Category Archives: J

Justice, Freedom and Security

Justice, freedom and security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Justice, freedom and security

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security

Justice, freedom and security

The area of freedom, security and justice was created to ensure the free movement of persons and to offer a high level of protection to citizens. It covers policy areas that range from the management of the European Union’s external borders to judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters. It includes asylum and immigration policies, police cooperation, and the fight against crime (terrorism, organised crime, trafficking in human beings, drugs, etc.).

The creation of the area of freedom, security and justice is based on the Tampere (1999-04), Hague (2004-09) and Stockholm (2010-14) programmes. It derives from Title V of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which regulates the “Area of freedom, security and justice”.

Justice, freedom and security Contents

  • Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration: The Schengen area and cooperation, Schengen Information System, Free movement of European citizens within the Union, Penetrating external borders, Visas, Asylum, Immigration, Rights of non-EU country nationals, Illegal immigration, Return, Relations with non-EU countries
  • Judicial cooperation in civil matters: Civil and commercial rights, European contract law, Law applicable to contractual obligations, Non-contractual obligations, Judicial network in criminal and civil matters, Jurisdiction, Recognition and enforcement of decisions, Maintenance obligations
  • Judicial cooperation in criminal matters: Eurojust, European network of points of contact, Mutual recognition, European arrest warrant, War crimes
  • Police and customs cooperation: Police cooperation, Europol, Maintaining public order and safety, Customs cooperation, Agreements with non-EU countries
  • Citizenship of the Unión: Active citizenship of the Union, Municipal elections: the right to vote and to stand, European elections: the right to vote and to stand, Diplomatic and consular protection
  • Combating discrimination: Combating racism, xenophobia and antisemitism, Gender equality, Social measures for target groups
  • Fight against terrorism: Prevention, Finance, Protection, Pursuit, Response, Access to and exchange of information, Action plans
  • Fight against organised crime: Fight against organised crime, Prevention of criminality, Gun running, Cybercrime, Money laundering, Environmental protection, Economic and financial criminality
  • Fight against trafficking in human beings: Experts group on trafficking in human beings, Child protection, Protection of women
  • Combating drugs: Anti-drug strategy, Drug trafficking, Drug production
  • Justice, freedom and security: enlargement: Enlargement, Applicant countries and the Community acquis

See also

Fundamental rights within the European Union
Fight against fraud

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social protection

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission, of 13 February 2006, to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2006 [COM (2006) 62 final – Official Journal C 67 of 18.03.2006].

Summary

The European Union (EU) and its social policies face major challenges in the medium to long term.

In the long run, the challenges of global competition, the impact of new technologies and an ageing population need to be addressed.

More immediate action is needed to boost sluggish growth, curb high rates of unemployment and reduce continuing inequalities.

Social protection and social inclusion: developments and reforms

After several years of stagnation, the percentage of GDP (28% in 2003) spent on social protection has now risen slightly.

Systems of cash transfers (other than pensions) account for 5% of GDP. In this area, reforms have been undertaken with a view to strengthening incentives to take up work. Benefits to support incomes for those making the transition to (low-paid) employment are also becoming more widespread. Social assistance is increasingly linked closely with social and employment services, thus achieving synergies and increasing efficiency. Moreover, notable reform efforts were made in relation to long-term sickness/invalidity schemes.

Spending on pensions, which averaged 13% of GDP in the EU in 2003, has ensured that being old is no longer associated with being poor or being dependent. Furthermore, in the light of population ageing and the increase in life expectancy in Europe, most Member States have undertaken reforms to ensure the adequacy, sustainability and modernisation of pensions. The National Strategy Reports which Member States submitted in 2005 show that these three objectives must be viewed together in order for the reforms to succeed. Member States have therefore adopted a three-pronged strategy based on:

  • reducing public debt;
  • higher employment rates among older people;
  • reforming pensions.

In 2003, spending on health care and long-term care averaged 8% of GDP. At present this area is directly affected by the consequences of ageing and the emergence of new technologies. In 2004 the Open Method of Coordination (MOC) was extended to include health care and long-term care, areas which continue to pose challenges in terms of supply, access and financial sustainability. In response to ever-growing demand, in order to guarantee access to health care for all and also to overcome the quantitative and qualitative gaps in supply, Member States have undertaken various reforms:

  • ensuring greater effectiveness and efficiency through reorganisation, prioritisation and the development of incentive structures for users and providers;
  • strengthening the role of health promotion and disease prevention policies;
  • systematic use of charges and co-payments as well as reductions in fees, targeted at disadvantaged groups;
  • promoting active lifestyles and healthy ageing;
  • developing indicators and setting quality standards, practice guidelines and accreditation systems;
  • involving patients;
  • promoting choice;
  • technological progress.

With regard to fighting poverty and exclusion, considerable progress has been made in several areas. However, like the economic situation, the picture remains mixed. Moreover, the review of the Lisbon Strategy revealed an implementation gap between what Member States committed to and the policy effort to implement them. There are eight problem areas in which action must be taken:

  • labour market participation, which is generally low;
  • modernisation of social protection systems;
  • disadvantages in education and training;
  • child poverty, which still persists;
  • assistance to families;
  • housing, an area where significant inequalities persist;
  • access to quality services;
  • integration of people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and immigrants.

Intervention was also necessary in light of the concentration of multiple disadvantages in certain urban and rural communities and among some groups (people with disabilities, migrants and ethnic minorities, homeless, ex-prisoners, addicts and older people).

Social protection and social inclusion: challenges

The Commission’s January 2006 Communication on a new framework for the OMC identifies four overarching challenges for social protection and inclusion policies:

  • to promote social cohesion and equal opportunities for all through adequate, accessible, financially sustainable, adaptable and efficient social protection systems and social inclusion policies;
  • to interact closely with the Lisbon objectives on achieving greater economic growth and more and better jobs and with the EU’s Sustainable Development Strategy;
  • to strengthen governance, transparency and the involvement of stakeholders in the design, implementation and monitoring of policy;
  • finally, there should be a two-way interaction between the OMC and the Lisbon Strategy. Social protection and inclusion policies should support growth and employment objectives, and, conversely, growth and employment policies should support social objectives.

