Tag Archives: OP

Operation and efficiency of facilities for monitoring the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil – Report 1990-2007

Operation and efficiency of facilities for monitoring the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil – Report 1990-2007

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Operation and efficiency of facilities for monitoring the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil – Report 1990-2007

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

Energy > Nuclear energy

Operation and efficiency of facilities for monitoring the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil – Report 1990-2007

This report refers to activities that took place between 1990 and 2007 to verify the operation and efficiency of national installations for monitoring levels of radioactivity in the air, water and soil.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 20 December 2007: Application of Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty. Verification of the operation and efficiency of facilities for continuous monitoring of the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil – Report 1990-2007 [COM (2007) 847 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Under article 35 of the Euratom Treaty, Member States must set up facilities to monitor the level of radioactivity in the air, water and soil and compliance with basic standards as regards the health and safety of members of the public and workers. Furthermore, the Commission has the right of access to those facilities to verify that they are operating effectively.

Up until the end of the 1980s, verification activities were not carried out on a frequent basis. Following the accident at Chernobyl, the Commission announced its intention to increase the number of verifications. 23 verifications were performed between 1990 and 2003. Since 2004, verifications have become systematic, with priority being given to new Member States and to more vulnerable facilities. As a result, between 2004 and 2007, the Commission performed 25 verifications across all Member States. These verifications were carried out in reprocessing plants, nuclear power plants, research institutions, NORM (naturally occurring radioactive materials) facilities, hospitals and an old uranium mine as well as in national surveillance networks.

Verifications can refer as much to environmental radioactivity monitoring facilities in the strict sense as to facilities necessary for monitoring discharges to assess their impact on the public exposed and, depending on the case, on an area around a specific site or on the entire or a part of the territory of Member States. Verification results in a technical confirmation report which provides an overview of requirements and arrangements made to monitor the level of radioactivity and to assess the impact of discharges and also in a report summarising the main findings of the verifications.

These verifications, particularly with regard to the overall quality of facilities and laboratories, have resulted in the Commission observing the need to strengthen the monitoring function of the competent authority, storage and sample-taking programmes. A single verification exercise in 2002 produced unsatisfactory results overall: this concerned a research reactor used without authorisation and with no regulatory control, which resulted in the Commission initiating infringement proceedings.

According to the communication, between five and seven verifications are completed each year. The Commission considers that the frequency of visits to key plants should be increased.

Related Actsâ

Commission Communication: Verification of environmental radioactivity monitoring facilities under the terms of Article 35 of the Euratom Treaty – Practical arrangements for the conduct of verification visits in Member States [Official Journal C 155, 4.7.2006].

'Open Skies' agreement between Europe and the United States

‘Open Skies’ agreement between Europe and the United States

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about ‘Open Skies’ agreement between Europe and the United States

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

Transport > International dimension and enlargement

‘Open Skies’ agreement between Europe and the United States

Document or Iniciative

Decision 2007/339/EC of the Council and the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States of the European Union meeting within the Council, of 25 April 2007, on the signature and provisional application of the Air Transport Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one hand, and the United States of America, on the other hand.

Summary

With the new agreement, airlines in the Union can:

  • operate flights to the United States from any European airport, regardless of their nationality (the United States recognise them as European);
  • operate without restrictions on the number of flights, aircraft or routes;
  • set prices in line with the market;
  • conclude cooperation agreements.

Companies in certain Non-EU Member Countries (countries in Europe that don’t belong to the EU, plus 18 African countries) may also receive Community investment without this affecting their traffic rights to the United States. Similarly, the United States will not call into question the flights of Community airlines if non-EU European countries have invested in their capital.

The agreement also strengthens cooperation between the two parties on safety, security, competition policy, State Aid, consumer protection and the environment.

On the subject of airline ownership, Europeans will be able to hold more than a 50 % share in American carriers, but not to gain overall control: under American law, a foreigner may not hold 25 % voting shares in an American company and may not control it. The EU side therefore reserved a right to restrict American investment in European companies to the same level.

Towards new negotiations

The negotiations also led to the establishing of a mechanism for opening up transatlantic air travel even further by doing away with the restrictions still in place, particularly as regards ownership of American airlines. The agreement thus calls for negotiations to be resumed in the two months following its entry into force. Moreover, the EU reserves the right to suspend certain parties from the agreement if the dialogue prevents further progress in the next three years. The aim of the Council of Ministers is therefore to achieve the complete liberalisation of air transport.

Background

Air transport to the United States was until now governed by bilateral agreements between Member States and the American authorities. Sixteen Member States already had ‘open skies’ agreements in place. Yet this fragmented approach proved to be an obstacle as it prevented completion of a genuine single market.

On 5 November 2002, the Court of Justice made a number of judgments in cases referred to it by the Commission (C-466-469/98, C-467/98, C468/98, C-469/98, C-472/98, C-475/98 and C-476/98) which put an end to these agreements and contributed to this being recognised as a matter to be handled at Community level.

As a result, the Commission received a mandate to negotiate an air agreement with the United States that applied for the Community as a whole. After four years of discussions, the negotiators came to an agreement on 2 March 2007. At the request of the United Kingdom, entry into force was put back to 30 March 2008.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2007/339/EC 30.3.2008 L 134 of 25.5.2007

Operational investigation methods

Operational investigation methods

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Operational investigation methods

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

Justice freedom and security > Combating drugs

Operational investigation methods

To define a method of simultaneous investigation for identifying activities relating to drug trafficking and the financial structures and assets enjoyed by persons related to trafficking.

