22.12.2005].
See consolidated version

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2074/2005 of 5 December 2005 laying down implementing measures for certain products under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and for the organisation of official controls under Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, derogating from Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and amending Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 [Official Journal L 338 of 22.12.2005].

See consolidated version

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the experience gained from the application of the hygiene Regulations (EC) No 852/2004, (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on they hygiene of foodstuffs [COM(2009) 403 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission reviews the experience gained from the application of the aforementioned regulations. It presents the progress achieved and the difficulties encountered by all the interested actors in the implementation of the 2006 – 2008 hygiene package. It concludes that overall Member States have taken the necessary administrative and control steps to ensure compliance, but that there is still room for improvement in relation to implementation. The main difficulties identified are in relation to:

  • certain exemptions from the scope of the hygiene Regulations;
  • certain definitions laid down in these Regulations;
  • certain practical aspects concerning the approval of establishments handling foods of animal origin and the marking of such foods;
  • the import regime for certain foods;
  • the implementation of HACCP-based procedures in certain food businesses; and
  • the implementation of official controls in certain sectors.

This report does not suggest any detailed solutions. However, on the basis of the difficulties identified, the Commission will consider the need for any proposals to improve the food hygiene package.

Suitability of blood donors

Suitability of blood donors

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Suitability of blood donors

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

Suitability of blood donors

Document or Iniciative

Council Recommendation of 29 June 1998 on the suitability of blood and plasma donors and the screening of donated blood in the European Community [Official Journal L 203 of 21.7.1998].

Summary

Awareness

The Member States ought to make donors aware of:

  • the benefits to patients of blood and plasma donations;
  • the risk of infectious diseases being transmitted by blood and blood products, and the resultant need for a medical history, a physical examination and the testing of donations;
  • the reasons why they should not provide donations, in the interests of both their own health and the safety of recipients;
  • the possibility of asking questions and of withdrawing from the donation process at any time.

Information given to donors

Donors are given an assurance that they will be contacted by the blood collection centre if test results show evidence of any pathology.

Donors are informed of the measures taken to ensure the confidentiality of any information relating to their health and their donation. They have the option of requesting that the medical staff should not use their donation.

Information provided by donors

Donors should provide to the blood and plasma collection establishment the following details:

  • their identity, attested by a valid official document;
  • information on their health and medical history, including any behavioural characteristics that may affect the quality of the donation, by way of a written questionnaire and an interview with a trained medical staff member;
  • their signature on the said questionnaire, alongside that of the medical staff member conducting the interview; their agreement that their donation(s) may be used and their written consent confirming that they wish to continue with the donation process.

Identification/registration system

The Member States should ensure that an identification/registration system is set up for the purpose of:

  • identifying every collection establishment;
  • identifying prospective donors in such a way that verification is possible each time a donation is made;
  • future traceability of donations through the keeping of records on donors and prospective donors, ensuring unique identification with all the necessary guarantees of confidentiality;
  • allowing the inclusion of information relating to adverse donor reaction to a donation and reasons for preventing an individual from making a donation, whether temporarily or permanently, whilst ensuring confidentiality.

Donor suitability

The criteria for acceptance of donors should be clearly indicated in every donation centre and explained to the donors.

The Member States must ensure that a donation will not adversely affect the health of a future recipient or of the donor. A prospective donor’s suitability must be determined at each donation session, with steps being taken to prohibit or phase out the use of “replacement donors”. Moreover, a responsible physician is required to give his/her written authorisation at the final stage of determining the suitability of a prospective donor whose eligibility is questionable.

The Member States must take steps to exclude permanently or temporarily from the donation process persons who display any of the conditions and characteristics listed in sections B and C of Annex II.

The exclusion of any prospective donor, whether permanent or temporary, must be recorded in a file, indicating the reasons.

Confidentiality

The Member States must ensure the confidentiality and security of sensitive medical information about prospective donors. They are required to put in place procedures for resolving data discrepancies and to prevent the unauthorised disclosure of information, while ensuring the traceability of donations.

Protection of donors’ health

Annex III of the Recommendation sets out common standards for the protection of donors’ health, particularly as regards:

  • the maximum volumes of blood and plasma to be collected during a single donation and over a 12-month period;
  • the minimum time interval between donations.

Medical attention must be made available to the donor if the donation gives rise to an adverse event.

The Member States should ensure that a sample of every donation is tested for diseases transmissible by blood and that re-testing is carried out on blood samples found to be reactive in an initial screening test.

Encouragement of voluntary donation

The Member States should take all the necessary measures to encourage the voluntary and unpaid donation of blood and plasma.

Related Acts

Directive 2002/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 2003 setting standards of quality and safety for the collection, testing, processing, storage and distribution of human blood and blood components, and amending Directive 2001/83/EC [Official Journal L 33 of 08.02.2003].
This Directive lays down high standards of quality and safety for human blood and blood components throughout the Community, with the aim of putting in place a full set of binding rules across the entire “transfusion chain”.