For social protection schemes a holistic approach is required which focuses on:

  • sustainability;
  • monitoring the effectiveness and efficiency of systems, policies and funding mechanisms;
  • the distribution of spending across different branches;
  • the balance between public provision and self-reliance.

With regard to pension schemes, it is necessary to:

  • further highlight the interlinkages between the three broad objectives of adequacy, sustainability and modernisation of pension systems;
  • continue to remove disincentives and strengthen incentives for working longer (including for potential beneficiaries of minimum pensions);
  • improve the way in which both employers and labour markets treat older workers;
  • monitor the trend towards a decline in replacement rates;
  • take better account of new forms of working and of career breaks (particularly for care);
  • ensure that women can build up their own pension rights;
  • ensure that private pension schemes are affordable and secure, so that they can complement public schemes (which are the principal source of pensions in all but a few Member States) as effectively as possible.

With regard to health care and long-term care:

  • in terms of efficiency and effectiveness, there is a need for greater coherence and better coordination between different types of care;
  • in terms of access and quality, action must be taken to strengthen the role of family doctors;
  • in terms of financial sustainability, it is recommended to boost incentives to use resources in a rational way, and to ensure greater use of regulated competition.

The chapter on the challenges for the future in relation to fighting poverty and exclusion highlights a threefold need:

  • better mainstreaming;
  • better governance;
  • better links between the NAPs for inclusion and the Structural Funds (in particular the European Social Fund and the European Regional Development Fund).

Still in relation to fighting poverty and exclusion, a more strategic, systematic and transparent approach is needed for the formulation of NAPs for inclusion, to ensure that policies are set out more clearly. The OMC needs to develop a strong focus on poverty among children and their families. The multiple exclusion faced by young people from ethnic minorities in poor neighbourhoods also needs increased attention. In this context, the fundamental role of education and training in breaking the intergenerational transmission of poverty should be highlighted.

It is essential to ensure that the OMC and the revised Lisbon Strategy mutually reinforce one another. Monitoring and evaluation also need to be strengthened.

Background

This second Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion responds directly to the challenges of the Lisbon Strategy and of the Hampton Court Summit, and builds on the 2003 Communication ” Strengthening the social dimension of the Lisbon strategy: Streamlining open coordination in the field of social protection “. It draws on the plans and policy statements produced by the Member States during 2005 under the three policy strands of social inclusion, pensions, and health and long-term care. It is guided by the views expressed by Member States and stakeholders on the value of the OMC.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 22 December 2005, “ 
A new framework for the open coordination of social protection and inclusion policies in the European Union
 ” [COM (2005) 706 – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication from the Commission of 27 January 2005 on the 
Draft joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2005
 [COM (2005) 14 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication from the Commission, of 27 May 2003, Strengthening the social dimension of the Lisbon strategy: Streamlining open coordination in the field of social protection [COM (2003) 261 final – Official Journal L 314 of 13.10.2004].

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social protection

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion 2008

Joint report on social inclusion

Joint report on social inclusion

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint report on social inclusion

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social inclusion and the fight against poverty

Joint report on social inclusion

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 12 December 2003 concerning the joint report on social inclusion summarising the results of the examination of the National Action Plans for Social Inclusion (2003-2005) [COM(2003)773 – Not published in the official journal].

Summary

In order to encourage more ambitious and effective strategies to promote social inclusion, the report sets out the main trends and challenges associated with policies to combat poverty and social inclusion within the European Union. It also highlights the progress achieved in implementing the open method of coordination between the Member States and outlines the main priorities for action. This report served as the basis for the joint report by the Council and the Commission, which was adopted in March 2004.

SOCIAL INCLUSION – SITUATION IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

Overview

The action taken by the European Union to promote social inclusion must be examined in light of the overall economic downturn which Europe has suffered for the past few years. This development, which has been associated with a slowdown in employment growth and an increase in unemployment, has hampered, but not stopped, the European Union in its efforts to achieve the employment objectives set out in Lisbon and Stockholm.

The years immediately preceding the introduction of the new social inclusion strategy have seen a reduction in relative poverty, which fell from 17% in 1995 to 15% in 2001. In all countries, the poverty threshold has risen faster than the rate of inflation, implying an increase in the overall level of prosperity. Between 1998 and 2001, the risk of poverty also fell across the board.

The present report nevertheless points out that, in 2001, more than 55 million people were still facing the risk of poverty, i.e. 15% of the European population. The groups most at risk were the unemployed, single parents, elderly people living alone and families with a large number of children.

The risk of poverty varies widely from one country to another, from 10% in Sweden to 21% in Ireland. In the countries in the south, and in the United Kingdom and Ireland, vulnerable members of the population generally benefit less from prosperity and are also more at risk from the most persistent forms of poverty and privation.

Moreover, long-term unemployment, which is closely linked to social exclusion, has a significant role to play. In 2002, it affected almost 3% of the working population (or 39% of the unemployed). With a few exceptions (Finland, Ireland, Sweden and the United Kingdom), it affects women more than men. Nevertheless, long-term unemployment has fallen steadily since 1995, when it reached its peak of 4.9%.

Although these statistics give cause for concern, significant progress has been made in the labour market. In 2002, the average employment rate within the European Union rose from 63.4% to 64.3%. Women benefited the most, with female employment increasing by more than 1% between 2001 and 2003 (from 54.1% to 55.6%). Moreover, the employment rate of elderly people rose significantly within the EU as a whole, except for Austria, Germany and Italy.

