Category Archives: W

Water Protection and Management

Water protection and management

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Water protection and management


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

Environment > Water protection and management

Water protection and management

Some 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by seas and oceans, and these produce almost three quarters of the oxygen we breathe. We can use directly only 1% of this water, however, and many forms of human activity put water resources under considerable pressure. Polluted water, whatever the source of the pollution, flows one way or another back into our natural surroundings – into the sea or water tables – from where it can have a harmful effect on human health and the environment. One of the most important pieces of legislation in this area is the Water Framework Directive.


  • Water protection and management (Water Framework Directive)
  • Pricing and long-term management of water
  • Flood management and evaluation
  • Droughts and water scarcity
  • Urban waste water treatment


  • Quality of drinking water
  • Bathing water quality (until 2014)
  • Bathing water quality
  • Water suitable for fish-breeding
  • Quality of shellfish waters


  • Strategy for the marine environment
  • Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage
  • Maritime safety: prevention of pollution from ships
  • Ship-source pollution and criminal penalties
  • Maritime safety: prohibition of organotin compounds on ships
  • Maritime safety: Bunkers Convention


  • European Union Strategy for Danube Region
  • Baltic Sea Strategy
  • Environment strategy for the Mediterranean
  • Strategy to improve maritime governance in the Mediterranean
  • Black Sea Synergy
  • Danube – Black Sea region

Regional convention

  • Barcelona Convention for the protection of the Mediterranean
  • Helsinki Convention on the protection of the Baltic Sea
  • Helsinki Convention: trans-boundary watercourses and international lakes
  • Convention for the Protection of the Rhine
  • OSPAR Convention


  • Industrial emissions
  • Integrated pollution prevention and control (until 2013)
  • Environmental quality standards applicable to surface water
  • Protection of groundwater against pollution
  • Detergents
  • Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
  • Agricultural nitrates
  • Community strategy concerning mercury
  • Protection of the aquatic environment against discharges of dangerous substances (until 2013)
  • Other substances: protection of groundwater



Another Normative about Water protection and management


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

Agriculture > Environment

Water protection and management (Water Framework Directive)

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy [See amending acts].


The European Union (EC) has established a framework for the protection of:

  • inland surface waters *;
  • groundwater *;
  • transitional waters *; and
  • and coastal waters *.

This Framework-Directive has a number of objectives, such as preventing and reducing pollution, promoting sustainable water usage, environmental protection, improving aquatic ecosystems and mitigating the effects of floods and droughts.

Its ultimate objective is to achieve “good ecological and chemical status” for all Community waters by 2015.

Administrative arrangements

Member States have to identify all the river basins * lying within their national territory and to assign them to individual river basin districts *. River basins covering the territory of more than one Member State will be assigned to an international river basin district.

Member States are to designate a competent authority for the application of the rules provided for in this Framework-Directive within each river basin district.

Identification and analysis of waters

By 2004 at the latest, each Member State shall produce:

  • an analysis of the characteristics of each river basin district;
  • a review of the impact of human activity on water;
  • an economic analysis of water use;
  • a register of areas requiring special protection;
  • a survey of all bodies of water used for abstracting water for human consumption and producing more than 10 m³ per day or serving more than 50 persons.

This analysis must be revised in 2013 and every six years thereafter.

Management plans and programmes of measures

In 2009, nine years after the Framework-Directive entered into force, management plans were produced for each river basin district, taking account of the results of the analyses and studies carried out. These plans cover the period 2009-2015. They shall be revised in 2015 and then every six years thereafter.

The management plans must be implemented in 2012. They aim to:

  • prevent deterioration, enhance and restore bodies of surface water, achieve good chemical and ecological status of such water by 2015 at the latest and to reduce pollution from discharges and emissions of hazardous substances;
  • protect, enhance and restore the status of all bodies of groundwater, prevent the pollution and deterioration of groundwater, and ensure a balance between groundwater abstraction and replenishment;
  • preserve protected areas.

The management plans for river basin districts can be complemented by more detailed management programmes and plans for a sub-basin, a sector or a particular type of water.

Temporary deterioration of bodies of water is not in breach of the requirements of this Framework-Directive if it is the result of circumstances which are exceptional or could not reasonably have been foreseen and which are due to an accident, natural causes or force majeure.

Member States shall encourage participation by all stakeholders in the implementation of this Framework-Directive, specifically with regard to the management plans for river basin districts. Projects from the management plans must be submitted to public consultation for at least 6 months.

From 2010, Member States must ensure that water pricing policies provide adequate incentives for users to use water resources efficiently and that the various economic sectors contribute to the recovery of the costs of water services, including those relating to the environment and resources.

Member States must introduce arrangements to ensure that effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties are imposed in the event of breaches of the provisions of this Framework Directive.

A list of priority substances selected from among the ones which present a significant risk to the aquatic environment has been drawn up at European level. This list is set out in Annex X to this Framework-Directive.

Key terms used in the act
  • Inland waters: all standing or flowing water on the surface of the land, and all groundwater on the landward side of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured.
  • Surface water: inland waters, except groundwater, transitional waters and coastal waters, except in respect of chemical status, for which territorial waters are also included.
  • Groundwater: all water which is below the surface of the ground in the saturation zone and in direct contact with the ground or subsoil.
  • Transitional waters: bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partly saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows.
  • Coastal water: surface water on the landward side of a line every point of which is at a distance of one nautical mile on the seaward side from the nearest point of the baseline from which the breadth of territorial waters is measured, extending where appropriate up to the outer limit of transitional waters.
  • River basin: the area of land from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, lakes into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.
  • River basin district: the area of land and sea, made up of one or more neighbouring river basins together with their associated groundwaters and coastal waters, which is identified under Article 3(1) as the main unit for management of river basins.


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

Directive 2000/60/EC



OJ L 327 of 22.12.2000

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

Decision 2455/2001/EC


OJ L 331 of 15.12.2001

Directive 2008/32/EC


OJ L 81 of 20.3.2008

Directive 2009/31/EC


OJ L 140 of 5.6.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2000/60/EC have been incorporated in the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.


Annex X – List of priority substances in the field of water policy

Directive 2008/105/EC [Official Journal L 348 of 24.12.2008].

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 22 March 2007 – Towards sustainable water management in the European Union – First stage in the implementation of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC [COM(2007) 128 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this report the Commission sets out the results provided by the Member States concerning the application of the Water Framework Directive. Among other things, it mentions that there is a considerable risk that several Member States will fail to meet the targets set in the Framework Directive, in particular because of the physical deterioration of aquatic ecosystems, especially as a result of overexploitation of water resources and disturbing levels of pollution from diffuse sources. The Commission also indicates that there have been problems with meeting the deadline for incorporating the Framework Directive into national law and shortcomings in the actual transposition process in some cases. However, the establishment of river basin districts and the designation of the competent national authorities seem to be well under way, although progress does still need to be made with regard to international cooperation in some instances. The Commission also indicates that there are considerable differences in the quality of the environmental and economic assessments made in respect of river basins as well as shortcomings in the economic analyses carried out. The Commission finishes by making a number of recommendations to the Member States with a view to making good the shortcomings reported, integrating sustainable management of water into other national policies and making the most of public participation, and gives advance notice of what it plans to do in future in the context of European water management policy.

