Tag Archives: AI

Air pollution

Air pollution

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Air pollution

Topics

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

Environment > Air pollution

Air pollution

Apart from fighting the greenhouse gases that cause climate change, a key objective of environmental legislation is to improve the quality of our air, the pollution of which has repercussions in particular on people’s health and, in the form of phenomena such as acidification and eutrophication, on the environment. European policies are targeting the various types – and sources – of pollutant. Also, in 2005 the Commission proposed a thematic strategy for reducing the number of deaths linked to air pollution by 40% (of 2000 levels) by 2020.

AIR QUALITY

  • Pure air for Europe
  • Thematic Strategy on Air Pollution

ATMOSPHERIC POLLUTION

  • National emission ceilings for certain atmospheric pollutants
  • Substances affecting the ozone layer
  • Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
  • Protocol on Heavy Metals
  • Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
  • Recovery of petrol vapours during storage
  • Petrol vapour recovery during refuelling of vehicles

LAND MOTOR VEHICLES

All motor vehicles

  • Emissions from heavy duty vehicles (Euro VI): certification rules
  • “Green” vehicles: a European strategy
  • Reduction of pollutant emissions from light vehicles
  • Quality of petrol and diesel fuels: sulphur and lead
  • EU strategy for biofuels

Road vehicles

  • Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from light commercial vehicles
  • Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars
  • Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles
  • Passenger car related taxes
  • Information on the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions of new cars
  • Emissions from air conditioning systems in motor vehicles

Off road vehicles

  • Non-road mobile machinery: gaseous pollutants
  • Pollutant gases of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors

OTHER VEHICLES

  • Aviation and climate change
  • Clean Sky
  • Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships

INDUSTRY

  • Industrial emissions
  • Integrated pollution prevention and control (until 2013)
  • Pollutants from large combustion plants
  • Reducing the emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs)

Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

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

Topics

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

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in agriculture and fisheries

Aid to small and medium-sized enterprises

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

Document or Iniciative

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

Summary

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

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

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

Scope

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

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

Aid for investment

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

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

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

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

Aid to consultancy services and other services and activities

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

Aid to research and development

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

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

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

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

Aid for technical feasibility studies

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

Aid to cover the costs of obtaining licences

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

Conditions for exemption from the notification requirement

The Regulation does not exempt state aid exceeding:

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

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

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

Transparency and monitoring

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

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

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

Timeframe

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

References

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

Related Acts

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

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

Air safety: European Aviation Safety Agency

Air safety: European Aviation Safety Agency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Air safety: European Aviation Safety Agency

Topics

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

Other

Air safety: European Aviation Safety Agency

The Commission proposes to establish a uniformly high level of civil aviation safety in Europe as part of creating the single European sky. It has set out the responsibilities of the European Aviation Safety Agency in this respect, underlining the need to achieve harmony between air safety standards.

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2002 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency [Official Journal L 240 of 07.09.2002] [See amending acts].

Summary

Background

To respond to growing passenger concerns, it is necessary to develop aircraft designs that improve the level of passenger safety and health.

The Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944), to which all Member States are parties, already provides for minimum standards to ensure the safety of civil aviation and environmental protection.

The Regulation applies to all fields of civil aviation. Aircraft used for military, customs and police services and persons and organisations involved in such activities are excluded.

Substantive requirements

The aim of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) is to harmonise technical rules and, in particular, ensure their uniform application. It is not unusual that a manufacturer still has to produce different versions of the same type of aircraft or equipment depending on the country where it is to be used.

At the same time, this uniformity is to facilitate the activities of the aeronautical industry in Europe by making access to the entire European market possible on the basis of a single certificate.

Under exceptional circumstances, and subject to appropriate Community control, Member States are entitled to adopt measures:

  • in response to a safety problem involving a product, person or organisation;
  • in the event of unforeseen urgent operational circumstances or operational needs of a limited duration;
  • where an equivalent safety level can be achieved by other means.

The information collected in the field covered by the Regulation will be kept confidential, as provided for by Directive 95/46/EC concerning the protection of personal data. Nevertheless, this information will be available to each national civil aviation authority and to the entities investigating civil aviation accidents and incidents. A safety review will be published annually by the Agency to keep the public informed of the general safety level.

The European Aviation Safety Agency

The Agency’s tasks will be:

  • to help the Community legislature draw up common standards to ensure the highest possible levels of safety and environmental protection;
  • to ensure that they are applied uniformly in Europe and that any necessary safeguard measures are implemented;
  • to promote the spread of standards worldwide.

The Agency may adopt various types of act. It may:

  • take binding individual decisions by granting type certificates and by conducting inspections and investigations;
  • issue non-binding documents containing acceptable means of compliance (e.g. airworthiness codes) and guidance material (for use in the certification process) and present opinions to the Commission on the essential requirements and implementing rules to be adopted.

