Tag Archives: Disclosure of information

Bathing water quality

Bathing water quality

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Bathing water quality


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

Environment > Water protection and management

Bathing water quality

Document or Iniciative

Directive 2006/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 February 2006 concerning the management of bathing water quality and repealing Directive 76/160/EEC.


The European Union (EU) is committed to protecting environmental quality and human health. This Directive therefore strengthens the rules guaranteeing bathing water quality *. It supplements Directive 2000/60/EC on water protection and management.

The Directive does not apply to swimming pools or spa pools, or to artificially created confined waters, subject to treatment or used for therapeutic purposes.

Monitoring of bathing water

Each year, the Member States shall identify the bathing waters in their territory and define the length of the bathing season.

They shall establish monitoring at the location most used by bathers or where the risk of pollution is greatest. Monitoring shall take place by means of sampling:

  • four samples, including one before the start of the bathing season;
  • three samples only if the seasons does not exceed eight weeks or if the region is subject to special geographical constraints.

Member States shall communicate the results of their monitoring to the Commission with a description of the water quality management measures. Monitoring may be suspended exceptionally once the Commission has been informed.

Determining bathing water quality

Water quality is assessed on the basis of microbiological data defined according to the parameters described in Annex I. Member States shall then establish a classification of waters of poor, sufficient, good or excellent quality. This classification shall comply with the criteria set out in Annex II.

All bathing waters in the EU must be at least of sufficient quality by the end of the 2015 bathing season. Furthermore, Member States are to take the necessary measures to improve the number of bathing waters of good or excellent quality.

If quality is poor, Member States shall adopt the necessary measures to manage and eliminate pollution, and to protect and inform bathers.

Bathing water profile

The Directive provides for profiles to be established to identify possible pollution, for one or more than one contiguous bathing waters. In particular, they comprise an assessment of:

  • the physical, geographical and hydrological characteristics of the bathing water and of other surface waters in the catchment area;
  • pollution and sources thereof;
  • management measures.

These profiles must be established by 24 March 2011.

Exceptional measures

Member States shall adopt exceptional measures if unexpected situations deteriorate the quality of waters or represent a risk to bathers’ health.

Appropriate monitoring must also be implemented if there is a risk of proliferation of algae. The authorities responsible must therefore:

  • take management measures and provide information immediately if a proliferation of cyanobacteria (or “blue algae”) occurs;
  • assess the health risks if there is a proliferation of macro-algae and/or marine phytoplankton.

Transboundary waters

Member States shall exchange information and take joint action if a river basin * extends over several territories.

Information to the public

National authorities shall enable the public to obtain information and to participate in water quality management. Citizens may therefore make suggestions, remarks or complaints. They may also participate in the establishment, review and updating of lists of water quality.

Moreover, Member States shall ensure that adequate information is disseminated actively and is easily available during the bathing season. This concerns in particular:

  • the classification of water, prohibitions or advice against bathing;
  • a general description of the water in non-technical language;
  • a description of the nature and duration of pollution.


This Directive shall repeal Directive 76/2006/EEC by 31 December 2014.

Key terms
  • Bathing water: any element of surface water where the national authorities of a Member State expect a large number of people to bathe or have not imposed a permanent bathing prohibition, or issued permanent advice against bathing.
  • River basin: area from which all surface run-off flows through a sequence of streams, rivers and, possibly, lakes into the sea at a single river mouth, estuary or delta.


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

Directive 2006/7/EC



OJ L 64 of 4.3.2006

Another Normative about Bathing water quality


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

Environment > Water protection and management

Bathing water quality (until 2014)

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 76/160/EEC of 8 December 1975 concerning the quality of bathing water [See amending acts].


This Directive concerns the quality of bathing water in the Member States of the European Union (EU). It concerns those waters in which bathing is authorised by the national authorities and regularly practised by a significant number of bathers. This Directive does not apply to water intended for therapeutic purposes, or to water used in swimming pools.

It lays down the minimum quality criteria to be met by bathing water. They relate to:

  • the limit values of substances considered to be indicators of pollution (in the Annex);
  • the minimum sampling frequency and method of analysis or inspection of such water (in the Annex).

Member States may fix more stringent values than the criteria laid down in the Directive. In addition, where it does not give any values for certain substances, Member States are not obliged to fix any.

Water quality assessment

Sampling is carried out by Member States at different intervals for each polluting substance (in the Annex). Samples are taken at places where the daily average density of bathers is highest. Sampling begins two weeks before the start of the bathing season. The water testing must be adapted to the geographical and topographical conditions and to the presence of existing or potential polluting discharges.


Where the waters do not conform to the parameters of the Directive, Member States may not authorise bathing in them before they have taken the necessary measures to improve the water quality. They have a period of ten years after notification of the Directive for the quality of the water to conform to the set limit values.

However, under certain conditions, bathing water is deemed to conform to the relevant parameters, even if a certain percentage of samples taken during the bathing season do not conform to the limit values. Derogations to the Directive are possible, provided that they meet the objective of protecting public health.

In addition, the consequences of floods, natural disasters or abnormal weather conditions are not taken into consideration when determining the water quality.

Monitoring Committee

A Committee on adaptation to technical progress enables the measures for improving water quality to be adapted. It consists of representatives from the Member States and is chaired by a representative of the Commission.


This is repealed by Directive 2006/7/EC with effect from 31 December 2014. However, it still applies in Member States where transposition of the new Directive is not finished.

The review of bathing water legislation is designed to ensure consistency with the Sixth Environment Action Programme, the Sustainable Development Strategy and the Water Framework Directive. It is also intended to simplify procedures in the light of scientific developments and improve participatory processes for the actors concerned and the information given to the public.


