Tag Archives: Cross-border cooperation

Road safety: Policy orientations on road safety 2011-20

Road safety: Policy orientations on road safety 2011-20

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Road safety: Policy orientations on road safety 2011-20


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

Transport > Road transport

Road safety: Policy orientations on road safety 2011-20

rd road safety action programme, the Commission has published policy orientations on road safety to provide a general framework, under which concrete action can be taken at European, national, regional or local levels from 2011 until 2020.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 20 July 2010 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – “Towards a European road safety area: policy orientations on road safety 2011-2020” [COM(2010) 389 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Although progress was made on road safety in the European Union (EU) during the 3rd European road safety action programme (2003-10), the Commission highlights that efforts to improve road safety need to be further strengthened. This 3rd road safety action programme (RSAP) included an ambitious target to halve the number of road deaths by 2010 as well as numerous proposals for concrete actions in vehicle safety, safety of infrastructure and users’ safety. Although the Commission accepts that the initial target was not likely to be met by the end of 2010, the RSAP has encouraged EU countries to be more proactive in improving road safety and has gone a long way to dramatically reduce the number of fatalities on EU roads.

The European road safety policy orientations 2011-20 aims to provide a general framework and challenging objectives to guide national and local strategies, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity. Within the general framework, the Commission highlights the need to:

  • create a cooperation framework based on the exchange of best practices across the EU;
  • adopt a strategy for injuries and first aid to address the need to reduce the number of road injuries;
  • improve the safety of vulnerable road users.

Principles and target

The Commission sets out three main principles:

  • striving for the highest road safety standards throughout Europe – by encouraging EU citizens to take primary responsibility for their own safety and the safety of others on EU roads, and by focusing on improving the safety of more vulnerable road users;
  • an integrated approach to road safety – through cooperation with other EU policy areas, such as energy, environment, education, innovation and technology, and justice.
  • subsidiarity, proportionality and shared responsibility – through the concept of shared responsibility, commitment and concrete actions at all levels from EU countries and their authorities to regional and local bodies.

Following the RSAP 2003-10, the Commission proposes to maintain the target of halving the overall number of road deaths in the EU between 2010 and 2020. This ambitious target demonstrates the EU’s clear commitment towards road safety and having a common objective is intended to provide EU citizens with a more uniform level of road safety within the EU. The Commission encourages individual EU countries to contribute to the achievement of this common target through their own national road safety strategies.

During the public consultation for these policy orientations, which took place between July and December 2009, a target for reducing road traffic severe injuries was proposed. Once a common definition exists for ‘severe injuries’, the Commission will propose to add a common “injuries reduction target” to these European road safety policy orientations up to 2020.

Strategic objectives

The Commission has identified seven objectives, for which actions will be proposed at both EU and national level:

  • improve education and training of road users – the quality of the licensing and training system needs to be improved, with emphasis on young drivers. The Commission will work with EU countries to develop a common educational and training road safety strategy including pre-test learning, the driving licence test, and post-licence training;
  • increase enforcement of road rules – the Commission, the European Parliament and the Council will work together to establish a cross-border exchange of information in the area of road safety. The Commission will also work towards a common road safety enforcement strategy which will involve enforcement campaigns, national enforcement objectives, and vehicle technology to assist enforcement, including the possibility of speed limiters in light commercial vehicles and alcohol interlock devices;
  • safer road infrastructure – the Commission will ensure that European funds will only be granted to infrastructure that complies with the EU safety requirements. The Commission will also promote the application of the relevant principles of safe management to the secondary road network of EU countries, in particular through the exchange of best practices.
  • safer vehicles – as well as continue to encourage the progress of vehicle safety, the Commission will also evaluate and propose actions in the area of harmonisation and progressive strengthening of EU legislation on roadworthiness tests and on technical roadside inspections;
  • promote the use of modern technology to increase road safety – the Commission will continue to promote the use of Intelligent Transport Systems to improve road traffic safety. The effectiveness and speed of rescue will be enhanced by the adoption of the European emergency call service fitted to vehicles, ‘eCall’;
  • improve emergency and post-injuries services – the Commission will propose the establishment of a global strategy of action on road injuries and first aid. The Commission will in particular examine the means to improve the efficiency of first aid intervention and post-care handling in order to reduce the impact of road accidents.
  • protect vulnerable road users – the Commission will work to improve the safety of motorcyclists, addressing behaviour, as well as vehicle and infrastructure safety. It will also encourage the establishment of adequate infrastructures to increase the safety of cycling and other vulnerable road users.

