Tag Archives: Security

Security Research

Security Research

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Security Research

Topics

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

Security Research

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Security Research: The Next Steps [COM(2004) 590 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

A coherent security research programme at EU level can add significant value to the optimal use of a highly competent industry. Such research should be targeted at the development of interoperable systems, products and services useful for the protection of European citizens, territory and critical infrastructures as well as for peacekeeping activities.

The high-level Group of Personalities set up to advise on a long-term strategy for security research in the EU has given rise to a report which contains the following recommendations:

  • the establishment of a European Security Research Programme (ESRP), focusing in particular on issues of internal security from 2007 onwards, with funding of at least EUR 1 billion per year. This programme should aim to boost the competitiveness of the European security industries and stimulate the development of the (public and private) market for security products and systems;
  • the creation of a European Security Research Advisory Board to define strategic lines of action. The Board should consist of high-level experts representing public and private customers, the industry, research organizations and any other relevant stakeholders;
  • the need for cooperation between European institutions as well as all other stakeholders involved.

THE NEXT STEPS

This Communication sets out the next steps to be taken in terms of security research, namely:

Developing a European security research programme under the EU’s 7th Research Framework Programme (2007-2010)

The Commission will initiate an inter-institutional debate for consensus on the ESRP building on the work of the Preparatory Action on security research, which will continue until the end of 2006. This programme should complement both Community programmes and security and defence research activities conducted at national or intergovernmental level.

Consultation and cooperation with stakeholders

The Commission will establish a European Security Research Advisory Board to advise on the content of the ESRP and its implementation. The Commission will ensure the ESRP is coordinated effectively with international organisations such as the United Nations (UN), the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and NATO, and with European organisations such as the European Space Agency (ESA).

Creating an effective institutional framework

The Commission will ensure that the requirements of the European Security Strategy, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) are fully taken into account in the development of security research. At the same time it will develop cooperation with the European Defence Agency (EDA) and other important Commission policies relating to internal security will be fully taken into account when developing security research.

Awarding contracts and funding relating to security research

The Commission must put in place effective and flexible mechanisms governing contracts, participation and funding, for example to allow co-funding of new technologies by public authorities so as to ensure a high degree of synergy.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission: Science and technology, the key to Europe’s future – Guidelines for future European Union policy to support research [COM(2004) 353 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament: Building our common Future – Policy challenges and budgetary means of the Enlarged Union 2007-2013 [COM(2004) 101 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Communication on the implementation of the Preparatory Action on the enhancement of the European industrial potential in the field of security research. Towards a programme to advance European security through research and technology [COM(2004) 72 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Commission Communication to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: European defence – industrial and market issues: Towards an EU defence equipment policy [COM(2003) 113 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Defence procurement exemptions

Defence procurement exemptions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Defence procurement exemptions

Topics

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 > Public procurement

Defence procurement exemptions

Document or Iniciative

Commission interpretative communication of 7 December 2006 on the application of Article 296 of the Treaty in the field of defence procurement [COM(2006) 779 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Internal market rules do not apply to defence acquisitions for trade in arms, munitions and war material; the legal basis for this exemption is Article 296. The scope of this exemption is, however, limited by the concept of “essential security interests” and by the list of military equipment mentioned in Article 296(2).

Any exemption authorised by Article 296 goes to the very heart of the fundamental principles and objectives of the internal market. Such exceptions should therefore be strictly confined to cases where Member States have no other choice than to protect their security interests nationally.

The list of military equipment mentioned in Article 296 was adapted in 1958 by Council Decision 255 / 58. The nature of the products on the 1958 list and the explicit reference in Article 296 to “specifically military purposes” confirm that only the procurement of equipment which is designed, developed and produced for specifically military purposes can be exempted from Community rules (Article 296(1)(b) EC).

Nevertheless, Article 296 can also cover the procurement of dual-use equipment for both military and non-military purposes, but only if the application of Community rules would oblige a Member State to disclose information prejudicial to its essential security interests (Article 296(1)(a)).

Military items included in the 1958 list are not automatically exempted from internal market rules. Any Member State seeking exemption under Article 296 must demonstrate that the exemption in question is necessary for the protection of its essential security interests, this being the only objective which may justify such an exemption. General references to the country’s geographical and political situation, history and alliance commitments are not sufficient.

The concept of essential security interests gives Member States flexibility in the choice of measures to protect those interests. It is essential for contracting authorities to assess each procurement contract with great care.

As guardian of the Treaty, the Commission may verify – with due regard to the sensitive nature of the defence sector – whether the conditions for exempting procurement contracts on the basis of Article 296 are fulfilled.

The Commission may also bring the matter directly before the Court of Justice if it considers that a Member State is making improper use of the powers provided for in Article 296.

Background

The majority of defence contracts are exempted from internal market rules and awarded on the basis of widely differing national procurement rules. With a view to the establishment of a European defence equipment market, the 2004 Green Paper on Defence Procurement (link) launches a debate on how to improve transparency and openness of defence markets between EU Member States. In December 2005 the Commission announced two separate initiatives (link to COM(2005) 626 final): the adoption of an “Interpretative Communication on the application of Article 296 EC” (analysed above) and the preparation of a possible new directive on the procurement of defence equipment to which Article 296 exemptions do not apply.

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

 

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Global Monitoring for Environment and Security

Topics

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

Other

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES)

The GMES system is a network for collecting and disseminating information concerning the environment and security obtained from monitoring the Earth from space and in-situ. This system will assist decision-making by public and private authorities in Europe and support research.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission, of 10 November 2005 entitled: “Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES): from concept to reality.” [COM(2005) 565 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) is an initiative aimed at streamlining European activities and funds in the field of Earth observation. It will provide the public authorities, European researchers and businesses with reliable and independent information concerning the environment and security.

The GMES system has four key features. It will provide services to public policy makers and individuals, provide observations from space and in-situ (including airborne systems), and will be able to integrate data and manage information.

The system will aid the evaluation and implementation of European policies which have an impact on the environment, particularly as regards Europe’s environmental commitments, agriculture, regional development, fisheries, transport, the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), including the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP), as well as other policies which affect European citizens such as border surveillance.

GMES services

The information services provided by GMES will be established gradually in line with the priorities jointly defined by the European Institutions (Commission and agencies), the European Union (EU) and the Member States, and depending on the level to which these services have been developed, their effective use and long-term continuity of supply and demand.

