Tag Archives: CI

Citizenship of the European Union

Citizenship of the European Union

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Citizenship of the European Union


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

Institutional affairs > Building europe through the treaties > The Amsterdam treaty: a comprehensive guide

Citizenship of the European Union

As set out in the Maastricht Treaty, any national of a Member State is a citizen of the Union. The aim of European citizenship is to strengthen and consolidate European identity by greater involvement of the citizens in the Community integration process. Thanks to the single market, citizens enjoy a series of general rights in various areas such as the free movement of goods and services, consumer protection and public health, equal opportunities and treatment, access to jobs and social protection. There are four categories of specific provisions and rights attached to citizenship of the European Union:

  • freedom of movement and residence throughout the Union;
  • the right to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal elections and in elections to the European Parliament in the state where he/she resides;
  • protection by the diplomatic and consular authorities of any Member State where the State of which the person is a national is not represented in a non-member country,
  • the right to petition the European Parliament and apply to the Ombudsman.

Although the exercise of these rights is dependent on European citizenship and is subject to certain limitations laid down by the Treaties or secondary legislation, the right to apply to the Ombudsman or to petition the European Parliament is open to all natural or legal persons residing in the Member States of the Union. Likewise, any person residing in the European Union has fundamental rights.

The Amsterdam Treaty completes the list of civic rights of Union citizens and clarifies the link between national citizenship and European citizenship.


Union citizenship and the rights accompanying it must be seen in perspective in order to understand the dynamics of the process launched by the Treaty setting up the European Economic Community (signed in Rome in 1957). This Treaty gave people the right to move freely within the European Community. Free movement of people was closely linked to economic status as employee, self-employed or service provider. The right of residence throughout the Community was first given to employees and the self-employed and members of their families in conjunction with the right to work there.

The Single European Act (1986) wrote provisions into the Treaty of Rome to establish an area without frontiers and to abolish checks on persons at internal frontiers, irrespective of nationality. Unfortunately, this area was not established before the scheduled date of 31 December 1992. But in 1990 the Council, acting under the Single Act, extended the right of residence to persons who are not engaged in an occupation, provided they have sufficient resources and social insurance cover. The final stage in attaining the general right to movement and residence was its incorporation in the concept of Union citizenship in the Treaty on European Union (1992). In 1997 the Amsterdam Treaty produced a political solution for further progress on free movement, incorporating the Schengen Agreement into the Union Treaty (although some member states wanted to have special status and will retain controls at their border with other Member States).

As early as the Paris Summit in 1974, attempts had been made to define the “special rights” to be conferred on nationals of the European Economic Community as it then was. In 1992 the EU Treaty wrote Union citizenship into the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 17, ex Article 8). After the signing of the Treaty, the Declaration by the Birmingham European Council in October 1992 made clear that “… citizenship of the Union brings our citizens additional rights and protection without in any way taking the place of their national citizenship”. A Declaration attached to the Treaty setting up the European Community notes that “the question whether an individual possesses the nationality of a Member State shall be settled solely by reference to the national law of the Member State concerned”.

The Treaty on European Union, by establishing Union citizenship, confers on every Union citizen a fundamental and personal right to move and reside freely without reference to an economic activity. The right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament and in municipal elections in the Member State in which he/she resides and the right to protection by the diplomatic or consular authorities of any Member State in a non-member country are a concrete expression of the feeling of common citizenship. Directives adopted in 1993 and 1994 laid down the rules for giving effect to these rights. The same Treaty makes it possible to strengthen and amplify these rights.

However, European citizens still encounter real obstacles, both practical and legal, when they wish to exercise their rights to free movement and residence in the Union.


Amendments have been made to Articles 17 and 21 (ex Articles 8 and 8(d)) of the EC Treaty, which define European citizenship.

Firstly, the Amsterdam clarifies the link between European and national citizenship. It states unequivocally that “citizenship of the Union shall complement and not replace national citizenship”. Two practical conclusions follow from this:

  • it is first necessary to be a national of a Member State in order to enjoy citizenship of the Union;
  • European citizenship will supplement and complement the rights conferred by national citizenship.

Moreover, the Amsterdam Treaty has established a new right for European citizens. Every citizen of the Union can now write to the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions or the Ombudsman in one of the twelve languages of the Treaties and receive an answer in the same language.

As a reminder the twelve languages are: Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Irish (Gaelic), Italian, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish.

Lastly, a new paragraph has been inserted in the preamble of the EC Treaty. It confirms the commitment by the member states to the education of their peoples. Each member state undertakes “to promote the development of the highest possible level of knowledge … through a wide access to education and through its continuous updating”.

Civil society dialogue between the EU and candidate countries

Civil society dialogue between the EU and candidate countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Civil society dialogue between the EU and candidate countries


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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement

Civil society dialogue between the EU and candidate countries

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 29 June 2005, on civil society dialogue between the European Union and candidate countries [COM(2005) 290 final – Not published in the Official Journal]


The Commission aims to overcome the problem that arose during the previous enlargement of citizens being neither sufficiently informed nor prepared. It plans to strengthen contacts and exchange of experience, and ensure better mutual awareness and understanding by developing a civil society dialogue with Turkey and Croatia.

