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Transparency, simplification of the Treaties and quality of Community legislation

Transparency, simplification of the Treaties and quality of Community legislation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Transparency, simplification of the Treaties and quality of Community legislation

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

Institutional affairs > Building europe through the treaties > The Amsterdam treaty: a comprehensive guide

Transparency, simplification of the Treaties and quality of Community legislation

The European Union often deals with complex technical matters, whilst its institutional arrangements are unique and difficult to understand on first acquaintance. Frequent misunderstandings have thus arisen between the European institutions, national political and economic interests and the European public at large. To promote a better understanding of the European integration process, the institutions are gradually adopting more transparent ways of working and taking decisions.

The concept of “transparency” applies mainly to the question of access to Union information and documents but it also has to do with the production of clearly understandable legislative texts. It involves not only producing a single consolidated version of each text which has undergone amendments (such consolidation may be done formally or informally) but also laying down drafting rules so that any piece of legislation adopted in each of the Community’s official languages (of which there are currently eleven) is as clear as possible.

The Treaty of Amsterdam confers certain rights on the public and makes recommendations to the institutions with a view to ensuring that the fullest possible information is available and thus improving the democratic workings of the European Union.

TRANSPARENCY

To clarify the concept of “transparency” some amendments have been made to the EC Treaty.

A new Article 255 has been inserted, giving any Union citizen and any natural or legal person residing or having a registered office in a member state the right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents.

The general principles governing the right of access and any restrictions on the grounds of public or private interest are to be fixed by the Council, acting under the codecision procedure with Parliament, within two years after the Treaty of Amsterdam enters into force. The three institutions concerned must include specific rules on access to documents in their Rules of Procedure.

A third paragraph has been added to Article 207 (ex Article 151), requiring the Council to grant access to documents relating to its legislative activities. As a minimum requirement, the results of votes, explanations of votes, and statements in the minutes must be made public.

These provisions clarify the rights of the public regarding access to documents and apply to all areas covered by the first and third pillars. However, they do not cover the common foreign and security policy, since that involves diplomatic rather than legislative activities. Access to certain national documents may also be restricted if the member state concerned so requests (Declaration adopted by the intergovernmental conference on Article 255).

SIMPLIFICATION AND CONSOLIDATION OF THE TREATIES

It has become difficult to read the original Treaties because of all the deletions, additions and amendments made by the Single European Act and the Treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam. To make the EU Treaty and the EC Treaty easier to follow, all their articles have been renumbered.

In a Declaration adopted by the Intergovernmental Conference, the Member States also agreed to produce consolidated versions of all the Treaties. This consolidation will have no legal status but will provide more legible texts from which any lapsed provisions will have been deleted.

QUALITY OF THE DRAFTING OF COMMUNITY LEGISLATION

The Intergovernmental Conference adopted a Declaration incorporating the conclusions of the Edinburgh European Council (11-12 December 1992) and the Council Resolution of 8 June1993. This Declaration stresses that Community legislation must be clearly drafted if it is to be properly implemented by the competent national authorities and better understood by the general public.

In particular, the Conference calls on the three main institutions responsible for drafting Community legislation (the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission) to establish guidelines for improving the quality of the texts which they draft, amend or adopt.

The Conference also called for the codification of legislative texts to be speeded up.

Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU

Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU

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

Transport > Waterborne transport

Transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the EU

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 789/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on the transfer of cargo and passenger ships between registers within the Community and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 613/91 [See amending act(s)].

Summary

The purpose of the regulation is to eliminate the technical barriers to the transfer of cargo and passenger ships flying the flag of a European Union (EU) country between the registers of EU countries while ensuring a high level of ship safety and environmental protection, in compliance with international conventions.

Scope

The regulation applies to passenger ships built on or after 1 July 1998 and cargo ships built on or after 25 May 1980 or ships that were built before those dates but have been certified as complying with the relevant European and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) regulations.

However, the regulation does not apply to:

  • ships delivered after completion of their construction that do not carry valid full-term certificates from the EU country of the losing register;
  • ships that have been refused access to EU countries’ ports in accordance with Directive 95/21/EC during the three years preceding application for registration following inspection in the port of a State signatory of the Paris Memorandum of Understanding of 1982 on Port State Control;
  • ships of war or troopships, or other ships owned or operated by an EU country and used only for government non-commercial purposes;
  • ships not propelled by mechanical means, wooden ships of primitive build, pleasure yachts not engaged in trade or fishing vessels;
  • cargo ships of less than 500 gross tonnage.

Transfer between registers

EU countries will not withhold from registration, for technical reasons arising from the conventions, a ship registered in another EU country which complies with the requirements and carries valid certificates and marine equipment in accordance with Council Directive 96/98/EC.

Upon receiving the request for transfer, the EU country of the losing register will provide the EU country of the receiving register with all relevant information on the ship, in particular on her condition and equipment. This information contains the history file of the vessel, a list of the improvements required by the losing register for registering the ship or renewing her certificates and a list of overdue surveys.

Before registering a ship, the EU country of the receiving register will subject the ship to an inspection to confirm that the actual condition of the ship and her equipment correspond to the certificates.

Certificates

Upon the transfer, the EU country of the receiving register, or the recognised organisation acting on its behalf, will issue certificates to the ship under the same conditions as those issued under the flag of the EU country of the losing register.

At the time of renewal, extension or revision of the certificates, the EU country of the receiving register, or the recognised organisation acting on its behalf, will not impose requirements other than those initially prescribed for the full-term certificates.

Refusal of transfer and interpretation

The EU country of the receiving register will immediately notify the Commission of any refusal to issue, or to authorise the issuing of, new certificates to a ship.