Report from the Commission of 1 April 2009 published in accordance with article 18.3 of the Water Framework Directive 2000/60/EC on programmes for monitoring of water status [COM(2009) 156 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Water Protection and Management in other Legal Encyclopedias

Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2000 – American Legal Encyclopedia

Coastal Zone Management Act Of 1972 in the American Legal Encyclopedia

White Paper on Youth

White Paper on Youth

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on Youth


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

Education training youth sport > Youth

White Paper on Youth

Document or Iniciative

European Commission white paper of 21 November 2001 – A new impetus for European youth [COM(2001) 681 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


In recent years, Europe has experienced economic and socio-cultural changes that have significantly affected its youth. Hoping to meet the expectations of young people by giving them the means to express their ideas and to make a greater contribution to society, the Commission adopted this White Paper following wide-spread consultations with all relevant stakeholders at both national and European level, including young people themselves.

The White Paper on Youth is also intended as a response to young people’s strong disaffection with the traditional forms of participation in public life. Following the example of the White Paper on Governance, it calls on young Europeans to become active citizens.

In order to help European Union (EU) countries and regions to take action for young people in Europe, the White Paper proposes a new framework for cooperation consisting of two components: increasing cooperation between EU countries and taking greater account of the youth factor in sectoral policies.

Increasing cooperation between EU countries

The “open method of coordination” encourages cooperation between EU countries and takes advantage of best practice developed throughout Europe. It involves setting guidelines for the EU, together with timetables for meeting the short, medium and long-term objectives set by EU countries. It also provides for monitoring mechanisms. In this connection, the White Paper proposes appointing a national coordinator as Commission representative for youth-related issues.

The priority areas for this method of work are as follows:

  • introducing new ways of enabling young people to participate in public life. The Commission proposes giving general currency to regional and national youth councils and overhauling the European Youth Forum in order to make it more representative. In 2003 and 2004, the Commission will also launch pilot projects with a view to encouraging participation among young people;
  • improving information on European issues. To this end, the Commission proposes setting up an Internet portal and forum to allow young people to obtain information and express their opinions;
  • encouraging voluntary service. As an educational experience and a way of integrating young people into society, voluntary service plays an important role both at European level, within the European Voluntary Service (the EVS is part of the Youth in Action programme), and at national, regional and local levels, for which EU countries need to make a greater effort to eliminate the remaining obstacles to mobility;
  • increasing knowledge of youth-related issues. This involves, inter alia, networking existing research work and structures at European level.

Incorporating the youth factor into sectoral policies

The White Paper calls for EU and national policies to take greater account of the needs of young people. The policies most concerned are employment and social integration, the fight against racism and xenophobia, education, lifelong learning and mobility. The complex question of young people’s autonomy is also included in the future work programme.


On the basis of Article 149 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), various European level actions related to young people have been developed in recent years in the fields of education, employment, vocational training and information technologies. EU countries have also begun to cooperate on issues related to youth exchanges and mobility.

All of these specific actions have received constant support from the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, either when the programmes were being adopted or in the form of resolutions relating inter alia to the participation of young people or their social inclusion and, later, to young people’s sense of initiative. The Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee have regularly issued positive and encouraging opinions on various aspects of youth. However, greater use needed to be made of this body of information, and this still modest cooperation needed to be consolidated for and with young people themselves.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 22 October 2004 – Follow-up to the White Paper on a New Impetus for European Youth: evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field [COM(2004) 694 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission takes stock of the progress made since the publication of the White Paper, in terms of the mandate expressly conferred upon it by the Council and the undertakings made with regard to all those involved in the process. The Commission’s undertakings have all been fulfilled, and the widespread mobilisation of young people, youth organisations, public authorities, ministers and European institutions has been achieved.
To prevent any loss of the new impetus imparted by the White Paper, the Commission feels that the Council should take account of the following aspects:

  • the priorities of the European cooperation framework must be discussed;
  • the balance between the flexibility and effectiveness of the open method of coordination in the youth field must be reassessed;
  • the open method of coordination must lead to effective action at national level in order to guarantee young people’s support for and commitment to the process;
  • young people should be consulted regularly, in a structured and effective way, at both national and European levels.

Waterborne transport

Waterborne transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Waterborne transport


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

Transport > Waterborne transport

Waterborne transport

Waterborne transport covers maritime transport and inland navigation. The European Union encourages growth in maritime transport through a number of actions such as the modernisation of infrastructures or the harmonisation of equipment and procedures. Improving maritime safety and protecting the marine environment are also priorities.
The considerable potential of river transport has largely yet to be tapped. It offers the advantage of reducing the amount of traffic on roads. The EU is committed to breathing new life into the sector, particularly through the Naïades Action Programme.


  • European maritime transport policy until 2018
  • Action plan for an integrated maritime policy
  • Programme for the promotion of short sea shipping
  • Maritime safety: European Maritime Safety Agency
  • Towards a European maritime transport space without barriers
  • Rights of passengers travelling by sea and inland waterway


  • Freedom to supply services, competition, unfair pricing practices and free access to ocean trade
  • Freedom to provide maritime transport services
  • The insurance of shipowners for maritime claims
  • Freedom to provide services within the Member States (ocean trade)
  • Reporting formalities for ships
  • State aid to shipbuilding (I)
  • Maritime safety: registration of persons on board passenger ships
  • Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU
  • Statistical returns for carriage of goods and passengers by sea


  • Port infrastructure: Green Paper
  • Port infrastructure: quality services in sea ports
  • Port facilities for ship-generated waste and cargo residues
  • LeaderSHIP 2015


  • Strengthening of maritime labour standards
  • Organisation of seafarers’ working time
  • Organisation of hours of work on board ships using Community ports
  • Inland waterways: access to the occupation of carrier of goods by waterway and mutual recognition of diplomas
  • Seafarer training and recruitment
  • Maritime safety: Minimum level of training of seafarers


  • Maritime safety: port State control
  • Maritime safety: Loading and unloading of bulk carriers
  • Maritime safety: Committee on Safe Seas
  • Maritime safety: International Safety Management (ISM) Code
  • Maritime safety: Erika I package
  • Maritime safety: accelerated phasing-in of double-hull oil tankers
  • Maritime safety: organisations responsible for monitoring and inspecting vessels (recast)
  • Ship inspection and survey organisations: legal framework
  • Maritime safety: Erika II
  • Compliance with flag State requirements
  • Maritime safety: Community monitoring, control and information system for maritime traffic
  • Maritime safety: tonnage measurement of ballast spaces in segregated ballast oil tankers
  • Safety rules and standards for passenger ships
  • Maritime safety: system of mandatory surveys for regular ro-ro ferry and high-speed passenger craft services
  • Liability of carriers of passengers by sea in the event of accidents
  • Maritime safety: marine equipment
  • Satellite-based Vessel Monitoring System (VMS)


