Tag Archives: Economic development

Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013

Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013


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

Audiovisual and media

Media Mundus audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries 2011-2013

Document or Iniciative

Decision No 1041/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing an audiovisual cooperation programme with professionals from third countries (MEDIA Mundus).


This Decision aims at establishing the programme MEDIA Mundus for the funding of projects for international cooperation with professionals from third countries in the audiovisual sector during the period 2011-2013.


The programme is intended for professionals worldwide. However, the project coordinator must be resident in one of the following countries:

  • Member States;
  • EFTA States that are members of the EEA;
  • countries which declare a willingness to be members of the programme and pay a contribution calculated on the same basis as their contribution to the MEDIA 2007 programme.

What are the conditions for participation in the programme?

Projects proposed must fulfil the following conditions:

  • be carried out jointly by European and third-country professionals;
  • have a minimum of three partners with a view to creating an international network;
  • be coordinated by a European professional and include at least one partner from a third country.

What are the objectives of the programme?

The programme aims to increase the diversity and competitiveness of the European audiovisual industry and to promote Europe’s role in culture.

Information exchange, training and market intelligence

Under the programme, European and third-country professionals meet in order to enhance their understanding of their respective audiovisual markets, particularly in terms of operating conditions, legal frameworks, financing systems and possibilities for cooperation.

It involves establishing professional training on:

  • the conditions of production, co-production, distribution and the exhibition and dissemination of audiovisual works internationally;
  • the inclusion of new technologies throughout the value chain (production, post-production, distribution, marketing and archiving).

Competitiveness and distribution

The introduction of the programme should facilitate the search for foreign partners for European audiovisual works, whilst supporting the organisation of co-production markets.

Moreover, the programme should promote international sales of audiovisual works.


At this level, the programme should:

  • improve the programming and exhibition conditions of audiovisual works in European and third-country cinemas;
  • improve broadcasting and distribution conditions for third countries’ audiovisual works on European distribution channels and European works on international distribution channels;
  • facilitate the organisation of events and initiatives, in particular aimed at young audiences.

What is the programme budget?

The financial allocation for implementing the programme throughout the 2011-2013 period is EUR 15 million (of which 13.5 million is dedicated to supporting projects).


Prompted by the effects of the digital revolution on the conditions of production and dissemination of works, the audiovisual sector has changed significantly over the last 20 years, in particular from a technical standpoint. Furthermore, its international role is increasing with regard to the protection of cultural diversity. In this context, the public consultation on MEDIA Mundus demonstrated a willingness among European professionals and their third-country counterparts to cooperate so as to better promote the circulation of audiovisual works and film literacy.


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

Decision No 1041/2009/EC


OJ L 288 of 4.11.2009

Related Acts

Council Decision 2010/478/EU of 26 July 2010 concerning the conclusion of an Agreement between the European Community and the Swiss Confederation in the audiovisual field, establishing the terms and conditions for the participation of the Swiss Confederation in the Community programme MEDIA 2007, and a Final Act [OJ L 234, 4.9.2010].

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement


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

Development > South Africa

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2004/441/EC of 26 April 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, on the other part [See amending acts].


The European Union (EU) and South Africa have concluded an agreement on trade, development and cooperation (TDCA), designed to strengthen cooperation in various fields.
This Agreement pursues several objectives: strengthening dialogue between the parties, supporting South Africa in its economic and social transition process, promoting regional cooperation and the country’s economic integration in southern Africa and in the world economy, and expanding and liberalising trade in goods, services and capital between the parties.

Based on respect for democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law, the Agreement establishes a regular political dialogue on subjects of common interest, both at bilateral and regional level (within the framework of the EU’s dialogue with the countries of southern Africa and with the group of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries).

The duration of the Agreement is unspecified, but provision is made for its revision within five years of the date of its entry into force in order to consider possible amendments.

The Agreement covers a number of areas and includes a future developments clause making it possible to widen the field of cooperation.


The TDCA establishes preferential trade arrangements between the EU and South Africa, with the progressive introduction of a Free Trade Area (FTA). The EU is South Africa’s main trading and investment partner. The FTA aims to ensure better access to the Community market for South Africa and access to the South African market for the EU. As a result, it plays an important role in South Africa’s integration into the world economy. The Agreement covers around 90 % of current bilateral trade between the two parties.

The Agreement provides for the liberalisation of 95 % of the EU’s imports from South Africa within ten years, and 86 % of South Africa’s imports from the EU in twelve years. In order to protect the vulnerable sectors of both parties, certain products are excluded from the FTA and others have been only partially liberalised. For the EU, these are mainly agricultural products, while for South Africa, they are industrial products, in particular certain motor vehicle products and certain textile and clothing products. However, since December 2006 there has been provision for a strengthening of trade liberalisation in the motor vehicle sector.

The Agreement sets out detailed rules of origin in order to ensure that products benefiting from the preferential arrangements come only from South Africa or the EU. To take account of modern international production processes, special provisions make the rules of origin more flexible.

South Africa and the EU may implement safeguard measures when an imported product threatens to cause serious injury to the national industry. The Agreement also allows South Africa to adopt transitional safeguard measures (for example, an increase or reintroduction of customs duties). In addition, similar measures make it possible to protect the economies of members of the Central African Customs Union and the outermost regions of the EU (such as Reunion).