The Commission will employ the broadest definition possible of civil society *. Municipalities and other local communities will also be included in the dialogue.

The approach to dialogue employed in Croatia will be different to the one in Turkey. Greater emphasis will be placed on relations with the latter. The Commission proposes strengthening ongoing activities and complementing them with new ones.

Strengthening ongoing activities


The EU has been working with Croatian civil society in the context of the stabilisation and association process (the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Croatia entered into force on 1 February 2005). This dialogue benefits from Croatia’s participation in Community programmes such as the 6th RTD Framework Programme and Tempus.


National and European institutions have already developed bilateral activities with Turkey which fall under the scope of the civil society dialogue.

The EU currently finances a number of activities aimed at:

  • developing civil society by means of a programme to strengthen the expansion of NGOs in Turkey, the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights EIDHR and the pre-accession financial assistance programme;
  • fostering close links with social partners and civil society organisations in the areas of social dialogue, employment and social affairs, with particular focus on labour law, gender equality and anti-discrimination;
  • enhancing Turkish participation in Community education and training programmes, namely Socrates, Youth and Leonardo da Vinci. Additional financing from the pre-accession funds is envisaged to complement the proposed programme grants. In the university sector, Turkish students studying to improve their expertise in the area of European integration benefit from the Jean Monnet Scholarship programme. The Commission intends to increase the scholarship funding allocation and look into other related initiatives, such as extending the programme to EU students wishing to study in Turkey;
  • supporting Marie Curie Actions which offer a set of structured mobility schemes for researchers. These actions are geared to the development and transfer of research competencies, the consolidation and widening of career prospects for researchers and the promotion of excellence in European research.

New activities

Dialogue will evolve over the long term in line with the needs expressed by civil society. The Commission expects the actors of civil society to play an active role in conducting the dialogue.


Civil society dialogue in Croatia will evolve in the light of the deepening of EU-Croatia relations, the strengthening of regional cooperation and the further development of reconciliation with the region. The Commission would like to see dialogue focus on the practical impact of the accession process and proposes encouraging contacts between social partners, the media, NGOs and religious communities in the EU and Croatia.


The Commission is planning a range of activities aimed at enhancing EU-Turkey relations in the area of:

  • long-term partnerships between organisations. The establishment of a grant scheme to assist Turkish civil society organisations in cofinancing bilateral exchange projects with counterparts based in the EU. This is aimed in particular at professional organisations and social partners. Priority will be given to projects encouraging sustainable relations between organisations;
  • gender equality. The EU aims to strengthen the position of women in Turkish society and to tackle other issues such as domestic violence. The Commission will seek to include gender equality and the equal opportunity dimension in all its activities;
  • business relations. This involves the creation of an EU-Turkey Business Council to operate as a forum of the main EU companies active in Turkey and their Turkish counterparts, with a view to acting as a link between European institutions and the local business associations in the interest of further developing trade and investments;
  • cooperation between local communities. The Commission wishes to support twinning between EU and Turkish cities and include local communities from remote and disadvantaged regions in activities implemented within the framework of the civil society dialogue. Turkey could participate in the Community ” Citizens for Europe ” programme proposed for 2007-2013, designed to promote active European citizenship;
  • youth, university and professional exchanges. The Commission will evaluate the efficiency of mechanisms implemented in this area and examine additional projects. It plans to encourage closer institutional cooperation between universities in the EU and in Turkey, in view of setting up independent academic institutions open to students from both sides and supporting joint research and publications;
  • culture and the media. The Commission will do its utmost to encourage an open public debate. Internet-supported platforms and a website will be set up for this purpose. The Commission will work with Member States’ cultural organisations to support activities targeting language learning and the promotion of interpretation and translation from and into Turkish. It will part-finance television programmes providing information on European and Turkish societies. Partnership projects between television companies from both sides aimed at producing joint programmes will also be supported. The Commission will give priority to direct contacts between professional organisations of journalists through the creation of a programme of seminars involving journalists from the EU and Turkey.

The Commission points out that civil society dialogue will also focus on religious issues and involve churches and other religious organisations or associations.

Implementation modalities

The Commission will conduct regular consultation of personalities from both sides, chosen on the basis of their expertise in EU-Turkey relations.

In principle, the proposed activities will be financed under the pre-accession assistance budget for the countries concerned, supplemented if necessary by contributions from public or private institutions and the Commission. As regards budgetary programmes, candidate countries provide a contribution, which is partly covered by pre-accession funding.

The Commission will use existing structures and resources in the implementation of projects whenever possible. It adds that the streamlining of visa procedures by Member States would be welcome as regards the Turkish participants in the dialogue.

Monitoring and reporting

The Commission will ensure a regular follow up of the activities and of their results. Information will be made available on the “Europa” Internet portal. Monitoring of EU-Turkey mutual perceptions in particular will be established to guide future policy.