  • A strategy for better ship dismantling practices
  • Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships
  • Maritime safety: prohibition of organotin compounds on ships
  • Maritime safety: prevention of pollution from ships
  • Ship-source pollution and criminal penalties
  • Maritime safety: Bunkers Convention
  • Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage


  • Promotion of inland waterway transport “NAIADES”
  • Inland navigation: structural improvements
  • Inland navigation: Community-fleet capacity policy
  • Inland navigation: reciprocal recognition of national boatmasters’ certificates for inland waterway navigation
  • Inland navigation: non-resident carriers
  • Inland navigation: harmonisation of conditions for obtaining national boatmasters’ certificates
  • Inland navigation: transport of goods or passengers by inland waterway between Member States
  • Inland navigation: conditions attached to chartering and pricing
  • Inland waterways: River information services
  • Technical requirements for inland waterway vessels
  • Inland transport of dangerous goods


  • Maritime security: Ship and port facility security
  • Port infrastructure: enhancing port security

Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective

Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective


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

Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective

The Commission reiterates the commitment of the European Union to the Western Balkans. It points the way forward to bring them closer to the EU and gives priority to support for strengthening the rule of law, good governance, judicial and administrative reform, and the development of civil society.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 5 March 2008 – Western Balkans: enhancing the European perspective [COM(2008) 127 – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission reiterates the commitment of the European Union (EU) to the Western Balkans. It points the way forward to bring them closer to the EU and to make their European perspective more visible and concrete by proposing new initiatives.

Moving closer towards the EU and enhancing regional cooperation have priority. In this respect, moving closer to the EU is based on observance of the Copenhagen criteria and the stabilisation and association process (SAP), including regional cooperation, good neighbourly relations and full cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), achieving the priorities set out in the partnerships, and concluding and implementing stabilisation and association agreements (SAAs). Croatia, with which EU membership negotiations have started, sends a positive signal to the other countries of the region.

Each country has achieved progress, although at different rates. Regional cooperation is the responsibility of the countries of the region within the Regional Cooperation Council (RCC), which succeeds the Stability Pact. Nevertheless, a certain number of challenges remain, such as good neighbourly relations, reforms (in particular, constitutional, institutional, judicial and police reforms), combating organised crime and corruption, minority rights, refugee return, infrastructure and the environment.

Each Member State decides on its relations with Kosovo following the latter’s declaration of independence in February 2008. The EU will support its development through an international civilian mission headed by an EU Special Representative, an ESDP (EULEX Kosovo) rule of law mission and support for economic and political development.

Promoting people-to-people contacts refers to both the populations of the region and their reconciliation and familiarising people with the EU by encouraging better knowledge of it. Cooperation between the countries of the region and the EU is intensifying in many areas (science, research, culture, education, youth and media) and is strengthened by the possibility for the countries to participate in certain Community programmes and agencies. In addition, an increasing number of Erasmus Mundus scholarships are allocated to students of the region. Cross-border cooperation also receives support, in particular under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance (IPA).

Furthermore, the visa-free regime, which is part of the preparations for EU membership and participation in the Schengen area, aims to facilitate mobility. Together with the readmission agreements, the visa facilitation agreements are the first step towards liberalisation. They will then be supplemented by bilateral dialogues and roadmaps, in accordance with the 2007 enlargement strategy.

The EU supports civil society development and dialogue to strengthen its role and enable it to participate to the full in the reform process. A new financing facility under the IPA aims specifically to support local initiatives and to consolidate the role of civil society, programmes bringing its actors into contact, and the partnerships and networks for the transfer of knowledge and experience. The Commission will also initiate dialogue with the various churches and religious groups.

Good governance is a key aspect of bringing the countries of the Western Balkans closer to the EU. Making progress in the area of justice, freedom and security is of crucial importance and in particular concerns: the fight against organised crime, corruption and terrorism; judicial and police reform; border management; regional and cross-border cooperation (Frontex); action in the field of asylum, immigration and visa policies; and cooperation with Europol and the Regional Centre for Combating Transborder Crime (SECI).

In this context, strengthening administrative capacity and developing human resources will benefit from the establishment of a Regional School of Public Administration as a basis for networks and cooperation with similar schools in the EU. Twinning and TAIEX and SIGMA programmes also offer a means of familiarising the administrations with the European law and standards in a large number of areas.

The framework for parliamentary cooperation between the European Parliament and the Parliaments of the region consists of the Joint Parliamentary Committees, meetings and the organisation of seminars and colloquia. The European Parliament is also considering supporting the RCC to strengthen cooperation.

As regards trade integration, the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), which has been in force since November 2007, aims to attract investment, foster intra-regional trade and integrate the region into global trading. In this way it supplements the trade integration initiated by the SAAs and the autonomous trade measures. Membership of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) will support this process by forming a basis for fostering economic and trade reforms.

Furthermore, the introduction of the rule of diagonal cumulation of rules of origin in the region, including the extension of the Pan-Euro-Med diagonal cumulation scheme to the region, is also intended to boost trade and investment. The Commission is exploring ways to ensure a more rapid application of diagonal cumulation between the Western Balkans, Turkey, the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and the EU.

The region has to face various challenges with regard to economic and social development. These challenges concern competitiveness, the reduction of unemployment, labour market participation, infrastructure and the development of human and social cohesion, with due regard for sustainable development and continuing the achievement of the objectives of the Lisbon strategy. The cooperation will focus on three areas: micro-enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), infrastructure and energy efficiency.

Financial support has been based since 2007 on the IPA. The European Investment Bank (EIB) will also increase its lending in various areas (transport, energy, SMEs, environment, municipal infrastructure, education and health). Coordination between the EU and the other donors is essential for ensuring the complementarity, coherence, effectiveness and efficiency of assistance. It is based in particular on a Memorandum of Understanding with the international financial institutions (IFIs) and a consultation mechanism on IPA programming. A donors’ conference for Kosovo is also planned to rationalise the assistance with a view to the socio-economic development of its communities.


This Communication contributed to the ministerial meeting with the Western Balkan countries organised by the Presidency on 28 March in Brdo, Slovenia. The Commission invites the Council and Parliament to take its conclusions, which carry on from the Thessaloniki agenda and the Salzburg communication, in accordance with the 2007 enlargement strategy, into consideration.

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

White paper: European transport policy for 2010

White paper: European transport policy for 2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White paper: European transport policy for 2010


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

Transport > Bodies and objectives

White paper: European transport policy for 2010

This document aims to strike a balance between economic development and the quality and safety demands made by society in order to develop a modern, sustainable transport system for 2010.

