Tag Archives: AF

African swine fever

African swine fever

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about African swine fever

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal health

African swine fever

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2002/60/EC of 27 June 2002 laying down specific provisions for the control of African swine fever and amending Directive 92/119/EEC as regards Teschen disease and African swine fever [See amending acts].

Summary

The Directive lays down the minimum control measures where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed.

Any suspected or confirmed case of the disease must be notified to the competent authority. The Member State concerned informs the Commission and the other Member States of cases of swine fever, outbreaks of the disease and the results of epidemiological inquiries.

Suspected cases of African swine fever on a holding

Where a case is suspected, the Member State must immediately open an official investigation to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease. If the presence of African swine fever on a holding cannot be ruled out, the holding must be placed under official surveillance and restrictions must be placed on the movement of pigs, carcasses, and products that might spread the disease, as well as the movement of persons and vehicles to and from the holding.

An epidemiological inquiry must be carried out.

Confirmation of African swine fever on a holding

If the presence of African swine fever is officially confirmed, all the pigs on the holding are to be killed and their carcasses processed. All material (meat, semen, ova) or waste that might be contaminated must be destroyed, processed or treated to ensure destruction of the virus.

In the case of holdings consisting of two or more separate production units, derogations may be granted for healthy production units on specific, strict conditions.

In addition, all premises, vehicles and equipment that might be contaminated must be cleaned and disinfected under official supervision.

The competent authority must also establish around the outbreak site:

  • a protection zone with a radius of at least three kilometres, itself included in a
  • surveillance zone of a radius of at least 10 kilometres.

Special security measures must be implemented in these zones, in particular a census of all the holdings, a ban on the movement and transport of pigs and cleansing and disinfection measures. The competent authority may authorise, on strict conditions, the removal of pigs from a holding in the surveillance or protection zones within no less than 30 and 40 days respectively after the completion of the preliminary cleansing and disinfection, and, if necessary, disinsectisation of the infected holding.

Where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed in a slaughterhouse or means of transport

Where there is a suspicion of the disease, it must be officially confirmed or ruled out.

Where the presence of the disease is confirmed, all susceptible pigs must be killed and all material (carcases, offal and waste) from animals that might be contaminated must be processed to ensure that the virus is destroyed.

Cleansing, disinfection and, if necessary, disinsectisation of buildings and equipment, including vehicles, must take place under official supervision.

An epidemiological inquiry is carried out. The measures provided for in suspected cases are carried out on contact holdings *. The measures provided for in confirmed cases are applied on the holding of origin of the infected pigs.

Pigs may not be introduced into a holding, slaughterhouse or vehicle that has been affected by the disease until after a minimum period.

Where African swine fever is suspected or confirmed in feral pigs

Where the disease is suspected in feral pigs, the Member State must take all appropriate measures to confirm or rule out the presence of the disease.

Where African swine fever is confirmed in feral pigs, the competent authority of the Member State concerned must establish an expert group to provide assistance, which then defines the infected area and establishes the measures to be applied.

The Member State must immediately place pig holdings in the defined area under official surveillance and order that an official census be carried out of all categories of pigs on all holdings, all pigs on holdings be kept isolated from feral pigs and no pigs enter or leave holdings, except where authorised.

Within 90 days of confirmation of a case of African swine fever, Member States must submit to the Commission a plan of the measures to be taken to eradicate the disease in the infected area. When they have been approved by the Commission, these measures replace those laid down previously. 18. Every six months, the Member State concerned must send the Commission and the other Member States a report concerning the results of the eradication plan and the epidemiological situation in the defined area.

Diagnostic procedures

A diagnostic manual sets out all obligations, criteria and procedures to be applied to diagnostic tests and clinical examinations. These operations must take place exclusively in approved national laboratories.

Each Member State shall designate a national laboratory and then communicate the contact details for their laboratory to the other Member States and to the public. This laboratory is responsible for coordinating the standards and methods of diagnosis aiming at detecting the presence of African swine fever. All national laboratories shall work in cooperation with the Community Reference Laboratories located in Valdeolmos (Spain).

