Tag Archives: Enlargement of the Union

A stronger partnership for the outermost regions

A stronger partnership for the outermost regions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A stronger partnership for the outermost regions

Topics

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

Regional policy > Provisions and instruments of regional policy

A stronger partnership for the outermost regions

Document or Iniciative

Commission communication of 26 May 2004. “A stronger partnership for the outermost regions” [COM(2004) 343 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Seven of the regions in the European Union are classified as ‘outermost’: the four French overseas departments (Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique and Réunion), the Spanish Autonomous Community of the Canary Islands, and the Portuguese autonomous regions of the Azores and Madeira.

The outermost regions have to cope with specific constraints – remoteness, insularity, small size, difficult topography and climate, as well as economic dependence on a few products – all factors the permanence and combination of which severely restrain their socio-economic development. (Article 299(2) of the EC Treaty).

Priorities for action

The action plan for developing the outermost regions proposed by the Commission will be grouped in three fields of action to take into account their specific needs. The three priorities for action are:

  • promoting accessibility. The proposed measures are designed to reduce the main constraints arising from the isolation of these regions.
  • improving competitiveness. This priority aims to create an economic environment that favours the setting up of businesses. Otherwise, firms remain restricted to a limited local market that is fragmented and remote.
  • prioritising regional intergration. Regional intergration aims to develop trade in goods and services between these regions and neighbouring non-member countries. It is important to encourage their intergration into their surrounding geographical area.

COHESION POLICY REFORM

The strategy comes under the general context of the European Cohesion Policy reform for the period 2007-13. The third report on social and economic cohesion of February 2004 sets out the Commission’s priorities for the cohesion policy after 2006. In the context of the outermost regions, the report states that these regions are eligible for any of the regional policy objectives after 2006: Convergence, Regional Competitiveness and Employment and European Territorial Cooperation.The report also proposes

  • setting up a specific programme to compensate for additional costs;
  • implementing the ‘wider neighbourhood’ action plan.

These elements are the subject of the legislative proposals (proposals for Regulations of 14 July 2004 – general regulation and ERDF Regulation) and non legislative proposals (strategic Community guidelines) by the Commission, in particular within the general context of the reformed European Cohesion Policy.

Additional allocation to compensate for extra costs

For the period 2007-13, the Commission proposes an additional allocation to compensate for the handicaps and constraints of the outermost regions, which cause additional production costs. The program will be financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

This allocation aims to reduce the problems set out in the EC Treaty that, along with the factors of competitivity and accessibility, hinder the economy of the outermost regions.

The objectives of the programme are aimed at compensating:

  • difficulties of access due to their great isolation, fragmentation and topography;
  • small regional markets, breaking bulk and no or inadequate economic diversification;
  • environmental and climatic difficulties and the preservation of biodiversity.

The ‘wider neighbourhood’ action plan

A “wider neighbourhood” measure aimed at facilitating cooperation with the neighbouring countries, thereby increasing economic, social and cultural links, trade in goods and services and the movement of people. These regions are very close to the geographical markets of the Caribbean, America and Africa, particularly those of the ACP countries (African, Caribbean and Pacific countries parties to the Cotonou Agreement). This is not a financial instrument, but a Commission initiative in order to coordinate the efforts being made by the Community more efficiently, in all policies concerned.

The reformed European Cohesion Policy’s contribution to this action plan would be included under the new “European territorial cooperation” programme, which is based on two main principles:

  • transnational and cross-border cooperation;
  • trade and customs measures.

The priorities in the context of the European transnational and cross-border cooperation will require the following guidelines to be taken into account:

  • facilitating exchanges as regards transport, services and the information and communications technologies;
  • facilitating exchanges of persons (including the fight against illegal immigration);
  • exchanges of experience as regards regional integration.

The commercial policy’s contribution to this action plan is based on the actions in the field of commercial trade, and customs measures that focus on the need for the outermost regions to be integrated into their regional economy more efficiently. On one hand, the outermost regions must be included in the economic partnership agreements (EPA) between the EU and the ACP countries (ACP-EU) within the general context of the Cotonou Agreement. On the other hand, the outermost regions must be included in the Union’s preferential agreements with other non-member countries. In this context, the customs aspects must be taken into account.

