Tag Archives: Assistance

Sufficient resources and assistance

Sufficient resources and assistance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Sufficient resources and assistance


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

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

Sufficient resources and assistance

Document or Iniciative

Council Recommendation 92/441/EEC of 24 June 1992 on common criteria concerning sufficient resources and social assistance in social protection systems [Published in the Official Journal L 245 of 26.8.1992].


The Member States of the European Union (EU) must recognise the basic right of persons to sufficient resources and social assistance to live in a manner compatible with human dignity.

This right should be implemented under the framework of the Member States’ strategic national policies on combating social exclusion. It concerns all individuals resident in the territory of the EU who do not have access to sufficient resources individually or within the household in which they live.

The level of sufficient resources should be set according to the specific situation of each person, specifically the size of their household, their specific needs and the cost of living in the Member State concerned.

Access by applicants to this right cannot be subject to time-limits, provided that the eligibility conditions continue to be met. However, Member States may create limits concerning students, persons in full-time employment and persons with the capacity to carry out a vocational activity.

Implementation of this right must be ensured within the frameworks of social security schemes. In addition, Member States must in particular:

  • simplify administrative procedures and legal appeals;
  • provide measures of social support;
  • inform the most vulnerable people of their rights;
  • take measures to encourage employment;
  • adapt taxation, social security rules and the civil obligations of persons.

Related Acts

Report of 25 January 1999 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the implementation of the recommendation 92/441/EEC of 24 June 1992 on common criteria concerning sufficient resources and social assistance in social protection systems [COM(98) 774 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
In order to continue to improve the situation of minimum income beneficiaries, the Commission proposes to:

  • optimise social protection for better coverage of basic needs;
  • greater consistency between the minimum social benefits and social benefits, in particular the maintenance of minimum income by topping up income from work;
  • improve access to employment and training;
  • improve the social and economic integration of the beneficiaries of minimum income.

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


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.


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.


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.


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


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)

Cross-border cooperation 2007-2013

Cross-border cooperation 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cross-border cooperation 2007-2013


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

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument – Cross-border cooperation strategy paper 2007-2013, Indicative Programme 2007-2010 .


Cross-border cooperation (CBC) is a priority of the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) and of the strategic partnership with Russia. It focuses on the Member States and the countries benefiting from the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). It concerns both land and maritime borders, even if geographical eligibility is defined by the ENPI.

The CBC concerns Eastern Europe, the southern Caucasus and the Southern Mediterranean specifically Algeria, Armenia, the Palestinian Authority, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Egypt, Georgia, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Moldova, Syria, Tunisia, Ukraine and Russia.

Objectives and programmes

Despite their differences and socio-economic disparities, frontier regions face several common challenges. These constitute the priorities and key objectives of the CBC, namely:

  • to promote harmonious economic and social development in regions located on either side of common frontiers. Special attention is given to local trade and investments, the promotion of joint enterprises, tourism, investments in local infrastructure and cooperation in the energy, transport and communications sectors;
  • to deal with common challenges in areas such as the environment, public health and prevention and fight against organised crime. Actions include joint planning and surveillance activities, improved management of natural resources, fisheries resources and waste. The water pollution issue is essential within the context of shared sea basins, i.e. the Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas. Actions also include measures to encourage cooperation in the surveillance and treatment of communicable diseases and increased cooperation in the fight against corruption, illegal immigration and human trafficking;
  • to guarantee secure and efficient borders by improving operations and procedures for managing borders, strengthening the security of the international logistics chain or even by improving infrastructures and equipment at borders;
  • to promote local people-to people actions at cross-border level by improving civil society contacts. Educational, social and cultural cooperation can play an essential role in promoting democracy and EU values.

The CBC covers two categories of programmes, i.e. programmes concerning:

  • Land borders and sea routes for regions located along important land borders or sea routes. These programmes can involve two or more countries. Nine programmes have been drawn up for land borders and concern the following: Kolartic/Russia, Karelia/Russia, South-East Finland/Russia, Estonia/Latvia/Russia, Lithuania/Poland/Russia, Hungary/Slovakia/Romania/Ukraine. Three programmes have been drawn up for sea routes: the Spain/Morocco and Italy/Tunisia programmes and the CBC Atlantic programme;
  • sea basins for regions located at the external frontiers of the EU, along one of the three sea basins (Baltic, Black and Mediterranean Seas).