Vectors and vaccines

To prevent any risk of propagation, investigations and measures to eradicate the vectors of the disease (ticks) must be carried out on holdings on which it is confirmed.

The use of African swine fever vaccines is prohibited in the territory of the European Union.

Contingency plans

Each Member State must draw up a contingency plan specifying the national measures to be implemented in the event of an outbreak of African swine fever. The plan is to be drawn up in accordance with the criteria and requirements set out in the Directive.

Member States must ensure that a fully functional national disease control centre can be immediately set up in the event of any outbreaks of African swine fever.

Context

This Directive fills a gap in the control of the most dangerous animal diseases. It is based on the rules on classical swine fever adopted in 2001.

Key Terms of the Act
  • Contact holding: a holding where African swine fever may have been introduced, whether as a result of the location, movement of persons, pigs or vehicles or in any other way.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2002/60/EC

9.8.2002

30.6.2003

OJ L 192 of 20.7.2002

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2008/73/EC

3.9.2008

1.1.2010

OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 2002/60/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version  is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2003/422/CE of 26 May 2003 approving an African swine fever diagnostic manual [notified under number C(2003) 1696] [Official Journal L 143 of 11.6.2003].

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

African horse sickness

African horse sickness

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

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal health

African horse sickness

Document or Iniciative

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

Summary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

18.5.1992

31.12.1992

OJ L 157 of 10.6.1992

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

5.6.2003

OJ L 122 of 16.5.2003

Directive 2008/73/EC

3.9.2008

OJ L 219 of 14.8.2008

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

AMENDMENTS TO ANNEXES

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

ANNEXE II – Community reference laboratory:

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

African, Caribbean and Pacific states

African, Caribbean and Pacific states

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about African, Caribbean and Pacific states

Topics

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

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

The European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries (ACP countries) enjoy special relations that can be traced back to the Union’s beginnings. These political, economic and social relations are to be found mainly in the field of development cooperation.

The Cotonou Agreement signed in 2000, follows on from the previous conventions (Yaoundé, Lomé) and currently provides the general framework for relations between the Union and the 79 ACP countries. This framework is reinforced by regional and national components and supplemented by a financial component represented mainly by the European Development Fund (EDF).

GENERAL FRAMEWORK

  • Cotonou Agreement
  • Regional integration for development in ACP countries

Africa

  • Towards a renewed Africa-EU partnership
  • The Africa-EU partnership at work
  • From a strategy for Africa to an EU-Africa strategic partnership
  • EU-Africa partnership
  • EU Strategy for Africa
  • Taking EU-Africa dialogue forward
  • Economic partnership between Eastern and Southern Africa States
  • A regional policy partnership for the Horn of Africa
  • Special partnership with Cape Verde
  • Cooperation and dialogue between the EU, Africa and China
  • Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Caribbean

  • An EU-Caribbean partnership for growth, stability and development

Pacific

  • EU-Pacific strategy

INSTRUMENTS AND FINANCIAL PROVISIONS

Basic Instrument

  • European Development Fund (EDF)
  • Budgetisation of the European Development Fund

Specific Instruments

  • European Water Facility for the ACP countries
  • ACP-EU Energy Facility
  • Creation of a Peace Facility for Africa
  • Exceptional aid for highly-indebted ACP States

SECTORAL COOPERATION

  • Assistance for traditional ACP suppliers of bananas
  • Partnership with Africa for the development of the cotton industry
  • Partnership agreements with Non-EU Member Countries
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries on nuclear safety
  • Cooperation with the African Centre for Study and Research on Terrorism
  • Cooperation with ACP States involved in armed conflicts

A Framework for EU-Iraq Engagement

A Framework for EU-Iraq Engagement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A Framework for EU-Iraq Engagement

Topics

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

External relations > Relations with third countries > Middle east

A Framework for EU-Iraq Engagement

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 9 June 2004: “the European Union and Iraq, a framework for engagement” [COM(2004) 417 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Context

This communication is in reply to the request made by the European Council in October 2003 for a strategy for relations between the European Union and Iraq. The appointment of a new Iraqi Interim Government and the adoption of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1546 on 8 June 2004 confirming the transfer of authority to Iraqis and reinforcing the role of the United Nations offers an opportunity for the EU to support Iraqi efforts to bring a new direction to their country.

