Tag Archives: FO

Force

Force

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Force

Topics

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

Education training youth sport > Vocational training

Force

1) Objective

To support and complement the policies and activities developed by and in the Member States in the area of continuing vocational training.

2) Community Measures

Council Decision 90/267/EEC of 29 May 1990 establishing an action programme for the development of continuing vocational training in the European Community (Force).

3) Contents

The programme covers the period from 1 January 19 19to 31 December 1994.

Definitions of terms: “continuing vocational training”: any vocational training engaged in by a worker throughout his working life; “undertaking”: large, small and medium-sized undertakings, regardless of their legal status or economic sector, and all types of economic activity; “training body”: all types of establishment engaged in vocational training, including autonomous economic organizations and professional associations; “worker”: any person having active links with the labour market, including the self-employed.

Objectives:

  • to encourage investment in continuing vocational training and improve the return from it, in particular by developing partnerships;
  • to encourage measures in those economic sectors or regions where access to, or investment in, such training is inadequate;
  • to encourage innovations in the management of continuing vocational training, methodology and equipment;
  • to support transnational and transfrontier projects and the exchange of experience;
  • to identify better ways of forecasting requirements in terms of qualifications and occupations.

The programme comprises a common framework of guidelines designed to support and complement the measures adopted by the Member States, together with a number of transnational measures implemented at Community level. The aim is to contribute to promoting the convergence of initiatives by the Member States which seek:

  • to improve the conditions for workers’ mobility;
  • to enable the least qualified workers to benefit from training;
  • to promote effective equality of opportunity for men and women and to ensure that all workers who are nationals of Member States are afforded equal treatment as regards access to continuing vocational training;
  • to strengthen incentives for undertakings, particularly small and medium-sized ones, to invest in continuing vocational training;
  • to seek to improve the forecasting of trends in qualifications.

The Commission must implement the transnational measures which are aimed at workers in undertakings, taking account of the differing needs and situations which exist in the Member States. Transnational measures include:

  • an exchange scheme to promote the rapid dissemination of innovations;
  • the design and development of transnational or cross-border pilot schemes;
  • establishment of a European network of transnational operations;
  • sectoral and statistical surveys and analysis of contractual policy and trends in qualifications and occupations.

The Commission ensures that there is consistency and complementarity between the Force and other Community programmes. It draws upon the assistance of the European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training and is also assisted by an advisory committee, which it keeps informed about the development of the programme.

4) Deadline For Implementation Of The Legislation In The Member States

Not applicable.

5) Date Of Entry Into Force (If Different From The Above)

01.01.1991

6) References

Official Journal L 156, 21.06.1990

7) Follow-Up Work

Council Decision 92/170/EEC of 16 March 1992 (Official Journal L 75, 21.03.1992) amending Decision 89/657/EEC (Eurotecnet) and Decision 90/267/EEC (Force), setting up an advisory committee on education and continuing training covering both Force and Eurotecnet.

On 27 July 1997, the Commission adopted its Final Report on the Force Programme [COM(97) 384 final, not published in the Official Journal]

This report complements the interim report prepared by the Commission (document COM(94)418 final of 13 October 1994) that set out the development of the FORCE Programme from 1 January 1991 to 31 December 1993.

This final report, while summarising the overall implementation of the FORCE Programme between 1 January 1991 and 31 December 1994, focuses more specifically on the issues related to outcomes: evaluation, exploitation, monitoring and dissemination of the results, and the conclusions to be drawn for the development of Community policy in the field of continuing vocational training (CVT).

The programme was made up of two sets of measures:

  • a “common framework of guidelines” aiming at the promotion of common targets between the Member States;
  • secondly, the transnational measures backing up the Member State initiatives

At the core of the transnational measures is the principle of the transfer of knowledge, innovation, experience and know-how throughout the Community, on the basis of active partnerships between companies, the social partners and research and training institutes. FORCE provided the first testing ground for a collaborative approach to the development of Community continuing vocational training policy and practice.

The report focuses on the results of the transnational measures, i.e. pilot projects and research projects.

Three calls for proposals were announced during the life of FORCE, resulting in the selection of 720 projects (out of a total of some 2400 submitted). Priorities for the projects were their contribution to investment in continuing vocational training by companies and access to it for all groups of workers; the direct involvement of companies in priority, particularly SMEs, and of the social partners; the design, development and implementation of training plans as part of companies’ business strategy; the significance of the transnational partnerships. Some 56% of the results of the transnational projects received a ‘Transnational Product’ label for their training product.

The 720 projects selected under the three calls created a highly significant transnational network of companies, social partners, training institutes and public authorities for the transfer of expertise and innovation in continuing vocational training. The network comprises over 7000 members of which 50% are companies, in large part SMEs or groupings of SMEs, and some 15% represent the social partners.

The ‘research’ projects comprised the four Sectoral Surveys of continuing vocational training plans, the analysis of contractual policy on continuing vocational training, the Statistical Survey of company continuing vocational training, the Reporting System – access, quality and volume of continuing vocational training in Europe – and the European Continuing Training Report. Together these activities provide a concentration of data on national systems and practices and a substantial fund of information for both sides of industry, companies and policy-makers at all levels.

The report summarises the programme’s approach towards dissemination of the project results, the main findings of the continuing vocational training statistics (CVTS), and the links between continuing vocational training and other Community policies (structural policy, transport policy, industry). It also contains an overview over the funds allocated during the lifetime of the programme amounting to 83.4 MECU and a list of main publications.

Finally, it repeats the main conclusions of the final external evaluation highlighting many of the undoubted strengths of the FORCE Programme. In particular:

  • Project contractors and partners were overwhelmingly positive about the benefits they enjoyed from participating in the programme.
  • New CVT knowledge was generated through project-based needs analyses, networks and surveys and studies.
  • Innovations occurred in the way training was delivered in many projects, in particular through a new focus on work-based learning.
  • The transnational dimension of FORCE has been strong both with regard to transnational goals and awareness and in terms of co-operation between partners.
  • Most projects reported that they achieved their immediate objectives and dissemination activity was among project partners.
  • The programme was able to involve large numbers of SMEs, either through intermediary bodies or as pilot “test sites”.
  • The structuring of the publications ensured comparability at a European level about national CVT policy and enterprise CVT practice.
  • FORCE was perceived to have reinforced and supported Member State CVT policies and to have been one of the most important sources of experience for a number of successor European programmes including LEONARDO and ADAPT.

The FORCE Programme was inevitably less successful in achieving some of its objectives and its potential results were not always fully realised. In particular:

  • Knowledge from FORCE surveys and studies was not widely taken up by FORCE partners.
  • There is a lack of evidence so far of uptake of training outputs and products by intended beneficiaries.
  • There was an under-representation of beneficiaries with labour market disadvantage.
  • FORCE experience tends to confirm that the European training market is not yet well developed.

As a conclusion it can be said that the FORCE Programme has achieved certain tangible results in relation to the investment made and the available resources. In particular, enterprises have featured prominently in the projects, genuine transnational training partnerships have been set up, a systematic policy for comparable information on national continuing training systems and arrangements has been devised, and a substantial contribution has been made to the development of knowledge on training practices, especially through the sectoral surveys and networks. This is due mainly to the fact that the Programme formed part of the strategy for the development of continuing training, encompassing national policies and Community activities (Social Dialogue, Access, Objective 4, etc.).