Where an EU country considers that a ship cannot be registered for reasons relating to serious danger to security, safety or to the environment, registration may be suspended.

Reporting

EU countries will submit to the Commission a succinct yearly report on the implementation of the regulation. By 20 May 2008 the Commission will submit a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the implementation of this regulation.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 789/2004

20.05.2004

OJ L 138, 30.04.2004

Amending act(s) Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 219/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87 of 31.3.2009

Successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 789/2004 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for information only.

TRACES system

TRACES system

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about TRACES system

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

Food safety > Veterinary checks animal health rules food hygiene

TRACES system

Document or Iniciative

Commission Decision 2003/623/EC of 19 August 2003 concerning the development of an integrated computerised veterinary system known as TRACES.

Summary

The trade control and expert system (TRAde Control and Expert System – TRACES) created a single central database for monitoring the movements of animals and products of animal origin both within the European Union (EU) and those coming from outside of the EU.

Features

The main features of TRACES are:

  • electronic transmission of information;
  • centralised management of the statutory reference data;
  • interoperability with other information systems;
  • multilingualism.

Objectives

The aims of the TRACES system are as follows to:

  • improve the quantity and quality of information on animal movements;
  • improve the exchange of information between the national and European authorities;
  • provide a system of electronic veterinary certificates which enables commercial operations to obtain information on-line;
  • produce lists of establishments from countries outside of the EU which are authorised to export products of animal origin to the EU;
  • manage consignments rejected at EU borders;
  • target controls on public and animal health and animal welfare (particularly during their transport, etc.);
  • centralise the evaluation of potential risks of an epidemic;
  • overcome linguistic difficulties by making information from other countries more accessible;
  • integrate all the operators concerned by putting in place a system for implementing operations related to exchanging documents between economic operators and competent authorities.

Functioning

Economic operators may be integrated into TRACES, subject to being registered by the competent authority to which they are linked. When they wish to transport animals, they must fill in an electronic form in a standardised format which contains all the appropriate information concerning the animal or product of animal origin, the destination and any stages.

In the case of intra-European trade in animals or products of animal origin, the information will be forwarded to the competent authority of the Member State of origin. After having checked the content of the form, the authority may reject or validate the transport. Where appropriate, it will issue the health certificate and the route plan relating to the animals’ welfare in the official languages of the Member State of origin and of destination. The private operator may only carry out the transport if they have received authorisation.

In the case of import or transit of animals or products of animal origin from outside of the EU, it is the official at the border inspection post who checks the animals or products and the veterinary import documents is responsible for entering the relevant information in the TRACES database, including the decision on whether to grant entry or refuse access to EU territory, and for issuing a Common Veterinary Entry Document (CVED).

All this information is sent to the veterinary authority of the Member State of destination, to the central veterinary authority of the country or countries of transit and to all appropriate control points. It can then be consulted during checks carried out en route and/or at the destination. This information may also be consulted by the economic operators registered in the database. The system is available to users free of charge.

Context

The TRACES system replaces several previously separate systems, notably ANIMO and SHIFT. ANIMO was established to monitor the movements of live animals and to exchange information between the national and Community authorities. In order to improve the health security of imported animals and products of animal origin from outside of the EU, an information system called SHIFT was established. SHIFT was composed of two other systems: the SML system for generating list of establishments authorised to export to the EU and the RCS system for managing the consignments refused entry at the EU border. Replacing these different systems with the single TRACES system will avoid duplication, whilst also simplifying the monitoring of animal movements and making it more efficient.

The European Commission is responsible for controlling the TRACES system, for developing and maintaining it, whereas the ANIMO system was based on a contract between the Member States and a private company. The Court of Auditors asked the Commission to take on this responsibility in the wake of problems encountered during the classical swine fever crisis in 1997.

References

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

Decision 2003/623/EC

28.08.2003

OJ L 216, 28.08.2003

Transport and the environment

Transport and the environment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Transport and the environment

Topics

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

Transport > Transport energy and the environment

Transport and the environment

Document or Iniciative

Council report of 6 October 1999 to the European Council of Helsinki on the strategy on the integration of environment and sustainable development into transport policy.

Summary

This Council strategy defines the objectives of action by the European Union (EU) and the Member States to minimise the environmental impact of transport. It aims to ensure that environmental questions are taken into account when drawing up and implementing transport policy in the sectors concerned.

The strategy recognises the positive results of certain measures already taken at EU level, but underlines that further progress is required in the following areas:

  • avoidance and/or elimination of the negative effects of traffic growth, particularly through land use measures and infrastructure charging;
  • promotion of public transport, inter modal and combined transport and environmentally less harmful modes (e.g. railways and inland waterway);
  • further research and technological development, in particular to reduce CO2 emissions and noise;
  • raising of awareness among the public, vehicle drivers and the industry of how to reduce the environmental impact of transport, e.g. through indicators and vehicle standardisation.

The strategy calls on Member States to take these measures at national level and within the framework of international organisations. The Commission is invited to gather and disseminate information (including indicators) in these areas, present proposals on pricing and emission standards and encourage the transport sector in various ways.

A number of measures preceded and followed this strategy in various transport sectors: road, rail, maritime and air transport.

Infrastructure charging

It is possible to make users bear certain environmental costs resulting from their use of transport, particularly where they use transport infrastructures (“polluter pays” principle). This taking account of external environmental costs in infrastructure charging is authorised by two sectoral Directives. There is, however, no common legislative framework for all transport modes that would propose a common methodology and timetable in order to avoid distortions of competition.