Document or Iniciative

White Paper submitted by the Commission on 12 September 2001: “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” [COM(2001) 370 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission has proposed 60 or so measures to develop a transport system capable of shifting the balance between modes of transport, revitalising the railways, promoting transport by sea and inland waterway and controlling the growth in air transport. In this way, the White Paper fits in with the sustainable development strategy adopted by the European Council in Gothenburg in June 2001.

The European Community found it difficult to implement the common transport policy provided for by the Treaty of Rome. The Treaty of Maastricht therefore reinforced the political, institutional and budgetary foundations for transport policy, inter alia by introducing the concept of the trans-European network (TEN).

The Commission’s first White Paper on the future development of the common transport policy, published in December 1992, put the accent on opening up the transport market. Ten years later, road cabotage has become a reality, air safety standards in the European Union are now the best in the world and personal mobility has increased from 17 km a day in 1970 to 35 km in 1998. In this context, the research framework programmes have been developing the most modern techniques to meet two major challenges: the trans-European high-speed rail network and the Galileo satellite navigation programme.

However, the more or less rapid implementation of Community decisions according to modes of transport explains the existence of certain difficulties, such as:

  • unequal growth in the different modes of transport. Road now takes 44% of the goods transport market compared with 8% for rail and 4% for inland waterways. On the passenger transport market, road accounts for 79%, air for 5% and rail for 6%;
  • congestion on the main road and rail routes, in cities and at certain airports;
  • harmful effects on the environment and public health and poor road safety.

Economic development combined with enlargement of the European Union could exacerbate these trends.

Road transport

– Objectives: To improve quality, apply existing regulations more effectively by tightening up controls and penalties.

– Figures: For carriage of goods and passengers, road transport dominates as it carries 44% of freight and 79% of passenger traffic. Between 1970 and 2000, the number of cars in the European Union trebled from 62.5 million to nearly 175 million.

– Problems: Road haulage is one of the sectors targeted because the forecasts for 2010 point to a 50% increase in freight transport. Despite their capacity to carry goods all over the European Union with unequalled flexibility and at an acceptable price, some small haulage companies are finding it difficult to stay profitable. Congestion is increasing even on the major roads and road transport alone accounts for 84% of CO2 emissions attributable to transport.

– Measures proposed: The Commission has proposed:

  • to harmonise driving times, with an average working week of not more than 48 hours (except for self-employed drivers);
  • to harmonise the national weekend bans on lorries;
  • to introduce a driver attestation making it possible to check that the driver is lawfully employed;
  • to develop vocational training;
  • to promote uniform road transport legislation;
  • to harmonise penalties and the conditions for immobilising vehicles;
  • to increase the number of checks;
  • to encourage exchanges of information;
  • to improve road safety and halve the number of road deaths by 2010;
  • to harmonise fuel taxes for commercial road users in order to reduce distortion of competition on the liberalised road transport market.

Rail transport

– Objectives: To revitalise the railways by creating an integrated, efficient, competitive and safe railway area and to set up a network dedicated to freight services.

– Figures: Between 1970 and 1998 the share of the goods market carried by rail in Europe fell from 21% to 8.4%, whereas it is still 40% in the USA. At the same time, passenger traffic by rail increased from 217 billion passenger/kilometres in 1970 to 290 billion in 1998. In this context, 600 km of railway lines are closed each year.

– Problems: The White Paper points to the lack of infrastructure suitable for modern services, the lack of interoperability between networks and systems, the constant search for innovative technologies and, finally, the shaky reliability of the service, which is failing to meet customers’ expectations. However, the success of new high-speed rail services has resulted in a significant increase in long-distance passenger transport.

– Measures proposed: The European Commission has adopted a second ” railway package ” consisting of five liberalisation and technical harmonisation measures intended for revitalising the railways by rapidly constructing an integrated European railway area. These five new proposals set out:

  • to develop a common approach to rail safety with the objective of gradually integrating the national safety systems;
  • to bolster the measures of interoperability in order to operate transfrontier services and cut costs on the high-speed network;
  • to set up an effective steering body – the European Railway Agency – responsible for safety and interoperability;
  • to extend and speed up opening of the rail freight market in order to open up the national freight markets;
  • to join the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF).

This “railway package” will have to be backed up by other measures announced in the White Paper, particularly:

  • ensuring high-quality rail services;
  • removing barriers to entry to the rail freight market;
  • improving the environmental performance of rail freight services;
  • gradually setting up a dedicated rail freight network;
  • progressively opening up the market in passenger services by rail;
  • improving rail passengers’ rights.

Air transport

– Objectives: To control the growth in air transport, tackle saturation of the skies, maintain safety standards and protect the environment.

– Figures: The proportion of passenger transport accounted for by air is set to double from 4% to 8% between 1990 and 2010. Air transport produces 13% of all CO2 emissions attributed to transport. Delays push up fuel consumption by 6%.

– Problems: To sustain such growth, air traffic management will need to be reformed and airport capacity improved in the European Union. Eurocontrol (the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) is limited by a decision-making system based on consensus.

– Measures proposed: Creation of the Single European Sky is one of the current priorities, due to the following measures:

  • a regulatory framework based on common rules on use of airspace;
  • joint civil/military management of air traffic;
  • dialogue with the social partners to reach agreements between the organisations concerned;
  • cooperation with Eurocontrol;
  • a surveillance, inspection and penalties system ensuring effective enforcement of the rules.

Besides this restructuring of the airspace, the Commission wishes to harmonise the qualifications for air traffic controllers by introducing a Community licence for air traffic controllers.

Alongside creation of the single sky, more efficient use of airport capacity implies defining a new regulatory framework covering:

  • the amendment of slot allocation in 2003. Airport slots grant the right to take off or land at a specific time at an airport. The Commission will propose new rules on this subject ;
  • an adjustment of airport charges to encourage the redistribution of flights throughout the day;
  • rules to limit the adverse impact on the environment. The air industry must get to grips with problems such as the noise generated by airports. The European Union must take account of the international commitments entered into within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). With this in mind, the European Commission recently adopted a proposal for a directive to ban the noisiest aircraft from airports in Europe. In 2002 the ICAO will have to take specific measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Consideration is also being given to taxes on kerosene and the possibility of applying VAT to air tickets;
  • intermodality with rail to make the two modes complementary, particularly when the alternative of a high-speed train connection exists;
  • establishment of a European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) to maintain high safety standards;
  • reinforcement of passenger rights, including the possibility of compensation when travellers are delayed or denied boarding.

Sea and inland waterway transport

– Objectives: To develop the infrastructure, simplify the regulatory framework by creating one-stop offices and integrate the social legislation in order to build veritable “motorways of the sea”.

