Tag Archives: Knowledge economy

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training


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

A new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 9 June 2010 – A new impetus for European cooperation in Vocational Education and Training to support the Europe 2020 strategy [COM(2010) 296 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Building on and contributing to the Europe 2020 strategy and the ET 2020 strategic framework, this communication proposes a new vision for vocational education and training (VET) in the European Union (EU). It focuses on elements central to the Copenhagen process, drawing on the ET 2020 strategic objectives.

Making lifelong learning and mobility a reality

Access to all levels of training must be maximised, which might entail significant changes to the current provision of VET. It is essential that the manner in which learning outcomes are acquired, assessed and lead to qualifications is made more flexible. This includes an enhanced role of, and the need to improve the provision of continuing VET by, employers, traditional initial training providers and higher education institutions. An outcomes-based approach for vocational qualifications based on the European Qualifications Framework (EQF) and the European Credit systems for Vocational Education and Training (ECVET) can help validate skills acquired outside of formal education and training. At the same time, the pathways between VET and higher education must be opened up and tertiary VET programmes should be developed. The transition from training to employment as well as between jobs must also be facilitated, to which end guidance and counselling services should be provided.

Transnational mobility must become the norm in VET pathways, particularly in initial VET, for both learners and trainers. It is also essential that mobility periods are recognised via the ECVET. Appropriate support structures should be established to facilitate training placements, and virtual mobility (through eLearning) should be used to complement physical mobility.

Improving the quality and efficiency of education and training

The quality and efficiency of VET, the high standards of VET teachers and trainers, the relevance of VET to labour market needs and the pathways VET opens to further learning contribute to its attractiveness. To improve the quality and efficiency of VET:

  • quality assurance systems must be implemented at national level on the basis of the European Quality Assurance Reference Framework for VET;
  • the continuing development of skills and competencies of teachers and trainers must be reviewed in light of their evolving roles;
  • the continuing development of key competences together with vocational skills that are relevant to labour market needs must be ensured, in particular through different forms of work-based learning;
  • forward planning tools to match skills and jobs should be developed and partnerships with relevant stakeholders should be created to strengthen labour market relevance.

Promoting equity, social cohesion and active citizenship

VET systems have an important role in combating social exclusion and promoting inclusive growth. Disadvantaged learners may profit more from non-classroom work-based learning that is relevant to the local labour market. Integrated in mainstream VET, training should be flexible and modularised, providing individualised learning pathways. Upward social mobility can be strengthened by facilitating the transition from VET to higher education. At the same time, accessible and targeted guidance services must be provided. The constant monitoring of VET learners’ employment rates, particularly those of disadvantaged learners, is also essential.

Enhancing creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship

The framework in which VET is provided should foster creativity and innovation, encouraging risk-taking and experimentation. To provide accessible and flexible training, experience-based and active learning should be promoted, including through eLearning. Education for entrepreneurship should also be promoted in order to instil a sense of initiative and creativity and the ability to concretise ideas. Entrepreneurship should also form part of VET teachers’ and trainers’ competence framework.

International dimension

Dialogue and mutual learning on EU VET policy should be further developed with the international community. With the support of the European Training Foundation (ETF), structured cooperation on VET should be strengthened with neighbourhood and enlargement countries, with a view to improving:

  • transnational collaboration;
  • regional development;
  • the management of legal mobility;
  • the fight against illegal migration.

In particular, cooperation in research activities and evidence-based policy making should be further strengthened with the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO).

The way forward

At the end of 2010, cooperation in VET should be re-launched in close partnership with relevant stakeholders in EU countries and the Commission. An ambitious modernisation agenda for VET must be set out with priorities for the next 10 years, including reviewable short term objectives. The Europe 2020 national programmes should implement this VET reform.

The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010

The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010


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

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth > Growth and jobs

The Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for 2008–2010

The Commission intends to strengthen the Community Lisbon Programme (CLP) and is proposing ten objectives for the period 2008-2010. In order to ensure optimum implementation of the CLP, it is counting on effective collaboration between the various European institutions, and on close monitoring.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 11 December 2007 – Proposal for a Community Lisbon Programme 2008–2010 [COM(2007) 804 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Lisbon Strategy has proved its worth. Since its relaunch in 2005, more than 6.5 million jobs have been created in Europe and unemployment has fallen to its lowest level for 25 years. Growth has also been sustained.
However, given that Europe is now confronted by a worldwide economic slowdown and must face unprecedented long-term challenges (ageing of the population, globalisation, climate change, dependence on energy imports, etc.), the second phase (2008-2010) of the Community Lisbon Programme (CLP) would appear to be crucial.
Against this backdrop, the Commission means to draw lessons from the 2005-2008 phase, particularly as regards the implementation of the strategy.