8) Commission Implementing Measures

 

Food hygiene

Food hygiene

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Food hygiene

Topics

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

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

Food hygiene

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the hygiene of foodstuffs [See amending act(s)].

Summary

This Regulation replaces Directive 93/43/EEC on the hygiene of foodstuffs *, with a view to establishing a comprehensive and integrated policy covering all food from the farm to the point of sale to the consumer.

Scope

This Regulation seeks to ensure the hygiene of foodstuffs at all stages of the production process, from primary production * up to and including sale to the final consumer. It does not cover issues relating to nutrition or to the composition or quality of foodstuffs.

This Regulation applies to food businesses but not to the primary production of food for private domestic use or the domestic preparation of foodstuffs for private consumption.

General and specific provisions

All food business operators shall ensure that all stages for which they are responsible, from primary production up to and including the offering for sale or supply of foodstuffs to the final consumer, are carried out in a hygienic way in accordance with this Regulation.

Food business operators carrying out primary production and certain associated activities shall comply with the general hygiene provisions of part A of Annex I. Derogations may be granted for small businesses, provided that they do not compromise achievement of the Regulation’s objectives.

These associated activities are:

  • the transport, handling and storage of primary products at the place of production, where their nature has not been substantially altered;
  • the transport of live animals, where this is necessary;
  • transport, from the place of production to an establishment, of products of plant origin, fishery products and wild game, where their nature has not been substantially altered.

In addition, food business operators carrying out activities other than primary production shall comply with the general hygiene provisions of Annex II.
This Annex sets out the hygiene requirements for:

  • food premises, including outside areas and sites;
  • transport conditions;
  • equipment;
  • food waste;
  • water supply;
  • personal hygiene of persons in contact with food;
  • food;
  • wrapping and packaging;
  • heat treatment, which may be used to process certain foodstuffs;
  • training of food workers.

Member States may adapt the requirements laid down in Annex II to accommodate the needs of food businesses situated in regions suffering from special geographical constraints or affected by supply difficulties which are serving the local market, or to take account of traditional methods of production and the size of farms. The objectives of food safety * shall not however be compromised.

In addition, all food business operators shall comply with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 on specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin and, where appropriate, certain specific rules concerning microbiological criteria for foodstuffs, temperature control and compliance with the cold chain, sampling and analysis.

The HACCP system

Food business operators (other than at the level of primary production) shall apply the principles of the system of hazard analysis and critical control points (HACCP) introduced by the Codex Alimentarius (code of international food standards drawn up by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation).

These principles prescribe a certain number of requirements to be met throughout the cycle of production, processing and distribution in order to permit, via hazard analysis, identification of the critical points which need to be kept under control in order to guarantee food safety:

  • identify any hazards that must be prevented, eliminated or reduced to acceptable levels;
  • identify the critical control points at the step or steps at which control is essential;
  • establish critical limits beyond which intervention is necessary;
  • establish and implement effective monitoring procedures at critical control points;
  • establish corrective actions when monitoring indicates that a critical control point is not under control;
  • implement own-check procedures to verify whether the measures adopted are working effectively;
  • keep records to demonstrate the effective application of these measures and to facilitate official controls by the competent authority.

Guides to good practice and guides to the application of HACCP

Member States shall encourage the development of national guides to good practice by food business operators, which shall include guidance on compliance with the general rules of hygiene and the HACCP principles. Member States shall assess such national guides to ensure that their contents are practicable, that they have been developed having regard to the general principles of food hygiene of the Codex Alimentarius and that all interested parties have been consulted. Those national guides deemed to comply with these requirements shall be forwarded to the Commission.

Where a Member State or the Commission considers that there is a need for uniform Community guides, the Commission shall consider the case for such guides. The Standing Committees set up to assist the Commission shall ensure that the contents of these guides are practicable, that they have been developed having regard to the general principles of food hygiene of the Codex Alimentarius and of national guides, and that all interested parties have been consulted.

Food business operators may refer to national guides or Community guides equally.

Registration or approval of food businesses

Food businesses operators shall cooperate with the competent authorities and in particular ensure that all establishments under their control are registered with the appropriate authority and keep this authority informed of any changes (e.g. closure of the establishment).

Where required by national or Community legislation, businesses in the food sector must be approved by the competent authority and shall not operate without such approval.

Traceability and withdrawal of food products

In accordance with Regulation (EC) No 178/2002, food business operators shall set up traceability systems and procedures for ingredients, foodstuffs and, where appropriate, animals used for food production.

Similarly, where a food business operator identifies that a foodstuff presents a serious risk to health it shall immediately withdraw that foodstuff from the market and inform users and the competent authority.

Official controls

The application of HACCP principles by food business operators shall not replace the official controls carried out by the competent authority. Operators are required to collaborate with the competent authorities in accordance with Community legislation or, where none exists, national legislation.

External dimension

Foodstuffs imported into the Community shall comply with the Community hygiene standards or with equivalent standards.

Foodstuffs of animal origin exported out of the Community shall at least comply with the requirements that would apply if they were marketed within the Community, as well as to any requirements that may be imposed by the importing country.

Report to the Council and Parliament

The Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council, where appropriate with any relevant proposals, within five years of this Regulation entering into force, reviewing the experience gained from implementing this Regulation and determining whether it is appropriate to apply HACCP principles to food business operators carrying out primary production activities and the associated activities described above.

BACKGROUND

This Regulation forms part of the “hygiene package”, a body of law laying down hygiene rules for foodstuffs, which, in addition to this Regulation, includes the following acts:

  • Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 laying down specific hygiene rules for food of animal origin in order to guarantee a high level of food safety and public health;
  • Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 putting in place a Community framework for official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption and laying down specific rules for fresh meat, bivalve molluscs, milk and milk products.

The following acts supplement Community legislation on food hygiene:

  • Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 laying down the general principles of food law. This Regulation explains the food safety procedures and establishes the European Food Safety Authority;
  • Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 reorganising official controls on foodstuffs and feedingstuffs so as to integrate controls at all stages of production and in all sectors;
  • Directive 2002/99/EC laying down the conditions for placing products of animal origin on the market and the restrictions applicable to products from non-EU countries or regions of non-EU countries subject to animal health restrictions.
Key terms of the Act
  • Food hygiene: the measures and conditions necessary to control hazards and ensure fitness for human consumption of a foodstuff;
  • Primary production: the production, rearing or growing of primary products up to and including harvesting, hunting, fishing, milking and all stages of animal production prior to slaughter;
  • Food safety: the assurance that food will not cause adverse health effects to the final consumer when it is prepared and eaten.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 852/2004

20.5.2004

OJ L 139 of 30.04.2004

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

Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs [Official Journal L 338 of 22.12.2005].
See consolidated version

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2074/2005 of 5 December 2005 laying down implementing measures for certain products under Regulation (EC) No 853/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and for the organisation of official controls under Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Regulation (EC) No 882/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council, derogating from Regulation (EC) No 852/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council and amending Regulations (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 [Official Journal L 338 of 22.12.2005].

See consolidated version

Report from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the experience gained from the application of the hygiene Regulations (EC) No 852/2004, (EC) No 853/2004 and (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on they hygiene of foodstuffs [COM(2009) 403 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission reviews the experience gained from the application of the aforementioned regulations. It presents the progress achieved and the difficulties encountered by all the interested actors in the implementation of the 2006 – 2008 hygiene package. It concludes that overall Member States have taken the necessary administrative and control steps to ensure compliance, but that there is still room for improvement in relation to implementation. The main difficulties identified are in relation to:

  • certain exemptions from the scope of the hygiene Regulations;
  • certain definitions laid down in these Regulations;
  • certain practical aspects concerning the approval of establishments handling foods of animal origin and the marking of such foods;
  • the import regime for certain foods;
  • the implementation of HACCP-based procedures in certain food businesses; and
  • the implementation of official controls in certain sectors.

