Tag Archives: Public awareness campaign

Media literacy in the digital environment

Media literacy in the digital environment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Media literacy in the digital environment


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

Audiovisual and media

Media literacy in the digital environment

Document or Iniciative

Commission Recommendation 2009/625/EC of 20 August 2009 on media literacy in the digital environment for a more competitive audiovisual and content industry and an inclusive knowledge society.


This Recommendation aims to increase media literacy in the digital environment in order to achieve a more competitive knowledge economy while contributing towards a more inclusive information society.


Media literacy is defined as the ability to access the media, and to understand and critically evaluate different aspects of the media and media content. Media literacy also includes the ability to communicate in a variety of contexts.


There are still many barriers to the development of media literacy at European level. Member States still lack a shared vision in this area. In addition, the lack of visibility of national, regional and local initiatives in this area makes it more difficult to foster European networks. Consequently, for the moment, there is no coordination between stakeholders.


Media literacy should enable European citizens to better understand and analyse the media messages and content they encounter and to acquire the skills which will enable them to play their role of citizen fully.

It may also contribute to safeguarding the pluralism and independence of the media. It permits the expression of diverse opinions from different social groups and promotes the development of the values of tolerance and dialogue.

Media literacy also plays an important role in enhancing awareness of the European audiovisual heritage and cultural identities. In fact, it helps to increase knowledge of and interest in recent European cultural works.

Faced with these challenges, the European Commission proposes encouraging research projects on media literacy in the framework of existing programmes.

Recommended action

Member States are invited to develop and implement co-regulatory initiatives leading to the adoption of codes of conduct relating to the European media.

It is important to promote and finance research, studies and projects covering the different aspects and dimensions of media literacy in the digital environment.

Member States are also encouraged to organise debates in conferences and public events with a view to the inclusion of media literacy in the education curriculum and as part of the provision of key competences for lifelong learning.

Member States should also implement national campaigns to raise public awareness of cultural heritage, as well as training to raise awareness of the risks involved in processing personal data through information and communication networks.

Moreover, the Media Industry is invited to suggest tools for improving the level of media literacy, such as:

  • information tools relating to digital content and search engines;
  • awareness-raising campaigns about techniques used for commercial communication purposes (product placement and online advertising);
  • information packs for young people on the processing of personal data;
  • information days on the creative economy and copyright.


The Commission Communication of December 2007 on ‘A European approach to media literacy in the digital environment’ emphasised the importance of media literacy in relation to commercial communication, audiovisual works and digital content. A better level of media literacy would contribute towards the objectives that the European Union set for itself in Lisbon and in the context of the i2010 initiative.

Recommendations for future changeovers to the euro

Recommendations for future changeovers to the euro

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Recommendations for future changeovers to the euro


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

Economic and monetary affairs > Institutional and economic framework of the euro

Recommendations for future changeovers to the euro

Document or Iniciative

Commission Recommendation (EC) No. 78/2008 of 10 January 2008 on measures to facilitate future changeovers to the euro [Official Journal L 23 of 26.1.2008].


The Commission has adopted a recommendation to prepare for the future enlargements of the euro area. The adoption of a single currency by the new countries will be concomitant to the introduction of euro cash.

States must put into place special structures for the planning and coordination of the changeover to the euro. The national changeover plans, covering the principal aspects of the changeover, should be prepared in cooperation with the main economic operators* and regularly updated.

Informing citizens

States are encouraged to launch publicity campaigns before and after the introduction of the new currency. In particular they must raise citizens’ awareness of the new scale of value, inform them of the practical measures being implemented for the introduction of the new currency and the security features of the euro. Special attention must be paid to vulnerable people and to those who experience difficulty accessing information.

Dual display of prices and all other amounts to be paid, credited or debited will be mandatory during the initial period, as soon as possible after the adoption date of the fixed conversion rate, and during the six months to a year following the adoption of the euro. The Member States must monitor the evolution of prices during this period and regularly inform their citizens.

Facilitating the changeover to the euro

States must implement measures enabling the main economic operators concerned to prepare for the changeover to the euro and must supervise this preparation. In particular they must inform businesses of the timetable for the introduction of the new currency and the changes required to administrative and financial systems. States must monitor the practical preparations of the economic operators, specifically through regular surveys. Public administrations, credit institutions and businesses should train their personnel to work with the new cash.