An initial series of priority services will focus on land and marine monitoring and emergency services. These services will be based on research and development projects which broaden and boost existing measures. They will also, eventually, make it possible to gather and disseminate data regarding, in particular, the distribution of urban areas and areas protected under the Natura 2000 network, changes in the temperature and composition of seas and oceans, areas which pose a risk, for example to man-made constructions, as well as data regarding major natural or man-made disasters. These services should be operational by 2008.

Other services are planned to follow on from these initial ones. They will focus, among other things, on atmospheric pollution, humanitarian aid, the prevention of forest fires and floods as well as global changes. These services will be defined in relation to specific political priorities and criteria, such as economic and social advantages, their Europe-wide utility and the availability of the necessary monitoring tools.

Observation resources

The GMES system comprises observations of the Earth taken from space and observations on or in the sites themselves. Observation from space involves using existing satellites as well as preparing the next generation of satellites, particularly as part of the European Space Agency’s GMES programme, with support from the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development, and as part of the Galileo system and the INSPIRE initiative (Infrastructure for Spatial Information in Europe).

In situ observation involves, firstly, all the networks of sensors used on land, at sea, in other bodies of water and in the atmosphere to measure and provide a comprehensive description of the Earth system and, secondly, all the studies aimed at collecting socio-economic data, land-use data (including aerial photographs), geology, the state of the soil, biodiversity and other geographical data such as altitude, administrative borders, transport and public service networks, etc. This side of GMES is to be strengthened both at EU level and worldwide.

Pooling and disseminating information

The advantage of the GMES system lies in the fact that it pools data obtained from a variety of sources and presents them in a user-friendly format. A structured framework is therefore needed to incorporate and manage this data, i.e. a single network which will gradually integrate all the networks which are currently not interconnected.

This presents certain challenges, in particular in terms of increasing the interoperability of data acquisition systems, harmonising and promoting the standardisation of structures and data interfaces, removing political obstacles to the exchange of data, etc. The INSPIRE Directive is a key initiative in removing such obstacles.

Funding and regulating GMES

The basic infrastructures and technologies needed for the initial series of services will to start with be funded jointly by the EU and ESA. Eventually GMES services should be funded by users.

The funding strategy for GMES will draw on ESA’s budget for the space component, the 6th and 7th Framework Programmes for Research, on resources pooled at Community, national and regional levels to fund the in-situ and data management components as responsibilities in these areas are fragmented, and on public-private partnerships.

The responsibilities will be spread between the EU (defining priorities), ESA (space component) and the Member States (coordination and implementation at local level). Furthermore, industry will also need to be involved in the actual implementation of GMES.

The management structure for GMES must be flexible and open-ended in order to adapt to the ongoing development of new services and the changing needs of users.

Background

A large amount of data has already been collected and analysed, both at national and international levels. However, the coordination and provision of resources must be improved, particularly as regards streamlining requests for information, overall continuity, comparability and integration of the data obtained from space and in-situ, modelling activities and systems interoperability, easy and reasonably priced access to data, the provision of regular and reliable services, the dialogue between the actors involved in the information chain, safety aspects and sources of finance

The GMES system is the main European contribution to the implementation plan for a Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS). The EU’s participation in GEOSS will facilitate data exchange with international partners and encourage the use of Earth observation, as well as the development of a system of worldwide observation systems.

The GMES concept was initiated in 1998 and then endorsed by the Gothenburg European Council and the European Space Agency in 2001. The space component of GMES is a key part of the European Space Policy and its leading programme after Galileo.

GMES is a geostrategic instrument which will make the EU able to independently evaluate its actions in a reliable and timely manner.

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 12 November 2008 “Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES): we care for a safer planet” [COM(2008) 748 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission proposes provisions relating to GMES funding, operational infrastructures and management, in order to achieve implementation of the project at a later stage. Pre-operational services were launched in 2008: marine and atmosphere services and land, emergency and security services. However, the Commission stresses that GMES services are not yet fully and permanently globally available. In order to do this, further investment is necessary.
While GMES services will trigger partnerships between the research and business community, and could in the long term be financed by the private sector, the Commission considers that GMES should remain primarily a public-driven programme, co-financed at European, intergovernmental and national levels. The financing needs will be subject to a detailed financial and budgetary analysis, led by the European Union. It also considers that European instruments in support of competitiveness and innovation should be deployed to stimulate the growth of the GMES downstream sector.
In addition, the Commission stresses the importance of the international dimension with regard to Earth observation and the necessity of exchanging observation data within the framework of cooperation schemes, and thereby sharing infrastructure costs with non-EU partners. It therefore proposes to establish an international cooperation strategy for GMES.
The Commission also notes that the implementation of GMES will necessitate the establishment of partnerships among the different players involved, under the leadership of the EU. It proposes to be responsible for the overall political coordination of the programme. Technical implementation should be entrusted to European entities which interact with public and private actors, in particular European agencies.

Directive 2007/2/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 March 2007 establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community (INSPIRE) [Official Journal L 108, 24.4.2007].
The EU has established the INSPIRE infrastructure in order to facilitate the pooling of interoperable geographical and environmental information and to make this information available to interested parties via Internet sites.

Communication from the Commission, of 3 February 2004, entitled: “Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES): Establishing a GMES capacity by 2008 – (Action Plan (2004-2008))” [COM(2004) 65 final – Official Journal C 94, 23.4.2004].

Communication from the Commission, of 3 December 2003, entitled: “2003 Environment Policy Review – Consolidating the environmental pillar of sustainable development” [COM(2003) 745 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

White Paper of 11 November 2003 – Space: a new European frontier for an expanding Union – An action plan for implementing the European Space Policy [COM(2003) 673 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission, of 23 October 2001, entitled: “Global Monitoring for Environment and Security (GMES) – Outline GMES EC Action Plan (Initial Period: 2001 – 2003) [COM(2001) 609 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Topics

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

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Euro-Mediterranean Regional Strategy and Indicative Programme 2007-2013

Document or Iniciative

European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) – Regional Strategy Paper (2007-2013) and Regional Indicative Programme (2007-2013) for the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership .

Summary

The Regional Strategy Paper (RSP) defines the objectives and priorities of the regional cooperation on the basis of the European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) for the period 2007-2013. In this context, it aims to achieve the objectives of the European neighbourhood policy (ENP), which seeks to add a further dimension to the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership (Barcelona Processus) to strengthen its impact beyond bilateral relations.