As regards the transport of goods by road, Directive 1999/62/EC provides a common framework for fixing user charges for motorway infrastructures or those with similar characteristics. The Directive does not provide for charging for environmental costs in addition to the infrastructure cost per se. It does however allow charges to be varied to take account of levels of pollution from heavy goods vehicles and the time of day. The proposed revision of this Directive will be adopted soon and will allow Member States to apply tolls and user charges on all other roads. The principal changes are as follows:

  • application of the Directive to vehicles over 3.5 tonnes from 2012, where currently it applies only to vehicles over 12 tonnes;
  • greater scope for varying tolls on the basis of environmental criteria (to encourage the use of cleaner vehicles) and time of day (to discourage traffic during peak hours and thus reduce jams);
  • variation of tolls on the basis of vehicle emission classes will be compulsory after 2010, with possible derogations;
  • possibility of introducing a increased toll on certain trans-European corridors in mountain areas to allow cross-financing of alternative transport infrastructures.

For rail transport, Directive 2001/14/EC allows the variation of charges on the basis of revenue neutrality but does not make it compulsory to charge for environmental costs in addition to infrastructure costs and these are not charged to the railway operators. Few infrastructure managers apply such variation in practice.

Proposals concerning charging for port and airport infrastructures, as well as a framework communication, are contained in the Commission work programme for 2006.

Road transport

The adoption since 1970 of a number of Directives relating to emissions from motor vehicles, whether light vehicles (cars, light commercial vehicles) or heavy vehicles (lorries, buses) has had the effect of gradually reducing emissions of gases and particles as well as, to some extent, the noise from the vehicles used. The reductions in atmospheric emissions laid down by EURO I to V concern four main pollutants: carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), particles and hydrocarbons.

As regards CO2, the Community objective is to achieve an average emission level from new vehicles of 120 g CO2/km. Europe has a three-pronged approach in this connection:

  • voluntary commitments by the automobile industry under which European (ACEA), Japanese (JAMA) and Korean (KAMA) car makers have undertaken to reduce average emissions from new vehicles by 25% between 1995 and 2008-2009 (from 186 g CO2/km in 1995 to 140 g CO2/km in 2008-2009). Compliance with these commitments is the subject of annual reports by the Commission;
  • better information for consumers on fuel consumption and CO2 emissions;
  • introduction of fiscal measures to promote the purchase of less polluting vehicles.

Moreover, the standards relating to transport fuel quality have been significantly improved, in particular as regards their sulphur content. The EU has also established an indicative percentage of biofuels to replace diesel or petrol for transport purposes in each Member State (2% in 2005 and 5.75% in 2010).

Directive 1999/30/EC lays down limit values for NOx, SO2, particles and lead and alert thresholds for SO2 and NOx in ambient air. Member States must ensure that up-to-date information on the concentrations of these substances is regularly made available to the public. The limit values for NOx were due to be reached in 2001, those concerning SO2 and the EU10 in 2005 and those concerning NO2 and lead in 2010.

Non-road land transport

Polluting emissions from railway transport are regulated by the Directive on non-road mobile machinery.

Under Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system, the technical specifications for interoperability (TSI) on high-speed rolling stock lay down noise limits. Following its amendment in 2004, Directive 2001/16/EC does the same for the trans-European conventional rail system.

Maritime and inland waterway transport

The EU has adopted a strategy to reduce the atmospheric emissions of seagoing ships. It has also put in place a raft of measures on maritime safety in order to prevent further ecological disasters like the Erika or Prestige. These measures concern among other things the prevention of pollution caused by ships, mechanisms for cooperation in the event of marine pollution and the possibility of criminal sanctions against those responsible for marine pollution.

Polluting emissions from inland waterway vessels are regulated by the Directive on non-road mobile machinery.

Air transport

In a communication on air transport and the environment, the Commission identified the pillars of a strategy for incorporating environmental concerns in air transport policy: improving technical environmental standards relating to noise and atmospheric emissions; strengthening economic incentives; helping airports in their environmental efforts; promoting research and development in the long term.

As regards noise, the EU has adopted rules on noise management in Community airports. These rules are based in particular on decisions taken within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). They include a ban on access to European airports for the noisiest aircraft and aircraft construction standards.

In its communication on aviation and climate change, the Commission weighs up the options for reducing the impact of the aviation sector on climate change. Apart from pursuing the possibilities available in relation to research, air traffic management and energy taxation, it also proposes to incorporate the air transport sector into the Community greenhouse gas emissions trading system.

Transport and noise

Under Directive 2002/49/EC, Member States have to map ambient noise levels from major transport infrastructures and urban transport in agglomerations. They must also draw up ambient noise management plans aimed at reducing harmful exposure and protecting quiet areas. Community legislation does not define limit values for ambient noise and leaves Member States and the competent authorities in question to decide how to protect against noise.

Context

The growth in vehicle numbers and use is a threat to the environment and the health of European citizens.

The European Environment Agency measures, analyses and, under the TERM (Transport & Environment Reporting Mechanism), regularly reports on the environmental impact of transport. The Agency underlines the risks of the EU failing to meet its commitments under the Kyoto protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The thematic strategy on atmospheric pollution fixes targets for the reduction of certain pollutants and reinforces the legislative framework to combat atmospheric pollution using a two-pronged approach: improving Community environmental legislation and including air quality considerations in related policies. As provided for in the strategy, the Commission has proposed a new “EURO V” standard to reduce polluting emissions from light motor vehicles and in particular reduce emissions from vehicles with diesel engines by 80%. The strategy also envisages a number of measures to reduce emissions of SO2 and NOx from ships (these emissions are forecast to exceed emissions from land sources by 2020).