Cash exchange must begin before the changeover to the euro. Credit institutions and sales outlets should make use of the frontloading* and sub-frontloading* of euro banknotes and coins. Kits of euro coins should be distributed to small retail outlets and citizens.

Cash withdrawals and exchange should be facilitated during the introductory phase of the euro. Sales outlets should be required to give change in euros, and cash dispensers and electronic point-of-sale terminals must be converted as soon as the euro is introduced. Banks must adapt their opening hours during the dual currency circulation period in order to facilitate exchange of the old national currency for the euro.

Preventing abusive practices

Agreements should be negotiated with the retail and service sectors in order to ensure a neutral impact of the euro introduction on prices. Signatories to the agreement will be given a logo and their compliance with the conditions of the agreement will be monitored in cooperation with consumer associations. Dissuasive measures and fines could be foreseen.

The same bank charges applicable to payment transactions in national currency should be, after conversion, applicable to payment transactions in euro.


States which introduced the euro in 1999 and 2002 had a long transition period between the adoption of the currency by the money markets and the circulation of cash. For those States which have recently adopted the euro and those which are preparing to do so, the strategy for the changeover to the euro has been modified, specifically by an introduction of coins and notes concomitant to the adoption of the euro. The last Commission Recommendation 2000/C 303/05 on measures to facilitate the preparation of economic operators for the changeover to the euro [OJ C 303 of 24.10.2000], is no longer adapted to the next enlargements of the euro area.

Key terms of the act
  • Frontloading: the physical delivery of euro banknotes and coins by a future Eurosystem (NCB) to eligible counterparties in the territory of a future participating Member State in the euro area.
  • Sub-frontloading: the delivery of frontloaded euro banknotes and coins by an eligible counterparty to professional third parties in the territory of a future participating Member State in the euro area.
  • Economic operators: a term which applies to credit institutions, the retail sector, CIT companies, the vending industry, consumer associations and chambers of commerce in particular.

A Strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues

A Strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about A Strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues


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

Public health > Health determinants: lifestyle

A Strategy for Europe on nutrition, overweight and obesity related health issues

Document or Iniciative

White Paper of 30 May 2007, “A Strategy for Europe on Nutrition, Overweight and Obesity related health issues” [COM(2007) 279 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The purpose of this White Paper is to set out an integrated approach to contribute to reducing ill health due to poor nutrition, overweight and obesity.

In order to tackle this public health problem, the Commission is in favour of the mainstreaming of nutrition and consumption policies, including in the areas of sport, education and transport. It is also vital to take into account the socio-economic dimension of the problem, as it is disadvantaged groups who suffer most from obesity. According to the Commission, Community measures to tackle obesity must be based on four pillars:

  • a clear reduction in high-risk behaviours (poor nutrition, lack of physical exercise);
  • the actions described are intended to work across government policy areas and at different levels, using a range of instruments including legislation, public-private partnerships and dialogue with civil society;
  • the participation of the private sector, for example the agri-food industry and civil society, as well as local stakeholders;
  • the systematic evaluation and follow-up of these measures to find out what is working well.

A partnership-based approach

The Commission is promoting initiatives such as the European Platform for Action “Diet, Physical Activity and Health”, launched in March 2005. Over almost two years, the members of the Platform have started more than 200 initiatives to promote better nutrition and physical activity in the EU. Ideas based on the creation of a clear and reliable system to monitor undertakings and a local approach have been developed.

The involvement of local stakeholders (associations, SMEs) is one of the keys to the success of the strategy. In order to create a group dynamic, it is vital to create multilateral partnerships linking as many players as possible at all levels. The national authorities would be responsible for coordination, in order to ensure the relevance of the measures in the field of public health. The Member States would also be responsible for encouraging the media to take part in developing common messages and campaigns.

The Commission will create a high-level group on health, nutrition and physical exercise in order to promote the exchange of practices and improve links with governments. This group’s task will be to ensure that the Member States exchange ideas and good practices in all of their government policies. The European Platform will facilitate communication between the various sectors, and the mandate of the European network on nutrition will be extended to support the group’s work.