Key terms used in the act
  • Civil society: all structures in society outside of government and public administration, whether based on a voluntary or mandatory membership (trade unions and employers federations, organisations representing a broad spectrum of social and economic actors, non-governmental organisations, grassroots organisations, religious communities and the media).

This summary is for information only and is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document.

Civil aviation and the European Aviation Safety Agency

Civil aviation and the European Aviation Safety Agency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Civil aviation and the European Aviation Safety Agency


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

Transport > Bodies and objectives

Civil aviation and the European Aviation Safety Agency

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 216/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 February 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation and establishing a European Aviation Safety Agency [See amending act(s)].


The Regulation applies to the production, maintenance and operation of aircraft, as well as to personnel and organisations involved in these activities. It aims to:

  • establish common rules on aviation safety in order to guarantee a high level of passenger security and ensure that the environment is protected;
  • ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders in the internal aviation market and facilitate the free movement of goods, persons and services, through the recognition of certificates issued by the competent authorities;
  • simplify and enhance the efficiency of the certification process, by centralising activities at European level where possible;
  • promote the European Union’s (EU) views on civil aviation safety standards and rules all over the world.

To achieve these objectives, the Regulation provides, inter alia, for the creation of a European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), with increased powers.


EASA structure, tasks and funding

The European Aviation Safety Agency is an independent body of the EU with its own legal personality. EASA is led by an Executive Director and by a Management Board made up of one representative from each Member State and one representative from the Commission. The Agency’s staff consists of a strictly limited number of officials assigned or seconded by the Commission or the Member States to carry out management duties, plus other employees recruited by the Agency according to its requirements.

EASA’s main tasks are to:

  • assist the Commission to develop common rules in the field of civil aviation and to provide it with technical, scientific and administrative support to carry out its tasks;
  • conduct standardisation inspections to ensure that these rules are correctly applied within the Member States;
  • issue certificates to European companies involved in aircraft design, certify the aircraft used in Europe and certify air carriers, maintenance organisations and training organisations located in third countries.

The Agency can issue opinions and recommendations to the Commission, and issue certification specifications and acceptable means of compliance with the European rules.

The Agency shall draw up an annual programme of work in order to promote constant improvements in European aviation safety and to set out the mandates and tasks that have been added, changed or deleted as compared with the previous year.

The Agency’s revenues shall come mainly from fees (paid for certificates issued by the Agency) and charges (for publications, training and other services provided by the Agency), as well as from contributions from the EU, third countries and the Member States.



Airworthiness refers to the capability of an aircraft to fly safely. Obviously, the concept of airworthiness is one of the most important requirements of aircraft. The EU, therefore, requires that aircraft have a valid airworthiness certificate before they can be used. In addition, other types of certificate are required for:

  • products, parts and appliances mounted on aircraft;
  • aircraft design and production organisations;
  • organisations and personnel responsible for ensuring the airworthiness and maintenance of aircraft.


Aircraft products, parts and appliances must comply with environmental protection requirements.

Flight crew certification

Pilots must hold a licence and a medical certificate appropriate to the operations to be performed. A person will only be issued with a licence if he or she complies with the requirements related to theoretical knowledge, practical skill, language proficiency and experience.

Training organisations and flight simulator operators must hold appropriate certificates.

Cabin crew members involved in a commercial operation must have a certificate and they must be periodically assessed for medical fitness to safely exercise their assigned safety duties.

Air operations

Air operators are the people or companies which operate aircraft such as private pilots or airlines. All air operators must hold certificates. The level of requirements will vary according to the type of operations involved, in order to guarantee a high level of safety for commercial air transport, in particular.

Furthermore, operators from third countries whose aircraft use European airports must also meet certain European requirements.

Aerodromes and air traffic control

Aerodromes determine the structures to be used for the departure and arrival of aircraft. These structures must have certificates guaranteeing their safety and the capability of the bodies responsible for using the aerodromes.

Furthermore, the services and personnel responsible for air traffic control are also required to be holders of certificates. In particular, the mission of these services is to manage the activities and movement of aircraft and vehicles on the traffic area.

Communication and information

The Member States shall recognise certificates issued in accordance with this Regulation without further technical requirements or evaluations.

The Member States and the Agency shall conduct investigations, including aircraft inspections, and shall take all necessary measures to prevent the continuation of any infringements.

A penalty system has been introduced to deal with any reported infringements. In particular, the Commission may decide to revoke the European recognition of a certificate or, upon a recommendation from the Agency, impose financial penalties on holders of certificates who break European rules.


Act Entry into force Transposition deadline for Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 216/2008


OJ L 79, 19.3.2008

Amending act(s) Entry into force Transposition deadline for Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 1108/2009


OJ L 309, 24.11.2009


Regulation (EC) No 300/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2008 on common rules in the field of civil aviation security and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2320/2002 [Official Journal L 97 of 19.3.2008].

