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Checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road

Checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road

Topics

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

Transport > Road transport

Checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 95/50/EC of 6 October 1995 on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road [See amending acts].

Summary

This directive applies to checks carried out by European Union (EU) countries on the transport of dangerous goods by road in vehicles travelling in their territory or entering it from a third country. It does not apply to the transport of dangerous goods under the responsibility of the armed forces.

These checks are carried out in the territory of an EU country, provided that they are not carried out as frontier checks at the internal frontiers of the EU, but as part of normal checks without discrimination.

These checks must cover at least the items included in the checklist in Annex I to the directive, be carried out at different places, at any time of the day, and cover a sufficiently extensive portion of the road network to make checkpoints difficult to avoid.

Consignments found to be in infringement may be immobilised, and obliged to be brought into conformity before continuing their journey, or be subject to other appropriate measures, depending on the circumstances or the requirements of safety including, where appropriate, refusal to allow such vehicles to enter the EU.

Checks may also be carried out at the premises of undertakings.

EU countries must work together to effectively implement this directive (report of the infringement to the country in which the carrier is registered, cooperation between EU countries to exchange information, etc.).

Each EU country must send the Commission a report for each calendar year on the application of the directive, including the particulars listed in the directive, such as the number of checks carried out, the number of vehicles checked by place of registration, and the number and type of infringements recorded.

Starting in 1999 and subsequently at least every three years, the Commission will send the European Parliament and the Council a report on the application of the directive by the EU countries.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 95/50/EC

17.10.1995

31.12.1996

OJ L 249 of 17.10.1995

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2001/26/EC

23.6.2001

23.12.2001

OJ L 168 of 23.6.2001

Directive 2004/112/EC

3.1.2005

14.12.2005

OJ L 367 of 14.12.2004

Directive 2008/54/EC

11.7.2008

OJ L 162 of 21.6.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 95/50/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 7 July 2010 on the application by the member states of Council Directive 95/50/EC on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road [COM (2010) 364 – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report covers the period from 2006 to 2007. It concludes that all EU countries have carried out road checks in accordance with Directive 95/50/EC. The Commission found a significant improvement in the volume and quality of the data submitted. Within the checks reported, there continues to be a proportion of vehicles found to infringe the EU legislation. The number of checks in the EU has increased, reaching about 285 000 annual checks in 2007. The number of infringements per check appears to be stable with an infringement detected in approximately one out of eight checks. The fact that almost 10,000 vehicles were immobilised following their check due to a serious infringement demonstrates that practical enforcement of rules on the transport of dangerous goods at the roadside is useful and helps to improve safety.

Directive 2008/68/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 2008 on the inland transport of dangerous goods [Official Journal L 260 of 30.9.2008].

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 13 December 2007 on the application by the Member States of Council Directive 95/50/EC on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road [COM (2007) 795 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the application by the member states of Council Directive 95/50/EC on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road [COM (2005) 430 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Directive 2004/112/EC of 13 December 2004 adapting to technical progress Council Directive 95/50/EC on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road [Official Journal L 367 of 14.12.2004].

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 6 September 2000 on the application by the Member States of Council Directive 95/50/EC on uniform procedures for checks on the transport of dangerous goods by road [COM (2000) 517 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Changes to the national sides of euro coins

Changes to the national sides of euro coins

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Changes to the national sides of euro coins

Topics

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

Economic and monetary affairs > Practical aspects of introducing the euro

Changes to the national sides of euro coins

The Commission Recommendation lays down common rules for changes to the national obverse sides of euro coins. From 2004 onwards, Member States can issue two-euro commemorative coins to celebrate significant events or personalities. The moratorium for normal national sides is maintained until 2008.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Recommendation 2003/734/EC of 29 September 2003 on a common practice for changes to the design of national obverse sides of euro circulation coins.

Summary

This Recommendation, drawn up in close cooperation with the Member States, sets out a common framework for changes to the design of the national sides of euro circulation coins. It covers both normal and commemorative euro coins.

No changes to the national side of euro coins until the end of 2008

The Commission recommends that the national sides of normal euro coins intended for circulation should not be modified before the end of 2008, except in the event of a change in the head of state depicted on a coin.

In a communication of 28 December 2006 entitled “Five years of euro banknotes and coins” [PDF] the Commission reaffirmed the visual coherence of the euro.

Issue of commemorative coins authorised from 2004

On 23 November 1998 the Council decided that “there should be a moratorium on issues of commemorative coins intended for circulation in the early years of the new notes and coins”. The Commission recommended that the issue of commemorative coins should be authorised from 2004. The Council meeting of 8 December 2003 welcomed the Commission Recommendation (see “Related acts”).

From 2004, therefore, Member States may issue commemorative euro coins for circulation and these are legal tender in all the Member States of the euro area. The issue of these coins is subject to certain conditions:

  • Only the national side may be modified.
  • The number of issues is limited to one per Member State per year.
  • The two-euro coin is the sole denomination that may be used for such commemorative issues.
  • The total number of coins put into circulation must not exceed the higher of the following ceilings:

– 0.1 % of the total number of two-euro coins brought into circulation by all the Member States in the euro area; this ceiling may be raised to 2 % if a highly symbolic event is commemorated, in which case the issuer should refrain from launching another similar commemorative coin issue for a period of four years;

– 5.0 % of the total number of two-euro coins brought into circulation by the issuing State.