Implementation of the European road safety policy orientations 2011-20

A framework for open cooperation between EU countries and the Commission will be established to facilitate the implementation of the EU road safety policy. Parallel to this, EU countries should also develop national road safety plans including specific national objectives which are individual to their particular situation.

The Commission will pursue the improvement of the existing tools for data collection and analysis, such as CARE, the EU database on road accidents established in accordance with Council Decision 93/704/EC, as well as the European Road Safety Observatory (ERSO), which makes publicly available through the Internet road safety data and knowledge at European level.

Rules for the application of the European Regional Development Fund

Rules for the application of the European Regional Development Fund

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Rules for the application of the European Regional Development Fund


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

Agriculture > General framework

Rules for the application of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 of 8 December 2006 setting out rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund and of Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund [See amending act(s)].


This Regulation lays down rules for the application of:

  • Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 on the European Regional Development (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Fund;
  • Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006 on the ERDF.

This Regulation establishes all the rules for publishing and communicating information relating to projects funded by these Funds. In addition, it defines the rules aimed at ensuring the Funds are properly used, particularly with regard to the monitoring systems put in place by the Member States and the procedures for cases of irregularity.

Lastly, the Regulation establishes the provisions relating to certain specific aspects of the Funds, such as the financial engineering instruments and the eligibility expenditure on housing.

Information and publicity: the communication plan

In accordance with Regulation No 1083/2006, Member States shall establish operational programmes. These programmes define the development strategies based on funding from the structural Funds.

With transparency in mind, the operational programmes must be the subject of a communication plan. The communication plans are established by the Member States or the management authorities responsible for operational programmes. These plans are aimed at:

  • beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries in order to widely disseminate information on the possibility of funding and the procedures to follow;
  • the public, in order to improve the communication of the role played by the European Union (EU) in the financing of programmes which aim to improve economic competitiveness, job creation and internal cohesion.

Furthermore, the communication plans include:

  • the aims and target groups;
  • the strategy and content of the information and publicity measures to be taken by the Member State or the managing authority;
  • the indicative budget for implementation of the plan;
  • the administrative departments or bodies responsible for implementation of the communication plan;
  • the means for evaluating the information and publicity measures.

Alongside the dissemination of information, this Regulation defines the responsibilities and roles of each of the stakeholders involved, specifically:

  • the rules allowing the Member States to submit to the Commission information on the use of the Funds, as well as information on the allocation of the Funds throughout the life of a programme;
  • the rules enabling the Commission to inform the other Institutions and the citizens of the European Union on the use of the Funds;
  • the obligations which the managing authorities should have with regard to beneficiaries in the phase leading to the selection and approval of the operations to be funded;
  • the obligations of the managing authorities with regard to the aspects which the verifications of the expenditure declared by the beneficiary should cover. This includes administrative verifications of the applications for reimbursement, and on-the-spot verifications of individual operations;
  • the provisions relating to personal data and the exchange of data electronically.

To ensure exchanges of good practice and experience, European networks may be set up, comprising the contact persons responsible for information and publicity, as designated by each managing authority.

Management and control systems

The general provisions on the ERDF, the ESF and the Cohesion Fund provide that Member States submit to the Commission a description of the management and control systems and a report setting out the results of an assessment of their introduction.

The Commission relies on these documents to satisfy itself that the financial assistance concerned is used by the Member States in accordance with the applicable rules necessary for protecting the EU’s financial interests. This is why the present Regulation sets out in detail the information that such documents should contain.

Furthermore, this Regulation lays down specific rules concerning:

  • intermediate bodies, managing authorities and certifying authorities;
  • audits of operations;
  • the description and assessment of management and control systems;
  • the conditions to be observed when on-the-spot verifications are carried out on a sample basis;
  • the information which should be included in the accounting records and audit trails.


Member States must report to the Commission any irregularities which have been the subject of a primary administrative or judicial finding. They then inform it of the procedures instituted with respect to all irregularities previously notified and of important changes resulting from them.

Each Member State is to report to the Commission and to the other Member States concerned any irregularities discovered or supposed to have occurred, where it is feared that they may very quickly have repercussions outside its territory or they show that a new malpractice has been employed.