Better-informed consumers

Food and lifestyle preferences are often the product of the environment where a person grows up. In the light of this, the Commission would like to encourage three aspects:

  • improving information for consumers, in particular by way of nutritional labelling, the overhaul of which is currently being studied by the Commission. Another related aspect is that of the rules concerning claims made by the manufacturers of food products, in order to monitor the reliability of the scientific and nutritional information communicated by manufacturers;
  • promoting codes of conduct for advertising and marketing where the message is intended to influence eating habits, especially those of children;
  • developing specific education and information campaigns (e.g. on poor nutrition and overweight) for vulnerable groups, in cooperation with the Member States and the stakeholders concerned.

More accessible healthy food

The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) can be used by the Commission to achieve its public health objectives. Reform of the common market organisation for fruit and vegetables is one of these tools: the Commission will encourage the distribution of surplus production to public educational establishments and children’s holiday centres. The Commission has other promotional tools at its disposal, thanks to reform of the common organisation of the market, such as campaigns targeting young consumers or the creation of a project to encourage the consumption of fruit at school, co-funded by the EU.

Encouraging physical activity

The Commission defines physical activity as a whole range of activities from organised sports to “active commuting” and wants the Member States and the EU to take proactive steps in this area, including steps relating to sustainable urban transport.

Priority groups and environments

Obesity is increasing significantly among children, particularly those from the most disadvantaged socio-economic groups. Nevertheless, local activities targeting children (0-12 years) in the areas of nutritional and physical education have proved to be effective. These two disciplines are thus priorities in the new Lifelong Learning Programme (2007-2013).

The role of research

Research plays a major role in combating obesity, so the Commission wishes to find out more about the determinants of food choices, in particular by way of the health and nutrition strand of the seventh EU research framework programme.

Monitoring policies

The Commission has decided to step up the monitoring of data on obesity and overweight at three main levels:

  • at macro level, to obtain coherent and comparable data on universal indicators of progress in the context of the European Community Health Indicators (ECHI) associated with diet and physical activity;
  • at Member State level, to assess the current activities and their impact;
  • at the level of the individual programmes.

The Commission would, however, like to point out that all the actions proposed will complement and support existing measures in the Member States.

Involvement of the private sector

Private-sector players can help to promote healthy eating habits among consumers, e.g.

  • by promoting healthy foods by making them more accessible and affordable: the food industry also has a role to play in adjusting the ingredients of its products (salt, fat and sugar content);
  • by informing consumers, retailers and enterprises and contributing to voluntary initiatives at national level;
  • by encouraging physical exercise. Sports organisations could work with the public health sector to create advertising and marketing campaigns to promote physical activity;
  • by targeting priority groups. An appropriate non-commercial partnership between schools and the private sector could be created. It would also be a good idea for companies to contribute to promoting healthy lifestyles among their staff at the workplace;
  • by copying good practices, in particular those of civil society organisations working in the fields of health, youth and sports whose methods have proved to be effective.

International cooperation

The Commission is currently collaborating with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to develop a nutrition and physical activity surveillance system for the EU27 as one of the follow-up actions of the European Charter on Counteracting Obesity adopted in Istanbul on 16 November 2006.

Safer Internet programme 2009-13

Safer Internet programme 2009-13

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Safer Internet programme 2009-13


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

Information society > Internet Online activities and ICT standards

Safer Internet programme 2009-13

Document or Iniciative

Decision 1351/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 establishing a multiannual Community programme on protecting children using the Internet and other communication technologies.


The “Safer Internet” Community programme is hereby established for the period 2009-13. It pursues the objectives of the “Safer Internet Plus” programme launched in 2005.

The programme aims to improve the safety of children in the online environment and focuses on two objectives:

  • to increase the knowledge of the use of new technologies by children;
  • to identify and combat the risks to which they are exposed.

The programme is aimed not only at illegal and harmful content, but also at harmful conduct.