Strengthening and renewing the CLP

In order to complement the CLP, the Commission is pinpointing ten objectives which offer either genuine Community-level added value or show significant impacts on growth and jobs within the European Union (EU). The selection of the objectives is on the basis of sound economic analyses and policy priorities.

These objectives are based on the integrated guidelines and rest fully on the four priority areas of the Lisbon strategy, namely:

  • investing in people and modernising labour markets;
  • energy and climate change;
  • strengthening economic competitiveness;
  • promoting knowledge and innovation.

Investing in people and modernising labour markets

Human resources which are better adapted to the needs of labour markets are both the key to European competitiveness worldwide and the basis for more independent living. This will require:

  • a renewal of the Social Agenda;
  • improved coordination of instruments to better anticipate EU-wide labour market developments and needs;
  • greater comparability and recognition of qualifications;
  • development of a common policy on immigration, with the introduction of a “blue card” scheme for highly qualified migrants representing a first step in this direction.

Unlocking business potential, especially of SMEs

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) make up more than 99% of all businesses and employ 67% of the EU’s total workforce. The potential for growth and jobs in SMEs is still not being fully exploited. In order to support SMEs throughout their life-cycle, the Commission plans to:

  • adopt a European Small Business Act for the benefit of small-scale enterprises;
  • undertake a specific screening of the acquis communautaire from an SME perspective and introduce exemptions from administrative requirements of EU legislation wherever possible;
  • ensure the implementation of the various European programmes to reduce administrative burdens, with the aim of a 25% reduction by 2012.

The Commission is also proposing new measures for the financial services market. In particular, it plans to implement the services Directive and, more specifically, to establish the Single Euro Payments Area. SMEs will be the first to benefit from this removal of barriers to market access, for example by being allowed to choose an EU-wide tax base.

Investing in knowledge and innovation

The Commission is introducing a new dimension: the creation of a fifth freedom on the single market – based on the three components of the knowledge triangle, i.e. research, innovation and education – for the purpose of setting up a European research area. This will require a concentration and a more effective use of R&D resources and common calls for projects. Finally, it is crucial that the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) be made operational.

The Commission is also proposing to create more favourable conditions for the financing of innovation and to improve SMEs’ access to finance for new technologies. In this connection, the creation of a Community patent would not only improve the current patent litigation system but would also increase legal certainty, leading to a greater investment readiness among SMEs.

Energy and climate change

Among the objectives identified by the Commission, Nos 8 and 9 are concerned with energy policy and climate change in the context of the Community Lisbon Programme. The internal market for electricity and gas must be completed by introducing an emissions trading scheme. It is therefore crucial that legislation be passed in order to meet the EU’s targets of achieving at least a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and a 20% renewable energy share by 2020.

In addition, industrial policy must be geared to sustainable consumption. The Commission is thus proposing to establish an internal market for environmental technologies and promote the development of European lead markets for energy-efficient technologies. To this end, Community funds must be used to develop a market in low-carbon products and technologies. The Commission also plans to review the energy taxation Directive in order that other fiscal instruments can be used to promote low-energy products.

As regards the external agenda, where the opening-up of Europe and the defence of its legitimate interests go hand in hand, bilateral negotiations with the main trading partners are the main concern of the foreign-policy element of the Community Lisbon Programme.

The Commission should also work to conclude the Doha multilateral trade negotiations. In order to make for a more coordinated approach by the EU, the Commission is proposing to introduce annual reports on countries and sectors in which barriers to trade still exist. Improving the framework for the enforcement of intellectual property rights against counterfeiting is also a priority which can be achieved through more effective cooperation between customs authorities.

Implementation of the CLP

The ten priority objectives need to be closely monitored by means of annual reports. This would allow a systematic assessment of progress made, which would form the basis for the Commission’s annual autumn reports. The Spring European Council must take stock and provide further direction as part of its annual overall assessment of the Lisbon Strategy on Growth and Jobs. The programme will also be subject to a mid-term review to enable any adjustments to be made to the ten priority objectives.

The Community’s financial resources for improving growth and economic adjustment derive from cohesion policy programmes of the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), the Lifelong Learning Programme and the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund. It is estimated that two million additional jobs will be generated by these funds by 2015. The Communication also proposes that a close follow-up be undertaken by each of the institutions and all the Member States in order to achieve the ten objectives.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 16 December 2008 – Implementation Report for the Community Lisbon Programme 2008 – 2010 [COM(2008) 881 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission presented the first annual report on the outcomes of the Community Lisbon Programme 2008 – 2010. This report evaluates the outcomes of the first year the programme has been implemented. It proposes new objectives in-line with the priorities of the European Economic Recovery Plan and complementing the reforms being carried out by Member States.