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

Directive 76/160/EEC



OJ L 31, 5.2.1976

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

Directive 91/692/EEC



OJ L 377, 31.12.1991

Regulation (EC) No 1137/2008


OJ L 311, 21.11.2008

Successive amendments and corrections to Directive 76/160/EEC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purpose only.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 21 December 2000: Developing a new bathing water policy [COM(2000) 860 final – Not published in Official Journal].
The Communication sets out the strengths and weaknesses of the management of bathing water quality, and proposes various approaches to drafting a new directive to take account of technical progress in the field.

Commission Decision 92/446/EEC of 27 July 1992 concerning questionnaires relating to Directives in the water sector [Official Journal L 247 of 27.8.1992].
This Decision draws up the outlines of questionnaires needed to monitor the implementation of and compliance with the provisions of all Directives in the water sector, including Directive 76/160/EEC.

Cooperation in criminal matters: protection of personal data

Cooperation in criminal matters: protection of personal data

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cooperation in criminal matters: protection of personal data


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

Justice freedom and security > Police and customs cooperation

Cooperation in criminal matters: protection of personal data

Document or Iniciative

Council Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA of 27 November 2008 on the protection of personal data processed in the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters.


This framework decision aims to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of natural persons when their personal data are processed for the purposes of preventing, investigating, detecting or prosecuting a criminal offence or of executing a criminal penalty. It concerns personal data that are processed in part or entirely by automatic means, as well as personal data forming part of a filing system that are processed by non-automatic means.

Data processing

The competent authorities of Member States may collect personal data only for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes. The processing of these data is permitted only for the purposes for which they were collected. Processing for other purposes is allowed only under certain circumstances or when certain appropriate safeguards are in place.

In principle, personal data that reveals a person’s racial or ethnic origin, political opinions, religious or philosophical beliefs, trade-union membership or concerns his/her health or sex life may not be processed. Their processing may be allowed only if it is absolutely necessary and if appropriate safeguards have been established.

Inaccurate personal data must be rectified and updated or completed if possible. Once the data are no longer needed for the purposes they were collected, they must be erased, made anonymous or, in certain cases, blocked. The need to store personal data must be reviewed regularly, with time limits set for their erasure.

The competent authorities of Member States must verify that the personal data to be transmitted or made available are accurate, up to date and complete. In order to be able to verify that the processing of data is lawful and to ensure the integrity and security of the data, their transmissions must be logged or documented.

Data transmission

Personal data received from another Member State are to be processed only for the purposes for which they were transmitted. In certain cases however, they may be processed for other purposes, for example for the prevention, investigation, detection or prosecution of other criminal offences, the execution of other criminal penalties or the prevention of threats to public security. The receiving Member State must respect any specific restrictions to the exchanges of data provided for in the law of the transmitting Member State.

Under certain circumstances, the receiving Member State may transfer personal data to third countries or to international bodies. To this end, the Member State that first made the data available must provide its consent. Only in urgent cases may data be transferred without a prior consent. Personal data may also be transferred to private parties in Member States for exclusive purposes, provided that the competent authority of the Member State from where the data was received has given its consent.

Rights of data subjects

The data subject is to be kept informed of any collection or processing of personal data relating to him/her. However, when data have been transmitted from one Member State to another, the first may demand that the second does not divulge any information to the subject.

The data subject may request to receive a confirmation on whether data concerning him/her have been transmitted, who the recipients are, what data are being processed, as well as a confirmation that the necessary verifications of that data have been made. In certain cases, Member States may restrict the subject’s access to information. Any decision restricting access must be given in writing to the data subject, together with the factual and legal reasons thereof. The data subject must also be given advice on his/her right to appeal such a decision.

The data subject may demand that personal data relating to him/her be rectified, erased or blocked. Any refusal to that end must be given in writing, along with information on the right to lodge a complaint or seek a judicial remedy.

Any person may demand compensation for the damages s/he has suffered due to an unlawful processing of personal data or any other act that is not compatible with this framework decision. In case a data subject’s rights are breeched, s/he has the right to a judicial remedy.

Safeguarding data processing

The competent authorities must take the necessary security measures to protect personal data against any unlawful form of processing. This includes accidental loss, alteration and unauthorised disclosure of, as well as access to, personal data. In particular, specific measures need to be taken with regard to the automated processing of data.

National supervisory authorities in Member States monitor and advise on the application of this framework decision. To that end, they are granted investigative powers, effective powers of intervention, as well as the power to pursue legal proceedings. For any infringements of the provisions of this framework decision, Member States must establish effective, proportionate and dissuasive penalties.


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

Framework Decision 2008/977/JHA



OJ L 350 of 30.12.2008

Strengthening cooperation with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland: the Lugano Convention

Strengthening cooperation with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland: the Lugano Convention

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strengthening cooperation with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland: the Lugano Convention


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

Justice freedom and security > Judicial cooperation in civil matters

Strengthening cooperation with Switzerland, Norway and Iceland: the Lugano Convention (2007)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2007/712/EC of 15 October 2007 on the signing, on behalf of the Community, of the Convention on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters.


The “new Lugano Convention” will apply to jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters. It will not apply to tax, customs and administrative matters or to the status and legal capacity of natural persons, rights in property arising from matrimonial relationships, wills and succession, bankruptcy or composition, social security or arbitration.

With this decision, the Council of the European Union (EU) authorises the President of the Council to designate the persons empowered to sign the convention on behalf of the Community. The text of the convention is attached to the decision.