The programme is implemented through the following four courses of action:

  • raising public awareness. Actions to raise awareness are particularly aimed at children, their parents and teachers. It is a matter of improving the distribution of sufficient information to the largest number of users regarding the risks and ways to prevent them. These actions comprise the development and dissemination of cost-effective awareness-raising tools and points of contact enabling people to obtain advice on these issues;
  • combating illegal content and harmful conduct. These activities aim to reduce the volume of illegal content online and to tackle the distribution of child sexual abuse material, online bullying and grooming. The programme provides for publicly accessible contact points on a European scale to effectively report this type of abuse. It also aims to tackle harmful conduct by dealing with the psychological and sociological aspects, whilst favouring the application of technical solutions. Furthermore, the programme promotes cooperation at national, European and international level, encouraging relevant stakeholders to share information and best practices;
  • promoting a safer online environment. These activities aim to encourage self- and co-regulatory initiatives amongst stakeholders. They are designed to encourage the participation of children to shape a safer online environment;
  • establishing a knowledge base. This knowledge base will be made up of the known and emerging use of the online environment by children and of the risks and consequences inherent in such use. This knowledge base will be set up in cooperation with specialists in the area of online safety of children at European level.


The following legal entities may take part in the programme:

  • European Union (EU) Member States;
  • European Free Trade Association countries that are party to the European Economic Area Agreement;
  • accession and candidate countries to the EU as well as countries of the western Balkans and the European neighbourhood in accordance with the agreements governing their participation in Community programmes;
  • any third country that is party to an international agreement with the Community.

The Commission has responsibility for the overall implementation of the programme and for the preparation of the annual work programmes, for which it is assisted by a management committee.

The programme has been allocated an overall budget of 55 million euros for the period 2009-13.


The “Safer Internet” programme is consistent with and complements other policies, programmes and Community actions, particularly the ” A European information society for growth and employment” initiative, the Community programmes for technological research and development and the Daphne III programme.


Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision No 1351/2008/EC

24.12.2008 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 348 of 24.12.2008

European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship

European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship


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

European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2010/37/EC of 27 November 2009 on the European Year of Voluntary Activities Promoting Active Citizenship (2011).


This decision designates the year 2011 as the European Year of Voluntary Activities * Promoting Active Citizenship. Volunteering is one of the central elements of active citizenship, and active citizenship strengthens social cohesion and develops democracy. The year 2011 is also the tenth anniversary of the United Nations (UN) International Year of Volunteers (2001).

Objectives of the European Year 2011

The general aim of the Year is to improve the visibility of, and the opportunities for civil society to participate in, voluntary activities in the European Union (EU). To this end, the Year provides support to local, regional and national authorities to exchange experiences and good practices. In particular, the Year aims at:

  • creating an environment that encourages volunteering;
  • providing organisers with means to improve the quality of voluntary activities;
  • developing the recognition of voluntary activities;
  • raising awareness of the importance of volunteering.

Initiatives of the European Year 2011

In order to achieve its objectives, the Year supports initiatives organised at the EU, national, regional and local levels. These include:

  • exchanges of experience and good practice;
  • commission of studies and research, including dissemination of results;
  • awareness-raising events and conferences;
  • concrete initiatives organised at national level to promote the objectives of the Year;
  • promotional campaigns.

EU-wide initiatives are financed either partly or in full from the general budget of the EU. National initiatives are co-financed by the EU, while non-financial support is also available. The budget allocated for the Year amounts to EUR 8 000 000.

Cooperation during the European Year 2011

Each EU country designates a national coordinating body to organise its participation in the Year. The national coordinating bodies are responsible for preparing the national programmes and priorities for the Year. To this end, they must consult and cooperate with all relevant stakeholders.

In order to fulfil the objectives of the Year, the European Commission may cooperate with any relevant international organisation, such as the UN or the Council of Europe.

Coordination of the European Year 2011

The European Commission is responsible for the management of the Year at the EU level. It convenes meetings of stakeholders operating in the field of volunteering to assist it in this work. The Commission also organises meetings with the national coordinating bodies, with a view to coordinating activities at the national level.


In December 2006, the European Economic and Social Committee adopted an opinion, which called on the European Commission to designate a year of volunteers.

In July 2008, the European Parliament adopted a declaration, which called for the year 2011 to be designated as the European Year of Volunteering.