Thus it concerns:

  • improving the skills of workers, modernising the labour market and social protection systems, according to the terms of the renewed Social Agenda. Further efforts are needed to assess the needs of the labour market, as well as to remove the regulatory constraints which act as a barrier to mobility, recognition of qualifications and access to pension and social protection systems. The Commission will make proposals for an immigration strategy, aimed at placing value on the abilities of migrants;
  • increasing the development potential of enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The EU shall guarantee SMEs have access to finance and shall reduce Community administrative burdens by 25% by 2012. Enterprises will benefit from the strengthening of the single market for financial services;
  • making Europe a leading knowledge and innovation economy and society through the creation of the European Research Area, open and competitive on an international level. Also by improving conditions for innovation (finance, investment and legal certainty);
  • finalising the energy market and combating climate change. With the aim of making the energy supply secure, the EU has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2020. Industrial production must be aimed at achieving objectives related to energy efficiency and sustainability;
  • opening up new opportunities for trade, market access and international investment. The Community is working to conclude the Doha negotiations under the framework of the WHO, and to lead bilateral negotiations with its commercial partners. The Community promotes the improvement of international standards and regulatory cooperation, particularly with regard to combating counterfeiting.

Youth on the Move

Youth on the Move

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Youth on the Move


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

Education training youth sport > Youth

Youth on the Move

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 15 September 2010 – Youth on the Move – An initiative to unleash the potential of young people to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the European Union [COM(2010) 477 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


High quality education and training, effective labour market integration and increased mobility are essential to unleash the potential of all young people and to achieve the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy for European Union (EU) growth. However, young people continue to face challenges in these domains. Consequently, through its flagship initiative “Youth on the Move”, the EU aims at responding to these challenges and helping young people succeed in the knowledge economy.

The Youth on the Move initiative presents key new actions, reinforces existing ones and ensures their implementation at the national and EU level by exploiting financial support from relevant EU programmes and the Structural Funds. It focuses on four main strands:

Lifelong learning

The Europe 2020 strategy set the target of reducing the rate of early school leaving to 10 %. To this end, action that focuses on prevention and targets pupils at risk of dropping-out should be taken as early as possible. In June 2011, the Council adopted a recommendation on reducing early school leaving, to respond to its different causes. The Commission also set up a High Level Expert Group on Literacy, tasked with recommending new avenues for improving reading literacy in the EU.

In its communication on a new impetus for cooperation in vocational education and training (VET), the Commission reiterates the importance of modernising this sector with a view to improving its quality and provision. Recognising the contribution that VET can make to youth employability and to reducing early school leaving, cooperation in this area was given new impetus at the end of 2010 through the adoption of the Bruges Communiqué . The latter defines strategic objectives for the period 2011-2020 and an action plan with concrete measures at national level and aid at European level.

Apprenticeship-type vocational training and high quality traineeships are essential for enabling young people to adjust to the demands of, and thus better integrate into, the labour market. Hence, the Commission will propose a quality framework for traineeships and will support EU countries in improving access to and participation in traineeships.

The recognition and validation of non-formal and informal learning (learning outside the formal education system) can facilitate access to further learning, particularly for young people with fewer opportunities. To this end, the Commission will propose in 2011 a draft Council recommendation to improve the ways in which EU countries recognise skills acquired through such learning activities.

Higher education

The contribution of higher education is essential to achieving the objectives of the knowledge economy. However, the sector needs to be modernised to allow it to contribute even more effectively and to help reach the Europe 2020 target of increasing the proportion of young people graduating from higher education or equivalent to 40 %. To this end, the Commission presented a communication in September 2011 on a new and reinforced agenda for higher education.

Cooperation and competition between higher education institutions are very much influenced by their performance. Knowing the performance level of an institution can help students in their choice of study as well as facilitate partnerships across borders. Thus, in June 2011 the Commission presented the results of a feasibility study for establishing a global multi-dimensional tool to rank higher education performance and educational outcomes. On the basis of these results, the Commission will continue to develop this tool from the end of 2011.

Europe’s innovation capacity is vital for ensuring its economic competitiveness. This requires the further development of knowledge partnerships and the creation of stronger links between education, research and innovation. With this in mind, in June 2011 the Commission proposed the establishment of a multiannual strategic innovation agenda that sets out priorities for the next seven years for higher education, research, innovation and entrepreneurship.


Through learning mobility, young people can acquire new professional competences and thus improve their future employability. At the same time, learning mobility has enabled education and training systems and institutions to become more accessible, international and efficient. In order to extend opportunities for learning mobility to all young people, the Commission:

  • created a “Youth on the Move” website for information on opportunities for leaning and mobility in the EU;
  • proposed a Council recommendation to EU countries that addresses the obstacles to learning mobility;
  • will develop a Youth on the Move card to facilitate mobile learners’ integration process abroad;
  • will develop in 2012 a European skills passport based on Europass, which will facilitate the recognition throughout the EU of competences acquired by European young people outside the formal education system.

