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Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

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Agriculture > General framework

Specific measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006 of 18 September 2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in favour of the smaller Aegean islands and amending Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 [See amending acts].

Summary

The smaller Aegean islands benefit from specific supply arrangements for certain agricultural products and adapted support measures for local agricultural production. These measures, exemplified by this Regulation, aim at promoting the development of these regions which is hindered by a number of geographical and economic factors.

Specific supply arrangements

Supply of agricultural products (a list of which can be found in Annex I of the treaty) that are essential for human consumption or for the manufacture of other products is based on a specific support policy. In this respect, the authorities designated by Greece establish a forecast supplybalance which quantifies annual needs for the products concerned. This forecast is then approved by the Commission.

The products benefit from supply aid which is fixed according to the additional marketing costs. Implementing the specific supply arrangements takes into account certain factors such as the particular needs of the smaller islands, traditional trade flows, the economic aspect of the aid envisaged and the development of local production.

Products covered by this scheme may only be re-exported under the conditions established by the Committee which assists the Commission. These conditions include the reimbursement of aid received. Moreover, products which are processed in the smaller islands using materials which have benefited from the specific supply arrangements may only be exported to third countries or sent to the Community within the maximum quantities defined by the Commission.

Measures in favour of local agricultural production

Greece presents a support programme which is submitted to the Commission for approval. This programme includes measures to foster agricultural production in the smaller islands. The measures must be coherent and compatible with Community legislation and policies, in particular the Common Agricultural Policy.

The support programme may include:

  • a quantified description of the situation as regards agricultural production;
  • the proposed strategy and expected impact in economic, environmental and social terms;
  • an implementation schedule for the measures and a general summary table describing the resources to be mobilised;
  • a justification of the compatibility and coherence of the various measures in the programme and a definition of the criteria and quantitative indicators used for monitoring and assessment;
  • action taken to ensure that the programme is implemented effectively and appropriately;
  • the competent authority designated to implement the programme and associated organisations.

Support measures

The Commission may authorise additional aid in the form of operating aid in the sectors of production, processing and marketing of the said products to implement the support programme.

Financial provisions

The specific supply arrangements and the measures fostering local agricultural production amount to a maximum of EUR 23.93 million per year. With regard to the specific supply arrangements, the maximum annual amount is EUR 5.47 million.

General provisions

The Commission is assisted by the Management Committee for Direct Payments.

Greece presents to the Commission:

  • by 15 February of each year, funding for the implementation of the programme in the following year;
  • by 30 June of each year, a report on the measures laid down in this Regulation.

The Commission presents a general report on the impact of action carried out pursuant to this Regulation to the European Parliament and the Council by 31 December 2011.

Context

The first unique support framework for agriculture in the Aegean islands was presented in Regulation No 2019/93, which laid down specific supply arrangements and specific aid measures for certain sectors such as potatoes, vines and olive growing. In view of the success of this system, this Regulation aims at maintaining this aid whilst reinforcing partnerships with local authorities and giving them more freedom to manage funding.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006

3.10.2006

OJ L 265 of 26.9.2006

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 615/2008

29.6.2008

OJ L 168 of 28.6.08

Regulation (EC) No 72/2009

7.2.2009

OJ L 30 of 31.1.09

The subsequent amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 1405/2006 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis only of documentary value.

Related Acts

Application procedure

Commission Regulation (EC) No 1914/2006 of 20 December 2006 laying down detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) No 1405/2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in favour of the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 365 of 21.12.2006].

This Regulation contains the application procedure for measures in favour of the smaller Aegean islands. Concerning specific supply arrangements, it describes the function of administrative components such as the aid certificate and the register of operators, gives details of export conditions and explains the procedure for inspection and exports. With regard to measures in favour of local production, the Regulation describes how the amount of aid is determined, how applications are to be submitted and how aid is paid, as well as the principles governing inspections relating to the proper use of aid and sanctions.
See consolidated version

Transmission of information

Commission Regulation (EC) No 792/2009 of 31 August 2009 laying down detailed rules for the Member States’ notification to the Commission of information and documents in implementation of the common organisation of the markets, the direct payments’ regime, the promotion of agricultural products and the regimes applicable to the outermost regions and the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 228 of 1.9.2009].

Special partnership with Cape Verde

Special partnership with Cape Verde

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Special partnership with Cape Verde

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Development > African Caribbean and Pacific states (ACP)

Special partnership with Cape Verde

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 24 October 2007 on the future of relations between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde [COM(2007) 641 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The Republic of Cape Verde and the EU are united by historical, human, religious, linguistic and cultural ties. They share fundamental socio-political values such as democracy and human rights and the promotion of good governance, peace, security and the fight against terrorism and crime. Specifically, they share a number of priorities as regards the fight against drug trafficking and illegal immigration, as a result of which Cape Verde is expected to intensify police and judicial cooperation with the EU.