The proposal for a Directive on energy end use efficiency and energy services underlines the important role of fuels and the transport sector in relation to energy efficiency and energy saving. It lays down a number of measures to this end.

The thematic strategy on the urban environment underlines the need to introduce plans for the sustainable urban transport of persons and goods, including environmental requirements, and linked to policies on optimum land use. It announces the distribution by the Commission of a practical guide for urban authorities to help them introduce such plans and disseminate good practice.

The formulation of this strategy was requested by the Vienna European Council (December 1998). There were calls for other strategies in the various sectors of Community action at that European Council and the Cologne European Council (June 1999). The European Council in Cardiff (June 1998) laid the foundations for coordinated action at Community level on the integration of environmental requirements in European Union policies.

Related Acts


Decision No 1753/2000/EC

of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 June 2000 establishing a scheme to monitor the average specific emissions of CO2 from new passenger cars [Official Journal L 202, 10.8.2000].

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, of 31 March 1998, on Transport and CO2: developing a Community approach [

COM(98) 204

– Not published in the Official Journal].

Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trans-european networks

Topics

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

Regional policy > Management of regional policy > Trans-european networks

Trans-european networks

TRANSPORT

  • EU guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network
  • Interoperability of the rail system within the EU
  • Community financial aid to trans-European networks
  • Interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system
  • Interoperability of the conventional rail system
  • Connecting the infrastructure network
  • Satellite navigation: Galileo

ENERGY

  • Trans-European energy networks

TELECOMMUNICATIONS

  • Guidelines for trans-European telecommunications networks

Transport, energy and the environment

Transport, energy and the environment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Transport, energy and the environment

Topics

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

Transport > Transport energy and the environment

Transport, energy and the environment

Transport is the source of nearly a third of the European Union’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Their reduction, particularly in the context of the Kyoto Protocol, requires research and the introduction of alternative solutions, specifically in the road transport sector. The Union has thus defined a policy to promote biofuels and the reduction of emissions in road and air transport. Shipping also presents the problem of marine pollution. The Union intervenes to limit pollution caused by vessels, as well as to penalise malicious conduct.

PROTECTION AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • Clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles
  • The Transport Protocol of the Alpine Convention
  • Transport and the environment
  • Integrating the environment into aerial transport
  • Aviation and climate change
  • Noise management at EU airports
  • Internalisation of external transport costs

BIOFUELS AND EMISSIONS REDUCTION

  • Reduction of carbon dioxide emissions from light commercial vehicles
  • Reduction in CO? emissions of new passenger cars
  • Emissions from heavy duty vehicles (Euro VI): certification rules
  • “Green” vehicles: a European strategy
  • EU strategy for biofuels
  • Reduction of pollutant emissions from light vehicles
  • Pollutant gases of wheeled agricultural or forestry tractors

PREVENTION OF MARINE POLLUTION

  • Strategy to reduce atmospheric emissions from seagoing ships
  • Maritime safety: prevention of pollution from ships
  • Ship-source pollution and criminal penalties
  • Maritime safety: Bunkers Convention
  • Maritime safety: compensation fund for oil pollution damage
  • Maritime safety: prohibition of organotin compounds on ships

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement

Topics

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

Development > South Africa

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2004/441/EC of 26 April 2004 concerning the conclusion of the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, on the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, on the other part [See amending acts].

Summary

The European Union (EU) and South Africa have concluded an agreement on trade, development and cooperation (TDCA), designed to strengthen cooperation in various fields.
This Agreement pursues several objectives: strengthening dialogue between the parties, supporting South Africa in its economic and social transition process, promoting regional cooperation and the country’s economic integration in southern Africa and in the world economy, and expanding and liberalising trade in goods, services and capital between the parties.

Based on respect for democratic principles, human rights and the rule of law, the Agreement establishes a regular political dialogue on subjects of common interest, both at bilateral and regional level (within the framework of the EU’s dialogue with the countries of southern Africa and with the group of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) countries).

The duration of the Agreement is unspecified, but provision is made for its revision within five years of the date of its entry into force in order to consider possible amendments.

The Agreement covers a number of areas and includes a future developments clause making it possible to widen the field of cooperation.

TRADE

The TDCA establishes preferential trade arrangements between the EU and South Africa, with the progressive introduction of a Free Trade Area (FTA). The EU is South Africa’s main trading and investment partner. The FTA aims to ensure better access to the Community market for South Africa and access to the South African market for the EU. As a result, it plays an important role in South Africa’s integration into the world economy. The Agreement covers around 90 % of current bilateral trade between the two parties.

The Agreement provides for the liberalisation of 95 % of the EU’s imports from South Africa within ten years, and 86 % of South Africa’s imports from the EU in twelve years. In order to protect the vulnerable sectors of both parties, certain products are excluded from the FTA and others have been only partially liberalised. For the EU, these are mainly agricultural products, while for South Africa, they are industrial products, in particular certain motor vehicle products and certain textile and clothing products. However, since December 2006 there has been provision for a strengthening of trade liberalisation in the motor vehicle sector.

The Agreement sets out detailed rules of origin in order to ensure that products benefiting from the preferential arrangements come only from South Africa or the EU. To take account of modern international production processes, special provisions make the rules of origin more flexible.

South Africa and the EU may implement safeguard measures when an imported product threatens to cause serious injury to the national industry. The Agreement also allows South Africa to adopt transitional safeguard measures (for example, an increase or reintroduction of customs duties). In addition, similar measures make it possible to protect the economies of members of the Central African Customs Union and the outermost regions of the EU (such as Reunion).

