Tag Archives: WH

White Paper on Youth

White Paper on Youth

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on Youth


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

Education training youth sport > Youth

White Paper on Youth

Document or Iniciative

European Commission white paper of 21 November 2001 – A new impetus for European youth [COM(2001) 681 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


In recent years, Europe has experienced economic and socio-cultural changes that have significantly affected its youth. Hoping to meet the expectations of young people by giving them the means to express their ideas and to make a greater contribution to society, the Commission adopted this White Paper following wide-spread consultations with all relevant stakeholders at both national and European level, including young people themselves.

The White Paper on Youth is also intended as a response to young people’s strong disaffection with the traditional forms of participation in public life. Following the example of the White Paper on Governance, it calls on young Europeans to become active citizens.

In order to help European Union (EU) countries and regions to take action for young people in Europe, the White Paper proposes a new framework for cooperation consisting of two components: increasing cooperation between EU countries and taking greater account of the youth factor in sectoral policies.

Increasing cooperation between EU countries

The “open method of coordination” encourages cooperation between EU countries and takes advantage of best practice developed throughout Europe. It involves setting guidelines for the EU, together with timetables for meeting the short, medium and long-term objectives set by EU countries. It also provides for monitoring mechanisms. In this connection, the White Paper proposes appointing a national coordinator as Commission representative for youth-related issues.

The priority areas for this method of work are as follows:

  • introducing new ways of enabling young people to participate in public life. The Commission proposes giving general currency to regional and national youth councils and overhauling the European Youth Forum in order to make it more representative. In 2003 and 2004, the Commission will also launch pilot projects with a view to encouraging participation among young people;
  • improving information on European issues. To this end, the Commission proposes setting up an Internet portal and forum to allow young people to obtain information and express their opinions;
  • encouraging voluntary service. As an educational experience and a way of integrating young people into society, voluntary service plays an important role both at European level, within the European Voluntary Service (the EVS is part of the Youth in Action programme), and at national, regional and local levels, for which EU countries need to make a greater effort to eliminate the remaining obstacles to mobility;
  • increasing knowledge of youth-related issues. This involves, inter alia, networking existing research work and structures at European level.

Incorporating the youth factor into sectoral policies

The White Paper calls for EU and national policies to take greater account of the needs of young people. The policies most concerned are employment and social integration, the fight against racism and xenophobia, education, lifelong learning and mobility. The complex question of young people’s autonomy is also included in the future work programme.


On the basis of Article 149 of the Treaty establishing the European Community (now Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union), various European level actions related to young people have been developed in recent years in the fields of education, employment, vocational training and information technologies. EU countries have also begun to cooperate on issues related to youth exchanges and mobility.

All of these specific actions have received constant support from the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers, either when the programmes were being adopted or in the form of resolutions relating inter alia to the participation of young people or their social inclusion and, later, to young people’s sense of initiative. The Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee have regularly issued positive and encouraging opinions on various aspects of youth. However, greater use needed to be made of this body of information, and this still modest cooperation needed to be consolidated for and with young people themselves.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council of 22 October 2004 – Follow-up to the White Paper on a New Impetus for European Youth: evaluation of activities conducted in the framework of European cooperation in the youth field [COM(2004) 694 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
The Commission takes stock of the progress made since the publication of the White Paper, in terms of the mandate expressly conferred upon it by the Council and the undertakings made with regard to all those involved in the process. The Commission’s undertakings have all been fulfilled, and the widespread mobilisation of young people, youth organisations, public authorities, ministers and European institutions has been achieved.
To prevent any loss of the new impetus imparted by the White Paper, the Commission feels that the Council should take account of the following aspects:

  • the priorities of the European cooperation framework must be discussed;
  • the balance between the flexibility and effectiveness of the open method of coordination in the youth field must be reassessed;
  • the open method of coordination must lead to effective action at national level in order to guarantee young people’s support for and commitment to the process;
  • young people should be consulted regularly, in a structured and effective way, at both national and European levels.

White paper: European transport policy for 2010

White paper: European transport policy for 2010

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White paper: European transport policy for 2010


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

Transport > Bodies and objectives

White paper: European transport policy for 2010

This document aims to strike a balance between economic development and the quality and safety demands made by society in order to develop a modern, sustainable transport system for 2010.