The EU-Cape Verde special partnership

In view of the increasing interest of Cape Verde in approaching the EU, its outermost regions (ORs) of the North Atlantic (Azores, Madeira and the Canaries) in particular, and in order to respond to the mutual interests of the EU and Cape Verde as regards security and development, the Commission proposes a special partnership. This partnership is intended to strengthen dialogue and policy convergence between the two parties, in the context of the implementation of the Cotonou agreement.

The partnership considered is characterised by:

  • strengthening of political dialogue between the two parties, on the basis of an action plan covering the priorities for the development process of the special partnership and including the cooperation instruments provided for in the Cotonou agreement;
  • a search for forms of complementary cooperation to add to the traditional measures implemented under the Cotonou agreement;
  • promotion of an evolving process, based on a flexible action plan that can be adapted to the development of the country and of its relations with the EU and third countries;
  • pursuit of further progress in the area of good governance in Cape Verde;
  • support for closer ties with the ORs and the rest of the EU by intensifying relations with the West Africa region and within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS);
  • promotion of convergence on European norms and standards, in order to strengthen the country’s comparative advantages.

The partnership will offer new perspectives. In particular, it will:

  • strengthen cooperation between the two parties at a political, economic, commercial, administrative and judicial level;
  • ensure convergence between legislation on economic and technical standards;
  • offer Cape Verde, within the framework of closer links with the ORs, access to the EU’s internal market and the possibility to participate gradually in a number of EU policies and programmes;
  • promote activities aimed at bringing Cape Verde closer to the Community acquis in the areas covered by the action plan.

The partnership action plan, which represents the overall strategic framework, is based on the following pillars:

  • The good governance policy pursued by Cape Verde, and especially the consolidation of democracy, the rule of law and the participation of civil society. The partnership will also focus on the rights of children and women, the integration of immigrants, the fight against domestic violence and also the reform of the justice and public finance sectors.
  • Security and stability, through actions implemented on a cross-border and regional basis in particular, in the areas of the fight against transnational organised crime, efficient management of migration flows and maritime security.
  • Regional integration, both at OR level (through the country’s participation in the transnational Madeira, Azores, Canaries (MAC) cooperation programme for the period 2007-2013 and the cooperation mechanisms within the outermost regions) and at West Africa level (by taking into account the specificity of Cape Verde within the Economic Partnership Agreement and the use of the resources of the European Development Fund (EDF) regional indicative programmes).
  • Convergence of technology and standards policies in the sectors covered by the action plan.
  • Progress towards a “knowledge-based society” by encouraging economic, social and cultural development though education, research and information and communication technologies.
  • The fight against poverty, in particular through environmental protection, the protection of natural resources, the preservation of the marine environment and closer cooperation in the area of fisheries.

The implementation of the action plan will be funded mainly by the EDF and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) within the framework of the MAC programme for the period 2007-2013. Moreover, the European Community’s general budget will support specific activities, in particular thematic programmes funded by the development cooperation instrument, and also activities financed by the stability instrument, the instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights and the humanitarian aid instrument. This funding will be added to the resources of the Cape Verde government.

The action plan will be of indefinite duration and will be reviewed periodically. The EU troika will ensure its follow-up and its implementation at political and technical level.

Related Acts

Council conclusions on the future of relations between the European Union and the Republic of Cape Verde. General Affairs and External Relations Council– 19 November 2007 [Not published in the Official Journal].

Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles

Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles

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Internal market > Motor vehicles > Technical implications of road safety

Speed limitation on-board devices of certain categories of motor vehicles (until 2014)

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 92/24/EEC of 31 March 1992 relating to speed limitation devices or similar speed limitation on-board systems of certain categories of motor vehicles [See amending acts].

Summary

Speed limitation devices for heavy motor vehicles help improve road safety by reducing the wear and tear on engines and tyres and the severity of injuries resulting from accidents. They also have positive effects on atmospheric pollution and fuel consumption. The European Union has therefore considered it necessary for vehicles circulating within the Community to be equipped with such devices.

Scope

This directive applies to EEC type-approved speed limitation devices and similar systems which fulfil the same speed limitation function.

It initially applied only to heavy motor vehicles. Amended by Directive 2004/11/EC, it has been extended to cover all buses and all goods transport vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes. It now applies to all M2, M3, N2 and N3 category motor vehicles (as defined in Annex II of Directive 70/156/EEC) intended for on-road use, having at least four wheels and a maximum design speed exceeding 25km/h.

Requirements

The directive requires that the speed limitation device be so designed, constructed and assembled as to resist corrosion and ageing phenomena, and that it be resistant to tampering so that the limitation threshold can neither be increased nor overridden.

EEC type-approval

The application for EEC type-approval for the speed limitation of a vehicle type must be submitted by the vehicle manufacturer, but for a speed limitation device as a technical unit it must be submitted by the manufacturer of that device.

