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Decision on the system of own resources

Decision on the system of own resources

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Decision on the system of own resources

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Budget

Decision on the system of own resources

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities’ own resources.

Summary

The budget of the EU is financed wholly from own resources in order to ensure the orderly development of the Union’s policies. There are three categories of own resources: “traditional own resources”, the own resource based on value added tax (VAT) and the own resource based on gross national income (GNI). Other revenue sources include taxes paid by officials, fines imposed on firms by the Community and interest on late payments.

Own resources ceiling

The own resources ceiling is maintained at 1.24% of the sum of all the EU Member States’ GNIs. The ceiling on annual appropriations for payments is set at 1.31% of that figure. Own resources finance all the expenditure entered in the EU’s general budget. Any surpluses are carried over to the following financial year.

Traditional own resources

Traditional own resources consist of Common Customs Tariff duties and of levies under the common organisation of the market for sugar (“sugar” levies). Member States may retain, by way of collection costs, 25% of the amounts raised.

VAT resource

The own resource based on VAT are levied on Member States’ VAT bases, which have been harmonised for this purpose.

The maximum rate of call of the VAT resource is 0.30%. The maximum VAT base to be taken into account in calculating the rate of call is set at 50% of each Member State’s GNI (“capping of the VAT resource”). For the period 2007-2013 the rate of call of the VAT resource is set at 0.225% for Austria, 0.15% for Germany and 0.10% for the Netherlands and Sweden.

The resource based on GNI

In the light of the revenue generated by the other own resources, the GNI resource is based on the application of a uniform rate to the sum of the GNIs of all the Member States.

For the period 2007-2013, two Member States will benefit from a gross reduction in their annual GNI contribution: an annual reduction of EUR 605 million for the Netherlands and of EUR 150 million for Sweden.

Correction in favour of the United Kingdom

The correction in respect of budgetary imbalances in the United Kingdom is calculated on the basis of the difference between the share of the UK VAT base in the EU’s total VAT base and the share of the United Kingdom in total allocated expenditure.

Germany, Austria, the Netherlands and Sweden are entitled to a reduction in their share of the financing of the correction in favour of the United Kingdom, which is reduced to one quarter of its normal value.

Collection of own resources

The method for collecting own resources will continue to be determined by national provisions. The Commission will carry out a regular examination of those provisions. The Member States will regularly inform the Commission of any anomalies having a financial impact with respect to collection.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom OJ L 163 of 23.6.2007

Related Acts

Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1287/2003 of 15 July 2003 on the harmonisation of gross national income at market prices (GNI Regulation) [Official Journal L 181 of 19.07.2003].

A growing share of the European Communities’ own resources is based on gross national income at market prices. The Regulation further reinforces the comparability, reliability and exhaustiveness of this aggregate.

Commission Decision 97/245/EC, Euratom of 20 March 1997 laying down the arrangements for the transmission of information to the Commission by the Member States under the Communities’ own resources system [Official Journal L 97 of 12.4.1997].
See consolidated version

Council Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1553/89 on the definitive uniform arrangements for the collection of own resources accruing from value added tax [Official Journal L 155 of 7.6.1989].
The Regulation lays down a single method for determining the VAT bases in a uniform manner.
See consolidated version

Follow-up reports:

Commission report on the follow-up of traditional own resources in cases of fraud and irregularities [COM(2004)850 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].
Under Regulation (EC) No 1150/2000, Member States are required to inform the Commission of cases of fraud or irregularity with a potential financial impact of over 10 000. The report reviews the situation as regards the system for recovering unpaid customs duties. Such duties form part of the own resources allocated directly to the Community budget. The Member States are responsible for the procedures for recovering customs debt under the control of the Commission. The Commission notes that amounts not recovered are relatively small compared with the total amount involved (160 million).

Commission report to the Council and the European Parliament: Fifth report under Article 12 of Regulation (EEC, Euratom) No 1553/89 on VAT collection and control procedures [COM(2004)855 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Every three years the Commission draws up a report analysing the procedures applied by Member States for registering taxable persons and for determining and collecting VAT. It also analyses the modalities and results of their VAT control systems and suggests improvements.

Development of relations between the Commission and civil society

Development of relations between the Commission and civil society

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Development of relations between the Commission and civil society

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Anti-discrimination and relations with civil society

Development of relations between the Commission and civil society

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002, Towards a reinforced culture of consultation and dialogue – General principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission [COM(2002) 704 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

By establishing a consultation process, the Commission is encouraging the participation of external interested parties in the development of European policies. Starting the consultation at an early stage in the legislative procedure helps to improve the effectiveness of policies whilst reinforcing the involvement of interested parties and the general public.

External consultation process

The consultation and dialogue are part of the European legislative procedure and complement the work of the European Parliament and the Council of the European Union in the development of policy. The scope of the consultation depends on the potential impact of a proposal on a particular sector or on whether it represents a major policy reform.

This process differs clearly from the internal decision-making process and the specific consultation processes provided for in the treaties or secondary legislation, as well as in international agreements.

The process for the consultation of interested external parties is not legally binding. Moreover, it cannot be indefinite or permanent.

The Commission advocates open governance involving as broad a participation by citizens as possible, in a growing number of fields.

The specific role of organised civil society

Civil society organisations act as relays between citizens and the European institutions, thus encouraging policy dialogue and the active participation of citizens in achieving the aims of the European Union (EU).

The departments of the Commission thus conduct structured dialogue with these organisations. Improving the consultation procedures will guarantee a more consistent and interactive approach. Interactive mechanisms will allow the impact of Community policies to be assessed, via the feedback of information and the consultation of panels.

Information on the Commission’s formal or structured advisory bodies in which civil society organisations participate can be found in the CONECCS database (Consultation, European Commission and Civil Society), which also includes a voluntary list of civil society organisations established at European level.

The Commission also supports the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. These institutional advisory bodies acts as relays for the views of organised civil society and regional and local authorities respectively.

A consistent consultation framework

More systematic consultation calls for a rationalisation of procedures and the availability of a structured channel for participants’ views to be expressed. Interested parties can express their views via the Internet portal ” Your voice in Europe “.

The consultation is subject to certain general principles, relating to:

  • the broadest possible participation of citizens, from the preparation of European policies until their implementation;
  • the openness and responsibility of each European institution, so that the decision-making process is more visible and more easily understandable for everyone;
  • the effectiveness of the consultations, which are conducted at a sufficiently early stage so as to have a real influence on the development of policies;
  • the consistency and flexibility of the consultation procedures, so that they can be adapted to the various categories of interests.

The consultation must respect certain minimum standards, which provide that:

  • the content of the consultation must be clear. All communication must be sufficiently complete and concise to encourage the interested parties to respond;
  • the groups consulted must be representative and able to express their views;
  • the consultation must be publicised as broadly as possible and be geared as far as possible to the target audience;
  • the timeframe for participation must be long enough for the consulted parties to be able to submit their responses, i.e. at least eight weeks for the receipt of written consultations and 20 working days for meetings;
  • information provided by the parties consulted must be accompanied by a receipt, and the results of the consultations must be publicised.

These consultation principles and standards apply in particular to key Commission proposals, identified in the Commission’s programme of work.

These general principles and minimum standards must be complemented by the dissemination of good practices, such as the diversity, responsibility and integrity of the information gathering exercise.

Background

In this Communication, the Commission is fulfilling the undertakings it made in its 2001 White Paper on European governance to reinforce the culture of consultation and dialogue in the European Union.

This Communication also contributes to the ‘Action Plan for Better Regulation’ and the new approach for evaluating the impact of Community legislation.