Key terms used in the act
  • Voluntary activities: all types of voluntary activity, whether formal, non-formal or informal, that is undertaken of a person’s own free will, choice and motivation, and is without concern for financial gain.


Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2010/37/EC


OJ L 17 of 22.1.2010



Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Pesticides


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

Food safety > Contamination and environmental factors


Document or Iniciative

Directive 2009/128/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing a framework for Community action to achieve the sustainable use of pesticides.


Pesticides are used in agriculture, to regulate the growth of plants on non-agricultural land, or for other purposes (for example, biocide products used to preserve wood, as disinfectants, and for some domestic uses). They are also used to kill or combat pests.


This Framework Directive covers only pesticides which are plant protection products. It does not apply to biocide products.

Member States may apply the precautionary principle to restrict or prohibit the use of pesticides in specific circumstances or areas.

National Action Plans

National Action Plans shall contain objectives, measures and timetables to reduce risks of pesticide use on human health and the environment. They should also foster the use of alternative ecological approaches or techniques.

National Action Plans shall also include indicators to monitor the use of plant protection products containing active substances of particular concern.

Training, sales of pesticides, and information

Member States shall set up systems of training for professional users, distributors and advisors. This training shall be sanctioned by the obtaining of a certificate. These certificates shall attest that professional users, distributors and advisors have acquired sufficient knowledge regarding: the legislation in force, the dangers and risks associated with pesticides, means of detection and monitoring, procedures for preparing equipment, emergency action in case of accident, etc.

Persons selling pesticides for professional use must hold the aforementioned certificate.

Member States shall inform the public and promote information and awareness-raising programmes regarding the risks for human health, non-target organisms and the environment arising from pesticide use.

Inspection of pesticide application equipment

Pesticide application equipment used by professionals must be inspected every five years by bodies designated by Member States. From 2020, the frequency of inspections will increase to once every three years. The purpose of these inspections is to check that equipment functions reliably and that it is used properly for its intended purpose, ensuring that pesticides can be accurately dosed and distributed.

These inspections concern the following equipment: power transmission parts, pumps, agitation devices, tanks, measuring systems, control and regulation systems, pipes and hoses, filters, etc.

Aerial spraying of pesticides

The aerial spraying of pesticides is prohibited. Derogations are nevertheless possible where there is no viable alternative, or where aerial spraying has advantages in terms of reduced impacts on human health and the environment as compared with land-based application. If a derogation is granted, measures must be taken as regards information and protection.

Protection of the aquatic environment and drinking water

Member States shall adopt specific measures to protect the aquatic environment and drinking water supplies. These measures give priority to the use of the least toxic products, the most effective techniques, equipment limiting drift of products, and the establishment of buffer zones along surface waters. These measures also aim at reducing or prohibiting spraying near roads or railways, or surfaces likely to be contaminated by the seepage or run-off of surface water or groundwater.

Protection of sensitive areas

In certain sensitive areas, the use of pesticides is prohibited or strictly limited. This measure aims at protecting areas covered by the “Birds” and “Habitats” Directives, and areas used by the general public or by sensitive groups of the population (parks, public gardens, sports grounds, recreation grounds, etc.).

Integrated pest management

Integrated pest management prioritises the least dangerous solutions for health and the environment. Professionals must therefore take into consideration all plant protection methods in order to eradicate pests. They must in particular give priority to those which cause the least disruption to agricultural ecosystems and encourage natural pest control mechanisms. These general principles for integrated pest management will become obligatory from 1 January 2014.

Risk indicators

The Commission establishes harmonised indicators according to statistics collected by the Member States. These indicators allow trends in risks from pesticide use to be estimated.

Member States may use their own national indicators in addition to the indicators harmonised at Community level.


The Framework Directive was originally one of two legislative proposals accompanying the 2006 Communication – A thematic strategy on the sustainable use of pesticides. The other legislative proposal led to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 1107/2009 concerning the placing of plant protection products on the market.


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

Directive 2009/128/EC



OJ L 309 of 24.11.2009

This summary is for information only. It is not designed to interpret or replace the reference document, which remains the only binding legal text.