This report does not suggest any detailed solutions. However, on the basis of the difficulties identified, the Commission will consider the need for any proposals to improve the food hygiene package.

Fourth progress report on cohesion: The Growth and Jobs Strategy and the Reform of European cohesion policy

Fourth progress report on cohesion: The Growth and Jobs Strategy and the Reform of European cohesion policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fourth progress report on cohesion: The Growth and Jobs Strategy and the Reform of European cohesion policy

Topics

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

Fourth progress report on cohesion: The Growth and Jobs Strategy and the Reform of European cohesion policy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 12 June 2006 – The Growth and Jobs Strategy and the Reform of European cohesion policy – Fourth progress report on cohesion [COM(2006) 281 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

This fourth progress report on economic and social cohesion follows on from the publication of the third progress report in May 2005. It concerns inter alia:

  • the cohesion programmes implemented in the new EU Member States following the May 2004 enlargement;
  • preparations for the 2007-2013 programming period, in particular the Interinstitutional Agreement signed in May 2006 by Parliament, the Council and the Commission on the Financial Perspectives for 2007-2013;
  • the relaunch of the Lisbon Strategy in 2005.

ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL DISPARITIES

In 2005 the EU economy was characterised by continued moderate growth. In the period 2000-2004, the average growth of the gross domestic product (GDP) of the 25 EU Member States (EU-25) was little more than 1.5% per year. However, the Commission anticipates that growth will pick up and exceed 2% across the EU between 2005 and 2007.

Disparities

With regard to disparities between Member States in terms of GDP, the report notes that the new Member States are growing faster than most of the EU-15 countries. However, convergence is still a long-term perspective.

In 2004, the average overall employment rate reached 63.3% (64.7% in the EU-15 and 56.0% in the EU-10). In order to reach the Lisbon Strategy’s employment rate target of 70% by 2010, 24 million new jobs would be needed in the EU-27 (EU-25 plus Romania and Bulgaria), which represents an increase of almost 12% on current employment levels.

Trends in disparities

This Communication gives an overview of the disparities between objectives and the disparities within each objective for the regions to be targeted by cohesion policy for the period 2007-2013 .

Disparities between objectives

The 100 Convergence regions (regions where GDP per capita is less than 75% of the EU average, 2000-2002) are characterised by low levels of GDP and employment, as well as high unemployment. Their total share in EU-27 GDP in 2002 was only 12.5%, although they account for 35% of the population.

Disparities within each objective

Under the Convergence objective, there are several regions with GDP per capita below 25% of the EU average in 2002, all of which are in Romania and Bulgaria.

The employment rate in the 155 regions covered by the new Regional Competitiveness and Employment (RCE) objective is 10 percentage points higher than in the Convergence regions.

In 2002, 10% of the EU-27 population living in the most prosperous regions accounted for over 19% of total GDP for the EU-27, compared with only 1.5% for the 10% of the population living in the least wealthy regions.

Research and development (R&D) and Information and communication technologies (ICT)

R&D is a key factor in determining a region’s innovative capacity. 35 regions, which account for 46% of total R&D expenditure in the EU-27, have R&D intensities exceeding the Lisbon target for an EU-wide average of 3% of GDP. In 47 regions (3.5% of GDP in the EU-27) R&D expenditure is below 0.5% of GDP.

Across the EU as a whole, almost half of all households had Internet access in 2005. There are marked differences between Member States, with penetration rates exceeding 70% in the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden, whereas they are around 20% in Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Greece. In today’s Objective 1 regions, only around one third of all households have Internet access.

POLITICAL BACKGROUND

Financial resources

With regard to the execution of the budget in 2005, a total of 27.1 billion was committed under the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Cohesion Fund and the pre-accession fund designated for candidate countries (ISPA), and 11.2 billion for the European Social Fund (ESF). For the four Structural Funds, Cohesion Fund and ISPA taken together, payments made in 2005 reached more than 33 billion.

Based on the conclusions of the European Council in December 2005 and the adoption of the Interinstitutional Agreement of May 2006, the cohesion policy budget for the period 2007-2013 will amount to 308 billion (0.37% of the gross national investment (GNI) of the EU-27). The new Member States would receive 51.3% of total cohesion policy resources (an increase of almost 165% compared with the period 2004-2006).

Cohesion Policy 2007-2013 and the Growth and Jobs Strategy

In July 2005 the Commission published a Communication on the Community Strategic Guidelines for cohesion policy in 2007-2013, which:

  • provide a framework for the new programmes to be supported by the ERDF, the ESF and the Cohesion Fund;
  • reflect the role of cohesion policy as the principal instrument for contributing to growth and employment, in accordance with the renewed Lisbon agenda.

Cohesion policy is a key instrument in contributing to the Growth and Jobs Strategy, as:

  • cohesion policy represents one third of the Community budget;
  • strategies designed at local and regional levels must also form an integral part of the effort to promote growth and jobs;
  • the December 2005 European Council proposed that quantitative expenditure targets should be set for the new cohesion policy programmes for 2007-2013 so that a certain percentage of the funds will be used for purposes clearly linked to the Growth and Jobs Strategy (“earmarking” – 60% for the Convergence objective and 75% for the RCE objective).

Innovations in the new programmes

For the new programmes, specific initiatives have been launched to promote financial engineering for start-ups and micro-enterprises, combining technical assistance and grants with other instruments. There are three such initiatives:

JASPERS (Joint Assistance in Supporting Projects in European Regions), a new technical assistance partnership between the Commission, the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD);

JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises), a new initiative in partnership with the European Investment Fund (EIF) in order to improve access to finance for business development;

JESSICA (Joint European Support for Sustainable Investment in City Areas), enhanced cooperation between the Commission, the EIB, the CEDB (Council of Europe Development Bank) and other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) on financial engineering for sustainable urban development.

As a complement to the Strategic Guidelines, the Commission will present a Communication on the contribution of urban areas to growth and jobs in the regions.

Related Acts

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 25 January 2006 to the Spring European Council – Time to move up a gear: The new partnership for growth and jobs [COM(2006) 30 final – Not published in the Official Journal]. 
This annual activity report (AAR) contains several recommendations regarding cohesion policy.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1698/2005 of 20 September 2005 on support for rural development by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD) [Official Journal L 277 of 21.10.2005].

Food security: food-aid policy and food-aid management

Food security: food-aid policy and food-aid management

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Food security: food-aid policy and food-aid management

Topics

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

Other

Food security: food-aid policy and food-aid management

This Regulation establishes the framework for the European Community’s food-aid policy and management and food-aid operations. As of 1 January 2007 these rules have been replaced by the Regulation establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation.

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1292/96 of 27 June 1996 on food-aid policy and food-aid management and special operations in support of food security [Official Journal L 166 of 05.07.1996]. [See amending acts]

Summary

Background

Food aid and special operations in support of food security are an important instrument of the Community’s development aid policy. This Regulation sets out the general framework for the policy and Community operations in these areas. It replaces Regulations (EEC) Nos 3972/86, 1755/84, 2507/88, 2508/88 and 1420/87 laying down the old framework in this area. However, food-aid operations of a humanitarian nature do not fall within the scope of this Regulation.