The six major priorities associated with the Lisbon objective

In an attempt to achieve the Lisbon objective, it is necessary to ensure that those facing the risk of poverty and social exclusion do not suffer disproportionately from the effects of the economic slowdown and the resulting budget restrictions. The Member States are therefore asked to attach the greatest possible importance to the following six policy priorities:

  • promoting investment in and tailoring of active labour market measures to meet the needs of those who have the greatest difficulties in accessing employment;
  • ensuring that social protection schemes are adequate and accessible for all and that they provide effective work incentives for those who can work;
  • improving access by those most at risk of social exclusion to proper housing and healthcare, and to education and lifelong learning;
  • making a concerted effort to prevent dropping out of school and promoting a smooth transition from school to the workplace;
  • focusing on the eradication of child poverty;
  • developing a dynamic policy to reduce poverty and social exclusion among immigrants and ethnic minorities.

National action plans for social inclusion 2003

The second generation of national action plans for social inclusion are based on a less optimistic view of the economic situation than their predecessors. The current economic slowdown could place people at greater risk of poverty and social exclusion. Moreover, those who are already affected are bound to suffer as a result of the overall increase in long-term unemployment and the fact that it is now more difficult to find work.

If the fight against poverty and social exclusion is to be properly coordinated and effective, the Member States must make it part of their economic, social and employment policies.

Against this background, the eight major challenges identified in the first joint report continue to be the following:

  • developing an inclusive labour market and promoting employment as a right and opportunity for all;
  • guaranteeing an adequate income and resources to live with dignity;
  • tackling educational disadvantage by prevention and lifelong learning opportunities;
  • preserving family solidarity while promoting gender equality and protecting the individual rights and benefits of family members and the rights of the child;
  • proper accommodation for all;
  • guaranteeing equal access to quality services;
  • improving public services so that they meet local and individual needs;
  • regenerating areas of multiple hardship.

Each national action plan for social inclusion is based on very different considerations, depending on the approach and priorities of the Member State which drew it up. However, irrespective of the country concerned, the national action plan for social inclusion has to meet three basic criteria:

  • exhaustive and multidimensional approach
    Wherever possible, the national action plans for social inclusion must implement actions and policies in the different areas which affect the public. This multidimensional approach is evident in the national action plans drawn up by Belgium, France, Ireland, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Greece.
  • coherent and planned approach
    The national action plans for social inclusion must be based on an in-depth analysis of the situation and must define clear and specific objectives. On the whole, the plans drawn up in 2003 were more coherent than their predecessors. A number of Member States, particularly the Netherlands and the Scandinavian countries, stand out because of the strategic and logical vision reflected in their plans.
  • definition of objectives
    The plans must set precise targets for eradicating poverty and social exclusion by 2010. In general, three tendencies are evident from the plans drawn up by the Member States:

– direct outcome targets: aimed directly at reducing poverty and social exclusion in a key policy area;

– intermediate outcome targets: contribute indirectly to reducing poverty and social exclusion;

– input targets: improve policy effort in a particular area.

Greece, Spain, Ireland and Portugal are among the small number of Member States which have really established clear overall targets. In general, the approach is less systematic and focuses on problems of employment and unemployment. Few Member States take account of the male-female dimension.

SOCIAL INCLUSION – SITUATION IN THE MEMBER STATES

Belgium

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– adoption of active measures to help the labour market;
– improvement of social protection and innovation in health-care provision;
– action to combat discrimination.

– Minus points:

– increase in long-term unemployment and youth unemployment;
– rather inconclusive results as regards housing, education and lifelong learning.

  • Strategy based on:

– an active welfare state;
– access to justice, culture and rights for atypical families;
– the male-female dimension;
-immigration questions;
-efforts to combat the over-indebtedness of poor populations.

Denmark

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– one of the lowest monetary poverty rates in the European Union;
– more equal distribution of income than in most Member States;
– introduction of flexible and protected working arrangements, and a method based on the capacity for work;
– introduction of an early retirement scheme and an integrated planning programme based on the development of employment.

– Minus point: life expectancy has increased less than in other Member States.

  • Strategy based on:

– administrative bodies, local authorities and local coordination committees;
-the involvement of users, particularly the most disadvantaged and marginalised groups;
– individualisation of needs;
– voluntary work.

Germany

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– lower risk of poverty than in most Member States;
– he objective of reducing unemployment among the disabled by 25% has almost been achieved;
– introduction of a system of basic social protection designed to reduce poverty among the elderly or infirm;
– implementation of the “Social city” programme to help disadvantaged areas.

– Minus point: discrepancy between the west, where the poverty rate is 10% and the east, where it stands at 16%.

  • Strategy based on:

– a programme of objectives,
– local and regional social policy.

Greece

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– constant improvement in the macroeconomic situation;
– GDP growth is above the EU average;
– development of employment growth and fall in unemployment rate;
– improvement of the system of social protection and increase in social expenditure, in particular for vulnerable groups.

– Minus point: poverty rate is below the EU average.

  • Strategy based on:

– a convergence charter adopted in 2003, and ten national objectives which have to be achieved by 2010;
– general policies, particularly as regards economic growth and structural changes;
– specific measures designed to resolve the problems of poverty and social exclusion;
– four main lines of action: rural areas, elderly people, promotion of access to employment and the quality of management.

Spain

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– GDP growth is above the EU average;
– reduction in long-term and very long-term unemployment rate;
– extension of the fight against social exclusion at regional and local levels;
– progress in terms of cooperation between the social services and employment services;
– resources used to help vulnerable groups, particularly via financial assistance to victims of domestic violence.

– Minus point: the unemployment rate for women is still much higher than that for men, and more women than men are in temporary work.

  • Strategy based on:

– employment;
– access of groups who are at risk of or living in poverty to health care, education and housing;
-objective of reducing by 2% the number of people living below the poverty level;
– greater involvement of women with few qualifications in the labour market.

France

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus point: significant progress as regards access to rights, in particular health care and justice.

– Minus points:

– very weak growth, which has led to a slowdown in the creation of jobs and a rise in unemployment (9.6% in 2003);
-increase in the number of people receiving the minimum income benefit;
-housing policies are insufficient to meet the needs concerned.

  • Strategy based on:

– access to rights and employment;
-decentralisation of territorial entities and the private sector;
-quantifiable objectives covering the main aspects of the national action plan for social inclusion.