The design of the national side of commemorative coins is subject to the following conditions in particular:

  • The national side should bear twelve stars surrounding the design.
  • The year must be indicated.

The Commission should be informed about intended changes at least six months before the coins are issued. The Economic and Financial Committee must approve all issues of commemorative circulation coins having an envisaged issuing volume exceeding the 0.1 % referred to above. All relevant information on new designs will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Applying common practice under monetary agreements

The Community has signed monetary agreements with the Principality of Monaco, the Republic of San Marino and the Vatican City State. Under the agreements, those countries are allowed to issue certain quantities of euro coins for circulation. The common practice should therefore also apply to coins issued by those countries.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Commission Recommendation 2003/734/EC 1.1.2004 OJ L 264, 15.10.2003

Related Acts

Conclusions of the Council meeting on general affairs and external relations on 8 December 2003 [Not published in the Official Journal].
In its conclusions the Council welcomes the Commission’s recommendations, presented on 29 September 2003. The Council agreed to the following:

  • the Member States should not change the national side of their euro circulation coins until the end of 2008, except where the head of state depicted on a coin changes;
  • the moratorium on issuing commemorative circulation coins should be lifted. That moratorium was introduced by the Council meeting on economic and financial affairs (the Ecofin Council) on 23 November 1998. Thus, from 2004 the Member States may issue commemorative two- euro coins subject to certain conditions, such as the issuing volume.

Commemorative coins in chronological order:

Greece – Olympic Games in Athens 2004 [Official Journal C 91 of 15.4.2004].

  • Design: Ancient statue depicting a discobulus about to throw the discus and the five Olympic rings.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 50 million coins.

Finland – Enlargement of the European Union by ten new Member States [Official Journal C 243 of 30.9.2004].

  • Design: Stylised pillar with shoots growing upwards.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of one million coins.

Luxembourg – Grand Duke Henri [Official Journal C 243 of 30.9.2004].

  • Design: Effigy and monogram of Grand Duke Henri.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 2.49 million coins.

Republic of San Marino – Bartolomeo Borghesi [Official Journal C 298 of 3.12.2004]

  • Design: Bust of Bartolomeo Borghesi (historian and numismatist).
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 110 000 coins.

Italy – Fifth decade of the World Food Programme [Official Journal C 313 of 18.12.2004]

  • Design: A globe bearing the inscription “WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME”, from which emerges an ear of maize, an ear of rice and an ear of wheat, representing the world’s basic sources of nourishment.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 16 million coins.

Vatican City State – 75th anniversary of the founding of the Vatican City State [Official Journal C 321 of 28.12.2004]

  • Design: A schematic representation of the perimeter walls of the Vatican City with St Peter’s Basilica in the foreground.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 100 000 coins.

Luxembourg – 50th birthday of Grand Duke Henri, 5th anniversary of his accession to the throne and 100 years of the death of Grand Duke Adolphe [Official Journal C 11 of 15.1.2005]

  • Design: Effigies of Grand Duke Henri and former Grand Duke Adolphe.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 2.8 million coins.

Belgium – Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union [Official Journal C 61 of 11.3.2005]

  • Design: Effigies of Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg and King Albert II of Belgium.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 6 million coins.

Austria – 50th anniversary of the Austrian State Treaty [Official Journal C 61 of 11.3.2005]

  • Design: A reproduction of the signatures and seals in the Austrian State Treaty.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 7 million coins.

Spain – 4th centenary of the first edition of “The Ingenious Nobleman Don Quixote of La Mancha” [Official Journal C 131 of 28.5.2005]

  • Design: Don Quixote holding a lance, with windmills in the background. The coin bears the word “ESPAÑA”.
  • Issuing volume: 8 million coins.

Republic of San Marino – 2005: World Year of Physics [Official Journal C 244 of 4.10.2005]

  • Design: Free interpretation of the allegorical painting known as “La fisica antica” or the study of the planets, depicting Galileo Galilei. The twelve stars of the European Union are depicted on the outer ring.
  • Issuing volume: 130 000 coins.

Finland – 60th anniversary of the United Nations and 50th anniversary of Finland’s membership of the United Nations [Official Journal C 244 of 4.10.2005]

  • Design: The inner part of the coin depicts a dove of peace formed of pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. The twelve stars of the European Union are depicted on the outer ring.
  • Issuing volume: 2 million coins.

Italy – 1st anniversary of the signing of the European Constitution [Official Journal C 283 of 16.11.2005]

  • Design: The inner part of the coin shows a representation of Europa and the bull. Europa holds a pen and the text of the European Constitution. The words “COSTITUZIONE EUROPEA” form a semicircle on the lower part of the outer ring. The twelve stars appear on the upper part of the outer ring.
  • Issuing volume: 18 million coins.

Vatican City State – 20th World Youth Day held in Cologne in August 2005 [Official Journal C 283 of 16.11.2005]

  • Design: The inner part of the coin shows a representation of Cologne cathedral with a comet in the upper part of the design. The words “XX GIORNATA MONDIALE DELLA GIOVENTÙ” form a semicircle. The twelve stars appear on the upper part of the outer ring.
  • Issuing volume: 100 000 coins.