Achieving a high level of circulation of judgments

The convention, signed on 30 October 2007 by the European Community, along with Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland, will come into force as soon as it is ratified by the signatories. It will replace the Lugano Convention of 16 September 1988. The contracting parties must deposit their instruments of ratification with the Swiss Federal Council, which will serve as depositary of the convention. Once it has come into force, the convention will be open to:

  • future members of the European Free Trade Association (EFTA);
  • Member States of the European Community acting on behalf of certain non-European territories that are part of their territory or for whose external relations they are responsible;
  • any other state, subject to the unanimous agreement of all the contracting parties.

Based on the rules applicable between EU Member States

The convention follows the present legal framework of the Community, namely the “Brussels I” regulation on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters between Member States. The rules will therefore be similar in the EU and in Switzerland, Norway and Iceland. The convention will also facilitate the mutual recognition and enforcement of judgments handed down by the national courts of these countries.

The convention provides that, in general, persons domiciled in a state bound by the convention are sued in that state, whatever their nationality. However, it also provides for special rules of jurisdiction in certain matters, such as with regard to:

  • contracts: jurisdiction resides with the courts of the place of performance of the obligation;
  • maintenance: jurisdiction resides with the courts of the place where the maintenance creditor is domiciled or habitually resident;
  • tort, delict or quasi-delict: jurisdiction resides with the courts of the place where the harmful event occurred or may occur.

The convention also provides for specific jurisdictions in matters relating to insurance, consumer contracts and individual contracts of employment. Jurisdiction in matters relating to tenancies and real property rights resides exclusively with the courts of the contracting state in which the property is situated.

A number of protocols are annexed to the convention, among other things to ensure that it is interpreted as uniformly as possible.

Signing of the convention marks a major institutional development

The European Court of Justice confirms in its Opinion 1/03 that the European Community is exclusively competent to conclude the new Lugano Convention.

Signed on behalf of the Community on 30 October 2007, the convention is a key part of Community law. It runs for an unlimited period.

Council Decision 2009/430/EC of 27 November 2008 approved the conclusion of the convention on behalf of the Community. It also established the declarations to be made at the time of depositing the Community instrument of ratification (annexed to the decision).


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/712/EC


OJ L 339 of 21.12.2007

Internet governance: the next steps

Internet governance: the next steps

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Internet governance: the next steps


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

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

Internet governance: the next steps

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 18 June 2009 – Internet governance: the next steps [COM(2009) 277 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This Communication gives details of existing Internet governance systems and future action in this field.

Internet: architecture and operation

Internet stems from the world of academia and research. Originally, governance was established on a closed model, carried out by engineers and scientists.

Over time, the architecture has gradually opened up, to the benefit of new stakeholders and individual users.

The Internet is now based on an open architecture which is neutral and distributed. This structure constitutes an advantage in terms of security since any localised failure is less likely to interfere with traffic elsewhere.

The private sector has been in the forefront since the Internet began. It provides the investment, expertise and entrepreneurial initiative which foster innovation. The private sector operates most of the international backbone infrastructure, the national cable networks, and provides services that facilitate and manage traffic.

The IETF (Internet Engineering Task Force), a private body, has developed certain technical rules for the functioning of the Internet. RIPE NCC, another private entity, is responsible for assigning IP addresses at regional level.

The role of governments

Given the increasing role of the Internet in society, it is important that governments play a more active role in its development process.

The financial crisis of October 2008 has also changed public attitudes towards the concept of self-regulation. The public now aspires to more involvement on the part of public authorities in promoting the public interest.

However, the private sector must continue to play its role with regard to the daily management and development of the Internet.

The role of the European Union (EU)

The EU has been at the forefront of the discussions on Internet governance, particularly at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) between 2003 and 2005.

The EU was also a leading actor in the international discussions which contributed to setting up the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN).

The EU also highlights the importance of bridging the ‘digital divide’ and taking into account the interests of users in developing countries in Internet governance arrangements.

The EU puts forward the following key principles concerning Internet governance:

  • the core architecture should be respected;
  • the private sector should retain a leading role;
  • there should be multi-stakeholder participation;
  • governments should participate more actively;
  • inclusion should be a basic principle.

Assigning Internet names and addresses

The coordination of resources with regard to names and addresses is a key element in the functioning of the Internet. Originally, the IANA (Internet Assigned Numbers Authority) was responsible for assigning Internet names and addresses.

Given the development of the Internet, the American government decided, in the late 1990s, to contract some of the services provided by IANA from ICANN. This organisation operates according to the principle of self-regulation, whilst being responsible to the international community.

The American government agreement with ICANN ended in 2006, replaced by the JPA (Joint Project Agreement (pdf ).

ICANN succeeded in maintaining the stability of the Domain Name System for ten years and encouraged a participative decision-making process. However, some criticisms were made concerning its lack of representativeness and its monopolistic tendencies.

The next steps

The Commission encourages international partners to promote intergovernmental cooperation and dialogue in order to implement public policy principles in cooperation with the EU.

ICANN is also encouraged to complete its internal reforms in order to improve its transparency. It is, moreover, necessary that multilateral accountability should apply to ICANN.


Internet governance is an absolute priority in terms of public policy. The EU has a leading role to play since it includes nearly 19 % of the world’s Internet users.

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

VIS Regulation

VIS Regulation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about VIS Regulation


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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

VIS Regulation

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) Noof the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 concerning the Visa Information System (VIS) and the exchange of data between Member States on short-stay visas (VIS Regulation) [See amending act(s)].