Financial corrections

Where a Member State does not maintain an agreed target level of public structural expenditure during the programming period, no financial correction should be applied if the difference between the agreed target level and the level achieved is equal to or less than 3 % of the agreed target level (de minimis threshold).

Financial engineering instruments

This Regulation lays down general and specific provisions applicable to all financial engineering instruments. Financial engineering instruments take the form of actions which make repayable investments in enterprises, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), and in public-private partnerships. When the Structural Funds finance operations comprising financial engineering instruments, a business plan must be submitted by the cofinancing partners or shareholders.

Provisions implementing Regulation (EC) No 1080/2006

The present Regulation lays down specific rules concerning the eligibility of expenditure on housing and the eligibility of operational programmes for the European territorial cooperation objective.


The ERDF and the ESF (“Structural Funds”) and the Cohesion Fund cofinance projects implemented at regional and local level. The structural funds particularly aim at increasing economic competitiveness, improving employment and strengthening social and economic cohesion between the European regions.


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

Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006


OJ L 45, 15.2.2007

Amending Act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 846/2009


OJ L 250, 23.9.2009

Regulation (EC) No 832/2010


OJ L 248, 22.9.2010

Single market: improving its functioning

Single market: improving its functioning

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Single market: improving its functioning


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

Internal market > Internal market: general framework

Single market: improving its functioning

Document or Iniciative

Commission Recommendation 2009/524/EC of 29 June 2009 on measures to improve the functioning of the single market (Text with EEA relevance).


This Recommendation aims to improve the functioning of the single market. It presents a set of measures intended to guarantee the application of the Community rules and to promote best practices which already exist in certain Member States.

Improving coordination and cooperation

This Recommendation invites Member States to designate a new authority or to use the existing structures in their national administration to ensure that a body assumes responsibility for coordination with regard to the single market. Government ministries and public bodies must also cooperate with each other.

The European Commission also considers it pertinent to bring together responsibilities for a number of single market related activities within a single authority.

Cooperation between national authorities is strongly encouraged, on the one hand in order to make the existing networks such as the IMI, RAPEX or RASFF more operational and, on the other hand, to ensure that the responses to Commission requests concerning the application of single market rules at national level are more effective. From this perspective, this Recommendation encourages Member States to follow the example of cooperation between Nordic and Baltic countries in the context of market surveillance.

Improving the transposition of single market rules

Member States are invited to prepare actively for the transposition, application and enforcement of single market directives at national level.

It is crucial that relevant information is communicated between national administrations and national, regional and devolved parliaments in order to raise awareness of negotiations and the process for the transposition of Community rules. To this end, some Member States draw up national impact assessments when a directive is tabled by the Commission.

Improving market monitoring and the application of rules

The Commission recommends that Member States take measures aimed at monitoring the market, by using analysis carried out by academics, consultants, National Statistical offices or complaint handling bodies.

Local stakeholders are also strongly encouraged to participate in the market monitoring process.

In addition, officials responsible for applying single market rules should be able to receive continued training on Community law in general and single market rules in particular.

Promoting problem-solving mechanisms

This Recommendation encourages Member States to develop non-judicial problem-solving mechanisms and to participate in existing Community systems such as SOLVIT.

As far as the national judiciary is concerned, Member States must provide to judges basic training in Community law and single market rules to enable them to take better account of the requirements of Community law in their judgments.

Assessing national legislation

It is important that Member States should ensure the monitoring and assessment of national legislation implementing single market rules in order to rectify any deficiency or error in the application of Community rules without delay.

The Commission proposes that Member States should develop ex-post impact assessment reports or audits to monitor the implementation of single market directives.

Informing citizens and businesses about their rights

Citizens and businesses can obtain information about their rights from the Community information services within national administrations. It is therefore vital to ensure increased coordination between the national contact points responsible for these Community information services.

The Your Europe portal should be more visible and provide clearer information online.

Information campaigns and programmes should be launched to report the benefits and opportunities offered by the single market.


The Communication “A single market for 21st century Europe” emphasised a number of shortcomings of the single market due to poor application of and non-compliance with Community rules. The Commission has therefore reviewed the single market with the aim of proposing specific measures for citizens and businesses to ensure that they benefit from the economic advantages created by this market.