If the requirements of the Directive have been met, the Member States may not, on grounds relating to the speed limitation devices, refuse EEC or national type-approval for a vehicle or a speed limitation device, nor may they refuse the registration, sale, or entry into service of a vehicle or a speed limitation device.

In contrast, the Member States are obliged to refuse, on grounds relating to the speed limitation devices, EC or national type-approval for vehicles or speed limitation devices which do not satisfy the requirements of the Directive. In addition, as of 1 January 2005, they must also ban the sale, registration and entry into service of vehicles or speed limitation devices that do not comply with the requirements of the Directive.

Background

Directive 92/24/EEC is one of the separate Directives of the Community type-approval procedure established by Directive 70/156/EEC. By harmonising the technical provisions relating to speed limitation devices and speed limitation systems, it therefore plays a part in ensuring the smooth operation of the internal market.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 1992/24/EEC 10.04.1992 01.01.1993 OJ L 129 of 14.05.1992
Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2004/11/EC [adoption: co-decision COD/2003/0122] 17.02.2004 16.11.2004 OJ L 44 of 14.02.2004

Related Acts

Council Directive 92/6/EEC of 10 February 1992 on the installation and use of speed limitation devices for certain categories of motor vehiclesin the Community [OJ L 57 of 02.03.1992], amended by Directive 2002/85/EC of 5 November 2002 [OJ L 327 of 4.12.2002].
Directive 1992/6/EEC stipulates that motor vehicles may only circulate within the European Community if they are equipped with a speed limitation device for which a maximum speed is set. The Directive was initially aimed at heavy vehicles. Subsequent to its amendment by Directive 2002/85/EC, it has been extended to cover light commercial vehicles.

Specific themes

Specific themes

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific themes

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Food safety > Specific themes

Specific themes

Certain issues are of particular importance to consumers, especially where they concern their health. The European Union takes action in these areas in order to prevent and curtail the risks associated, for example, with genetically modified organisms, or with certain diseases affecting animals, such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy or foot and mouth disease.

GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS (GMOs)

  • Food and Feed (GMO)
  • Traceability and labelling of GMOs
  • Unique identifiers for GMOs
  • Deliberate release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
  • Contained use of genetically modified micro-organisms (GMMs)
  • Transboundary movement of genetically modified organisms

TRANSMISSIBLE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES (TSEs) AND BOVINE SPONGIFORM ENCEPHALOPATHIES (BSEs)

  • Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)
  • BSE: state of play in March 2003

FOOT AND MOUTH DISEASE

  • The fight against foot-and-mouth disease

Sport

Sport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Sport

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Education training youth sport > Sport

Sport

Whether practised at professional or amateur level, on a regular or occasional basis, sport has become one of the most widespread human activities. Beyond the pure health aspects, sport contributes to social integration, is part of the non-formal education process, encourages intercultural exchanges and creates employment within the European Union (EU). Sports policy remains essentially an intergovernmental matter. Nevertheless, European institutions have an important role to play in terms of consultation and promotion, be it in relation to sport in general, the role of sport in terms of the economy and society, or its part in combating racism, violence and the use of drugs.

GENERAL FRAMEWORK

  • Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014
  • European dimension in sport
  • White Paper on sport
  • Building on the achievements of the European Year of Education through Sport 2004
  • European Year of Education through Sport 2004
  • Incorporating the specific characteristics of sport and its social functions into the implementation of common policies

INTERNAL MARKET FOR SPORT

  • Free movement of sportspeople
  • Free movement of goods for sporting purposes
  • Firearms

FIGHT AGAINST DRUG USE

  • Urgent measures to be taken to combat doping in sport
  • Community support plan to combat doping in sport

FIGHT AGAINST HOOLIGANISM

  • Security in connection with football matches with an international dimension
  • Prevention and control of hooliganism

Specific measures for the outermost regions

Specific measures for the outermost regions

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific measures for the outermost regions

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Agriculture > General framework

Specific measures for the outermost regions

Document or Iniciative

Council Regulation (EC) No 247/2006 of 30 January 2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union [See amending acts].

Summary

The Outermost Regions (OR) are listed in Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU:

  • the French Overseas Departments (OD): Guadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique, Réunion, Saint-Barthélemy, Saint-Martin;
  • the Azores and Madeira (Portugal);
  • the Canary Islands (Spain).

These regions are called ‘outermost’ due to their geographical remoteness from Europe. The OR generally have a small surface area and are exposed to difficult climates. All these factors present difficulties for the agricultural development of the OR.

This Regulation lays down measures specific to the OR in the area of agriculture. The objective is to meet the additional costs related to the supply arrangements and agricultural activities of these regions.

Specific supply arrangements

Some agricultural products (listed in Annex I to the Treaty), considered to be essential for human and animal consumption or for the production of other products, are covered by specific support arrangements (or SSAs). Under this system, limited amounts of these products may be introduced from the EU with the granting of aid to cover a part of the additional costs related to remoteness or from third countries without being subject to any kind of import duty.