Luxembourg – 25th birthday of the heir to the throne, Grand Duke Guillaume [Official Journal C 20 of 27.1.2006]

  • Design: the left-hand side of the inner part depicts the effigy of His Royal Highness Grand Duke Henri looking to the right superimposed on the effigy of the hereditary Grand Duke Guillaume, on the right-hand side of the inner part. The date 2006 appears below both effigies.
  • Issuing volume: 1.1 million coins.

Germany – Schleswig-Holstein [Official Journal C 33 of 9.2.2006].

  • Design: The inner part of the coin shows a representation of the “Holstentor”, the landmark gate of the town of Lübeck. The twelve stars form a semicircle on the upper part of the outer ring, interrupted by the year of mintage “2006” at the top of the coin. The words “BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND” form a semicircle on the lower part of the outer ring.
  • Issuing volume: 30 million coins.

Italy – XX Olympic Winter Games – Turin 2006 [Official Journal C 33 of 9.2.2006].

  • Design: the foreground shows a skier racing, against a background of stylised graphic elements: the monogram of the Italian Republic “RI” at the top left, below it the letter “R” and an image of Turin’s landmark Mole Antonelliana building. The twelve stars of the EU encircle the design.
  • Issuing volume: 40 million coins.

Belgium – Atomium [Official Journal C 53 of 3.3.2006].

  • Design: The inner part of the coin shows a representation of the Atomium. Twelve stars surround the design on the outer ring of the coin. The monogram “B” appears at the top of the coin between two stars and the year of mintage “2006” at the bottom of the circle between two stars.
  • Issuing volume: 5 million coins.

Finland – 100th anniversary of universal and equal suffrage [Official Journal C 248 of 14.10.2006].

  • Design: The inner part of the coin shows faces. The twelve stars of the European flag are depicted on the outer ring.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 2.5 million coins.

Republic of San Marino – 500th anniversary of the death of Christopher Columbus [Official Journal C 248 of 14.10.2006].

  • Design: A portrait of Christopher Columbus and a representation of the three Caravels; above the portrait the inscription “SAN MARINO” and the wind rose.
  • Issuing volume: 120 000 coins.

Vatican City State – 5th Centenary of the Pontifical Swiss Guard [Official Journal C 260 of 28.10.2006].

  • Design: The coin features a Swiss guard taking the solemn oath on the Swiss Guard flag.
  • Issuing volume: a maximum of 100 000 coins.

Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Finland – 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome [Official Journal C 65 of 21.3.2007].

  • Design: The centre of the coin shows the Treaty signed by the six founding Member States on a background evoking the paving, designed by Michelangelo, of the Piazza del Campidoglio in Rome where the Treaty was signed on 25 March 1957. The translation of the word ‘Europe’ appears above the book.
  • Issuing volume: varies according to the Member States (from 0.4 million in Slovenia to 30 million in Germany)

Germany, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern [Official Journal C 76 of 4.4.2007].

  • Design: the inner part of the coin shows the Schwerin castle. The words ‘Meckenburg-Vorpommern’ appear underneath it. Twelve stars form a semi-circle on the upper part of the outer ring, intercalated by the vintage year ‘2007’ above the coin. The words ‘Bundesrepublik Deutschland’ form a half-circle on the lower part of the outer ring.
  • Issuing volume: 30 million coins.

Republic of San Marino – Bicentennial of the birth of Giuseppe Garibaldi [Official Journal C 233 of 5.10.2007].

  • Design: The inner circle of the coin features a portrait of Giuseppe Garibaldi. The inscription ‘SAN MARINO’ and the year mark ‘2007’ are engraved along the circle on the left and right hand sides respectively.
  • Issuing volume: 1 30 000 coins.

Monaco – 25th Anniversary of death of Princess Grace [Official Journal C 172 of 25.7.2007].

  • Design: On the inner part of the coin there is an effigy of Princess Grace in profile facing to the left. ‘MONACO’, followed by the mint mark, the year ‘2007’ and the engraver’s mark, is engraved in an arc in the bottom right of the inner part. The coin’s outer ring depicts the twelve stars of the European flag.
  • Issuing volume: maximum 20 001 coins.

Vatican City State – 80th anniversary of Pope Benedict XVI [Official Journal C 233 of 5.10.2007].

  • The inner part of the coin features a bust of His Holiness Benedictus XVI in profile facing to the left.
  • Issuing volume: 100 000 coins.

Germany – Hamburg [Official Journal C 13 of 18.1.2008].

  • The inner part of the coin features St Michael’s church, Hamburg. The name of the federal State ‘HAMBURG’ is inscribed beneath the church.
  • Issuing volume: 30 million.

Charging: interoperable electronic fee collection systems in Europe

Charging: interoperable electronic fee collection systems in Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Charging: interoperable electronic fee collection systems in Europe

Topics

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

Transport > Intermodality and trans-european networks

Charging: interoperable electronic fee collection systems in Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 21 December 1998 on interoperable electronic fee collection systems in Europe [COM(1998) 795 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Background

Electronic Fee Collection (EFC) systems offer the possibility of charging road vehicles in a more flexible way and allow infrastructure charging policies to be implemented. It is vital for such systems to be interoperable across national borders to avoid creating new obstacles to traffic flow in Europe. Interoperability should therefore enable users to travel throughout the Union without charging procedures changing from one country to another and without having to install extra equipment to access other charging zones. This does not mean there would be one single supplier but that there should be sufficient technical compatibility between different systems so that paying charges on different stretches of road in the Union would be a seamless operation. Interoperability is, therefore, an important factor from the viewpoint of the single market, transport policy and the development of the information society.