– Figures: Since the beginning of the 1980s, the European Union has lost 40% of its seamen. For all that, ships carry 70% of all trade between the Union and the rest of the world. Each year, some two billion tonnes of goods pass through European ports.

– Problems: Transport by sea and transport by inland waterway are a truly competitive alternative to transport by land. They are reliable, economical, clean and quiet. However, their capacity remains underused. Better use could be made of the inland waterways in particular. In this context, a number of infrastructure problems remain, such as bottlenecks, inappropriate gauges, bridge heights, operation of locks, lack of transhipment equipment, etc.

– Measures proposed: Transport by sea and transport by inland waterway are a key part of intermodality, they allow a way round bottlenecks between France and Spain in the Pyrenees or between Italy and the rest of Europe in the Alps, as well as between France and the United Kingdom and, looking ahead, between Germany and Poland.
The Commission has proposed a new legislative framework for ports which is designed:

  • to lay down new, clearer rules on pilotage, cargo-handling, stevedoring, etc.;
  • to simplify the rules governing operation of ports themselves and bring together all the links in the logistics chain (consignors, shipowners, carriers, etc.) in a one-stop shop.

On the inland waterways, the objectives are:

  • to eliminate bottlenecks;
  • to standardise technical specifications;
  • to harmonise pilots’ certificates and the rules on rest times;
  • to develop navigational aid systems.

Intermodality (combined transport)

– Objectives: To shift the balance between modes of transport by means of a pro-active policy to promote intermodality and transport by rail, sea and inland waterway. In this connection, one of the major initiatives is the ” Marco Polo ” Community support programme to replace the current PACT (Pilot Action for Combined Transport) programme.

– Figures: The PACT programme launched 167 projects between 1992 and 2000. The new “Marco Polo” intermodality programme has an annual budget of 115 million euros for the period between 2003-2007.

-Problems: The balance between modes of transport must cope with the fact that there is no close connection between sea, inland waterways and rail.

– Measures proposed: The “Marco Polo” intermodality programme is open to all appropriate proposals to shift freight from road to other more environmentally friendly modes. The aim is to turn intermodality into a competitive, economically viable reality, particularly by promoting motorways of the sea.

Bottlenecks and trans-European networks

– Objectives: To construct the major infrastructure proposed in the trans-European networks (TENs) programme, identified by the 1996 guidelines, as well as the
priority projects selected at the 1994 Essen European Council .

– Figures: Of the 14 projects selected in Essen, three have now been completed and six others, which are in the construction phase, were expected to be finished by 2005, states the Communication.

– Problems: The delays in completing the trans-European networks are due to inadequate funding. In the case of the Alpine routes which require the construction of very long tunnels, it is proving difficult to raise the capital to complete them. The Commission has proposed, in particular, completion of the high-speed railway network for passengers, including links to airports, and a high-capacity rail crossing in the Pyrenees.

– Measures proposed: The Commission has proposed two-stage revision of the trans-European network guidelines. The first stage, in 2001, was to revise the TEN guidelines adopted in Essen to eliminate bottlenecks on the main routes. The second stage in 2004 will focus on motorways of the sea, airport capacity and pan-European corridors on the territory of candidate countries. The Commission is looking at the idea of introducing the concept of declaration of European interest where specific infrastructure is regarded as being of strategic importance to the smooth functioning of the internal market.
The priority projects are:

  • completing the Alpine routes on grounds of safety and capacity;
  • making it easier to cross the Pyrenees, in particular, by completing the Barcelona-Perpignan rail link;
  • launching new priority projects, such as the Stuttgart-Munich-Salzburg/Linz-Vienna TGV/combined transport link, the Fehmarn Belt linking Denmark and Germany, improving navigability on the Danube between Straubing and Vilshofen, the Galileo radionavigation project, the Iberian high-speed train network and addition of the Verona-Naples and Bologna-Milan rail links plus extension of the southern European TGV network to N?mes in France;
  • improving tunnel safety by having specific safety standards for both railway and road tunnels.

On infrastructure funding and technical regulations, the Commission has proposed:

  • changes to the rules for funding the trans-European network to raise the maximum Community contribution to 20%. This would apply to cross-border rail projects crossing natural barriers, such as mountain ranges or stretches of water, as well as to projects in border areas of the candidate countries;
  • establishment of a Community framework to channel revenue from charges on competing routes (for example, from heavy goods vehicles) towards rail projects in particular;
  • a directive designed to guarantee the interoperability of toll systems on the trans-European road network.


– Objectives: To place users at the heart of transport policy, i.e. to reduce the number of accidents, harmonise penalties and develop safer, cleaner technologies.

– Figures: In 2000 road accidents killed over 40 000 people in the European Union. One person in three will be injured in an accident at some point in their lives. The total annual cost of these accidents is equivalent to 2% of the EU’s GNP.

– Problems: Road safety is of prime concern for transport users. However, spending fails to reflect the severity of the situation. Users have the right to know what they are paying and why. Ideally, the charge for use of infrastructure should be calculated by adding together maintenance and operating costs plus external costs stemming from, for example, accidents, pollution, noise and congestion. Finally, non-harmonisation of fuel taxes is another obstacle to smooth operation of the internal market.

– Measures proposed:

On road safety, the Commission has proposed:

  • a new road safety action programme covering the period 2002-2010 to halve the number of deaths on the roads;
  • harmonisation of penalties, road signs and blood-alcohol levels;
  • development of new technologies such as electronic driving licences, speed limits for cars and intelligent transport systems as part of the e-Europe programme. In this connection, progress is being made on protection of vehicle occupants, on making life safer for pedestrians and cyclists and on improving vehicle-speed management.

On charging for use of infrastructure, the Commission has proposed:

  • a framework directive to establish the principles of infrastructure charging and a pricing structure, including a common methodology to incorporate internal and external costs and aiming to create the conditions for fair competition between modes.
    (a) In the case of road transport, charges will vary according to the vehicle’s environmental performance (exhaust gas emissions and noise), the type of infrastructure (motorways, trunk and urban roads), distance covered, axle weight and degree of congestion.
    (b) In the case of rail transport, charges will be graduated according to scarcity of infrastructure capacity and adverse environmental effects.
    (c) In the case of maritime transport, the measures proposed will be linked to maritime safety;
  • a directive on the interoperability of toll systems to be put in place on the trans-European road network.

On fuel tax, the Commission has proposed:

  • separating fuel taxes for private and commercial uses,
  • establishing harmonised taxation of fuel used for commercial purposes.

Other measures have been proposed to improve intermodality for multimodal journeys, in particular for those using rail and air successively, including integrated ticketing and improvements in baggage handling.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, of 22 June 2006, on the mid-term review of the White Paper on transport published in 2001 “Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent” [COM(2006) 314 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


White Paper on sport

White Paper on sport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on sport


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

Education training youth sport > Sport

White Paper on sport

Document or Iniciative

White Paper on Sport of 11 July 2007, presented by the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee [COM(2007) 391 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This White Paper is the Commission’s main contribution to the theme of sport and its role in the daily lives of European citizens.