Civil Justice specific programme

Civil Justice specific programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Civil Justice specific programme


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

Justice freedom and security > Judicial cooperation in civil matters

Civil Justice specific programme (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1149/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 September 2007 establishing for the period 2007-2013 the Specific Programme ‘Civil Justice’ as part of the General Programme ‘Fundamental Rights and Justice’.


The aim of the ‘Civil Justice’ programme is to maintain and strengthen an area of freedom, security and justice in the European Union. It covers the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

The programme (which does not apply to Denmark) has four main general objectives:

  • to foster judicial cooperation in civil matters in order to create a European area of justice based on mutual recognition and confidence;
  • to eliminate obstacles to the good functioning of cross-border civil proceedings between Member States;
  • to facilitate access to justice for individuals and businesses;
  • to promote and strengthen contacts, networks and the sharing of information between judicial and administrative authorities and the legal profession so as to improve mutual knowledge and understanding.

Encourage judicial cooperation in civil matters

This decision fosters better administration of justice by preventing conflicts of jurisdiction, promoting recognition of judgments in civil and commercial matters, ensuring legal certainty, improving access to justice, eliminating obstacles to the good functioning of cross-border litigation and making Member States’ legislation more compatible.

The programme further aims to:

  • improve mutual knowledge of national legal and judicial systems;
  • promote training in Community law for legal practitioners;
  • encourage networking, cooperation and exchanges of information and experience;
  • ensure the sound implementation and assessment of EU actions;
  • improve information on the legal systems in the Member States and access to justice;
  • reinforce mutual confidence while respecting the independence of the judiciary;
  • facilitate the operation of the European Judicial Network in civil and commercial matters.

Achieve these objectives through concrete actions

The Community supports actions initiated by the Commission, transnational projects presented by NGOs, international organisations or national partnerships (involving at least two Member States or one Member State and an acceding or candidate country) and the activities of NGOs or other bodies pursuing aims of general European interest, and helps finance the work of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary (ENCJ) and the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union in pursuing objectives of general European interest.

The ‘Civil Justice’ programme targets inter alia national authorities, legal practitioners and the citizens of the EU in general. Actions under the programme are open to acceding and candidate countries and the Western Balkan countries included in the stabilisation and association process (in accordance with the conditions laid down in the association agreements or additional protocols relating to participation in Community programmes concluded or to be concluded with those countries). Projects may associate legal practitioners from Denmark or candidate countries or third countries not participating in the programme.

The programme is also open to public and private organisations, including professional associations, universities, research institutes and legal and judicial training institutes, legal practitioners, international organisations and NGOs.

Projects are evaluated and awards made on the basis of: the conformity of the proposed action with the Commission’s annual work programme, the quality of the proposed action (design, organisation and expected results), the amount of Community financing applied for and the link between the actions, the objectives and the expected results.

Budgetary resources and protection of the Community’s financial interests

The Programme has a budget of EUR 109 300 000 for the period 2007-2013. Community financing can be in the form of operating grants or grants to actions following calls for proposals, or public procurement contracts for accompanying measures (purchase of goods and services).

The Commission applies preventive measures against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities. It carries out checks, recovers amounts wrongly paid, imposes penalties if it detects irregularities, and can, if time limits are not observed, cancel the remaining financial support, demand repayment of sums already paid, and add interest to delayed payments.

Role of the Commission: monitoring and follow-up

The Commission adopts an annual work programme specifying objectives, thematic priorities and accompanying measures. It is assisted, as appropriate, by a management or an advisory committee.

It monitors and evaluates the programme and must submit to the European Parliament and the Council an annual report on the implementation of the programme, an interim evaluation report (not later than 31 March 2011), a communication on the continuation of the programme (not later than 30 August 2012) and an ex-post evaluation report (not later than 31 December 2014).

It ensures that beneficiaries submit technical and financial reports on the progress of work, a final report and supporting documents regarding expenditures, and makes these available to the Member States. It also ensures that payment timetables and financing conditions are adjusted as required, monitors the implementation of the programme, publishes the list of actions financed each year and provides for audits by the Court of Auditors.

Complementarity with other programmes

The Commission seeks to ensure synergies and complementarity with the following programmes:

  • ‘Criminal Justice’.
  • ‘Security and Safeguarding Liberties’.
  • ‘Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows’.
  • ‘Community Statistical Programme’. (pdf ).


Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1149/2007/EC 1.1.2007-31.12.2013 OJ L 257 of 3.10.2007


Civil liability insurance for motor vehicles

Civil liability insurance for motor vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Civil liability insurance for motor vehicles


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

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Interactions between the automobile industry and specific policies

Civil liability insurance for motor vehicles

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/103/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2009 relating to insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles, and the enforcement of the obligation to insure against such liability (Text with EEA relevance).


This Directive lays down provisions concerning civil liability insurance in respect of the use of vehicles.

Vehicles concerned

This Directive applies to vehicles registered in one of the Member States, and in third countries.