Under Saddam Hussein’s 24-year regime, the EU had no political or contractual relations with Iraq. The EU, however, was the largest single donor of humanitarian assistance to Iraq after the United Nations. Since October 2003, the aim has also been the reconstruction of the country, with measures aimed at providing employment, core public services, poverty reduction and strengthening governance, including Iraq’s democratic institutions. At the Madrid donors’ conference held on 23-24 October 2003, the EU (the Commission and the Member States) promised to make available aid of more than 1.25 billion.

Objectives

The EU’s objectives in its relations with Iraq go hand in hand with its interests, and both are focused above all on:

  • the emergence of a secure, stable and democratic Iraq, with a parliament and a government, elected on the basis of a constitution that guarantees respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • the establishment of an open, stable, sustainable and diversified market economy and society, and the promotion of equitable economic and social development;
  • Iraq’s economic and political integration into its region and the open international system.

To achieve a secure, stable and democratic Iraq, the EU must be prepared to continue to help the UN play a leading role and ensure that its actions to assist Iraq are well coordinated. With its expertise, the EU could:

  • welcome UNSC Resolution 1546 confirming the sovereign status of the Iraqi Interim Government;
  • engage in dialogue with the incoming Iraqi authorities;
  • provide EU assistance for elections, good governance, the development of Iraqi civil society and the promotion of human rights;
  • consider expanding its assistance to support security and implement the rule of law, justice and security sector reform.

To help create an open, sustainable and diversified Iraqi economy, the EU could:

  • promote resolution of Iraq’s external debt;
  • continue assistance for institution-building;
  • help Iraq develop judicial capabilities and regulatory and legal frameworks;
  • emphasise the need to address issues related to unemployment and poverty, help to put in place effective safety nets and address regional imbalances in the distribution of resources;
  • spread the idea that Iraq’s mineral wealth should be used to support these goals.

To achieve an Iraq at peace with its neighbours and integrated into the international community, the EU could:

  • use its influence and dialogues with the countries of the region, particularly Iraq’s neighbours, to encourage constructive engagement with Iraq and increased intra-regional cooperation;
  • invite Iraq to participate in the EU Strategic Partnership for the Mediterranean and the Middle East;
  • consider Iraq’s candidacy for the WTO in a positive light, and encourage its participation in other international fora.

To achieve these aims, the EU has foreseen a framework for progressive engagement divided into three phases, in accordance with UNSC Resolution 1546. It will be important to ensure that the EU Member States work together on the ground, in close coordination with the United Nations, the World Bank, the IMF and other international bodies.

Phase I – Immediate action

After 30 June 2004, the EU could consider the following initiatives, until elections for a Transitional National Assembly:

  • support for elections, including assistance for the development of civil society, and the rule of law and for voter education;
  • informal political dialogue: if security conditions permit, a political dialogue meeting in Troika format at ministerial level could be held in Baghdad or on the margins of the UN General Assembly in September 2004. The EU could canvas the views of Iraqi authorities and engage in informal dialogue with Iraqi civil society;
  • the rule of law and civil administration: institutional capacity building;
  • positive engagement of Iraq’s neighbours, including adopting confidence-building measures, for example in border management and customs administration.
  • coordination on rescheduling or cancellation of the Iraqi debt and related economic policy conditions;
  • administrative collaboration for the re-establishment of the Generalised System of Preferences that Iraq enjoyed up until the Gulf War;
  • ongoing implementation of humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance;
  • opening of a European Commission office for Iraq in the premises of its delegation in Amman (Jordan).