It recognises the impact which sport can have on all European policies.

It also identifies the needs and specific characteristics of the world of sport.

Lastly, it opens up future prospects for sport at European level, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity, the independence of sport organisations and Community law.


The main objectives of the White Paper on Sport are to:

  • set strategic guidelines;
  • encourage debate on specific problems;
  • increase the visibility of sport in the EU decision-making process;
  • highlight the needs and specific characteristics of the sector;
  • identify the appropriate level of government for future action.

More specifically, the Commission intends to use this White Paper to:

  • ensure that the sport dimension is fully reflected in all areas of European policy;
  • increase legal clarity as regards the application of the acquis communautaire in the field of sport and thereby help to improve sport governance in Europe.

Thematic structure

Three themes are covered by the White Paper:

  • the “societal role of sport”, i.e. what sport represents as a social phenomenon;
  • the “economic dimension of sport”, i.e. the contribution of sport to growth and the creation of jobs in Europe;
  • the “organisation of sport”, i.e. the role of each stakeholder (public or private, economic or sporting) in the governance of the sports movement.

Action Plan

An Action Plan bearing the name of Pierre de Coubertin, in tribute to the father of the modern Olympic Games, completes this White Paper.

In this Action Plan, the Commission proposes a range of specific actions relating to the societal and economic aspects of sport, such as health, social inclusion, voluntary work, education or external relations.

The Action Plan includes the following proposals:

  • the development of guidelines on physical activity and the establishment of a European network for the promotion of sport as a health-enhancing activity;
  • greater coordination in the fight against doping at European level;
  • the award of a European label to schools which encourage involvement in physical activities;
  • the launch of a study on volunteer work in sport;
  • the improvement of social inclusion and integration through sport using European programmes and resources;
  • the promotion of the exchange of information, experiences and good practices between law-enforcement services and sport organisations for the prevention of racism and violence;
  • the promotion of the use of sport as a tool in European development policy;
  • the creation of statistics to quantify the economic impact of sport;
  • a study on public and private financing of sport;
  • an impact assessment on the activities of players’ agents and an evaluation of the value-added of possible Community intervention in this field;
  • better structuring of dialogue on sport at Community level, in particular through the organisation of an annual forum on sport;
  • intensification of intergovernmental cooperation in the field of sport;
  • promoting the creation of European social dialogue committees in the sport sector, and support for employers and employees.


The Commission will monitor the initiatives presented in this White Paper through a structured dialogue involving all the stakeholders in the world of sport:

  • European sport federations;
  • European umbrella organisations for sport, such as the European Olympic Committees (EOC), the European Paralympic Committee (EPC) and European non-governmental sport organisations;
  • national umbrella organisations for sport and national Olympic and Paralympic Committees;
  • other stakeholders in the field of sport represented at European level, including the social partners;
  • other European and international organisations (bodies of the Council of Europe and the United Nations, UNESCO, WHO, etc.).


Sport, as a social and economic phenomenon, contributes to the achievement of the European Union’s strategic objectives of solidarity and prosperity. It conveys the concepts of peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and education, in line with the European ideal.

Today, sport is confronted with new problems, such as commercial pressure, trafficking in human beings, doping, racism, violence, corruption and money laundering.

The European Council recognised the essential role of sport in its Declaration of December 2000. The European Council of June 2007 set a mandate for the Intergovernmental Conference, according to which a provision in the future Treaty will be devoted to sport.

This White Paper stems from wide-ranging consultations started in 2005 of, in particular, the Olympic Committees, sport federations and the Member States.


Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014


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

Education training youth sport > Sport

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Document or Iniciative

Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on a European Union Work Plan for Sport for 2011-2014 [OJ C 162 of 1.6.2011].


The Treaty of Lisbon made sport a European Union (EU) area of competency, in which it can support, coordinate and complement the actions of its Member States. By promoting sustainable, smart and inclusive growth, and job creation, sport also contributes to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Furthermore, it has a positive effect on social inclusion, education, training, public health and active ageing.

In order to develop the European dimension in sport, the Council approves a 3-year work plan detailing the actions to be implemented by Member States and the Commission.

Three priority themes are identified and accompanied by actions for the period 2011-2014:

  • The integrity of sport, in particular the fight against doping and match-fixing. The actions defined to this end are:
    • prepare draft EU comments to the revision of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s world anti-doping code;
    • develop a European dimension of the integrity of sport with the focus on the fight against match-fixing;
    • develop principles of transparency concerning good governance and organisation of sport;
    • address the issues identified related to access to and to supervision of the profession of sport agents and to transfers in team sports (in particular the issue of the transfer of young players).
  • Social values of sport, in particular health, social inclusion, education and volunteering. The following actions must be carried out:

    • prepare a proposal for European guidelines on ‘dual careers’ aimed at ensuring that young athletes receive quality education alongside their sports training;
    • follow up on the inclusion of sport-related certificates in national qualifications frameworks with reference to the European Qualifications Framework;
    • explore ways to promote health enhancing physical activity and participation in grassroots sport.
  • Economic aspects of sport, in particular sustainable financing of sports and evidence-based policy making. Two actions are defined in this respect:

    • promote data collection to measure the economic benefits of the EU sport sector;
    • strengthen financial solidarity mechanisms between professional sport and grassroots sport.


Implementation of the Work Plan will be supported by expert groups created by the Commission and the EU countries in the following areas: anti-doping; good governance in sport; education and training in sport; sport, health and participation; sport statistics and sustainable financing of sport.

The Commission will collaborate with the sports movement and competent organisations at national, European and international levels. It will submit a report by the end of 2013 evaluating the implementation of the Work Plan.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 18 January 2011 – Developing the European Dimension in Sport [COM(2011) 12 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

White Paper on sport of 11 July 2007, presented by the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee [COM(2007) 391 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community's railways

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways


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

Environment > Tackling climate change

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways

Document or Iniciative

Commission White Paper of 30 July 1996: “A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways” [COM(96) 421 final – not published in the Official Journal].


The railway sector is in decline and its market share is falling. Rail is felt not to respond to market changes or customers’ needs. However, rail has characteristics which could make it an increasingly attractive form of transport in Europe. Many possibilities already exist for improving and developing services, and new areas of opportunity may open up. To meet these challenges, the Community needs a new kind of railway.

Finances: For the railways to flourish, clear financial objectives and a proper division of responsibilities between the State and railway companies are essential. The railways must have a financial structure that allows effective, independent management. Railway finances should be organised as follows:

  • Member States should relieve railways of the burdens of the past;
  • the railways should be run on a commercial basis.

Introducing market forces into rail: Strengthening the market will give management and workers incentives to reduce costs, improve service quality and develop new products and markets.