OTHER COMMUNITY POLICIES

As well as the cohesion policy, the instruments used under the other Community policies can also help implement the development strategy for the outermost regions. These instruments come under the context of actions linked to competitiveness, growth and the specific constraints of the outermost regions.

Actions linked to competitiveness and growth

The additional costs impact on most of the sectors of the local economy producing goods and services in the outermost regions. This has resulted in a very poor diversification, an economy that is weak in job-creation and a higher degree of dependency than in the rest of the Union.

To overcome these constraints, this communication proposes the following actions linked to competitivity and growth in the following areas:

  • developing human resources;
  • public services, due to the lack of any real competition between economic operators, whether public or private;
  • innovation, the information society and research and technological development (in conjunction with the objectives of the Lisbon strategy);
  • the environment.

The specific characteristics which affect the situation of the outermost regions must also be taken into account as part of the revision of the guidelines on State aids for regional purposes.

Action on the constraints on the outermost regions

Use of the existing instruments in the fields of air transport and sea transport can reduce the impact of poor access to the outermost regions. The links concerned are those between the outermost regions and mainland Europe (in both directions), between the outermost regions themselves and within those regions.

In addition the Commission proposes several measures in the agriculture sector (regarding the Rural Development Fund, reforming the specific regulations for guidance on the remoteness and insularity (POSEI) or the scheme for the sugar and banana sectors, for example) and in the fisheries sector (under the new European Fisheries Fund, for example), taking into account the fragile production in these sectors.

Context

In order to press ahead with the implementation of Article 299(2) on the EC Treaty of the special status of the outermost regions, the Seville European Council June 2002 invited the Commission to submit a strategy for the outermost regions. The communication of May 2004 following this decision and implements the measures in this communication.

Related Acts

Commission Report, 14 March 2000, on the measures to implement Article 299(2) – the outermost regions of the European Union [COM(2000) 147 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report, 19 December 2002, on implementation of Article 299(2) of the EC Treaty: measures to assist the outermost regions [COM(2002) 723 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, 18 February 2004. « A new partnership for Cohesion – Convergence, Competitiveness, Co-operation» Third Report on Economic and Social Coheison [COM(2004) 107 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Council Regulation, 14 July 2004, laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund [COM(2004) 492 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council, 14 July 2004, on the European Regional Development Fund [COM(2004) 495 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, 6 August 2004, A stronger partnership for the outermost regions: situation and prospects (COM(2004) 343),

Communication from the Commission, 26 May 2004) [COM(2004) 543 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Council Regulation establishing a temporary scheme for the restructuring of the sugar industry in the European Community and amending Regulation (EC) No 1258/1999 on the financing of the common agricultural policy [COM(2005) 263 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

 

Supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products

Supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products

Topics

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

Internal market > Pharmaceutical and cosmetic products

Supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 469/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 May 2009 concerning the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products (codified version) (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

The purpose of the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products is to remedy the disparities and shortcomings in national patenting systems for pharmaceutical research. It aims in particular to guarantee sufficient protection for the development of medicinal products in the European Union (EU).

Indeed, the period between the filing of a patent application for a new medicinal product * and authorisation to place it on the market constitutes one of the factors which actually reduces the effective protection afforded by the patent and can compromise the amortisation of investment in research. The lack of sufficient protection can also lead research centres based in the Member States to relocate to countries offering better protection.

In order to also guarantee the free movement of medicinal products, the supplementary certificate for the protection of medicinal products also aims to prevent the development of too many disparities in national legislation.

The certificate is issued if the product for which it was requested, as a medicinal product and at the time when the application was filed in a Member State, meets the following conditions:

  • the product * is protected by a basic patent * in force;
  • the product, as a medicinal product, has been granted a marketing authorisation;
  • the product has not already been the subject of a certificate;
  • the marketing authorisation is the first authorisation to place the product on the market as a medicinal product.

Furthermore, the certificate applies to the product in the same way as the patent from which it benefits. The Regulation also specifies the arrangements relating to application for and granting of the certificate and likewise the conditions for lapse, invalidity and publicity of the certificate.

The certificate cannot be granted for a period exceeding five years. Furthermore, the duration of protection afforded by a patent and by the certificate cannot exceed 15 years overall for the holder’s first marketing authorisation.

This Regulation codifies and repeals Regulation (EEC) No 1768/92.