There also continue to be obstacles for employment mobility, through which young people could acquire new skills and competences. For this reason the Commission will implement:

  • a pilot project called “Your first EURES job” to test new ways to help young people find a job anywhere in the EU;
  • a “European Vacancy Monitor” through which vacant jobs, together with the skills needed, can be identified in Europe.

Youth employment

To contribute to the Europe 2020 objective of increasing the general employment rate of 20-64 year-olds to 75 %, it is essential to reduce the high level of youth unemployment. As part of this, young people should be better supported in the transition from education to employment through active labour market or social measures. At the same time, incentive measures should be put in place for employers to employ new entrants. Young people at risk should be targeted in particular, so as to facilitate their return to education and training or to the labour market. In order to support policy development in this field, the Commission has undertaken to carry out systematic monitoring of the situation of young people not in employment, education or training. It has also established dialogue between the European Public Employment Services which met in March 2011 to examine the approaches and measures taken by these services in order to help low-skilled young people.

Self-employment and entrepreneurship should also be considered as valuable options for reducing youth unemployment and tackling social exclusion. Thus, it is essential that educational institutions, with the support of the public and private sectors, promote entrepreneurial mindsets and attitudes. Young people should be given more opportunities and support for creating an enterprise or for starting their own business. In this respect, the Commission encourages greater use of the new European Progress Micro-finance Facility to support potential young entrepreneurs.

Related Acts

of 19 November 2010 on the ‘Youth on the Move’ initiative – an integrated approach in response to the challenges young people face [Official Journal C 326 of 3.12.2010].

The Council requests that the Youth on the Move initiative is implemented within the context of the Europe 2020 Strategy and in line with the 2020 Education and Training Programme. It also insists on the need to rationalise and optimise the objectives and investments in times of budget constraints.

Europe 2020: a strategy for European Union growth

Europe 2020: a strategy for European Union growth

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Europe 2020: a strategy for European Union growth


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

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth

Europe 2020: a strategy for European Union growth

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 3 March 2010 – Europe 2020 A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth [COM(2010) 2020 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission presents the strategy which should enable the European Union (EU) to achieve growth that is:

  • smart, through the development of knowledge and innovation;
  • sustainable, based on a greener, more resource efficient and more competitive economy;
  • inclusive, aimed at strengthening employment, and social and territorial cohesion.

In addition, the Commission proposes a series of targets to be achieved by 2020:

  • increasing the employment rate of the population aged 20-64 to 75 %;
  • investing 3 % of gross domestic product (GDP) in research and development;
  • reducing carbon emissions by 20 % (and by 30 % if conditions permit), increasing the share of renewable energies by 20 % and increasing energy efficiency by 20 %;
  • reducing the school drop out rate to less than 10 % and increasing the proportion of tertiary degrees to 40 %;
  • reducing the number of people threatened by poverty by 20 million.

The EU 2020 programme

The Commission presents seven flagship initiatives to be put in place at European level and in EU countries:

  • the Innovation Union, to support the production of innovative products and services, in particular concerning climate change, energy efficiency, health and the ageing population;
  • the Youth on the move initiative, to enhance the performance of education systems, non-formal and informal learning, student and researcher mobility, but also young people’s entry to the labour market;
  • the Digital Agenda for Europe initiative, to promote the creation of a digital single market, characterised by a high level of trust and a clear legal framework. Furthermore, fast and subsequently ultra fast internet should be accessible to the population as a whole;
  • the Resource-efficient Europe initiative, to support the sustainable management of resources and the reduction of carbon emissions, while maintaining the competitiveness of the European economy and its energy security;
  • the industrial policy for the globalisation era initiative, to help businesses to overcome the economic crisis, integrate into world trade and adopt more environmentally-friendly production methods;
  • the agenda for new skills and jobs, to improve employment and the sustainability of social models. The aim is to encourage the strategies of flexicurity, worker and student training, but also gender equality and the employment of older workers;
  • the European Platform against Poverty, to increase cooperation between EU countries, and to follow the Open Method of Coordination in the areas of social exclusion and social protection. The objective of the Platform is to be the economic, social and territorial cohesion of the EU, and the social inclusion of people experiencing poverty.

Introduction of the strategy

The strategy is to be presented through 10 ‘Europe 2020’ integrated guidelines adopted by the June 2010 European Council. They are to replace the current 24 employment guidelines and the broad economic policy guidelines.