Objectives and general guidelines

The policy set out in this Regulation conforms to the objectives and the major guidelines of the Community’s development policy. It must be fully integrated into all the aspects of this policy, in particular by adopting a cross-sector approach. In this respect, it aims, in particular, to combat poverty and ensure close coordination between the Member States and the Community as well as with other international organisations (for example, the World Health Organisation – WHO) and civil society (for example, non-governmental organisations (NGOs)), etc.

It is also essential for food aid to enhance the partnership with the beneficiary country by fitting in with the policy of the developing country itself, respecting the specific situation of the country and working to strengthen the existing policy.

With regard to the more specific objectives, operations must aim, inter alia, to promote food security, to raise the standard of nutrition of the recipient population, and to contribute towards balanced economic and social development.

The Regulation is valid in the short term as well as the long term, the ultimate goal being to make food aid superfluous. To this end, the strategy’s guidelines aim to establish long-term projects.

Areas of action

The Regulation identifies three main types of aid: firstly, food aid, where operations are mainly short-term; secondly, operations in support of food security, which include long-term operations designed to ensure sustainable food security; and thirdly, operations to improve early warning systems and storage programmes.

Foodaid operations

Aid is allocated on the basis of an assessment of the needs of the country and must take account of the characteristics of the country and the society. The aid criteria include:

  • food shortages;
  • per capita income and the existence of particularly poor population groups;
  • the existence in the recipient country of a long-term policy on food security.

The granting of food aid may, where necessary, be conditional on the implementation of short or long-term programmes to improve food security.

Operations in support of food security

Food aid has diversified and this is reflected, in particular, in the operations in support of food security. Given the long-term objectives of these operations, financial or technical assistance is granted and the operations must be integrated into a multiannual programme. This category of aid requires the greatest financial resources.

The main operations financed are technical in nature and aim to improve the capacities of the recipient countries, including:

  • the supply of seeds, tools and other inputs essential to the production of food crops;
  • schemes to supply the population with drinking water;
  • storage schemes at the appropriate level;
  • measures in support of the private sector for commercial development at national, regional and international level;
  • schemes to support local food-aid structures, training, etc.

Early warning systems and storage programmes

This involves improving the food security of the recipient countries by strengthening or, in exceptional cases, establishing national and international early warning systems and improving storage systems. Aid may only be granted to countries receiving food aid from the European Community and its Member States or other international or regional organisations, including NGOs. The measures financed may include studies, the establishment of infrastructures, etc.
This type of aid only accounts for a small proportion of the allocated budget (less than 5%).

Implementing procedures for financial aid

The Community’s contribution takes the form of grants. In practice, the aid is provided via two forms of financial aid:

  • direct aid integrated in the broader budget of the recipient country. It is administered by the government of the recipient country within the framework of a pre-established national support strategy. The government may conclude partnership agreements with other local bodies (including NGOs). Direct aid financing has become the most common method used in recent years.
  • indirect aid provided within the framework of a contract between the EC and implementing organisations, including UN agencies and NGOs.

Aid is implemented via:

  • programme aid, covering financial assistance from the government budget;
  • project aid, relating in particular to the implementation of indirect aid;
  • food aid in kind, meaning short-term aid, for example, in the transition between relief, rehabilitation and long-term development.

The projects must respect the economic and social conditions in the recipient country. This is of particular importance when it comes to buying the necessary materials in the country.

Implementation within the Community

The Commission, assisted by a food security and food aid committee composed of the representatives of the Member States and chaired by a representative of the Commission, is responsible for the day-to-day implementation of the Regulation. With regard to food aid in particular, the Council determines the overall amount of cereals aid laid down in the Food Aid Convention. This Convention forms part of an international agreement, of which the Community is a member, which aims to contribute to food security and improve the capacities of the international community in relation to food security.

Implementation by the Community in the recipient countries

The food security technical assistants who support the identification, follow-up, implementation and evaluation of the programmes are present in the recipient countries. To this end, the Commission has delegations in many of the countries concerned.

Until 2000, implementation also involved the RESAL programme (European Food Security Network) which was supported by the Commission. However, following the 2000 evaluation report, this was replaced by more decentralised implementation in the recipient countries.

Eligible countries

The annex to the Regulation provides a list of eligible countries which is regularly updated. In line with the aim of poverty reduction, priority is given to the poorest sections of the population and to low-income countries with serious food shortages.

Particular attention is also paid to countries in post-crisis situations where food aid is required but where the situation does not allow the development of a food-aid strategy.

Actors other than the Community and the recipient countries

Implementation of Community aid in this field involves many actors other than the Community and the recipient countries. The two main actors in this sense are:

  • non-profit-making non-governmental organisations
    The participation of NGOs is an important aspect of the implementation of development aid. These organisations must meet certain criteria relating to their capacities and experience in this field. In general, they must also be European. These criteria are similar to those set out in the Regulation on NGO financing;
  • international, regional, and local organisations, etc.
    The Community may cofinance initiatives undertaken by other actors with the same objectives. It is essential to ensure close coordination between all the actors. The international actors include, in particular, the WHO and the UN, with whom the Community has close relations.

Evaluation

The Commission must carry out regular evaluations of the food-aid operations and forward these to the committee. It must also submit an annual report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of the Regulation. The report should include, inter alia, information on the projects and their financing and the relevant statistics concerning the countries in question.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1292/96 8.7.1996 – 31.12.2006 OJ L 166 of 5.7.1996
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1726/2001 2.9.2001 OJ L 234 of 1.9.2001

Related Acts

Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation [Official Journal L 378 of 27.12.2006]

This Regulation repeals Regulation (EC) No 1292/96.

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council – Evaluation and future orientation of Council Regulation (EC) No 1292/96 on foodaid policy and foodaid management and special operations in support of food security [COM(2001)473 final. Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission has concluded that there is no need to modify the content of the Regulation. However, there is a need to clarify the role of the Regulation in the context of the Community’s priorities in relation to the development policy and the progress achieved. This is particularly important as the Community carried out a significant reform of its development policy in 1998 and food security has become one of the Community’s six priorities in this area. As a result, the food-aid policy and food security policy must be integrated more successfully into the Community’s general development policy. It is important to note that the Commission considers that as many operations implemented under the Regulation are medium to long-term operations, it is too early to carry out a truly exhaustive evaluation of the implementation of the Regulation.

Role of the Regulation

With regard to the role of the Regulation, food security is part of the Community’s broader objectives in relation to development policy, in other words promoting sustainable development that leads to poverty reduction. The Commission should thus integrate the food security strategies and objectives into the national development strategies to ensure optimum consistency and efficiency. It is also essential to maintain a priority food security dimension in the Regulation. This is an important instrument for development which enables the Community to tackle problems such as structural food insecurity with a view to achieving long-term poverty reduction, lack of supply at national and regional level, as well as specific nutritional problems. It is also an important means of bridging the gap between relief, rehabilitation and development. Furthermore, it is necessary to clarify the division of responsibilities in relation to all development instruments. The role of food security interventions is different to that of other operations. Food security interventions aim to tackle the underlying structural causes of food insecurity at national level (inadequate supply), at household level (insufficient access) and at individual level (food use and nutritional adequacy).