The political, economic, social and environment situation of the Mediterranean region poses a certain number of challenges for the region. Regional cooperation offers a response to the challenges of common, and in particular cross-border, interest for the countries of the region. The RSP in this way complements the country strategy papers (CSP) drawn up for Algeria, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Syria and Tunisia.

EU response strategy

The European Union (EU) seeks to maintain and step up the reform process in the Mediterranean partner countries. It also seeks to promote dialogue, strengthening the domestic political institutions by means of the collaboration offered by various instruments.

In this capacity, the RIP identifies the priority areas which represent value-added through the comparative advantage they may bring to strengthen the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership.

The justice, security and migration cooperation is of regional interest, with activities comprising:

  • confidence-building measures for a first component aimed at promoting cooperation in the field of civil protection and a second component on partnership for peace. In more concrete terms, the RIP proposes, for example, support for crisis management and the implementation of a Code of Conduct on Countering Terrorism;
  • a “justice, police and migration” component to consolidate the results obtained during previous programmes and to enhance cooperation on managing migration flows between countries of origin, transit and destination. More specifically, this component encourages contacts, training and assistance among law enforcement officers;
  • a “policy analysis” component, with the objective of developing the Euro-Mediterranean network of foreign policy institutes and the Economic Research Institute.

Sustainable economic development is a priority for the achievement of the Euro-Mediterranean Free Trade Area by 2010. This priority consists of:

  • promotion of reforms and investments to attract investors;
  • cooperation in respect of infrastructure networks in the transport and energy sectors;
  • the completion of an area of free trade and South-South regional economic integration by ensuring the environmental sustainability of the region;
  • an environmental programme covering marine pollution, among other issues.

Social development and cultural exchanges focus on people-to-people exchanges and raising awareness of the Partnership through the media. Their main components are:

  • gender equality and civil society, with a view to encouraging active citizenship, strengthening equality between men and women and encouraging recognition of the role of women;
  • information and communication to promote the Partnership and the ENP and improve cooperation between the EU and the various media in the region;
  • Euromed Youth to encourage dialogue between young people on opposite sides of the Mediterranean, the integration of young people and active citizenship;
  • dialogue between cultures and cultural heritage.

The Partnership with the neighbouring countries in this way allows progress towards a significant degree of integration with the EU, enhanced trading relations and intensified cooperation in matters of security. Nevertheless, the acceptance and will of the partner countries are essential to ensure the effectiveness of the Partnership.

Terms and conditions

The indicative budget for the period 2007-2010 amounts to EUR 343.3 million.

The RIP for the period 2007-2013 presents the programmes for each priority. To this end, it defines performance indicators to measure the impact and the expected outcomes, such as:

  • rebuilding of confidence within each society and between societies by strengthening civil society and transnational links;
  • consolidation of the Euromed networks and police and judicial cooperation;
  • support for the social integration of migrant workers and their families;
  • increase in the number of investment projects and new job creation thanks to a regional investment promotion programme;
  • more integrated energy markets, secure energy supplies and developed interconnections and renewable energy sources;
  • greater public awareness of the need for environmental protection.

Background

In accordance with its foreign policy objectives, the EU promotes prosperity, solidarity, security and sustainable development in the world, as well as democracy and human rights. The ENP, initiated in 2003, pursues these objectives by promoting good neighbourhood relations. To achieve this, the ENPI, the financial instrument of the ENP for 2007-2013, supports the partner countries of the ENP by integrating the regional and cross-border dimension. It also pursues the objectives identified by the MEDA programme 2002-2006, drawing on the experience gained from it.

Related Act

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 4 December 2006 on strengthening the European neighbourhood policy [COM(2006) 726 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Renewed engagement with Iraq

Renewed engagement with Iraq

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Renewed engagement with Iraq

Topics

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

External relations > Relations with third countries > Middle east

Renewed engagement with Iraq

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 7 June 2006: Recommendations for renewed European Union engagement with Iraq [COM(2006) 283 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Commission has proposed renewed EU engagement with Iraq based on its evaluation of the situation in Iraq and of relations between the two partners since the Framework for Engagement drawn up in 2004.

The political and constitutional process in Iraq has made progress, with the formation of the first Government, the 2005 elections and the new constitution. This notwithstanding, Iraq still faces instability, political tensions, and a deteriorating security environment.

In this context, the determinant factors for increased EU engagement are security and respect for the ethnic and religious communities in the political process.

Challenges For Iraq

The main challenges facing the new Iraqi government are interdependent, and are both political and economic in nature. The response to these challenges must be geared to benefiting the population at large and must therefore focus on better administration, economic stability and sustainable growth in order to consolidate democracy and stimulate the economy.

Consolidating democracy and strengthening civil society

Strengthening the democratic foundations of the country is essential to the continued pursuit of the political process of democratisation. The scheduled local and regional elections and the constitutional review process must go hand in hand with a stronger and more active civil society and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

National cohesion requires respect for the ethnic and religious communities. The choice of model of governance and how it is applied within the public administration will be crucial, as the formation of a national unity government has already shown. Nonetheless, national reconciliation remains essential, especially in order to safeguard Iraq’s territorial integrity and prevent negative repercussions in neighbouring states.

Security and the rule of law are indissociable and need to be strengthened. The insecurity generated by sectarian-based violence, the impotence of the security forces, organised crime and street violence has caused widespread internal migration. Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) initiatives to combat violations of human rights, stop the displacement of whole communities and restore confidence are therefore essential.

Achieving the basis for sustainable economic development

Economic recovery presupposes viable basic services and the creation of employment opportunities and income generation activities. The knock-on effects will be felt in improved security and quality of life and a better utilisation of the country’s human capital.

Establishing a functioning administrative framework will make for good economic management, the provision of essential public services and the development and implementation of public policies. Reforming the public administration, with the support of the international community, will make it possible to modernise the civil service and enhance its competence and capabilities.

The country’s economic development needs to be based on:

  • its energy resources. Iraq’s large reserves of oil and natural gas remain largely unexploited (problems include aging infrastructures and outmoded techniques, lack of transparency, looting and trafficking), while heavy dependency on oil revenues makes the country very vulnerable to external economic factors;
  • economic diversification as a factor of prosperity. Water and agriculture are sectors that could generate income, create jobs and encourage investment, but only within the framework of a secure budgetary and regulatory environment.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR EU SUPPORT

Iraq is a country rich in human, natural and cultural resources, which can serve as a foundation for stability and prosperity.