Key terms used in the act
  • Organised civil society: Although there is no legal definition of this concept, the term may be used to designate all organisations associating parties from the labour market, organisations representing various socio-economic groups, non-government organisations, community-based and denominational organisations. These groups are the main structures in society outside the State and the public administration.
  • Comitology: according to the Treaty establishing the European Community, it is for the Commission to implement legislation at Community level. To do this, it may call on the assistance of a committee comprising representatives of the Member States in order to establish dialogue with the national administrations. The European Parliament also has an important role in the comitology procedure, as it is entitled to express an opinion on the implementation of legislative acts adopted in codecision.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 5 June 2002, Consultation document: Towards a reinforced culture of consultation and dialogue – Proposal for general principles and minimum standards for consultation of interested parties by the Commission [COM(2002) 277 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission launched a consultation to find out the views of all the parties concerned with the improvement of its external consultation process. These results were incorporated in the final version of the Communication from the Commission concerning the drafting of general principles and minimum standards for consultations.

Commission White Paper of 25 July 2001 on European Governance [COM(2001) 428 final – Official Journal C 287 of 12.10.2001].

Commission Discussion paper of 18 January 2000, The Commission and Non-Governmental Organisations: Building a Stronger Partnership [COM(2000) 11 final – Not published in the Official Journal]
This Discussion Paper emphasises the Commission’s desire to build stronger partnerships with non-government organisations (NGOs). They contribute by their work towards reinforcing participative democracy by improving the representation of certain groups of citizens with the European institutions, as well as with their support for the definition of policies, the management of projects and European integration. Having identified the main issues that hamper such partnerships, the Commission proposes simplifying funding procedures, facilitating access to information and establishing regular dialogue through formalised consultations.

Decision-making procedures

Decision-making procedures

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Decision-making procedures

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

Decision-making procedures

Treaty on European Union

Human rights and fundamental freedoms

Common foreign and security policy (CFSP)

Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Final provisions

Treaty establishing the European Community

Closer cooperation

Discrimination on grounds of nationality

Discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation
Establishing the single market

Citizenship of the Union

Free movement of goods

Agriculture

Free movement of workers

Right of establishment

Services

Capital and payments

Visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons
Transport

Rules on competition

Tax provisions

Approximation of laws

Economic policy

Monetary policy

Institutional provisions in the area of economic and monetary policy
Transitional provisions in the area of economic and monetary policy
Employment

Common commercial policy

Customs cooperation

Social provisions

European Social Fund

Education, vocational training and youth

Culture

Public health

Consumer protection

Trans-European networks

Industry

Economic and social cohesion

Research and technological development

Environment

Development cooperation

Association of the overseas countries and territories

Institutional provisions (list not exhaustive)

Financial provisions (list not exhaustive)

General and final provisions (list not exhaustive)

INTRODUCTION

Decision-making in the European Union comprises several different procedures. This means that the different institutions play different roles depending on the subject matter concerned. As a rule, decision-making principally involves three institutions: the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission. However, other institutions and bodies such as the Court of Auditors, the European Central Bank, the Economic and Financial Committee, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions also play a role in certain specific areas. The various bodies operate within the powers conferred on them by the Treaties.

The description below covers the provisions of both the EU Treaty and the EC Treaty. It is organised by subject, following the title and chapter headings in the Treaties. Bold italics indicate changes introduced by the Amsterdam Treaty, whether in the form of a new provision or the amendment of a decision-making procedure.

TREATY ON EUROPEAN UNION

Human rights and fundamental freedoms

Determining the existence of a serious and persistent breach of the principles on which the European Union is founded (Article 7(1)):

  • proposal by one third of the Member States or the Commission – assent of the European Parliament acting by a two-thirds majority of the votes cast, representing a majority of its members – Council, meeting in the composition of the Heads of State or Government, acting by unanimity (disregarding the vote of the Member State in question).

Decision to suspend certain rights deriving from the application of the Treaty to the Member State in question (Article 7(2)):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (disregarding the vote of the Member State in question).

Decision to revoke or vary suspension measures taken against a Member State (Article 7(3)):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (disregarding the vote of the Member State in question).

Common foreign and security policy (CFSP)

Adopting common strategies and setting out their objectives, duration and the means to be made available by the Union and the Member States for their implementation (Article 13):

  • decision by European Council.

Decisions under the common foreign and security policy (Article 23(1)):

  • Council acting unanimously (abstention by a Member State not preventing the adoption of such decisions).

Adopting joint actions and common positions on the basis of a common strategy (Article 23(2), first subparagraph, first indent):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (with at least 10 members voting in favour).

Adopting any decision implementing a joint action or a common position (Article 23(2), first subparagraph, second indent):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (with at least 10 members voting in favour).

Referring a decision to the European Council where a member of the Council declares that, for important reasons of national policy, it opposes the adoption of a decision to be taken by qualified majority (Article 23(2), second subparagraph):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (with at least 10 members voting in favour).

Procedure for concluding an agreement with one or more States or international organisations (Article 24):

  • Council, acting unanimously, may authorise the Presidency, assisted by the Commission, to open negotiations – recommendation from the Presidency – agreement concluded by the Council acting unanimously.

Decision not to charge certain expenditure to the budget of the European Communities (Article 28):

  • Council acting unanimously.

Police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters

Adoption of common positions, framework decisions and decisions (Article 34(2)(a), (b) and (c):

  • initiative of Commission or a Member State – Council acting unanimously.

Adoption of measures necessary for implementing a decision (Article 34(2)(c):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (with at least 10 members voting in favour).

Adoption of conventions (Article 34(2)(d), first subparagraph, ex Article K.6):

  • initiative of Commission or a Member State – Council acting unanimously – ratification by Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements – conventions, once adopted by at least half of the Member States, enter into force for those Member States.

Adoption of measures implementing conventions (Article 34(2)(d), second subparagraph, ex Article K.6):

  • within the Council by a majority of two-thirds of the Contracting Parties.

Establishing closer cooperation under Title VI (Article 40(2), first subparagraph):

  • at request of Member States concerned – Commission consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority (with at least 10 members voting in favour).

Referring a decision to the European Council where a member of the Council declares that, for important reasons of national policy, it opposes the granting of authorisation for closer cooperation (Article 40(2), second subparagraph):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (with at least 10 members voting in favour).

Decision not to charge certain expenditure to the budget of the European Communities (Article 41):

  • Council acting unanimously.

Transferring action in areas covered by Title VI of the Treaty on European Union to Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community (Article 42, ex Article K.14):

  • initiative of Commission or a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously – ratification by Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Final provisions

Amending the Treaties on which the European Union is founded (Article 48, ex Article N):

  • proposal from a Member State or the Commission – European Parliament and, where appropriate, Commission consulted (Council and European Central Bank also consulted where changes relate to the monetary area) – Council opinion in favour – conference of representatives of governments of Member States convened by President of Council to determine by common accord the amendments to be made to the Treaties – ratification by Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Accession to the European Union by a European State (Article 49, ex Article O):

  • application from prospective member – Commission consulted – assent of European Parliament – Council acting unanimously – ratification by all the contracting States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

TREATY ESTABLISHING THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY

Closer cooperation

Authorisation to establish closer cooperation (Article 11(2), first subparagraph):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Referral to the Council, meeting in the composition of the Heads of State or Government, where a Member State declares that, for important reasons of national policy, it opposes the granting of authorisation for closer cooperation (Article 11(2), second subparagraph):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority (with at least 10 members voting in favour).

Authorisation to establish closer cooperation granted by the Council, meeting in the composition of the Heads of State or Government (Article 11(2), second subparagraph):

  • Council acting unanimously.