The initiatives can be based on existing infrastructures such as intergovernmental cross-border cooperation committees (Finland and Russia organise such meetings on a regular basis, as do Poland and Ukraine), intergovernmental regional cooperation bodies (Council of the Baltic Sea States, Black Sea Economic Cooperation, etc.) or other associations and networks created to promote regional or border cooperation (Eurocities, Euroregions, etc.).


The partners draw up joint programmes at local, regional and national level which they propose to the Commission. They are responsible not only for detailed programming but also for the management and implementation of these programmes. Political and institutional willingness to achieve and embrace the objectives is therefore essential to guarantee the effectiveness of CBC. Involvement and participation of civil society in these programmes are also of fundamental importance.

Funding is ensured by the ENPI for beneficiary countries and by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) for Member States. Funding for the period 2007-2010 amounts to 583.28 million (ENPI-ERDF). For the period 2011-2013, it will amount to 535.15 million. A mid-term evaluation, scheduled for 2010, will allow adaptation and re-evaluation of resources, if necessary.

The following three types of results are expected:

  • the results of the programme as a whole, such as the achievement of objectives, ways of improving coordination, the effectiveness of contributions;
  • results associated with the implementation of key objectives such as sustainable economic and social development, strengthening of administrative practices, identification of challenges and a suitable and effective response to these challenges;
  • the specific results of the programmes drawn up by partners such as long-term cooperation links, strengthening of networks and enhanced commitment.

In order to measure the impact, the partners will set out indicators as programmes are being drawn up. Indicators are programme-specific for each of the objectives relating to regional trade, social development, statistics or border operations or cooperation opportunities created. Other indicators are general, such as the number of partners, the number of CBC projects implemented successfully, etc.


CBC pursues cross-border cooperation programmes launched under previous programmes (Tacis, MEDA, Phare, Interreg). On the basis of the lessons learnt from those programmes, CBC, under the ENPI, assigns more responsibility to the players involved by decentralising programing, management and implementation. In this way, CBC supplements the achievement of ENP objectives at bilateral level.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 951/2007 of 9 August 2007 laying down implementing rules for cross-border cooperation programmes financed under Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument [Official Journal L 210 of 10.8.2007].
The Regulation provides details on the scope, content, structure and also financial management and evaluation of cross-border cooperation programmes.

Strengthening the European disaster response capacity

Strengthening the European disaster response capacity

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strengthening the European disaster response capacity


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

Humanitarian aid

Strengthening the European disaster response capacity

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 26 October 2010 – Towards a stronger European disaster response: the role of civil protection and humanitarian assistance (Text with EEA relevance) [COM(2010) 600 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission presents a series of proposals to strengthen the European Union’s response capacity in the event of natural or man-made disasters. The EU delivers its assistance to the victims of disasters occurring both in EU member countries and throughout the world.

The new strategy therefore aims to facilitate the mobilisation of skills and resources in the area of civil protection and humanitarian assistance.

These proposals are based on two new provisions of the Lisbon Treaty: Article 196 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) which enables the EU to improve European disaster coordination and Article 122 of the TFEU which provides for the establishment of a solidarity fund.

Coherence of the response

The new strategy is based on the bringing together of humanitarian assistance and civil protection services. In this context, a new European Emergency Response Centre is to be set up within the Commission’s Directorate General ECHO. It is to operate in liaison with the civil protection and humanitarian assistance authorities in EU countries, and in coordination with the European External Action Service (EEAS) and EU Delegations in the event of responses in third countries.

The Commission also supports improved coordination with the United Nations (UN), in particular through information exchange. The quality of this information exchange is to be ensured by establishing several levels of focal points down to local level, online communication tools such as the CECIS system and the provision of real-time information.

Efficiency of the response

The strategy aims to improve the efficiency of the response by:

  • planning and advance mapping of resources and capacities in order to ensure immediate deployment;
  • pre-positioning of relief assets, through the establishment of an international logistics network maximising the use of local resources;
  • needs assessment, in the disaster relief phase and then in preparing for the rehabilitation operations;
  • the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of logistics operations, through coordination units at European level;
  • the coordination of transport, by using the private and military sectors and international organisations but also by increasing the options for European co-financing;
  • the use of military assets, in particular by coordinating responses within the Commission.

The Commission also proposes to increase the visibility of the EU’s response by means of a new communication strategy.