This Communication examines the obstacles to interoperable electronic fee collection systems and puts forward certain recommendations for arriving at an appropriate level of interoperability on a European scale.

Issues to be resolved

The first major issue studied is technical interoperability. Existing motorway EFC systems make use of Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) between fixed roadside equipment and vehicles. Another type of system is based on satellite location (Global Navigation Satellite System) (GNSS) and mobile telephone technology (GSM).
The first step towards interoperability should be the definition of a common minimum level of functionality to enable authorised subscribers to pay fees using the same method of payment and the same equipment anywhere on the network of operators belonging to the system.

The second major issue is contractual interoperability. The existence of interoperable equipment needs to be accompanied by contractual agreements between infrastructure operators. The same concept of a common minimum level of functionality should therefore be applied.
In this context, the approach recommended in the Communication suggests that EU projects need to involve closer cooperation with operators on the definition of a minimum common functionality taking into account, as a first priority, cross border traffic of heavy goods vehicles and long distance coaches. The definition of a minimum common functionality should form the basis for a draft agreement between operators wishing to achieve interoperability.
European and national standardisation bodies should, for their part, finalise work on the standardisation of the DSRC link and other systems such as those that use satellite location and cellular telephone communication.

A very important issue is the treatment of “non-equipped users”, that is, drivers who have no equipment and those who have equipment which is not compatible with the system in the motorway concession area in which they are travelling.
With regard to this, the Communication recalls that within the framework of Community legislation, each country should be free to implement its own choice of options for the treatment of non-equipped users, according to its particular national characteristics, in particular those of the road network and traffic.

As for the issue of classification, a common set of vehicle characteristics needs to be agreed which can be used for classification, as electronic fee collection systems need to recognise vehicle categories in order to apply the tariff for the use of the tolled road.
As a consequence, a common set of declared parameters needs to be defined during negotiations between operators.

As for the issues linked to the enforcement of tolling, the Commission will study the establishment of a general framework at EU level for the prosecution of EFC violations across national borders, to be used either as a basis for or to complement bilateral agreements. National authorities, for their part, need to be encouraged to establish effective links between toll enforcing administrations or operators and national registration databases to facilitate cross-border enforcement.

The protection of personal data and system security may be another major obstacle to achieving interoperability between systems. According to the approach chosen by the Commission, the presumption should be that general rules on information security and numerical data protection must be applied and will be sufficient unless there is a convincing case otherwise. National authorities and operators must, however, be encouraged to examine whether any additional measures are necessary.

Given the present differences in existing technologies in the different Member States, a strategy for convergence comprising several stages must be envisaged prior to interoperability. These successive stages will allow interoperability to be guaranteed for a growing number of functions and the above-mentioned issues to be progressively overcome.

Actions to be carried out

In this context, this Communication defines the main actions of the first phase (1998 to 2000) that the Commission will carry out with Member States, local and regional authorities, operators and standardisation bodies.
These actions can be summarised as follows:

  • to define and agree a common minimum level of functionality for equipment at European level;
  • to enable these functions to be performed, the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) should complete its work on electronic fee collection and define, validate and adopt those standards that are still necessary in the area of short range radio communications (DSRC) and any other necessary areas;
  • the Commission will help the interested parties to complete work on contractual interoperability;
  • the Commission will explore the necessary means for facilitating cross-border enforcement while guaranteeing the protection of personal data and privacy;
  • the Commission will also cooperate on the introduction of urban tolls, so as to ensure compatibility between this and inter-urban systems.

The Commission will draw up proposals based on this approach and will put forward proposals for actions for subsequent phases on the basis of the results obtained in the first phase.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission: Developing the trans-European transport network: Innovative funding solutions, Interoperability of electronic toll collection systems [COM(2003) 132 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the widespread introduction and interoperability of electronic road toll systems in the Community [COM(2003) 132 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This proposal was announced in the White Paper on transport policy. Its purpose is to create a European electronic toll service so as to ensure the interoperability of toll systems in the internal market and help with the formulation of infrastructure charging policies at the European level.
The service is based on the principle of “one contract per customer, one box per vehicle” and will serve to reduce congestion, improve traffic flow and limit cash transactions at toll stations.

Co-decision procedure (COD/2003/81)

On 23 April 2003 the proposal was adopted by the Commission.

On 25 April 2003 the proposal was sent to Parliament and the Council.

 

Children in EU external action

Children in EU external action

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Children in EU external action

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

Children in EU external action

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 5 February 2008 – A special place for children in EU external action [COM(2008) 55 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Children and adolescents account for one third of the world’s population and half the population in most developing countries. Investing in children therefore means investing in the future. Improving the situation of children makes it possible to prevent State fragility and ensure long-term sustainable development, stability and human security at regional, national and global levels.

Children are vulnerable and so must be placed at the centre of the development, humanitarian aid and external relations policies of the European Union (EU).

The challenges relating to this sector of the population include health, education and training, social inclusion, combating crimes such as human trafficking and sexual exploitation, but also combating child labour and recruitment by armed groups. Some children are particularly at risk, especially in situations of humanitarian crisis. Particular attention must be paid to girls, since they are exposed to additional risks, such as various forms of violence, whether domestic or sexual.

Normative framework

The EU is committed to respecting human rights in general and children’s rights in particular under international and European treaties. It adheres to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which establishes four general principles that apply to all actions affecting children: non-discrimination, the best interests of the child, the right of the child to survival and development and respect for the views of the child.