Provisions concerning vehicles registered in a Member State

Role of the Member States

Member States should guarantee that the insurance covers:

  • civil liability relating to the use of vehicles;
  • damage to property and personal injury;
  • damage caused on the territory of other Member States;
  • loss or injury suffered by nationals of Member States during journeys between two territories.

Member States may, however, derogate from these provisions on condition that they draw up a list of persons or entities concerned and inform the European Commission and the other Member States thereof.

Role of national insurers’ bureaux *

Vehicles registered in other Member States will benefit from the provisions of this Directive under an agreement to be concluded between national insurance bureaux. This agreement must be recognised by the Commission.

If an accident involves a vehicle registered in another Member State, the national insurance bureaux of each Member State must collect the following information:

  • the origin of the vehicle;
  • the registration number;
  • details of the insurance of the vehicle.

This information must then be communicated to the Member State of origin of the vehicle.

Provisions concerning vehicles registered in third countries

Vehicles registered in third countries may only be used in EU territory if they are covered by insurance.

Vehicles registered in a third country must have a green card * or certificate of frontier insurance before entering the territory of a Member State.

Minimum amounts covered by compulsory insurance

Concerning personal injury, compulsory insurance must cover a minimum amount of EUR 1 million per victim or EUR 5 million per accident.

Concerning damage to property, cover must be a minimum of EUR 1 million per accident.

Member States may establish a transitional period for adapting these amounts.

Compensation for damage caused by an unidentified vehicle or a vehicle which is not compliant with the provisions of this Directive

Compensation for damage caused by an unidentified vehicle or a vehicle which is not compliant with the provisions of this Directive shall be managed by bodies created by each Member State. These bodies shall be responsible for providing compensation for damage to property or personal injury.

In the event of litigation between the bodies responsible for compensation and civil liability insurers, Member States shall designate the party responsible for compensating the victim.

Special categories of victim

Civil liability insurance of vehicles covers liability for:

  • personal injury caused to any passenger in a vehicle, except the driver;
  • personal injury and damage to property suffered by pedestrians, cyclists and other road users.

Settlement of claims

The injured party makes a claim to the insurance undertaking of the person who caused the accident or their claims representative *. Within three months of the claim being made, the insurance undertaking must make an offer of compensation or respond with a denial.

Then, the insurance undertaking shall present an offer of compensation or a reply explaining the reasons for denial of the claim if liability has not been established or if damages have not been entirely qualified.

To facilitate the claims of injured parties, each Member State shall create an information organisation responsible for collecting and providing information on the motor vehicles in circulation, insurance undertakings and the bodies responsible for compensating victims.

In the event of an accident in a Member State other than the State of residence, the injured party may send a claim to the compensation body of the Member State of residence if the insurance undertaking of the person having caused the accident has not dealt with their claim.

This Directive repeals Directives 72/166/EEC, 84/5/EEC, 90/232/EEC, 2000/26/EC and 2005/14/EC.

Key terms of the Act
  • National insurers’ bureau: a professional organisation which is constituted by the Road Transport Sub-committee of the Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe and which groups together insurance undertakings which, in a State, are authorised to conduct the business of motor vehicle insurance against civil liability.
  • Green card: an international certificate of insurance issued on behalf of a national bureau by the Road Transport Sub-committee of the Inland Transport Committee of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.
  • Claims representative: the person who is responsible for handling claims arising following an accident which occurs in a Member State other than the State of residence.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Directive 2009/103/EC


OJ L 263 of 7.10.2009

CIS system

CIS system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about CIS system


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

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

CIS system

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 515/97 of 13 March 1997 on mutual assistance between the administrative authorities of the Member States and cooperation between the latter and the Commission to ensure the correct application of the law on customs or agricultural matters [See amending acts].


This regulation sets up a customs information system (CIS). This common computer network is set up and maintained by the Member States’ customs administrations and the Commission in the form of a central database accessible via terminals in each Member State and at the Commission.

The CIS system helps to prevent, investigate and prosecute breaches of Community customs or agricultural legislation. It increases the effectiveness of the cooperation and control procedures of the customs authorities by disseminating data and information quickly. The system also enables both regular and occasional data exchange on goods moving between the customs territory of the Community and third countries.

The conditions on the use of information technology within customs are strictly defined. As such the data entered into the CIS shall only be related to:

  • goods;
  • means of transport;
  • businesses;
  • people;
  • trends in fraud;
  • available competencies;
  • goods detained, seized or confiscated;
  • cash detained, seized or confiscated.

Only the authorities designated by the Member States and the Commission have direct access to the data contained in the CIS. These authorities are designated after a list has been sent to the Commission, which also details specific conditions regarding each authority’s access to the data.

International or regional organisations can access the CIS by special dispensation. In exceptional circumstances, certain data can be sent to other national authorities or to third countries.

Data protection

The CIS contains data only, including that of a personal character *, necessary to achieve the system’s objective and which are provided by measures such as sighting, surveillance, specific checks and operational analysis *.