Document or Iniciative

White Paper submitted by the Commission on 12 September 2001: “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” [COM(2001) 370 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The Commission has proposed 60 or so measures to develop a transport system capable of shifting the balance between modes of transport, revitalising the railways, promoting transport by sea and inland waterway and controlling the growth in air transport. In this way, the White Paper fits in with the sustainable development strategy adopted by the European Council in Gothenburg in June 2001.

The European Community found it difficult to implement the common transport policy provided for by the Treaty of Rome. The Treaty of Maastricht therefore reinforced the political, institutional and budgetary foundations for transport policy, inter alia by introducing the concept of the trans-European network (TEN).

The Commission’s first White Paper on the future development of the common transport policy, published in December 1992, put the accent on opening up the transport market. Ten years later, road cabotage has become a reality, air safety standards in the European Union are now the best in the world and personal mobility has increased from 17 km a day in 1970 to 35 km in 1998. In this context, the research framework programmes have been developing the most modern techniques to meet two major challenges: the trans-European high-speed rail network and the Galileo satellite navigation programme.

However, the more or less rapid implementation of Community decisions according to modes of transport explains the existence of certain difficulties, such as:

  • unequal growth in the different modes of transport. Road now takes 44% of the goods transport market compared with 8% for rail and 4% for inland waterways. On the passenger transport market, road accounts for 79%, air for 5% and rail for 6%;
  • congestion on the main road and rail routes, in cities and at certain airports;
  • harmful effects on the environment and public health and poor road safety.

Economic development combined with enlargement of the European Union could exacerbate these trends.

Road transport

– Objectives: To improve quality, apply existing regulations more effectively by tightening up controls and penalties.

– Figures: For carriage of goods and passengers, road transport dominates as it carries 44% of freight and 79% of passenger traffic. Between 1970 and 2000, the number of cars in the European Union trebled from 62.5 million to nearly 175 million.

– Problems: Road haulage is one of the sectors targeted because the forecasts for 2010 point to a 50% increase in freight transport. Despite their capacity to carry goods all over the European Union with unequalled flexibility and at an acceptable price, some small haulage companies are finding it difficult to stay profitable. Congestion is increasing even on the major roads and road transport alone accounts for 84% of CO2 emissions attributable to transport.

– Measures proposed: The Commission has proposed:

  • to harmonise driving times, with an average working week of not more than 48 hours (except for self-employed drivers);
  • to harmonise the national weekend bans on lorries;
  • to introduce a driver attestation making it possible to check that the driver is lawfully employed;
  • to develop vocational training;
  • to promote uniform road transport legislation;
  • to harmonise penalties and the conditions for immobilising vehicles;
  • to increase the number of checks;
  • to encourage exchanges of information;
  • to improve road safety and halve the number of road deaths by 2010;
  • to harmonise fuel taxes for commercial road users in order to reduce distortion of competition on the liberalised road transport market.

Rail transport

– Objectives: To revitalise the railways by creating an integrated, efficient, competitive and safe railway area and to set up a network dedicated to freight services.

– Figures: Between 1970 and 1998 the share of the goods market carried by rail in Europe fell from 21% to 8.4%, whereas it is still 40% in the USA. At the same time, passenger traffic by rail increased from 217 billion passenger/kilometres in 1970 to 290 billion in 1998. In this context, 600 km of railway lines are closed each year.

– Problems: The White Paper points to the lack of infrastructure suitable for modern services, the lack of interoperability between networks and systems, the constant search for innovative technologies and, finally, the shaky reliability of the service, which is failing to meet customers’ expectations. However, the success of new high-speed rail services has resulted in a significant increase in long-distance passenger transport.

– Measures proposed: The European Commission has adopted a second ” railway package ” consisting of five liberalisation and technical harmonisation measures intended for revitalising the railways by rapidly constructing an integrated European railway area. These five new proposals set out:

  • to develop a common approach to rail safety with the objective of gradually integrating the national safety systems;
  • to bolster the measures of interoperability in order to operate transfrontier services and cut costs on the high-speed network;
  • to set up an effective steering body – the European Railway Agency – responsible for safety and interoperability;
  • to extend and speed up opening of the rail freight market in order to open up the national freight markets;
  • to join the Intergovernmental Organisation for International Carriage by Rail (OTIF).