Ireland

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– drop in persistent poverty and in the school drop-out rate;
– implementation of measures to support the unemployed and promote adult literacy;
– investment in infrastructure is above the EU average.

– Minus points:

-slowdown in economic growth, leading to a slight rise in unemployment;
-increase in the risk of poverty;
-life expectancy is lower than in other Member States;
-homelessness and the cost of housing still give cause for concern.

  • Strategy based on:

– access to employment and education;
– the most vulnerable groups;
– the examination of a number of social problems.

Italy

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– significant reduction in the risk and rate of poverty;
-approval by most regions of a regional social plan enabling them more effectively to adopt strategies to combat social exclusion.

– Minus points:

– wide discrepancy between the north and the south, where the poverty rate is four times higher.

  • Strategy based on:

– the 2003 White Paper on social policy in Italy;
– a social agenda over a three-year period;
– decentralisation towards the regions and local authorities.

Luxembourg

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus point: employment growth has been constant.

– Minus points:

– significant fall in the GDP growth rate and rise in unemployment;
– adoption of measures relating to facilities, housing assistance and resources for disabled people and young people.

  • Strategy based on:

– participation in employment;
– reconciliation of family life and work;
– access to housing;
– social inclusion of young people;
– access of vulnerable people to resources, rights and services.

Netherlands

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– one of the lowest poverty rates in the EU;
-employment rate overall and female employment rate are well above the Lisbon objectives;
– increase in participation in the labour market of ethnic minorities, older workers and people who are alienated from the labour market.

– Minus points:

– increase in the unemployment rate by 4% in one year;
– the number of young people leaving school without qualifications is still high among certain ethnic minorities;
– health care waiting lists for health care are worrying;
– facilities for children are incomplete.

  • Strategy based on:

– an innovative model which identifies the risks of poverty being passed on from one generation to another;
– a new system of financial award based on local authorities.

Austria

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– significant drop in the overall rate of poverty risk;
– slight increase in expenditure on social protection;
– lowest school drop-our rate in the EU;
– steady increase in female employment;
– adoption of measures to help the elderly, the unemployed who are most disadvantaged, disabled people and immigrants.

– Minus points:

– progressive increase in the youth unemployment rate;
– one of the lowest rates of graduates in Europe.

  • Strategy based on:

– bringing down the school drop-out rate;
– guarantee of a minimum salary of EURO 1 000 and a tax exception up to this ceiling;
– extension of the minimum retirement scheme;
– continued integration of migrants.

Portugal

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus point: introduction of a minimum wage scheme and of employment promotion measures.

– Minus points:

– adverse impact of the current economic slowdown, particularly on the unemployment rate and overall productivity;
– the poverty rate is still one of the highest in the EU.

  • Strategy based on:

– very general objectives and principles, without explicitly mentioning sources of financing and budgets used;
– a “Social Network”;
– education and training;
– increasing the value of minimum retirement pensions;
– certain vulnerable groups (children, young people, the homeless, immigrants);
– access of the public to information on their social rights.

Finland

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus point: the Finnish social system is based on the principle of universality, the aim of which is to provide the entire population with social assistance and health care services with a view to guaranteeing resources.

– Minus points:

– impact of slowdown in growth on the demand for labour;
– increase in the unemployment rate and reduction in the employment rate.

  • Strategy based on:

– the existing system of social protection, based on the principle of decentralisation;
-a timetable for monitoring the implementation of all measures;
-four major policies: promoting health and working life, making working life more attractive, preventing and combating social exclusion and guaranteeing effective services.

Sweden

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– the proportion of GDP used for expenditure on social protection is the highest in the EU;
– lowest poverty rate in the EU;
– distribution of income is relatively equal;
– very high employment rate and very low unemployment rate;
-increased effort to promote social integration and reduction in the percentage of recipients of social assistance.

– Minus point: the objective of reducing dependence on social assistance by half and increasing the employment rate to 80% by 2004 will be difficult to achieve.

  • Strategy based on:

– a high employment rate, achieved through a number of measures allowing individuals to work and meet their needs;
– a significant reduction in the number of people at risk of poverty by 2010;
– integration of the male-female dimension.

United Kingdom

  • Situation and key trends:

– Plus points:

– high employment level and low unemployment level;
– considerable resources used to help vulnerable groups.

– Minus points:
– poverty rate is above the European average,
– social disparity is still marked.

  • Strategy based on:

– a strategy to combat poverty and social exclusion involving a large number of people;
– high quality public services;
– particularly disadvantaged groups;
– the eradication of child poverty by 2020;
– promoting access to the employment market and to skilled work;
– high and stable employment levels.

CONTEXT

The Lisbon European Council of March 2000 asked the Member States and the Commission to take ambitious and effective measures by 2010 to eradicate poverty. It was also suggested that they should coordinate their policies to combat poverty and social exclusion in order to pool their objectives, indicators and national action plans.

In December 2000, the Nice European Council decided to launch a new method of combating poverty and social exclusion, based on four objectives:

  • promoting participation in employment and access by all to resources, rights, goods and services;
  • preventing the risks of exclusion;
  • action to help the most vulnerable;
  • mobilising all relevant bodies.

In this context, the national action plans for social inclusion, which were submitted in June 2001, aimed to translate the common objectives into national policies, while taking account of the situation in each Member State, and the different national systems of social protection.

The national action plans for social inclusion were examined in depth by the European Commission and the Member States in the joint report on social inclusion approved by the Laeken European Council in December 2001.

In December 2002, the European Council asked the Member States to prepare a second set of national action plans for social inclusion for July 2003.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 10 October 2001 concerning the draft joint report on social inclusion (2000-2002) [COM(2001) 565 – Not published in the Official Journal]

Commission staff working paper. Social inclusion in the new Member States. A synthesis of the joint memoranda on social inclusion [SEC(2004) 848].

The Gothenburg European Council asked the new Member States to transpose into their national policies the social, environmental and economic objectives of the European Union.

Against this background, the Joint Inclusion Memoranda (JIM) reflect the political commitment of the new Member States to attach greater importance to combating poverty and social exclusion.