The Agreement includes provisions aimed at avoiding abuse by firms with a dominant position on the market and thus ensuring free competition among the companies from the EU and South Africa. Cooperation takes place within the framework of consultations between the competent authorities. In addition, the EU provides technical assistance to help South Africa restructure its competition laws. The Agreement also recognises the need to provide adequate protection for intellectual property and provides for urgent consultations, where necessary, and technical assistance for South Africa.

Lastly, the TDCA provides for close cooperation in a wide range of fields linked to trade, including customs services, the free movement of services and capital, and technical obstacles such as certification and standardisation.


EU development aid for South Africa is mainly implemented from the Community budget through the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI). For the period 2007–13, the DCI has a budget of €980 million for South Africa.

The indicative programme for cooperation with South Africa for 2007–13indicates two areas on which attention should be focused: job creation in the informal economy sector and integration into the formal economy, and capacity-building for the provision of basic social-security services and social cohesion.

As with other development cooperation agreements, decentralised cooperation is a key element of assistance, thus requiring a high degree of civil society involvement in the development process.


Both parties are stepping up their economic cooperation in many fields such as industry (in order to facilitate the restructuring of South African industry), the information society, the creation and development of small and medium-sized enterprises, transport and energy. Cooperation in this field should also support sustainable development in their economies and protect the environment.


The provisions of the Agreement cover cooperation in fields as diverse as:

  • social cooperation, based on dialogue covering a number of aspects, such as freedom of association, workers’ rights, children’s rights, gender equality and violence against women;
  • cooperation to protect the environment, particularly as regards climate change;
  • cultural cooperation;
  • cooperation in the fight against drugs and money laundering;
  • cooperation in the field of health and, in particular, the fight against AIDS.

Lastly, the TDCA contains some institutional provisions. It creates a Cooperation Council to ensure the smooth operation of the Agreement. And it provides for regular contact between the parties; for example, between their Parliaments and between the EU’s Economic and Social Committee and its South-African counterpart, the National Economic Development and Labour Council.


Signed on 11 October 1999 in Pretoria, the TDCA entered fully into force on 1 May 2004. However, some provisions which fall within Community competence have been applied since 1 January 2000.

The Agreement is supplemented by three additional agreements: the Science and Technology Agreement, and the Wine and Spirits Agreements. The Fisheries Agreement envisaged under the TDCA has not been concluded. South Africa also has qualified membership of the Cotonou Agreement, which governs the relations between the EU and ACP countries.


Act Date of entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/441/EC

[adoption: assent AVC/1999/0112]


OJ L 127, 29.04.2004

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)


OJ L 311, 04.12.1999

Amending Act(s) Date of entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/166/EC


OJ L 57, 28.02.2006

Related Acts

Proposal for a Council Decision of 4 February 2008 on the signing of an Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, amending the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation [COM(2008) 50 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission proposes an enlargement of the scope of cooperation provided for in the TDC agreement. The new areas of cooperation should contribute in particular to the effective implementation of the socio-economic programme of the African Union. The partners commit to pursue their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Cooperation should extend to energy policy in order to ensure stability of prices, security and diversification of sources of supply, the development of science, technologies and the information society, and the sectors of beneficiation of minerals, transport and satellite navigation systems.

The agreement includes provisions on international justice and the International Criminal Court. It refers to the application of international instruments for disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It also provides for stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its financing, organised crime, the prevention of mercenary activities and the eradication of small arms trading. It provides for in-depth political dialogue on the question of migration, so as to reduce illegal immigration, ensure full respect of human rights and the elimination of discrimination.

Discussions on trade and trade-related issues will take place in the context of the negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Communication of 28 June 2006 from the Commission to the Council and to the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council to give orientation to the Commission for the revision of the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part [COM(2006) 348 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This communication, adopted parallel to that proposing a strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa, identifies which parts of the TDCA should be examined with a view to possible amendments. Following this communication, in November 2006 the Council adopted the negotiating mandate and the EU-South Africa Cooperation Council of 14 November 2006 agreed to launching the negotiations to revise the TDCA. These negotiations were concluded on 10 October 2007.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1747/2000 of 7 August 2000 amending Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 on certain procedures for applying the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa [Official Journal L 200, 08.08.2000].
The Regulation amends the annex to Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 to bring it into line with Commission Regulation (EC) No 2204/1999 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff. In this respect, it amends the codes of the combined nomenclature of the annex in question.

Council Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 of 17 December 1999 on certain procedures for applying the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa [Official Journal L 337, 30.12.1999].

The Regulation establishes, in particular, the arrangements for the implementation of the Agreement’s trade provisions, for example, the criteria for the calculation of customs duties, etc. The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the Regulation and is assisted by a Customs Code Committee.

Cohesion policy and cities

Cohesion policy and cities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Cohesion policy and cities


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

Regional policy > Review and the future of regional policy

Cohesion policy and cities

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and Parliament of 13 July 2006 – Cohesion Policy and cities – The urban contribution to growth and jobs in the regions [COM(2006) 385 – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Community Strategic Guidelines 2007-2013 in the field of cohesion aim to encourage growth and jobs. They define the areas of intervention where priority should be given in the Operational Programmes for Cohesion Policy for 2007-2013 by focusing on the specific needs of certain territories, such as urban areas, and on social and environmental objectives.