The Agreement includes provisions aimed at avoiding abuse by firms with a dominant position on the market and thus ensuring free competition among the companies from the EU and South Africa. Cooperation takes place within the framework of consultations between the competent authorities. In addition, the EU provides technical assistance to help South Africa restructure its competition laws. The Agreement also recognises the need to provide adequate protection for intellectual property and provides for urgent consultations, where necessary, and technical assistance for South Africa.

Lastly, the TDCA provides for close cooperation in a wide range of fields linked to trade, including customs services, the free movement of services and capital, and technical obstacles such as certification and standardisation.

DEVELOPMENT COOPERATION

EU development aid for South Africa is mainly implemented from the Community budget through the financing instrument for development cooperation (DCI). For the period 2007–13, the DCI has a budget of €980 million for South Africa.

The indicative programme for cooperation with South Africa for 2007–13indicates two areas on which attention should be focused: job creation in the informal economy sector and integration into the formal economy, and capacity-building for the provision of basic social-security services and social cohesion.

As with other development cooperation agreements, decentralised cooperation is a key element of assistance, thus requiring a high degree of civil society involvement in the development process.

ECONOMIC COOPERATION

Both parties are stepping up their economic cooperation in many fields such as industry (in order to facilitate the restructuring of South African industry), the information society, the creation and development of small and medium-sized enterprises, transport and energy. Cooperation in this field should also support sustainable development in their economies and protect the environment.

OTHER ASPECTS

The provisions of the Agreement cover cooperation in fields as diverse as:

  • social cooperation, based on dialogue covering a number of aspects, such as freedom of association, workers’ rights, children’s rights, gender equality and violence against women;
  • cooperation to protect the environment, particularly as regards climate change;
  • cultural cooperation;
  • cooperation in the fight against drugs and money laundering;
  • cooperation in the field of health and, in particular, the fight against AIDS.

Lastly, the TDCA contains some institutional provisions. It creates a Cooperation Council to ensure the smooth operation of the Agreement. And it provides for regular contact between the parties; for example, between their Parliaments and between the EU’s Economic and Social Committee and its South-African counterpart, the National Economic Development and Labour Council.

BACKGROUND

Signed on 11 October 1999 in Pretoria, the TDCA entered fully into force on 1 May 2004. However, some provisions which fall within Community competence have been applied since 1 January 2000.

The Agreement is supplemented by three additional agreements: the Science and Technology Agreement, and the Wine and Spirits Agreements. The Fisheries Agreement envisaged under the TDCA has not been concluded. South Africa also has qualified membership of the Cotonou Agreement, which governs the relations between the EU and ACP countries.

REFERENCES

Act Date of entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2004/441/EC

[adoption: assent AVC/1999/0112]

26.04.2004

OJ L 127, 29.04.2004

Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement (TDCA)

01.01.2004

OJ L 311, 04.12.1999

Amending Act(s) Date of entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 2006/166/EC

21.12.2005

OJ L 57, 28.02.2006

Related Acts

Proposal for a Council Decision of 4 February 2008 on the signing of an Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part, amending the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation [COM(2008) 50 – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission proposes an enlargement of the scope of cooperation provided for in the TDC agreement. The new areas of cooperation should contribute in particular to the effective implementation of the socio-economic programme of the African Union. The partners commit to pursue their efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Cooperation should extend to energy policy in order to ensure stability of prices, security and diversification of sources of supply, the development of science, technologies and the information society, and the sectors of beneficiation of minerals, transport and satellite navigation systems.

The agreement includes provisions on international justice and the International Criminal Court. It refers to the application of international instruments for disarmament and the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. It also provides for stepping up cooperation in the fight against terrorism and its financing, organised crime, the prevention of mercenary activities and the eradication of small arms trading. It provides for in-depth political dialogue on the question of migration, so as to reduce illegal immigration, ensure full respect of human rights and the elimination of discrimination.

Discussions on trade and trade-related issues will take place in the context of the negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA).

Communication of 28 June 2006 from the Commission to the Council and to the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council to give orientation to the Commission for the revision of the Agreement on Trade, Development and Cooperation between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of South Africa, of the other part [COM(2006) 348 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
This communication, adopted parallel to that proposing a strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa, identifies which parts of the TDCA should be examined with a view to possible amendments. Following this communication, in November 2006 the Council adopted the negotiating mandate and the EU-South Africa Cooperation Council of 14 November 2006 agreed to launching the negotiations to revise the TDCA. These negotiations were concluded on 10 October 2007.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1747/2000 of 7 August 2000 amending Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 on certain procedures for applying the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa [Official Journal L 200, 08.08.2000].
The Regulation amends the annex to Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 to bring it into line with Commission Regulation (EC) No 2204/1999 on the tariff and statistical nomenclature and on the Common Customs Tariff. In this respect, it amends the codes of the combined nomenclature of the annex in question.

Council Regulation (EC) No 2793/1999 of 17 December 1999 on certain procedures for applying the Trade, Development and Cooperation Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of South Africa [Official Journal L 337, 30.12.1999].

The Regulation establishes, in particular, the arrangements for the implementation of the Agreement’s trade provisions, for example, the criteria for the calculation of customs duties, etc. The Commission is responsible for the implementation of the Regulation and is assisted by a Customs Code Committee.

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies

Topics

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

Food safety > Animal nutrition

Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies (TSEs)

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 laying down rules for the prevention, control and eradication of certain transmissible spongiform encephalopathies [See amending act(s)].

Summary

Since the early ’80s, the appearance of several transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs) has been ascertained separately in man (Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease and its variants) and in animals (bovine spongiform encephalopathy or BSE).