Social exclusion is a thorny problem in most of the new Member States and is largely the result of their readjustment to a market economy. This profound change resulted in a severe fall in production and a significant increase in the unemployment rate, particularly in the Baltic States, Poland and Slovakia.

In absolute terms, the risk of poverty in the new Member States is comparable with that in the old Member States. However, salary levels in the new Member States are much lower and people living below the poverty level experience living conditions which are significantly worse than those in the other countries in the EU.

The worrying levels of poverty highlighted in the Joint Inclusion Memoranda prove that the need for action is urgent. In this regard, six main challenges have been identified:

  • expand employment market policies in order to improve the integration of those groups who are most at risk;
  • ensure that social security systems guarantee an adequate minimum wage which enables everyone to live with dignity;
  • increase the opportunities available in the fields of education and lifelong learning, particularly for those at risk of poverty and social exclusion;
  • improve the quality of public services;
  • step up efforts to combat very high levels of exclusion and discrimination against certain ethnic groups, such as the Roma, and other very vulnerable groups;
  • strengthen policies to support the family and social assistance networks and reinforce the protection of children’s rights.

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social protection

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 27 January 2005 – Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion [COM(2005) 14 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Member States of the enlarged European Union (EU) are undergoing major demographic, economic and societal changes. The Lisbon strategy promotes a model of sustainable development in which economic policy, employment policy and social policy are interdependent. To this end, Community coordination mechanisms for social protection and inclusion are to be streamlined as of 2006.

Social protection and social inclusion

A high level of social protection should guarantee social cohesion and create a favourable environment for growth and employment. In order to carry out this role, social protection systems must be evolutionary, and most Member States have undertaken the modernisation process taking into account the reduction in the workforce and the possibility of some of the population being put at risk.

The modernisation of social protection systems must be supported by an increase in lifelong employment. This means that social inclusion policies should play a part in the general effort to increase labour supply. Maintaining the sums allocated by the Structural Funds, and in particular by the European Social Fund (ESF), will make an essential contribution to this objective and to the fight against poverty.

Promoting
social inclusion

The risk of poverty remains very high in Europe, with 15% of the EU population at risk in 2002. It is feared that the recent economic slowdown may result in rising numbers of people at risk of poverty. In the new Member States it is however the restructuring process underpinning economic growth which may increase the risk of poverty.

Those groups of the population affected by poverty are often on the margins of the labour market and suffering from social exclusion. Public action must therefore be taken, linking the areas of social inclusion, employment and the fight against poverty.

Seven key priorities are reflected in the policies being adopted by the Member States. At EU level it is necessary to:

  • increase labour market participation by expanding active policies and ensuring a better linkage between social protection, education and lifelong learning;
  • modernise social protection systems to ensure they are sustainable, adequate and accessible to all;
  • tackle disadvantages in education and training by investing more in human capital at all ages and focusing particularly on the most disadvantaged groups;
  • eliminate child poverty by guaranteeing their education, increasing the assistance given to their families and ensuring that their rights are protected;
  • ensure decent accommodation for vulnerable groups and develop integrated approaches to tackling homelessness;
  • improve access to quality services in the fields of health, social services, transport and the new information and communication technologies;
  • eliminate sex discrimination and increase the social integration of people with disabilities, ethnic minorities and immigrants.

These priorities are implemented by means of national strategies adapted to suit each situation. The development of National Action Plans Against Poverty and Social Exclusion (NAPS) clearly shows Member States’ intention to strengthen the social inclusion process. These strategies are based on a broad partnership involving the national, regional and local authorities, the social partners and all stakeholders.

The open method of coordination (OMC) supported by the Community action programme to combat social exclusion provides a suitable basis for further action at national and Community levels to promote social inclusion.

The following have been identified as ways of increasing the effectiveness of strategies at national level:

  • establishing stronger links with economic and employment policy, most notably by means of greater transparency regarding budgetary resources and the use of the Structural Funds;
  • strengthening strategy implementation capacity by developing partnerships, increasing administrative and institutional capacity and ensuring coordination across different levels of government;
  • focusing on key issues and setting more ambitious targets which are better quantified and adapted to suit each situation;
  • strengthening monitoring and evaluation of policies.

In order to make further progress at EU level, the Council and Commission should:

  • strengthen the mainstreaming of social inclusion objectives across all EU policies, from design to implementation. To this end the OMC should be extended to include health care and long-term care;
  • make greater use of the OMC’s potential to contribute to effective results in each Member State, by evaluating existing methods and using common indicators;
  • ensure that Structural Funds continue to play a key role in promoting social inclusion;
  • further develop common indicators and enhance data sources, taking account in particular of the multi-dimensional nature of social exclusion and poverty.

Pensions and active ageing

Pensions need to be modernised in order to meet the challenge posed by the ageing of the European population and in order to ensure they are financially sustainable and adapted to changes in society.

Reforms are thus primarily based on raising the effective retirement age, which involves strengthening the role of social security systems by means of measures to promote active ageing and prevent poverty.

Most Member States have already undertaken reforms in order to curb growth in public expenditure. However, guaranteeing adequate incomes generally requires additional public expenditure. Reforms often allow an increase in the savings directed towards private pension schemes and thus open up more opportunities for pensioners to generate income.

Background

The Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion draws on two rounds of the OMC (in 2001-2003 and in 2003-2005), which has achieved good results in the field of social inclusion. This method has been successfully extended to include the new Member States.

The report submitted follows the 2004 Joint Report on Social Inclusion. It paves the way for an evaluation process that will lead to a new round of the OMC beginning in 2006. Preparations for this new cycle will include a consultation of the Member States, the social partners and all stakeholders.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 12 December 2003 – Joint report on social inclusion summarising the results of the examination of the National Action Plans for Social Inclusion (2003-2005) [COM(2003) 773 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 27 May 2003 – Strengthening the social dimension of the Lisbon strategy: Streamlining open coordination in the field of social protection [COM(2003) 261 final – Official Journal L 314 of 13.10.2004].