Internal structure

The Agency is an independent body of the Community with its own legal personality. The Agency may, with the consent of the Member State concerned, establish local offices in any Member State. It is represented by its Executive Director.

The Agency’s staff consists of a limited number of officials assigned or seconded by the Commission or Member States to carry out management duties plus other employees recruited by the Agency for a strictly limited period, according to its requirements.

All opinions addressed to the Commission on the future acts to be adopted must be available in all the official languages of the Community. Applications to the Agency for certification may be filed in any of the official languages of the Community and the Agency will reply in the same language.

The Management Board exercises a supervisory function in the form of appointing the Executive Director, adopting the annual report and work programme (after approval by the Commission) and taking budgetary decisions. It adopts the working procedures to be followed by the Agency, including guidelines, which must be approved by the Commission, for the allocation of certification tasks to qualified entities.

The Management Board is composed of one representative of each Member State and one representative of the Commission. The Management Board elects a Chairperson and a Deputy Chairperson from among its members. The term of office is three years and is renewable.

The Executive Director alone is empowered to adopt acts concerning safety and environmental protection; he or she decides on inspections and investigations and is the manager of the Agency and, as such, is responsible for preparing and implementing the budget and work programme and for all questions relating to personnel.

Boards of Appeal are set up to review individual decisions taken by the Agency. There is a clear separation of functions between the Boards of Appeal and the Agency. The members of the Boards of Appeal must be independent.

Appeals may be lodged against:

  • decisions granting type certificates;
  • decisions taken in the context of an investigation;
  • decisions relating to fees.

Appeals have a suspensive effect only when so decided by the Agency. Appeals may be made against final decisions only.

Any person may appeal against a decision addressed to, or of direct and individual concern to, that person.

The Board of Appeal may conclude its examination either by taking a decision or by referring the case to the competent body of the Agency, in which case the Agency is bound by the reasoning of the Board. Provision is made for review of the decisions of the Board of Appeal by the Court of Justice of the European Communities under the same terms as the review of Community acts provided for by Article 230 of the EC Treaty.

Member States may appeal against decisions taken by the Agency on type certification and on inspections.

Working methods

The Management Board must develop transparent procedures for the adoption of opinions, acceptable means of compliance and guidance material. These procedures must ensure the use of the relevant expertise, wide consultation of all interested parties and the right of each Member State to be associated with the adoption process. Special procedures must be developed to allow the Agency to take immediate action in case of safety problems. Similar transparent procedures apply in the case of individual decisions.

The Agency and the qualified entities acting on its behalf may undertake the inspections and investigations necessary in order to perform the tasks assigned to them.

The Agency conducts inspections in the Member States to verify that the Regulation and the implementing rules are applied correctly at national level.

The Agency is authorised to conduct the investigations required in order to issue the relevant certificates and ensure continued safety oversight.

Financial requirements

The Agency’s budget is financed by a contribution from the Community, fees (paid for certificates issued by the Agency) and charges for publications and training provided by the Agency.

Financial control is ensured by the Financial Controller of the Commission. The Court of Auditors of the European Communities examines the Agency’s accounts and publishes an annual report on the Agency’s activities. The discharge of the Agency budget is given to the Executive Director by the European Parliament, on the recommendation of the Council.

A financial regulation specifying the procedure to be followed in preparing and implementing the budget will be adopted by the Management Board, after obtaining the agreement of the Commission and the opinion of the Court of Auditors.

The Agency will not be fully operational until 12 months after the entry into force of the Regulation.

In 2004 the Agency set up its permanent head quarters in Cologne, Germany.

This regulation has now been repealed by Regulation (EC) No 216/2008.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002

27.09.2002

27.09.2002

OJ L 240 of 15.07.2002

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1643/2003

30.09.2003

OJ L 245 of 22.07.2003

Regulation (EC) No 334/2007

29.03.2007

OJ L 88 of 29.03.2007

Related Acts

Communication of 15 November 2005 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Extending the tasks of the European Aviation Safety Agency – An Agenda for 2010 [COM(2005) 578 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission communication of 15 November 2005 envisages extending the tasks of the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA). Following a series of air accidents in the summer of 2005, the Commission is proposing to extend the common rules, and hence the tasks of the Agency, in order to ensure harmonised application of the air safety rules in Europe and make the rules on European aviation generally more effective. The EASA will prepare, implement and monitor the application of these common rules. The Commission considers that by 2010 the Agency is set to become the European authority with extended powers covering all aspects of civil aviation safety.

Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2002 establishing common rules in the field of civil aviation security [Official Journal L 355 of 30.12.2002].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1701/2003 of 24 September 2003 adapting Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 1592/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency [Official Journal L 243 of 27.09.2003].

Commission Regulation (EC) No 104/2004 of 22 January 2004 laying down rules on the organisation and composition of the Board of Appeal of the European Aviation Safety Agency [Official Journal L 16 of 23.01.2004].