The maximum amounts of products covered by these arrangements are established in a forecast supply balance produced by Member States before being approved by the Commission.

The products covered by these arrangements can only be exported following the payment of import duties and the reimbursement of aid received under these arrangements. This condition does not apply to products which are exchanged between French overseas departments nor to products processed in the outermost regions using products which have benefited from the special arrangements, if they are:

  • exported to third countries or dispatched to the rest of the EU within the limits of dispatches or exports as part of traditional trade flows;
  • exported to third countries as part of regional trade flows;
  • dispatched from the Azores to Madeira or vice versa;
  • dispatched from Madeira to the Canary Islands or vice versa.

Under the specific supply arrangements, no import duty is due on certain types of sugar imported into Madeira and the Canary Islands and certain products from the rice sector imported into Réunion. Aid is also paid for supplies of milk-based preparations imported into the Canary Islands, which are not included in Annex I to the Treaty.

Support for local agricultural production

Community support programmes promote local agricultural production. They are prepared by the competent authorities appointed by the Member States concerned. Their preparation should take EU legislation and policy into account.

The Regulation stipulates that the Community support programmes should indicate:

  • a quantified description of the agricultural production situation in the regions in question;
  • a description of the strategy proposed and an appraisal showing the expected economic, environmental and social impact;
  • a description of the measures contemplated;
  • a schedule for the implementation of the measures and a general indicative financing table showing the resources to be deployed;
  • proof of the compatibility and consistency of the various measures under the programmes and a definition of the criteria and quantitative indicators to be used for monitoring and evaluation;
  • the steps taken to ensure the programmes are implemented effectively and appropriately, the definition of quantified indicators for use in programme evaluation and the provisions for checks and penalties;
  • the designation of the competent authorities and bodies responsible for implementing the programme, the designation of associated bodies and socio-economic partners, and the results of the consultations held.

Annual financial resources

The specific supply arrangements and the measures to promote local agricultural production benefit from the following annual financial allocations (in EUR million):

2007 financial year 2008 financial year 2009 financial year 2010 financial year 2011 financial year

French overseas departments

126.6

262.6

269.4

273.0

278.41

Azores and Madeira

77.9

86.98

87.08

87.18

106.21

Canary Islands

127.3

268.4

268.4

268.4

268.42

As regards the specific supply arrangements, financing should not exceed the following amounts:

  • For the French overseas departments: EUR 20.7 million
  • Azores and Madeira : EUR 17.7 million
  • Canary Islands: EUR 72.7 million

Accompanying measures

In addition to the specific supply arrangements and the Community support programmes, this Regulation also introduces other types of derogating measures promoting the agricultural development of the OR.

First, the Regulation provides for the option of increasing European financial aid provided to the OR under the Common Agricultural Policy. The OR benefit from derogations with regard to the maximum eligible amounts of financing from the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) and the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD).

In addition, the Regulation provides for the option for Member States of granting State aid for the production, processing and marketing of agricultural products listed in Annex I to the Treaty. However, this State aid remains subject to authorisation by the Commission.

Furthermore, France and Portugal may present programmes to the Commission for the control of organisms harmful to plants or plant products (with the exception of bananas) in their respective outermost regions. The EU contributes to the financing of these programmes on the basis of a technical analysis of the circumstances at the regional level, up to 60 % of eligible expenditure for the French overseas departments and 75 % for the Azores and Madeira.

Lastly, this Regulation makes provisions for derogations and exemptions that are specific to the outermost regions in four sectors:

  • wine: the Azores, Madeira and the Canary Islands benefit from derogations to Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 for abandonment premiums, aid for release from storage and measures concerning distillation.
  • milk: only producers in the Azores are regarded as having participated in the overrun of the reference quantity for the purposes of sharing the additional levy under Regulation (EC) No 1788/2003. Madeira (within a local production limit of 4 000 tonnes of milk) and the French overseas departments are exempt from the additional levy scheme applicable to producers of cow’s milk laid down by Regulation (EC) No 1788/2003. Madeira is permitted to produce, solely for local consumption purposes, UHT milk reconstituted from Community milk powder, by derogation from Council Regulation (EC) No 2597/97.
  • livestock farming: the French overseas departments and Madeira may import bovine animals from third countries without applying the customs duties. This practice is allowed until the herd of local young male bovine animals reaches a sufficient level to ensure the continuation and development of local animal production.
  • tobacco: Spain may grant aid for the production of tobacco in the Canary Islands up to the limit of 10 tonnes per year. In addition, no customs duties are applied to direct imports into the Canary Islands of certain raw and semi-manufactured tobaccos.

Context

Agriculture in the outermost regions has benefited from the POSEI system (Programme of Options Specifically Relating to Remoteness and Insularity) since 1991 for the French OD (POSEIDOM) and since 1992 for the Canary Islands (POSEICAN), the Azores and Madeira (POSEIMA). The objective of the POSEI system consisted of taking into consideration the geographical and economic handicaps of these regions.