Discrimination on grounds of nationality

Adopting rules to prohibit such discrimination (Article 12, ex Article 6):

  • co-decision procedure.

Discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation

Measures necessary to combat all forms of discrimination (Article 13):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Establishing the single market (see also points 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 16)

Determining the guidelines and conditions necessary to ensure balanced progress in all the sectors covered by the four freedoms (Article 14(3), ex Article 7 A):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Citizenship of the Union

Adopting provisions to facilitate the exercise of Union citizenship rights (Article 18, ex Article 8 A):

  • co-decision procedure with the Council acting unanimously.

Arrangements for exercising the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in municipal elections (Article 19(1), ex Article 8 B):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Arrangements for exercising the right to vote and to stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament (Article 19(2), ex Article 8 B):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Provisions to strengthen or add to the Union citizenship rights (Article 22, ex Article 8 E):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Free movement of goods

Fixing Common Customs Tariff duties (Article 26, ex Article 28):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Agriculture

Adopting regulations, directives, decisions and common market organisation arrangements (Article 37(2) and (3), ex Article 43):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Free movement of workers

Adopting measures to bring about freedom of movement for workers (Article 40, ex Article 49):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee consulted.

Adopting measures in the field of social security to provide freedom of movement for workers (Article 42, ex Article 51):

  • co-decision procedure with the Council acting unanimously.

Right of establishment

Issuing directives to bring about freedom of establishment (Article 44, ex Article 54):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee consulted.

Exempting certain activities from the provisions of the “Right of establishment” Chapter (Article 45, ex Article 55):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Directives on coordinating provisions laying down special treatment of foreign nationals on grounds of public policy, public security or public health (Article 46, ex Article 56):

  • co-decision procedure.

Directives for the mutual recognition of diplomas, certificates and other evidence of formal qualifications (Article 47(1), ex Article 57):

  • co-decision procedure.

Directives for the coordination of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the taking-up and pursuit of activities as self-employed persons (Article 47(2), ex Article 57):

  • co-decision procedure (with the Council acting unanimously, where implementing the directive requires amendments to be made in at least one Member State to the existing legal principles governing training and conditions of access for natural persons to professions).

Services

Extending the provisions of the “Services” Chapter to service providers who are nationals of a third country, but established within the Community (Article 49, ex Article 59):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Directives to liberalise a specific service (Article 52, ex Article 63):

  • Commission proposal – Economic and Social Committee and the European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Capital and payments

Measures on the movement of capital to or from third countries involving direct investment – including investment in real estate – establishment, the provision of financial services or the admission of securities to capital markets (Article 57, ex Article 73 C):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority (unanimity required for measures constituting a step back in Community law as regards the liberalisation of the movement of capital).

Safeguard measures where, in exceptional circumstances, movements of capital to or from third countries cause, or threaten to cause, serious difficulties for the operation of economic and monetary union (Article 59, ex Article 73 F):

  • Commission proposal – European Central Bank consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Urgent measures to suspend or reduce economic relations between the European Union and a third country (Article 60(1), ex Article 73 G):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Amending or abolishing unilateral measures taken by a Member State against a third country (Article 60(2), ex Article 73 G):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Visas, asylum, immigration and other policies related to free movement of persons

Measures to ensure the absence of any controls on persons, when crossing internal borders (Article 62(1)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure (after the transitional period).

Measures on standards and procedures to be followed by Member States in carrying out checks on persons at external borders (Article 62(2)(a)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure (after the transitional period).

Adoption of a uniform format for visas and a list of third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders (Article 62(2)(b)(i) and (iii)):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Establishing the procedures and conditions for issuing visas by Member States and rules on a uniform visa (Article 62(2)(b)(ii) and (iv)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / co-decision (after the transitional period).

Measures setting out the conditions under which nationals of third countries shall have the freedom to travel within the territory of the Member States during a period of no more than three months (Article 62(3)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure (after the transitional period).

Measures on asylum (criteria and mechanisms for determining which Member State is responsible for considering an application for asylum, minimum standards on the reception of asylum seekers, conditions for qualifying for refugee status, for granting or withdrawing refugee status) (Article 63(1)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure (after the transitional period).

Measures on refugees and displaced persons (granting temporary protection) (Article 63(2)(a)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure (after the transitional period).

Measures on refugees and displaced persons (balance of effort between Member States) (Article 63(2)(b)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Measures on immigration policy (conditions of entry and residence, and standards on procedures for issuing long-term visas and residence permits) (Article 63(3)(a)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Measures on immigration policy (illegal immigration and illegal residence) (Article 63(3)(b)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure (after the transitional period).

Measures defining the rights and conditions under which nationals of third countries who are legally resident in a Member State may reside in other Member States (Article 63(4)):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Provisional measures in an emergency situation characterised by a sudden inflow of nationals of third countries (Article 64):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Measures in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross-border implications (Article 65):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure (after the transitional period).

Measures to ensure cooperation between the relevant departments of the administrations of the Member States, as well as between those departments and the Commission (Article 66):

  • Commission proposal or initiative of a Member State – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously (for a transitional period of five years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam) / Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously to make a decision about the required procedure(after the transitional period).

Decision to provide for all or parts of the areas covered by Title IV to be governed by the co-decision procedure after the end of the transitional period and to adapt the provisions relating to the powers of the Court of Justice (Article 67(2), second indent):

  • European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Transport

Common rules, conditions under which non-resident carriers may operate transport services within a Member State, safety and other appropriate provisions (Article 71(1), ex Article 75):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted.

Provisions concerning the principles of the regulatory system for transport, the application of which would be liable to have a serious effect on the standard of living and on employment in certain areas and on the operation of transport facilities (Article 71(2), ex Article 75):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Rules to abolish discrimination which takes the form of carriers charging different rates and imposing different conditions (Article 75, ex Article 79):

  • Commission proposal – Economic and Social Committee consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Deciding whether, to what extent and by what procedure appropriate provisions may be laid down for sea and air transport (Article 80, ex Article 84):

  • Council acting by a qualified majority.

Rules on competition

Adopting appropriate regulations or directives to give effect to the principles set out in Articles 81 and 82 (Article 83, ex Article 87):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Derogation whereby State aid that would normally be in breach of Community law is, in exceptional circumstances, considered to be compatible with the common market, :

  • Request by a Member State – Council acting unanimously.

Adopting appropriate regulations for the application of Articles 87 and 88 in respect of State aid (Article 89, ex Article 94):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Tax provisions

Remissions and repayments for a limited period in respect of exports to other Member States(Article 92, ex Article 98):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Harmonisation of legislation concerning turnover taxes, excise duties and other forms of indirect taxation (Article 93, ex Article 99):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Approximation of laws

Issuing directives for the approximation of such laws, regulations or administrative provisions of the Member States as directly affect the common market (Article 94, ex Article 100):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Establishment and functioning of the internal market (Article 95, ex Article 100A):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee consulted.

Special cases where distortion of competition needs to be eliminated (Article 96, ex Article 101):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Economic policy

Adopting recommendations setting out broad economic policy guidelines (Article 99(2), ex Article 103):

  • Commission recommendation – draft adopted by the Council acting by a qualified majority – report to European Council – conclusion of European Council – on basis of European Council conclusion, recommendation adopted by Council acting by qualified majority.

Recommendations to Member States acting inconsistently with the broad economic policy guidelines (Article 99(4), ex Article 103):

  • Commission recommendation – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Decision to make Council recommendations public (Article 99(4), ex Article 103):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Possibility of adopting detailed rules for the multilateral surveillance procedure in respect of economic policies (Article 99(5), ex Article 103):

  • cooperation procedure.