Phase II – Post-elections

After the election of a National Assembly, a Provisional Government should be formed and a new constitution drafted, to be ratified by referendum in 2005. This will open the way for further cooperation and dialogue with Iraq. In addition to the action under Phase I, the EU could also implement the following initiatives:

  • contribution to reconstruction through programmes of technical assistance and capacity building support, in the political sphere (advice for the constitutional process, civilian law enforcement, etc), as well as in the economic and social spheres (good governance, public procurement, a trade, customs and investment regime, etc.);
  • formal political dialogue: a joint EU-Iraq political declaration could be agreed to institutionalise political dialogue, on themes including human rights, regional stability, the fight against terrorism and non-proliferation;
  • joint working groups in sectors of mutual interest such as the economy, statistics, trade, energy, transport, information society, human rights and the rule of law, migration and counter-terrorism.

Phase III – Medium term

Once the government has been elected, the constitution adopted, and the executive and legislature elected, the EU could take the following additional steps:

  • negotiations for a bilateral agreement on trade and cooperation;
  • assistance for economic diversification and poverty reduction;
  • assistance in the creation of a regional framework;
  • sustained assistance for the rule of law, democratisation and human rights;
  • European Investment Bank loans, to bridge the period between grants, which will diminish, and private sector involvement. Such loans could be part of a regional mandate to include countries east of Jordan;
  • opening of a European Commission delegation in Baghdad.

All these recommendations must be reviewed regularly and adapted to circumstances.

For more information about EU-Iraq relations, visit the DG RELEX website.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament – Recommendations for renewed European Union engagement with Iraq [COM(2006) 283 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

EU-Iraq Joint Declaration  on Political Dialogue of 21 September 2005, signed in New York.

Iraq International Conference – Declaration (FR )

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the consequences of the war in Iraq for energy and transport [COM(2003) 164 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

 

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Topics

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

Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Africa and Europe: strengthening transport cooperation

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council of 24 June 2009 – “Partnership between the European Union and Africa – Connecting Africa and Europe: working towards strengthening transport cooperation” [COM(2009) 301 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The communication promotes reflection upon how cooperation and the exchange of experiences can be improved to encourage the African Union (AU) to establish a safer and more effective transport system, including the extension of trans-European transport networks (TEN-T) towards Africa. The communication is therefore linked to the Euro-African partnership for infrastructure adopted in 2007. Within this partnership regional and national transport, water, energy, and telecommunications networks are interconnected throughout Africa.

The proposed measures are to be applied through existing instruments and cooperation between the European Union (EU) and Africa, in particular the Cotonou agreement, the European Development Fund, and the European Neighbourhood Policy.

The need for an EU-African transport cooperation

As the principle means of providing physical access to employment, health care and education, transport is essential to development and to the well-being of both rural and urban communities. The costs of transport in Africa are some of the highest globally and are particularly high in landlocked African countries; due in part to weak infrastructures, excessive administrative procedures, lack of appropriate governance and ineffective safety regulations.

An effective transport network is particularly important for landlocked countries. African transport networks must be developed when necessary for trade flow passing from ports towards these landlocked countries. By facilitating and improving transport flows between the EU and Africa, transport costs can be lowered whilst the sustainability and reliability of the transports services is improved. To achieve a genuine Euro-African transport network, there needs to be a coordinated approach with regards to the planning and implementation of infrastructure as well as an enhanced cooperation in the two principle modes of transport: air and maritime transport.

Aviation sector

The measures proposed by the Commission are designed to increase efficiency and long-term growth within the field of African air transport.

The AU encourages structured dialogue both between African organisations and between regional economic communities. This dialogue would develop the following areas:

  • air safety;
  • security;
  • modernisation of economic regulations;
  • environmental limits.

Maritime sector

Cooperation between the EU and the AU is needed to improve efficiency of African ports. The Commission proposes three ways for this to happen:

  • simplify regulatory aspects of customs and documentary procedures;
  • develop port infrastructure;
  • apply international standards (the international ship and port facilities security code – ISPS) to ensure port security.

In regard to environmental aspects, the Commission also suggest establishing efficient port installations to easier process waste from vessels in compliance with international conventions.