The personal details which can be entered into the CIS are detailed in a limited list. They are only entered if there are real indications that the person concerned has breached, is breaching or will breach customs or agricultural legislation. Any person has the right to access the data concerning them to check that they are accurate and what is being made of them. This information could be used in legal proceedings.

The data in the CIS is confidential and may only be reproduced for technical reasons such as in cases justified by the information search. On the authorisation of the authority that entered them, personal data can be transmitted to systems of risk management used for national customs controls or to operational analysis systems used at Community level.

Customs Files Identification Database

The Customs Files Identification Database (FIDE) is a database which has been added to the CIS to facilitate investigations carried out by the Commission and the national competent authorities. It brings together files relating to persons and businesses that have been suspected of or found guilty of offences.


The Commission adopted a new strategy for the development of the Union’s customs, which aims in particular to improve cooperation between customs authorities and a more generalised use of information systems.

Key terms of the Act
  • Operational analysis: the process of analysis of operations which constitute, or appear to constitute, breaches during many phases such as the collection of information, evaluation of the reliability of the information, the linking of information, as well as the formulation of recommendations aimed at identifying persons or businesses implicated and/or to detect other offences.
  • Personal data: any information regarding a physical person, identified or identifiable (this means it could be identified either directly or indirectly, in particular by an identification number or by elements specific to his physical, physiological, psychological, economic, cultural or social identity).


Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 515/97


ABl. L 82 vom 22.3.1997

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 807/2003


OJ L 122 of 16.5.2003

Regulation (EC) No 766/2008


OJ L 218 of 13.8.2008

Subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 515/97 have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated version  has a purely documentary value”.

Civilian Headline Goal 2008

Civilian Headline Goal 2008

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Civilian Headline Goal 2008


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

Foreign and security policy > Conflict prevention

Civilian Headline Goal 2008

Document or Iniciative

Civilian Headline Goal 2008 , approved by the Brussels European Council on 17 December 2004 [15863/04 – Not published in the Official Journal].


The EU is determined to share in the responsibility for global security. As underlined in the European Security Strategy, civil crisis management must therefore constitute an essential component of the European Union’s external policy.

Ambitions and tasks

A coherent use of Community and civilian ESDP instruments in civil crisis management situations is of key importance.
The Member States have identified six priority sectors of civil crisis management:

  • police;
  • rule of law;
  • civil administration;
  • civil protection;
  • monitoring missions;
  • support for EU special representatives.

The document also notes that the EU should be able to contribute to security sector reform and support disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration processes.

The EU will deploy integrated and variable civilian crisis management packages that meet specific needs on the ground and contribute to strengthening local institutions by means of advice, training, monitoring and “substitution missions”.

The EU must therefore be equipped to conduct several civilian ESDP crisis management missions concurrently including at least one large civilian substitution mission:

  • at short notice;
  • in a non-benign environment.

Sustainability and the high quality of the personnel involved in civilian crisis management will have to be at the core of Member States’ efforts.

Rapid reaction is key to an effective response in acute crises. The EU has set the aim of being able to take the decision to launch a mission within 5 days of the approval of the Crisis Management Concept by the Council. Specific civilian ESDP capabilities should be deployable within 30 days of the decision to launch the mission.

ESDP civilian crisis management missions can be deployed autonomously, jointly or in close cooperation with military operations. The civil-military cell plays an important role in this respect.

A clear division of labour between Community efforts and ESDP activities and close cooperation with Community activities in the planning and implementation phases of ESDP civilian missions will be an important element to ensure coherence, taking into account planned future Community activity.

Process and way ahead

The Civilian Headline Goal will be developed under the auspices of the Council. It will be overseen by the Political and Security Committee (PSC) and supported by the Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management (CIVCOM) according to a systematic approach based on four stages:

  • Development of key planning assumptions and illustrative scenarios (to be completed by April 2005).
    A number of strategic planning assumptions and illustrative scenarios will be developed and will serve to define the capacities necessary to achieve the 2010 Headline Goal.
  • Drawing up of a Capabilities Requirements List (to be completed by July 2005).
    This list sets out needs in terms of personnel, equipment, planning, logistics and mission support, as well as command and control requirements and the multifunctional capability packages required.
  • Assessment of national contributions and identification of capability shortfalls (end of 2005).
    Member State contributions to the Capabilities Requirements List will be examined by PSC and CIVCOM. Once the needs and resources available have been determined, the EU will be able to identify shortfalls and prioritise which resources to develop (Capabilities Improvement Plan).
  • Civilian Headline Goal follow-up process
    In order to meet capability needs, a system for providing a regular review of capabilities will be adopted.

The establishment of appropriate operational planning and mission support capabilities within the Council Secretariat to ensure the ability of the EU to conduct several civilian crisis management missions simultaneously must be addressed urgently.

The Civilian Headline Goal process should take into account work of the Headline Goal 2010 process. Experts in civilian crisis management from international organisations, in particular from the UN and the OSCE, should be consulted in order to facilitate a more effective response to demands from such organisations (particularly the UN).