A stable and prosperous Iraq is also vital for its neighbours and international partners, including the EU, for security, economic, energy and political reasons. In this context, the EU is well placed to support Iraq, given its geographical proximity, its international role and its experience in post-conflict situations. It can also make good use of such instruments as political dialogue, financial aid, cooperation in the domain of the rule of law and the relations it has developed with Iraq to strengthen its engagement with that country.

In the short term, the EU should, for maximum impact, focus its engagement on certain key objectives that can yield tangible results. Nonetheless, Iraqi political will and improvement in the security situation will determine the nature of the EU’s continued engagement. This engagement must ensure, moreover, that the EU’s actions and its support for the actions of the United Nations and the other international players are carried out in a complementary manner.

A democratic government that overcomes divisions

It is essential that the government and the administration reflect the ethnic and religious composition of the population. Respect for the electoral process is also another way of restoring confidence.

The EU will support civil society and national, regional and local institutions, and will work with the international partners in the political process. Its support could make a contribution to:

  • inter-community relations, and particularly strategies and initiatives promoting respect, dialogue and national reconciliation while at the same time combating sectarianism, and policies supporting a multi-ethnic, pluri-confessional administration;
  • Iraq’s territorial integrity and national unity, promoting regional cooperation and relations with regional players;
  • the constitutional review process, where the Member States can provide valuable experience, and including support for ambitious measures relating to public information and dialogue with the people;
  • democratic and parliamentary institutions, through measures such as technical and other assistance and exchanges and twinning programmes to build up capacity. Support could also include continued assistance for the Independent Electoral Commission and other civil society organisations.

Establishing security through the rule of law and respect for human rights

The EU is already involved in this area, both through the work of individual Member States and in the framework of EU instruments like the EUJUST LEX mission launched in 2005. Pursuing European security and defence policy (ESDP), this mission works with all the players involved to develop an integrated rule of law / criminal justice system.

Its experience can be used to underpin:

  • the preparation of a rule-of-law programme to strengthen the civil and criminal justice systems;
  • development of a culture of respect for human rights and implementation of international conventions while building up the appropriate capacities for safeguarding them;
  • disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration activities (DDR).

Nonetheless, the Iraqi government still needs to curb the militias and non-government militarised groups and to create a supportive framework in which civil society can operate.

Basic services and employment

Improving access for the Iraqi population to basic services (water, education, electricity, health and sanitation) will improve the quality of life and foster sustainable stability. The EU has made a major contribution to such work through Community aid and close cooperation with the UN, but the commitment of the Iraqi government to social development is indispensable, particularly to secure the effective use of the aid supplied. The Iraqi National Development Strategy adopted in 2004 could, once updated, provide a platform for the implementation of these programmes.

Employment is a priority, but it requires an environment conducive to job creation and the development of income-generating activities. This could be addressed by harmonising the various reconstruction programmes, encouraging job creation in the private sector, including in small and medium-sized enterprises, and promoting a diversification of the economy.

Mechanisms to pave the way for economic recovery and prosperity

The Iraqi government needs to commit itself to the economic reforms that will boost growth, development and prosperity, help put an end to corruption and allow it to optimise the use of its resources.

Dialogue, cooperation programmes, exchanges of experience and financial aid are all means through which the EU and Iraq can work towards this end, focusing primarily on:

  • the energy sector. EU action will support both the domestic and the regional framework. A secure regulatory and financial framework will encourage investment and help deter corruption, criminality and organised crime. The establishment of regional networks and technical dialogues for the development and export of oil and gas resources will foster regional cooperation;
  • economic diversification and development of an attractive trade and investment regime. The negotiation of a Trade and Cooperation Agreement (TCA) that will bring Iraq closer to the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the improvement of Iraqi access to the European market (generalised system of preferences), the engagement of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Iraq, and Community assistance to consolidate the Iraqi Central Bank and the Ministry of Finance will back up this process.

An effective and transparent administrative framework

Iraq must push ahead with public administration reforms (judicial structures, human resources, sound financial management, etc.). A ‘roadmap’ based on realistic goals and benchmarks will help the Iraqi government fulfil its commitments to its international partners.

The EU is well placed to help implement these reforms through experience from the enlargement process and support for building capacity and institutions in other parts of the world. In this context, the negotiation of a TCA with Iraq will be an additional area in which the EU can make a contribution, both by spurring Iraq to establish a functioning administration to manage the implementation of the agreement and by providing a framework for setting up technical working groups to support the exchange of know-how and expertise.

Context

The Commission’s 2004 Communication entitled The European Union and Iraq: A Framework for Engagement and the accompanying letter signed by the Commissioner for External Relations and the High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) set out a medium-term strategy for EU engagement with Iraq as a response to the formation of the new Iraqi Interim Government and the adoption of UN Security Council Resolution 1546.

This medium-term strategy was aimed chiefly at the development of a secure, stable and democratic Iraq, with a sustainable market economy, at peace with its neighbours and integrated into the international community. The EU’s engagement has translated into:

  • support for the political and constitutional process (provision of expertise and resources for the electoral process and the establishment of the rule of law) and stepped-up engagement with the Iraqi political leadership (EU-Iraq Joint Declaration on Political Dialogue signed on 21 September 2005 [PDF ], Troika visits, and the June 2005 EU-US sponsored international conference on Iraq in Brussels;
  • strengthening bilateral relations with the opening of a European Commission delegation and an offer to start negotiations for a TCA;
  • contributing to the international engagement with Iraq by providing substantial financial aid, notably through the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq, and by maintaining close contact with other key international players committed to supporting Iraq.

Related Acts

Declaration of 22 June 2005 of the Brussels International Conference for Iraq [FR ] [PDF].

EU – Iraq Joint Declaration on Political Dialogue, signed on 21 September 2005 [PDF ].

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 1 October 2003: “The Madrid Conference on Reconstruction in Iraq – 24 October 2003” [COM(2003) 575 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].

 

Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

Topics

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

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

Reinvigorating the Barcelona process

To assess the current state of the Barcelona process and establish a new action framework in order to reinvigorate the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament of 6 September 2000 to prepare the fourth meeting of Euro-Mediterranean foreign ministers « reinvigorating the Barcelona process » [COM(2000) 497 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

This communication forms one stage in the implementation of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, in accordance with the European Union’s common strategy on the Mediterranean adopted during the European Council meeting in Santa Maria da Feira in June 2000. It forms the foundation of the position adopted by the European Union (EU) during the meeting of Euro-Mediterranean foreign ministers in November 2000 in Marseilles.