This Regulation therefore reforms the POSEI system and repeals Regulations No 1452/2001, No 1453/2001 and No 1454/2001.

REFERENCES

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

Regulation (EC) No 247/2006

15.2.2006

OJ L 42, 14.2.2006

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

Regulation (EC) No 318/2006

3.3.2006

OJ L 58, 28.2.2006

Regulation (EC) No 2013/2006

1.1.2007

OJ L 384, 29.12.2006

Regulation (EC) No 1276/2007

31.10.2007

OJ L 284, 30.10.2007

Regulation (EC) No 674/2008

24.7.2008

OJ L 189, 17.7.2008

Regulation (EC) No 72/2009

1.2.2009

OJ L 30, 31.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 73/2009

1.2.2009

OJ L 30, 31.1.2009

Regulation (EC) No 641/2010

24.7.2009

OJ L 194, 24.7.2010

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EEC) No 247/2006 have been incorporated into the original text. This consolidated versionis of documentary value only.

Related Acts

Rules for application

Commission Regulation (EC) No 793/2006 of 12 April 2006 laying down certain detailed rules for applying Council Regulation (EC) 247/2006 laying down specific measures for agriculture in the outermost regions of the Union [Official Journal L 145 of 31.5.2006].

See consolidated version .

Community support for combating harmful organisms

Commission Decision 2007/609/EC of 10 September 2007 on the definition of the measures eligible for Community financing in the programmes for the control of organisms harmful to plants and plant products in the French overseas departments, in the Azores and in Madeira [Official Journal L 242 of 15.9.2007].

Commission Decision 2009/126/EC of 13 February 2009 on the Community’s financial contribution to a programme for the control of organisms harmful to plants and plant products in the French overseas departments for 2009 [Official Journal L 44 of 14.2.2009].

Notification of information

Commission Regulation (EC) No 792/2009 of 31 August 2009 laying down detailed rules for the Member States’ notification to the Commission of information and documents in implementation of the common organisation of the markets, the direct payments’ regime, the promotion of agricultural products and the regimes applicable to the outermost regions and the smaller Aegean islands [Official Journal L 228 of 1.9.2009].

Specific programme Cooperation

Specific programme Cooperation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme Cooperation

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Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme Cooperation

Last updated: 15.01.2010

Specific programme: Ideas

Specific programme: Ideas

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme: Ideas

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Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme: Ideas

Last updated: 04.06.2009

Specific programme People

Specific programme People

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme People

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Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme “People”

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/973/EC of 19 December 2006 concerning the specific programme People implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013) [Official Journal L 400 of 30.12.06].

Summary

“People” is a specific programme within the 7th Framework Programme and its basic objectives are to improve, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the professional opportunities available to researchers in Europe. To put it another way, the “People” programme aims to adapt the European employment market so that it is more able to meet the training, mobility and career development needs of researchers. This will give researchers incentives to build their futures in Europe.

This programme mobilises extensive financial resources and draws on experience gained through the Marie Curie actions.

More specifically, the focus will be on the following three areas:

  • generating benefits and structuring effects, for example by introducing co-funding for regional, national and international programmes;
  • improving conditions for training and career development in the private sector;
  • strengthening the international dimension.

The budget required for executing this specific programme is estimated at EUR 4 750 million for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

CHARACTERISTICS AND GENERAL OBJECTIVES

The overall objective of this specific programme is to improve, both quantitatively and qualitatively, the human research and technological development potential in Europe. In order to achieve this, various initiatives need to be taken to:

  • encourage people to embark on a career in research;
  • encourage European researchers to stay in Europe;
  • attract researchers to Europe from throughout the world;
  • do more to share knowledge between countries, sectors, organisations and disciplines;
  • foster the participation of women in research and technological development.

This specific programme provides added value in a number of respects. First of all, it will undoubtedly improve the mobility of researchers at both the intersectoral and transnational levels. It will also have structuring effects on:

  • the organisation, performance and quality of training given to researchers;
  • their career development;
  • the sharing of knowledge between research sectors and organizations; and
  • the participation of women.

TheFramework Programme including the various specific programmes and the research activities they give rise to, should respect fundamental ethical principles and give consideration to social, legal, socio-economic, cultural and gender mainstreaming aspects.

ACTIVITIES

The various objectives of this specific programme will be achieved by implementing a series of “Marie Curie” actions focusing on skills and competence development at all stages of a researcher’s career. Mobility (both transnational and intersectoral), the recognition of experience acquired in different sectors and countries, and optimum working conditions are all key elements of these actions, which will address:

  • initial training for researchers;
  • life-long training and career development;
  • industry-academia partnerships and pathways;
  • the international dimension.

The programme also provides for more specialised accompanying actions, promotion actions (Marie Curie Awards, for example) and support actions.

Initial training of researchers

Initial research training will normally take place during the first four years of a researcher’s career; an additional year can be added if necessary.