The purpose of the Visa Information System (VIS) is to improve the implementation of the common visa policy, consular cooperation and consultations between the central visa authorities by:

  • facilitating the visa application procedure;
  • preventing ‘visa shopping’;
  • facilitating the fight against fraud;
  • facilitating checks at external border crossing points and in the national territories;
  • assisting in the identification of persons that do not meet the requirements for entering, staying or residing in the national territories;
  • facilitating the application of the Dublin II Regulation for determining the EU country that is responsible for the examination of a non EU-country national’s asylum application and for examining said application;
  • contributing to the prevention of threats to EU countries’ internal security.

In specific cases, the national authorities and Europol may request access to data entered into the VIS for the purpose of preventing, detecting and investigating terrorist and criminal offences. The procedures for consultations under such circumstances are laid down in Council Decision 2008/663/JHA. These consultations are carried out via central access points in the participating countries and by Europol, who verify the requests and ensure conformity with the above decision.

Only the following categories of data are recorded in the VIS:

  • alphanumeric data * on the applicant and on the visas requested, issued, refused, annulled, revoked or extended;
  • photographs;
  • fingerprint data;
  • links to previous visa applications and to the application files of persons travelling together.

Access to the VIS:

  • for entering, amending or deleting data, is reserved exclusively to duly authorised staff of the visa authorities;
  • for consulting data, is reserved exclusively to duly authorised staff of the visa authorities and authorities competent for checks at the external border crossing points, immigration checks and asylum, and is limited to the extent the data is required for the performance of their tasks.

The authorities with access to VIS must ensure that its use is limited to that which is necessary, appropriate and proportionate for carrying out their tasks. Furthermore, they must ensure that in using VIS, the visa applicants and holders are not discriminated against and that their human dignity and integrity are respected.

Entering of data by the visa authorities

Once an application is found admissible as set out in the Visa Code, the visa authority creates the application file by entering into the VIS a set of data listed in this regulation, such as the applicant’s personal and travel details provided in the application form, photograph and fingerprints.

Where a decision has been taken to issue a visa, the visa authority adds other relevant data, including the type of visa, the territory in which the visa holder is entitled to travel, the period of validity, the number of entries allowed in the territory and the duration of the authorised stay.

Additional data must also be entered if the visa authority representing another EU country discontinues the examination of an application as well as when a decision has been taken to refuse, annul or revoke a visa, or to extend the validity period of a visa.

Use of the data by the visa and other competent authorities

The competent visa authority may consult the VIS for the purpose of examining applications and decisions to issue, refuse, extend, annul or revoke a visa, or to shorten a visa’s validity period. It is authorised to carry out searches with some of the data included in the application form and the application file. If the search indicates that data on the applicant is recorded in the VIS, the visa authority will be given access to the application file and linked application files.

For prior consultation, the country responsible for examining the application must transmit any consultation requests with the application number to the VIS, indicating the country or countries to be consulted. The VIS will forward the request to the country concerned, which will, in turn, send the response to the VIS, which will then forward the response to the requesting country.

For statistical and reporting purposes, the visa authorities are authorised to consult data that does not allow for the identification of the applicant.

The authorities responsible for carrying out checks at external borders and within the national territories have access to search the VIS with the number of the visa sticker together with fingerprints. They may search the VIS for the purpose of verifying the identity of the person and/or the authenticity of the visa and/or whether the person meets the requirements for entering, staying in or residing within the national territories. If, based on this search, data on the visa holder is found in the VIS, the relevant authorities may consult certain data in the application file.

For identifying a person who may not or may no longer fulfil the required conditions, the competent authorities have access to search with fingerprint data. If that person’s fingerprints cannot be used or the search with the fingerprints fails, the relevant authorities may search the VIS with the name, sex, date and place of birth and/or information taken from the travel document. These may be used in combination with the nationality of the person.

Asylum authorities have access to search the VIS with fingerprint data, but solely for the purposes of determining the EU country responsible for the examination of an asylum application and of examining an asylum application. However, if the fingerprints of the asylum seeker cannot be used or the search fails, the authorities may carry out the search with the data set out above.

Each application file is stored in the VIS for a maximum of five years. Only the country responsible has the right to amend or delete data it has transmitted to the VIS.

Operation and responsibilities

After a transitional period, during which the Commission is in charge, the Management Authority will be responsible for the operational management of the Central VIS and the national interfaces. In addition, ensuring a communication infrastructure between these two, the Management Authority will be in charge of the supervision, security and the coordination of relations between the participating countries and the service provider. The Management Authority will also ensure that the VIS is operated in accordance with the VIS Regulation and that only duly authorised staff has access to data processed in the VIS.

The VIS is connected to the national system of each country via the country’s national interface. Participating countries designate a national authority that is connected to the national interfaces and that provides access to VIS by the relevant authorities.

Each country is responsible for:

  • the development, organisation, management, operation and maintenance of its national system;
  • ensuring the security of data before and during transmission to its national interface and, to this end, adopting a security plan;
  • the management and arrangements for access by duly authorised staff of its competent national authorities to the VIS in accordance with this regulation;
  • bearing the costs incurred by its national system.

Data in the VIS is not to be communicated to third countries or international organisations unless indispensable for attesting a third-country national’s identity in individual cases. The communication may be made when a set of conditions are met, with due respect to the rights of refugees and persons requesting international protection.