Appropriate measures in the event of severe difficulties arising in the supply of certain products (Article 100(1), ex Article 103 A):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously.

Community financial assistance for a Member State in difficulties caused by exceptional occurrences beyond its control (Article 100(2), ex Article 103 A):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously (qualified majority where the severe difficulties are cause by natural disasters).

Application of the prohibition on assuming commitments and providing overdraft facilities (Article 103, ex Article 104 B):

  • cooperation procedure.

Establishing the existence of an excessive deficit (Article 104(6), ex Article 104 C):

  • Commission recommendation – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Excessive deficit procedure (Article 104(7)-(9), (11) and (12), ex Article 104 C):

  • Commission recommendation – Council acting by a majority of two-thirds of the weighted votes of its members, excluding the votes of the representative of the Member State concerned..

Amending the Protocol on the excessive deficit procedure (Article 104(14), ex Article 104 C):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament and European Central Bank consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Monetary policy

Decision conferring upon the ECB specific tasks concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial institutions with the exception of insurance undertakings (Article 105):

  • Commission proposal – European Central Bank consulted – assent of European Parliament – Council acting unanimously.

Measures to harmonise the denominations and technical specifications of all coins intended for circulation in the Community (Article 106, ex Article 105 A):

  • cooperation procedure with European Central Bank consulted.

Amending the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) (Article 107(5), ex Article 106):

  • either: recommendation from European Central Bank – Commission consulted – assent of European Parliament – Council acting by a qualified majority;
  • or: Commission proposal – European Central Bank consulted – assent of European Parliament – Council acting unanimously.

Adoption of certain provisions referred to in the Statute of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) (Article 107(6), ex Article 107):

  • either: Commission proposal – European Parliament and European Central Bank consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority;
  • or: recommendation from European Central Bank – Commission and European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Conclusion of formal agreements on an exchange-rate system for the euro in relation to non-Community currencies (Article 111(1), ex Article 109):

  • Commission or European Central Bank recommendation – Council acting unanimously.

Adopting, adjusting or abandoning the central rates of the euro (Article 111(1), ex Article 109):

  • either: recommendation from European Central Bank – Council acting by a qualified majority;
  • or: Commission recommendation – European Central Bank consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Formulating general orientations in the absence of an exchange-rate system in relation to one or more non-Community currencies (Article 111(2), ex Article 109):

  • either: recommendation from European Central Bank – Council acting by a qualified majority;
  • or: Commission recommendation – European Central Bank consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Arrangements for negotiating and concluding agreements concerning monetary or foreign exchange regime matters (Article 111(3), ex Article 109):

  • Commission recommendation – European Central Bank consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Institutional provisions in the area of economic and monetary policy

Adopting detailed rules on the make-up of the Economic and Financial Committee (Article 114, ex Article 109 C):

  • Commission proposal – European Central Bank and Economic and Financial Committee consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Transitional provisions in the area of economic and monetary policy

Ending derogations for Member States unable to adopt the single currency (Greece and Sweden) from the outset of the third phase (Article 122, ex Article 109 K):

  • Commission proposal- European Parliament consulted – Council, meeting in the composition of the Heads of State or Government, by qualified majority.

Adoption, on 1 January 1999 , of the conversion rates at which the national currencies shall be irrevocably fixed and at which irrevocably fixed rate the ECU shall be substituted for these currencies (Article 123, ex Article 109 L):

  • Commission proposal – European Central Bank consulted – Council acting with the unanimity of those Member States not subject to a derogation.

Employment

Drawing up guidelines for the Member States to take into account in their employment policies (Article 128(2)):

  • conclusions of European Council – Commission proposal – European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee, Committee of the Regions and Employment Committee consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Recommendations to Member States concerning employment policy(Article 128(4)):

  • Commission recommendation – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Adoption of incentive measures designed to encourage cooperation between Member States and to support their action in the field of employment (Article 129):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted.

Common commercial policy

Adopting directives to harmonise the systems for granting aid for exports to third countries (Article 132, ex Article 112):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Exercising the powers conferred on the Council under Article 133 (Article 133, ex Article 113):

  • Qualified majority.

Extending Article 133 to international negotiations and agreements on services and intellectual property (Article 133(5), ex Article 113):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Customs cooperation

Measures to strengthen customs cooperation between Member States and between the latter and the Commission (Article 135):

  • co-decision procedure

Social provisions

Adoption of directives laying down minimum requirements in the social field and measures designed to encourage cooperation between Member States (Article 137(2), ex Article 118):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted.

Adoption of measures concerning social security and social protection of workers, protection of workers where their employment contract is terminated, representation and collective defence of the interests of workers and employers, including co-determination, subject to paragraph 6, conditions of employment for third-country nationals legally residing in Community territory and financial contributions for promotion of employment and job-creation, without prejudice to the provisions relating to the Social Fund. (Article 137(3), ex Article 118):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Decisions on implementing Community-level agreements between labour and management (Article 139(2), ex Article 118 B):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority (unanimity where the decisions concerns one of the areas in Article 137(3)).

Adoption of measures to ensure the application of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation (Article 141(3), ex Article 119):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee consulted.

Assigning to the Commission tasks in connection with the implementation of common measures, particularly as regards social security for the migrant workers (Article 144, ex Article 121):

  • Council acting unanimously after consultation of Economic and Social Committee.

European Social Fund

Adoption of implementing decisions relating to the European Social Fund (Article 148, ex Article 125):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions consulted .

Education, vocational training and youth

Adoption of incentive measures to contribute to the achievement of the Community’s objectives in the field of education (Article 149(4), first indent, ex Article 126):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions consulted.

Adoption of recommendations to contribute to the achievement of the Community’s objectives in the field of education (Article 149(4), second indent, ex Article 126):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Adoption of measures to contribute to the achievement of the Community’s objectives in the field of vocational training (Article 150, ex Article 127):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions consulted.

Culture

Adoption of incentive measures to contribute to the achievement of the Community’s objectives in the field of culture (Article 151(5), first indent, ex Article 128):

  • co-decision procedure with Committee of the Regions consulted (Council acting unanimously throughout procedure).

Adoption of recommendations to contribute to the achievement of the Community’s objectives in the field of culture (Article 151(5), second indent, ex Article 128):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously.

Public health

Adoption of measures and incentive measures to contribute to the achievement of the Community’s objectives in the field of public health (including the veterinary and plant health areas) (Article 152(4), ex Article 129):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted.

Adoption of recommendations to contribute to the achievement of the Community’s objectives in the field of public health (Article 152, ex Article 129):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Consumer protection

Adoption of measures which support, supplement and monitor the policy pursued by the Member States (Article 153(4), ex Article 129 A):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee consulted.

Trans-European networks

Adoption of guidelines and measures to achieve the Community’s objectives in the field of trans-European networks (Article 156, ex Article 129 D):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted (guidelines and projects of common interest which relate to the territory of a Member State require the approval of the Member State concerned).

Industry

Adoption of special measures to support action by the Member States to achieve the objectives of the Community and the Member States in the field of industry (Article 157, ex Article 130):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Economic and social cohesion

Specific action proving necessary outside the Funds (Article 159, ex Article 130 B):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Defining the tasks, priority objectives and the organisation of the Structural Funds, as well as the general rules applicable to them and the provisions necessary to ensure their effectiveness and their coordination with one another and with the other existing financial instruments (Article 161, ex Article 130 D):

  • Commission proposal – assent of European Parliament – Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Implementing decisions relating to the European Regional Development Fund (Article 162, ex Article 130 E):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted.