Key terms in the Act
  • Medicinal product: any substance or combination of substances presented for treating or preventing disease in human beings or animals and any substance or combination of substances which may be administered to human beings or animals with a view to making a medical diagnosis or to restoring, correcting or modifying physiological functions in humans or animals.
  • Product: the active ingredient or combination of active ingredients of a medicinal product.
  • Basic patent: a patent which protects a product, a process to obtain a product or an application of a product, and which is designated by its holder for the purpose of the procedure for grant of a certificate.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EEC) No 469/2009

6.7.2009

OJ L152 of 16.6.2009

European railway agency

European railway agency

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European railway agency

Topics

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

Transport > Bodies and objectives

European railway agency

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency [see amending act(s)].

Summary

The efficiency of rail transport in the EU is of crucial importance. However, services offered by railways must be improved in order to equal the level of services in other modes of transport. Rail policy is still too often centred on national considerations rather than on the needs of the citizens.

The railway industry in Europe is characterised by a lack of international technical regulation. The creation of an integrated rail area entails putting in place monitored common technical regulations. Given the difficulties encountered by Member States in formulating common solutions for safety and rail interoperability, it has become clear that the most appropriate instrument for creating this area is an Agency.

The main objectives of the European Railway Agency are to:

  • increase the safety of the European railway system;
  • improve the level of interoperability of the European railway system;
  • contribute towards establishing a European certification system of vehicle maintenance workshops;
  • contribute towards setting up a uniform training and recognition system for train drivers.

Safety of the railway system

The Agency must provide the necessary technical assistance to implement Directive 2004/49/EC on safety on Europe’s railways. Its main tasks will be to:

  • prepare and propose common safety methods and targets;
  • draw on the support of groups of experts in the sector placed under its responsibility;
  • consult social partners and organisations representing rail freight customers and passengers at European level;
  • ensure safety performance is continuously monitored;
  • produce a public report every two years;
  • keep a database on railway safety;
  • ensure the networking of and cooperation between national rail safety and investigation authorities, with the aim of encouraging the exchange of experience and developing a common rail safety culture.

Interoperability of the railway system

The interoperability of the European railway system aims at rendering the various national rail systems of the Member States compatible by removing or reducing the technical barriers.

The Agency is therefore responsible for improving the level of interoperability of the European railway system. To this end, it must organise and manage work aimed at creating and updating the Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSIs). The TSIs are technical specifications which aim at ensuring that the essential requirements of Directive 2008/57/EC on the interoperability of the European railway system are met.

Furthermore, the Agency publishes a report every two years on the progress made regarding interoperability.

Vehicle maintenance

Vehicle maintenance is an important part of rail safety. For this reason, the Agency is responsible for formulating recommendations to the Commission, specifically regarding the certification system of entities responsible for maintaining carriages and other rail vehicles.

The Agency is also responsible for producing a report on the implementation of this certification system.

Railway personnel

The training and skills of train drivers are important elements both for rail safety and for the interoperability of the European railway system. The Agency therefore also has the mission of contributing towards harmonising the vocational skills of train drivers. Consequently, the work of the Agency also comes under the framework of the Directive relating to the certification of train drivers in the EU.

The Agency must cooperate with the competent authorities in particular, in order to ensure the interoperability of the licence registers and the certificates given to train drivers, to assess the development of train driver certification and to produce a report on the improvements which could be made.

Organisation

The European Railway Agency comprises an Administrative Board which meets at least twice a year. Its main duties are to adopt the annual work programme and the Agency’s general report. The Administrative Board comprises representatives from each Member State, the Commission and six categories of professionals from the sector: railway undertakings, infrastructure managers, railway industry, worker unions, passengers and freight customers.

Furthermore, the Agency is led by a Chairperson appointed by the Administrative Board. The principal mission of the Chairperson is to prepare and implement the work programme. The Chairperson is also responsible for managing the budget of the Agency.