The Commission aims to reinvigorate the relations between the European Union and the Mediterranean partners in order to achieve the goals set out in the Barcelona Declaration of 1995, namely to create an area of peace and stability based on respect for fundamental rights, to create an area of shared prosperity and to help improve mutual understanding among the peoples of the region.

The Barcelona process aims to promote the relations between the EU and the countries and territories of the Mediterranean Basin. Established in 1995, it is a regional framework bringing partners together at both technical and political level to promote and develop their common interests. This multilateral process is underpinned by a network of bilateral relations between each Mediterranean partner and the EU, embodied in Association Agreements.

Since the launch of this process, a new spirit of partnership has been built and, despite the ebb and flow of the Middle East peace process, numerous ambitious projects have been carried out to encourage cooperation. In total, the EU has mobilised nearly EUR 9 billion in grant and loan funding during the 1995-1999 period.

However, the ambitious goals of the Barcelona process have come up against several problems:

  • the difficulties encountered in the Middle East peace process have slowed the progress of the work and limited the development of cooperation;
  • the process of negotiation and ratification of the Association Agreements has been slower than expected;
  • the spirit of partnership has not always led to the expected results particularly in the area of human rights;
  • some partners have been reluctant to apply the specified economic transition policy;
  • the volume of South-South trade is still very low and the levels of investment in some countries remain below the forecasts (inadequate legal and technical adaptation, lack of transparency in trade);
  • the implementation of the MEDA programme has been hampered by procedural problems.

However, the Commission considers that the basic strategy agreed at Barcelona and the main instruments available are still valid. As a result, it intends to revitalise the Barcelona process in light of the experience gained in order to give it another chance of succeeding. Several proposals were made in this respect during the Ministerial Conference in Marseilles in November 2000.

As regards the Association Agreements, the countries of the Mediterranean Basin which have not already done this must be persuaded to rapidly conclude the negotiations. It must be guaranteed that any subsequent Association Agreement will be ratified by the Member States of the European Union within two years of signature.

In trade terms, for each country that has signed the Association Agreement, the reciprocal trade liberalisation measures that may be adopted must be examined closely and the greatest possible coherence in trade relations with the other partners must be sought. The Commission also encourages all the partners to join the World Trade Organisation and to create a free trade area between them. Any country signing an Association Agreement should undertake to conclude a free trade agreement with the other signatories of an Association Agreement within five years of its conclusion. A timetable should be established with the partners for the « single market » type harmonisation measures to be adopted in certain priority sectors (rules of origin, customs issues, standards and intellectual property). This programme should be ready for implementation from 2004.

Financially, the Commission proposes to make future financial contributions conditional on the efforts made by the partners in concluding the Association Agreements and on the necessary political and economic reforms. In addition, the granting of financial aid would depend on the progress made in democracy and human rights. Further efforts should be made to reinforce the effectiveness of the regional cooperation programmes.

In terms of political cooperation, a Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Peace and Stability should institutionalise the existing political dialogue and establish the mechanisms allowing the security and stability problems in the region to be tackled.

11. Finally, a new programme aimed at raising the awareness of both the Member States and the partner countries should be launched to improve understanding of the Barcelona process, particularly by introducing a new « Euro-Mediterranean partnership » label for the projects undertaken.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

The fourth Euro-Mediterranean Conference was held in Marseilles on 15 and 16 November 2000. It brought together the foreign ministers of the fifteen Member States and of Algeria, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. Libya and Syria refused to take part. Also present were Mr Solana, High Representative for the CFSP and Secretary-General of the Council, Mr Patten, Commissioner, and, as special guests, representatives from Libya, the Arab League, Mauritania and the Arab Maghreb Union.

The Conference resulted in « formal conclusions » of the French presidency.

The ministers noted with great interest the proposals for revitalising the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership put forward by the Commission in its Communication on « Reinvigorating the Barcelona process » and the contributions made by the Mediterranean partners.

On the political and security partnership, the ministers confirmed the special importance they attached to the draft Euro-Mediterranean Charter for Peace and Stability but they decided to defer its adoption owing to the political context. However, they reaffirmed the need to reinforce the political dialogue, to deepen this in the areas of terrorism and migration and to extend this to other areas such as security, disarmament, the rule of law and human rights.

On the economic and commercial partnership, while reaffirming the objective of creating a free trade area by 2010, the participants decided to step up the dialogue on the macroeconomic environment, structural reforms and the economic liberalisation of the partners. They also underlined the importance for those countries having signed an Association Agreement with the EU of concluding free trade agreements amongst themselves within five years and of developing the initiatives contributing to attaining that objective, including the introduction of diagonal cumulation between countries with identical rules of origin and committed to concluding a free trade agreement between themselves. The emphasis was placed on the value of establishing an indicative timetable for the adoption of harmonisation measures in certain priority sectors, enabling partner countries to benefit fully from the Euro-Mediterranean market.

As regards the social, cultural and human partnership, the ministers recommended taking greater account of the social effects of the economic transition in national programmes by placing the emphasis on training, employment, professional requalification and the reform of education systems. They advocated building up existing programmes in the cultural area, such as Euromed Heritage and Euromed-Audiovisual, and also launching Euromed-Human Sciences. In addition, they recommended intensifying dialogue on migration and human exchanges. The preparation of a regional programme in the field of justice and home affairs was also recommended. Finally, the ministers encouraged players from civil society to take a full part in the regional programmes.

On financial cooperation, the participants advocated efficient financial cooperation targeted towards the major challenges of the partnership through the MEDA programme. This instrument must be closely linked to the implementation of reforms initiated under the Association Agreements and must take account of the special characteristics of each partner.

In addition, the ministers recommended strengthening the subregional dimension of the partnership by encouraging the introduction of development and economic integration initiatives between the countries and territories of the south side of the Mediterranean.

Finally, the ministers decided to establish a communication and information programme and a Euro-Mediterranean label intended to increase public awareness in the partnership region.

The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

Topics

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

External relations > Mediterranean partner countries

The Valencia Ministerial Conference and its Action Plan

To extend and strengthen the decisions of the Marseilles Ministerial Conference and to present initiatives in order to pursue and develop the Euro-Mediterranean partnership in all its aspects.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and European Parliament of 13 February 2002 to prepare the meeting of Euro-Mediterranean foreign ministers in Valencia on 22 and 23 April 2002 [SEC(2002) 159 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

In this communication, the Commission starts by summarising the progress made in the context of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership. This progress consists in particular of developing the grid of Association Agreements with the Mediterranean partners, making progress towards the creation of a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area, refocusing the MEDA programme on strategic objectives, furthering MEDA regional cooperation and maintaining the political dialogue.