Road safety: cross-border application of the legislation

Road safety: cross-border application of the legislation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Road safety: cross-border application of the legislation


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

Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Road safety: cross-border application of the legislation

Document or Iniciative

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council facilitating cross-border enforcement in the field of road safety [COM(2008) 151 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Traffic offences committed in a Member State with a vehicle registered in another Member State often go unpunished. Bilateral agreements have been signed by several Member States to put an end to this impunity but these agreements have proved difficult to implement. Failure to enforce sanctions against non-resident offenders renders road safety policy carried out at the Member State level less effective and discriminates against resident drivers.

The objective of this proposal is to facilitate enforcement against drivers who commit an offence in a Member State different to the one where the vehicle is registered.

The proposal calls for the creation of an electronic data exchange system across all European Union countries which would allow the authorities of a Member State where a traffic offence has been committed to identify the offender and notify them of the sanction resulting from that offence.


The directive concerns offences:

  • which cause the greatest number of accidents and deaths on the roads (speeding *)
  • for which the sanction concerned is or includes a financial penalty.

System for exchange of information

When an offence has been committed in a Member State with a vehicle registered in another Member State and the offender cannot be sanctioned by the authorities in charge of pursuing offences in the State of offence, the competent authority in that State shall send the vehicle registration number and information concerning the date and place of the offence to the competent authority in the State where the offender resides.

The competent authority in the State of residence *.

Offence notification

Upon receipt of this information, the competent authority in the State of offence sends an offence notification to the holder of the vehicle registration certificate. This notification contains the details of the offence and the amount of the financial penalty which is due, as well as the possibilities for contestation and appeal. The offence notification is written in the official language or languages of the State of residence.

Central authorities

Each Member State shall designate a central authority to assist with the application of this Directive. Any person whose personal data are transmitted using this system may request to access data, obtain the correction of any inaccurate personal data or the deletion of any data recorded unlawfully from the central authority of the State of residence.


Launched in 2003, the European Road Safety Action Programme aims to halve the number of people killed on roads by 2010. In 2001, 54 000 people died on the roads of the 27 Member States. Between 2001 and 2007, the number of deaths decreased by 20%. While the number of road deaths fell by 6% in 2004 and 5% in 2006, it did not decrease in 2007, during which year 43 000 deaths occurred. The present proposal for a directive aims to encourage drivers to adopt better habits through a stricter observance of existing legislation.

Key terms of the act

  • State of offence: the Member State where the offence has been committed.
  • State of residence: Member State where the vehicle with which the offence has been committed is registered.
  • Speeding: exceeding speed limits in force in the State of offence for the road or type of vehicle concerned.
  • Drink-driving: driving with a blood alcohol level higher than the maximum level in force in the State of offence.
  • Non-use of a seat belt: failure to comply with the requirement to wear a seat belt or use a child restraint in accordance with Council Directive 91/671/ECC and with the national law in the State of offence.
  • Failure to stop at a red traffic light: the offence of driving through a red traffic light as it is defined in the law of the State of offence.


Proposition Official Journal Procedure
COM(2008) 151 COD/2008/0062

Towards integrated maritime surveillance

Towards integrated maritime surveillance

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


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].


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.


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’.

EU counter-terrorism policy

EU counter-terrorism policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about EU counter-terrorism policy


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

Justice freedom and security > Fight against terrorism

EU counter-terrorism policy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 20 July 2010 – The EU Counter-Terrorism Policy: main achievements and future challenges [COM(2010) 386 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The communication presents the main European Union (EU) level legislative and policy developments, as well as some of the future challenges, in the field of counter-terrorism. It forms a preparatory step in the EU’s internal security strategy, building on the Stockholm Programme’s counter-terrorism related measures. The communication focuses on the four strands identified in the EU counter-terrorism strategy:


The framework decision on combating terrorism is the main EU level legal instrument for dealing with terrorist offences. Amended in 2008, it now also harmonises national provisions relating to the prevention aspects of the fight against terrorism, including terrorist use of the internet. The Commission has also launched a dialogue with law enforcement authorities and service providers to counter terrorist use of the internet. To facilitate this kind of public/private partnerships, a European Agreement Model is currently being developed.