The European Railway Agency does not have decision-making powers as such, but it can present opinions, recommendations and proposals to the Commission. It is independent, but works in close cooperation with experts in the field.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004

1.5.2004

OJ L 164, 30.4.2004

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

Regulation (EC) No 1335/2008

1.1.2009

OJ L 354, 31.12.2008

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

Topics

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

Audiovisual and media

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Information society and media

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM (2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report notes progress with regard to the alignment of the legislation with the acquis, although the capacities of the Broadcasting Council to monitor the market remain inadequate.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The acquis includes specific rules relating to electronic communications, information society services, particularly e-commerce and services based on conditional access, and to audiovisual services. In the field of electronic communications, the acquis aims at removing the obstacles preventing the smooth running of the internal market of telecommunications services and networks, at encouraging competition and at protecting consumers’ interests, specifically by guaranteeing the universal availability of modern services.

In terms of audiovisual policy, the acquis requires legislative alignment with the Television without Frontiers Directive which creates the conditions for the free movement of television programmes in the European Union. The acquis intends to define a transparent, reliable and efficient regulatory framework for public and private broadcasting which meets European standards. It also estimates the capacity for participating in the Community programmes Media Plus and Media Training.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Progress was made in the field of information society and media. Alignment with the EU acquis is advancing and most of the key competitive safeguards were introduced. The capacity of the Broadcasting Council to monitor the market effectively remains inadequate.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report presents advancements concerning alignment with the acquis and liberalisation of the Information Society and Media sector. In particular, progress must be made to ensure the proper functioning of public service broadcasters.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2009 report indicates that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has progressed on audiovisual policy, having partly met its objectives. However, while the administrative capacity of the Broadcasting Council was strengthened, no efforts were made to ensure the sustainability of the public service broadcaster. Also, both still face political interference. In the field of culture, the country has made some progress and its preparations now meet the EU requirements.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2008 report noted that some progress had been achieved in the field of audiovisual policy and that preparations in the media sector were advanced. However, certain concerns remained, in particular with regard to the financial situation of the Broadcasting Council and the public service broadcaster. In the area of culture, progress had been good. The country has been participating in the Community programme on culture.

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

Topics

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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – External relations, Common Foreign and Security Policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union (EU) in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations for its future accession and the aligning of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, negotiations for accession had not yet started since some progress still needed to be made with regard to the objectives and conditions defined within the framework of the Partnership.

In its 2011 Report, the European Commission states that alignment with the acquis on the common commercial policy has progressed. Advancements in the field of foreign and security policy are also adequate.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In this field the Community acquis mainly comprises directly binding legislation which does not require transposition into national law. EU legislation results from the Union’s multi-lateral and bi-lateral agreements on matters of trade policy as well as from a certain number of autonomous preferential trade measures. In the fields of development and humanitarian aid, Member States must comply with the relevant EU legislation and international commitments and equip themselves with the capacities required to participate in EU policies in these sectors. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align their policies with regard to third countries, and their positions within international organisations, with the policies and positions adopted by the Union and its Member States.

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) are based on legal acts, legally binding international agreements in particular, and on policy documents. The acquis comprises declarations, actions and policy agreements. Member States must be in a position to conduct political dialogue under the framework of the CFSP, to align with the EU’s declarations, to take part in EU action and to apply the appropriate sanctions and restrictive measures. Candidate countries are invited to progressively align with the EU’s declarations and to apply sanctions and restrictive measures if required.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Progress was made in the area of external relations, notably in the alignment towards the common commercial policy.

There was also progress in the area of foreign, security and defence policy. The country took measures to ensure better coordination between the competent authorities in the implementation of international restrictive measures. It aligned with all EU declarations and Council decisions and showed continued commitment to participate in civil and military and crisis management operations.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The situation presented by the 2010 Report is satisfactory. The country cooperates fully with the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Court. Furthermore, the country plays an active part in bilateral and regional cooperation initiatives, including for maintaining good neighbourly relations.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

Topics

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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Regional policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union (EU) in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations for its future accession and the aligning of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, negotiations for accession had not yet started since some progress still needed to be made with regard to the objectives and conditions defined within the framework of the Partnership.