The EU also adheres to the Millennium Declaration and the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) and supports the United Nations Plan of Action “A World Fit for Children”.

The protection of children’s rights is also given particular prominence in the EU’s human rights and democratisation policy towards third countries, especially in the context of implementing the EU Guidelines on Children and Armed Conflict and those concerning the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child.

The enlargement process and humanitarian aid are also useful tools to promote children’s rights.

Action by the EU

To respond to the many existing challenges, the EU is establishing a framework for a comprehensive approach towards the protection and promotion of children’s rights in third countries. This approach must be based on a global, universal view of children’s rights. It must also be included in wider development and poverty eradication strategies.

The EU plans to rely on a variety of measures to ensure coordination of its external action, such as:

  • development cooperation, so as to address the root causes of poverty;
  • trade policy, which must be consistent with the protection and promotion of children’s rights. In bilateral agreements, the issue of children’s rights is covered by labour standards;
  • political dialogue between the EU and the partner countries, which allows emphasis to be placed on the commitments under the Convention on the Rights of the Child;
  • regional and global actions which supplement the country-level actions and address issues of a supra-national character;
  • empowerment of children and adolescents to play a more active role in matters that affect them directly;
  • humanitarian aid, as children are particularly adversely affected by difficult situations resulting from natural disasters or conflicts. Humanitarian aid will focus in particular on separated and unaccompanied children, children associated with armed forces or armed groups and children’s education in emergencies.

Background

This Communication follows the 2006 Communication, which proposes the definition of a long-term strategy for the EU in the field of children’s rights. It supplements the EU Guidelines for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of the Child, adopted by the Council on 10 December 2007, which forms the basis for the EU action in the field of the protection and promotion of children’s rights under its external policy.

Key terms used in the act
  • Children not attending school: 72 million, 57 % of whom are girls.
  • Children involved in child labour: 110 million.
  • Over 50 % of all mothers giving birth are not assisted by a trained midwife.
  • Over 3 million children die from complications that arise during or immediately after delivery.
  • Over 300 000 children annually are born HIV positive.
  • 10 million children die every year from preventable causes before reaching the age of five.

Challenges for the European Information Society beyond 2005

Challenges for the European Information Society beyond 2005

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Challenges for the European Information Society beyond 2005

Topics

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

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

Challenges for the European Information Society beyond 2005

Information and communications technologies (ICT) * allow for faster technical progress, modernisation and structural changes to be made to the economy. Given that ICT greatly improve competitiveness, the European Union (EU) should make use of all the possibilities offered by them to contribute to achieving the Lisbon goals *. ICT are central to this process. Through this communication, the Commission aims to launch a broad political debate on the EU Information Society strategy beyond 2005.

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, 19 November 2004: “Challenges for European Information Society beyond 2005” [COM(2004) 757 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This communication recommends more widespread use of ICT. Their wide dissemination will depend on the ability of the EU to find solutions to the many problems raised by their use and to make their advantages more obvious. It must be ensured that as many people as possible benefit from their use. The eEurope initiative launched by the European Commission in June 2000 has proved very positive.

The contribution of ICT to the Lisbon Goals

The EU is still far from exploiting all the possibilities offered by ICT for achieving the Lisbon objectives. Greater use of these new technologies would have a positive impact on European productivity and competitiveness, as well as on society as a whole. This sector is one of the most innovative and productive, representing about 8% of the EU’s GDP and accounting for 6% of jobs in 2000. 40% of productivity growth between 1995 and 2000 was due to ICT. ICT also boost citizenship and improve the quality of life by allowing more and better services to be provided to larger numbers of people.

Information Society policies

Given the huge potential for growth in this sector, it is necessary to implement ICT-specific policies and adapt current policies to new developments. The different Information Society initiatives in the EU should be linked together by abolishing sectoral boundaries and ensuring an even take-up of ICT in society.

At the global level, the market is rapidly expanding, especially in China, India and Brazil. The EU must follow the developments in these countries closely. Close international co-operation is needed to deal with threats to network safety and to prevent cyber crime.

Even if the EU and the Member States already support the research efforts of European companies, research and development (R&D) needs in this field are still very great. Similarly, there is an increasing need for research on the socio-economic impact of applying ICT in the various sectors.

Issues for an Information Society policy beyond 2005

The changes which have had to be made for ICT to be used are not just about technology. New social and economic structures and new forms of governance are appearing, leading to new ways of communication and interaction between individuals, businesses and the public authorities. The Commission has identified a number of issues that it considers important, in particular:

  • Content and services: the EU must support content providers and foster the emergence of innovative services. The variety of obstacles slowing down the development of new services and content must be eradicated so that users and businesses can benefit from them;
  • eInclusion and citizenship: citizenship is about the participation of all in society. The policies of “eInclusion” * aim at ensuring equal access to and the availability of ICT services for all at an affordable cost. New and complex technologies marginalise those who are not equipped to use them. In order to avoid the creation of new divides, it is important to ensure digital literacy for everyone and that technologies are easy to use;
  • Public services: the use of ICT in this area will increase democracy and transparency. Their use also ensures that services are more efficient and of a better quality;
  • Skills and work: the ICT component must be strengthened during all learning and training processes to obtain the full benefit for users in this field. Europe must apply ICT in the workplace in ways that raise efficiency and provide better jobs;
  • ICT as a key industrial sector: by covering information technology, electronic communications and audio-visual markets, ICT represent a major sector of the economy. In order to make Europe a more attractive place for foreign investors, it is important to create a competitive environment that is as clear and simple as possible;
  • Interoperability*: Interoperability should be guaranteed at all levels – for network operators, for content or service providers and consumers – as well as between services, legal provisions and administrative practises which are different in every country;
  • Trust and dependability: it is essential that these resources are both safe and reliable. Consumers want their privacy to be guaranteed and to see action taken to prevent illegal commercial practises and all unsolicited communications. The infrastructures of modern life rely heavily on ICT and are interdependent, so failures may have far-reaching consequences;
  • Exploitation of ICT by business: given that the use of ICT by companies is recognised as being one of the success factors for European competitiveness, these companies should use them efficiently, especially SMEs.

The EU will face a number of challenges in the field of ICT in the next few years. This area, which is already important, is crucial for growth and improving productivity as well as for strengthening citizenship and quality of life. The effective adoption of new business processes and economic models to exploit the potential of ICT remains a challenge. The Commission considers it necessary to intensify research and investments in these production-generating technologies. Through this communication, the Commission is launching a process of reflection on this subject and broad consultation among stakeholders.

Key terms used in the act
  • Information and communications technologies (ICT): the term ICT covers a large range of services, applications, technologies, equipment and software, i.e. tools like telephony and the internet, distance learning, television, computers, the necessary networks and software to use these technologies. They are revolutionising social, cultural and economic structures by generating new behaviour towards information, knowledge, work, etc.
  • eInclusion: this concept is linked to the use of information society for all, i.e. a society ensuring equal access to ICT and the same availability at an affordable cost. eInclusion therefore has a double meaning: it aims at ensuring equal access to and the participation of all in the information society; it also aims to implement systems to enable disabled and older people to play an integral role in society and improve their level of independence.
  • Lisbon Goals: at the European Council in Lisbon (March 2000), the EU set a new strategic target for the decade to come becoming the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion. The strategy was designed to allow the Union to regain full employment and to strengthen cohesion by 2010.
  • Interoperability: interoperability means that several systems, whether they are identical or radically different, can communicate without ambiguity and work together. Interoperability is a very important concept for the global telephony network and the internet which are inherently heterogeneous networks in which different types of equipment are interconnected. Communications must therefore conform to clearly defined and unambiguous standards.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission, 1 June 2005: “i2010 -A European Information Society for growth and employment” [COM(2005) 229 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This communication, in which the Commission lays out broad policy guidelines for the information society and the media, forms part of the revised Lisbon strategy framework. Knowledge and innovation play a crucial part in it.

Communication from the Commission, 30 June 2004: “Mobile Broadband Services” [COM(2004) 447 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, 13 July 2004: “Towards a global partnership in the information society: Translating the Geneva principles into actions: Commission proposals for the second phase of the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS)” [COM(2004) 408 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, 20 October 2004: “Critical Infrastructure Protection in the fight against terrorism” [COM(2004) 702 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

 

Childcare

Childcare

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Childcare

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Equality between men and women

Childcare

Document or Iniciative

Recommendation 92/241/EEC of 31 March 1992 on childcare [Official Journal L 123 of 8.5.1992].

Summary

It is recommended that Member States take and/or encourage progressively initiatives to help men and women to reconcile their responsibilities concerning their work, their studies and their families. They must take into account the respective responsibilities of the national, regional or local authorities, the social partners and private citizens and/or work in collaboration with these parties in the following four areas:

the provision of childcare services* while parents:

– are working,

– are following a course of education or training in order to obtain employment,

– are seeking a job or a course of education or training in order to obtain employment;

  • special leave granted to working parents who have responsibility for the care and upbringing of children;
  • the environment, structure and organisation of work, to make them responsive to the needs of workers with children;
  • the sharing, between men and women, of occupational, family and upbringing responsibilities arising from the care of children.

Childcare services

In this context, efforts should be made in particular to ensure that:

  • the services offered to parents are reasonably priced;
  • the services combine reliable care from the point of view of health and safety with a general upbringing and a pedagogical approach;
  • the services take into consideration the needs of parents and children as far as access is concerned;
  • the services are available in all areas and regions of the Member States, both urban and rural;
  • the services are accessible to children with special needs, e.g. from the linguistic point of view, and to children in single-parent families, and meet the needs of such children.

Steps should be taken also to:

  • encourage flexibility and diversity of childcare services as part of a strategy to increase choice and satisfy the specific preferences, needs and circumstances of the children and their parents, while maintaining consistency between the various services;
  • ensure that the training, both initial and ongoing, of workers in childcare services is commensurate with the importance and the social and educative value of their work;
  • encourage childcare services to work closely with parents and local communities through regular contact and exchanges of information, thus meeting the needs of parents tailored to the particular local circumstances;
  • encourage national, regional or local authorities, the social partners, other competent bodies and individuals, in accordance with their respective responsibilities, to make a financial contribution to the creation and/or operation of coherent childcare services which can be afforded by parents and offer them a choice.

Special leave

The Member States should take and/or encourage initiatives with a realistic approach to women’s increased participation in the labour market, e.g. in the form of special leave giving employed parents, both men and women, the opportunity to discharge properly their occupational, family and child-raising responsibilities, with, inter alia, some flexibility as to how the leave may be taken.