Sustainable urban economic development should be accompanied by measures designed to reduce poverty, social exclusion and environmental problems. This is the reason why the objective of this communication is to present certain specific aspects of the urban dimension which are relevant in the context of the strategic guidelines.

The Communication presents and proposes actions in a large number of fields and reflects the possibilities for intervention by the Structural Funds. The actions examined are divided into six headings, i.e.:

  • making cities more attractive;
  • supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and the knowledge economy;
  • the creation of more and better jobs;
  • managing disparities within cities;
  • governance.
  • financing urban renewal.

Attractive cities

In order to rise to the different challenges and make themselves more attractive, cities should attract more investment and create jobs. Four main points should be taken into consideration when doing so:

  • the mobility and accessibility of transport. For example, cities and regions should make the best possible use of the whole transport infrastructure;
  • access to modern, efficient and affordable services, as well as to equipment;
  • the natural and physical environment;
  • a cultural sector based on the availability of facilities.

Supporting innovation, entrepreneurship and the knowledge economy

Cities can take measures to support innovation, entrepreneurship and the knowledge economy. These involve actions for SMEs as well as actions to put innovation and the knowledge economy at the service of growth. This means for example:

  • improving the economic infrastructure and adopting environmental management systems;
  • providing business support services;
  • cooperation between local partners and access to sources of finance;
  • the drafting of an innovation strategy for the whole region;
  • involvement of cities in research and development (R&D) projects (Seventh Framework Programme), and in the information society field (the i2010 initiative).

More and better jobs

Given that highly qualified people and those with very low levels of qualifications are over-represented in cities, cities offer both needs and opportunities. Under the “Convergence” objective, the Structural Funds can support:

  • actions to strengthen institutional capacity and the efficiency of public services at local and regional level;
  • initiatives to create jobs, fight unemployment and create partnerships for employment and innovation;
  • improving employability by raising levels of educational achievement and training.

Disparities within cities

Within deprived neighbourhoods of cities where high unemployment is compounded by other deprivations, this communication proposes actions to:

  • promote social inclusion and equal opportunities;
  • increase security for citizens, for example, by developing approaches to local crime reduction policies and creating safety-related jobs.


In order to improve governance and manage urban development, this communication proposes actions aimed at:

  • establishing good co-operation between the different territorial levels, e.g. by developing partnerships between cities, regions and the state or improving coordination between urban, rural and regional authorities;
  • developing an integrated approach to sustainable development. This, for example, calls for the development of a long-term plan for all the different factors promoting sustainable growth and jobs;
  • raising the participation and involvement of citizens;
  • establishing networks for the exchange of experience.

Financing urban renewal

The urban development projects could be supported within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the European Social Fund (ESF) and the Cohesion Funds. The communication also suggests assistance from the new financial instruments JASPERS, JEREMIE and JESSICA, and from public-private partnerships.

Related Instruments

Council Decision 2006/702/EC of 6 October 2006 on Community strategic guidelines on cohesion [Official Journal L 291 of 21.10.2006].

Communication from the Commission of 5 July 2005 – Cohesion Policy in Support of Growth and Jobs – Community Strategic Guidelines, 2007-2013 [COM(2005) 299 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Overseas countries and territories : towards a new partnership

Overseas countries and territories : towards a new partnership

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Overseas countries and territories : towards a new partnership


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

Development > Overseas countries and territories (OCT)

Overseas countries and territories (OCTs): towards a new partnership

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 6 November 2009 – Elements for a new partnership between the EU and the overseas countries and territories (OCTs) [COM(2009) 623 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Relations between the European Union (EU) and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs) should evolve into a reciprocal partnership, founded on mutual interests. These relations are currently defined by the framework for association established by Decision 2001/822/EC.

This Communication presents a new approach aimed at supporting the sustainable development of OCTs by adapting the cooperation principles and priorities to the specificities of these countries and territories. In addition, if their level of development is generally higher than that of African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) states, certain OCTs shall continue to benefit from European aid to fight against poverty.

Supporting sustainable development

The future partnership, based on Article 198 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU, should prioritise three axes of cooperation:

  • the competitiveness of OCTs in key areas such as education and training, innovation, the small and medium-sized enterprises sector, and good political and economic governance;
  • reducing their vulnerability to economic shocks, environmental issues, energy dependency and natural disasters;
  • regional integration through increasing intra-regional economic exchanges, carrying out cooperation projects (specifically for cross-border environmental protection) and increasing cultural exchanges.

Cooperation should be tailored to the situation of each partner.

European financial and technical assistance shall be improved, specifically by coordinating financial instruments with those for the Outermost Regions, ACP states or other countries neighbouring the OCTs.

OCTs may participate in certain Community programmes (such as the 7th Research Framework Programme). The programmes must therefore be adapted to the new priorities.

Cooperation priorities

The Commission has identified a set of areas for cooperation which should enable the potential of OCTs to be developed. They involve:

  • establishing centres of excellence and expertise to manage the advantages and difficulties of each territory;
  • upgrading OCT legislation to EU rules and standards, specifically to encourage the trade of goods and services (for example by bringing customs procedures and sanitary and phytosanitary standards closer together) and compliance with the principles of transparency on tax;
  • developing environmental cooperation to support the transition of OCTs to a greener economy, and helping them adapt to climate change, biodiversity protection, the promotion of renewable energies and disaster risk reduction;
  • improving the OCTs’ accessibility by developing information and communication technologies and transport infrastructures;
  • increasing trade and economic cooperation in terms of international trade liberalisation, which entails reciprocal trade relationships and specific rules of origin.