Council Decision of 29 April 2004 on the conclusion by the European Community of the Protocol on the accession of the European Community to the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation [Official Journal L 304 of 30.09.2004].

Air service agreements between Member States and third countries

Air service agreements between Member States and third countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Air service agreements between Member States and third countries

Topics

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

Internal market > Single market for services

Air service agreements between Member States and third countries

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 847/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004, on the negotiation and implementation of air service agreements between Member States and third countries.

Summary

Background

These agreements were concluded by Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, the Netherlands, Denmark and the United Kingdom after the Second World War. They authorise the United States to withdraw, suspend or limit the traffic rights of air carriers designated by the signatory States.

According to the Court of Justice of the European Communities (CJEC), these agreements infringe EU law in two respects. On the one hand, the presence of nationality clauses infringes the right of European airlines to non-discriminatory market access to routes between all Member States and third countries. On the other hand, only the EU has the authority to sign up to this type of commitment where agreements affect the exercise of EU competence, i.e. involve an area covered by EU legislation.

The Court held that since the United States has the right to refuse a carrier, these agreements therefore constitute an obstacle to the freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services, as the opening of European skies to American companies is not reciprocal for all EU airlines.

The new Regulation

The Regulation, which forms part of the abovementioned proposed package of measures, lays down a set of principles designed to ensure an adequate exchange of information within the EU, so that Member States, in their bilateral relations with third countries in the area of air service, do not risk infringing EU law.

The Court of Justice has confirmed the exclusive competence of the EU to negotiate, sign and conclude such agreements when they deal with matters within its competence. The Court has also confirmed the right of EU air carriers to benefit from the right of establishment within the EU, including their right to non-discriminatory market access to routes between all Member States and third countries (nationality clause).

The EU must revise the elements in existing bilateral agreements that infringe EU law. However, given the large number of bilateral agreements, Member States are authorised to negotiate with third countries to conclude a new agreement or modify an existing one, provided that no EU negotiations have been entered into. Although in this case they must act in accordance with the obligations laid down in this Regulation, to ensure that the agreement is compatible with EU law.

The new Regulation establishes a procedure for notifying and authorising the bilateral negotiations conducted by Member States with a view to ensuring the introduction of standard clauses to make existing agreements compliant with EU law. The Regulation also imposes certain obligations on Member States to ensure that non-discriminatory procedures are established for the consultation of stakeholders and for the distribution of traffic rights during negotiations.

A Member State may enter into negotiations with a third country concerning a new air service agreement or the modification of an existing air service agreement, its Annexes or any other related bilateral or multilateral arrangement, the subject matter of which falls partly within the competence of the EU, provided that any relevant standard clauses, developed jointly between Member States and the Commission, are included in such negotiations and the notification procedure is complied with.

Where a Member State intends to enter into such negotiations it shall notify the Commission of its intentions in writing. If, within 15 working days of receipt of the notification, the Commission concludes that the negotiations are likely to undermine the objectives of EU negotiations underway with the third country and/or lead to an agreement which is incompatible with EU law, it shall inform the Member State accordingly.

A Member State shall not enter into any new arrangement with a third country, which reduces the number of EU air carriers which may be designated to provide services between its territory and that country.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 847/2004 30.5.2004 OJ L 157 of 30.4.2004

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EEC) No 2408/92 of 23 July 1992 on access for Community air carriers to intra-Community air routes [Official Journal L 240 of 24.08.1992].

Aid for Trade in developing countries

Aid for Trade in developing countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Aid for Trade in developing countries

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

Aid for Trade in developing countries

Document or Iniciative

EU Strategy on Aid for Trade : Enhancing EU support for trade-related needs in developing countries – the General Affairs and External Relations Council of 29 October 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].

This Strategy aims to facilitate the integration of developing countries, and least developed countries in particular, in the world trading system. The Strategy promotes the development of trade as a means of reducing world poverty, thus contributing to the Millennium Development Goals.

The aid supports the introduction of trade policies in favour of developing the commercial sector and removing trade barriers. Developing countries face structural deficiencies which slow down the growth of supply and demand. As such, specific support should be provided for the development of funding, infrastructure, knowledge and production capacity.

The Strategy lays down a series of priorities which should:

  • increase the overall Aid for Trade provided by the EU under its development aid commitments;
  • increase the impact of resources provided by the EU and its Member States. In particular, through greater effectiveness of Aid for Trade. This involves increased collaboration between and coordination of partners when needs are assessed, appropriate responses are developed and Aid for Trade is provided;
  • encourage regional integration, including through trade between the African, Caribbean and Pacific States (ACP), and focus action on poverty reduction;
  • reinforce progress monitoring.

Context

The European Trade Strategy comes under the framework of EU actions to fight world poverty, as well as the Doha Development Agenda and the initiative in favour of Aid for Trade, adopted by the World Trade Organization (WTO).