The Council may also address policy recommendations to EU countries on economic and budget matters, and all of the thematic areas covered by the strategy.

A substantial part of the strategy is to be implemented by the national, regional and local authorities of the EU countries, associating national parliaments, social partners and civil society. Actions to raise awareness are to be conducted among European citizens.

The Commission shall be responsible for monitoring progress. It shall present yearly reports, including reports on the achievements of the stability and convergence programmes.

Related Acts

Communication of 30 May 2012 from the Commission to the European Parliament, the European Council, the Council, the European Central Bank, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Investment Bank: Action for stability, growth and jobs [COM (2012) 299 final].
Following the economic crisis, this Communication explores both the role of the EU and the role of EU countries in a new growth initiative, intended to put the EU economy back on a sound footing. The Commission suggests that the EU needs to tap into: external sources of growth; the potential of EU funding of the growth that Europe needs; and the growth potential of the Economic and Monetary Union, of the Internal Market, and of human capital.

Council Decision 2010/707/EU of 21 October 2010 on guidelines for the employment policies of the Member States [Official Journal L 308 of 24.11.2010].

 of 13 July 2010 on broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and of the Union [Official Journal L 191 of 23.7.2010].

 of 25 and 26 March 2010.
The European Council has approved the main aspects of the ‘Europe 2020’ strategy for jobs and growth.

Marine knowledge 2020

Marine knowledge 2020

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Marine knowledge 2020


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

Environment > General provisions

Marine knowledge 2020

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council of 8 September 2010 – Marine knowledge 2020 marine data and observation for smart and sustainable growth [COM(2010) 461 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Marine data are collected mainly for a specific purpose – for instance to exploit marine resources or to ensure safe navigation. However, those applying these data face a number of obstacles:

  • lack of information on the data that already exists;
  • restrictions on access and use;
  • fragmented standards, formats and nomenclature;
  • lack of information on the precision and accuracy of the data;
  • the pricing policy of some providers; and
  • insufficient spatial or temporal resolution.


The action plan defines three objectives:

  • making the use of marine data simpler and less expensive;
  • encouraging competition and innovation among users of these data; and
  • reducing uncertainty, to provide a sounder basis for managing future changes.

These objectives contribute to the implementation of some of the initiatives announced in the Europe 2020 strategy. Moreover, the benefits of creating an integrated network to replace the present fragmented marine observation system are considerable.

Improving the existing instruments

To enhance the impact of the existing instruments, the Commission:

  • will take steps to ensure access to data collected under regional development and marine and maritime research programmes supported by the European Union (EU) and to permit their re-use;
  • will adopt the measures intended to promote coastal information systems in accordance with Recommendation 2002/413/EC concerning Integrated Coastal Zone Management;
  • will consider the possibility of extending the financing of demonstrations of marine Global Monitoring for Environment and Security services (GMES services) beyond 2014;
  • will make sure that Member States enforce the access rules for fisheries data and will explore ways to widen the scope for accessing these data;
  • will develop the WISE-Marine and EMODnet shared information systems to improve their accessibility and interoperability;
  • intends to improve the coverage of data, resolution and range of assembled parameters;
  • will ensure that its Agencies and Member States communicate data regularly, aggregated in time and space;
  • will ensure that Eurostat studies detailed population and area parameters in order to provide a better understanding of coastal influence.

The measures adopted are intended to create synergies between the various improvements. Their aim is to ensure a smooth and seamless provision of marine data while avoiding duplication of efforts. This will involve:

  • ensuring common standards;
  • providing free access to marine data without restriction of use;
  • ensuring that the data assembled meet the needs of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive;
  • specific ur-EMODnet action in 2010 to assemble data as input for the GMES system;
  • assessing gaps in the monitoring network in 2012/2013 based on the results of specific ur-EMODnet and prototype GMES marine core service actions;
  • opening a dialogue with partner countries and international organisations in order to contribute towards an interoperable global marine knowledge system.

Establishing a common environment for marine data

Obtaining data crossing Member States’ borders depends on the creation of a common environment. This environment should incorporate the following elements:

  • from the outset multiple uses should be envisaged for the data collected;
  • data should be maintained close to the source and be under proper guardianship in accredited data centres;
  • a number of thematic assembly groups should be entrusted with assembling data by specific theme, for example geological layers or chemical contaminants;
  • an integrated viewpoint at sea-basin level is needed;
  • in certain cases, EU support may concentrate on the analysis and application of data;
  • the decision making process decides what data is going to be collected and how it should be assembled.