Environment, structure and organisation of work

The Member States should take and/or encourage initiatives aimed at:

  • providing support for action, particularly within the framework of collective agreements;
  • ensuring that due recognition is given to persons engaged in childcare services as regards the way in which they work and the social value of their work;
  • promoting action, especially in the public sector, which can serve as an example for developing initiatives in this area.

Sharing of responsibilities

The Member States should promote and encourage, with due respect for freedom of the individual, increased participation by men, in order to achieve a more equal sharing of parental responsibilities between men and women, and to enable women to have a more effective role in the labour market.

Background

The aim of the recommendation is to promote equal opportunities for men and women, enabling them to reconcile their occupational, family and child-raising responsibilities arising.

Key terms used in the act
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  • Childcare service: any method of childcare, public or private, individual or collective.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 3 March 2008 on the implementation of the Barcelona objectives concerning childcare facilities for pre-school-age children [ – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Council met in Barcelona in March 2002 and adopted a series of objectives aimed at removing the obstacles to woman participating in the labour market, in particular by establishing childcare facilities for 90% of children over three years old and 33% of children under 3 years old by 2010.

The availability of childcare facilities also contributes to European strategies for growth and jobs, social inclusion, equality between men and women and the reconciliation of work life with private life.

This report presents a mid-term review of the progress made by Member States towards achieving these objectives. The competent authorities at national, regional and local levels must play an active part alongside their social partners in ensuring access to quality services which are affordable to everyone.


In the current situation the demand for systems of early childcare are not being met in the majority of Member States, despite some progress being made. These systems concern two age groups:

  • the under-3s for whom the availability of childcare (crèches, childcare centres) remains unequal between Member States. In general the services offered by these facilities have to be paid for and their cost depends on the types of systems existing or co-existing alongside each other (universal access, means-tested contributions, voucher systems, etc.);
  • the over-3s for whom pre-school education systems in nursery schools are sometimes combined with childcare. In general they are funded and can operate on a part-time basis depending on the State.

The Commission should promote the exchange of experiences, ensure jobs in this field are more highly valued and make new recommendations to Member States. The Barcelona objectives will be reviewed in 2010.

Charter of Fundamental Rights

Charter of Fundamental Rights

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Charter of Fundamental Rights

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

Charter of Fundamental Rights

In June 1999, the Cologne European Council concluded that the fundamental rights applicable at European Union (EU) level should be consolidated in a charter to give them greater visibility. The heads of state/government aspired to include in the charter the general principles set out in the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and those derived from the constitutional traditions common to EU countries. In addition, the charter was to include the fundamental rights that apply to EU citizens as well as the economic and social rights contained in the Council of Europe Social Charter and the Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights of Workers. It would also reflect the principles derived from the case law of the Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.

The charter was drawn up by a convention consisting of a representative from each EU country and the European Commission, as well as members of the European Parliament and national parliaments. It was formally proclaimed in Nice in December 2000 by the European Parliament, Council and Commission.

In December 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the charter was given binding legal effect equal to the Treaties. To this end, the charter was amended and proclaimed a second time in December 2007.

Content

The charter brings together in a single document rights previously found in a variety of legislative instruments, such as in national and EU laws, as well as in international conventions from the Council of Europe, the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). By making fundamental rights clearer and more visible, it creates legal certainty within the EU.

The Charter of Fundamental Rightscontains a preamble and 54 Articles, grouped in seven chapters:

  • chapter I: dignity (human dignity, the right to life, the right to the integrity of the person, prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, prohibition of slavery and forced labour);
  • chapter II: freedoms (the right to liberty and security, respect for private and family life, protection of personal data, the right to marry and found a family, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of the arts and sciences, the right to education, freedom to choose an occupation and the right to engage in work, freedom to conduct a business, the right to property, the right to asylum, protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition);
  • chapter III: equality (equality before the law, non-discrimination, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, equality between men and women, the rights of the child, the rights of the elderly, integration of persons with disabilities);
  • chapter IV: solidarity (workers’ right to information and consultation within the undertaking, the right of collective bargaining and action, the right of access to placement services, protection in the event of unjustified dismissal, fair and just working conditions, prohibition of child labour and protection of young people at work, family and professional life, social security and social assistance, health care, access to services of general economic interest, environmental protection, consumer protection);
  • chapter V: citizens’ rights (the right to vote and stand as a candidate at elections to the European Parliament and at municipal elections, the right to good administration, the right of access to documents, European Ombudsman, the right to petition, freedom of movement and residence, diplomatic and consular protection);
  • chapter VI: justice (the right to an effective remedy and a fair trial, presumption of innocence and the right of defence, principles of legality and proportionality of criminal offences and penalties, the right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence);
  • chapter VII: general provisions.

Scope

The charter applies to the European institutions, subject to the principle of subsidiarity, and may under no circumstances extend the powers and tasks conferred on them by the Treaties. The charter also applies to EU countries when they implement EU law.

If any of the rights correspond to rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, the meaning and scope of those rights is to be the same as defined by the convention, though EU law may provide for more extensive protection. Any of the rights derived from the common constitutional traditions of EU countries must be interpreted in accordance to those traditions.

Protocol (No) 30 to the Treaties on the application of the charter to Poland and the United Kingdom restricts the interpretation of the charter by the Court of Justice and the national courts of these two countries, in particular regarding rights relating to solidarity (chapter IV).