Development of a safer and more effective transport system

Issues of security and safety affect all modes of transport in both Europe and Africa.

Within maritime transport, it is important that countries in north and north-west Africa commit to combat the use by criminal organisations of overloaded small boats to transport illegal immigrants. This practice puts at risk the lives of thousands of people. Another issue is that of piracy, which currently represents an obstacle to the development of trade due to the lack of security in ports and along coastlines. The Commission therefore proposes that the EU:

  • assists in the administrative implementation of maritime regulations;
  • strengthens cooperation within its integrated maritime policy with Africa to encourage a heightened maritime surveillance;
  • promotes a more effective exchange of information with the relevant national authorities.

The Commission suggests that the opening up to air traffic from Africa should be accompanied by the reorganisation of air space and the network of air routes to ensure greater economic and environmental efficiency and safety.

Road is the principle mode of transport in Africa, in particular with regard to access to rural areas. The Commission therefore proposes guidelines in the field of road safety to be developed within national and regional administration:

  • create appropriate mechanism to promote the exchange of best practice;
  • encourage the allocation of European funds meant for the road network to specific measures designed to improve road safety;
  • promote the inclusion of road safety aspects in social impact studies for road investment.

The EU supports European cities in establishing integrated strategies for urban transport by means of the CIVITAS programme, within which cities are able to exchange ideas and good practice. The Commission proposes that this programme be extended to include African cities so that they can also benefit from these ideas and experiences.

A financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights in the world

A financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights in the world

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights in the world

Topics

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

Development > Sectoral development policies

A financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights in the world (2007 – 2013)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1889/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide.

Summary

This Regulation puts in place a financing instrument aiming to encourage democracy and human rights in non-EU countries, and replaces the previous European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights.

Characteristics

The Instrument is aimed in particular at:

  • enhancing respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the countries and regions where they are most threatened;
  • supporting civil society in its role of promoting human rights and democracy, its action for the peaceful conciliation of particular interests and its duty of representation and political participation;
  • supporting actions associated with human rights and democracy in areas covered by the Community guidelines;
  • strengthening the international and regional framework in the field of the protection of human rights, justice, the rule of law and the promotion of democracy;
  • building confidence in democratic electoral processes by enhancing their reliability and transparency, in particular through election observation.

To pursue these aims, Community aid is in support of the following actions:

  • promotion of participatory and representative democracy, processes of democratisation, mainly through civil society organisations, in particular: promoting the freedoms of association and assembly, opinion and expression; strengthening the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary; promoting political pluralism and democratic political representation; promoting the equal participation of men and women in social, economic and political life; supporting measures to facilitate the peaceful conciliation of group interests;
  • protection of the human rights and fundamental freedoms proclaimed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international and regional instruments, mainly through civil society organisations.

To ensure the effectiveness and consistency of assistance, the Commission ensures close coordination between its own activities and those of the Member States. Assistance under this Regulation is also consistent with the Community’s policy on development cooperation and with the European Union’s foreign and security policy as a whole. It is also meant to complement assistance under the Community instruments for external assistance and the Partnership Agreement with the African, Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP).

Management and application

Assistance is implemented through:

  • strategy papers, defining the Community’s priorities, the international situation and the activities of the main partners;
  • annual action programmes based on strategy papers and their possible amendments;
  • and special measures which are not provided for in the strategy papers and which may be adopted by the Commission;
  • ad hoc measures so that the Commission can make small grants to human rights defenders responding to urgent protection needs.

The following are eligible for funding under the Regulation:

  • civil society organisations,
  • public- and private-sector non-profit organisations,
  • national, regional and international parliamentary bodies, where the proposed measure cannot be financed under a related Community external assistance instrument,
  • international and regional inter-governmental organisations
  • natural persons, where their help is necessary for achieving the aims of the Regulation establishing the European Instrument for democracy and human rights.

Exceptionally, other bodies or actors may be financed where necessary to achieve the objectives of this Regulation.