Data protection

The responsible country provides the persons concerned with information on the identity and contact details of the controller responsible for the processing of the data, the purposes for which the data is processed within the VIS, the categories of the recipients of the data, the period of retention of the data and the right to access, correct and delete the data. In addition, the country must inform the persons concerned of its obligation to collect the data. Any person is entitled to receive information on how to bring an action or a complaint before the competent authorities or courts of the country concerned if he/she is refused the right of access to, or the right of correction or deletion of, data relating to him/her.

Each EU country must require a National Supervisory Authority, established in accordance with Directive 95/46/EC, to monitor the lawfulness of the processing of personal data by that country. The European Data Protection Supervisor will monitor the activities of the Management Authority.

Start of operations

The VIS will become operational once the technical implementation of the Central VIS, the national interfaces and the communication infrastructure have been completed and a comprehensive test of the VIS has been carried out. The countries must also have taken the required steps for the collection and transmission of data in a first region, followed by a gradual roll-out in other regions.

As a Schengen instrument, this regulation applies to EU countries with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland, which will not be bound by the regulation. Denmark has decided to implement the regulation. The regulation also applies to Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

Key terms used in the act
  • Alphanumeric data: data represented by letters, digits, special characters, spaces and punctuation marks.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 767/2008


OJ L 218 of 13.8.2008

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 810/2009


OJ L 243 of 15.9.2009

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2010/260/EU of 4 May 2010 on the Security Plan for the operation of the Visa Information System [Official Journal L 112 of 2.2.2010].

Commission Decision 2010/49/EC of 30 November 2009 determining the first regions for the start of operations of the Visa Information System (VIS) [Official Journal L 23 of 27.1.2010].

Commission Decision 2009/876/EC of 30 November 2009 adopting technical implementing measures for entering the data and linking applications, for accessing the data, for amending, deleting and advance deleting of data and for keeping and accessing the records of data processing operation in the Visa Information System [Official Journal L 315 of 2.12.2009].

Commission Decision 2009/756/EC of 9 October 2009 laying down specifications for the resolution and use of fingerprints for biometric identification and verification in the Visa Information System [Official Journal L 270 of 15.10.2009].

Commission Decision 2009/377/EC of 5 May 2009 adopting implementing measures for the consultation mechanism and the other procedures referred to in Article 16 of Regulation (EC) No 767/2008 of the European Parliament and the Council of 9 July 2008 concerning the Visa Information System (VIS) and the exchange of data between Member States on short-stay visas (VIS Regulation) [Official Journal L 117 of 12.5.2009].
The implementing measures for consultations and requests for documents via the VIS are set out in the annex to this decision. Currently, the Schengen Consultation Network (VISION) is used as the communication network for consultations on visas. Once the VIS becomes operational, the VIS Mail mechanism may be used in parallel to transmit messages:

  • relating to consular cooperation;
  • relating to requests for any supporting documents linked to an application;
  • indicating that inaccurate data has been processed in the VIS;
  • indicating that the applicant has acquired the nationality of an EU country.

Once all Schengen visa issuing posts are connected to the VIS, the VIS Mail mechanism shall be the sole communication network for exchanging messages via the VIS.

IT agency for the area of freedom, security and justice

IT agency for the area of freedom, security and justice

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about IT agency for the area of freedom, security and justice


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

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

IT agency for the area of freedom, security and justice

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 24 June 2009 – Legislative package establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice [COM(2009) 292 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The communication presents the legislative package that aims to establish an agency for managing the operations of large-scale information technology (IT) systems in the area of freedom, security and justice. The IT systems for which the agency would be responsible consist of the:

  • second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II);
  • Visa Information System (VIS);
  • Eurodac system.

The agency could also be given responsibility for managing other large-scale IT systems in this field.

The Commission is currently developing the SIS II and the VIS. It will be responsible for their operational management during a transitional period before the agency would take up its responsibilities. The Commission developed the Eurodac system and is responsible for operating its central unit as well as for ensuring the security of data transfers.

The agency

In the long term, the most cost-effective solution for managing the above three IT systems would be a regulatory agency. The agency would be able to gradually build expertise and know-how in large-scale IT systems, therefore having the potential to become a centre of excellence for IT management of systems in the area of freedom, security and justice.

The main task of the agency would consist of the operational management of these systems in order to keep them functioning 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, the tasks of the agency would include:

  • adopting security measures;
  • reporting and publishing;
  • monitoring;
  • organising specific trainings.

The agency’s governance structure and voting rules should reflect the existing variable geometry (European Union (EU) countries with different levels of participation in the information systems). The countries associated with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis and the Eurodac related measures would also participate in the agency.

The legislative package

At the time of adoption of the package in June 2009, different legal instruments were needed to establish the agency due to the cross-pillar nature of these IT systems. The first-pillar aspects of SIS II and VIS, as well as the Eurodac system were to be governed by a regulation, whilst the third pillar aspects of SIS II and VIS were to be governed by a decision.

Consequently, the legislative package consisted of proposals for a:

  • Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Agency for the operational management of large-scale IT systems in the area of freedom, security and justice (which describes the agency’s structure, tasks and voting procedures);
  • Council Decision conferring upon the Agency established by Regulation XX tasks regarding the operational management of SIS II and VIS in application of Title VI of the EU Treaty.

Following the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty on 1 December 2009, the former pillar structure disappeared. Consequently, a single amended proposal [COM(2010) 93 final] was adopted on 19 March 2010 to take into account the changes brought about by the new treaty and to take over the substantive provisions of the above mentioned proposal for a Council decision.

Fisheries control system

Fisheries control system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fisheries control system


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

Maritime Affairs And Fisheries > Management of fisheries resources and the environment

Fisheries control system

The control system applies to all fishing activities in Community waters, and to the fishing activities of Community vessels and European Union nationals in Community and non-Community waters. It also applies to the processing and marketing of fishery products, recreational fishing involving sensitive stocks, and aquaculture.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009 establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the common fisheries policy.