Of the several important policies the EU has adopted in recent years to combat radicalisation and recruitment, the specific EU strategy is a key instrument. Action and implementation plans were approved in 2009 to further the objectives of this strategy. The Commission’s contribution to work in this field has included its communication concerning terrorist recruitment and support for the production of a number of related studies. Furthermore, it has set up a European Network of Experts on Radicalisation (ENER) to facilitate dialogue between academics and policy makers.

In the future, the most effective ways to counter radicalisation and recruitment must be identified more accurately. The related national policies must be assessed, to which end the Commission will launch a communication in 2011, which will also serve as a basis for updating the EU strategy. More effective approaches must also be put in place to counter terrorist use of the internet, including further support to national law enforcement authorities.


Great efforts have been made in recent years to improve border security, including the introduction of new technologies in the development of the integrated border management system and of biometric passports. The second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) and the Visa Information System (VIS) are currently being developed. Cyber security is dealt with in the framework decision on attacks against information systems and the action plan to protect critical information infrastructure. To improve transport security, especially regarding civil aviation and maritime transport, an extensive legislative framework has been established. In these two fields, the Commission also closely cooperates with national administrations on a system of inspections of airports and port facilities.

In 2008, an EU action plan for enhancing the security of explosives was approved. The Commission is also working on proposals for measures that aim at improving control of access to precursor substances used for preparing explosives. Several programmes have also been established to support the development of security and counter-terrorism policies, such as the security research programme (as part of the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development) and the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure (EPCIP). In relation to the latter, a directive on European critical infrastructures was adopted in 2008 as a first step in creating an EU-wide approach.

Future work must concentrate on improving transport security through the use of new technologies and on developing industrial security policy with focus on standardising and certifying security solutions. Efforts should also be made to ensure the effectiveness of security research policy, in particular by strengthening links between public sector users and the research community as well as technology providers and the industry.


In recent years, several instruments relating to data gathering and exchanges have been adopted, such as the Data Retention Directive, the decision on stepping up cross-border cooperation and the framework decisions on simplifying the exchange of information between national law enforcement authorities and on the European evidence warrant. At the same time, improvements have been made to the functioning of Europol and to its cooperation with Eurojust.

The main legislative instrument dealing with the financing of terrorism is the directive on money laundering adopted in 2005. The same year, a regulation on controls of cash entering or leaving the EU was also adopted. There are also non-legislative measures to counter terrorist financing, such as the voluntary guidelines to address non-profit organisations’ vulnerability to abuse for terrorist financing purposes.

An assessment of the new legal instruments for exchanging information is currently underway and will be presented in a separate communication. The need for EU legislation on investigation techniques will also be assessed. In addition, there is the need to establish a methodology based on common parameters for threat assessments at EU level in order to ensure that counter-terrorism policy is adequately supported by evidence.


The EU Civil Protection Mechanism is the main instrument for responding to terrorist attacks. Additional EU level mechanisms include the Crisis Coordination Arrangements (CCA) and the ARGUS system, which aim at coordinating responses to crises. Europol also supports coordinated responses to terrorist incidents through its information exchange mechanisms.

The EU action plan on chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear security was adopted in 2009, with a view to better preparing and responding to incidents in which terrorists would obtain such materials. The Commission also provides support to victims of terrorist attacks, including financial support.

The EU civil protection policy is currently being evaluated to better prepare for the follow-up actions. An assessment of ways to reinforce coordination and cooperation to facilitate consular protection during crises is also underway. Furthermore, it is essential that the EU rapid response capacity be further developed on the basis of existing instruments.

Horizontal issues

The EU counter-terrorism strategy also includes horizontal issues that are relevant for its implementation:

  • respect for fundamental rights – the tools used to fight terrorism must comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights;
  • cooperation with external partners – cooperation should be further developed through international organisations, such as the United Nations, and with non-EU countries, particularly the United States;
  • funding – the multi-annual financial frameworks (currently the Security and Safeguarding Liberties Programme) provide funding for counter-terrorism; the feasibility of creating an Internal Security Fund will be examined in future.

More cooperation between Member States in recovering assets

More cooperation between Member States in recovering assets

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about More cooperation between Member States in recovering assets


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

Justice freedom and security > Fight against organised crime

More cooperation between Member States in recovering assets

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/845/JHA of 6 December 2007 concerning cooperation between Asset Recovery Offices of the Member States in the field of tracing and identification of proceeds from, or other property related to, crime.