This “railway package” will have to be backed up by other measures announced in the White Paper, particularly:

  • ensuring high-quality rail services;
  • removing barriers to entry to the rail freight market;
  • improving the environmental performance of rail freight services;
  • gradually setting up a dedicated rail freight network;
  • progressively opening up the market in passenger services by rail;
  • improving rail passengers’ rights.

Air transport

– Objectives: To control the growth in air transport, tackle saturation of the skies, maintain safety standards and protect the environment.

– Figures: The proportion of passenger transport accounted for by air is set to double from 4% to 8% between 1990 and 2010. Air transport produces 13% of all CO2 emissions attributed to transport. Delays push up fuel consumption by 6%.

– Problems: To sustain such growth, air traffic management will need to be reformed and airport capacity improved in the European Union. Eurocontrol (the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation) is limited by a decision-making system based on consensus.

– Measures proposed: Creation of the Single European Sky is one of the current priorities, due to the following measures:

  • a regulatory framework based on common rules on use of airspace;
  • joint civil/military management of air traffic;
  • dialogue with the social partners to reach agreements between the organisations concerned;
  • cooperation with Eurocontrol;
  • a surveillance, inspection and penalties system ensuring effective enforcement of the rules.

Besides this restructuring of the airspace, the Commission wishes to harmonise the qualifications for air traffic controllers by introducing a Community licence for air traffic controllers.

Alongside creation of the single sky, more efficient use of airport capacity implies defining a new regulatory framework covering:

  • the amendment of slot allocation in 2003. Airport slots grant the right to take off or land at a specific time at an airport. The Commission will propose new rules on this subject ;
  • an adjustment of airport charges to encourage the redistribution of flights throughout the day;
  • rules to limit the adverse impact on the environment. The air industry must get to grips with problems such as the noise generated by airports. The European Union must take account of the international commitments entered into within the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). With this in mind, the European Commission recently adopted a proposal for a directive to ban the noisiest aircraft from airports in Europe. In 2002 the ICAO will have to take specific measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Consideration is also being given to taxes on kerosene and the possibility of applying VAT to air tickets;
  • intermodality with rail to make the two modes complementary, particularly when the alternative of a high-speed train connection exists;
  • establishment of a European Aviation Safety Authority (EASA) to maintain high safety standards;
  • reinforcement of passenger rights, including the possibility of compensation when travellers are delayed or denied boarding.

Sea and inland waterway transport

– Objectives: To develop the infrastructure, simplify the regulatory framework by creating one-stop offices and integrate the social legislation in order to build veritable “motorways of the sea”.

– Figures: Since the beginning of the 1980s, the European Union has lost 40% of its seamen. For all that, ships carry 70% of all trade between the Union and the rest of the world. Each year, some two billion tonnes of goods pass through European ports.

– Problems: Transport by sea and transport by inland waterway are a truly competitive alternative to transport by land. They are reliable, economical, clean and quiet. However, their capacity remains underused. Better use could be made of the inland waterways in particular. In this context, a number of infrastructure problems remain, such as bottlenecks, inappropriate gauges, bridge heights, operation of locks, lack of transhipment equipment, etc.

– Measures proposed: Transport by sea and transport by inland waterway are a key part of intermodality, they allow a way round bottlenecks between France and Spain in the Pyrenees or between Italy and the rest of Europe in the Alps, as well as between France and the United Kingdom and, looking ahead, between Germany and Poland.
The Commission has proposed a new legislative framework for ports which is designed:

  • to lay down new, clearer rules on pilotage, cargo-handling, stevedoring, etc.;
  • to simplify the rules governing operation of ports themselves and bring together all the links in the logistics chain (consignors, shipowners, carriers, etc.) in a one-stop shop.

On the inland waterways, the objectives are:

  • to eliminate bottlenecks;
  • to standardise technical specifications;
  • to harmonise pilots’ certificates and the rules on rest times;
  • to develop navigational aid systems.

Intermodality (combined transport)

– Objectives: To shift the balance between modes of transport by means of a pro-active policy to promote intermodality and transport by rail, sea and inland waterway. In this connection, one of the major initiatives is the ” Marco Polo ” Community support programme to replace the current PACT (Pilot Action for Combined Transport) programme.

– Figures: The PACT programme launched 167 projects between 1992 and 2000. The new “Marco Polo” intermodality programme has an annual budget of 115 million euros for the period between 2003-2007.