In its 2011 Report, the Commission states that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has progressed in implementing the operational programme for regional development and human resources development.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

In the field of regional policy, the acquis essentially comprises framework regulations and implementing regulations which do not require transposition into national law. They define the rules applicable to the development, approval and implementation of the Structural Funds and the Cohesion Fund, which each reflect the territorial organisation of the country. These programmes are negotiated and agreed with the Commission, but their implementation is the responsibility of the Member States. When choosing and implementing projects, Member States must comply with Community legislation in general, for example in the areas of public procurement, competition and the environment. They must have a suitable institutional framework and administrative capacities to ensure that the programming, implementation, monitoring and assessment of projects are carried out in a rational and cost-effective manner with regards to management and financial control.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Some progress was noted in the area of regionaldevelopment and coordination of structural funds. There has been some progress in the implementation of the IPA components concerning operational programme for the regional development and human resources development. Inadequate expertise and insufficient institutional coordination has led to considerable delays. It is necessary to strengthen ownership of the programme implementation by the authorities.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
In its 2010 Report, the Commission indicated that additional efforts were required with regard to regional development and the coordination of structural funds. Implementation of the regional development programme had been significantly delayed.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

Topics

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

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Employment and Social Policy

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report – [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

In its 2011 Report, the European Commission outlines the limited progress made towards aligning the national legislation with the acquis. Unemployment remains high and social inclusion policies are still ineffective.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The acquis in the social field includes minimum standards in areas such as labour law, equal treatment of women and men, health and safety at work and anti-discrimination. The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main financial tool through which the EU supports the implementation of its Employment Strategy and contributes to social inclusion efforts in the fight against social exclusion (implementation rules are covered under Chapter 22, which deals with all structural instruments). The Member States participate in social dialogue at European level and in EU policy processes in the areas of employment policy, social inclusion and social protection.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Limited progress was noted in aligning with the acquis on social policy and employment. The implementation of the framework law on anti-discrimination has commenced. Full alignment with the acquis remains to be achieved. The high unemployment rate and the low labour market participation remain worrying. Inclusion of Roma, people with disabilities and other socially excluded people is slow. Effective employment and social inclusion policies are should be further implemented, and the social dialogue should be further strengthened. The overall administrative capacity is not sufficient.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report notes the adoption of a law framing the fight against discrimination. However, it does include all of the EU acquis in this area. In addition, progress is still inadequate with regard to social dialogue and social inclusion strategies.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2009 report gives an account of progress made in the reforms. However, additional efforts should be made, in particular to improve the quality of social dialogue and the employment of persons excluded from the labour market. The administrative capacity of the State has been strengthened, but it remains insufficient to implement the legislative and political reforms.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In its Report of November 2008 the Commission considers that the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia must make significant efforts to align its legislation with the Community acquis in the field of social policy and employment. In this respect, the introduction of laws and policies should be accelerated and the country’s administrative capacity reinforced.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

Topics

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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Economic and monetary affairs

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report states that some progress has been made on economic and monetary policy matters. The country has made good progress in establishing a functioning market economy and has improved dialogue with the business community. However, weaknesses in the rule of law continue to impede the proper functioning of the internal market of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. In addition, financial supervisory bodies still lack independence.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU legislation on economic and monetary policy contains specific rules requiring the independence of central banks in Member States, prohibiting direct financing of the public sector by the Central Bank and prohibiting privileged access of the public sector to financial institutions. Upon accession, new Member States will be expected to coordinate their economic policies and will be subject to the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact on budget monitoring matters. These States are also committed to complying with the criteria laid down in the Treaty in order to be able to adopt the euro. Until their adoption of the euro, they will participate in Economic and Monetary Union as a Member State with derogation and will treat their exchange rates as a matter of common concern.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

The economy of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia started to recover in the second half of 2010, benefitting from external demand and increased investment, in particular in construction. In late 2010, the government agreed with the IMF on a pre-cautionary credit line. This should strengthen international markets confidence. Structural reforms have continued. However, high structural unemployment, in particular among the young and poorly educated, remains a major cause of concern. Institutional capacities of the public administration and of regulatory and supervisory agencies are still inadequate.

As regards the economic criteria, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia continues to be well advanced. In some areas, it has made further progress towards becoming a functioning market economy, notably by facilitating company registration, accelerating judiciary procedures, improving the functioning of financial markets, further simplifying the regulatory framework and improving communication with the business community. The country should be able to cope with competitive pressures and market forces within the Union in the medium term, provided that it vigorously implements its reform programme in order to reduce significant structural weaknesses.