Given the complexity of the conflicts and crisis management situations the EU is increasingly called on to deal with, demand for civilian instruments in the framework of the ESDP is growing. The first ESDP operation authorised by the Council (EUPM) in Bosnia and Herzegovina was a civilian operation (2003); in December 2004, three civilian missions and a monitoring mission were operational.
At the Civilian Capabilities Improvement Conference on 22 November 2004, the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the EU welcomed the progress made under the Action Plan for Civilian Aspects of ESDP and called for the establishment of the Civilian Headline Goal, which identifies needs-driven goals enabling the EU to further define and build up its civilian capabilities before 2008.

Related Acts

Civilian Capabilities Improvement Conference – Ministerial Declaration ( ). Brussels, 21 November 2005 [14713/05 (Press 306) – Not published in the Official Journal].

Civilian Capabilities Improvement Conference – Ministerial Declaration ( ). Brussels, 13 November 2006 [Not published in the Official Journal].

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

Civil protection

Civil protection

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Civil protection


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

Environment > Civil protection

Civil protection

Today’s societies are more and more vulnerable to all kinds of risks, be they natural or technological, which can have serious environmental consequences. To help address these risks and be prepared to manage the crisis situations to which they can lead, the European Union has set up a mechanism for cooperation on assistance interventions and established programmes for the funding of civil protection measures.


  • Civil Protection Mechanism
  • Financing of civil protection measures (2007-2013)
  • Preventive alert against emergencies


  • Strengthening the European disaster response capacity
  • Prevention of natural or man-made disasters in the European Union
  • Disaster risk reduction in developing countries
  • Response to natural or man-made disasters
  • Major accidents involving dangerous substances
  • Transboundary effects of industrial accidents
  • Flood management and evaluation
  • Towards a Community programme for flood risk management

Civil Protection Mechanism

Civil Protection Mechanism

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Civil Protection Mechanism


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

Humanitarian aid

Civil Protection Mechanism

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/779/EC, Euratom of 8 November 2007 establishing a Community Civil Protection Mechanism (recast).


A cooperation mechanism is set up to improve the coordination of civil protection assistance intervention in major emergencies. Such cases may arise from a natural, technological, radiological or environmental disaster, including accidental marine pollution, or from a terrorist act, occurring or threatening to occur inside or outside the European Union (EU).

The mechanism is based on a series of elements and actions, including:

  • compiling an inventory of assistance and intervention teams available in EU countries;
  • establishing a training programme for members of such teams;
  • launching workshops, seminars and pilot projects on the main aspects of interventions;
  • setting up assessment and coordination teams;
  • establishing a Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) and a common communication and information system;
  • establishing a Common Emergency Communication and Information System (CECIS) between the MIC and EU countries’ contact points;
  • helping to develop detection and early warning systems;
  • facilitating access to equipment and transport by providing information on the resources available from EU countries and identifying resources available from other sources;
  • making additional transport resources available.

Preparing for emergencies

In order to establish this mechanism, EU countries must in particular:

  • identify the teams available for intervention within 12 hours following a request for assistance;
  • select experts who can be called upon to take part in an assessment or coordination team;
  • develop interoperable intervention modules employing the resources of one or more EU countries, which are able to carry out missions in case of emergencies;
  • examine the possibility of providing additional specialised assistance should a particular emergency occur;
  • provide all relevant information for setting up the mechanism, not later than six months after the adoption of this decision;
  • designate the competent authorities and contact points for implementing this decision.

Furthermore, if they so wish, EU countries may provide information on the availability of military resources in their response to requests for assistance.

For its part, the European Commission assumes responsibility for setting up and managing the MIC, the CECIS and the training programme for intervention teams. It will mobilise and send small teams of experts to the site of the emergency to assess the needs and, if necessary, to help coordinate operations there. It will also introduce a programme of lessons learned from interventions and disseminate these lessons throughout the information system, as well as collect and centralise information on national medical resource availability.

Information on the national civil protection capabilities available for assistance interventions is compiled in a database. This includes the contents of the military database, compiled by the EU Military Staff (EUMS), giving it a broad picture of all resources available to manage the consequences of disasters.

Responding to emergencies

The operational heart of the mechanism is the MIC, which is based at the European Commission in Brussels. Through the MIC, which is accessible 24 hours a day, the Commission can facilitate the mobilisation of civil protection resources from EU countries in the event of an emergency.

Any participating country affected by or at risk of being affected by a major disaster – inside or outside the EU – can request assistance from an EU country directly or through the MIC. The MIC then immediately forwards the request to the network of national contact points. They inform the MIC whether they are in a position to offer assistance. The MIC then compiles the responses and informs the requesting country of the available assistance. The affected country selects the assistance it needs and establishes contact with the assisting countries. The MIC can also offer technical support, including improved access to satellite images, and acts as an information centre, collecting data and distributing regular updates to all participating countries.