Research and technological development

Adoption of multiannual framework programme (Article 166(1), ex Article 130 I):

  • co-decision procedure after Economic and Social Committee consulted (Council acting by qualified majority throughout procedure).

Adoption of specific programmes implementing the multiannual framework programme (Article 166(4), ex Article 130 I):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Negotiation and conclusion of research and technological development agreements with third countries and international organisations (Article 170, ex Article 130 M):

  • Article 300 procedure (ex Article 228): Commission recommendations to Council – Council authorises Commission to open and conduct the necessary negotiations in conjunction with the special committees appointed by the Council and in line with directives fixed by the Council – agreement concluded by Council (by qualified majority or unanimously depending on procedure required for the adoption of internal rules).

Setting up joint undertakings or any other structure necessary for the efficient execution of Community research, technological development and demonstration programmes (Article 172, first subparagraph, ex Article 130 O):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament and Economic and Social Committee consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Decisions on detailed rules implementing the multiannual framework programme and the rules applicable to the supplementary programmes (Article 172, second subparagraph, ex Article 130 O):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee consulted (adoption of supplementary programmes requires agreement of Member States concerned).

Environment

Negotiation and conclusion of agreements between the Community and third countries or international organisations (Article 174, ex Article 130 R):

  • Article 300 procedure (ex Article 228): Commission recommendations to Council – Council authorises Commission to open and conduct the necessary negotiations in conjunction with the special committees appointed by the Council and in line with directives fixed by the Council – agreement concluded by Council (by qualified majority or unanimously depending on procedure required for the adoption of internal rules).

Action to be taken to achieve the Community’s environmental objectives (Article 175(1), ex Article 130 S):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted .

Adoption, by way of derogation from Article 175(1), of fiscal provisions, measures concerning town and country planning, land use, management of water resources and energy supply. (Article 175(2), first subparagraph, ex Article 130 S):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Definition of matters referred to in Article 175(2), where decisions must be taken by qualified majority (Article 175(2), second subparagraph, ex Article 130 S):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Adoption of general action programmes setting out priority objectives to be attained (Article 175(3), ex Article 130 S):

  • co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted.

Implementation of action programmes referred to in Article 175(3) (Article 175(4), ex Article 130 S):

  • as appropriate, either: co-decision procedure with Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted ;
  • or: Commission proposal – European Parliament, Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions consulted, – Council acting unanimously.

Development cooperation

Measures necessary to further the Community’s development cooperation objectives (such as multiannual programmes) (Article 179, ex Article 130 W):

  • co-decision procedure.

Negotiation and conclusion of agreements between the Community and third countries or international organisations (Article 181, ex Article 130 Y):

  • Article 300 procedure (ex Article 228): Commission recommendations to Council – Council authorises Commission to open and conduct the necessary negotiations in conjunction with the special committees appointed by the Council and in line with directives fixed by the Council – agreement concluded by Council (by qualified majority or unanimously depending on procedure required for the adoption of internal rules).

Association of the overseas countries and territories

Establishing provisions on the detailed rules and procedure for the association of the overseas countries and territories of the Community (Article 187, ex Article 136):

  • Council acting unanimously.

Institutional provisions (list not exhaustive)

Establishing a uniform procedure for elections by direct universal suffrage to the European Parliament (Article 190(4), ex Article 138):

  • Council acting unanimously after obtaining assent of European Parliament acting by a majority of its component members – ratification by Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Establishing principles and rules governing executive powers conferred by the Council (Article 202, ex Article 145):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously.

Fixing the order in which the Member States are to hold the Presidency of the Council (Article 203, second subparagraph, ex Article 146):

  • Council acting unanimously.

Financial provisions (list not exhaustive)

Laying down provisions relating to the system of own resources of the Community (Article 269, ex Article 201):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting unanimously – ratification by Member States in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Adoption of Community budget (Article 272, ex Article 203):

  • Preliminary draft budget submitted to Council by Commission by 1 September – draft budget adopted by Council acting by a qualified majority and placed before European Parliament by 5 October – within 45 days, the European Parliament may amend the draft budget in the case of non-compulsory expenditure or propose modifications in the case of compulsory expenditure – draft budget altered in line with the amendments and modifications accepted or rejected by the Council acting by qualified majority, and then placed before the European Parliament – the European Parliament may, within fifteen days and acting by a majority of its Members and three-fifths of the votes cast, amend or reject the modifications to its amendments (non-compulsory expenditure) made by the Council and adopt the budget accordingly; alternatively the European Parliament, acting by a majority of its Members and two-thirds of the votes cast, may reject the draft budget and ask for a new draft to be submitted to it – the President of the European Parliament declares that the budget has been finally adopted.

Adopting the necessary measures in the fields of the prevention of and fight against fraud affecting the financial interests of the Community with a view to affording effective and equivalent protection in the Member States (without prejudice to the application of national criminal law or the national administration of justice.) (Article 280(4), ex Article 209 A):

  • co-decision procedure with Court of Auditors consulted.

General and final provisions (list not exhaustive)

Laying down the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of Employment of other servants of those Communities (Article 283, ex Article 212):

  • Commission proposal – institutions concerned consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Making changes to the list of products connected with the production of or trade in arms, munitions and war material (Article 296, ex Article 223):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting unanimously.

Adoption of special measures fixing the conditions for applying the Treaty establishing the European Community to the outermost regions (Article 299(2), ex Article 227):

  • Commission proposal – European Parliament consulted – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Adopting the necessary urgent measures where a common position or a joint action adopted according to the provisions of the Treaty on European Union relating to the common foreign and security policy provides for action to interrupt or to reduce economic relations with one or more third countries (Article 301, ex Article 228 A):

  • Commission proposal – Council acting by a qualified majority.

Development of the Community's railways

Development of the Community’s railways

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Development of the Community’s railways

Topics

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

Transport > Rail transport

Development of the Community’s railways

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 91/440/EEC of 29 July 1991 on the development of the Community’s railways [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The directive applies to the management of railway infrastructure and to the rail transport activities of the railway undertakings established or to be established in the Community, with the exception of railway undertakings whose activity is limited to the provision of solely urban, suburban or regional services.

Management independence

European Union (EU) countries must take the appropriate measures to ensure that railway undertakings are independent with regards management, administration and internal control over administrative, economic and accounting matters, thereby holding assets, budgets and accounts separate from those belonging to the State.

EU countries must also take the necessary action to enable railway undertakings to adapt their activities to the market and allow their own management bodies to be responsible for the management of their activities, thereby efficiently providing the required quality of service at the lowest possible cost.

Separation between infrastructure management and transport operations

EU countries must ensure the separation of infrastructure management and transport operations by keeping separate profit and loss accounts and balance sheets and publishing them individually for business relating to the provision of transport services by railways undertakings and for business relating to the management of railway infrastructure. Public funds must also reflect this separation and those paid to one activity must not be transferred to the other.

Individual EU countries will be responsible for the development of their national railway infrastructure but they must bear in mind, where necessary, the general needs of the Community.

Access to railway infrastructure

The railway undertakings concerned by this directive will be accorded access to the infrastructure in all other EU countries for the operation of all rail freight services and international passenger services.