The country has maintained a broad consensus on the essentials of economic policies. The economic dialogue with the business community has improved. The stance of monetary policy, based on the de facto peg to the euro, supported growth and contributed to macroeconomic stability. Fiscal policy maintained its stability orientation. Some further progress has been achieved in facilitating market entry and in simplifying the regulatory framework. The duration of bankruptcy procedures has been further reduced and real estate registration is practically completed. The financial sector started to recover from the global financial crisis. Competition in this sector has slightly improved, as well as the level of financial intermediation.

Weaknesses in the rule of law continue to impede the proper functioning of the market economy. Public administration efficiency is still low, reflecting heavy procedures, weaknesses in staffing and a high turnover of officials. Some regulatory and supervisory agencies continue to lack the necessary independence and resource allocation to fulfil their functions effectively. Contract enforcement is still difficult, which hampers the business environment, in particular for small and medium sized enterprises. The quality of education and of the human capital is low. Physical capital needs further modernisation and deepening.

There was significant progress in the area of economic and monetary policy, especially in adoption of the relevant central bank legislation. The quality of the pre-accession economic programme has improved. There was good progress in several areas of statistics; substantial efforts are still needed to improve in particular economic statistics.

Progress in the area of financial control was related mainly to legislative alignment, and efforts are called for to ensure its implementation, especially in relation to the establishment of Financial Management and Control systems. The State Audit Office’s administrative capacity has been further strengthened; however its independence remains to be anchored in the Constitution. There is no particular progress to report under financial and budgetary provisions. The administrative framework for the application of the own resources framework is still not in place.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The 2010 Report indicates that the country suffered little from the economic and financial crisis, due to its low level of exposure to the international economy. Structural reforms were therefore able to continue. However, the progress is inadequate for reducing the levels of unemployment and improving the business environment.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].

In its 2008 Report, the Commission presented encouraging results achieved by the country concerning the financial and economic stability of the market. However, the reform process had slowed down in 2007 and little new progress had been recorded with regard to alignment with the acquis. The administrative capacity remained inadequate, particularly at local level.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

Topics

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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Justice and security

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted candidate country status for European Union (EU) membership in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations in view of its future membership and the alignment of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, the accession negotiations had not yet been opened, as some progress still needed to be made on the objectives and conditions set out in the partnership.

The 2011 Report states limited progress concerning the independence and efficiency of the judicial system, and regarding anti-corruption policy. The freedom of expression of the media remains a concern. However, the Report highlights satisfactory progress made concerning the external borders and Schengen, and on matters of judicial cooperation and customs cooperation.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

EU policies in the area of justice and home affairs aim at maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice. On issues such as border control, visas, migration, asylum, police cooperation, combating organised crime and cooperation with regard to drug trafficking, customs cooperation and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters, Member States need to be equipped to ensure that they are able to implement adequate standards and an increasing number of common rules. In order to do this, it is important first and foremost that the bodies responsible for applying the law and other competent bodies have robust and integrated administrative capacities which comply with the set standards. The setting up of a professional, reliable and efficient police force is of paramount importance. The Schengen acquis, which entails the lifting of internal border controls in the EU, is the most detailed element of the EU’s policies on justice, freedom and security. However, substantial parts of the Schengen acquis are implemented by the new Member States, following a separate decision taken by the Council after their accession.

EU policies relating to the judicial system and fundamental rights aim at pursuing and aiding the development of the Union as an area for freedom, security and justice. The establishment of an independent and efficient judicial system is of paramount importance. Impartiality, integrity and a high level of competency regarding the rulings made by courts are essential in maintaining the rule of law. This requires a firm commitment to eliminate all external influences on the judicial system and to dedicate the appropriate financial resources and training facilities to it. It is necessary to offer the necessary legal guarantees to ensure fair judicial procedures. Member States must also tackle corruption effectively insofar as it represents a risk to the stability of democratic institutions and the rule of law. It is necessary to establish a solid judicial framework and reliable institutions to which a coherent policy for preventing and dissuading corruption may be applied. Member States must ensure that the fundamental rights and the rights of EU citizens, as guaranteed by the acquis and the Charter for Fundamental Rights, are respected.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

Some limited progress can be reported on independence and efficiency of the judiciary, including the amendment of the Minister of Justice’s role on the Judicial Council and the establishment of the High Administrative Court. Further efforts are needed as regards the evaluation and security of tenure of judges.

Some limited progress was made on anticorruption policy. Legislative alignment has continued and systematic verification of assetdeclarations was introduced. A track record in handling high level corruption cases has yet tobe established.