The Communication follows the Green Paper on future relations between the EU and OCTs. The conclusions of the Green Paper support the revision of the existing framework for association.

Relations with the northern part of Cyprus

Relations with the northern part of Cyprus

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Relations with the northern part of Cyprus


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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement

Relations with the northern part of Cyprus

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 3 June 2003, “Ways of promoting economic development in the northern part of Cyprus and bringing it closer to the Union” [COM (2003) 325 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


In the absence of an overall settlement to the de facto partition of Cyprus, this communication proposes measures to promote the economy of the northern section of the island and bring it closer to the Union. Two types of measure are identified: financial assistance and trade.

Financial aid

In 2003, EUR 9 million in financial aid to promote economic development is to go to the following projects:

  • infrastructure projects in large towns of the northern part of the island;
  • grant aid to SMEs;
  • preparatory studies for integration of the northern section into the Union once a political solution to the partition of the island has been found;

In 2003 the Commission will step up its information work to bring Northern Cyprus closer to the Union; EUR 3 million will be allocated to the following activities:

  • organising seminars on the Community acquis for citizens of Northern Cyprus;
  • organising visits by Turkish Cypriot citizens to EU institutions;
  • consulting Cypriot authorities to find out how to encourage participation by citizens of the northern section in Community programmes;
  • cooperation with Member States;
  • support for civil society and social partners of the northern section;
  • continuation of the translation of the Community acquis into Turkish.


The communication proposes adoption of a system enabling products from Northern Cyprus to be exported under a preferential tariff system pursuant to the Association Agreement signed between Cyprus and the Union. Since 1994, non-acceptance of certificates issued by the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has prevented exports from this part of the island from benefiting from the preferential customs treatment granted to the rest of Cyprus under the Association Agreement. Under the new system, the Cypriot Chamber of Commerce will be responsible for issuing certificates for the movement of goods produced or obtained in the northern part of the island.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – Annual Report 2006-2007 on the implementation of Community assistance under Council Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 of 27 February 2006 establishing an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community [COM(2007) 0536 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This report follows the first year of the implementation of the economic assistance programme for the Turkish Cypriot community. The report is positive, in particular due to the strengthening of the administrative capacity. However, the programme duration was reduced from five years (2005-2009) to three years (2007-2009). The overall reduction in planning also means a reduction in the deadlines for awarding contracts.

Council Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 of 27 February 2006 establishing an instrument of financial support for encouraging the economic development of the Turkish Cypriot community and amending Council Regulation (EC) No 2667/2000 on the European Agency for Reconstruction [Official Journal L 65 of 07.03.2006].


Communication from the Commission of 27 August 2008 – Annual Report on the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) 866/2004 of 29 April 2004 and the situation resulting from its application [COM(2008) 529 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission considers that Regulation (EC) No 389/2006 constitutes an adapted legal framework. The number of people crossing the line doubled between 1 May 2007 and 30 April 2008, reaching the highest level since the green line was established. However, illegal immigration is still increasing. The flow of goods has increased by a third during the reporting period, despite the continuing obstacles to trade, particularly for goods originating in the northern part of the island, which is not under effective government control. The Regulation was amended on 16 June 2008, in order to facilitate trade between the two areas. The Commission shall continue to monitor the implementation of the Regulation.

Commission Decision 2007/330/ECof 4 May 2007 lifting prohibitions on the movement of certain animal products on the island of Cyprus under Council Regulation (EC) No 866/2004 and laying down conditions for the movement of those products (notified under document number C(2007) 1911) (Text with EEA relevance)[Official Journal L 123 of 12.5.2007].

Council Regulation (EC) No 866/2004 of 29 April 2004 on a regime under Article 2 of Protocol No 10 of the 2003 Act of Accession[Official Journal L 161 of 30.4.2004].
The areas where the Government of the Republic of Cyprus exercises effective control and those where they do not have effective control are separated by a line.

This line does not constitute an external border of the EU. This Regulation establishes the conditions under which checks on persons, goods and services crossing the line will be carried out.

Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism

Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism


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

Enterprise > Industry

Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 17 March 2006 on “A renewed EU Tourism Policy – Towards a stronger partnership for European Tourism” [COM(2006) 134 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


As a factor in growth and job creation, the tourism industry plays a key role in the Lisbon Strategy.

The rapid growth of the tourist industry has been driven by globalisation, demographic changes and the evolution in transport. The job creation rate in tourism is above average compared to other sectors, and tourism creates in particular highly diverse jobs, often part-time, thus contributing to the employment of women, young and less-skilled persons. Sustainable tourism also plays a major role in the preservation and enhancement of the cultural and natural heritage, and contributes to local development in an increasing number of less-favoured regions. It also contributes to a better understanding among peoples.

A renewed European tourism policy

The European Union is proposing a new tourism policy to meet the challenges facing this sector and fully exploit its potential. Changing demography, global competition, concern for sustainability and the demand for specific forms of tourism are all challenges which Europe is faced with today.