SCOPE

This Regulation lays down rules for the prevention, control and eradication of transmissible spongiform encephalopathies in animals. It applies to the production, placing on the market and in certain cases the exportation of live animals and products of animal origin.

This Regulation does not apply to:

  • cosmetic products, medicaments, raw materials or any other product of animal origin used in their production;
  • raw materials or any other product of animal origin not used in the production of human food, animal feed or fertilisers;
  • products of animal origin intended for exhibitions, teaching, scientific research, special studies or analyses, provided those products are not consumed finally or reused by humans or by animals;
  • live animals used in or intended for research.

DETERMINATION OF BSE STATUS

The Commission establishes a list which ranks the Member States, the third countries or their regions in different categories according to the BSE risk. The European system for the classification of countries according to their level of risk is similar to that recommended by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE).

BSE status is determined on the basis of (Annex II):

  • the results of a risk analysis based on the following factors: the consumption by bovine animals of meat-and-bone meal or greaves derived from ruminants; the importation of such meat-and-bone meal or greaves potentially contaminated by a TSE agent; the importation of potentially contaminated animals or ova/embryos; the epidemiological status of the country or region in regard to TSEs; knowledge about the structure of the bovine, ovine and caprine populations of the zone in question; the source and treatment of animal waste and the methods of producing animal feed;
  • the evaluation of specific criteria: the outcome of a risk analysis identifying the potential factors for the appearance of BSE and their development over time; the training programme for veterinarians, breeders and those who transport, trade in or slaughter bovine animals; the compulsory reporting and examination of all bovine animals showing clinical signs of BSE; the system of surveillance and monitoring of BSE (obligation to keep the reports for seven years); examination in an approved laboratory of samples of encephala or other tissues collected.

There are three levels for classifying the BSE status of a country or one of its regions:

  • level 1: countries or regions with a negligible BSE risk;
  • level 2: countries or regions with a controlled BSE risk;
  • level 3: countries or regions with undetermined BSE risk.

PREVENTION OF TSEs

Monitoring system

Each Member State must carry out an annual programme for monitoring BSE and scrapie, which includes a screening programme using rapid tests. Annex III gives details of the monitoring system to be put in place for these two diseases. Besides the compulsory controls for all animals which show signs giving rise to a suspicion of TSE, rapid post mortem screening must be performed on:

  • all bovine animals over 24 months of age that are intended for human consumption and have undergone emergency slaughter;
  • all bovine animals over 30 months of age slaughtered normally for the purposes of human consumption or as part of a BSE eradication campaign;
  • all bovine animals over 24 months of age that are not intended for human consumption and have died or been slaughtered, but not in connection with an epidemic such as foot-and-mouth disease. Member States may derogate from these provisions in remote areas with a low animal density, where no collection of dead animals is organised. They shall inform the Commission thereof. The derogation shall not cover more than 10 % of the bovine population in the Member State;
  • all bovine animals over 24 months of age that have been declared sick following an ante mortem inspection;
  • an annual sample of ovine or caprine animals over 18 months of age or which have more than two permanent incisors erupted through the gum and slaughtered for the purposes of human consumption. This provision concerns those Member States where the population of ewes or female goats exceeds 750 000 animals;
  • an annual sample of ovine or caprine animals which are not intended for human consumption and are over 18 months of age or have more than two permanent incisors erupted through the gum;
  • any other animals. The Member States may carry out monitoring programmes in respect of animals used for dairy production, animals derived from herds infected with TSE or derived from TSE-infected dams, and animals which have consumed potentially contaminated feedingstuffs.

At the latest by 31 March each year, Member States must submit to the Commission an annual report containing, in particular, information on the number of suspected cases per animal species placed under movement restrictions. Within three months following receipt of the report, the Commission has to present a consolidated report on the epidemiological situation in the Community.

The Member States must also inform the Commission and the other Member States of the occurrence in their territory of other cases of TSEs, notably those detected in animals with resistant genotypes. The prion protein genotype shall be determined for each positive TSE case in sheep.

Prohibitions concerning animal feeding

The Regulation prohibits the feeding to ruminants of animal protein and animal feed containing such protein. As regards the feeding of farm animals with the exception of carnivorous fur-producing animals, it is forbidden to use processed animal protein, gelatine of ruminant origin, blood products, hydrolysed protein, dicalcium and tricalcium phosphates of animal origin.

These prohibitions do not apply to the use of the following feedingstuffs and proteins which, where appropriate, have been processed in accordance with the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 on animal by-products not intended for human consumption:

  • in the feeding of non-ruminants: fishmeal, hydrolised proteins derived from non-ruminants and ruminant hides and skins, dicalcium phosphate and tricalcium phosphate;
  • in the feeding of ruminants: milk, milk-based products and colostrum, eggs and egg products, gelatine derived from non-ruminants, fishmeal where they are used for the production of milk replacers used solely in the feeding of young ruminants;
  • in the feeding of fish: blood products and bloodmeal derived from non-ruminants.

Since 1 November 2003, the Member States have had to provide the other Member States and the Commission with an up-to-date list of EU-approved slaughterhouses which do not slaughter ruminants. They must also send a list of the establishments authorised to produce the animal feedingstuffs and animal proteins specified above.

The export to a third country of processed animal proteins of ruminant origin and of products containing such proteins must comply with the legislation in force within the European Union. In advance and in writing, the third country of destination must undertake to use and/or re-export the products taking due account of their intended final use. The Member State authorising the export must inform the other Member States and the Commission.