As regards fundamental rights, while the legal and institutional framework is broadly in place, better implementation is needed. A dialogue has been launched to address serious concerns regarding freedom of expression in the media. Some progress was made as regards cultural rights and minorities. The Ohrid Framework Agreement remains an essential element for democracy and rule of law in the country.

In the area of justice, freedom and security, good progress can be reported on external borders and Schengen, judicial cooperation and customs cooperation. The border police still lack adequate technical equipment, budgetary means. Some progress has been achieved on migration, visa policy, police cooperation and the fight against organised crime. The implementation of the police reform has continued, however structural problems, understaffing and lack of budgetary provision still persist. Implementation in the field of asylum remains insufficient, including on the provision of legal aid, interpretation and access to social rights.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The 2010 Report presents progress made concerning police cooperation, the management of external borders and the Schengen agreement. In the area of asylum and visa policy, visa liberalisation has been established.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The October 2009 report notes that the country has made good progress on the fight against organised crime and drugs. To reform the police, it has improved its administrative capacity; yet, further efforts are still needed to develop human resources management. International police cooperation at regional and EU level is being strengthened. In general, the country’s legislative and administrative capacity is now better aligned with the acquis.

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC(2008) 2699 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The November 2008 report indicated that there had been progress in particular in the fight against organised crime and in the field of police cooperation. In addition, there had been improvements in the operational capacity of the competent authorities. Nevertheless, efforts needed to be made to strengthen the country’s administrative capacity and to further fight organised crime.

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Internal market

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Internal market

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Internal market

Topics

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

Enlargement > Ongoing enlargement > The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia – Internal market

acquis) and, more specifically, the priorities identified jointly by the Commission and the candidate countries in the analytical assessment (or ‘screening’) of the EU’s political and legislative acquis. Each year, the Commission reviews the progress made by candidates and evaluates the efforts required before their accession. This monitoring is the subject of annual reports presented to the Council and the European Parliament.

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report – [COM(2011) 666 final – SEC(2011) 1203 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia was granted the status of candidate country for accession to the European Union (EU) in 2005. The Accession Partnership, adopted by the Council in 2008, supports the country’s preparations for its future accession and the aligning of its legislation with the Community acquis. In 2008, negotiations for accession had not yet started since some progress still needed to be made with regard to the objectives and conditions defined within the framework of the Partnership.

The 2011 Report highlights different progress made concerning free movement of goods, freedom of movement for workers, right of establishment and freedom to provide services. However, on matters of investigation, prosecution and convictions of piracy and counterfeiting, significant progress still needs to be made.

EUROPEAN UNION ACQUIS (according to the Commission’s words)

The principle of the free movement of goods implies that products must be traded freely from one part of the Union to another. In a number of sectors, this general principle is complemented by a harmonised regulatory framework, following the “old approach” (imposing precise product specifications) or the “new approach” (imposing general product requirements). The harmonised European product legislation, which has to be transposed, represents the largest part of the acquis under this chapter. In addition, sufficient administrative capacity to notify the restrictions to trade and to apply horizontal and procedural measures in areas such as standardisation, certification, accreditation, metrology and market surveillance is essential.

The acquis in respect of the free movement of workers states that citizens of an EU Member State have the right to work in another Member State. EU migrant workers must be treated in the same manner as national workers with regard to working conditions, social benefits and tax allowances. The acquis also provides a mechanism for coordinating national social security provisions for those tax contributors and their families who move to another Member State.

Member States are required to remove all restrictions with regard to the free movement of services. Member States must ensure that the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services anywhere in the EU is not hampered by national legislation. In some sectors, the acquis prescribes harmonised rules which must be respected if the internal market is to function; this concerns mainly the financial sector (banking, insurance, investment services and securities markets). Financial institutions may carry out their activities throughout the European Union according to the principle of ‘home country control’ by opening branches or by providing cross-border services. The acquis also provides harmonised rules for some specific professions (craftsmen, traders, farmers, commercial agents), for certain information society services, and matters relating to personal data protection.