  • The Commission has drawn up a number of proposals to achieve this:
  • it proposes extending access rights to railway infrastructure for all freight services and international passenger services;
  • as regards domestic passenger transport, the Commission will examine several options for improving the institutional framework for developing the railways of the future;
  • the Commission will propose modification of Community legislation to require the separation of infrastructure management and transport operations into distinct business units, with separate management and balance sheets;
  • it also proposes promoting the creation of a number of trans-European rail freeways for freight.

Public services: The aim is to offer citizens satisfactory mobility thanks to continuity and quality of transport services, and to contribute to sustainable development, social cohesion and regional balance in the European Union.

The Commission’s proposals are as follows:

  • to improve the quality/price ratio in the transport sector;
  • to generalise the use of public service contracts agreed by the State and the transport operator;
  • to study the practical problems associated with introducing market forces.

Integration of national systems: Railways developed on national lines, which resulted in difficulties in operating across frontiers, inadequate planning of infrastructure and fragmentation of the supply industry and research. Integration is far from complete.

The Commission is proposing the following measures:

  • to examine the scope for improving interoperability on major international routes in cost-effective ways;
  • to study how to eliminate delays at frontiers for freight traffic;
  • to assess what improvements need to be made to infrastructure to develop freight transport;
  • to assess policy instruments to reduce railway noise;
  • to emphasise socio-economic study proposals to support the transition from several national railway systems to one European system.

Railway workers are concerned that restructuring may cause job losses, both in the railways and in the supply industries.

Several measures are being considered:

  • to plan large-scale training schemes to facilitate the redeployment of redundant workers;
  • to examine the possibilities the European Social Fund can offer in the future for helping the workforce to adapt to the restructuring of the railways.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: “Trans-European rail freight freeways – [COM(1997) 242 final – not published in the Official Journal].

In its communication the Commission advocates the introduction of rail corridors to operate on the following principles:

  • access to freeways must be fair, equal and non-discriminatory for all train operators licensed in the Community;
  • the granting of licences, allocation of infrastructure capacity and charging of infrastructure fees within the framework of these freeways should be in compliance with Directives 95/18/EC and 95/19/EC;
  • freeways should be open to cabotage;
  • freight terminals should be open for fair, equal and non-discriminatory access to all train, road haulage and waterway operators.

To improve Europe’s rail freight options, the Commission proposes the creation of a one-stop-shop to market freeways. It underlines the need to improve the distribution of train paths, establish a tariff structure which reflects relevant costs, reduce delays at borders and introduce quality criteria. The Commission lists the actions to be taken with a view to setting up freeways.

In July 1998, the Commission presented three new proposals aimed solely at making existing legislation more effective. On 26 February 2001, the Council adopted the three Directives known as the “rail infrastructure package”:

Directive 2001/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

Directive 2001/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 amending Council Directive 95/18/CE on the licensing of railway undertakings [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

Directive 2001/14/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

On 23 January 2002, the European Commission proposed a new set of measures (known as the “second railway package”) aimed at revitalising the railways through the rapid construction of an integrated European railway area. The actions presented are based on the guidelines of the transport White Paper and are aimed at improved safety, interoperability and opening up of the rail freight market. The Commission had also proposed establishing a European Railway Agency responsible for providing technical support for the safety and interoperability work.

White Paper presented by the Commission on 12 September 2001: “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” [COM(2001) 370 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/CE on the licensing of railway undertakings and Directive 2001/14/CE on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Directive 2004/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Directive 2004/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Finally, on 3 March 2004 the Commission adopted its “third rail package” containing measures to revitalise the railways in Europe:

Communication from the Commission “Further integration of the European rail system:” [COM(2004) 140 final – not published in the Official Journal].

The European Commission puts forward new proposals to open up the international passenger transport market by 2010 and to regulate passenger rights and the certification of train crews. This third package should complete the European regulatory framework for the rail sector.

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [COM(2004) 139 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train crews operating locomotives and trains on the Community’s rail network [COM(2004) 142 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on international rail passengers’ rights and obligations [COM(2004) 143 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on compensation in cases of non-compliance with contractual quality requirements for rail freight services [COM(2004) 144 final – not published in the Official Journal].

of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [2004/51/EC – Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004].

of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system [2004/50/EC – Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004].

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about World Radiocommunication Conference 2003


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

Information society > Radiofrequencies

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003

Document or Iniciative

Commission communication of 14 April 2003 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – The World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 [COM(2003) 183 final].


Every three years the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a United Nations agency, holds a World Radiocommunication Conference. The Conference 2003 (WRC-03) was held in Geneva from 9 June to 4 July 2003. The Commission participated as a delegation without voting rights. In this capacity, the Commission will endeavour to support decisions which are in line with relevant Community policies and serve commercial and general interests in the European Union (EU).

Within the ITU, the European authorities negotiate on a national basis. However, insofar as national interests converge on many points, EU Member States have chosen to develop their technical positions together within the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) (1). The development of European technical positions within CEPT will certainly strengthen the EU’s position at WRC-03. However, these positions should also be coordinated at European level, before and after the conference, in accordance with the principles set out in the Community Decision on the radio spectrum.


Information society

Transition to the information society is essential if Europe is to fully benefit from digital technologies and the internet. This is why the Community is encouraging the development of applications and content which will enable all Europeans to be part of the information society. In establishing a new regulatory framework for electronic communications, the EU has moved a step further towards supporting a world-class communications and broadcasting infrastructure.

Audiovisual policy

Audiovisual media play a key role in the transmission of social and cultural values; clear public interests are therefore at issue. For example, broadcasting services must continue to have access to the resources they need, including radio spectrum resources.


The Commission is working on the development of an integrated transport system, including notably maritime safety and air transport. In this context, the objective of the Single European Sky is to optimise air traffic management and air safety in order to satisfy all airspace users. The achievement of this objective essentially depends on the availability of radio spectrum. The satellite navigation programme Galileo is another important element of common transport policy. Like all radio services, in order to operate, Galileo needs a sufficient number of radio spectrum frequencies protected from harmful interference and employable without too many operational constraints.

Coordination of civil protection

The aim of Community cooperation in the field of civil protection is to improve the protection of people, the environment and goods in the event of natural or man-made disasters. In 2001, the Council adopted a decision (Decision 2001/792/EC) establishing a Community mechanism to facilitate reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions. It is known that the coordination of joint European interventions would be improved by the interoperability of communications equipment fostered by harmonised spectrum.

Single European Space

The Galileo project and the GMES initiative (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) are specific examples of cooperation within the framework of initiatives taken, at European level, in the space sector. An adequate supply of spectrum is clearly essential for a vibrant European space sector.

Research and development

All technologies covered by the WRC are supported by research and development activities. European research funding continues to promote essential fields using wireless technologies. Access to a radio spectrum harmonised at European and world level will remain an essential element of these activities and will be an important objective for research projects.