Specified risk material

Besides establishing procedures for disposing of specified risk materials (SRMs), Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 also defines their specific nature for countries or regions with a controlled or undetermined BSE risk:

  • in relation to bovine animals:
    1. the skull excluding the mandible and including the brain and eyes, and spinal cord of bovine animals aged over 12 months;
    2. the vertebral column excluding the vertebrae of the tail, the transverse processes of the lumbar and thoracic vertebrae and the wings of the sacrum, but including dorsal root ganglia of bovine animals aged over 30 months, and the tonsils, the intestines from the duodenum to the rectum and the mesentery of bovine animals of all ages;
  • in relation to ovine and caprine animals:
    1. the skull including the brain and eyes, the tonsils and the spinal cord of ovine and caprine animals aged over 12 months or which have a permanent incisor erupted through the gum, and the spleen and ileum of ovine and caprine animals of all ages.

Member States with a negligible BSE risk shall continue to be subject to the obligation to remove SRMs.

For countries or regions with a controlled or undetermined BSE risk, the bones of bovine, ovine and caprine animals may not be used to produce mechanically separated meat. The head meat and vertebral column of bovine animals over 30 months of age and the tongues of bovine animals of all ages must be harvested using specific methods.

Specified risk material must be removed in slaughterhouses, in cutting plants in the case of the vertebral column of bovine animals, and where appropriate in the approved establishments referred to in Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009 on animal by-products not intended for human consumption. On removal, all SRMs or by-products must be stained with a dye or marked with a marker. They must be used and destroyed in accordance with Regulation (EC) No 1069/2009. Member States must carry out frequent official inspections to verify the application of these rules and to ensure that measures are taken to avoid contamination at all levels.

Training programmes

Member States must ensure that staff of the competent authority, of diagnostic laboratories and colleges of agriculture and veterinary medicine, as well as official veterinarians, slaughterhouse personnel and animal breeders, have been given training in the clinical signs and epidemiology of TSE. To this end, the Community may grant financial assistance.

CONTROL AND ERADICATION OF TSEs

Measures with respect to animals suspected of being infected by a TSE

Without prejudice to European measures concerning the notification of diseases, the Member States must ensure that any animal suspected of being infected by a TSE is notified to the competent authorities. They must regularly inform each other and the Commission of the cases notified.

Any animal suspected of being infected by a TSE must be placed under an official movement restriction until the results of a clinical and epidemiological examination are known, or must be killed for laboratory examination under official control. All other ruminants on the holding are also subject to an official movement restriction until the results are available.

If it appears that a suspect animal may have been exposed to the TSE on a holding other than the one where the suspicion occurred, the competent authority may decide that only the suspect animal shall be placed under an official movement restriction and may also place other holdings under surveillance.

Measures in cases where a TSE has been confirmed

When a case of TSE has been officially confirmed, the following measures must be applied:

  • an inquiry must be launched to identify the possible origin of the disease and all animals and derived products which may be contaminated;
  • in case of confirmation of BSE in a bovine animal, killing and complete destruction of the bovine animals identified as being at risk by the inquiry (in particular, animals belonging to the birth or feed cohort of the infected animal). The Member State may decide to defer the killing and destruction of the animals until the end of their productive life in the case of breeding bulls intended for semen collection, provided it can be ensured that they are destroyed after their death;
  • in case of confirmation of BSE in an ovine or caprine animal, killing and complete destruction of all ovine and caprine animals in the herd;
  • in case of confirmation of TSE in an ovine or caprine animal, BSE being excluded, killing and complete destruction of all ovine and caprine animals in the herd or, and solely in the case of ovine animals, killing and selective destruction of animals with a genotype susceptible to TSEs. If the infected animal has been introduced from another holding, the Member State may decide to apply eradication measures on the holding of origin in addition to, or instead of, the holding where the infection was confirmed.

Pending the results of the inquiry, the holding in which the infection was confirmed is placed under official control and any movement of animals susceptible to TSEs (and products of animal origin) from or to the holding must be strictly authorised by the competent authority. This measure guarantees the identification and effective traceability of movements of animals (or derived products). If it is discovered that the holding on which the TSE was confirmed is not that where the animal was exposed to the agent responsible for the TSE, the authorities may place several holdings under control in addition to the holding on which the animal was exposed. Derogations from these general rules may be granted.

Owners are compensated without delay for the loss of animals or products of animal origin.

Member States must draw up guidelines specifying the national measures to be implemented, as well as competences and responsibilities where cases of TSE are confirmed.

PLACING ON THE MARKET, IMPORTATION AND EXPORTATION

Live animals, their semen, embryos and ova

When their importation, placing on the market or exportation is authorised, live animals and their embryo and ova must be accompanied by appropriate animal health certificates. In the case of ovine and caprine animals, the certificates must attest that the animals come from holdings in which no case of scrapie has ever been diagnosed or, in the case of ovine animals, that they are of a genotype resistant to TSEs.

It is prohibited to place on the market the last-born progeny to which female bovine, ovine or caprine animals infected with a TSE gave birth during the years preceding the appearance of the first clinical signs of the disease.

Placing on the market and importation of products of animal origin

This Regulation imposes a high level of safety as regards BSE. It requires the application to imports of bovine meat into the European Union of the same measures as those applicable within the Union, with the exception of third countries with a negligible BSE risk. For example, it prohibits imports from third countries with a controlled BSE risk of specified risk material or meat-based products containing SRM. Hence the third countries concerned must ensure that the animal slaughtering techniques comply with the European rules.

These rules also apply to a list of bovine, ovine and caprine products from third countries: rendered fats, gelatine, petfood, bones and bone-based products, raw materials for the manufacture of animal feed.