In light of the above, coordination, dialogue and partnership amongst tourism stakeholders will be essential, as tourism is an activity involving a wide variety of stakeholders. The public authorities at European, national, regional and local levels will need to cooperate with the private sector, the sectoral social partners and stakeholders. The Commission will continue its efforts to keep the members of the Advisory Committee on Tourism informed, in an efficient and transparent way, of the tourism-related initiatives included in its Work Programme.

Mainstreaming measures

The objective of the first set of measures is better regulation. The Commission wants to ensure that the impact assessments for new proposals related to tourism take the competitiveness of the industry into account. It also plans to screen pending legislative proposals and simplify existing European legislation. The Member States are also called upon to carry out exercises of this kind in order to avoid a cumulative administrative burden which could damage the industry’s competitiveness.

In addition, many Community actions, not only in the area of enterprise policy but also in other European policy areas, have nevertheless also had a direct or indirect impact on the competitiveness of European tourism. For this reason, Europe also needs to use other policy instruments to promote competitiveness.

Greater use needs to be made of existing European financial instruments in order to promote tourism:

The Structural Funds, the ERDF and the ESF will support the development of tourism businesses and services, professional mobility, educational programmes and training.

The Cohesion Fund will support environment and transport infrastructures.

The future Leonardo Da Vinci programme includes a new mobility programme for apprentices, for which tourism has been identified as a possible pilot sector.

The EAFRD will provide support to improve the countryside and the quality of agricultural production, and to upgrade the cultural heritage with a view to developing rural tourism and diversifying the rural economy, particularly in the new Member States and the candidate countries.

The EFF proposes eco-tourism as a new area which could absorb the fishermen affected by the restructuring of the fisheries sector. Small-scale fisheries and tourism infrastructure will also be supported.

The proposed “Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme” will support the competitiveness of enterprises, especially SMEs, in the tourism sector.

The proposed 7th EC Framework Programme for Research may result in benefits for the tourism sector, thanks to research on information and communication technologies, satellite applications, cultural heritage and land use.

Promoting sustainable tourism

Based on the 2003 Communication on “Basic orientations for the sustainability of European tourism” and the work of the expert group known as the Tourism Sustainability Group, the Commission plans to present a proposal on a European Agenda 21 for tourism in 2007.

The specific actions which the Commission intends to take to support the sustainability of tourism include:

  • the exchange of good practice at national and international levels to support SMEs and in the area of ‘tourism for all’;
  • evaluation of the economic impact of better accessibility in the tourism sector;
  • publication of a handbook on ‘How to set up Learning Areas in the Tourism sector’;
  • the study of employment trends in coastal and sea-related tourism sectors;
  • assessment of the implications of e-business on the tourism industry;
  • tackling at all levels the sexual exploitation of children by tourists.

Improving understanding of tourism

Up-to-date, detailed, relevant and comparable statistics on tourism are essential in order to make effective decisions. The collection of statistics in the area of tourism must be improved at European and national levels (Eurostat and Tourism Satellite Accounts).

Improving the visibility of tourism

The Commission wishes to promote European tourist destinations via a portal providing practical information for tourists travelling in Europe (transportation, places to visit, activities and when they can be done, weather, etc.) but also drawing attention to the impact which cultural and sporting events organised by European cities and regions can have on SMEs.

The Annual European Tourism Forum, which began in 2002, is hosted by a different Member State every year in collaboration with the Commission. It highlights the complexity of tourism as a phenomenon which affects many parts of the economic and social fabric. The Commission encourages dialogue within this Forum. The fact that a number of Council Presidencies have organised ministerial meetings and conferences has also helped raise the profile of European tourism.


This Communication was published one year after the Communication “Working together for growth and jobs – A new start for the Lisbon Strategy”. The tourism industry is important for the Lisbon Strategy in terms of sustainable growth and job creation, but it must nevertheless address particular challenges.

The development of this collaboration can be reviewed regularly during the European Tourism Forums.


Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry

Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry


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

Competition > Rules applicable to specific sectors > Competition in agriculture and fisheries

Improving the economic situation in the fishing industry

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 9March 2006 on improving the economic situation in the fishing industry [COM(2006) 103 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


In the last few years, the economic situation of many fishing businesses has deteriorated as a result of:

Stagnating or even falling market prices, partly owing to an increase in imports and the development of aquaculture, but primarily because of the concentration of sales in big distribution chains and greater competition between fish and other food products.

Lower fishing yields, because the reduction in fishing capacity has not kept pace with the reduction in fishing quotas for the main demersal and benthic species since the mid 1990s. Reducing vessel tonnage and engine power has failed to stabilise the situation, as this reduction has been offset by the steady increase in the efficiency of fishing vessels, resulting in widespread overfishing. According to an assessment carried out by the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES), for most of the stocks assessed, overfishing is running at two to five times the level that would generate the maximum sustainable yield. *

An increase in fuel prices between 2003 and 2005, which particularly affected vessels with towed gear. Fuel costs can account for as much as 36 % of the value of landings and can mean operating at a loss. Consequently, crew members who are paid a share of the income generated by the catch have also suffered a loss of income.

At the moment, businesses targeting demersal species and using towed gear are hardest hit.