Monitoring tasks of the Commission

The Commission will monitor the technical and economic conditions and market developments of the European rail transport, working closely with representatives both from EU countries and from the relevant sectors to better assess the efficiency and impact of the adopted measures.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 91/440/EEC

13.9.1991

30.12.1992

OJ L 237 of 24.8.1991

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2001/12/EC

15.3.2001

15.3.2003

OJ L 75 of 15.3.2001

Directive 2004/51/EC

30.4.2004

31.12.2005

OJ L 164 of 30.4.2004

Directive 2006/103/EC

1.1.2007

1.1.2007

OJ L 363 of 20.12.2006

Directive 2007/58/EC

4.12.2007

4.6.2009

OJ L 315 of 3.12.2007

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 91/440/EEC have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Related Acts

Commission Communication of 17 September 2010 concerning the development of a Single European Railway Area [COM (2010) 474 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road and repealing Council Regulations (EEC) No 1191/69 and 1107/70 [Official Journal L 315 of 3.12.2007].

Directive 2001/14/EC on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 75 of 15.3.2001].

Council Directive 95/18/EC of 19 June 1995 on the licensing of railway undertakings [Official Journal L 143 of 27.06.1995].

Defence procurement exemptions

Defence procurement exemptions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Defence procurement exemptions

Topics

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

Internal market > Businesses in the internal market > Public procurement

Defence procurement exemptions

Document or Iniciative

Commission interpretative communication of 7 December 2006 on the application of Article 296 of the Treaty in the field of defence procurement [COM(2006) 779 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Internal market rules do not apply to defence acquisitions for trade in arms, munitions and war material; the legal basis for this exemption is Article 296. The scope of this exemption is, however, limited by the concept of “essential security interests” and by the list of military equipment mentioned in Article 296(2).

Any exemption authorised by Article 296 goes to the very heart of the fundamental principles and objectives of the internal market. Such exceptions should therefore be strictly confined to cases where Member States have no other choice than to protect their security interests nationally.

The list of military equipment mentioned in Article 296 was adapted in 1958 by Council Decision 255 / 58. The nature of the products on the 1958 list and the explicit reference in Article 296 to “specifically military purposes” confirm that only the procurement of equipment which is designed, developed and produced for specifically military purposes can be exempted from Community rules (Article 296(1)(b) EC).

Nevertheless, Article 296 can also cover the procurement of dual-use equipment for both military and non-military purposes, but only if the application of Community rules would oblige a Member State to disclose information prejudicial to its essential security interests (Article 296(1)(a)).

Military items included in the 1958 list are not automatically exempted from internal market rules. Any Member State seeking exemption under Article 296 must demonstrate that the exemption in question is necessary for the protection of its essential security interests, this being the only objective which may justify such an exemption. General references to the country’s geographical and political situation, history and alliance commitments are not sufficient.

The concept of essential security interests gives Member States flexibility in the choice of measures to protect those interests. It is essential for contracting authorities to assess each procurement contract with great care.

As guardian of the Treaty, the Commission may verify – with due regard to the sensitive nature of the defence sector – whether the conditions for exempting procurement contracts on the basis of Article 296 are fulfilled.

The Commission may also bring the matter directly before the Court of Justice if it considers that a Member State is making improper use of the powers provided for in Article 296.

Background

The majority of defence contracts are exempted from internal market rules and awarded on the basis of widely differing national procurement rules. With a view to the establishment of a European defence equipment market, the 2004 Green Paper on Defence Procurement (link) launches a debate on how to improve transparency and openness of defence markets between EU Member States. In December 2005 the Commission announced two separate initiatives (link to COM(2005) 626 final): the adoption of an “Interpretative Communication on the application of Article 296 EC” (analysed above) and the preparation of a possible new directive on the procurement of defence equipment to which Article 296 exemptions do not apply.

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

 

Defence procurement

Defence procurement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Defence procurement

Topics

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

Internal market > Businesses in the internal market > Public procurement

Defence procurement

This Green Paper develops the debate on the case for Community action to establish a European market for defence equipment. It presents the main characteristics of defence procurement markets (their fragmentation, specific features, and limits to their legal framework) to justify Community action in this field. It then puts forward some ideas which could be considered when defining actions at European level.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Green Paper of 23 September 2004 on defence procurement [COM(2004) 608 final- Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

This Green Paper is one of the measures announced by the Commission with a view to the gradual creation of a competitive European defence equipment market (EDEM). It opens an official consultation process lasting four months from 23 September 2004 onwards.

The Green Paper emphasises three characteristics of these markets:

  • the major fragmentation of markets along national lines;
  • the specific features which distinguish them from other types of public procurement;
  • a complex legal framework.

The particular characteristics of defence markets are not only economic and technological, but are also related to the security and defence policies of each Member State. As sole clients, States play a dominant role in defining the market. They control the arms trade by means of export licences and the granting of authorisations to tender for contracts. In addition, security of supply and confidentiality requirements in the defence sector often lead to the use of purely national procedures. Finally, arms development programmes are complex due, in particular, to their limited production volumes, high risk of commercial failure, and the length of their life cycles.

As for the applicable legal framework, Directive 2004/18/EC specifies that Community rules on public procurement apply to contracts awarded in the field of defence, subject to the exemption system laid down in Article 296 of the Treaty establishing the European Communities (EC Treaty). This system allows Member States to invoke the essential interests of their security. The case law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities has developed a restrictive interpretation of the possibility of using this derogation. However, several difficulties of implementation do remain, due mainly to the absence of a precise interpretation of these provisions and a definition of the concept of essential interests of security.

Defence procurement is still, therefore, largely covered by national legislation, most of which provides for exemptions to the rules governing public procurement, with differing degrees of transparency. This legislation displays a lack of uniformity in a number of areas: the publication of contract notices, the potential for non-publication, the criteria for selecting suppliers, the tendering procedures and the basis on which contracts are awarded.

In addition to these national systems, there are the rules arising from intergovernmental agreements relating to joint arms programmes. Since, however, these agreements have not achieved satisfactory results, the recently-created European Defence Agency should, under the authority of the Council and in consultation with the Commission, help set up a competitive European defence market.

The Green Paper identifies two possible instruments to overcome these obstacles which limit the access of European industries to Member States’ defence markets:

  • clarification of the existing legal framework: the Green paper proposes drawing up a non-binding instrument, such as an interpretative Communication from the Commission. This Communication could give a further explanation of the principles defined by the Court on the interpretation of Article 296 of the EC Treaty;
  • the creation of a special instrument to supplement the EU’s legal framework. It is proposed that a new directive be drawn up to coordinate the procedures for awarding contracts by ensuring greater legal certainty, more information on the contracts at Community level and the introduction of the necessary flexibility in awarding these contracts. The Green Paper also details the contents of such a Directive.

Whilst these instruments cannot provide exhaustive answers to all the specific aspects of defence markets, they would nonetheless constitute a useful tool for successful cooperation between Member States.

Related Acts

Interpretative Communication from the Commission of 7 December 2006 on the application of Article 296 of the Treaty in the field of defence procurement [COM(2006) 779 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the results of the consultation launched by the Green Paper on Defence Procurement and on the future Commission initiatives [COM(2005) 626 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication from the Commission of 11 March 2003. “European defence – Industrial and market issues – Towards an EU Defence Equipment Policy” [COM(2003) 113 final – Official Journal C76 of 25.03.2003]

This communication presents proposals for action in various areas of the European Union defence equipment policy.

Development policy of the European Community

Development policy of the European Community

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Development policy of the European Community

Topics

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

Other

Development policy of the European Community

The statement sets out a clear and coherent strategy for the European Community’s development cooperation policy with a view to maximising the Community value-added in this area, improving the quality and impact of its actions and responding to the new global challenges.

Document or Iniciative

Statement by the Council and the Commission of 20 November 2000 on the European Community’s development policy, based on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 26 April 2000 on the same subject.