The restructuring of the Community fisheries control system has modernised the Community system for the control, inspection and execution of common fisheries policy (CFP) measures throughout the marketing chain.Generally, all aspects relating to the control and monitoring of fishing activities have been rendered more effective.

Control and monitoring of fishing activities

Member States are to carry out inspections of activities throughout the production chain for fishery products, in particular landing, processing, transport and marketing. The use of modern inspection technologies such as the Satellite-based Vessel Monitoring System (VMS), electronic logbooks and the electronic notification of catch data has been extended. The collection, processing and analysis of fishing data have been considerably enhanced. A systematic catch weighing system has been introduced. A new system of traceability for fishery products will allow fishery products to be monitored from the vessel to the retailer.

New measures, such as risk analysis largely based on systematic and full cross-checks of all relevant data, aimed at concentrating inspection activities where the risk of illegal behaviour is highest, will strengthen the effectiveness of controls.

Among the other new fields covered by the Regulation is the monitoring of certain criteria of fleet management by Member States, such as fishing capacity and engine power. General standards are established for specific control measures concerning multiannual plans and recovery, restricted fishing areas and discards. The principles of a new system of control observers have been established.

Inspection powers

The Regulation broadens the Commission’s powers of inspection. The Commission can now, under certain conditions, carry out independent inspections without giving prior notice to the Member State concerned.


The Regulation introduces dissuasive sanctions the extent of which is fixed in a harmonised way throughout the European Union (EU) according to the value of the fishery products obtained when a serious offence is committed. The Regulation provides for a system of penalty points for serious offences concerning holders of fishing permits and masters, who will, as a last resort and after several suspensions of the fishing permit, have their permit withdrawn if they have committed a certain number of serious offences. Measures are also laid down against Member States which do not comply with CFP rules and thus endanger fish stocks. These measures include the possibility of suspending or reducing EU financial aid, the closure of fisheries and deduction of quotas.

Cooperation between Member States

The Regulation establishes a system of mutual assistance and systematic information exchange as regards controls between Member States. It also proposes a new approach to managing and communicating data relating to controls through secure national websites with direct remote access for the Commission.

Coordination authority

The Regulation extends the competences of the Community Fisheries Control Agency in order that it may provide more concrete assistance in the uniform implementation of the new control system. When facing a serious risk for the CFP, it may also, if appropriate, set up an emergency unit.

Under the CFP, control and enforcement fall within the exclusive jurisdiction of Member States. The Regulation also reaffirms the distinct roles of the Commission and Member States in order to avoid overlapping and to ensure that the Commission concentrates its efforts on its main activities – controlling and verifying the implementation of CFP rules by Member States. The new Regulation replaces the existing legal framework established in Council Regulation (EEC) No 2847/93.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009


OJ L 343 of 22.12.2009


Specific control and inspection programme

Commission Decision 2010/210/EU of 6 April 2010 amending Decision 2009/296/EC establishing a specific control and inspection programme related to the recovery of bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean [Official Journal L 89 of 9.4.2010].

A global approach to PNR data transfers

A global approach to PNR data transfers

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A global approach to PNR data transfers


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

Justice freedom and security > Police and customs cooperation

A global approach to PNR data transfers

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 21 September 2010 on the global approach to transfers of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data to third countries [COM(2010) 492 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Union (EU) has adopted new measures against the threats of terrorism and organised crime, which are presented in the Commission’s communication on information management in the area of freedom, security and justice. These measures include the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) data * for law enforcement purposes. PNR data is used increasingly, which also raises concerns regarding personal data protection. Due to these challenges, the Commission has reconsidered its global approach to PNR data transfers to non-EU countries. Consequently, this communication sets out general criteria for future bilateral PNR agreements, with a view to contributing towards the fight against terrorism and transnational serious crime, while guaranteeing respect for fundamental rights and ensuring coherence between the various PNR agreements.

Passenger Name Record (PNR) data

PNR data are principally used as a criminal intelligence tool with a view to:

  • assessing passenger risks and identifying “unknown” persons;
  • providing law enforcement authorities with data prior to the arrival or departure of a flight in order to allow for more time for any follow-up actions;
  • identifying the persons to whom specific addresses and credit cards linked to criminal offences belong;
  • identifying associates of suspects.

PNR data are used in investigations and prosecutions. They are also used to prevent crimes and to arrest persons when a crime has been committed, as well as to create travel and behaviour assessments to facilitate crime prevention.

However, under EU data protection laws, carriers may not transmit PNR data to non-EU countries, unless these countries provide an adequate level of protection for personal data. For this reason, the EU signed international PNR agreements with the United States, Canada and Australia. However, these agreements were negotiated on a case-by-case basis, as a result of which their provisions on rules for carriers and data protection are not coherent. As the number of such agreements is likely to increase in the near future, there is a need to set out general standards, content and criteria for them.

Global approach on PNR

Through the global approach on PNR, greater coherence should be achieved between non-EU countries’ data protection guarantees and between air carriers’ data transmission modalities.