In the short term, Member States could help fishing businesses facing difficulties by granting aid in accordance with the Guidelines on State aid for rescuing and restructuring firms in difficulty.

Rescue aid

Rescue aid is intended solely to keep an ailing business financially afloat for long enough to give it time to look into the possibility of restructuring. It must last no longer than six months, and takes the form of a loan or guarantee, which may be repaid using the support subsequently received in the form of restructuring aid.

Restructuring aid

The Guidelines for the examination of State aid to fisheries and aquaculture allow State aid for modifying, modernising and equipping fishing vessels, subject to the same conditions that apply to Community aid granted under the FIFG.

Other types of aid for modernising and equipping fishing vessels may be allowed in accordance with the Community Guidelines on State aid to firms in difficulty. However, Member States would have to obtain the Commission’s approval for this. Aid should be limited to the minimum necessary, and restructuring must be based on realistic economic assumptions, which form the starting point for a restructuring plan. Furthermore, profitability must be ensured by reducing costs without increasing current overall fishing effort or capacity. The Commission will assess aid for the following investments in fishing vessels on the basis of the extent to which they contribute towards re-establishing the viability of the business concerned:

  • Changing fishing gear for the first time, resulting in a switch to a less fuel-intensive gear;
  • Purchasing equipment to improve fuel efficiency;
  • Replacing the engine with a new engine, which, depending on the size of the vessel and the fishing method, must be either of equal power or less powerful. For trawlers of more than 24 m in overall length, this must be accompanied by a switch to a new, less fuel-intensive fishing method. The Commission will verify the power of new engines of more than 130 kW on the basis of the “NOx certificate”. Any reduction in engine power funded by public aid will be deducted from the national fleet capacity ceilings. If a business operates several vessels, the Commission may agree to apply the reduction in engine power to that business as a whole. Similarly, where national schemes allow for the implementation of a restructuring plan put forward by a group of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), the Commission may decide to apply the reduction to the group as a whole.

During the time needed to implement these investments on board fishing vessels, State aid for temporary cessation of activities is also allowed. Direct aid to subsidise fuel costs would constitute operating aid, which is incompatible with the Treaty. The fishing sector could, however, set up a contingency fund, but for this fund to be approved by the Commission, guarantees would have to be provided that all public aid would be reimbursed.

Member States should notify the Commission of planned rescue and restructuring aid schemes within two years of the publication of the Communication. The Commission will examine them as soon as possible on the basis of the relevant provisions of the applicable Structural Funds. Within two years of the Commission’s approval of a scheme, Member States should issue their administrative decisions.

In the long term, further action is needed to ensure the recovery of fish stocks and build a positive future for the fishing industry.

Improving fisheries management

Fisheries management could be further improved by:

  • Moving towards maximum sustainable yields (MSY). MSYs were adopted by the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development as a way of achieving stable management of fish stocks by 2015. Furthermore, they would bring economic benefits in terms of predictability of supply and revenue per unit of effort. Since the 2002 reform of the common fisheries policy (CFP), one of its aims has been the recovery of threatened stocks, which is a prerequisite for managing all of the major fisheries at MSY levels (see the Communication on the implementation of MSYs).
  • Ensuring economic management of fisheries. The Commission will publish a Communication on the bearing that the methods used by Member States to allocate fishing rights have on the economic situation of the fleet.
  • Improving governance of the CFP. The 2002 reform of the CFP provided for setting up Regional Advisory Councils (RACs) in order to achieve better compliance with the rules by increasing stakeholders’ involvement in fisheries management. So far, three RACs have been set up and a fourth is in the process of being set up. In 2007, the Commission will look at how to improve the functioning of the RACs.
  • Matching fishing effort to available resources. Overcapacity contributes to overfishing and reduces profitability, which is why it is necessary to decommission some vessels. A number of Member States have already set up decommissioning schemes. Both national and Community aid may be granted for decommissioning fishing vessels or reassigning them to other activities. Member States and the Community should also use the European Fisheries Fund (EFF) for this purpose.

Better compliance with fisheries management rules

In order to ensure fair competition, conservation of resources and the quality of the scientific advice on which the CFP is based, it is important that all fishermen comply with the rules. Steps should be taken to:

  • Strengthen controls. The new Fisheries Control Agency will verify that Member States are implementing fishing Regulations across the European Union (EU).
  • Step up the fight against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, which some operators have adopted as a commercial strategy. The Commission will ensure that its action plan is implemented in order to deprive these operators of their gains from IUU fishing.

Improving the operation of the market

In order to give fishermen more added value, the Commission will look at new tools to improve the marketing of fish and fish products. It will also ask the Advisory Committee for Fisheries and Aquaculture to draw up a code of conduct for trade within the EU. Eco-labelling schemes could also promote sustainable fishing. The Commission’s recent Communication on this subject should encourage fruitful debate. Member States should use the EFF to improve the quality, added value and marketing of fish products.

Research into sustainable fishing

The Commission will ensure that the annual programmes adopted to implement the Seventh Framework Programme support:

  • Optimising, validating and demonstrating new concepts and new technologies which will enable energy savings to be made.
  • Designing more fuel-efficient fishing gear.
  • Generating renewable energy.
  • Developing and demonstrating new types of biofuels.