Rapid information exchanges help to combat cross-border organised crime. There is a need for close cooperation and direct communication between the relevant authorities of Member States involved in the tracing and confiscation of illicit proceeds.

To this end, each Member State is to designate at least one national Asset Recovery Office. These offices aim to facilitate the tracing and identification of proceeds of crime and other crime-related property. The freezing, seizure or confiscation of the proceeds is decided in judicial proceedings.

Cooperation between Asset Recovery Offices

Member States are to ensure that their Asset Recovery Offices cooperate with each other, exchanging information rapidly either of their own accord or upon request. These exchanges of information are to follow the procedures established under Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA on simplifying the exchanges of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities of Member States.

Member States are to ensure that this cooperation is not hampered by the internal status of the Asset Recovery Offices, regardless of whether they form part of an administrative, law enforcement or a judicial authority.

The Asset Recovery Offices are also to exchange best practices, with a view to improving Member States’ effectiveness in the tracing and identifying of crime-related proceeds and other property.

Data protection

Information must be exchanged in conformity with data protection rules. The use of the information exchanged is subject to national data protection provisions of the receiving Member State.


Facilitating the exchange of information implements a commitment made in the Hague Programme.

This decision follows from and completes the CARIN network (Camden Assets Recovery Inter-Agency Network), which is an informal network of asset recovery authorities.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/845/JHA



OJ L 332 of 18.12.2007

Pericles action programme 2002-13

Pericles action programme 2002-13

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Pericles action programme 2002-13


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

Fight against fraud > Fight against counterfeiting

Pericles action programme 2002-13

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2001/923/EC of 17 December 2001 establishing an exchange, assistance and training programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting (Pericles programme) [See amending acts].


This Decision establishes the Pericles action programme putting in place training and technical assistance for the authorities responsible for combating counterfeiting. Initially intended to run from 1 January 2002 to 31 December 2005, the programme was extended to 31 December 2013.

The programme finances in-service training courses, specialist workshops, staff exchanges and any other activity that improves the expertise of those concerned by the single currency (police officers, customs officials, financial officials, representatives of the national central banks and national mints, specialised magistrates and lawyers, or any other professional group concerned). The content of training is multidisciplinary and transnational. It embraces security aspects, the exchange of information, and technical and scientific back-up.

In addition, the Commission makes provision for active contributions of specialist bodies such as the ESCB (European System of Central Banks), the NACs/CNACs (National Analysis Centres/Coin National Analysis Centres) and the ETSC (European Technical and Scientific Centre). Europol, Interpol and the national central anti-counterfeiting offices set up under the Geneva International Convention for the Suppression of Counterfeiting Currency of 20 April 1929 may also participate.

Under certain circumstances, the programme is open to participation by candidate countries and third countries. By Decision 2001/924/EC, the Council also extended the Pericles programme to the Member States which have not adopted the euro.

Projects under the programme may emanate from the competent authorities in the Member States or from the Commission. Member States may present one project a year concerning workshops, meetings or seminars. In order to select the projects submitted to it, the Commission takes the following into account:

  • the European dimension of the project;
  • compliance with the programme’s objectives;
  • the quality of the project in terms of its design, organisation, presentation, objectives and cost-effectiveness ratio;
  • compatibility with work under way or planned by the European Union.

The Commission is responsible for evaluating the way in which projects have been implemented. For that purpose, the beneficiaries of the selected projects must send a final report to the Commission.

The amount allocated for the implementation of the programme for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 is EUR 7 million.


The Nice European Council called on the Member States to adopt efficient arrangements to prevent counterfeiting of the euro as soon as possible in 2001. A Council Framework Decision on increasing protection of the euro by criminal penalties was adopted, as was a Regulation on the necessary protection measures. The Commission feels that these initiatives should be supplemented by training measures for the professionals concerned by the introduction of the new currency.


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

Decision 2001/923/EC


OJ L 339 of 21.12.2001

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2006/75/EC


OJ L 36 of 8.2.2006

Decision 2006/76/EC


OJ L 36 of 8.2.2006

Decision 2006/849/EC


OJ L of 28.11.2006

Decision 2006/850/EC


OJ L 330 of 28.11.2006

Successive amendments and corrections to Decision 2001/923/EC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for information only.