Communication from the Commission of 3 July 2001 – Supporting national strategies for safe and sustainable pensions through an integrated approach [COM(2001) 362 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

 

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion: 2007

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion: 2007

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion: 2007

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social protection

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion: 2007


Another Normative about Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion: 2007

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social and employment situation in europe

Joint Report on Social Protection and Social Inclusion: 2007

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters: Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters: Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Judicial cooperation in criminal matters: Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit

Topics

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

Other

Judicial cooperation in criminal matters: Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit

1) Objective

To improve cooperation and coordination between Member States with regard to investigations and prosecutions relating to serious crime, particularly organised crime.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Decision of 14 December 2000 setting up a Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit [Official Journal L 324 of 21.12.2000].

3) Summary

As the Tampere European Council pointed out, closer cooperation in the fight against organised crime, to which Articles 29 and 31 of the Treaty on European Union refer, calls for the adoption of measures at Union level in order to facilitate the coordination of investigations and prosecutions relating to serious crime.
By establishing a provisional coordination formation known as the Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit, the Council decision represents a major step towards that goal.

The Provisional Unit has two main objectives:

  • to improve cooperation between the competent authorities of the Member States with regard to investigations and prosecutions in relation to serious crime, in particular when it is organised;
  • to stimulate and improve the coordination of investigations and prosecutions in the Member States, taking into account any request or information communicated under provisions adopted within the framework of the Treaties.

It will also lend its support to the Council and the Member States as part of the negotiations on the setting-up of the Eurojust judicial cooperation unit.

The Unit consists of prosecutor, a judge or police officer of equivalent competence from each Member State who are responsible for performing the liaison and coordination duties necessary to accomplish the objectives of the Provisional Unit.

Members of the Unit may organise missions in a Member State whose authorities are involved in an investigation, and may meet in any other place.

They facilitate coordination and cooperation between national authorities, in particular where coordination can contribute to consideration of the arrangements for the opening and development of investigations and prosecutions. Wherever possible, they provide support for the coordination and operation of joint investigative teams.

The Provisional Judicial Cooperation Unit ceased to exist from the date of publication in the Official Journal of the Council Decision establishing Eurojust.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

 

Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy

Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy

Topics

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

Research and innovation > Research in support of other policies

Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/198/Euratom of 27 March 2007 establishing a Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy and conferring advantages upon it.

Summary

This Decision establishes a Joint Undertaking for ITER and the Development of Fusion Energy for a period of 35 years starting on 19 April 2007. It has its seat in Barcelona in Spain.

The members of the Joint Undertaking are Euratom, represented by the Commission, the Member States of the European Union (EU), and certain third countries which have concluded cooperation agreements with Euratom in the field of controlled nuclear fusion. At the time of establishment of the Joint Undertaking, the third country in question is Switzerland.

The objectives of the Joint Undertaking are to provide Euratom’s contribution to the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization and to “Broader Approach” activities with Japan for the rapid realisation of fusion energy, and to prepare and co-ordinate a programme of activities in preparation for the construction of a demonstration fusion reactor (DEMO) and related facilities including the International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility (IFMIF).

In addition to its other activities, the main tasks of the Joint Undertaking are to oversee the preparation of the site for the ITER project, to provide the ITER Organization with material, financial and human resources, to co-ordinate scientific and technological research and development activities in the field of fusion, and to act as an interface with the ITER Organization.

The total financial resources required for the Joint Undertaking are estimated to amount to 9 653 million euros, with a contribution from Euratom of 7 649 million euros (subject to a maximum of 15 % for administrative costs).

The Joint Undertaking has legal personality. Its organs are:

  • the Governing Board, consisting of two persons per member of the Joint Undertaking and assisted by the Executive Committee;
  • the Director, who is responsible for representing the Joint Undertaking and seeing to the day-to-day running of the Organization, including signing contracts.

The contractual liability of the Joint Undertaking is governed by the contract in question and the law applicable to it. The Court of Justice has jurisdiction to give judgment pursuant to any arbitration clause contained in such contract.

Furthermore, the Joint Undertaking will incur non-contractual liability, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States, in respect of any damage caused by itself or its servants in the performance of their duties. The Court of Justice has jurisdiction in any dispute relating to compensation for such damage. In addition, the Court of Justice has jurisdiction to rule on appeals brought against the Joint Undertaking.

Background: ITER

Fusion energy, together with renewable energy sources and fission energy, is one of the three alternatives to fossil fuels. It is by far the most widespread in the universe – it is the source of energy radiated by the sun and other stars – but the least developed on earth of these three non-fossil energy sources.

The JET (Joint European Torus) project, established in 1978, contributed to advanced research in the field of fusion energy for several years. From 1988, the development of the ITER project represented a new stage in the field of fusion which culminated in 2001 in a detailed design for a research facility aimed at demonstrating the feasibility of fusion as an energy source from which the EU could derive significant benefit, in particular in the context of ensuring the security and diversity of its long-term energy supply.

In November 2003, the European Council authorised the Commission to put forward France as the ITER host state and Cadarache as the ITER site and decided that the Domestic Agency for Euratom should be located in Spain.

References

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

Decision 2007/198/Euratom

19.4.2007

OJ L 90 of 30.3.2007.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Council Decision, of 19 May 2006, concerning the conclusion, by the Commission, of the Agreement on the Establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization for the Joint Implementation of the ITER Project, of the Arrangement on Provisional Application of the Agreement on the Establishment of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization for the Joint Implementation on the ITER Project and of the Agreement on the Privileges and Immunities of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization for the Joint Implementation of the ITER Project [COM(2006) 240 final – Official Journal C 184 of 8.8.2006].
The proposal for a decision was adopted by the Council on 25 September 2006. It authorises the Commission to negotiate an agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom), China, South Korea, the United States of America, India, Japan and Russia, on the creation of the ITER International Fusion Energy Organization for the joint implementation of the ITER project. It also approves the conclusion of a provision on the provisional application of the agreement.