The EFF is available to Member States within the framework of their rescue and restructuring schemes, as well as to help finance fleet adjustment measures and support the necessary social changes in the affected fishing communities. Member States should distribute the financial resources among the different EFF funding priorities, while ensuring that the necessary funds are allocated to fleet adjustment measures in view of the gravity of the economic situation.


Rising fuel prices, coupled with declining fish stocks, have reduced the profitability of the fleet. The Communication identifies the main factors contributing to the economic crisis in the sector, and suggests both short-term and long-term responses to improve the economic situation for fishing businesses by promoting measures designed to restore the balance between fishing capacity and fishing opportunities.

Key terms used in the act
  • Maximum sustainable yield: the maximum catch rate that will ensure sustainable fishing.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 July 2006 – Implementing sustainability in EU fisheries through maximum sustainable yield [COM(2006) 360 final – not published in the Official Journal].

New neighbourhood policy strategy

New neighbourhood policy strategy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about New neighbourhood policy strategy


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

New neighbourhood policy strategy

Document or Iniciative

Joint Communication to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 25 May 2011 – A new response to a changing Neighbourhood [COM(2011) 303 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


By presenting a new strategy for the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP), the Commission intends to improve its support for the processes of reform undertaken by its partner countries.

This new approach is based on greater differentiation by country of the cooperation objectives. Therefore, the action plans for each country that set the priorities for the short and medium term must be more targeted and more flexible in order to be able to be adapted to new financial priorities if necessary.

The strategy also aims to:

  • increase the conditionality of financial assistance, which can be increased or restricted depending on the progress made concerning democracy and human rights;
  • support inclusive economic development, which promotes trade, investment, sustainable development, and reducing unemployment;
  • strengthen regional synergies between the partners, within the Eastern Partnership and the Union for the Mediterranean, particularly in the areas of trade, energy, transport, migration and mobility.

Supporting democracy

The strategy creates new instruments for promoting democracy and human rights:

  • a European Endowment for Democracy aimed at democratic political parties representing a broad spectrum of views, non-governmental organisations and social partners;
  • a Civil Society Facility, which is essential in any democratic society.

Establishing deep and sustainable democracies also requires stronger partnership on matters of political cooperation and security. The partners must conduct a more continuous political dialogue at a bilateral level and within regional bodies. Their joint action must be strengthened at international level.

Promoting sustainable and inclusive growth

The partner countries are encouraged to adopt policies which promote economic growth, the business environment and investment, and reduce the differences in development between regions.

Economic growth should lead to higher levels of employment and social inclusion. The ENP therefore provides for political dialogue for macroeconomic reforms, employment and social affairs. The Commission also suggests that agricultural and rural development projects are launched to combat poverty.

Lastly, the creation of Free Trade Areas should be encouraged to strengthen trade ties between the partners, and regional integration. The European Union (EU) is the main import and export market for the ENP partners. In this context, those countries not wishing to embark on free trade negotiations can benefit from trade concessions and mutual acceptance agreements on the conformity of industrial products.

Enhancing cooperation

Certain areas of sector cooperation must be enhanced, in particular for:

  • knowledge, research and innovation, including through student and academic staff mobility;
  • partner participation in EU programmes and the work of EU agencies.

Similar enhanced cooperation is also planned to improve energy security, environmental protection, transport, communication technologies, and tackling climate change.

Partners whose reforms are the most advanced can begin a process of visa facilitation.


This new strategy is presented in the last programming phase of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI). Its resources need to be increased and oriented towards new priorities.

The financial resources of the ENP can be diversified by having recourse to other European thematic instruments and crisis intervention mechanisms.

In addition, the options for financing through loans from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) must be increased. These banks must be able to act jointly, including for the financing of development operations of large infrastructure and connectivity projects.

Europe's response to world ageing

Europe’s response to world ageing

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Europe’s response to world ageing


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

Employment and social policy > Employment and social policy: international dimension and enlargement

Europe’s response to world ageing

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 18 March 2002, entitled “Europe’s response to World Ageing. Promoting economic and social progress in an ageing world. A contribution of the European Commission to the Second World Assembly on Ageing” [COM(2002) 143 final – Not published in the Official Journal]


The European Union considers that the adoption of a new international plan of action on ageing provides an opportunity to improve international cooperation and to prepare a long-term global strategy for a society for all ages.

Ageing of the world population

Various factors explain the ageing of the world population, such as increased life expectancy and falling fertility rates, chiefly linked to progress in birth control, the baby boom and migration movements.

While today ageing seems to be a universal trend, its intensity varies, notably depending on the regions. Hence the developed countries already have a large number of older people and the trend is constantly growing. The developing countries are still at the first stage of the process, but the rate of population ageing is likely to accelerate quite rapidly.

Ageing affects the economic and social foundations of societies. Consequently, new challenges must be addressed to provide a framework which is adapted to persons of all ages, men and women.

The Community approach

A European dimension was given to the debate on population ageing by the Communication ” Towards a Europe for all ages ” of 1999. The Union now proposes sharing its experience with the other countries, notably the developing countries.

The Union has insisted on the need for a global policy approach, combining the aspects of ageing linked to the economy, employment and social questions. The challenges calling for particular attention have been identified:

  • managing the economic implications of ageing in order to maintain growth and sound public finances;
  • adjusting well to an ageing and shrinking workforce, notably by encouraging active ageing and by changing existing practices of age management in workplaces and labour markets;
  • ensuring adequate and financially sustainable pensions which are adaptable to variable conditions, so that older people are not threatened by poverty;
  • securing access of all to high quality health care while ensuring the financial sustainability of health services, with a view to ensuring healthy ageing and wellbeing over the life course.