The communication contains a series of recommendations covering the areas of political and security cooperation, freedom, justice and governance, social, cultural and human dimensions, civil society, economic and financial partnership and a reform of the institutional device for managing the partnership.

In terms of the political and security partnership, the Commission proposes to reinforce the political dialogue by holding meetings at political director level. It is also favourable to intensifying the fight against terrorism, through the available international instruments, and to defining a joint approach and a Euro-Mediterranean information and cooperation network. Human rights and democracy within the Mediterranean partner countries should also be promoted, particularly by raising these questions during all contacts between these countries and the European Union and by linking MEDA programme allocations more closely to progress in these fields.

In the area of justice and home affairs, the Commission proposes that the partners should agree a general framework leading to a Euro-Mediterranean regional programme on freedom, justice and governance which would cover, in particular, dialogue on legal matters and the fight against organised crime, illegal migration, trafficking in human beings, the management of legal migration and the treatment of migrant communities.

In the area of the social, cultural and human partnership, and in order to reinforce the dialogue between cultures and civilisations, the Commission particularly proposes creating a Euro-Mediterranean Foundation financed by the Member States, the Commission and the Mediterranean partners. In the field of education, the Commission suggests extending the Tempus programme and NETDAYS and eSchola initiatives to the Mediterranean partner countries. The Commission also proposes new initiatives aimed at developing vocational training and enhancing women’s opportunities in economic life (access and participation in the labour market and promotion of their role in business).

As regards the economic and financial partnership, the Commission recommends the continued integration of South-South trade by encouraging free trade between the Mediterranean partners (particularly in the context of the Agadir process encompassing Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan) and extending the pan-European system of rules of origin (encompassing the countries of the European Union, the European Free Trade Association and the applicant countries) to the Mediterranean partners. In addition, the Commission recommends defining the priorities for negotiations with the Mediterranean partners to liberalise trade in services.

In addition, the Commission proposes improving reciprocal access to the agricultural markets, developing and interconnecting the transport and energy infrastructures, harmonising policies and regulations with a view to a Euro-Mediterranean internal market and ensuring sustainable development with a high level of environmental protection.

With regard to financial instruments, and in addition to the MEDA programme, the Commission envisages creating a new financial facility or a Euro-Mediterranean bank intended to promote the development of the private sector in the Mediterranean partner countries.

The Commission also suggests promoting the place of civil society within the partnership.

As regards the institutional aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership, the Commission recommends a rapid ratification by the Member States of the Association Agreements with the aim of completing ratification within two years. It also proposes enhancing the role of the Euro-Mediterranean Committee on acquis-related business and reinforcing the dialogue on economic policy at both bilateral and regional levels.

4) Implementing Measures

5) Follow-Up Work

The Fifth Euro-Mediterranean Conference was held on 22 and 23 April 2003 in Valencia. It brought together the foreign ministers of the fifteen Member States of the European Union and of Algeria, the Palestinian Authority, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Malta, Morocco, Tunisia and Turkey. Libya and Syria refused to take part. Also present were Mr Solana, High Representative for the CFSP and Secretary-General of the Council, Commissioner Patten, and also, as special guests, representatives from Libya, the Arab League, Mauritania and the Arab Maghreb Union.

The ministers unanimously adopted an Action Plan now referred to as the Valencia Action Plan covering the three political, economic and socio-cultural chapters of the Barcelona process. This plan includes a number of initiatives largely based on the Commission Communication of 13 February 2002.

With regard to the political and security chapter, the action plan aims to reinforce political dialogue and make this more effective by including, for the first time, security and defence issues. In addition, it confirms the mandate of the senior officials on the draft Charter for Peace and Stability allowing them to continue studying this project as soon as the political conditions will allow this. The action plan also recognises the importance of a multilateral approach in the fight against terrorism and proposes a gradual reinforcement of the political aspect by introducing a common strategic language and by developing preventive diplomacy mechanisms.

As regards the economic and financial chapter, the action plan, while recalling the objective of creating a Euro-Mediterranean free trade area by 2010, supports the Agadir process creating a free area between Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan. It also welcomes the implementation of the conclusions of the trade ministers’ meeting in Toledo by supporting the creation of a Working Group on Trade Measures relevant for Regional Integration and the participation of the Mediterranean partners in the pan-European system of rules of origin. The action plan also emphasizes the development of free trade in services, the trans-Euro-Mediterranean interconnections and infrastructures (with regard to transport, energy and telecommunications networks) and the prospects of a Euro-Mediterranean internal market underpinned by a harmonisation of policies and regulations. It also stresses the need for a sustainable strategic development framework for the partnership.

As regards financial cooperation, the action plan highlights the improved management of the MEDA programme and welcomes the introduction of a reinforced investment facility within the European Investment Bank (EIB) to promote infrastructure and private sector investment. The plan also notes the fact that, one year after the launch of this facility, the possibility of creating a Euro-Mediterranean bank (majority-owned subsidiary of the EIB), as desired by the Mediterranean partners, will be considered in light of the assessment of this experience.

On the social, cultural and human chapter, the action plan approves the regional work programme on justice and home affairs and the launch of a ministerial conference on migration and social integration of emigrants. It also underlines the particular importance of promoting dialogue between cultures, particularly through the decision in principle to create a Euro-Mediterranean Foundation to promote a dialogue of cultures and the adoption of an action programme in this respect. The action plan also aims to promote employment and training, the role of women in economic life and the more effective participation of civil society in the partnership. The Tempus higher education programme has therefore been extended to the southern Mediterranean partners.

Finally, on the institutional aspect of the partnership, the action plan recommends strengthening the parliamentary dimension of the partnership by creating a Euro-Mediterranean parliamentary assembly. It also recommends examining the possibilities of restructuring the Euromed Committee in order to ensure a greater involvement of partners in the elaboration, monitoring and evaluation of agreed programmes, actions and projects.

Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors' assets

Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors’ assets

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors’ assets

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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 > Judicial cooperation in civil matters

Enforcing judgments: the transparency of debtors’ assets

Even with a court judgment obtained, recovering cross-border debts may be difficult for creditors in practice if no information on the debtors’ assets or whereabouts is available. Because of this, the European Commission has adopted a Green Paper launching a public consultation on how to improve the recovery of debts through possible measures such as registers and debtor declarations.

