Tag Archives: EA

Early warning and response system for the prevention and control of communicable diseases

Early warning and response system for the prevention and control of communicable diseases

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Early warning and response system for the prevention and control of communicable diseases

Topics

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

Public health > Threats to health

Early warning and response system for the prevention and control of communicable diseases

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2000/57/EC of 22 December 1999 on the early warning and response system for the prevention and control of communicable diseases under Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council [Official Journal L 21 of 26.1.2000] [See amending acts].

Summary

EVENTS TO BE REPORTED

The Community network’s early warning and response system (EWRS) shall be reserved for Community-level events, or indications for such events, which have the potential to become public health threats. Member States shall notify such events and then collect and exchange all necessary information on these events. The scope of the EWRS also includes the notification and coordination of countermeasures applied or envisaged to deal with events constituting a health threat. This coordination between Member States shall take place in liaison with the Commission.

Events caused by communicable diseases, and the health measures undertaken in response to them should be notified simultaneously to the EWRS and the World Health Organization (WHO) if they constitute an emergency with international impact by virtue of the International Health Regulations (IHR 2005).

The events to be reported within the early warning and response system are as follows:

  • outbreaks of communicable diseases extending to more than one Member State of the Community;
  • spatial or temporal clustering of cases of disease of a similar type, if pathogenic agents are a possible cause and there is a risk of propagation between Member States;
  • spatial or temporal clustering of cases of disease of a similar type outside the Community, if pathogenic agents are a possible cause and there is a risk of propagation to the Community;
  • the appearance or resurgence of a communicable disease or an infectious agent which may require coordinated Community action to contain it;
  • pathological events or facts creating a risk of a communicable disease and related measures notified to the WHO under the terms of the IHR 2005.

The competent authorities of each Member State shall collect and exchange all necessary information on these events and all measures taken or envisaged to deal with these events or the indications of such events, e.g. by using the national surveillance system or the epidemiological surveillance component of the Community network.

CONTACT TRACING

When measures are taken by the competent authorities of Member States to trace persons who have been exposed to a source of infectious agents and who have developed or are in danger of developing a communicable disease of Community relevance (‘contact tracing’), personal data may sometimes be exchanged within the EWRS. When exchanging personal data the Member States concerned by contact tracing must use a selective communication channel. This shall offer appropriate guarantees when communicating personal data within the EWRS and should ensure that only adequate, relevant and not excessive personal data is circulated within the EWRS. An indicative list of personal data has been established specifically for contact tracing. It includes information concerning:

  • travellers;
  • accompanying persons;
  • details of persons to be contacted in an emergency.

European legislation on personal data protection (Directive 96/45/EC and Regulation 45/2001/EC) prevails in this case.

PROCEDURES

The Decision provides for procedures for information, consultation and cooperation among Member States and in liaison with the Commission. These procedures are applied at three levels:

Activation level 1: information exchange

Action level 1 is put in place if the information collected at national level suggests that an event representing a health risk is likely. In this case, the Commission and the Member States concerned must ensure that information is exchanged rapidly. The information collected must be assessed as quickly as possible by the competent national health authorities.

Activation level 2: potential threat

In the event of a potential threat to public health, similar information, consultation and cooperation procedures shall be set up. Provision is made for phases of verification/evaluation of the information and deactivation of the system.

Activation level 3: definite threat

In the event of a definite threat, the health authorities concerned shall inform their counterparts in other Member States and the Commission without delay of the nature and scope of the potential threat and the measures they intend to take themselves or in association with other Member States.

Coordination of measures

The health authorities concerned shall without delay inform other Member States and the Commission of the progress and results of the measures taken. They may adopt further measures to be taken at Community level. The Commission shall support Member States in coordinating their efforts to cope with the public health threat and to ensure protection of the population.

Deactivation

The system shall be deactivated after the agreement of the Member States concerned, which shall inform other Member States and the Commission.

Information to the general public and concerned professions

If an event arises, Member States shall without delay provide suitable information material to concerned professionals and the general public and shall inform them of the measures adopted.