2) Document or Iniciative

Council Recommendation of 25 April 2002 on improving investigation methods in the fight against organised crime linked to organised drug trafficking: simultaneous investigations into drug trafficking by criminal organisations and their finances/assets [Official Journal C 114 of 15.05.2002].

3) Summary

Under point 43 of the conclusions of the Tampere European Council and point 4.1.1.4 of the European Union action plan to combat drugs 2000 – 2004, the Member States were invited to step up cooperation in the fight against crime. Three initial priorities were set: to combat drug trafficking, trafficking in human beings and terrorism. The European Union has shown its firm determination to fight all types of crime on several occasions:

  • the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime, held in Palermo from 12 to 15 December 2000;
  • adoption of the Council Framework Decision on money laundering, the identification, tracing, freezing, seizing and confiscation of instrumentalities and the proceeds of crime;
  • a number of initiatives by Member States concerning inter aliaillicit drug trafficking on the high seas, the establishment of a European network of laboratories analysing synthetic drugs and the establishment of joint investigation teams.

Given that drug trafficking generates considerable assets for criminals, which are then used to finance other criminal activities, the European Union suggests establishing a technique of “simultaneous investigation”, whereby investigations are conducted at the same time into illicit drug trafficking and into the assets held by criminal organisations and those acquired during the investigations, the owners of those assets being identified. This method of “investigating assets”, on the basis of systematic searches in all public or private databases, will make it possible to identify the assets held by criminals (“assets” meaning the collective property and financial rights owned by a person).

There are several advantages of employing the technique of simultaneous investigation. Once the assets held by criminal organisations have been identified, investigators can:

  • decide to seize property to prevent it being sold or put to other uses;
  • identify the persons involved in trafficking and any other persons benefiting from the proceeds of criminal activities;
  • make good any damage caused and possibly compensate victims.

Because drug trafficking activities often extend across borders, the competent law enforcement, court and tax authorities must cooperate in order to identify data on the ownership of assets.

The Council therefore invites the Member States to:

  • apply this method where it proves useful for the purposes of investigations;
  • promote the creation of joint investigative teams where investigations affect more than one Member State;
  • encourage the setting-up of permanent or temporary groups specialised in asset investigation;
  • request the support and cooperation of Europol and the European Police College (CEPOL).

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

 

Open method of coordination: BEST procedure

Open method of coordination: BEST procedure

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Open method of coordination: BEST procedure

Topics

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

Enterprise > Business environment

Open method of coordination: BEST procedure

Europe is a reservoir of good practice in the field of enterprise policy. However, these examples of good practice are rarely known outside their home Member State. By sharing best practices, the Member States have the potential to enhance their performance and thus to increase the competitiveness of European companies.

The aim of the BEST procedure is to compare these best practices. It is the European Commission’s response to the call from the Lisbon European Council of 23 and 24 March 2000 to create an open method of coordination to improve the environment for enterprises.

Several methods could be used to identify and exchange good practices, including comparing the performances of the Member States, peer assessment, seminars and conferences.

In the context of the BEST procedure, DG Enterprise and Industry has identified specific projects considered essential for the development of enterprises. These projects reflect the priorities laid down by the national governments and the enterprises themselves by way of the Enterprise Policy Group. Each year, the Commission launches a certain number of projects which then lead to the adoption of recommendations.

BEST projects are one of the instruments for implementing the objectives of the European Charter for Small Enterprises.

The BEST procedure has five steps:

  • identification of specific sectors and issues, with the assistance of the Enterprise Policy Group;
  • definition of the project (scale, aim);
  • implementation (limit of 18 months and voluntary participation of the Member States);
  • adoption of conclusions (systematic comparison of performances);
  • follow-up (feedback of Member State information on changes in the environment for enterprises) to ensure real progress.

EXAMPLES OF BEST PROJECTS

“Models to reduce the disproportionate administrative burden on SMEs” (project launched in 2006)

The bureaucratic hurdles facing enterprises, in particular SMEs, considerably curb their growth. This BEST project aims to collect information on the various methods used by the Member States to reduce this administrative burden.

“Measures to support entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities” (project launched in 2004)

Entrepreneurs from ethnic minorities have many problems starting up and developing a business. This BEST project aims to collect information on national measures and support plans to solve these problems.

“Business Angels” (project launched in 2001)

Business Angels are private investors, often entrepreneurs, former entrepreneurs or executives with expertise in a particular sector. They provide venture capital to young entrepreneurs and can also provide management advice. This BEST project aims to raise awareness in the Member States about the potential of Business Angels to help alleviate shortcomings in the banking system in the area of business start-ups.

CONTEXT

The BEST procedure was described for the first time in the communication entitled “Challenges for Enterprise Policy in the Knowledge-Driven Economy” [COM(2000) 256 final – Not published in the Official Journal] which accompanied the proposal for a decision of the Council on the Multiannual programme for enterprises and entrepreneurship (2001-2005), extended until 31 December 2006 and now replaced by the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) (2007-2013).