Summary

1. Background
The question of development is more crucial today than ever. In sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia, over 40% of the population are still living below the poverty line.

The European Union provides half of all public aid to the developing countries and in many cases is one of their main trading partners. The increase in the number of its external partners, the introduction of new instruments and increased financial resources have reinforced the need to draw up a clearer and more consistent strategy within the framework of international coordination efforts.

The statement follows on from the Commission communication of April 2000 which is the starting point for a process of renewal. The declaration sets out the final strategy adopted by both the Council and the Commission.

It also forms part of the efforts to increase the effectiveness of the Union’s external action.

2. Principles and objectives

Underlying principle
The Council and the Commission reaffirm the Community’s solidarity with developing countries, in the framework of a partnership which respects human rights, democratic principles, the rule of law and the sound management of public affairs.

Main objective
The main aim of the Community’s development policy is to reduce poverty with a view to its eventual eradication.

Poverty, which includes the concept of vulnerability, results from many factors. The Community is therefore determined to support poverty reduction strategies which integrate these many dimensions and are based on the analysis of constraints and opportunities in individual developing countries. These strategies must contribute to strengthening democracy, to the consolidation of peace and the prevention of conflict, to gradual integration into the world economy, to more awareness of the social and environmental aspects with a view to sustainable development, to equality between men and women and to public and private capacity-building.

The resources available for development aid will be allocated in accordance with their impact on the reduction of poverty. The least developed countries require special consideration.

Primacy of the role of the developing countries
Ownership of their strategies by the partner countries is the key to the success of development policies. With that in mind, the wide-ranging participation of all segments of society should be encouraged and prime importance should be given to political dialogue with the partner countries.

3. Refocusing Community activities
Community activities should be refocused on the following six areas:

  • link between trade and development

    Trade policies must be compatible with the countries’ development objectives and strategies and their economic situation (fragile economies, etc.). Preferential access to markets should also be improved;
  • regional integration and cooperation
    This should facilitate integration into the world economy, conflict resolution and the resolution of cross-border problems, for example in the field of the environment;
  • support for macroeconomic policies and promotion of equitable access to social services

    This includes initiatives to relieve debt and sectoral support in the fields of health and education in particular;
  • transport
    Efficient transport systems are essential to economic and social development and to access to basic social services;
  • food security and sustainable and rural development

    These are an important component of the poverty reduction strategies. A closer link must be sought between emergency food aid and long-term development in the context of food security;
  • enhanced institutional capacitybuilding
    The EC’s action is more neutral than action by the Member States. As a result, it is well placed to play a significant role in promoting good governance, combating corruption and ensuring respect for the rule of law.

Horizontal aspects
The horizontal issues must be incorporated in all aspects of development cooperation. Five main topics must be promoted:

  • human rights;
  • equality between women and men;
  • children’s rights;
  • protection of the environment.

Conflict prevention and crisis management also require systematic attention.

4. Enhancing cooperation, coordination and complementarity
The links between the various actors, particularly the Community and the Member States, must be strengthened in order to maximise the impact of the European Union’s development aid.

The Community and its Member States will coordinate their policies and programmes in order to maximise their impact. Better complementarity and coordination in terms of division of work will be sought both within the Union and with other donors, in particular in the context of country strategies. To ensure consistency, the objectives of Community development policy will be taken into greater account in the conduct of other common policies.

The Commission has already initiated a reshaping of its external aid management by introducing a new programming process and by promoting the devolution (déconcentration) and decentralisation of aid management. Simplification of the Financial Regulation and a better allocation of human resources, as requested by the Commission, are also necessary.

The contribution made by a broad spectrum of participants from civil society to Community policy is already recognised in the framework of the new partnership with the ACP countries. Implementation of an approach that encourages greater participation by non-governmental organisations, economic operators, social partners and the private sector will also be encouraged in the context of the Union’s relations with the other developing countries. The Community will seek to reinforce the partnership with civil society, both in Europe and in the developing countries, and to support capacity-building among non-State players in the partner countries in order to facilitate their participation in the dialogue on strategies and in the implementation of cooperation programmes.

5. Implementation and followup
The new strategy must be implemented as soon as possible. The Commission should therefore prepare an action programme for this purpose and submit to the European Parliament and to the Council an annual report on the progress made.

Related Acts

Joint declaration by the Council and the representatives of the governments of the Member States meeting within the Council, the European Parliament and the Commission on the development policy of the European Union, entitled[Official Journal C 46/01 of 24 February 2006].
The “European Consensus” is the new statement on European Union development policy. For the first time in fifty years of cooperation, it defines the framework of common principles within which the EU and its Member States will each implement their development policies in a spirit of complementarity.

 

Denied-boarding compensation system

Denied-boarding compensation system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Denied-boarding compensation system

Topics

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

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Denied-boarding compensation system

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91.

Summary

This Regulation applies to:

  • passengers departing from an airport located in the territory of a Member State to which the EC Treaty applies; and
  • passengers departing from an airport located in a third country to an airport situated in the territory of a Member State to which the EC Treaty applies,

On condition that the passengers have a confirmed reservation on the flight concerned and, except in the case of cancellation, present themselves for check-in at the time indicated in advance or, if no time is indicated, not later than 45 minutes before the published departure time.

This Regulation establishes passengers’ rights if:

  • they are denied boarding against their will;
  • their flight is cancelled;
  • their flight is delayed.

This Regulation does not apply to passengers travelling free of charge or at a reduced fare not available directly or indirectly to the public.

Denied boarding

When an air carrier reasonably expects to deny boarding on a flight, it first calls for volunteers to surrender their reservations in exchange for certain benefits. If an insufficient number of volunteers come forward to allow the remaining passengers to board the flight, the air carrier may then deny boarding to passengers against their will, in which case it must compensate them.

Air carriers give priority to persons with reduced mobility and any persons accompanying them.

In the event of flight cancellation or denied boarding, the passengers concerned have the right to:

  • reimbursement of the cost of the ticket within seven days or a return flight to the first point of departure or re-routing to their final destination;
  • care (refreshments, meals, hotel accommodation, transport between the airport and place of accommodation, two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails);
  • compensation totalling:
    – EUR 250 for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;
    – EUR 400 for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres;
    – EUR 600 for all other flights.

Delays

The Regulation introduces a three-tier system:

  • in the event of long delays (two hours or more, depending on the distance of the flight), passengers must in every case be offered free meals and refreshments plus two free telephone calls, telex or fax messages, or e-mails;
  • if the time of departure is deferred until the next day, passengers must also be offered hotel accommodation and transport between the airport and the place of accommodation;
  • when the delay is five hours or longer, passengers may opt for reimbursement of the full cost of the ticket together with, when relevant, a return flight to the first point of departure.

Upgrading and downgrading

If an air carrier places a passenger in a class lower than that for which the ticket was purchased, the passenger must be reimbursed within seven days, as follows:

  • 30% of the price of the ticket for all flights of 1500 kilometres or less;
  • 50% of the price of the ticket for all intra-Community flights of more than 1500 kilometres, except flights between the Member States and the French overseas departments, and for all other flights between 1500 and 3500 kilometres;
  • 75% of the price of the ticket for all other flights, including flights between the Member States and the French overseas departments.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 [adoption: codecision procedure COD/2001/305] 17.2.2005 OJ L 46 of 17.2.2004

 

Developing the Citizens' Network

Developing the Citizens’ Network

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Developing the Citizens’ Network

Topics

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

Transport > Mobility and passenger rights

Developing the Citizens’ Network

Document or Iniciative

Communication of 10 July 1998 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: “Developing the citizens’ network – Why local and regional passenger transport is important and how the European Commission is helping to bring it about” [COM (1998) 431 final- Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Amsterdam Treaty includes sustainable development as one of the European Union’s objectives. Transport has a key part to play in achieving this goal. A well-functioning European transport system needs a good, sustainable local and regional passenger transport structure. This is primarily a matter for local, regional and national authorities, working with transport operators and users, amongst whom there is a high degree of consensus on the fundamental need to shift away from dependence on private cars and make transport systems more sustainable.