REFERENCES

Act Entry into force Transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2000/57/EC

23.12.1999

OJ L 21 of 26.1.2000

Amending act(s) Entry into force Transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 351/2008/EC

1.5.2008

OJ L 117 of 1.5.2008

Decision 2009/547/EC

OJ L 181 of 14.7.2009

Related Acts

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament Operation of the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) of the Community Network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases during 2006 and 2007 (Decision 2000/57/EC) (Text with EEA relevance) [ – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 20 March 2007 on the operation of the Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) of the Community Network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases during years 2004 and 2005 (Decision 57/2000/EC) [ – Not published in the Official Journal].

Report from the Commission of 29 March 2005 on the operation of the early warning and response system of the Community Network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases (Decision 2000/57/EC) during 2002 and 2003 [COM(2005) 104 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Decision No 2119/98/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 September 1998 setting up a network for the epidemiological surveillance and control of communicable diseases in the Community.

 

EAccessibility

eAccessibility

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about eAccessibility

Topics

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

Information society > Digital Strategy i2010 Strategy eEurope Action Plan Digital Strategy Programmes

eAccessibility

This communication encourages the Member States to step up their promotion of initiatives to give improved access to information and communication technologies, particularly for people with disabilities and the elderly.
The aim is also to foster industry self-regulation in this area.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission, dated 13 September 2005, on “eAccessibility” [COM(2005) 425 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

“eAccessibility” refers to initiatives taken to ensure that all citizens have access to Information Society services. This is about removing the technical, legal and other barriers that some people encounter when using ICT * -related services. In particular, it concerns people with disabilities and certain elderly people.
It is also about encouraging such people to use ICT and the Internet, and making them aware of the prospects the latter can open up for them.

The barriers to ICT accessibility relate in particular to:

  • the lack of Europe-wide standards (e.g. there are seven different, incompatible text phone systems for deaf and hard-of-hearing persons);
  • the lack of adequate services, and especially of websites that visually impaired persons can read and navigate through easily;
  • the lack of products and services for certain groups of persons (e.g. telephone communication for sign language users);
  • the lack of interoperable * solutions for accessible ICT;
  • the lack of accessible content;
  • the incompatibility of software with assistive devices (e.g. screen readers for blind users).

Many of these barriers could be removed. However, this requires firm cooperation, coordination and determination at European level.

ONGOING ACTIVITIES AT EUROPEAN LEVEL

A number of eAccessibility measures are under way at European level.

Accessibility requirements and standards

European standards on e-Accessibility would contribute to the proper functioning of the European single market. This would promote the development of new markets, competitiveness and employment.
The Commission therefore intends to continue to provide financial support for the activities proposed by the European standardisation organisations in the framework of the European Standardisation Action Plan.

Design for All (DFA)

DFA * involves a more thorough consideration of accessibility requirements when a product or service is being designed. It is now well established, though not yet widely practised. It is therefore essential to continue raising awareness of and promoting DFA in Europe. To this end, the Commission has set up a network of centres of excellence (EDEAN), which has over one hundred members.

Web accessibility

A 2001 Commission Communication on the accessibility of public websites (COM(2001) 529 final) was followed by Council and Parliament resolutions in 2002. As a result, Member States have undertaken to make their public websites accessible in accordance with international guidelines. An eAccessibility Experts Group is enabling the Commission and the Member States to monitor developments. In addition, a European Committee for Standardisation workshop is exploring adequate solutions for devising accessibility certification schemes.

Benchmarking and monitoring

To be able to further develop appropriate European eAccessibility policies it is essential to have European data comparable across Member States. The Commission will build upon the ongoing European monitoring activities, taking account of the revised Lisbon * approach.

Research

Almost 200 European research and technological development (RTD) projects undertaken since the early 1990s have improved accessibility by increasing our knowledge of the problems involved and the solutions required.

The current proposal for the 7th framework programme addresses the need to pursue and expand RTD in eAccessibility.

THREE PROPOSED NEW APPROACHES

In addition to promoting ongoing measures, the Commission intends to foster the use of three approaches not yet widely used in Europe.

Award of public contracts

The European Public Procurement Directives specifically mention the possibility of including accessibility requirements in conditions for tender. Some Member States already include accessibility requirements in their public procurement.