Guiding principles

The report sets out new guiding principles for the implementation of the Regulation. Apart from the complete integration of interventions within country and regional strategies, the guiding principles include the following:

  • food security programmes should support changes in the policy and institutional environment necessary for achieving sustained economic growth and poverty reduction;
  • in post-crisis situations, support to food security will be focused on linking humanitarian and relief aid and long-term development;
  • interventions will be appraised in terms of their direct and indirect impact on the incomes of the poor;
  • interventions should be consistent with the Code of Conduct for Food Aid agreed between the Community and the Member States. This involves, in particular, giving priority to local and regional purchases and mobilising aid on the grounds of its efficiency as an instrument to address nutritional problems and increase access to food.

Implementing procedures for financial aid
The Commission will retain the indirect and direct instruments and, overall, the trend in favour of direct aid and structural aid should continue. This aid facilitates ownership by partner countries and encourages multilateral trading in foodstuffs. It also has a benign impact on local food markets, etc. Although direct aid has a more important role, it does not completely replace programme aid and food aid in kind. These types of aid are essential in certain circumstances (in the absence of effective government, for example).

One of the main constraints in the development and implementation of country strategies and programmes is the weakness of local administrative and technical capacity. Consequently, the Commission will attach greater importance to capacity building through technical assistance and training and administrative reform programmes.

Nongovernmental actors

The Commission considers that it is important to introduce greater flexibility in relation to the role of NGOs. The Commission intends to strengthen aid-in-cash, giving NGOs greater autonomy for implementation and extending the maximum duration of projects beyond the current limit of three years.

Programming and management of resources

This involves, in particular, updating the list of eligible countries, identifying priority countries according to criteria such as the countries with a high incidence of poverty with a food security dimension, the countries with a long-term food security policy and conditions in place for effective utilisation, etc.
Interventions must be integrated within the country strategy papers and be managed according to the principles of project cycle management applicable to all Community programmes.

The European Food Security Network (RESAL) was an important instrument for the implementation of the Regulation which aimed to enhance the capacity for dialogue and proposals on food security and to help draw up viable and efficient long-term food security policies. With the expiration of these contracts, the Commission is studying possibilities for the future. Decentralised cooperation will be established with the aim, inter alia, of integrating key RESAL staff into the Commission’s EuropeAid service (service responsible for the practical implementation of the policy at Community level), mobilising high-level expertise through regional hubs, and transferring and integrating local food security units into national institutions. It is also important to speed up the programme approval process and establish systematic programme monitoring.

A second evaluation of the implementation of this Regulation took place 2003-2004.

Communication from the Commission relating to the characteristics of products to be supplied as Community food aid [Official Journal C 312, 31.10.2000].

The Communication sets out the characteristics of the products to be mobilised as aid from the Commission.

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2519/97 of 16 December 1997 laying down general rules for the mobilisation of products to be supplied under Council Regulation (EC) No 1292/96 as Community food aid [Official Journal L 346, 17.12.1997].
The Regulation lays down specific rules for the implementation of the Regulation, for example conditions for invitations to tender for the supply of aid, etc.

Forest Focus

Forest Focus

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Forest Focus

Topics

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

Other

Forest Focus (2003 – 2006)

Forest Focus is a Community scheme, running from 2003 to 2007, for harmonised, broad-based, comprehensive and long-term monitoring of European forest ecosystems. It concentrates in particular on protecting forests against atmospheric pollution and fire.
The Forest Focus Regulation was repealed by the Regulation concerning the Financial Instrument for the Environment LIFE+.

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 November 2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community (Forest Focus). [See amending acts].

Summary

The Community scheme for forests introduced by this Regulation under the name “Forest Focus” was wound up on 31 December 2006. As of 2007 the new financial instrument for the environment is LIFE+. However, this Regulation continues to govern the measures adopted under this scheme.

Forest Focus covers the following areas:

  • protection against atmospheric pollution;
  • prevention of fires and their causes and effects;
  • biodiversity, climate change, carbon sequestration, soils and protective functions of forests;
  • continuous evaluation of monitoring activities.

Forest Focus provides for measures to:

  • promote harmonised collection, handling and assessment of data;
  • improve data evaluation at Community level;
  • improve the quality of data and information gathered;
  • develop forest monitoring activities;
  • enhance the understanding of forests;
  • study forest fires;
  • develop indicators and methodologies for risk assessment.

Instruments for improving and developing the scheme

Under this scheme, networks of observation points and plots (system for monitoring the effects of air pollution) are to be maintained in order to produce periodic inventories and carry out continuous monitoring of forest ecosystems. The forest fire information system will continue to be developed.

With a view to monitoring biodiversity, climate change, carbon sequestration, soils and protective functions of forests, the Commission is implementing measures to:

  • enhance knowledge of forest ecosystem conditions;
  • assess the impact of climate change;
  • identify indicators for assessing biodiversity status.

The Member States may carry out studies, experiments and demonstration projects, and establish pilot monitoring schemes.

To achieve the aim of continuous evaluation of monitoring activities, the Commission is to:

  • promote harmonised collection, handling and assessment of data at Union level;
  • improve data evaluation at Community level;
  • improve the quality of the data and information gathered under Forest Focus.

National programmes

To achieve the objectives of Forest Focus, two-year national programmes are to be drawn up by the Member States. These programmes are to be submitted to the Commission within 60 days after the entry into force of this Regulation. They are to include an ex-ante evaluation. Member States are also to submit mid-term and ex-post evaluations.

Each Member State is to designate a competent authority to manage its national programme.

Implementation and reporting

The Commission is to be responsible for coordinating, monitoring and developing the scheme. It is to be assisted by a Scientific Coordination Body and the European Environment Agency.

Forest Focus is to run from 1 January 2003 to 31 December 2006. The planned annual budget is EUR 65 million, including 9 million for fire prevention measures. The Union is to contribute financially towards the cost of national programmes at a rate of 50% or 75% depending on the type of activity.

Candidate countries may participate in this scheme. Other European countries may also participate at their own expense.

Member States are to forward to the Commission annual data collected under Forest Focus accompanied by a report. They are to make this data available to the public. Member States are to send the Commission regular reports on the condition of their forest ecosystems.

Background

Before Forest Focus was implemented, the Community dealt with the protection of forests against atmospheric pollution and fire in Regulation (EEC) No 3528/86 and Regulation (EEC) No 2158/92, both of which expired on 31 December 2002. The Forest Focus scheme incorporated these Regulations into a single piece of legislation. As of 1 January 2007, the new financial instrument for the environment is LIFE+, which operates in an even broader context.

References

Act

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003

11.12.2003

OJ L 324 of 11.12.2003

Amending act(s)

Entry into force

Deadline for transposition in the Member States

Official Journal

Regulation (EC) No 788/2004

03.05.2004

OJ L 138 of 30.4.2004

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated version (pdf ) is for reference purposes only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1737/2006 of 7 November 2006 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community [Official Journal L 334 of 30.11.2006].

Commission Decision of 18 February 2004 on an action against the European Parliament and the Council for the annulment of Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 concerning monitoring of forests and environmental interactions in the Community (Forest Focus) [Not published in the Official Journal].

Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 2152/2003 establishing Forest Focus makes the adoption of executive measures subject to the regulatory procedure. As these measures are implementing a programme, they should have been made subject to the management procedure. This Decision aims to annul Article 17.