-Problems: The balance between modes of transport must cope with the fact that there is no close connection between sea, inland waterways and rail.

– Measures proposed: The “Marco Polo” intermodality programme is open to all appropriate proposals to shift freight from road to other more environmentally friendly modes. The aim is to turn intermodality into a competitive, economically viable reality, particularly by promoting motorways of the sea.

Bottlenecks and trans-European networks

– Objectives: To construct the major infrastructure proposed in the trans-European networks (TENs) programme, identified by the 1996 guidelines, as well as the
priority projects selected at the 1994 Essen European Council .

– Figures: Of the 14 projects selected in Essen, three have now been completed and six others, which are in the construction phase, were expected to be finished by 2005, states the Communication.

– Problems: The delays in completing the trans-European networks are due to inadequate funding. In the case of the Alpine routes which require the construction of very long tunnels, it is proving difficult to raise the capital to complete them. The Commission has proposed, in particular, completion of the high-speed railway network for passengers, including links to airports, and a high-capacity rail crossing in the Pyrenees.

– Measures proposed: The Commission has proposed two-stage revision of the trans-European network guidelines. The first stage, in 2001, was to revise the TEN guidelines adopted in Essen to eliminate bottlenecks on the main routes. The second stage in 2004 will focus on motorways of the sea, airport capacity and pan-European corridors on the territory of candidate countries. The Commission is looking at the idea of introducing the concept of declaration of European interest where specific infrastructure is regarded as being of strategic importance to the smooth functioning of the internal market.
The priority projects are:

  • completing the Alpine routes on grounds of safety and capacity;
  • making it easier to cross the Pyrenees, in particular, by completing the Barcelona-Perpignan rail link;
  • launching new priority projects, such as the Stuttgart-Munich-Salzburg/Linz-Vienna TGV/combined transport link, the Fehmarn Belt linking Denmark and Germany, improving navigability on the Danube between Straubing and Vilshofen, the Galileo radionavigation project, the Iberian high-speed train network and addition of the Verona-Naples and Bologna-Milan rail links plus extension of the southern European TGV network to N?mes in France;
  • improving tunnel safety by having specific safety standards for both railway and road tunnels.

On infrastructure funding and technical regulations, the Commission has proposed:

  • changes to the rules for funding the trans-European network to raise the maximum Community contribution to 20%. This would apply to cross-border rail projects crossing natural barriers, such as mountain ranges or stretches of water, as well as to projects in border areas of the candidate countries;
  • establishment of a Community framework to channel revenue from charges on competing routes (for example, from heavy goods vehicles) towards rail projects in particular;
  • a directive designed to guarantee the interoperability of toll systems on the trans-European road network.


– Objectives: To place users at the heart of transport policy, i.e. to reduce the number of accidents, harmonise penalties and develop safer, cleaner technologies.

– Figures: In 2000 road accidents killed over 40 000 people in the European Union. One person in three will be injured in an accident at some point in their lives. The total annual cost of these accidents is equivalent to 2% of the EU’s GNP.

– Problems: Road safety is of prime concern for transport users. However, spending fails to reflect the severity of the situation. Users have the right to know what they are paying and why. Ideally, the charge for use of infrastructure should be calculated by adding together maintenance and operating costs plus external costs stemming from, for example, accidents, pollution, noise and congestion. Finally, non-harmonisation of fuel taxes is another obstacle to smooth operation of the internal market.

– Measures proposed:

On road safety, the Commission has proposed:

  • a new road safety action programme covering the period 2002-2010 to halve the number of deaths on the roads;
  • harmonisation of penalties, road signs and blood-alcohol levels;
  • development of new technologies such as electronic driving licences, speed limits for cars and intelligent transport systems as part of the e-Europe programme. In this connection, progress is being made on protection of vehicle occupants, on making life safer for pedestrians and cyclists and on improving vehicle-speed management.

On charging for use of infrastructure, the Commission has proposed:

  • a framework directive to establish the principles of infrastructure charging and a pricing structure, including a common methodology to incorporate internal and external costs and aiming to create the conditions for fair competition between modes.
    (a) In the case of road transport, charges will vary according to the vehicle’s environmental performance (exhaust gas emissions and noise), the type of infrastructure (motorways, trunk and urban roads), distance covered, axle weight and degree of congestion.
    (b) In the case of rail transport, charges will be graduated according to scarcity of infrastructure capacity and adverse environmental effects.
    (c) In the case of maritime transport, the measures proposed will be linked to maritime safety;
  • a directive on the interoperability of toll systems to be put in place on the trans-European road network.

