Tag Archives: Computer system

More effective and more accessible grants for research

More effective and more accessible grants for research

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about More effective and more accessible grants for research

Topics

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

Research and innovation > General framework

More effective and more accessible grants for research

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 29 April 2010 – Simplifying the implementation of the research framework programmes [COM(2010) 187 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Communication from the Commission aims at simplifying the rules and procedures applying to the award and management of European Union (EU) grants in the field of research and innovation. The Communication is divided into three main strands.

Strand No 1 – Rationalising the management of proposals and grants within the current regulatory and legal framework (short term)

The aim of the first strand is to improve the current system of proposal and grant management, and to make it less burdensome, simpler and quicker. Most improvements aim at a reduction of time-to-grant and time-to-pay. They mainly consist of:

  • better IT systems (which should enable participants to access documents related to their proposals or grants);
  • more coherent application of rules, in particular those relating to audit;
  • an improvement of the structure and content of “calls for proposals” through which research organisations request funding from the Union;
  • forming smaller consortia; and
  • awarding prizes which have a positive impact on research and innovation.

Strand No 2 – Adapting the rules under the current cost-based system

The second strand consists of adapting the existing financial rules whilst maintaining effective control. The new system should allow for wider acceptance of usual accounting practices (including average personnel costs). This adaptation should also lead to a reduction in differences in the specific conditions that apply to many activities (research, demonstration, and management) and types of participants (research organisations, universities, non-profit organisations, etc.). Lump sum options for certain cost categories will allow for actual costs, a source of complexity, to be fully abandoned. Such lump sums are already widely used under the “People” programme. They can now be introduced for all projects, particularly for personnel costs or owner-managers of SMEs who carry out a major part of the project themselves without a salary registered in the accounts. Furthermore, an amendment of the grant selection progress will contribute to reducing time-to-grant and to a removal of administrative burden both for Member States and Commission services.

Strand No 3 – Moving towards result-based instead of cost-based funding

The options presented in the two strands above will not remove the administrative efforts connected with cost reporting and financial auditing. However, the gradual introduction of “result-based remuneration” will minimise the administrative burden for accounting and the needs for financial ex-ante and ex-post checks. This amendment will apply to future research framework programmes. Beneficiaries of EU grants will receive lump sumps to carry out specific scientific tasks. They will have to demonstrate that they have acted in an efficient and effective manner instead of justifying their expenditure.

Perspectives

Most options proposed under the second and third strands require changes to the rules. They will therefore be addressed in the triennial review of the Financial Regulation and, on that basis, in the forthcoming review of the regulatory framework of research policy.

However, the Commission may present amendments to the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), following its interim evaluation, expected in October 2010.

Context

FP7 has provoked considerable interest in the research community – so far, more than 30,000 proposals have been received each year and around 7,000 projects funded. Almost all European universities have participated in the programme.

Several measures have already been taken to simplify procedures, both in the preparation of FP7 and during its operation. Amongst these measures is a new guarantee fund and a single registration system which allows organisations requesting funding for a number of projects over several years to communicate their data only once. In addition, eight participants in FP7 out of 10 are now exempt from ex-ante financial capacity checking.

Two new executive agencies were put in place by the Commission in 2007:

  • the Research Executive Agency, and
  • the European Research Council Executive Agency.

The European Research Council is an essential part of FP7. It awards grants to projects led by researchers (both new and experienced project leaders), without these projects needing to be included in cross-border consortia.

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

Towards integrated maritime surveillance

Towards integrated maritime surveillance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards integrated maritime surveillance

Topics

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

Maritime Affairs And Fisheries > Maritime affairs

Towards integrated maritime surveillance

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 15 October 2009 – Towards the integration of maritime surveillance: A common information sharing environment for the EU maritime domain [COM(2009) 538 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In the European Union, most data relating to maritime affairs is processed by sectoral authorities. These authorities are responsible for the surveillance and monitoring of activities at sea in the sector under their responsibility, without necessarily informing their counterparts in other sectors. This is a drawback, since the sharing of this data makes it possible to increase the effectiveness and cost-efficiency of maritime surveillance activities.

Data sharing and interoperability between maritime surveillance systems pose certain technical and legal problems, however, as well as problems from a security perspective. In this Communication, the Commission identifies these problems and puts forward solutions.

Obstacles to the integration of maritime surveillance

The main obstacles to the creation of a common information sharing environment are as follows:

  • diverse user and operator communities: most information is collected at several levels (international, EU and national) by numerous sectoral systems. In some cases the involved authorities are unaware that other authorities or systems are collecting similar information. In other cases they do not have information sharing standards or agreements;
  • diverse legal frameworks: maritime surveillance systems have been developed on the basis of sector-specific, international and EU legislation. These systems are therefore difficult to merge;
  • cross border threats: threats faced by Member States often require an improved trans-national and sometimes even trans-sectoral approach, in particular with regard to the high seas;
  • specific legal provisions: international and EU legislation which frames maritime surveillance activities on the high seas and governs the processing of personal, confidential and classified data lacks cohesion.