Follow-up to the Rio Summit

Follow-up to the Rio Summit

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Follow-up to the Rio Summit

Topics

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

External relations > Relations with third countries > Latin america

Follow-up to the Rio Summit

To set out the general principles and actions to be taken by the Commission to meet the priorities resulting from the Rio Summit held in June 1999 between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 31 October 2000 on the follow-up to the first summit between Latin America, the Caribbean and the European Union [COM(2000)670 – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

In this communication, the Commission sets out the global and regional actions it intends to take to ensure that it fulfils the commitments made at the Summit between the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean on 28 and 29 June and to prepare for the second Summit in 2002. In anticipation of this Summit, it has defined three priority areas for action: the promotion of human rights, cooperation in the information technology sector and the reduction of social imbalances.

The main objective of the Rio Summit was to establish a strategic partnership between the EU and Latin America/the Caribbean based on three dimensions:

  • greater political dialogue;
  • sound economic and financial relations based on a comprehensive and balanced liberalisation of trade and capital flows;
  • dynamic cooperation in the educational, social and cultural fields and in scientific and technological development.

The Summit concluded with a joint declaration and an action plan setting out priorities in each of these three dimensions. Eleven key priorities were subsequently selected in Tuusula in Finland by a bi-regional group of high officials with a view to achieving rapid results and ensuring greater visibility of the actions implemented.

The Commission notes that the strategy concerning Latin America continues to be that set out in its communication of March 1999 on a new EU-Latin American partnership on the eve of the 21st century. Relations with the Caribbean countries are based on the partnership and cooperation agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000. The new element introduced by the Rio Summit in this respect is the promotion of regional integration of the Caribbean, including the countries of Caricom (Caribbean Community and Common Market), Central America and the north of the sub-continent.

On an institutional level, since the Rio Summit, a bi-regional group at senior official level has been set up to monitor and work on implementing the priorities adopted. In addition, there are regular ministerial meetings between the EU and the countries and sub-regional groups of Latin America and between the EU and the Caribbean countries.

In the context of these meetings, the Commission has called for a pragmatic approach and for efforts to focus on a small number of sectors likely to yield tangible results. In this respect, the Commission highlights the progress made in the fight against drugs and scientific and technical research.

Basis for Commission action

In anticipation of the 2002 Summit, the Commission proposed stepping up its action in the following areas: the promotion and protection of human rights, the promotion of the information society, and the reduction of social imbalances, thus covering the three dimensions of the strategic partnership (political, economic, social).

In the longer term, the Commission will ensure that the priorities identified are incorporated into the bilateral and sub-regional dialogues established, ensuring consistency and synergy between political, economic and cooperation dialogue. In order to ensure the success of its action, the Commission has laid down the following principles:

  • subsidiarity, leaving Member States and partner countries with responsibility for the measures they wish to undertake while ensuring coordination and complementarity of all the activities;
  • maintaining a balance between the Latin American/Caribbean region as a whole and sub-regional strategies;
  • realism in implementation of the Rio conclusions, by concentrating on key political objectives.

Specific measures

In the political field, the Commission proposes taking further action in the priority area of the promotion of human rights by stepping up its action regarding:

  • promotion of respect for human rights, in particular civil and political rights, by involving independent institutions such as ombudsmen, local organisations, including NGOs, specialising in dialogue between civil society and governments, and regional and sub-regional organisations specialising in justice;
  • support for democratic political systems, especially through support for the media and press freedom;
  • promotion and protection of economic and social rights by assisting organisations responsible for defending the rights of employees in companies and the rights of vulnerable sections of the population.

To accompany these actions, the Commission proposes the creation of an EU-Latin America/Caribbean discussion forum for the promotion and protection of human rights composed of representatives of the countries of both regions.

In the economic field, the Commission proposes a specific measure on the promotion of the information society. It presents a programme called ALIS (Alliance for the Information Society) designed to promote the benefits of using information society technologies. This programme will endeavour to:

  • adapt the regulatory environment and related policies to improve investment in, and service offering of, the communications infrastructure;
  • foster the training and education of human resources in the area of use and management of information and communication technologies;
  • provide support to demonstration projects in the areas of tele-education, health, urban transport, e-commerce and the development of SMEs;
  • increase the interconnection capacity between Latin American, Caribbean and European education and research communities.

In the cooperation field, support for the most vulnerable sectors of society in Latin America and the Caribbean is a priority and aims to reduce social imbalances. The Commission has also made the fight against poverty the key priority of the EU’s development cooperation policy. This social dimension has already been taken into account within the framework of financial and technical cooperation in these regions and is constantly reinforced by the Commission. One example of this is the support for the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries programme.

Against this background, the Commission proposes setting up an EU-Latin America/Caribbean ‘Social Initiative’ in order to stimulate general discussions on this issue and share experiences and best practices for the reduction of social imbalances and assistance for the most vulnerable groups. The Initiative consists of a series of meetings bringing together representatives of different groups of social agents from both regions.

Actions at sub-regional level

The Commission proposes separate priorities for each of the sub-regions in Latin America and the Caribbean. Thus, for the Mercosur area the main priority is the conclusion of the association agreement currently being negotiated. For the Andean Community, the main priorities are strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, evaluating the state of trade with a view to a possible ‘post-GSP’ trade scheme, and the fight against drugs and the prevention of natural disasters.

With regard to Central America, the key priority for Mexico is the implementation of the global agreement with this country together with cooperation between the two parties in order to ensure stability of financial systems and the promotion of trade and investment. For other countries in the region, in addition to human rights and support for social policies, and support for integration into the world economy, special attention is paid to the environment and natural disaster prevention/management as well as the consolidation of regional integration.

For the Caribbean, the dialogue in the institutions provided for by the partnership between the ACP countries (Africa, Caribbean and the Pacific) and the EU must focus on the areas of human rights, democratisation and good governance. Cariforum’s annual meeting with the Commission is also maintained with the possibility of extending its scope to more fields, such as the fight against drugs, security and conflict prevention. In the economic sector, the first priority is regional economic integration, the eventual goal being the conclusion of a partnership agreement which could include a free trade area.

Management and follow-up to the Rio Summit

Overall management and the coordination of the follow-up to the Rio Summit are primarily the responsibility of the bi-regional group of senior officials. Ad hoc sectoral mechanisms involving senior officials and specialised working parties can also be set up at ministerial level. The choice of lightweight and flexible structures is warranted by the informal nature of the process and the existence of forums for dialogue at bilateral and sub-regional level.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

For a European standard for the approval of locomotives

For a European standard for the approval of locomotives

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about For a European standard for the approval of locomotives

Topics

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

Transport > Rail transport

For a European standard for the approval of locomotives

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 13 December 2006 – “Facilitating the movement of locomotives across the European Union” [COM(2006) 782 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

In its mid-term review of the White Paper on European transport policy, the Commission reaffirmed the environmental advantages of rail travel and the key role it plays in the concept of sustainable mobility. The Commission also introduced a range of initiatives to remove technical and operational barriers to international rail activities, both for conventional and high-speed services, whether for transporting freight or passengers. The aim is to make the rail industry more competitive, particularly in relation to road and air transport, by creating an increasingly integrated railways area across the European Union.

Simplifying national procedures for the approval of locomotives

One of the main obstacles to developing a Community railway system is the fact that rolling stock that has been approved for operational service in one Member State is not automatically accepted in another Member State. The cross-acceptance of rolling stock is, in fact, subject to very different national requirements, and international operators must repeatedly undergo approval procedures in each Member State in which they intend to operate, often requiring supporting evidence that is not mutually recognised by Member States. Cross-acceptance exists for wagons and passenger carriages, but not for locomotives. Experience has shown that this results in delays and additional expense, both for railway companies and manufacturers.