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council of 23 May 2006 concerning the implementation and results of the Pericles programme for the protection of the euro against counterfeiting [COM(2006) 243 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Through exchanging information and fostering cooperation, the Pericles programme is helping to protect the euro from counterfeiting. Training and technical assistance play an important role in maintaining and building on the results currently achieved. The Report recommends that the programme is renewed for a further period of at least four years and that the emphasis is placed on practical training. Priority should be given to exchanges of staff and specific training.

Commission Decision 2005/37/EC of 29 October 2004 establishing the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) and providing for coordination of technical actions to protect euro coins against counterfeiting [Official Journal L 19 of 21.1.2005].
This Decision establishes the European Technical and Scientific Centre (ETSC) within the Commission, attached to OLAF. The ETSC analyses and classifies every new type of counterfeit euro coin and assists the Coin National Analysis Centres (CNAC) and the law-enforcement authorities.

Cross-border healthcare: patients’ rights

Cross-border healthcare: patients’ rights

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cross-border healthcare: patients’ rights


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

Public health > European health strategy

Cross-border healthcare: patients’ rights

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2011/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 March 2011 on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare.


This Directive makes provision for the introduction of a general framework to:

  • clarify patients’ rights with regard to accessing cross-border healthcare provision *;
  • guarantee the safety, quality and efficiency of care that they will receive in another EU Member State;
  • promote cooperation between Member State on healthcare matters.

This Directive does not concern:

  • long-term care services;
  • public vaccination programmes.

Member States’ responsibilities

Each Member State shall designate one or several national contact points for cross-border healthcare. These contact points shall consult with patient associations, healthcare providers and healthcare insurers. They are responsible for providing patients with information on their rights when they decide to take advantage of cross-border healthcare and with the contact details of the other contact points in the other Member States.

The Member State of treatment
* organises and provides the healthcare. They are responsible for ensuring the quality and safety of the healthcare provided, in particular by implementing control mechanisms. They also ensure the protection of personal data and equal treatment for patients who are not nationals of their country. The national contact point in the Member State of treatment shall provide patients with the necessary information.

Following the provision of care, it is the Member State of affiliation
* who takes care of the reimbursement of the insured person on the condition that the treatment received is provided for under reimbursable care in their national legislation.

Procedures for reimbursing cross-border care

The Member State of affiliation shall ensure that the costs incurred by an insured person who receives cross-border care shall be reimbursed, on the condition that the person has the right to the type of care received. The amount of the reimbursement is equivalent to the amount which could have been reimbursed by the statutory social security system if the care was provided in their country. It must not exceed the actual costs of the care.

The Member State of affiliation may reimburse related costs, such as accommodation and travel costs.

An insured person may also receive reimbursement for services provided through the means of telemedicine.

With regard to certain cross-border healthcare *, the State of affiliation can implement a system of prior authorisation in order to avoid the risk of undermining the planning and/or financing of their health system. It must provide this authorisation automatically if the patient has the right to the healthcare in question and when this healthcare cannot be provided on its territory within a time limit which is medically justifiable. However, the State of affiliation may refuse to grant prior authorisation to a patient in very specific cases (as detailed in the Directive *).

If a patient requests prior authorisation and the conditions are met, authorisation must be granted in accordance with the Regulation relating to the coordination of social security systems, except if the patient requests to be treated under the framework of this Directive.

Administrative procedures relating to the provision of healthcare must be necessary and proportional. They should be implemented in a transparent manner, within fixed deadlines and based on objective and non-discriminatory criteria. When processing a request for cross-border healthcare, Member States must take into account the patient’s medical condition and the urgency of the specific circumstances.

Cooperation on healthcare

Member States will cooperate on the implementation of the Directive. In particular, they will support the creation of European reference networks of healthcare providers, which aim to facilitate the mobility of expertise and access to highly specialised care through the concentration and joining up of available resources and expertise.

Member States shall recognise the validity of medical prescriptions issued in other Member States if those medicines are authorised in their country. Measures must be taken to help health professionals mutually recognise and verify the authenticity of prescriptions.

Member States are also encouraged to cooperate in the treatment of rare diseases through the development of diagnostic and treatments methods. The Orphanet database and European networks can be used in this respect.

E-health systems or services also enable the provision of cross-border care. This Directive provides for the establishment of a network of national authorities responsible for ‘e-health’ with the aim of improving the continuity of care and guaranteeing access to high quality healthcare.