Member States must remove all restrictions on the free movement of capital between themselves, within the European Union, but also with third countries (with some exceptions) and adopt EU rules applicable to cross-border payments and to credit transfers concerning transferable securities. The money laundering and financing of terrorism directives require banks and other economic operators to identify their clients and be aware of certain operations, particularly in the case of cash transactions for high-value items. In order to tackle financial crime, it is essential that administrative and enforcement capacities are put in place, particularly by establishing cooperation between those authorities responsible for surveillance, implementing law and carrying out criminal proceedings.

The acquis on public procurement covers the general principles of transparency, equal treatment, free competition and non-discrimination. In addition, specific Community rules apply to the coordination and granting of public works, supplies and services contracts for traditional contracting entities and specific sectors. The acquis also defines the rules relating to the court procedures and means of action available. Its implementation requires specialised bodies.

The acquis relating to intellectual property rights defines the harmonised rules for the legal protection of copyright and related rights. Specific provisions are applicable to the protection of databases, data processing programmes, topographies of semi-conductors, satellite broadcasting and cable retransmission. In the field of intellectual property rights, the acquis details harmonised rules for the legal protection of trademarks and designs. Other specific provisions apply to biotechnological inventions and to pharmaceutical and phytopharmaceutical products. The acquis also establishes a Community trademark system and a Community design system.

The acquis on company law includes rules applicable to the constitution, registration, merger and division of companies. In the field of financial information, the acquis specifies the rules to be complied with regarding the presentation of consolidated annual accounts and provides simplified rules for small and medium-sized enterprises, in particular. The application of international accounting standards is obligatory for certain entities of public interest. Furthermore, the acquis also includes provisions relating to the approval, professional integrity and independence of persons responsible for legal controls.

The Customs unionacquis consists almost exclusively of legislation which is directly binding on the Member States. It includes the Community’s Customs Code and its implementing provisions; the Combined Nomenclature, Common Customs Tariff and provisions on tariff classification, customs duty relief, duty suspensions and certain tariff quotas; and other provisions such as those on customs control of counterfeit and pirated goods, drugs precursors and the export of cultural goods and on mutual administrative assistance in customs matters and transit. Member States must also have the required implementing capacities, particularly connectivity with the EU’s computerised customs systems. Customs authorities must also have sufficient capacity for implementation and compliance with the specific provisions established in related fields of the acquis, such as foreign trade.

EVALUATION (according to the Commission’s words)

There has been some progress in the area of free movement of goods. The budget for the implementation of the comprehensive strategy on the horizontal institutions has increased however the framework legislation is still not fully aligned with the horizontal acquis.

There was little progress in the area of freedom of movement for workers and alignment with the acquis is still at an early stage.

In the area of the right of establishment and freedom to provide services the country is on track, particularly in the area of postal services. The level of coordination among the various bodies responsible for authorising cross-border services has also improved.

On mutual recognition of professional qualifications, the country is at an early stage.

Progress on free movement of capital was focused on enforcement in the area of combating money laundering and financing of terrorism. There are restrictions on short-term portfolio investments and on cross-border payment transfers, pending the passage to the second stage of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement.

There has been progress in the area of public procurement. Procurement procedures are more transparent and enforcement was stepped up. The legislation on concessions and Public Private Partnerships remains to be aligned with the acquis. Administrative capacity in the field of remedies and concessions, as well as at the level of contracting authorities, remains weak.

Good progress was made in the area of Company law, especially on further legislative alignment with the acquis. The legal framework in the area of auditing remains only partially aligned.

Some progress was made in enhancing the legal framework for intellectual property. The track record on investigation, prosecution and judicial handling of piracy and counterfeiting is not satisfactory and the level of awareness of intellectual property rights among the public remains low.

Related Acts

Commission Report [COM(2010) 660 final – SEC(2010) 1327 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The 2010 Report outlines uneven progress made by the country. Institutional reform is required to ensure the freedom of movement for workers. Similarly, few preparations have been made concerning the freedom to provide services and the right of establishment. Reform is also required regarding the free movement of goods and capital.

Commission Report [COM(2009) 533 final – SEC(2009) 1334 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Report [COM(2008) 674 final – SEC (2008) 1436 – Not published in the Official Journal].

The November 2008 Report relates to the free movement of goods, freedom of movement for workers, the right of establishment, freedom to provide services and the free movement of capital in particular. Continuous efforts must be made in order to align the country’s legislation with the acquis, and to implement and apply it effectively.