Document or Iniciative

Green Paper of 6 March 2008 on the effective enforcement of judgments in the European Union: the transparency of debtors’ assets [COM(2008) 128 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The late and non-payment of debts is detrimental to business and customers alike, particularly when no information is available on the debtor’s assets or whereabouts. This is a particular cross-border issue in debt recovery and has the potential to affect the smooth running of the internal market. In launching a public consultation, the European Commission has outlined the problems of the current situation and possible solutions in this Green Paper. Interested parties can submit their comments by 30 September 2008.

State of play

The search for a debtor’s address and information on his financial situation is often the starting point for enforcement proceedings. At national level, most Member States mainly use two different systems for obtaining information, either:

  • systems of declaration of the debtor’s entire assets or at least a part of it to satisfy the claim;
  • search systems with specific information (registers).

In this Green Paper, the European Commission focuses more on a series of measures instead of one single European measure to allow the creditor to obtain reliable information on the debtor’s assets and whereabouts within a reasonable period of time. Possible measures include:

  • drawing up a manual of national enforcement laws and practices: at present, there is very little information on the different enforcement systems in the 27 European Union Member States. Such a manual could contain all sources of information on a person’s assets, which could be accessed in each country; contact addresses, costs, etc.
  • increasing the information available and improving access to registers: the main sources of information on the debtor are public registers, such as commercial or population registers. However, these vary from one Member State to the next. The Commission is asking whether to increase information available in and access to commercial registers and in what way access to existing population registers should be enhanced. Furthermore, access to social security and tax registers by enforcement authorities may be increased, while respecting rules of data protection and social and fiscal privacy.
  • exchange of information between enforcement authorities: currently, enforcement bodies are not able to directly access the (non-public) registers of other Member States which are open to national enforcement bodies. In addition, there are no international instruments dealing with the exchange of information between national enforcement bodies. In the absence of a Europe-wide register, enhancing cooperation between national enforcement authorities and direct exchange of information between them may a possible solution.
  • measures relating to the debtor’s declaration: enforcement bodies have in several Member States the option to question the debtor directly regarding his assets, whereas in some Member States the debtor’s declaration is made in the form of a testimony before the enforcement court. In some Member States, the debtor has to fill out mandatory forms, and in others a debtor’s declaration does not exist at all. The European Commission is considering introducing a European Assets declaration, obliging the debtors to disclose all assets in the European judicial area. In this way, the transparency of the debtor’s assets would not be limited by the territoriality of the enforcement proceedings.

Strategy for a secure information society

Strategy for a secure information society

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for a secure information society

Topics

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

Strategy for a secure information society (2006 communication)

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 31 May 2006: A strategy for a Secure Information Society – “Dialogue, partnership and empowerment” [COM(2006) 251 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Community action: overview

Up to now, the European Commission has tackled security issues in the Information Society by adopting a three-pronged approach embracing:

  • specific network and information security measures;
  • the regulatory framework for electronic communications and, in particular, the Directive on privacy and electronic communications;
  • the fight against cybercrime.

Community measures in this area also include:

  • European programmes devoted to research and development – the 7th Framework Programme will help reinforce security-related research by establishing a European Security Research Programme;
  • the Safer Internet programme, which promotes safer Internet usage and aims to protect end-users against undesirable content.
  • involvement in international forums addressing these topics, such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the Council of Europe and the United Nations. At the world summit on the Information Society, held in Tunis in November 2005, the European Union (EU) strongly supported the discussions on the availability, reliability and security of networks and information.

In 2004, the Community established the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA). ENISA’s mission is to help increase network and information security within the Community and to promote the emergence of a culture of network and information security for the benefit of citizens, consumers, businesses and public sector organisations.

These measures and initiatives are to a large extent interdependent and involve many different stakeholders, and so a coordinated strategy is called for. This Communication sets out such a strategy for developing a coherent, holistic approach to network and information security.

KEY CHALLENGES

Despite the efforts already made, security continues to pose challenges to public bodies, businesses and private users alike. The risks are often underestimated even though the relevance of information and communication technologies (ICT) for the European economy and European society as a whole is undeniable. Furthermore, other critical infrastructures are also becoming more and more dependent on the integrity of their respective information systems.

Attacks on information systems

Attacks on information systems are increasingly motivated by financial profit. Personal data are illegally mined without the user’s knowledge, while the number of malware variants is increasing rapidly, as is the rate at which they are evolving. For example, spam is now used as a vehicle for spreading viruses and spyware.

Use of mobile devices

The increasing deployment of mobile devices (including 3G mobile phones, portable videogame consoles, etc.) and mobile-based network services poses new threats to security. These threats could turn out to be more dangerous than attacks on PCs as the latter already have a significant level of security.

Advent of “ambient intelligence”

Another significant development in the Information Society is the advent of “ambient intelligence”, where intelligent devices supported by computing and network technology will become a ubiquitous part of everyday life in the near future. This development brings with it many opportunities, but it will also create additional security and privacy-related risks.

Raising awareness of users

In order to successfully tackle the problem of underestimating the risks, all stakeholders need reliable data on security incidents and trends.

At the same time, it is important that awareness programmes designed to highlight security threats do not undermine the trust and confidence of consumers and users by focusing only on the negative aspects of security. Network and information security should be presented as a virtue and an opportunity rather than as a liability and a cost.

THE PROPOSED APPROACH

In order to tackle the challenges presented by network and information security, the Commission proposes an approach which is based on dialogue, partnership and empowerment.

Dialogue

The Commission proposes a series of measures designed to establish an open, inclusive and multi-stakeholder dialogue:

  • benchmarking exercise for national policies relating to network and information security. This should help identify the most effective practices so that they can then be deployed on a broader basis throughout the EU. In particular, this exercise will identify best practices to improve awareness among small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and citizens of the risks and challenges associated with network and information security;
  • a structured multi-stakeholder debate on how best to exploit existing regulatory instruments. This debate will be organised within the context of conferences and seminars.

Partnership

Effective policy making requires a clear understanding of the nature of the challenges to be tackled. This calls for reliable, up-to-date statistical and economic data. Accordingly, the Commission will ask ENISA

  • to build up a partnership of trust with Member States and stakeholders in order to develop an appropriate framework for collecting data;
  • to examine the feasibility of a European information sharing and alert system to facilitate effective responses to threats. This system would include a multilingual European portal to provide tailored information on threats, risks and alerts.

In parallel, the Commission will invite Member States, the private sector and the research community to establish a partnership to ensure the availability of data pertaining to the ICT security industry.

Empowerment

The empowerment of stakeholders is a prerequisite for fostering their awareness of security needs and risks, thus promoting network and information security.