On fuel tax, the Commission has proposed:

  • separating fuel taxes for private and commercial uses,
  • establishing harmonised taxation of fuel used for commercial purposes.

Other measures have been proposed to improve intermodality for multimodal journeys, in particular for those using rail and air successively, including integrated ticketing and improvements in baggage handling.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament, of 22 June 2006, on the mid-term review of the White Paper on transport published in 2001 “Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent” [COM(2006) 314 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


White Paper on sport

White Paper on sport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on sport


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

Education training youth sport > Sport

White Paper on sport

Document or Iniciative

White Paper on Sport of 11 July 2007, presented by the European Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee [COM(2007) 391 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This White Paper is the Commission’s main contribution to the theme of sport and its role in the daily lives of European citizens.

It recognises the impact which sport can have on all European policies.

It also identifies the needs and specific characteristics of the world of sport.

Lastly, it opens up future prospects for sport at European level, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity, the independence of sport organisations and Community law.


The main objectives of the White Paper on Sport are to:

  • set strategic guidelines;
  • encourage debate on specific problems;
  • increase the visibility of sport in the EU decision-making process;
  • highlight the needs and specific characteristics of the sector;
  • identify the appropriate level of government for future action.

More specifically, the Commission intends to use this White Paper to:

  • ensure that the sport dimension is fully reflected in all areas of European policy;
  • increase legal clarity as regards the application of the acquis communautaire in the field of sport and thereby help to improve sport governance in Europe.

Thematic structure

Three themes are covered by the White Paper:

  • the “societal role of sport”, i.e. what sport represents as a social phenomenon;
  • the “economic dimension of sport”, i.e. the contribution of sport to growth and the creation of jobs in Europe;
  • the “organisation of sport”, i.e. the role of each stakeholder (public or private, economic or sporting) in the governance of the sports movement.

Action Plan

An Action Plan bearing the name of Pierre de Coubertin, in tribute to the father of the modern Olympic Games, completes this White Paper.

In this Action Plan, the Commission proposes a range of specific actions relating to the societal and economic aspects of sport, such as health, social inclusion, voluntary work, education or external relations.

The Action Plan includes the following proposals:

  • the development of guidelines on physical activity and the establishment of a European network for the promotion of sport as a health-enhancing activity;
  • greater coordination in the fight against doping at European level;
  • the award of a European label to schools which encourage involvement in physical activities;
  • the launch of a study on volunteer work in sport;
  • the improvement of social inclusion and integration through sport using European programmes and resources;
  • the promotion of the exchange of information, experiences and good practices between law-enforcement services and sport organisations for the prevention of racism and violence;
  • the promotion of the use of sport as a tool in European development policy;
  • the creation of statistics to quantify the economic impact of sport;
  • a study on public and private financing of sport;
  • an impact assessment on the activities of players’ agents and an evaluation of the value-added of possible Community intervention in this field;
  • better structuring of dialogue on sport at Community level, in particular through the organisation of an annual forum on sport;
  • intensification of intergovernmental cooperation in the field of sport;
  • promoting the creation of European social dialogue committees in the sport sector, and support for employers and employees.


The Commission will monitor the initiatives presented in this White Paper through a structured dialogue involving all the stakeholders in the world of sport:

  • European sport federations;
  • European umbrella organisations for sport, such as the European Olympic Committees (EOC), the European Paralympic Committee (EPC) and European non-governmental sport organisations;
  • national umbrella organisations for sport and national Olympic and Paralympic Committees;
  • other stakeholders in the field of sport represented at European level, including the social partners;
  • other European and international organisations (bodies of the Council of Europe and the United Nations, UNESCO, WHO, etc.).


Sport, as a social and economic phenomenon, contributes to the achievement of the European Union’s strategic objectives of solidarity and prosperity. It conveys the concepts of peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and education, in line with the European ideal.

Today, sport is confronted with new problems, such as commercial pressure, trafficking in human beings, doping, racism, violence, corruption and money laundering.