There is a clear need for consistency of accessibility requirements in public procurement in Europe. To this end, the Commission is preparing a mandate to the European standardisation organisations to develop European accessibility requirements for public procurement of products and services in the ICT domain. The Commission will also encourage debate on this subject with the Member States in the framework of the eAccessibility Expert Group.

Certification of accessibility

A number of standards exist or are under development defining how products and services can be made accessible. However, at present there is no reliable means to assess the conformity of products with those standards.

Certification schemes for accessibility would provide guidance to customers and clients who want accessible products and services. They would also provide manufacturers and service providers with recognition for their efforts.

With this in mind, the Commission will study the possibilities for the development and introduction of certification schemes. The possibility of self-declaration or third-party certification will also be investigated and the different options will be compared for their effectiveness.

Better use of existing legislation

The eAccessibility potential of existing European legislation needs to be fully exploited. Several European directives have clauses which could be used to encourage eAccessibility (e.g. the Employment Equality Directive, the Directive on Radio and Telecommunication Terminals and the Public Procurement Directive).

Background

This Communication on eAccessibility contributes to the implementation of the recently launched ” i2010 – A European Information Society for growth and employment ” initiative. It incorporates the main findings of a consultation held in 2005 which showed that the accessibility of online services and products should remain a political priority for the EU in relation to ICT.

Key terms used in the act
  • Information and communication technologies (ICT): the term ICT covers a wide range of services, applications, technologies, devices and software, i.e. tools like telephony and the Internet, distance learning, television, computers, and the networks and software needed to use these technologies. These technologies are revolutionising social, cultural and economic structures, resulting in new ways of behaving towards information, knowledge, working life, etc.

  • DFA: the DFA methodology denotes the design of products and services to be accessible to as broad a range of users as possible.

  • Interoperability: the ability of two or more systems (devices, databases, services or technology) to interact with one another in accordance with a prescribed method.

  • Lisbon Strategy: at the European Council in Lisbon (March 2000), the EU set itself a new strategic goal for the next decade: “to become the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, capable of sustainable economic growth with more and better jobs and greater social cohesion.” The Lisbon Strategy was revised in March 2005 to refocus its priorities on growth and jobs.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission, dated 25 September 2001, on “eEurope 2002: Accessibility of Public Web Sites and their Content” [COM(2001) 529 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Resolution (FR ) (pdf) of the Employment, Social Policy, Health and Consumer Affairs Council of 2-3 December 2002 on “eAccessibility for People with Disabilities”.

Early language teaching

Early language teaching

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Early language teaching

Topics

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

Education training youth sport > Lifelong learning

Early language teaching

The idea behind early language teaching is to promote European multilingualism by promoting the early teaching of European Union languages, while maintaining Europe’s cultural and linguistic diversity.

Document or Iniciative

Council Resolution of 16 December 1997 on the early teaching of European Union languages [Official Journal C 1 of 03.01.1998].

Summary

The White Paper “Teaching and learning: towards the learning society” advocates proficiency in three EU languages for every European citizen.

The early learning of one or more languages in addition to one’s mother tongue(s) may contribute to achieving this objective since flexibility and receptiveness are greatest at a young age.
The integration of learning and increased awareness of this kind into compulsory schooling would also enable all pupils to have access to it.

The Council calls upon the Member States:

  • to encourage the early teaching of languages and diversify the languages taught;
  • to encourage cooperation between schools providing this type of education and foster pupils’ virtual mobility and, if possible, their physical mobility;
  • to promote the continuous provision of teaching of several languages;
  • to increase awareness among all those involved, particularly parents, of the benefits of early language learning;
  • to develop and distribute the most suitable teaching materials, including multimedia resources;
  • to prepare teachers working in the field of early language teaching to meet these new needs.

The Council invites the Commission to support measures taken by the Member States to achieve the above objectives and to promote early language teaching within the framework of existing Community programmes:

  • by providing support for measures aimed at strengthening European cooperation and measures for disseminating and exchanging experience and good practice;
  • by promoting transnational cooperation in the development of teaching materials and means of evaluation;
  • by supporting the distribution of suitable, high-quality teaching materials via European networks;
  • by supporting measures aimed at increasing teacher mobility and at updating and improving the skills required to teach languages to pupils at an early age;
  • by fostering cooperation between teacher training institutions;
  • by encouraging contacts between pupils, in particular by means of virtual mobility.