Solutions for the integration of maritime surveillance

The creation of a common information sharing environment is based on compliance with the following Guiding Principles:

  • optimising the exchange of information between the different user communities. The European Union should adopt rules and standards at Community level to interlink the different user communities. These communities should be able to share at national level information from international, Community, regional, military and internal systems. The common information sharing environment should be secure, and flexible enough to adapt to the needs of new users;
  • building a non-hierarchical technical framework of maritime monitoring and surveillance systems. The technical framework should facilitate the collection, dissemination, analysis and management of data. It should integrate security concerns and comply with data protection regulations, international rules and functional requirements;
  • exchanging information between civilian and military authorities. The authorities responsible for maritime surveillance should be able to share information. Common standards and procedures for access to and use of the information will be adopted to allow for a two-directional information exchange;
  • removing obstacles to the exchange of information imposed by specific legal provisions. Certain provisions of EU and national legislation may prevent the exchange of information relating to maritime monitoring and surveillance. These provisions should be identified and adapted while providing for the necessary guarantees relating to confidentiality and data security and the protection of personal data.

These four Guiding Principles will serve to trigger a reflection process at EU and Member State level which will need to encompass all user communities. They may be revised in light of the outcome of three projects aimed at evaluating the ability of users from different Member States and user communities to exchange information.

Context

This Communication follows on from a previous Communication – An Integrated Maritime Policy for the European Union, in which the European Commission undertook to ‘take steps towards a more interoperable surveillance system to bring together existing monitoring and tracking systems used for maritime safety and security, protection of the marine environment, fisheries control, control of external borders and other law enforcement activities’.

Attacks against information systems

Attacks against information systems

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Attacks against information systems

Topics

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

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

Attacks against information systems

Document or Iniciative

Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA of 24 February 2005 on attacks against information systems.

Summary

The main types of criminal offences covered by this Framework Decision are attacks against information systems * such as piracy, viruses and denial of service attacks.

This new criminal activity, which knows no borders, can be preve nted and combated by:

  • enhancing the security of information infrastructures; and
  • giving law enforcement authorities the means to act.

To this end, the present Framework Decision proposes the approximation of criminal law systems and the enhancement of cooperation between judicial authorities concerning:

  • illegal access to information systems;
  • illegal system interference;
  • illegal data interference.

In all cases, the criminal act must be intentional.

Instigating, aiding, abetting and attempting to commit any of the above offences will also be liable to punishment.

The Member States will have to make provision for such offences to be punished by effective, proportionate and dissuasive criminal penalties.

Where an offence is committed in the context of a criminal organisation within the meaning of Joint Action 98/733/JHA, causes substantial loss or affects essential interests, this will be considered an aggravating circumstance. On the other hand, where an offence causes only minor damage, the competent judicial authority may reduce the penalty.

The framework decision proposes criteria for determining the liability of legal persons * and sets out sanctions that may apply if they are found liable (temporary or permanent disqualification from activity, court winding-up order, loss of public benefits, etc.).

Each Member State will have jurisdiction for offences committed on its territory or by one of its nationals. Where several Member States have jurisdiction over an offence, they must cooperate to decide which State will conduct proceedings against the author of said offence.

The Member States will exchange all information intended to enhance cooperation. Notably, operational points of contact available twenty-four hours a day and seven days a week within each Member State shall be appointed.

Member States must inform the General Secretariat of the Council and the Commission of their appointed points of contact and of any other measures adopted to comply with the Framework Decision.

Context

At the Tampere European Council in October 1999, the need to approximate provisions concerning offences and sentencing in the area of cybercrime was recognised and reaffirmed in a Communication entitled: “Creating a Safer Information Society by Improving the Security of Information Infrastructures and Combating Computer-related Crime”.

The present Framework Decision forms a part of the information society and of the eEurope Action Plan in general.

This Framework Decision also aims to complement and develop activities carried out at the international level, such as the work of the G8 and the Council of Europe Convention on cybercrime.

Key Terms used in the Act

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  • Information Systems: any device or group of inter-connected or related devices which performs automatic processing of computer data, as well as computer data stored, processed, retrieved or transmitted by them for the purposes of their operation, use, protection and maintenance.
  • Legal Person: any entity having such status under the applicable law, except for States or other public bodies in the exercise of State authority and for public international organisations.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA 16.3.2005 16.3.2007 OJ L 69 of 16.3.2005

RELATED ACTS

Commission Report to the Council on Article 12 of the Council Framework Decision of 24 February 2005 on attacks against information systems [COM(2008) 448 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission finds that transposition of the Framework Decision is not yet complete in Member States. Notable progress has been made in the twenty Member States evaluated in the present Report. Despite widely divergent application methods, a relatively satisfying degree of implementation has been achieved. The Commission invites the seven Member States that had still not announced measures to transpose the Framework Decision into national law in early July 2008 to rectify this situation as quickly as possible It also asks Member States to review their legislation to better suppress attacks against information systems.
In light of the evolution of cybercrime, the Commission considers taking new measures following the adoption of the Framework Decision to combat the use of botnets for criminal purposes and to promote the use of the same contact points used by the Council of Europe and the G8 to react rapidly to threats involving advanced technology.