A large number of persons and their personal data are affected by the collection and transfer of PNR data to non-EU countries. Since these countries’ data protection regimes may differ from that of the EU, it is essential that they ensure adequate legal protection for the transferred PNR data. Consequently, non-EU countries should apply the following basic principles for the protection of personal data:

  • the use of the data should be limited to the purpose of the transfer;
  • only the minimum necessary data should be exchanged;
  • sensitive data should only be used under exceptional circumstances;
  • appropriate measures must be taken to protect the security, confidentiality and integrity of the data;
  • the authorities using PNR data should be accountable to and supervised by an independent public authority;
  • individuals should be notified of the processing of their personal data;
  • individuals should be given access to their PNR data and the possibility to request for rectification or deletion of that data;
  • the right to administrative and judicial redress should be provided for anyone whose privacy has been infringed;
  • the automated processing of personal data should not be used as the sole basis for any decisions that have negative effects on an individual;
  • the data retention period should be limited to the purpose of the transfer;
  • the onward transfers of data to other government authorities or to other non-EU countries should be restricted.

The rules governing the transmission of data to non-EU countries by carriers should be streamlined to increase legal certainty and minimise the financial burden on these carriers. At least the following modalities of transmission should be standardised:

  • method of transmission, which should be based on the “push” system;
  • frequency of transmission, which should be limited;
  • collection of additional data, which should not be obligatory.

Furthermore, PNR agreements with non-EU countries should be concluded for fixed periods of time and be reviewable. Mechanisms should be put in place for monitoring their implementation, as well as for resolving any disputes regarding their interpretation and application. It is also essential to ensure reciprocity between EU and non-EU countries, in particular as regards the transfers of analytical information stemming from PNR data.

Finally, in the long term, if more countries start using PNR data, the EU should examine the possibility of setting out standards at the international level for transmitting and using such data, and consequently of replacing its bilateral PNR agreements with a multilateral one.

Key terms used in the act
  • PNR data: unverified information provided by passengers and collected by carriers for enabling reservations and carrying out the check-in process. It is a record of each passenger’s travel requirements held in carriers’ reservation and departure control systems. It contains several different types of information, for example travel dates and itinerary, ticket information, contact details, travel agent, payment information, seat number and baggage information.

Strategic oil stocks

Strategic oil stocks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategic oil stocks


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

Energy > Security of supply external dimension and enlargement

Strategic oil stocks

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2006/67/EC of 24 July 2006 imposing an obligation on Member States to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products.


In an unstable geopolitical environment where the balance between supply and demand is generally uneasy, particularly due to growing demand from new mass consumers such as China, the European Union’s dependency on imports of petroleum products is an increasing cause for concern for European economic prospects.

A supply crisis caused by our supply of petroleum products from third countries being unexpectedly interrupted would most likely have a serious impact on European economic activity. Breaks in supply could also occur within the EU.

It is in order to ensure the security of its oil supply that the EU obliges Member States to guarantee minimum stocks of petroleum products that can be used in the event of a supply crisis to replace all or part of the shortfall.

Strategic stock-holding requirement

Member States are required to build up and constantly maintain minimum stocks of petroleum products equal to at least 90 days of the average daily internal consumption during the previous calendar year.

The calculation of the daily internal consumption is based on motor spirit and aviation fuel, gas oil, diesel oil, kerosene and jet-fuel of the kerosene type, as well as fuel oils.

Amongst the petroleum resources accepted in the statistical summary of strategic stocks are supplies held in ports of discharge, or those on board oil tankers in port for the purpose of discharging, once the port formalities have been completed, supplies held in tanks at the entry to oil pipelines and also those held in refinery tanks. On the other hand, certain resources may not be included in the statistical summary, such as crude oil not yet extracted, supplies intended for the bunkers of sea-going vessels, supplies in pipelines, in road tankers or rail tank-wagons, in the storage tanks of retail outlets and those held by small consumers, as well as quantities held by or for the armed forces.

Member States who have their own petroleum production may deduct this proportionally from their stock-holding obligation. Such deduction may not, however, exceed 25 % of the Member State’s internal consumption.

Member States may include in their statistical summary of strategic stocks only quantities that are at their full disposal in the event of an oil supply crisis.

Stock-holding arrangements

Stock-holding arrangements must ensure that the stocks are available to and accessible by Member States so they can react immediately in the event of a supply crisis. In fact, Member States must be able to control allocation of the stocks and quickly make them available to the sectors where the need for supply is the most urgent.

Stock-holding may rely on a system of partial or total delegation to a stock-holding body or agency. Member States ensure transparency of the stock-holding arrangements and make sure that fair, non-discriminatory conditions are applied.

The stocks may be held outside national territory in another Member State. The Member State on whose territory the stocks are held has control of them and guarantees their actual availability. It does not include them in its statistical summary.

Member States have an obligation to ensure administrative monitoring of their stocks, in other words to ensure their control and supervision. Breaches of these control mechanisms are covered by a system of penalties.

Member States send the Commission a statistical summary of the stocks existing at the end of each month, stating the number of days of average consumption of the previous calendar year that they represent.


In the event of a supply crisis, a coordinated operation is put in place and the Commission organises a consultation between the Member States, either on its own initiative or at the request of one of them.

Member States do not, in principle, make withdrawals from the stocks that would bring them below the compulsory minimum level before such a consultation, except in a particularly urgent situation.

Member States must therefore send the Commission information relating to any withdrawal from the stocks (date on which the stocks fell below the compulsory minimum, reason for withdrawal, steps taken to build the stocks back up, likely stock levels during the period in which they will remain below the compulsory minimum).


Since the end of the 1960s, the European Union has been aware of the need to prevent potential oil supply shortages. Council Directive 68/414/EEC therefore laid down the obligation on Member States to build up and maintain strategic oil stocks. Subsequently, Council Directive 72/425/EEC raised the obligation for stocks initially set at the equivalent of at least 65 days of the daily internal consumption to an obligation for stocks equivalent to at least 90 days. Council Directive 98/93/EC developed and strengthened the provisions of Directive 68/414/EEC. In the interests of clarity and effectiveness, these Directives were consolidated in, and thus repealed by, Council Directive 2006/67/EC.