To create this common environment, the Commission proposes:

  • sharing responsibility for safeguarding knowledge between the public and private sectors;
  • promoting good practice in data curation and dissemination by improving communication amongst national data centres through regular discussions in its data expert groups and its maritime internet forum;
  • setting up pilot projects in the period 2011-2013 (financed by the programme to support the development of an integrated maritime policy) to ensure an integrated surveillance approach;
  • defining priorities for assembling data in ur-EMODnet and developing a proposal for more stable governance;
  • setting up a secretariat to manage the ur-EMODnet process.


Improving knowledge of the seas and oceans is one of the three cross-cutting tools of the EU’s integrated maritime policy. This instrument can also contribute towards the objectives of the other two instruments, namely better spatial planning and integrated maritime surveillance.

Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme

Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme


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

Research and innovation > Research in support of other policies

Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013)

Document or Iniciative

Decision 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007-2013) [See amending act(s)].


The Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) proposes a coherent framework to improve competitiveness * and innovation capacity * in the European Union (EU). The actions it supports encourage the development of a knowledge society and sustainable development based on balanced economic growth.

The framework programme incorporates specific Community support programmes, new actions and synergies with other programmes, thus meeting the objectives of the renewed Lisbon Strategy for simpler, more visible and better targeted Community action.

Specific programmes

To take account of the diversity of its objectives and ensure that these are visible, the CIP is made up of three specific subprogrammes. The interests of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and eco-innovation are cross-cutting priorities reflected throughout the framework programme.

  • The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme brings together activities to promote entrepreneurship, industrial competitiveness and innovation. It specifically targets SMEs *, from hi-tech “gazelles” (companies with high growth potential) to the traditional micro-businesses and family firms which make up a large majority of European enterprises. It facilitates SMEs’ access to finance and investment during their start-up and growth phase. It also gives businesses access to information and advice on the functioning and opportunities of the internal market, as well as to information on Community legislation applying to them and on future legislation so that they can prepare to adapt in a cost-effective way. In this context, the Enterprise Europe Network plays an important role. The programme also makes provision for the exchange of best practices between Member States in order to create a better regulatory and administrative environment for business and innovation. Finally, it backs the promotion of eco-innovation * by encouraging efforts to tap the full potential of environmental technologies.
  • The objective of the ICT Policy Support Programme is to promote the adoption and use of information and communication technologies (ICT), the backbone of the knowledge economy. The uptake of ICTs by both the private and public sectors helps to stimulate European innovation performance and competitiveness. The programme forms part of the Digital Agenda for Europe and incorporates the instruments previously financed by the eTen, eContent and Modinis programmes.
  • The Intelligent Energy – Europe Programme helps speed up efforts to achieve the objectives in the field of sustainable energy. It supports improvements in energy efficiency, the adoption of new and renewable energy sources, greater market penetration for these energy sources, energy and fuel diversification, an increase in the share of renewable energy (the EU has set itself the objective of raising the share of renewable energy in gross domestic consumption to 12 % by 2010) and a reduction in final energy consumption. Particular attention is paid in this context to the transport sector. The programme follows up the Intelligent Energy – Europe (2003-2006) programme, which expired on 31 December 2006.


Implementation of the CIP relies on several instruments (financial instruments, projects, networks, analyses, etc.), which can be applied in each of the specific programmes. This common “toolbox” for the different programmes helps to simplify the way the framework programme works for its users. The CIP is not just based on tried and tested measures, but also introduces new instruments.

Several Community financial instruments are involved in business support. The High Growth and Innovative SME Facility (GIF) promotes the supply of seed and early-stage capital for SMEs for their start-up, and a new feature introduced by the CIP is the provision of “follow-on” capital during their growth phase. The SME Guarantee Facility, for its part, facilitates access for SMEs to financing (loans or leasing), microcredit and equity or quasi-equity. This facility also includes a new securitisation instrument for bank loan portfolios to help mobilise additional loan financing for SMEs.

The CIP strengthens and develops business and innovation support services which disseminate information to businesses on Community policies, legislation and programmes, particularly concerning the internal market and framework research programmes. These services also offer businesses information on innovation, technology and knowledge transfer and provide feedback from them for impact assessments and policy development.

A new mechanism fosters cooperation among national and regional programmes to promote business innovation, thus providing businesses with other ways of benefiting from ideas, know-how and market opportunities in other European regions.

The framework programme also supports pilot market replication projects. These aim to promote the effective marketing and economic exploitation of innovative or eco-innovative technologies and products which have already been technically demonstrated with success but have not yet penetrated the market to a significant extent. These projects are implemented through public-private partnerships.

The Intelligent Energy Executive Agency is responsible for the implementation of action under the “Intelligent Energy – Europe” programme and action under the “Enterprise and Innovation” programme.

In order to optimise the flow of knowledge and ideas, the strategic development of Community policies must continue on the basis of the open method of coordination and be backed up by new twinning actions to help Member States and regions exploit examples of best practice.