Historically, there have been very close links between Member States and their nationalised railway industries, which has meant that, because of national specificities, the manufacturing market has remained very closed. The current solutions include signing bilateral or multilateral agreements. However, the proliferation of such agreements would be likely to lead to further fragmentation of the market and even greater complexity.

Consequently, during the consultation process, it became clear that the mutual recognition principle was not being sufficiently applied in the railway sector. Indeed, there is a lack of awareness of this principle on the part of businesses and national authorities. Furthermore, there is still legal uncertainty about its scope and the burden of proof. The Commission therefore wishes to:

  • propose that Member States apply a guide  drawn up by a task force that worked on the problem in 2005, thereby creating favourable conditions for the emergence of new services, especially in the freight sector, which would dovetail with the opening up of the market from 1 January 2007;
  • amend the legislation on the procedure for authorising the entry into service of new and existing rolling stock, making it possible to create a precise framework procedure to assist the newly created national safety authorities;
  • ensure that the European Railway Agency can develop and update the cross-acceptance procedure on the basis of Member States’ contributions.

Consolidating/merging/recasting the Railway Interoperability Directives

Directives 96/48/EC and 2001/16/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and the conventional rail system respectively, which were substantially amended in 2004, are now to be merged into a single act.

Amending the Rail Safety Directive

The Commission also proposes amending Article 14 of Directive 2004/49/EC on safety on the Community’s railways in order to establish a Community-wide procedure that involves:

  • introducing the principle of mutual recognition by Member States of authorisations already issued by another Member State to bring equipment into service;
  • extending the Agency’s powers to enable it to compile an inventory of the different national procedures and technical regulations in force and maintain the list of requirements;
  • amending the Regulation establishing a European Railway Agency.

The new tasks to be assigned to the Agency are:

  • developing a reference document cross-referencing all the national rules;
  • organising the work of the network of national safety authorities;
  • producing technical opinions if requested by the national safety authorities or the Commission.

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

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 > Job creation measures

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 20 April 2004 “Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe” [COM(2004) 274 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission intends to set out an industrial policy for the European Union (EU) that matches up to the issues facing Europe, particularly the effects of enlargement and international competition. This policy aims to promote competitiveness and encourage more appropriate regulation, so that European industry remains innovative and continues to create jobs and growth.

The Member States and the European institutions must organise the structural changes in European industry around the factors of production of an enlarged Europe and the innovative capacity of a knowledge-based Europe.

No deindustrialisation but necessary structural change

Although the Commission does not see a general process of deindustrialisation at EU level, structural changes are profoundly affecting the industrial landscape. Jobs and resources in labour-intensive sectors or those facing intense competition are being shifted towards sectors where there are comparative advantages. The impact of these structural changes is positive for the EU as a whole, but may be damaging at local level for certain sectors or regions.

However, these shifts in jobs and resources must be backed by measures to promote research and innovation in order to maintain the EU’s comparative advantage in sectors with high added value. The pressure of international competition has intensified in recent years, and is affecting more and more industrial sectors. The relocation of jobs to emerging economies no longer affects only traditional labour-intensive sectors; increasingly, its effects are being felt in hi-tech industries and the services sector. The only way Europe will be able to take full advantage of industrial globalisation is by adopting an industrial policy that focuses on competitiveness.

Opportunities afforded by enlargement

The enlargement of 2004 offers European industry significant opportunities, provided that the restructuring of the relevant sectors is not hampered by national protection measures. On the demand side, the internal market has been extended to include booming national consumer markets. On the supply side, companies can reorganise production to benefit from the competitive advantages of the new Member States.

The new Member States have an important role to play in the transition to a knowledge-based economy. Their inclusion can boost the EU’s industrial performance and stimulate the internal market in the face of competition from non-member countries. The competitive advantages of the new Member States should make it possible for jobs that would otherwise have been transferred to Asia to be relocated within the EU. The sectors most affected by the arrival of new companies are food and beverages, transport equipment, base metals and metal products.

Tools to foster structural change

The Commission’s objective, in line with the priorities set out in the 2002 communication on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe, is to rally public stakeholders around three areas of action for fostering change in European industry.

The first area of action concerns regulation and all the laws governing industrial activity in the EU. The aim is to bring legislation into line with the needs of businesses, both at national and European levels. Particular attention should be paid to competitiveness and to analysing the combined effects of different regulations on each sector of activity.

The second goal is to ensure that EU measures in different areas that have an impact on industry, particularly research, competition, employment and regional development, are better coordinated. The Commission intends to use these different policies to improve productivity gains and promote the use of knowledge. In more general terms, greater synergy between the EU’s different policy areas will boost the competitiveness of European businesses.

The third target concerns the sectoral dimension of EU industrial policy. The Commission aims to make EU industrial activity more visible in key sectors by involving interested parties, thus highlighting the added value of industrial policy at European level.

Background

This Communication forms part of the debate on how industrial policy can contribute to improving industrial competitiveness, launched by the Commission’s communication of 11 December 2002. It should help European industry meet the objective the EU set itself at the 2000 European Council in Lisbon.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 November 2003, “Some Key Issues in Europe’s Competitiveness” [COM(2003) 704 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe [COM(2002) 714 final – not published in the Official Journal].

 


Another Normative about Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Topics

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

Enterprise > Industry

Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 20 April 2004 “Fostering structural change: an industrial policy for an enlarged Europe” [COM(2004) 274 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission intends to set out an industrial policy for the European Union (EU) that matches up to the issues facing Europe, particularly the effects of enlargement and international competition. This policy aims to promote competitiveness and encourage more appropriate regulation, so that European industry remains innovative and continues to create jobs and growth.

The Member States and the European institutions must organise the structural changes in European industry around the factors of production of an enlarged Europe and the innovative capacity of a knowledge-based Europe.

No deindustrialisation but necessary structural change

Although the Commission does not see a general process of deindustrialisation at EU level, structural changes are profoundly affecting the industrial landscape. Jobs and resources in labour-intensive sectors or those facing intense competition are being shifted towards sectors where there are comparative advantages. The impact of these structural changes is positive for the EU as a whole, but may be damaging at local level for certain sectors or regions.

However, these shifts in jobs and resources must be backed by measures to promote research and innovation in order to maintain the EU’s comparative advantage in sectors with high added value. The pressure of international competition has intensified in recent years, and is affecting more and more industrial sectors. The relocation of jobs to emerging economies no longer affects only traditional labour-intensive sectors; increasingly, its effects are being felt in hi-tech industries and the services sector. The only way Europe will be able to take full advantage of industrial globalisation is by adopting an industrial policy that focuses on competitiveness.

Opportunities afforded by enlargement

The enlargement of 2004 offers European industry significant opportunities, provided that the restructuring of the relevant sectors is not hampered by national protection measures. On the demand side, the internal market has been extended to include booming national consumer markets. On the supply side, companies can reorganise production to benefit from the competitive advantages of the new Member States.

The new Member States have an important role to play in the transition to a knowledge-based economy. Their inclusion can boost the EU’s industrial performance and stimulate the internal market in the face of competition from non-member countries. The competitive advantages of the new Member States should make it possible for jobs that would otherwise have been transferred to Asia to be relocated within the EU. The sectors most affected by the arrival of new companies are food and beverages, transport equipment, base metals and metal products.

Tools to foster structural change

The Commission’s objective, in line with the priorities set out in the 2002 communication on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe, is to rally public stakeholders around three areas of action for fostering change in European industry.