The Union’s suggestions for an international plan on ageing

The Union does not call for the transposition of its policy to other countries, since the context of ageing varies from one region to another as a function of the socio-economic and cultural background. This leads to a genuine diversity of challenges. However, the Union is convinced of the usefulness of international cooperation so that countries can learn and profit from each other’s experience. Hence it supports the preparation of a long-term strategy at global level but proposes distinguishing between objectives applicable to all countries and those that are suited to particular regions of the world. The development of an information base would help reinforce this international cooperation.

It seems essential to secure a sufficient labour force to provide for a growing population of retired people, to manage the cost implications for public sector finances and the economy at large and to prevent poverty in old age.

Besides, the Union draws attention to the need for greater global awareness as regards ageing. In order to successfully adapt to population ageing, a holistic view of ageing is called for because it is a phenomenon which concerns the entire life cycle, society as a whole and all aspects of economic and social life. It is also important to ensure the good health and wellbeing of older people. Notably, this means encouraging a learning process on healthy lifestyles, preventing dependency and invalidity of older people, assisting families with elderly dependents via formal care arrangements, and addressing considerations about the end of life.


The United Nations has been drawing attention to the ageing of the world population since 1982, when it organised the first conference on this subject and adopted on this occasion an international plan of action on ageing. Subsequently, 1999 was declared the International Year of Older Persons and a Second World Assembly on Ageing was organised in April 2002 with a view to adopting a new international plan of action on ageing.

Initially only the most developed countries considered ageing to be a problem. But the ageing process now affects an increasing number of developing regions and hence has assumed a global dimension. It is thus essential to ensure better global awareness of the challenge which ageing presents today.

Related Acts

Result of the Second World Assembly on Ageing (2002 – Madrid)

In their political declaration the governments undertook to take both national and international measures concerning older persons and development, the advancement of health and wellbeing into old age, and the creation of enabling and supportive environments.

The International Plan of Action on Ageing 2002 analyses these three priorities and lays down the objectives and recommendations. The plan of action focuses on the promotion of health and wellbeing of older persons (health promotion and wellbeing throughout life, universal and equal access to health care, possibilities in the field of geriatrics and gerontology, neglect, abuse and violence, etc.). The United Nations will assist countries in implementing and following up the plan of action.

Report from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Report requested by Stockholm European Council: “Increasing labour force participation and promoting active ageing” [COM(2002) 9 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Disaster risk reduction in developing countries

Disaster risk reduction in developing countries

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Disaster risk reduction in developing countries


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

Humanitarian aid

Disaster risk reduction in developing countries

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 23 February 2009 – EU strategy for supporting disaster risk reduction in developing countries [COM(2009) 84 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This strategy contributes to disaster risk reduction (DRR) in respect of natural or technological disasters in developing countries and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). Due to the socio-economic vulnerability of these countries, climate hazards affect their sustainable development and the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs).

This strategy is part of the Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 introduced via the United Nations’ International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR). It is to be linked with climate change adaptation strategies and action to prevent and respond to man-made crises.

Priority areas for intervention

The Commission supports the inclusion of DRR as a priority of national and local development plans. The introduction of the strategy requires an appropriate institutional framework, especially within national platforms, and adequate financial resources. DRR is also a priority of the political dialogue between the European Union (EU) and developing countries. In this respect, the EU supports the launch in 2009 of the 2nd Global Platform for DRR.

Natural disasters have many causes. The management of underlying risk factors therefore requires a global and intersectoral analysis of local situations.

Action plans should be drawn up on the basis of effective risk monitoring and assessment systems and early warning systems. Investments should foster the development of knowledge and risk management capacity, in particular through research and development and the production of statistics. In addition, there should be an exchange of best practice between the countries and communities concerned.

DRR awareness and education campaigns are an essential component of the strategy. Information should be available to the people most at risk.

Emergency and disaster response mechanisms should be designed in such a way as to link development programmes to humanitarian aid programmes. Similarly, disaster prevention plans should be linked to post-disaster recovery plans. The EU supports the introduction of affordable insurance, risk sharing and transfer mechanisms.

International cooperation

The EU will introduce the strategy in the spirit of the Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness.

This commitment requires coordination between financial backers, donors, governments, regional and international organisations and non-governmental organisations.

Implementation mechanisms

Political dialogue on DRR will be monitored within a Steering Group comprising representatives of Member States and the Commission. It will support the creation of fora for dialogue between the various actors involved, and of national and regional exchange networks. An action plan will be presented in 2009, followed by an assessment in 2011.

Funding instruments

Funds are allocated under the European Development Fund (EDF) and the financial instruments of the 2007-2013 programming period. This Communication provides a framework for the coordination of these instruments.

The Commission supports the integration of DRR with the 7th Research and Development Framework Programme (RDFP), and the use of innovative funding (in the field of tackling climate change in particular).


This strategy contributes to reinforcing the European Union’s response capacity response capacity in the event of disasters and crises in Non-EU Member Countries. It is based on the report from the High Representative and the Commission on climate change and international security.