Safeguard measures

The Regulation provides for safeguard measures which may be applied to intra-European trade and trade with third countries. These measures are basically derived from existing Directives in this field (notably Directives 89/662/EEC, 90/425/EEC, 91/496/EEC and 97/78/EC). There are several such measures. For example, if an importing Member State ascertains, during official controls, the presence of a disease which presents a serious threat to human or animal health, the authorities may take more restrictive measures, including the quarantining of the animals concerned. The Commission may also adopt such measures.

Reference laboratories, sampling, testing and controls

To ensure the uniformity of scientific analysis and reliable results, national and European reference laboratories must be designated. If necessary, experts from the Commission may check the functioning of their installations.

The national reference laboratories are mainly responsible for verifying the diagnostic methods used in the regional laboratories and their coordination within the Member State. They are required to cooperate with the Community reference laboratory.

A Member State without a national reference laboratory must be entitled to use a European reference laboratory or that of another Member State.

Together with the Commission, the European reference laboratory has to coordinate the methods employed in the Member States for diagnosing BSE and contributes to identifying outbreaks of TSE.

The analysis and sampling methods used must comply with the standards laid down in the Manual of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE). Inter alia they must set out procedures to be used in the event of suspect cases and in the framework of the annual monitoring programme.

Institutional provisions

The Commission is assisted by the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health and by the appropriate scientific committees on measures which could have an impact on public health.

References

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

Regulation (EC) No 999/2001

1.7.2001

OJ L 147, 31.5.2004.

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

Regulation (EC) No 1128/2003

18.7.2003

OJ L 160, 28.6.2003.

Regulation (EC) No 932/2005

1.7.2005

OJ L 163, 23.6.2005.

Regulation (EC) No 1923/2006

19.1.2007

OJ L 404, 30.12.2006

Regulation (EC) No 220/2009

20.4.2009

OJ L 87, 31.3.2009

The successive amendments and corrections to Regulation (EC) No 999/2001 have been incorporated into the basic text. This consolidated versionis for reference only.

Related Acts

Commission Decision 2007/453/EC of 29 June 2007 establishing the BSE status of Member States or third countries or regions thereof according to their BSE risk [Official Journal L 172 of 30.6.2007].

Commission Decision 2002/1003/EC of 18 December 2002 laying down minimum requirements for a survey of prion protein genotypes of sheep breeds [Official Journal L 349 of 24.12.2002].
By 1 July 2003 at the latest, each Member State must complete a survey of the prion protein genotype of each of its sheep breeds which are native or form a significant population in its territory. It must provide a report to the Commission by 1 October 2003 at the latest.

Communication from the Commission of 16 July 2010: “The TSE Roadmap 2 A Strategy paper on Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathies for 2010-2015” [COM(2010) 384 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The majority of short and medium term actions envisaged in the first TSE Roadmap have been achieved and the positive trend already observed in 2005 in the Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy (BSE) epidemic has continued since then. The goal for the coming years is to continue the review of the measures while assuring a high level of food safety. Amendments to the TSE rules are and will continue to be taken following a stepwise approach supported by a solid scientific basis. The EU is on the point of eradicating BSE within its cattle population; however, it should continue to monitor the situation in case of a potential re-emergence of BSE or emergence of a new TSE agent in the cattle population. The review should be based primarily on scientific advice and technical issues related to the control and enforcement of the new measures.

Communication from the Commission of 15 July 2005: “TSE Road map” [COM(2005) 322 – Not published in the Official Journal].

Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment

Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social dialogue and employee participation

Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 2003/174/EC of 6March2003 establishing a Tripartite Social Summit for Growth and Employment.

Summary

The task of the Tripartite Social Summit is to ensure social dialogue between European institutions and employers’ and workers’ representatives. The Summit takes place within the context of cross-industry dialogue. Its agenda therefore includes issues affecting all economic sectors and workers within the European Union (EU).

In addition, the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) henceforth recognises the Summit’s contribution to the proper conduct of European social dialogue (Article152).

Operation

The Summit meets at least once a year, before the spring European Council. It brings together representatives of:

  • the Council Presidency and the two subsequent Presidencies;
  • the Commission;
  • the social partners, who are divided into two delegations of equal size comprising 10workers’ representatives and 10employers’ representatives.

The agenda for the Summit is determined jointly by the representatives of the institutions and the social partners.

Background

The Social Summit replaced the Standing Committee on Employment following a joint decision of the social partners at the Laeken Summit in December 2001.

It institutionalises the informal social summits held since December 2000 in the context of the Lisbon Strategy for Jobs and Growth.

References

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

Decision 2003/174/EC

6.3.2003

OJ L 70, 14.3.2003

Treaty of Nice: A Comprehensive Guide

Treaty of Nice: A Comprehensive Guide

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Treaty of Nice: A Comprehensive Guide

Topics

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

Institutional affairs > Building europe through the treaties > Treaty of Nice: A Comprehensive Guide

Treaty of Nice: A Comprehensive Guide

The thematic factsheets contained in this guide sum up as clearly as possible the main changes brought about by the Treaty of Nice. They are for information only.

The factsheets are not legally binding on the European Commission. They do not claim to be exhaustive and do not represent an official interpretation of the Treaty text.

Within each factsheet, you may obtain definitions of certain terms by clicking on the relevant links to the glossary. Where appropriate, links are also provided to the guide to the Treaty of Amsterdam and to the full text of the provisions of the various Treaties (EC, EU and Nice).

  • Introduction

Institutional questions

  • The Council of the European Union
  • The European Commission
  • The judicial system of the European Union: Court of Justice and Court of First Instance
  • The other institutions and bodies of the Union

The decision-making system

  • Enhanced cooperation
  • Qualified majority voting

Other reforms

  • Thematic provisions
  • The declarations and protocols annexed to the Treaty