While the requesting country is responsible for supervising the assistance operations, it is up to the country offering the assistance to appoint someone responsible for the implementation details of the operation. The requesting country can delegate the supervision of the operations to the intervention teams who must then coordinate their actions, if necessary with the support of the experts from the assessment and/or coordination teams.

In the case of an assistance intervention in a non-EU country, the Council Presidency is responsible for the political and strategic coordination of the operations, while the Commission retains its role as operational coordinator. Operational coordination involves in particular the task of facilitating dialogue and contact with the national contact points, the non-EU country affected and other relevant actors such as the services of the United Nations (UN). In addition, the UN is responsible for overall coordination of the operations when it is providing services at the scene of the emergency.

Candidate countries for EU accession and non-EU countries can participate in the mechanism. Today, 30 countries – the EU-27, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway – participate in the mechanism, which is funded on a year-by-year basis.

The Commission submits a report on the implementation of this decision every three years.


In January 2006, the Commission proposed to reinforce the existing European Civil Protection Mechanism on the basis of past experience and to provide a suitable legal basis for future action in this area. This reinforcement is designed to deal with the increase in frequency and seriousness of natural and man-made disasters.

This cooperation instrument, resulting from the above Commission proposal, replaces the mechanism for assistance interventions established by Council Decision 2001/792/EC, Euratom, repealed by this decision.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/779/EC, Euratom


OJ L 314 of 1.12.2007

Related Acts

Council Decision 2007/162/EC, Euratom of 5 March 2007 establishing a Civil Protection Financial Instrument [Official Journal L 71 of 10.3.2007].

The EU has an instrument that enables it to fund activities aimed at preventive action, preparedness and an effective response, particularly those carried out under the existing mechanism. This financial instrument covers the 2007-13 period and replaces the Community action programme in favour of civil protection, established by Council Decision 1999/847/EC.

Commission Decision 2004/277/EC, Euratom of 29 December 2003 laying down rules for the implementation of Council Decision 2001/792/EC, Euratom establishing a Community mechanism to facilitate reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions [Official Journal L 87 of 25.3.2004].

Council Resolution of 22 December 2003 on strengthening Community cooperation in the field of civil protection research [Official Journal C 8 of 13.1.2004].
The Council encourages the development of research projects on the reduction of natural and technological risks and on mitigating their consequences. It also encourages research institutes and other relevant entities to establish common objectives for preventing and reacting to natural or technological risks.

Council Resolution of 19 December 2002 on special civil protection assistance to outermost and isolated regions, to insular regions, to regions which are not easily accessible, and to sparsely populated regions, in the European Union [Official Journal C 24 of 31.1.2003].
The Council considers that outermost, isolated, distant insular and sparsely populated regions should benefit from measures suited to their individual situations. In particular, it encourages joint projects between regions with similar characteristics and the taking into consideration of these characteristics when planning responses to emergency situations, setting up specialised intervention teams and developing effective, reliable and adapted communication systems.

Council Resolution of 28 January 2002 on reinforcing cooperation in the field of civil protection training [Official Journal C 43 of 16.2.2002].
The Council invites the Commission to look at any initiatives supporting the creation of a network of schools and training centres active in the field of civil protection and to give financial support to this initiative and involve the candidate countries in its work. The Commission is also invited to consider the possibility of creating a European civil protection college to perpetuate such cooperation.

Citizenship of the Union

Citizenship of the Union

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Citizenship of the Union


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

Citizenship of the Union

Any person who is a national of a Member State of the European Union (EU) is a European citizen. EU citizenship thus complements national citizenship without replacing it. An integral part of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, EU citizenship confers nationals of Member States a series of rights. These include the rights to appeal to the Ombudsman, initiate legislative proposals (citizens’ initiative), and to vote and stand as a candidate in municipal and European elections. Citizens of the Union also enjoy freedom of movement and residence within the territory of the EU, as well as diplomatic and consular protection outside the Union from any Member State.


  • The Stockholm Programme
  • Action plan on the Stockholm Programme
  • The Hague Programme: 10 priorities for the next five years
  • Charter of Fundamental Rights
  • Putting the Charter of Fundamental Rights into practice
  • The European Ombudsman
  • Dismantling the obstacles to EU citizens’ rights
  • Follow-up to the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on the Free Movement of Persons
  • Reports on citizenship of the Union

Action programmes

  • European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011)
  • Fundamental rights and citizenship (2007-13)
  • Europe for Citizens (2007-13)
  • Active European citizenship (2004-2006)
  • Making citizenship work: programmes for Youth, Culture, Audiovisual and Civic Participation


  • Right of Union citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States


  • Participating in municipal elections: the right to vote and to stand as a candidate


  • Voting rights and eligibility in European Parliament elections
  • Evaluation of the European Parliament Elections (2004)
  • Rules of Procedure of the European Parliament


  • Emergency travel document (ETD)
  • Diplomatic and consular protection
  • Effective consular protection (Action Plan 2007-2009)
  • Diplomatic and consular protection of Union citizens in third countries (Green Paper)