The first area of action concerns regulation and all the laws governing industrial activity in the EU. The aim is to bring legislation into line with the needs of businesses, both at national and European levels. Particular attention should be paid to competitiveness and to analysing the combined effects of different regulations on each sector of activity.

The second goal is to ensure that EU measures in different areas that have an impact on industry, particularly research, competition, employment and regional development, are better coordinated. The Commission intends to use these different policies to improve productivity gains and promote the use of knowledge. In more general terms, greater synergy between the EU’s different policy areas will boost the competitiveness of European businesses.

The third target concerns the sectoral dimension of EU industrial policy. The Commission aims to make EU industrial activity more visible in key sectors by involving interested parties, thus highlighting the added value of industrial policy at European level.

Background

This Communication forms part of the debate on how industrial policy can contribute to improving industrial competitiveness, launched by the Commission’s communication of 11 December 2002. It should help European industry meet the objective the EU set itself at the 2000 European Council in Lisbon.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 November 2003, “Some Key Issues in Europe’s Competitiveness” [COM(2003) 704 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on industrial policy in an enlarged Europe [COM(2002) 714 final – not published in the Official Journal].

 

Food and feed safety

Food and feed safety

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Food and feed safety

Topics

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

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

Food and feed safety

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety [See amending acts].

Summary

This Regulation ensures the quality of foodstuffs intended for human consumption and animal feed. It guarantees the free circulation of safe and secure food and feed in the internal market.

In addition, the European Union’s (EU) food legislation protects consumers against fraudulent or deceptive commercial practices. This legislation also aims to protect the health and wellbeing of animals, plant health and the environment.

Safety standards

No food stuff dangerous to health and/or unfit for consumption may be placed on the market. To determine whether a foodstuff is dangerous, the following are considered:

  • the normal conditions of use;
  • the information provided to the consumer;
  • the probable immediate or delayed effect on health;
  • the cumulative toxic effects;
  • the specific sensitivity of certain consumers.

Where any food which is unsafe is part of a batch, lot or consignment, it is assumed that the whole batch, lot or consignment is unsafe.

In addition, animal feed deemed to be unsafe cannot be placed on the market or fed to any food-producing animals.

Responsibilities of operators

Operators * must apply the food legislation at all stages of the food chain, from the production, processing, transport and distribution stages through to the supply of food.

In addition, operators are responsible for ensuring the traceability of products at all stages of the production, processing and distribution, including with regard to substances incorporated into the foodstuffs.

If an operator considers that a food or feed is harmful to human or animal health, they immediately initiate the procedures to withdraw the product from the market and inform the competent authorities. Where the product may have reached the consumer, the operator informs the consumers and recalls the products already supplied.

Food risk analysis

The health risk analysis is carried out in several phases: assessment, management and communication to the public. This process is carried out in an independent, objective and transparent manner. It is based on the available scientific evidence.

Where the assessment identifies the presence of a risk, the Member States and the Commission may apply the precautionary principle and adopt provisional and proportionate measures.

International market

The legislation applies to foodstuffs exported or re-exported in the EU before being placed on the market of a third country, except if the importing country decides otherwise.

The EU contributes to the development of international technical standards for food and feed, as well as for animal health and plant protection.

European food safety authority (EFSA)

A European Food Safety Authority provides scientific advice and scientific and technical support in all areas impacting on food safety. It constitutes an independent source of information on all matters in this field and ensures that the general public is kept informed.

Participation in EFSA is open to EU Member States and to other countries applying EU food safety law.

EFSA is also responsible for:

  • coordinating risk assessments and identifying emerging risks;
  • providing scientific and technical advice to the Commission, including in connection with crisis management;
  • collecting and publishing scientific and technical data in areas relating to food safety;
  • stablishing European networks of organisations operating in the field of food safety.

Rapid alert system

The rapid alert system (RAPEX) involves the Member States, the Commission and EFSA. It enables information exchange concerning:

  • measures aimed at restricting the placing in circulation or withdrawal of food or feed from the market;
  • actions taken with professional operators for controlling the use of food or feed;
  • the rejection of a batch or consignment of food or feed by an EU border post.

In the case of a food-related risk, the information disseminated within the rapid alert network must be made available to the general public.

Emergencies

Where food or feed, including those imported from a third country presents a serious and uncontainable risk to human health, animal health or the environment, the Commission puts in place protective measures and:

  • suspends the placing on the market or use of products originating from the EU;
  • suspends imports of products originating from third countries.

However, if the Commission does not act after having been informed of the existence of a risk, the Member State concerned may take protective measures. Within a period of 10 working days, the Commission must refer the matter to the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health with a view to extending, amending or revoking the national measures.

Crisis-management plan

In the case of situations entailing direct or indirect risks to human health not provided for by the Regulation, the Commission, EFSA and the Member States may establish a general crisis-management plan.

Similarly, in the case of a serious risk, which cannot be dealt with under the existing provisions, the Commission must immediately set up a crisis unit, in which the Authority participates by providing scientific and technical support. The crisis unit is responsible for collecting and evaluating all relevant information and identifying the options available for preventing, eliminating or reducing the risk to human health.

Context

Decisions 68/361/EEC, 69/414/EEC and 70/372/EEC are repealed.

Key terms of the Act
  • Operator: the natural or legal person responsible for ensuring that the requirements of food law are met within the food business under their control.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 178/2002

21.2.2002

1.1.2005

OJ L 031, 1. 2. 2002

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

Regulation (EC) No 1642/2003

1.10.2003

OJ L 245, 29.9.2003

Regulation (EC) No 575/2006

28.4.2006

OJ L 100, 8.4.2006

Regulation (EC) No 202/2008

25.3.2008

OJ L 60, 5.3.2008

Regulation (EC) No 596/2009

7.8.2009

OJ L 188, 18.7.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2230/2004 of 23 December 2004 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of European Parliament and Council Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 with regard to the network of organisations operating in the fields within the European Food Safety Authority’s mission [Official Journal L 379 of 24.12.2004].

Commission Decision 2004/478/EC of 29 April 2004 concerning the adoption of a general plan for food/feed crisis management [Official Journal L 160 of 30.4.2004].


Regulation (EC) No 854/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 laying down specific rules for the organisation of official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption [Official Journal L 139 of 30.4.2004].

Food safety: general provisions

Food safety: general provisions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Food safety: general provisions

Topics

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

Food safety > Food safety: general provisions

Food safety: general provisions

The current food safety policy is based on a series of principles established or updated at the beginning of the 2000s. These principles, applied in line with the integrated approach ‘From the Farm to the Fork’ specifically include transparency, risk analysis and prevention, the protection of consumer interests and the free circulation of safe and high-quality products within the internal market and with third countries. A certain number of bodies, in particular, the European Food Safety Authority, are responsible for helping to guarantee food safety. Research is also an important element of the food safety policy.

GENERAL PROVISIONS

  • Food and feed safety
  • The precautionary principle
  • Improving communication on agricultural product quality
  • Ecolabel
  • Production and labelling of organic products
  • Sustainable Consumption, Production and Industry Action Plan
  • Training of food safety control authorities
  • Geographical Indications and Designations of Origin
  • Traditional specialities guaranteed
  • Green Paper on agricultural product quality

INSTITUTIONAL PROVISIONS

  • Veterinary and phytosanitary inspections
  • Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health
  • Assistance and cooperation with scientific examination
  • Executive Agency for Health and Consumers