Proposal for a Decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management as regards the multiannual financial framework, to address additional financing needs of the ITER project [COM(2010) 403 final – Not published in the Official Journal].In response to the Council conclusions of 12 July 2010 on the short-term additional financing need of the ITER project for commitment appropriations of EUR 1.4 billion (EUR 800 million in 2012 and EUR 600 million in 2013), in current prices, for 2012 and 2013, this Commission proposal aims at providing an amount of EUR 400 million by means of a revision of the multiannual financial framework while keeping the overall ceiling for commitment and payment appropriations over the period 2007-2013 unchanged. At the same time, an additional amount of EUR 460 million will be covered through redeployment from the Seventh Research Framework Programme. The commitment for financing the remaining amount of EUR 540 million shall be secured at a later stage, starting with the budgetary conciliation in November 2010, and then, if need be, the following annual budgetary procedures by using all budgetary means foreseen in the multiannual financial framework.

Communication of 4 May 2010 from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – ITER status and possible way forward [COM(2010) 226 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This Communication notes the need to set out the governance and financial conditions for ITER.
In 2001, the cost of this project had been estimated at EUR 5.9 billion, with the EU contributing 45 % of that amount. The cost to the EU now amounts to EUR 7.2 billion according to the F4E Governing Board (the European Domestic Agency “Fusion For Energy”) which met in March 2010. This cost increase has resulted in a financing gap. It is therefore important to improve the governance of the ITER project in order to stop costs getting out of hand, but also in order to define a viable financial framework.
With regard to financing, the Commission therefore envisages two options:

  • implementing complementary financing from Member States;
  • setting financial perspectives ceilings at appropriate level.

The European Commission invites the Council and the European Parliament to adopt a decision appropriate to the current circumstances.

Communication from the Commission of 28 April 2003, entitled: State of progress of the negotiations concerning the ITER international nuclear fusion energy research project [COM(2003) 215 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Jurisdiction in criminal proceedings: prevention and settlement of conflicts

Document or Iniciative

Council Framework Decision 2009/948/JHA of 30 November 2009 on prevention and settlement of conflicts of exercise of jurisdiction in criminal proceedings.

Summary

This framework decision aims to enhance judicial cooperation between European Union (EU) countries, in order to prevent unnecessary parallel criminal proceedings concerning the same facts and the same person.

The framework decision lays out the procedure whereby competent national authorities shall contact each other when they have reasonable grounds to believe that parallel proceedings are being conducted in another EU country. It also establishes the framework for these authorities to enter into direct consultations when parallel proceedings exist, in order to find a solution aimed at avoiding the negative consequences arising from these proceedings.

Exchange of information

If the competent authority of an EU country has reasonable grounds to believe that parallel proceedings are being conducted in another EU country, it must seek confirmation on the existence of such parallel proceedings from the competent authority of that country. The contacted authority must reply without undue delay or within the deadline set by the contacting authority.

With its request, the contacting authority must submit at least the following information:

  • contact details of the competent authority;
  • a description of the facts and circumstances concerning the criminal proceedings;
  • all relevant details about the suspected or accused person and possible victims;
  • the stage of the criminal proceedings;
  • where applicable, information concerning provisional detention or custody of the suspected or accused person.

In its response, the contacted authority must indicate whether criminal proceedings are or have been conducted in its country concerning some or all of the same facts and the same persons as those in the criminal proceedings in the country of the contacting authority. If this is the case, the contacted authority must also provide its contact details as well as the stage of the proceedings or the nature of the final decision.

Direct consultations

If parallel proceedings exist, the relevant authorities shall enter into direct consultations in order to find a solution aimed at avoiding the negative consequences arising from these proceedings. This may lead to the concentration of the proceedings in one EU country.

When the relevant authorities enter into direct consultations they must take into consideration all the facts and merits of the case and all other relevant factors. If no solution is found, the case shall be referred to Eurojust if appropriate and provided that it falls under its competence.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Framework Decision 2009/948/JHA

15.12.2009

15.6.2012

OJ L 328 of 15.12.2009

Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters

Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Judicial cooperation in civil matters

Jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (“Brussels I”)

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The regulation lays down rules governing the jurisdiction of courts in civil and commercial matters. A judgment given in an European Union (EU) country is to be recognised without special proceedings, unless the recognition is contested. A declaration that a foreign judgment is enforceable is to be issued following purely formal checks of the documents supplied. The regulation lists grounds for non-enforcement; however, courts are not to raise these of their own motion. The regulation does not cover revenue, customs or administrative matters. Neither does it apply to:

  • the status or legal capacity of natural persons, matrimonial matters, wills and succession;
  • bankruptcy;
  • social security;
  • arbitration.

Rules of jurisdiction

The basic principle is that jurisdiction is to be exercised by the EU country in which the defendant is domiciled, regardless of his/her nationality. Domicile is determined in accordance with the domestic law of the EU country where the matter is brought before a court. If a party is not domiciled in the EU country of the court considering the matter, the court is to apply the law of another EU country to determine whether the party is domiciled in said state. In the case of legal persons or firms, domicile is determined by the country where they have their statutory seat, central administration or principal place of business. In the case of trusts, domicile is defined by the court that is considering the case by applying its own rules of private international law *.

Suing the defendant in another EU country

Apart from the basic principle on jurisdiction, in certain circumstances a defendant may be sued in the courts of another EU country. The regulation lists areas of jurisdiction where this is so: special or exclusive jurisdiction, as well as jurisdiction on matters relating to insurance, consumer contracts and individual contracts of employment.

The courts’ special jurisdiction includes the following:

  • matters relating to a contract: as a general rule, these will be dealt with by the courts for the place of performance of the obligation in question;
  • matters relating to maintenance: as a general rule, these are to be brought before the courts for the place where the maintenance creditor is resident;
  • matters relating to liability for wrongful acts – tort, delict or quasi-delict: these will be decided by the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur.

In matters relating to insurance, an insurer may be sued in the courts of the EU country where s/he is domiciled or of the EU country where the plaintiff is domiciled if the actions are brought by the policy holder, the insured or a beneficiary. In respect of liability insurance or insurance of immovable property, the insurer may, in addition, be sued in the courts for the place where the harmful event occurred.