The European Council recognised the essential role of sport in its Declaration of December 2000. The European Council of June 2007 set a mandate for the Intergovernmental Conference, according to which a provision in the future Treaty will be devoted to sport.

This White Paper stems from wide-ranging consultations started in 2005 of, in particular, the Olympic Committees, sport federations and the Member States.


White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community's railways

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways


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

Environment > Tackling climate change

White Paper: A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways

Document or Iniciative

Commission White Paper of 30 July 1996: “A strategy for revitalising the Community’s railways” [COM(96) 421 final – not published in the Official Journal].


The railway sector is in decline and its market share is falling. Rail is felt not to respond to market changes or customers’ needs. However, rail has characteristics which could make it an increasingly attractive form of transport in Europe. Many possibilities already exist for improving and developing services, and new areas of opportunity may open up. To meet these challenges, the Community needs a new kind of railway.

Finances: For the railways to flourish, clear financial objectives and a proper division of responsibilities between the State and railway companies are essential. The railways must have a financial structure that allows effective, independent management. Railway finances should be organised as follows:

  • Member States should relieve railways of the burdens of the past;
  • the railways should be run on a commercial basis.

Introducing market forces into rail: Strengthening the market will give management and workers incentives to reduce costs, improve service quality and develop new products and markets.

  • The Commission has drawn up a number of proposals to achieve this:
  • it proposes extending access rights to railway infrastructure for all freight services and international passenger services;
  • as regards domestic passenger transport, the Commission will examine several options for improving the institutional framework for developing the railways of the future;
  • the Commission will propose modification of Community legislation to require the separation of infrastructure management and transport operations into distinct business units, with separate management and balance sheets;
  • it also proposes promoting the creation of a number of trans-European rail freeways for freight.

Public services: The aim is to offer citizens satisfactory mobility thanks to continuity and quality of transport services, and to contribute to sustainable development, social cohesion and regional balance in the European Union.

The Commission’s proposals are as follows:

  • to improve the quality/price ratio in the transport sector;
  • to generalise the use of public service contracts agreed by the State and the transport operator;
  • to study the practical problems associated with introducing market forces.

Integration of national systems: Railways developed on national lines, which resulted in difficulties in operating across frontiers, inadequate planning of infrastructure and fragmentation of the supply industry and research. Integration is far from complete.

The Commission is proposing the following measures:

  • to examine the scope for improving interoperability on major international routes in cost-effective ways;
  • to study how to eliminate delays at frontiers for freight traffic;
  • to assess what improvements need to be made to infrastructure to develop freight transport;
  • to assess policy instruments to reduce railway noise;
  • to emphasise socio-economic study proposals to support the transition from several national railway systems to one European system.

Railway workers are concerned that restructuring may cause job losses, both in the railways and in the supply industries.

Several measures are being considered:

  • to plan large-scale training schemes to facilitate the redeployment of redundant workers;
  • to examine the possibilities the European Social Fund can offer in the future for helping the workforce to adapt to the restructuring of the railways.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: “Trans-European rail freight freeways – [COM(1997) 242 final – not published in the Official Journal].

In its communication the Commission advocates the introduction of rail corridors to operate on the following principles:

  • access to freeways must be fair, equal and non-discriminatory for all train operators licensed in the Community;
  • the granting of licences, allocation of infrastructure capacity and charging of infrastructure fees within the framework of these freeways should be in compliance with Directives 95/18/EC and 95/19/EC;
  • freeways should be open to cabotage;
  • freight terminals should be open for fair, equal and non-discriminatory access to all train, road haulage and waterway operators.

To improve Europe’s rail freight options, the Commission proposes the creation of a one-stop-shop to market freeways. It underlines the need to improve the distribution of train paths, establish a tariff structure which reflects relevant costs, reduce delays at borders and introduce quality criteria. The Commission lists the actions to be taken with a view to setting up freeways.

In July 1998, the Commission presented three new proposals aimed solely at making existing legislation more effective. On 26 February 2001, the Council adopted the three Directives known as the “rail infrastructure package”:

Directive 2001/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

Directive 2001/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 amending Council Directive 95/18/CE on the licensing of railway undertakings [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

Directive 2001/14/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2001 on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 75 of 15.03.2001]

On 23 January 2002, the European Commission proposed a new set of measures (known as the “second railway package”) aimed at revitalising the railways through the rapid construction of an integrated European railway area. The actions presented are based on the guidelines of the transport White Paper and are aimed at improved safety, interoperability and opening up of the rail freight market. The Commission had also proposed establishing a European Railway Agency responsible for providing technical support for the safety and interoperability work.