Assistance granted under this Regulation may take the following forms:

  • projects and programmes,
  • grants to finance projects submitted by international and regional inter-governmental organisations,
  • small grants to human rights defenders,
  • grants to support operating costs of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratisation (EIUC),
  • contributions to international funds,
  • human and material resources for EU election observation missions
  • public contracts.

Participation in calls for tender or granting subsidy contracts is open to, among others, all physical or moral persons from a Member State of the European Union or resident in one of these, in an acceding country, one which is an official candidate, a member of the European Economic Area, a developing country (as specified by the Development Assistance Committee of the OECD), and international organisations.

The Commission is assisted by a human rights and democracy committee.

The Commission presents in an annual report the progress made in applying the assistance for businesses measures under this Regulation.

The instrument has been granted a budget of EUR 1.104 million for the period 2007-2013.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1889/2006

30.12.2006 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 386 of 29.12.2006

RELATED ACTS

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2009 amending Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation and amending Regulation (EC) No 1889/2006 on establishing a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide [COM(2009) 194 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
It is necessary to improve the proper implementation of programmes and projects funded by the instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights. The Parliament and the Council therefore propose to relax the criteria for eligibility to funding, concerning the costs relating to taxes and duties payable in the beneficiary countries. Tax exemption or tax recovery mechanisms do not exist in all of the States concerned, which constitutes a barrier for participants in the programme.
Codecision procedure: (COD/2009/0060)

A framework strategy for non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all

A framework strategy for non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A framework strategy for non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all

Topics

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

Anti-discrimination and relations with civil society

A framework strategy for non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 1 June 2005 – Non-Discrimination and Equal Opportunities for All – A Framework Strategy [COM(2005)224 – Official Journal C 236 of 24.9.2005].

Summary

Ensuring effective legal protection against discrimination

In 2000, the European Union (EU) adopted two Directives (Directive 2000/43/EC and 2000/78/EC) prohibiting direct and indirect discrimination on grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age and sexual orientation. These texts contain precise definitions of direct and indirect discrimination and of harassment. They also allow certain exceptions to the principle of equal opportunities, which are defined as legitimate in a limited range of circumstances.

Substantial changes in Member States’ legislation as a direct consequence of the adoption of these Directives have been observed in recent years. However, the Commission has noticed that some important provisions have not been fully transposed.

The Commission also wishes to support the back-up measures (dissemination of information, awareness-raising, the sharing of experiences, training, access to justice, etc.) aimed at ensuring the application of and effective compliance with anti-discrimination legislation. This is achieved through the “non-discrimination and diversity” strand of the PROGRESS programme (Community programme for employment and social solidarity).

Finally, the Council has reached an agreement on the proposed framework decision of 2001 establishing common standards for combating racial crime, including anti-Semitism and offences against other religious minorities. The Framework Decision 2008/913/JHA on combating certain forms and expressions of racism and xenophobia by means of criminal law was adopted on 28 November 2008.

Possible measures to complement the current legislative framework

Under the current EC legal framework, racial discrimination is prohibited in the areas of employment, training, education, social protection, social benefits and access to goods and services (Directive 2000/43/EC). The scope of protection against discrimination on grounds of religion or belief, age, disability and sexual orientation is limited to employment, work and vocational training (Directive 2000/78/EC). Directive 2004/113/EC extends protection against sexual discrimination to the area of goods and services, but not to other areas covered by Directive 2000/43/EC.

The Commission initiated a feasibility study concerning new initiatives to complement the current legal framework. It examined the national provisions that go beyond Community requirements and took stock of the advantages and disadvantages of such measures.

Mainstreaming non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all

The Commission wishes to create tools to promote a mainstreaming approach that will incorporate the objective of non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all into Community policies. This integrated approach should help to focus especially on situations of multiple discrimination.

Promotion and use of innovation and good practices

On the basis of the EQUAL Community initiative, the European Social Fund (ESF) for the period 2007-13 focuses on ensuring greater social inclusion of people with disabilities and on combating discrimination. The PROGRESS programme complements the activity of the ESF in the fields of equality between men and women and combating discrimination.