This type of training should open up new career opportunities for researchers and make scientific careers more attractive by optimising the way in which training is structured in Member States and associated countries, in both the public and private sectors.

This action encourages the networking of organisations from different sectors engaged in the training of researchers. These networks will be built around joint multi-disciplinary training programmes covering not only scientific and technological knowledge but also skills in diverse disciplines such as management, finance, law, entrepreneurship, ethics, communication and societal outreach. In more concrete terms, Community support should be directed at:

  • recruiting and training researchers at the start of their careers;
  • setting up academic chairs or equivalent teaching positions for experienced researchers;
  • organising short training events (conferences, summer schools, specialised training courses, etc.) open both to trainees of the network and to researchers from outside the network.

Life-long training and career development

This action is directed at experienced researchers who have at least four years’ experience in full-time research or a doctorate. Essentially, it will help them to diversify their skills portfolio by acquiring multi- or interdisciplinary qualifications and intersectoral experience. The aim here is twofold:

  • to give researchers support in attaining the independent positions of responsibility they desire and/or strengthening their standing in such positions;
  • to help researchers who are resuming their career after a break by enabling them to (re)integrate quickly into a scientific career in a Member State or associated country, including in their own country of origin, after a mobility experience.

This action will be implemented through:

  • support for individual transnational, intra-European fellowships;
  • co-funding of regional, national or international programmes – applicants for co-funding may come from either the public or private sector, but they must play a key part in building up human resource capacity for research in their respective fields.

Industry-academia partnerships and pathways

This action seeks to establish links between public research organisations and private commercial enterprises (and in particular SMEs). It will involve long-term (intersectoral and transnational) cooperation programmes which will not only increase knowledge-sharing but also improve mutual understanding of the different cultural settings and skills requirements of both sectors.

Community support will focus on human resources, and take one or more of the following forms:

  • staff secondments between both sectors in the partnership;
  • temporary hosting of researchers recruited from outside the partnership;
  • the organisation of workshops and conferences;
  • a contribution to equipment for participating in the cooperation initiative (for SMEs only).

The international dimension

The international dimension of human resources in European research and development can be divided into two separate areas:

  • career development for researchers from EU Member States and associated countries;
  • international cooperation through researchers.

Actions in both these areas will be supported by international fellowships (“incoming” and “outgoing” fellowships), grants, partnerships, exchanges, organised events (conferences, etc.) and a systematic sharing of good practices.

Background

Since 1984, the research and technological development policy of the European Union has been founded on multiannual framework programmes. The 7th Framework Programme is the second to be adopted since the Lisbon strategy was launched in 2000 and will play a crucial role in stimulating growth and jobs in Europe in the coming years. The Commission wishes to advance the “knowledge triangle” of research, education and innovation so that knowledge is used to promote economic dynamism as well as social and environmental progress.

References

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal

Decision 2006/973/EC

1.1.7 – 31.12.13

OJ L 400 of 30.12.06

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 29 April 2009 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the progress made under the Seventh European Framework Programme for Research [COM(2009) 209 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The “Marie Curie” grants proposed by the “People” programme remain a great success. They contribute towards a balanced “brain circulation” both at European and global levels and to the creation of a high-quality and mobile European R&D workforce. The use of industry-academia fellowships could be improved by better communicating opportunities to industries and SMEs.

Specific programme Capacities

Specific programme Capacities

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Specific programme Capacities

Topics

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

Research and innovation > General framework

Specific programme “Capacities”

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2006/974/EC of 19 December 2006 on the Specific Programme: capacities implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007 to 2013).

Summary

Continuing previous action, the “Capacities” programme aims in the main to create new research and innovation infrastructures across Europe.

To this end, the programme calls for a strategic approach in two phases: a preparatory phase and a construction phase. This approach concerns the following areas:

  • research infrastructures;
  • research to benefit SMEs;
  • regions of knowledge;
  • research potential;
  • science in society;
  • horizontal activities in the field of international cooperation.

The budget required for executing this specific programme is estimated at EUR 4 097 million for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

CHARACTERISTICS AND GENERAL AIMS

All of the financial resources mobilised by the programme correspond to specific aims in each area:

  • to optimise use and development of research infrastructures;
  • to reinforce SMEs’ innovation capacities and their ability to benefit from research;
  • to promote and sustain development of regional groupings which depend on research;
  • to unlock research potential in the European Union’s convergence and outermost regions;
  • to bring science and society closer together;
  • to stimulate international cooperation;
  • to encourage coherence in research policy and synergies with other policies and Community programmes.

It is worth noting that theFramework Programme, including the various specific programmes and the research activities they give rise to, should respect fundamental ethical principles and give consideration to social, legal, socio-economic, cultural and gender equality aspects.

THEMES: OBJECTIVES, APPROACHES, ACTIVITIES

For each of the themes touched on by the programme, the following are defined:

  • a specific aim;
  • a suitable approach;
  • specific activities.