Consistency with other Community policies

The CIP links up with other key Community initiatives. Their different activities are implemented in parallel and complement each other. The framework programme is thus involved in achieving Community objectives in the fields of research, cohesion, the environment, education and training.

The CIP thus facilitates access to finance for businesses whose activities relate to innovation, research and development. It also helps businesses get involved in theFramework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7-RTD).


The framework programme will run for seven years, from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. It has been allocated a budget of €3.621 billion for that period.

According to an indicative breakdown, 60 % of the overall budget (€2.170 billion) is allocated to the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme. One fifth of this (€430 million) is earmarked for promoting eco-innovation. 20 % of the overall budget (€730 million) has been allocated to the ICT Policy Support Programme, and the last 20 % (€730 million) is for the Intelligent Energy – Europe Programme.

Costs that are eligible under several instruments cannot be funded twice.

Monitoring and assessment

The Commission carries out regular monitoring of the implementation of the framework-programme and the specific programmes which come under it. Each year it drafts a report to provide an update of the activities supported using indicators concerning the financial implementation, the results achieved and, where possible, the impact of the actions implemented.

The framework-programme and the specific programmes which come under it are subject to an intermediary assessment and a final assessment. These assessments examine aspects such as the relevance, the coherence and synergies, effectiveness, the efficient use of resources, and the sustainability, etc. of the actions. Furthermore, the final assessment verifies to what extent the framework-programme as a whole, and each of its specific individual programmes, have achieved their objectives.


The Lisbon Process, whose objective is to make Europe the most competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy in the world, has naturally made competitiveness one of the EU’s key political concerns. In order to ensure greater coherence between the different programmes involved in the Community’s efforts to enhance competitiveness, and in response to the objectives set by the renewed Lisbon Strategy, the European Commission is proposing a framework programme for innovation and competitiveness.

Key terms used in the act
  • Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs): enterprises which employ fewer than 250 persons and which have an annual turnover not exceeding €50 million, and/or an annual balance sheet total not exceeding €43 million (Recommendation 2003/361/EC).
  • Competitiveness: the capacity of enterprises to adapt quickly to change, exploit their innovation potential and develop high-quality products.
  • Innovation: renewal and extension of the range of products and services, introduction of new design, production, supply and distribution methods, introduction of changes to management methods, work organisation and employees’ terms and conditions of employment and qualifications.
  • Eco-innovation: any form of innovation intended to achieve the objective of sustainable environmentally-friendly development by reducing the impact on the environment or by using natural resources, especially energy, in a more efficient and responsible manner.


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

Decision 1639/2006/EC


OJ L 310 of 9.11.2006

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

Regulation (EU) No. 670/2012


OJ L 204 of 31.7.2012

Successive amendments and corrections to Decision 1639/2006/EC have been incorporated in the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference purpose only.

Related Acts

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a Programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and small and medium-sized enterprises (2014 – 2020) [COM(2011) 834 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Codecision procedure (2011/0394/COD)

Report from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Evaluations of the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme [COM(2013) 2 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Copyright in the Knowledge Economy


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

Internal market > Businesses in the internal market > Intellectual property

Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 19 October 2009 – Copyright in the Knowledge Economy [COM(2009) 532 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


After having analysed the responses generated by the Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy, in this Communication the European Commission announces a series of actions to be implemented in the area of intellectual property rights.

What are the positions of the different stakeholders concerned?

The Commission collected 372 responses from the consultation launched by the Green Paper. The analysis of the responses shows radically opposed positions among the following key stakeholders:

  • archives, libraries and universities favour a wider-ranging copyright system, as well as a system of “public interest” exceptions to facilitate access to works;
  • publishers, collecting societies and other right-holders favour the status quo as regards copyright, and prefer contracts which can be adapted to each case and which take account of new technologies.

What is the Commission’s strategy in terms of copyright?

Libraries and archives

Digital copies and electronic dissemination of digitised works represent the two main challenges for libraries and archives. Currently, the digitisation of a library collection is subject to prior approval from right-holders, and the dissemination of works online can only be performed on library premises.

The Commission therefore intends to continue working at European level towards clarifying the legal implications of mass-scale digitisation and providing solutions to the issue of transaction costs for right clearance.

Orphan Works

Orphan works are works that are in copyright but whose right-holders cannot be identified or located. They cannot be exploited because it is impossible to obtain prior permission from the right-holders. Consequently, these works cannot be included in digitisation projects such as the Europeana library. Although the Commission published a Recommendation on the online digitisation of cultural material in 2006, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Orphan Works in 2008, there is no binding legal framework in this field at present.