For this reason, Member States are invited to

  • proactively participate in the proposed benchmarking exercise for national policies;
  • promote, in cooperation with ENISA, awareness campaigns on the benefits of adopting effective security technologies, practices and behaviour;
  • leverage the roll-out of e-government services to promote good security practices;
  • stimulate the development of network and information security programmes as part of higher-education curricula.

Private sector stakeholders are also encouraged to take initiatives to

  • define responsibilities for software producers and Internet service providers in relation to the provision of adequate and auditable levels of security;
  • promote diversity, openness, interoperability, usability and competition as key drivers for security, and to stimulate the deployment of security-enhancing products and services to combat ID theft and other privacy-intrusive attacks;
  • disseminate good security practices for network operators, service providers and SMEs;
  • promote training programmes in the private sector to provide employees with the knowledge and skills necessary to implement security practices;
  • work towards affordable security certification schemes for products, processes and services that will address EU-specific needs;
  • involve the insurance sector in developing risk management tools and methods.

COMPLEMENTARY INITIATIVES

The Commission will complement this approach with other initiatives by

  • adopting a Communication on the way in which spam and other threats, such as spyware, is evolving;
  • making proposals for improving cooperation between law enforcement authorities and for addressing new forms of criminal activity – this issue will be the subject of a Communication dealing specifically with cybercrime;
  • creating an action plan to achieve the objectives of the Commission’s Green Paper on the European Programme for Critical Infrastructure Protection;
  • conducting a review of the regulatory framework for electronic communications in 2006.

Background

This Communication follows on from the ” i2010- A European Information Society for growth and jobs ” initiative, which aims to boost the e-economy in Europe. The i2010 initiative highlights the importance of network and information security for the creation of a single European information space.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 1 June 2005: “i2010 -A European Information Society for growth and employment” [COM(2005) 229 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Council Framework Decision 2005/222/JHA of 24 February 2005 on attacks against information systems.

Regulation (EC) No 460/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 10 March 2004 establishing the European Network and Information Security Agency [Official Journal L 77, 13.3.2004].

Directive 2002/58/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 July 2002 concerning the processing of personal data and the protection of privacy in the electronic communications sector (Directive on privacy and electronic communications) [Official Journal L 201, 31.7.2002].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 6 June 2001: “Network and Information Security: Proposal for a European Policy Approach” [COM (2001) 298 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 26 January 2001: “Creating a Safer Information Society by Improving the Security of Information Infrastructures and Combating Computer-related Crime” [COM(2000) 890 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Strategy for a more competitive European defence industry

Strategy for a more competitive European defence industry

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strategy for a more competitive European defence industry

Topics

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

Enterprise > Industry

Strategy for a more competitive European defence industry

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 5 December 2007 – A strategy for a stronger and more competitive European defence industry [COM(2007) 764 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The European security and defence policy (ESDP) needs a strong European defence industry. However, this sector’s performance and competitiveness are being held back by an inadequate policy and legal framework, resulting in red tape and duplication, hampering innovation and increasing prices. For example, the co-existence of different national regulations on procurement, slow licensing procedures for the free movement of defence components and goods within the EU, lack of information sharing, etc. are obstacles to this sector’s competitiveness. With a view to improving the situation in the European defence industry, the Commission puts forward several recommendations.

Improving the functioning of the internal market for defence products

In order to improve the functioning of the internal market in defence, the Commission proposes that Member States adopt two directives. The first is designed to facilitate intra-EU transfers of defence products by eliminating unnecessary paperwork. It will thus reduce obstacles to trade in these products in the EU, for example by significantly simplifying national licensing procedures and costly and lengthy administrative formalities which could act as a deterrent to some companies. The second directive is designed to enhance the openness and competitiveness of defence procurement. Member States too often use Article 296 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, which allows them to be exempt from Community rules if their essential security interests are threatened. This directive will therefore effectively introduce intra-EU competition in the Member States’ defence markets.

In addition to these legislative initiatives, the Commission is considering a whole series of measures, including:

  • the use of a handbook of common standards to facilitate the opening of defence markets;
  • examination of the current regime on security of information for the exchange of sensitive information between Member States and European companies in order to determine whether it would be useful to introduce a European system;
  • a study on control of strategic defence assets;
  • the use of legal instruments at the Commission’s disposal to ensure fair competition in defence markets.

Improving overall coordination

Together with the European Defence Agency (EDA), the Commission wishes to encourage better overall coordination with the Member States and among Member States, so that the weapons systems needed by European armed forces can be produced cost-effectively and with the highest level of performance. Coordination between Member States can be improved in three areas: pooling of demand for military equipment, research and technological development, and strengthening the position of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

It is in Member States’ interest to coordinate their investments and pool demand in order to create synergies. This can be done by adjusting the timetables of their development and procurement programmes and by collecting information on Member States’ investments.

Defence is a technology-intensive sector. Yet, in Europe, investment in research is fragmented, leading to duplication and a waste of scarce resources. It therefore makes sense to find ways to pool research and network resources at all levels. Defence-related research creates a spillover in many other areas and creates growth in civil sectors, which in turn contribute a great deal to defence. The Commission therefore recommends pooling the resources of civil and military programmes at both national and European levels. The Commission is also conducting a specific security research programme.

The position of SMEs in the sector needs to be strengthened. They will be able to benefit from the two directives mentioned above but also from other initiatives, including the 7th Framework Programme for Research, or for example the Code of Best Practice and the e-portal developed by the EDA.

Supporting the adjustment and modernisation process in Europe by means of accompanying policies

The defence sector can be stimulated not only by industrial policy but also by other policies. The opening of foreign markets is thus essential to the competitiveness of the European industry. For Europe to improve its access to the US market, which is practically non-existent, it is important to ensure that the European defence industry can match its competitors in the US in terms of innovation and quality. It is also important not to lose sight of other stakeholders from the emerging economies for which it is necessary to analyse the competition challenges and the conditions of access to their markets.

Further market integration in the defence sector could lead to structural changes and restructuring, and it is necessary to anticipate and address any such structural changes, for example by means of an active social dialogue. These changes can be managed financially with the help of the Structural Funds and the European Social Fund in particular.

Finally, it is necessary to improve European defence industry market governance. In order to fully exploit the measures to increase competition which are set out in this Communication, a structured dialogue with all interested parties is essential, in particular with the competent bodies of the Member States and the EDA. The EU should also set up a European think-tank to reflect on the challenges and key issues in the defence sector.