Another Normative about Charter of Fundamental Rights

Topics

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

Justice freedom and security > Citizenship of the Union

Charter of Fundamental Rights

In June 1999, the Cologne European Council concluded that the fundamental rights applicable at European Union (EU) level should be consolidated in a charter to give them greater visibility. The heads of state/government aspired to include in the charter the general principles set out in the 1950 European Convention on Human Rights and those derived from the constitutional traditions common to EU countries. In addition, the charter was to include the fundamental rights that apply to EU citizens as well as the economic and social rights contained in the Council of Europe Social Charter and the Community Charter of Fundamental Social Rights of Workers. It would also reflect the principles derived from the case law of the Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights.

The charter was drawn up by a convention consisting of a representative from each EU country and the European Commission, as well as members of the European Parliament and national parliaments. It was formally proclaimed in Nice in December 2000 by the European Parliament, Council and Commission.

In December 2009, with the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the charter was given binding legal effect equal to the Treaties. To this end, the charter was amended and proclaimed a second time in December 2007.

Content

The charter brings together in a single document rights previously found in a variety of legislative instruments, such as in national and EU laws, as well as in international conventions from the Council of Europe, the United Nations (UN) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). By making fundamental rights clearer and more visible, it creates legal certainty within the EU.

The Charter of Fundamental Rightscontains a preamble and 54 Articles, grouped in seven chapters:

  • chapter I: dignity (human dignity, the right to life, the right to the integrity of the person, prohibition of torture and inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, prohibition of slavery and forced labour);
  • chapter II: freedoms (the right to liberty and security, respect for private and family life, protection of personal data, the right to marry and found a family, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and information, freedom of assembly and association, freedom of the arts and sciences, the right to education, freedom to choose an occupation and the right to engage in work, freedom to conduct a business, the right to property, the right to asylum, protection in the event of removal, expulsion or extradition);
  • chapter III: equality (equality before the law, non-discrimination, cultural, religious and linguistic diversity, equality between men and women, the rights of the child, the rights of the elderly, integration of persons with disabilities);
  • chapter IV: solidarity (workers’ right to information and consultation within the undertaking, the right of collective bargaining and action, the right of access to placement services, protection in the event of unjustified dismissal, fair and just working conditions, prohibition of child labour and protection of young people at work, family and professional life, social security and social assistance, health care, access to services of general economic interest, environmental protection, consumer protection);
  • chapter V: citizens’ rights (the right to vote and stand as a candidate at elections to the European Parliament and at municipal elections, the right to good administration, the right of access to documents, European Ombudsman, the right to petition, freedom of movement and residence, diplomatic and consular protection);
  • chapter VI: justice (the right to an effective remedy and a fair trial, presumption of innocence and the right of defence, principles of legality and proportionality of criminal offences and penalties, the right not to be tried or punished twice in criminal proceedings for the same criminal offence);
  • chapter VII: general provisions.

Scope

The charter applies to the European institutions, subject to the principle of subsidiarity, and may under no circumstances extend the powers and tasks conferred on them by the Treaties. The charter also applies to EU countries when they implement EU law.

If any of the rights correspond to rights guaranteed by the European Convention on Human Rights, the meaning and scope of those rights is to be the same as defined by the convention, though EU law may provide for more extensive protection. Any of the rights derived from the common constitutional traditions of EU countries must be interpreted in accordance to those traditions.

Protocol (No) 30 to the Treaties on the application of the charter to Poland and the United Kingdom restricts the interpretation of the charter by the Court of Justice and the national courts of these two countries, in particular regarding rights relating to solidarity (chapter IV).

Chemical products

Chemical products

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Chemical products

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 Goods > Chemical products

Chemical products

The action undertaken by the European Community in the field of chemical products is part of an ongoing process launched a long time ago. The first Directive, which is concerned with the classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances, dates back to 1967. The REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restrictions of Chemicals) Regulation, adopted at the end of 2006, establishes an enhanced framework which aims to guarantee the free movement of chemical products and the protection of human health and the environment.

DANGEROUS SUBSTANCES AND PREPARATIONS

  • Regulatory framework for the management of chemicals (REACH), European Chemicals Agency
  • Classification, packaging and labeling of chemicals and their mixtures
  • Classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous substances
  • Classification, packaging and labelling of dangerous preparations
  • International trade in hazardous chemicals
  • The Rotterdam Convention on the international trade in hazardous chemicals
  • Detergents
  • Community strategy for endocrine disrupters
  • Community strategy concerning mercury
  • Export and storage of mercury

PESTICIDES

  • Biocides
  • Biocides (until 1 September 2013)
  • Towards a thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides

FERTILISERS

  • Fertilisers

CONTROL OF THE RISKS

  • Major accidents involving dangerous substances
  • The fight against bioterrorism (communication)
  • Good laboratory practice: tests on chemical substances
  • Good laboratory practice: inspection and verification of laboratory studies on all chemicals
  • Exposure to chemical agents

MANAGEMENT OF POLLUTANTS AND WASTE

  • Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
  • Stockholm Convention on persistent organic pollutants (POPs)
  • Controlled management of hazardous waste (until the end of 2010)
  • Basel Convention
  • Community strategy for dioxins, furans and PCBs
  • Disposal of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and polychlorinated terphenyls (PCTs)