Research infrastructures

The specific programme aims to optimise the use and development of European research infrastructures * and to support their creation or modernisation. Support measures could also be proposed in order to respond to possible needs arising at a later date. More generally, it is a question of reinforcing the technological know-how of Europe to benefit a more competitive and dynamic knowledge-based economy.

The measures relating to research infrastructures (which may already exist or have been newly created) and the emergence of new needs involve:

  • promoting trans-national access to structures already in place;
  • improving coordination through integrated modernisation;
  • developing on-line infrastructure based on ICT;
  • supporting the design and creation of new infrastructures;
  • strengthening cooperation within Europe and internationally.

The budget allocated to this field of research will amount to EUR 1 715 million.

Research benefiting SMEs

To allow SMEs and SME associations to use advances made in research to benefit their growth, their know-how and their innovation capacity, two special schemes are planned:

  • one is designed to aid small business groups to resolve, in the short term, common or complementary technological problems;
  • the second should allow technical solutions to be found for problems common to a large number of SMEs on a longer-term basis (e.g. conformity to European norms or regulations in areas such as health, safety and environmental protection.)

These projects will receive funding of EUR 1 336 million.

Regions of knowledge

Strengthening the research potential of European regions is the prime objective pursued here by the specific programme. To do this, support will be concentrated throughout Europe on the development of “regional clusters”, bringing together regional authorities, universities, research centres, businesses and other stakeholders. Better coordination between regional policy and research policies is one of the priorities of the programme.

The different projects in this section concern the following activities:

  • analysis, development and implementation of the research agendas of regional clusters (planning capacity and priorities for research and development);
  • “mentoring” of regions with a less developed research profile by highly developed ones, in particular by setting up trans-national regional consortia;
  • initiatives to improve integration of research actors and institutions in regional economies (e.g. trans-national activities organised within the framework of regional clusters);
  • measures aiming to promote the systematic exchange of information and interaction between similar projects (e.g. analysis and synthesis workshops, round tables, publications, etc.).

The budget allocated to the regions of knowledge will be EUR 126 million.

Research potential

The programme’s impact should centre around the European Union’s convergence and outermost regions to enable them to benefit fully from their research potential. This should, in the long term, stimulate the research potential (reinforcing knowledge, developing new skills, increasing visibility) of the enlarged Union.

In terms of specific activities, the focus will be on encouraging strategic partnerships, including twinning, between research groups from these regions (from both the public and private sectors) with prominent research groups elsewhere in Europe. These partnerships and twinning schemes will allow research groups in the least advanced regions, selected on the basis of their quality and potential, to benefit from:

  • exchanging knowledge and experience;
  • recruiting experienced researchers in charge of imparting knowledge and giving training;
  • acquiring and developing some research equipment;
  • organising workshops and conferences;
  • dissemination and promotion activities to maximise their visibility.

EUR 340 million funding will be dedicated to the development of research potential.

Science in society

Building an effective and democratic knowledge-based European society inevitably entails the integration of the scientific dimension into the European social fabric.

Despite being the driving force behind innovation and therefore growth, well-being and sustainable development, scientific research remains, generally speaking, badly integrated within society. Several causes for this can be identified:

  • insufficient public participation in the debate relating to the priorities and direction of scientific policy;
  • growing reservations with regard to certain scientific developments (lack of control, the questioning of fundamental values, etc.);
  • the perceived isolation of science from the everyday realities of economic and social life;
  • questioning the objectivity of scientific evidence made available to public policy-makers.

Further ambiguities arise from the increasing desire to undertake more research to address major social challenges (diseases, pollution, epidemics, unemployment, climate change, ageing of the population, etc.) and from a growing feeling of distrust regarding the possible misuses of science.

The danger of an increasing scientific divide in our societies therefore makes it essential to:

  • make scientific research more open, transparent and ethical;
  • strengthen the role of Europe on a global level in debates on shared values, equal opportunities and social dialogue;
  • bridge the gap between those who have scientific training and those who do not;
  • encourage a taste for scientific culture;
  • stimulate public debate on research policy;
  • make the world of science more accessible and more comprehensible;
  • help women to continue to progress in scientific careers;
  • adapt scientific communication to the present (using new means of communication to reach the widest possible audience).

Implementing this aspect will follow three general strands:

  • management of the relationship between science and society: strengthening and improving the European science system, anticipating and resolving political, ethical and social problems, a better understanding of the place of science and technology in society, development of the role of universities;
  • potential and prospects for the scientific world: consolidating the role of women and young people;
  • scientific communication: re-establishing the connection between science and society.

In terms of the European science system, three aspects are on the agenda:

  • improving the use of scientific advice and expertise in developing policies in Europe and evaluating their impact;
  • promoting trust and self-regulation within the scientific community;
  • encouraging debate on the distribution of information.

In anticipating and resolving political, ethical and social problems, two aspects come into play:

  • broader engagement on science-related questions;
  • setting up an informed debate on ethics and science.