The new generation of programmes in the field of education, training and youth can make a valuable contribution to the promotion of non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all. Likewise, in the field of immigration and asylum, the INTI (integration of third-country nationals) and ARGO (administrative cooperation in the fields of external borders, visas, asylum and immigration) programmes can contribute to the fight against discrimination.

Raising awareness and cooperating with stakeholders

With a view to ensuring a more positive approach to equality, the European Parliament and the Council declared 2007 the “European Year of Equal Opportunities for All”. This Year centred on four top-priority objectives: rights, recognition, representation and respect. 2007 was linked to the year 2008, which was devoted to intercultural dialogue.

The Commission also proposed organising an annual summit on equality, which would involve ministers, heads of national organisations dealing with equality, presidents of European NGOs, European social partners and representatives from international organisations. The first Equality Summit took place on 30-31 January 2007 together with the conference marking the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All. Moreover, the Commission is particularly keen to work with employers in order to encourage and support non-discrimination at the workplace.

A special effort to protect disadvantaged ethnic minorities

The enlarged EU must define a coherent and effective approach to the social and labour market integration of ethnic minorities. The situation of the Roma is particularly worrying; despite the projects carried out under the PHARE programme, they remain the target of discrimination and exclusion.

EC legislation on combating discrimination prohibits any direct or indirect discrimination on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, or religion. In the context of the European Employment Strategy, Member States were encouraged to develop measures to facilitate the labour market integration of minorities under their National Action Plans. The open method of coordination on social integration also targets poverty and exclusion experienced by ethnic minorities, migrants and other disadvantaged groups. EU financial support is available through the ESF.

Enlargement, relations with third countries and international cooperation

The Commission will ensure the promotion of non-discrimination and equal opportunities for all in the context of enlargement and in relations with third countries through:

  • the use of pre-accession instruments to finance the promotion of non-discrimination;
  • the defence of human rights, including respect for minorities, which forms an integral part of the political accession criteria;
  • its European Neighbourhood Policy;
  • a financial instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights;
  • cooperation on projects launched by NGOs and international organisations.

The Commission is cooperating with international organisations to guarantee coherence, complementarity and a clear division of labour. In particular, it is working together with the Council of Europe, the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and the United Nations (UN) (it actively participated in the Fourth World Conference on Women, the work of the World Conference Against Racism and the development of a new UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities).

Background

This Communication follows on from the Green Paper on equality and non-discrimination in an enlarged EU, adopted by the European Commission on 28 May 2004. It takes account of the comments and reactions submitted by national authorities, specialised equal-opportunities bodies, non-governmental organisations, regional and local authorities, the social partners, experts, and individual members of the public.

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 2 July 2008 – Non-discrimination and equal opportunities: A renewed commitment [COM(2008) 420 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
With this Communication, the Commission is providing a comprehensive approach through which its commitment to further non-discrimination and equal opportunities in the EU is renewed. This includes finalising the existing legal framework on anti-discrimination, promoting dialogue on non-discrimination policy and strengthening the existing policy tools to fight discrimination and promote equal opportunities.

Commission Decision 2006/33/EC of 20 January 2006 establishing a high-level advisory group on social integration of ethnic minorities and their full participation in the labour market [Official Journal L 21 of 25.1.2006].
In order to develop a coherent and effective approach to the social integration of disadvantaged ethnic minorities and to their full participation in the labour market, an advisory group has been established in the Commission. Its tasks are to analyse how to ensure social integration of ethnic minorities and to submit, before the end of the “2007 European Year of Equal Opportunities for All”, a report containing recommendations on the policies to be implemented in this connection.

Decision No 771/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 establishing the European Year of Equal Opportunities for All (2007) – towards a just society [Official Journal L 146 of 31.5.2006].

Green Paper of 28 May 2004 – Equality and non-discrimination in an enlarged European Union [COM(2004) 379 final – Not published in the Official Journal].