Lastly, the creation of a network of authorities or bodies responsible for evaluating health technologies will facilitate cooperation between the national competent authorities in this field.


This Directive is in line with the Court of Justice jurisprudence following the Kohll and Decker judgement delivered on 28 April 1998 and which established the right of patients to be reimbursed for medical treatment in a Member State other than their own. It does not bring into question the Regulation principles on the coordination of social security systems, in particular the principles regarding equality between resident and non-resident patients of a Member State and the European Health Insurance Card.

Key terms of the act
  • Cross-border healthcare: healthcare provided or prescribed in a Member State other than the Member State of affiliation.
  • Member State of affiliation: the Member State where the patient is an insured person.
  • Member State of treatment: the Member State on whose territory cross-border healthcare is actually provided.
  • Care that may be subject to prior authorisation: 1. Care which is subject to planning and requires: (a) either overnight hospital accommodation of at least one night, or (b) that requires the use of highly specialised and cost-intensive medical infrastructure or medical equipment; 2. involves treatments presenting a particular risk for the patient or the population; 3. is provided by a healthcare provider that could give rise to serious and specific concerns relating to the quality or safety of the care.
  • Reasons for refusal to grant authorisation: 1. In the case of patient-safety risk; 2. In the case of a safety risk to the general public; 3. When there are serious and specific concerns relating to the healthcare provider regarding the respect of standards on quality of care and patient safety; 4. when this healthcare can be provided on its territory within a time limit which is medically justifiable.


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

Directive 2011/24/EU



OJ L 88, 4.4.2011

Second programme of Community action in the field of health

Second programme of Community action in the field of health

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Second programme of Community action in the field of health


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

Public health > European health strategy

Second programme of Community action in the field of health (2008-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1350/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 establishing a second programme of Community action in the field of health (2008-2013).


The first programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003-2008) contributed to fundamental improvements in this area.

However, the European Union (EU) must make further efforts to improve the health and safety of its citizens. This Decision therefore establishes a second programme of Community action in the field of health for the period from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013. It draws on the achievements of the previous programme, which it replaces, and supplements and supports the policies of the Member States.

This second programme has three main objectives:

  • to improve citizens’ health security;
  • to promote health, which involves reducing inequalities in this area;
  • to generate and disseminate health information and knowledge.

Actions have been planned to achieve each of the objectives. These actions help to prevent major diseases and lessen their impact. They are set out in the Annex to the Decision.


The programme has a budget of 321 500 000 euro for the period 2008-2013.

Implementation of the programme

The Commission is responsible for implementing the programme in close cooperation with the Member States.

Within their respective fields of competence, the Commission and the Member States guarantee the efficient running of the programme and create mechanisms for achieving its objectives.

They guarantee the comparability of data and the compatibility of the systems for exchanging health information. They also cooperate with the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control and with other competent EU agencies.

Lastly, the Commission and the Member States ensure the protection, confidentiality and security of personal data throughout the implementation of the programme.

An annual work schedule for programme implementation is established. It sets the priorities to be respected and the actions to be taken.

Joint strategies and actions

In order to encourage the integration of health into other Community policies and to ensure a high level of health protection, actions in tandem with other Community programmes and actions can be established.

Participation of third countries

The programme is open to:

  • EFTA/EEA countries (European Free Trade Association/European Economic Area), in accordance with the conditions of the EEA Agreement;
  • third countries: countries included in the European Neighbourhood Policy, countries applying for accession, candidate accession countries or countries in the process of accession to the EU and the countries of the Western Balkans included in the stabilisation and association process, in accordance with the conditions set by the various bilateral or multilateral agreements.

International cooperation

Cooperation with non-participating third countries and the international organisations competent in the field of public health, such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), is also encouraged.


A committee assists the Commission with the implementation of the programme.


The Commission will present an independent external report on the results obtained, the qualitative and quantitative aspects of programme implementation, and its consistency and complementarity with other Community actions and programmes by 31 December 2010 at the latest. Its aim is to assess the impact of the measures taken. The Commission will also present a Communication on the continuation of the programme by 31 December 2011 at the latest, as well as an external ex-post evaluation report on the programme results by 31 December 2015 at the latest.


This Decision repeals Decision No 1786/2002/EC.


Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision No 1350/2007/EC [adoption: codecision COD/2005/0042]

21.11.2007 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 301 of 20.11.2007