The WRC-03 agenda included a number of questions relating to Community policies. The main Community objectives were:

  • to maintain frequency allocation acquired at WRC-2000 by IMT-2000 (“International Mobile Telecommunications for the year 2000” – 3rd generation mobile communications) and confirm the conditions of use of the spectrum for the Galileo radionavigation services;
  • to progress towards regionally and globally harmonised frequencies for PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief) system, in order to help rescue and emergency teams communicate with each other;
  • to support the creation of other wireless infrastructures in order to encourage competition for the benefit of consumers – in accordance with the eEurope initiative. In particular, the frequency bands determined at European level for radio local area networks (RLAN) should be harmonised at world level.

Related Acts

Conference results

Commission communication of 19 November 2003 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Results of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) [COM(2003) 707 – Not published in the Official Journal]

At the end of the Conference, the Commission stressed the positive results of the negotiations since, from a Community standpoint, the main objectives of WRC-03 had been achieved. The harmonisation at world level of the conditions of use of RLAN broadband systems and the long term protection of the Galileo satellite navigation system were among the most notable successes.

This communication presents a detailed analysis of the decisions and:

  • highlights the effects of the results of the Conference on EU policies;
  • assesses the extent to which the EU’s objectives for WRC-03 have been achieved;
  • defines the type of regulatory measures the EU should take as a follow-up to WRC-03;
  • examines Community interests which could be at stake at the next conference (WRC-07);
  • analyses the negotiating process at WRC-03.

Implementing measures

Some WRC-03 results require work to begin on implementing measures, notably concerning harmonisation of the availability and conditions of use of the radio spectrum. Some work had already begun before WRC-03. Action will be taken on the basis of the mechanisms provided for in Decision 676/2002/EC (“Radio Spectrum Decision”), involving consultation of the Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC) and associating CEPT expertise. The Radio Spectrum Policy Group has been asked to help establish the link between various Community policy objectives and the main guidelines for Community radio spectrum policy.


World Radiocommunications Conference 2000

World Radiocommunications Conference 2000

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about World Radiocommunications Conference 2000


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

Information society > Radiofrequencies

World Radiocommunications Conference 2000 (WRC-2000)

To initiate a political discussion in the European Parliament and Council on the Community interests at stake at the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-2000), in the light of the results of the 1997 World Radiocommunications Conference, and to ensure appropriate involvement of all interested parties in the preparatory process.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on radio frequency requirements for Community policies in the context of the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-2000) [COM(98) 298 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

A vast array of radiocommunications techniques and services has become vital to the European economy, consumers and public safety. They provide essential links in public and private telecommunications networks; they assure efficient, safe transport by sea, air and land; they broadcast information services and entertainment; they allow weather forecasting and help to fight pollution and to perform many other functions needed by modern society. The point which these radiocommunications services have in common is that they compete for the use of scarce radio spectrum resources.

Decisions on which type of services may use which frequencies, and under what conditions, are taken at World Radiocommunications Conferences (WRCs) which are organised under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and in which all 15 Member States of the European Union participate. The last WRC was held in 1997 and took important decisions on mobile and satellite communications, broadcasting and satellite radionavigation and aeronautical services. The next WRC will be held in March 2000.

The context for WRCs has changed considerably from being a forum for discussing primarily technical matters in the past, to one where economic and political forces, driven by liberalisation, competition, globalisation and technological innovation in the communications and information sectors, have become decisive for the frequency allocation decisions to be taken.

At Community level, the implementation of a number of common policies depends on the availability of the frequencies needed, as in the case of mobile and satellite communications, broadcasting, aeronautical and satellite radionavigation services and Earth observation.

The Member States do not wish to give the Community the role of developing common Community positions or negotiating at WRCs on their behalf. In view of the changing WRC context, however, there is a growing need to provide political support for the WRC positions, taking into account that diverging views among WRC negotiating parties as regards frequency harmonisation are normally based on a diverging political assessment of radiocommunications systems of commercial and general interest. This could become evident, for instance, if Europe were to request further frequencies for the development of third-generation mobile communications (UMTS) which other countries could oppose due to the national focus on satellite communications (notably in the USA) or to difficulties with phasing out or relocating existing systems (in the developing countries). Frequencies for aeronautical and radionavigation services may be needed to satisfy demand for both commercial and public interest applications, depending on national requirements and priorities, and taking into account claims by commercial mobile satellite operators. Effective political backing for the technical positions worked out is therefore essential to achieve good results at the WRC and for appropriate technical and political representation of Community interests in contact with the Community’s main trading partners. The Community, represented by the Commission, could be instrumental in this regard, provided the Member States themselves provide political support for the WRC positions worked out.

Coordination of the Member States’ positions in CEPT for the 1995 and 1997 WRCs generally led to results allowing further development of Europe’s radiocommunications market. For WRC-97, the 43 CEPT countries signed about 300 European common proposals (ECPs) for the 50 items on the agenda, most of which were adopted by the Conference. However, notwithstanding the satisfactory support from the European countries for the common European positions presented at WRC-97, very controversial issues could not be settled on the basis of technical positions alone, as was the case with respect to satellite broadband services, aeronautical and satellite-radionavigation services and Earth observation. The Community policy framework for satellite and mobile communications, which includes close consultation and coordination with industry and representative organisations, allows for precise translation of the relevant Community policies into frequency requirements to be negotiated at WRCs. However, in the case of the other policies mentioned, such consultation and coordination is not always apparent, with the risk that commercial telecommunications interests could have a stronger position for obtaining frequencies.

In accordance with the Council conclusions of 22 September 1997, which were adopted on the basis of the Commission communication to the European Parliament and the Council on WRC-97, the European Commission will be involved in WRC-2000 with the following objectives:

  • ensure compliance of the European positions for the WRC with relevant Community policies both prior to and at the Conference;
  • encourage European industry to propose radiocommunications initiatives and involve industry and other relevant players and organisations in the development of European positions on, inter alia, mobile and satellite communications, broadcasting, aeronautical services, radionavigation and Earth observation;
  • maintain and establish contacts with third countries and regions in order to obtain their support for European objectives and to achieve a certain level of approximation of proposals before the start of the Conference;
  • strengthen the negotiating position of Europe at the WRC and achieve results which are to the benefit of the European economy and its citizens.

It is necessary, however, to address these objectives in a general review of spectrum policy in the Community, where frequency requirements are examined as part of a European long-term strategic spectrum plan striking a balance between commercial and general interests, based on wide consultations with all interested parties and endorsed at political level and allowing the production of European positions for WRCs.

4) Follow-Up Work

Communication of 19 November 2003 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Results of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) [COM(2003) 707].

This communication reports a positive outcome to the negotiations, since from the Community’s point of view the main objectives of WRC-03 have been achieved. The most notable successes include worldwide harmonisation of the conditions for using broadband RLAN systems and long-term protection of the Galileo satellite navigation system.