When anticipating or reacting to a supply crisis, replacement of the shortfall by putting onto the market stocks built up by the Member States can be effective only in tandem with certain complementary measures (to promote energy efficiency and thus reduce consumption of hydrocarbons, to improve dialogue with producer countries, carry out more in-depth market analysis for better forecasting, to diverse energy sources, in particular by promoting renewable forms of energy, etc.).

This Directive will be repealed by Directive 2009/119/EC from 31 December 2012.


Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2006/67/EC


OJ L 217, 8.8.2006

Related Acts

Council Decision 77/706/EEC of 7 November 1977 on the setting of a Community target for a reduction in the consumption of primary sources of energy in the event of difficulties in the supply of crude oil and petroleum products [Official Journal L 292, 16.11.1977].

Amended by Decision79/639/EEC [Official Journal L 183 of 19.7.1979].
Member States may be bound to reduce their oil consumption. The Decision therefore provides that the Commission can set a target for reducing the consumption of petroleum products by up to 10 % of normal consumption.

Digital Agenda for Europe

Digital Agenda for Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Digital Agenda for Europe


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

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth

Digital Agenda for Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 19 May 2010 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – A Digital Agenda for Europe [COM(2010) 245 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Commission has proposed a Digital Agenda. Its main objective is to develop a digital single market in order to generate smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in Europe.

What are the obstacles hindering the Digital Agenda?

  • fragmented digital markets;
  • lack of interoperability;
  • rising cybercrime and risk of low trust in networks;
  • lack of investment in networks;
  • insufficient research and innovation efforts;
  • lack of digital literacy and skills;
  • missed opportunities in addressing societal challenges.

What actions are to be taken under the Digital Agenda?

Achieving the digital single market

The Commission undertakes on the one hand to open up legal access to online content by simplifying copyright clearance and management and cross-border licensing. In order to do this, the Commission is to propose a framework Directive on collective rights management and a Directive on orphan works. It will also review the Directive on Re-Use of Public Sector Information.

In order to facilitate electronic payments and invoicing, the Commission needs to complete the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) and review the e-Signature Directive in order to offer secure e-Authentication systems.

The European online market suffers from a lack of user trust regarding the security of payments and privacy. The Commission envisages reviewing the EU data protection regulatory framework. It also intends to publish an online Code stating clearly and in an accessible manner citizens’ rights in the digital world. This Code will also concern contract law, and EU-wide online dispute resolution. The Commission will also envisage introducing an EU online trustmark to guarantee consumer protection.

Telecommunication services should be unified. Numbering of services and spectrum bands should also be harmonised.

Enhancing interoperability and standards

The EU must enhance the interoperability of devices, applications, data repositories, services and networks. In order to do this, it is essential that the Commission continue the review of its standard-setting policy. It must also promote appropriate rules for intellectual property rights.

Consolidating online trust and security

Europe must strengthen its policy to combat
child pornography
and breaches of privacy and personal data security. The Commission is to present measures on network and information security and the fight against cyber attacks.

In parallel, Member States should take measures to establish a well-functioning network at national level and carry out large-scale cyber attack simulations. National alert platforms should be adapted to the Europol cybercrime platform.

Promoting fast and ultra fast Internet access for all

Europe needs competitively priced fast and ultra fast Internet access for all. In this regard, the EU is to establish next generation access networks (NGAs). The Commission intends to use European funds (ERDF or EAFRD, in particular) in order to finance investment in broadband. The Commission will also reinforce its radio spectrum policy.

Investing in research and innovation

Europe must make up for its lack of investment in research and development in ICTs, which is still insufficient in Europe compared to its major trading partners. The Commission therefore intends to encourage private investment and to double public expenditure to develop ICTs.

Enhancing digital literacy, skills and inclusion

Although the Internet is part of daily life for many European citizens, some categories of the population are still excluded from media literacy in the digital environment. Furthermore, the EU is hampered by a shortage of ICT practitioner skills.

In order to promote employment in the ICT field, the Commission proposes to give priority to digital literacy and skills through the European Social Fund. It also wishes to develop tools to identify and recognise the skills of ICT practitioners and users. The aim is to set up a European framework specially designed for ICT professionalism.

In order to overcome unequal access to digital literacy by European citizens, Member States should promote e-accessibility in particular when applying the Audiovisual Media Services Directive.

Leveraging smart use of technology for society

The European Union must exploit the potential offered by the use of ICTs in the following areas:

  • climate change, through partnerships with emitting sectors;
  • managing ageing population, through e-health and telemedicine systems and services;
  • digitisation of content, through Europeana;
  • intelligent transport systems, by applying the proposed Directive.

How can these actions be implemented?

Implementation of the actions described above will require a sustained level of commitment at both EU and Member State levels (including at regional level). This will be coordinated by a group of Commissioners and will involve Member States and the European Parliament.

Progress on implementing the Digital Agenda will be charted annually and will give rise to the publication of a scoreboard and the holding of a Digital Assembly.


The 2008 financial crisis revealed certain structural weaknesses in the European economy. The Europe 2020 Strategy launched by the European Commission in 2010 constitutes one of the responses to this crisis. It sets objectives in terms of jobs, productivity and social cohesion. The Digital Agenda for Europe forms part of the Europe 2020 Strategy and is one of the seven flagship initiatives thereof.