Practical methods of making transport systems more sustainable and shifting away from excessive dependence on private cars include:

  • raising the quality and accessibility of public transport services and increasing their capacity to respond flexibly to changes in transport needs;
  • making walking and cycling more attractive by offering more favourable conditions;
  • reducing the demand for travel, for example by reversing the trend for housing, jobs, schools, etc. to disperse to places which are hard to reach except by car;
  • removing psychological barriers to the use of alternatives to cars;
  • actively managing car use in congested areas;
  • making transport an essential component of strategies for spatial planning, economic development and social cohesion;
  • fostering new, flexible working time arrangements;
  • pulling all this together to create a door-to-door transport system which people can use as an integrated Citizens’ Network.

What is needed is then integration of travel services, facilitating less costly and effective door-to-door travel whatever the number of transfers or the distances involved. One of the key principles is intermodality, as it allows different means of transport to be used as part of seamless transport chains.

To support the role of local and regional passenger transport while complying with the principle of subsidiarity, the Commission has drawn up a three-year work programme covering four key areas:

  • Stimulating information exchange by developing a European Local Transport Information Service (ELTIS). This will consist of a database about local and regional passenger transport of all types, with information coming from the POLIS network of cities and regions and the International Union of Public Transport (UITP). Users will be able to consult the service electronically by using the worldwide web.
  • Stimulating the benchmarking of service performance to enable public authorities and transport operators to benefit from comparison of the performance of their local and regional transport systems with systems in other countries. In this respect, the Commission will present a Communication on benchmarking of transport. In addition, the European Commitee for Standardisation (CEN) intends to adopt standard definitions which can be used in setting quality criteria for passenger transport. From 1999 onwards, the Commission will seek to encourage widespread use of benchmarking by public authorities and operators. It will publish a handbook on benchmarking local public transport and ensure that a database of results obtained is widely available.
  • Establishing a political and legal framework which promotes increased use of local and regional passenger transport systems and helps to achieve the objectives of the European Union’s common transport policy with regard to efficiency, quality and sustainable mobility. The Commission plays an important part in the development of this policy framework. In land use planning, for example, it encourages good practice with regard to transport through instruments such as the trans-European transport network, regional policy, and cohesion policy. In transport telematics, it makes the most of the potential of telematics applications to improve the efficiency and quality of transport services and help to overcome obstacles to their integration. The Commission believes that information obtained through new telematics applications (in real time, accessible at home, at work and on the move) should cover as many different forms of transport as possible, including public transport routes and timetables, the degree of congestion on the road network, the availability of parking, etc. Making use of the potential of regional transport will also provide increased moblity for women, the disabled and the elderly, and help to reduce pollution, energy consumption and CO2 emissions from transport and make optimum use of public spending.
  • Using the European Union’s financial instruments effectively. The European Commission will manage these funds and programmes so as to optimise the potential contribution from a sustainable local and regional passenger transport system. In its review of the guidelines for the trans-European Transport Network (TEN -T), for example, the Commission is paying particular attention to the question of local and regional connections to the TEN-T (whether to include intermodal passenger terminals in the guidelines). The Commission has also included four actions of specific relevance to the Citizens’ Network in the first projects under the Fifth Framework Programme for Research and Development: Sustainable mobility and intermodality; Land and marine transport technologies; The city of tomorrow and cultural heritage; Systems and services for the citizen.

All in all, the Commission’s work programme is intended to provide practical assistance to numerous institutions throughout Europe which contribute to the development of local and regional transport for the citizens’ benefit: the public authorities, transport companies and user groups.

 

Development and integrated management of coastal zones

Development and integrated management of coastal zones

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Development and integrated management of coastal zones

Topics

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

Environment > Soil protection

Development and integrated management of coastal zones

Document or Iniciative

Recommendation 2002/413/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2002 concerning the implementation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management in Europe [Official Journal L 148 of 06.06.2002].

Summary

On account of the importance of coastal zones to Europe, the European Union (EU) recommends that the Member States take a strategic approach to their management. This must be based on:

  • protection of the coastal environment;
  • recognition of the threat posed by climate change;
  • the implementation of coastal protection measures including protection of coastal settlements and their cultural heritage;
  • sustainable economic opportunities and employment options;
  • a functioning social and cultural system;
  • accessible land for recreational purposes and aesthetic reasons;
  • the cohesion of remote coastal communities;
  • improved coordination of measures.

A deeper analysis of the problems associated with the management of coastal zones can be found in a Commission Communication of 2000 – COM(2000) 547 final. As in the Communication, the recommendation underlines the importance of following a number of principles in managing coastal zones. This entails taking a broad overall perspective (thematic and geographic) in the long term which takes into account distinctive local features and is based on adaptive management making adjustment easier. Turning to actors, all the parties concerned must be involved and supported by relevant administrative bodies at the different levels. Lastly, in terms of instruments, use of a combination of several should facilitate coherence.

At the same time, the EU recommends that Member States undertake a national stocktaking to identify the main actors, laws and institutions involved in the management of coastal zones across all sectors and levels. A national strategy should then be proposed.

The Union considers that these strategies could be specific to the coastal zones or be part of a geographically broader plan. In any case, the national strategy (ies) should identify and determine all aspects concerning the actors, the instruments, the resources and the dissemination of information. To be more exact, they should determine the role of the administrative actors and their coordination to allow adequate control and consistency of the actions, and to strengthen the laws governing both the marine and on-shore areas of coastal zones. In addition, measures to promote public participation in management and sources of sustainable financing must be identified.

On the matter of instruments, in developing their strategies the Member States should consider the advantages of:

  • national strategic plans for ensuring the control of any additional land-use planning and the exploitation of non-urban areas which should respect the natural characteristics of the coastal environment;
  • land purchase mechanisms and declarations of public domain to ensure public access to recreational areas without prejudice to the protection of sensitive areas;
  • contractual or voluntary agreements with coastal zone users;
  • harnessing economic and fiscal incentives;
  • applying regional development mechanisms.

Lastly, the strategies should also identify mechanisms to ensure full and coordinated implementation and application of legislation in the field and adequate systems for monitoring and disseminating information to the public. It would be advisable also to study how national training and education programmes could support the implementation of the above principles.

With the aim of resolving cross-border problems, the recommendation advises cooperation with neighbouring countries, including non-member countries in the same regional sea. Cooperation between the Member States and the Community institutions and other interest groups is also necessary to assess the need to set up a European coastal interest groups forum.

For 2006, the recommendation provides that the Member States must present to the Commission a report with, among other things, the results of the national stocktaking exercise, the national strategy, a summary of the actions taken and an evaluation.

Related Acts

Commission Report of 7 June 2007 on the evaluation of Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Europe [COM(2007) 308 final – Official Journal C 191 of 17.8.2007].

The Commission stresses the recommendation’s positive effects. Most coastal Member States have adopted management strategies for coastal zones, but they will have to make a constant effort – particularly regarding financing and indicators – to implement the strategies. The priorities for the promotion of coastal zone management lie in adapting to climate change and risks and the management of various interests related to coastal and marine zones. The Commission also acts as coordinator to ensure coherence and synergy between coastal zone instruments and policies.