The Commission is also invited to bear early language teaching in mind when considering future cooperation in the field of education.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social committee and the Committee of the Regions – A New Framework Strategy for Multilingualism[COM(2005) 596 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – The European Indicator of Language Competence[COM(2005) 356 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Promoting Language Learning and Linguistic Diversity: an Action Plan 2004 – 2006[COM(2003) 449 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Decision No 1934/2000/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 July 2000 on the European Year of Languages2001 [Official Journal L 232 of 14.09.2000].

White paper on education and training: “Teaching and learning – Towards the learning society” [COM(95) 590 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Eastern europe and central asia

Eastern europe and central asia

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Eastern europe and central asia

Topics

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

External relations > Eastern europe and central asia

Eastern europe and central asia

GENERAL FRAMEWORK

Framework for relations

  • Partnership and Cooperation Agreements (PCAs): Russia, Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia
  • Strategy for assistance to Central Asia 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010
  • Black Sea Synergy
  • Readmission agreements with Eastern European countries

Russia

  • Stratégie pour la Russie 2007-2013
    (FR)
  • EU-Russia environmental cooperation
  • Agreement on readmission with Russia
  • Facilitating the issuance of short-stay visas with Russia
  • Transit Kaliningrad – Russian mainland: proposals and implementation

European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP)

  • New neighbourhood policy strategy
  • Taking stock of the European Neighbourhood Policy
  • Neighbourhood policy: participation in European Union Agencies and programmes
  • Neighbourhood Policy – Strategy paper
  • Neighbourhood Policy: 2008 Report
  • Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2007
  • European Neighbourhood Policy: recommendations for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia and for Egypt and Lebanon

FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS

2007 – 2013

  • European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (2007 – 2013)
  • Strategy for the eastern region 2007-2013
  • Cross-border cooperation (CBC) 2007-2013
  • Inter-regional programme: Strategy paper 2007-2013 and indicative programme 2007-2010
  • Financing instrument for development cooperation – DCI (2007-2013)

2000 – 2006

  • Tacis programme (2000-2006)
  • Cross-border cooperation within the framework of the TACIS programme

SECTORAL COOPERATION

  • European Energy Charter
  • Cooperation with Non-EU Member Countries on nuclear safety
  • Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries (2009-2013)
  • European Training Foundation (ETF)
  • Action on HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries 2006 – 2009
  • Multilateral Environment for Europe process

Early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency

Early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency

Topics

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

Public health > Threats to health

Early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 87/600/EEC of 14 December 1987 on Community arrangements for the early exchange of information in the event of a radiological emergency.

Summary

This decision introduces the “Ecurie” system. This system requires Member States to notify and provide information to the Commmission and to the Member States affected or liable to be affected whenever a Member State decides to take measures of a widespread nature in order to protect the general public in the event of a radiological emergency.

Such information must include the nature and time of the event, its exact location and the nature of the facility or activity involved, the cause, the foreseeable development and the protective measures taken or planned. This information must subsequently be supplemented by any further relevant information.

Upon receipt of this information, Member States are required to inform the Commission of the measures taken and Recommendations issued or envisaged and, at appropriate intervals, of the levels of radioactivity measured by their monitoring facilities in foodstuffs, feedingstuffs, drinking water and the environment. The Commission must then forward that information, plus information it receives from non-Community countries, to the competent authorities of all the other Member States.

The point of contact and the Commission service designated to forward this information shall be available on a 24-hour basis.

The information may be used without restrictions except when it is provided in confidence by the notifying Member State.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 87/600/EEC 21.3.1988 OJ L 371 of 30.12.1987

Related Acts

Agreement between the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) and non-member States of the European Union on the participation of the latter in the Community arrangements for the early exchange of information in the event of radiological emergency (Ecurie) [Official Journal C 102 of 29.4.2003].
This agreement extends the Ecurie system to certain non-Member States, including the candidate countries for EU membership and Switzerland.