To improve understanding of the place of science and technology in society, the programme advocates the formation of specialised university networks. These would have the task of demonstrating the actual role of science in building a European society and identity. To this end, several elements should be highlighted:

  • relationships between science, democracy and law;
  • research on ethics in science and technology;
  • the reciprocal influences of science and culture;
  • the role and image of scientists.

Regarding the evolving role of universities, emphasis will be placed on:

  • defining better framework conditions to optimise university research;
  • promoting structured partnerships with the business world;
  • reinforcing knowledge-sharing between universities and society at large.

Furthermore, programmes will be put in place to reinforce the role of women and the gender dimension within scientific research.

Equally, youth-based activities will be centred around:

  • supporting science education in schools;
  • reinforcing links between science education and science careers;
  • research and coordination on new methods in science teaching.

On matters of scientific communication, efforts will focus on the following aspects:

  • the reliability of information distributed to the scientific press;
  • creation of a European centre for scientific information;
  • training in and exchange of good practice to bring the media and the scientific community closer together;
  • reinforcing the European dimension of science events targeting the general public;
  • increasing the prominence of science by using audiovisuals;
  • promoting multinational communication (e.g. by awarding public prizes);
  • researching new methods and equipment to aid communication of scientific material.

The budget allocated to this topic will be EUR 330 million.

International cooperation

To develop an international policy of the first order for science and technology, the EU intends to:

  • support European competitiveness through strategic partnerships with third countries and welcome their best scientists to Europe;
  • address problems of accessibility that third countries face or will face.

Cooperation with third countries will mainly involve the candidate countries, the Mediterranean Partner Countries (MPC), the Western Balkan countries (WBC), the countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and the Caucasus (EECAC), developing countries and emerging economies.

This cooperation will entail:

  • the establishment of priorities and definition of policies;
  • improving and developing partnerships;
  • improving coordination of national policies and activities.

A budget of EUR 180 million will be dedicated to activities in the field of international cooperation.

Coherence of research policies

In addition to enhancing the efficiency and coherence of national and community research policies, the EU aims to:

  • increase their coordination with other policies;
  • improve the impact of public research and its links with businesses;
  • increase public funding and its leverage effect on private sector investments.

To do this, two lines of action will be adopted:

  • monitoring and analysis of research-related public policies and industrial strategies, including their impact;
  • supporting open coordination and transnational cooperation initiatives.

These activities will receive EUR 70 million funding from the programme.

Background

Since 1984, the EU has been following a technology research and development policy based on multi-annual framework programmes. The Seventh Framework Programme is the second since the launching of the Lisbon strategy in 2000. Its role is vital in relation to growth and employment in Europe over the coming years.

Key terms in the act
  • Research infrastructure: facilities, resources and services which the scientific community needs to do its research in all scientific and technological domains. This encompasses personnel, equipment, knowledge-based resources, information and communications technology, plus anything used for scientific research.

References

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

Decision 2006/974/EC

1.1.2007 – 31.12.2013

OJ L 400 of 30.12.2006

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 29 April 2009 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the progress made under the Seventh European Framework Programme for [COM(2009) 209 – Not published in the Official Journal].

All actions under the “Capacities” programme are in heavy demand, notably those supporting research for SMEs and SME associations. The realisation of 44 priority infrastructure projects of strategic European interest identified by the ‘European Strategic Forum on Research Infrastructures’ (ESFRI) are limited by a lack of Community and national resources. However, the adoption of a new legal framework for European research infrastructures in 2009 should provide a further boost and financial planning security integrating other financial instruments (EIB, Structural Funds).
The “Research potential” and “Regions of knowledge” activities which bring together scientific capacity between regions have not produced the expected results (particularly in convergence regions), as they also suffer from a lack of resources. A more efficient, targeted use of Structural Funds would raise the level of scientific and technological excellence in the EU.
The new financial system is more encouraging towards the creation of a partnership between research and society.

Decision N° 743/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 on the Community’s participation in a research and development programme undertaken by several Member States aimed at supporting research and development performing small and medium-sized enterprises [Official Journal L 201 of 30.7.2008].
The Eurostars programme supports research and development (R&D) performing SMEs. This programme is founded on Article 169 of the EC Treaty concerning the participation of the Community in the R&D programme implemented jointly by several Member States. Eurostars is aimed at aligning and synchronising national research and innovation programmes to establish an integrated joint programme in scientific, management and financial fields and to contribute towards the realisation of the European Research Area.
Eurostars is a joint programme between Eureka and the Seventh Framework Programme for technological research and development (Capacities).
It is co-funded by Member States, the other participating countries and the Community. The Community financial contribution will be EUR 100 million, whilst the 22 Member States of the EU and the 5 countries associated to the 7th FPRD will jointly provide an additional EUR 300 million. Private funding will reach EUR 400 million. The total amount for European SMEs that are active in the field of research will therefore be EUR 800 million over six years.