White Paper presented by the Commission on 12 September 2001: “European transport policy for 2010: time to decide” [COM(2001) 370 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways and amending Council Directive 95/18/CE on the licensing of railway undertakings and Directive 2001/14/CE on the allocation of railway infrastructure capacity and the levying of charges for the use of railway infrastructure and safety certification [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Directive 2004/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Directive 2004/51/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 establishing a European Railway Agency [Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004]

Finally, on 3 March 2004 the Commission adopted its “third rail package” containing measures to revitalise the railways in Europe:

Communication from the Commission “Further integration of the European rail system:” [COM(2004) 140 final – not published in the Official Journal].

The European Commission puts forward new proposals to open up the international passenger transport market by 2010 and to regulate passenger rights and the certification of train crews. This third package should complete the European regulatory framework for the rail sector.

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [COM(2004) 139 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the certification of train crews operating locomotives and trains on the Community’s rail network [COM(2004) 142 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on international rail passengers’ rights and obligations [COM(2004) 143 final – not published in the Official Journal].

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on compensation in cases of non-compliance with contractual quality requirements for rail freight services [COM(2004) 144 final – not published in the Official Journal].

of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 91/440/EEC on the development of the Community’s railways [2004/51/EC – Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004].

of 29 April 2004 amending Council Directive 96/48/EC on the interoperability of the trans-European high-speed rail system and Directive 2001/16/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the interoperability of the trans-European conventional rail system [2004/50/EC – Official Journal L 164 of 30.04.2004].

White Paper on services of general interest

White Paper on services of general interest

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on services of general interest


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

Internal market > Single market for services

White Paper on services of general interest

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 12 May 2004 entitled “White Paper on services of general interest” [COM(2004) 374 final – Not yet published in the Official Journal].


This White Paper presents the Commission’s conclusions following a broad public consultation launched on the basis of the Green Paper. The consultation showed up significant differences in points of view and outlook. Nevertheless, a consensus seems to have emerged on the need to ensure the harmonious combination of market mechanisms and public service missions. The White Paper sets out the Commission’s approach in developing a positive role for the European Union in fostering the development of high-quality services of general interest and presents the main elements of a strategy aimed at ensuring that all citizens and enterprises in the Union have access to high-quality and affordable services.

In submitting this White Paper, the Commission does not intend to close the debate that has developed at European level. Its aim is to make a contribution to the ongoing discussion and take it further by defining the Union’s role and a framework that allows these services to function properly.


The White Paper stresses the importance of services of general interest as one of the pillars of the European model of society and the need to ensure the provision of high-quality and affordable services of general interest to all citizens and enterprises in the European Union. In the Union, services of general interest remain essential for ensuring social and territorial cohesion and for the competitiveness of the European economy.

While the provision of services of general interest can be organised in cooperation with the private sector or entrusted to private or public undertakings, the definition of public service obligations and missions remains a task for the public authorities at the relevant level. The relevant public authorities are also responsible for market regulation and for ensuring that operators accomplish the public service missions entrusted to them.

In this context, the White Paper states that responsibility for services of general interest is shared between the Union and its Member States. This shared responsibility is the concept underlying Article 16 of the EC Treaty, which confers responsibility upon the Community and the Member States to ensure, each within their respective powers, that their policies enable operators of services of general economic interest to fulfil their missions. The right of the Member States to assign specific public service obligations to economic operators and to ensure compliance is also implicitly recognised in Article 86(2) of the EC Treaty.

The EC Treaty gives the Community a range of resources to ensure that users have access to high-quality, affordable services of general interest in the European Union. The Commission takes the view that its powers are appropriate and sufficient for the maintenance and development of effective services throughout the Union. Nevertheless, it is primarily for the relevant national, regional and local authorities to define, organise, finance and monitor services of general interest.