The regulation also lays down rules on jurisdiction in matters relating to contracts concluded by consumers. “Consumers” are defined as persons who conclude a contract with a professional for a purpose outside of their own trade or profession. All contracts concluded with a person who pursues commercial or professional activities in the EU are covered, with the exception of contracts of transport, other than those providing for a combination of travel and accommodation for an inclusive price. The consumer is protected in the way described here if the contract concluded on the sale of goods is financed on instalment credit terms or through a loan repayable by instalments or any other form of credit. In order for the consumer to enjoy this protection in other cases, the contract must have been concluded with a person who pursues commercial or professional activities in the EU country in which the consumer is domiciled or directs such activities to that country. A consumer may bring proceedings either in the courts of the EU country in which the defendant is domiciled or in the courts for the place where the consumer (the plaintiff) is domiciled. Proceedings may be brought against a consumer by the other party to the contract only in the courts of the EU country in which the consumer is domiciled.

In matters relating to individual contracts of employment, employees may either sue their employer in the courts of the EU country where the employer is domiciled or in the courts of the EU country where the employee habitually works. An employee who does not habitually work in any one country may sue the employer in the courts for the place where the business that engaged the employee has its seat. An employer who is not domiciled in any EU country, but has a branch, agency or other establishment in one of the EU countries, is deemed to be domiciled in that country. An employer may bring proceedings against an employee only in the courts for the place where the employee is domiciled.

Regardless of domicile, the following courts have exclusive jurisdiction in proceedings concerning:

  • rights in rem in immovable property or tenancies of immovable property: the courts of the EU country in which the property is situated;
  • the validity of the constitution, the nullity or the dissolution of companies or other legal persons or of the validity of the decisions of their organs: the courts of the EU country in which the legal person has its seat;
  • the validity of entries in public registers: the courts of the EU country in which the register is kept;
  • the registration or validity of patents, trade marks, designs or other similar rights: the courts of the EU country in which the deposit or registration has been applied for, has taken place or is under the terms of an Union instrument or an international convention deemed to have taken place;
  • the enforcement of judgments: the courts of the EU country in which the judgment has been or is to be enforced.

If the parties, one or more of whom is domiciled in the EU, have concluded a choice of jurisdiction * clause, the agreed court will have jurisdiction. The regulation lays down a number of formalities that must be observed in such choice of jurisdiction agreements: the agreement must be in writing or in a form that respects practices the parties have established between themselves or, in international trade or commerce, in a form that accords with a usage of which the parties are aware.

Similarly, there are provisions for rules regarding co-defendants, actions on a warranty, guarantee or other third-party proceedings, counterclaims and matters relating to a contract if the action may be combined with an action relating to rights in immovable property.

The regulation also provides a mechanism to handle cases pending elsewhere (lis pendens) and related actions.

Recognition and enforcement

A judgment given in an EU country is to be recognised in the other EU countries without any special procedure being required. “Judgment” means any judgment given by a court or tribunal of an EU country, whatever the judgment may be called, including a decree, order, decision or writ of execution. Under no circumstances may a foreign judgment be reviewed as to its substance.

A judgment will not be recognised if:

  • such recognition is manifestly contrary to public policy in the EU country in which recognition is sought;
  • the defendant was not served with the document that instituted the proceedings in sufficient time and in such a way as to enable the defendant to arrange for his/her defence;
  • it is irreconcilable with a judgment given in a dispute between the same parties in the EU country in which recognition is sought;
  • it is irreconcilable with an earlier judgment given in another EU or non-EU country involving the same cause of action and the same parties.

A court in which recognition is sought of a judgment given in another EU country may stay the proceedings, if an ordinary appeal against the judgment has been lodged.

A judgment is to be enforced in another EU country when, on the application of any interested party, it has been declared enforceable there. The parties may appeal against a decision on an application for a declaration of enforceability.

Superseding the Brussels Convention of 1968

The regulation supersedes the Brussels Convention of 1968, which was applicable between the EU countries before the regulation entered into force. The convention continues to apply with respect to those territories of EU countries that fall within its territorial scope and that are excluded from the regulation pursuant to Article 299 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Article 355 of the Treaty on the Funtioning of the European Union). The regulation also lists a number of other conventions, treaties and agreements between EU countries that it supersedes.

Even after the regulation entered into force, questions of jurisdiction between Denmark and the other EU countries continued to be governed by the Brussels Convention of 1968. This Danish opt-out was based on the 1997 Protocol No 5 on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaties (now Protocol No 22). On 19 October 2005, the EU concluded an agreement with Denmark on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters that extended the provisions of the regulation to that country. On 27 April 2006, the agreement was approved on behalf of the EU by Council Decision 2006/325/EC. It entered into force on 1 July 2007.

As provided for in the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland annexed to the Treaties, these two countries have indicated their wish to take part in the adoption and application of the regulation.

Key terms used in the act
  • “Private international law” governs the international element in matters of private law, i.e. family law, law of contract, etc. It is the branch of the domestic law of states that indicates which law, domestic or foreign, is to be applied in a particular case.
  • “Choice of jurisdiction” is a general principle of private international law under which the parties to a contract are free to designate a court to rule on any dispute even though that court might not have jurisdiction on the basis of the factors objectively connecting the contract with a particular place.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 44/2001

1.3.2002

OJ L 12, 16.1.2001

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

Regulation (EC) No 1791/2006

1.1.2007

OJ L 363, 20.12.2006

Regulation (EC) No 1103/2008

4.12.2008

OJ L 304, 14.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council and the European Economic and Social Committee of 21 April 2009 on the application of Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgements in civil and commercial matters [COM(2009) 174 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility [Official Journal L 338 of 23.12.2003].
This regulation applies in civil matters relating to divorce, legal separation and the annulment of marriage, as well as to all aspects of parental responsibility. It does not apply in civil matters relating to maintenance obligations, which are covered by Regulation (EC) No 4/2009.