The Commission plans to launch an impact assessment to explore a variety of approaches to facilitate the digitisation and dissemination of orphan works. Several options are being considered, including a legally binding stand-alone instrument on the clearance and mutual recognition of orphan works (this would be an exception to the provisions of Directive 2001/29/EC), or guidance on cross-border mutual recognition of orphan works.

Teaching and research

Enabled by new information and communication technologies, teaching and research is already widely internationalised. It is therefore important that copyright on books and publications does not hinder the development of these sectors. To this end, different processes in scientific publishing and publishing for literary and artistic aims are being envisaged. Furthermore, the Commission proposes to facilitate the acquisition and use of material for scientific research. Currently, the system is based on licence agreements concluded with publishers. The Commission wishes to consolidate best practice in this field in order to achieve a less fragmented system of usage rights to journals.

Persons with disabilities

The United Nations Convention on the rights of Persons with Disabilities src=”../../../../wel/images/doc_icons/f_pdf_16.gif” Title=”PDF” border=”0″ class=”alIco/”> stipulates that these persons have a fundamental right to enjoy equal access to information products, publications and cultural material in an accessible format. However, persons with disabilities have very limited access to these works for the moment (5 % of books published in Europe are converted into accessible formats). Moreover, the cross-border transfer of this type of material is hampered by the territorial limitation of copyright exceptions under national legislation.

The Commission’s main goal is to encourage publishers to make more works accessible to disabled persons. In this regard, the organisation of a forum bringing together the stakeholders concerned will foster solutions to give persons with disabilities better access to works while ensuring that right-holders are adequately remunerated for the use of their work.

User-created content (UCC)

With the development of Internet applications, users can now produce and share text, videos and pictures or create content, sometimes using copyright-protected material.

However, this phenomenon of content creation by Internet users is still quite recent. For this reason, the Commission intends to analyse the needs of this type of user further with regard to protecting their rights.

Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy


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

Internal market > Businesses in the internal market > Intellectual property

Green Paper on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy

This Green Paper aims at organising a debate concerning online access to all types of works whilst preserving copyright.

Document or Iniciative

European Commission Green Paper of 16 July 2008 on Copyright in the Knowledge Economy [COM(2008) 466 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


Copyright is at the heart of debates concerning the online dissemination of knowledge for research, science or education.

This Green Paper deals firstly with the exceptions and limitations to exclusive rights permitted in
Directive 2001/29/EC and Directive 96/9/EC, and secondly with the particular issues related to the exceptions and limitationswhich are most relevant for the dissemination of knowledge and whether these exceptions should evolve in the era of digital dissemination.


The Green Paper focuses on how research, scientific and educational materials are disseminated to the public, and also on all types of material having a value in enhancing knowledge with a view to strengthening the free movement of knowledge and innovation – the “Fifth Freedom” – in the internal market.

The public addressed by the Green Paper comprises scientists, researchers, students, disabled people or the general public, more specifically any person who wishes to acquire knowledge by using the Internet.

The European Commission considers that wider dissemination of knowledge contributes to more inclusive and cohesive societies, in line with the renewed Social Agenda.

General issues

Directive 2001/29/EC has harmonised the right of reproduction, the right of communication to the public, the right of making available to the public and the distribution right. Whereas, with regard to exceptions, although the Directive has established a full list of exceptions to copyright protection, the list includes one obligatory exception and twenty optional exceptions thus leaving a large amount of freedom to Member States.

The Community being a party to the World Trade Organisation Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), this text is applicable to the limitations on copyright.


Given the existence of directives and legislation dealing with copyright, this Green Paper aims to define the exceptions which have the most impact on the dissemination of knowledge.

Exceptions for libraries and archives

This Green Paper questions the scope of the exception for libraries and archives, the strengthening of access to works, the scanning of works and orphan works with a view to a possible amendment of the Directive on Copyright in the Information Society.

Exceptions for the benefit of people with a disability

People with a disability should be able to access works. This exception is not expressly provided for in Directive 96/9/EC on the legal protection of databases.

In this perspective, the Green Paper reflects on the efficiency of a licensing scheme by publishers in order to improve access to works, on the obligation of making works available in a particular form and the question of remuneration to recover the costs of formatting.

Dissemination for teaching and research purposes

The Green Paper asks questions about licensing schemes in order to improve access to works for teaching and research purposes, the modern forms of distance learning and the use of works at home for study.

User-created content

The user may also become the creator of content within the framework of new technologies. An exception could be envisaged for creators of content.


Copyright in the knowledge economy represents a significant challenge, in that its environment is constantly changing. The priority is to protect authors’ copyright, whilst also facilitating access to their works for all. The Green Paper highlights the difficulty of reconciling these two objectives.


Proposal Official Journal Procedure

COM(2008) 466