The Commission’s approach is based on a number of principles that are reflected in the Community’s sectoral policies and can be clarified on the basis of the results of the debate on the Green Paper:

  • Enabling public authorities to operate close to citizens:
    The Commission respects the essential role of the Member States and of regional and local authorities in the area of services of general interest. The Community’s policies on services of general interest are based on various degrees of action and the use of various instruments, in line with the principle of subsidiarity.
  • Achieving public service objectives within competitive open markets:

    An open and competitive internal market, on the one hand, and the development of high-quality, accessible and affordable services of general interest, on the other, are compatible objectives.
  • Ensuring cohesion and universal access:

    The access of all citizens and enterprises to affordable, high-quality services of general interest throughout the territory of the Member States is essential for the promotion of social and territorial cohesion in the European Union, including the reduction of obstacles caused by the lack of accessibility of the outermost regions.
  • Maintaining a high level of quality, security and safety:

    The Commission wishes to guarantee, in addition to the supply of high-quality services of general interest, the physical safety of consumers and users, everyone involved in the production and delivery of these services and the general public, and, in particular, provide protection against possible threats such as terrorist attacks or environmental disasters.
  • Ensuring consumer and user rights:
    These include, in particular, access to services, in particular cross-border services, throughout the territory of the Union and for all groups of the population, affordability of services, including special schemes for persons on low incomes, physical safety, security and reliability, continuity, high quality, choice, transparency and access to information from providers and regulators.
  • Monitoring and evaluating performance:

    The Commission takes the view that systematic evaluation and monitoring is vital for maintaining and developing high-quality, accessible, affordable and efficient services of general interest in the European Union. The evaluation should be multidimensional and focus on all the legal, economic, social and environmental aspects. It should also take into account the features of the sector evaluated and situations specific to the various Member States and their regions.
  • Respecting the diversity of services and situations:

    The diversity of services must be maintained because of the different needs and preferences of users and consumers resulting from different economic, social, geographical or cultural situations. This is true in particular for social services, health care and broadcasting.
  • Increasing transparency:

    The principle of transparency is a key concept for the development and implementation of public policies regarding services of general interest. It ensures that public authorities can exercise their responsibilities and that democratic choices can be made and are respected. The principle should apply to all aspects of delivery and cover the definition of public service missions, the organisation, financing and regulation of services, as well as their production and evaluation, including complaint-handling mechanisms.
  • Providing legal certainty:
    The Commission is aware that the application of Community law to services of general interest could raise complex issues. It is therefore going to pursue an ongoing project to improve legal certainty associated with the application of Community law in the provision of services of general interest. It has already accomplished the modernisation of the existing public procurement rules and launched initiatives in the areas of state aid and public-private partnerships.


One of the main questions in the public discussion concerned the need for a framework directive on services of general interest. The views expressed on this subject in the public consultation were divided, a number of Member States and the European Parliament being sceptical on the issue.

It is therefore uncertain whether a framework directive would be the best route to follow at this stage and would bring sufficient added value. Consequently, the Commission concludes that it would be best not to present a proposal for the time being. Rather, it will pursue and develop its sectoral approach by proposing, where necessary and appropriate, sector-specific rules that allow account to be taken of the specific requirements and situations in each sector.

The Commission will re-examine the feasibility and necessity of a framework law on services of general interest when the Constitutional Treaty comes into force, in particular the new legal basis introduced by Article III-122 which states that: “Without prejudice to Articles III-55, III-56 and III-136, and given the place occupied by services of general economic interest as services to which all in the Union attribute value as well as their role in promoting social and territorial cohesion, the Union and the Member States, each within their respective powers and within the scope of application of the Constitution, shall take care that such services operate on the basis of principles and conditions, in particular economic and financial, which enable them to fulfil their missions. European laws shall define these principles and conditions.” In addition, the Commission will review the situation of services of general interest in the European Union and the need for any horizontal measures in 2005. It plans to present a report of its findings by the end of 2005.

On the basis of the results of the public consultation, the Commission also considers it necessary to further clarify and simplify the legal framework for the financing of public service obligations. It intends to adopt a package of measures to that effect by July 2005 at the latest. Most elements of this package have already been submitted as drafts for consultation.

Furthermore, the public debate highlighted the need for a clear and transparent framework for the selection of undertakings entrusted with a service of general interest. The Commission intends to examine the EU legislation ensuring the transparent award of service concessions. It has therefore launched a consultation on the procurement aspects of public-private partnerships.

The Green Paper also generated considerable interest among stakeholders in the area of social and health services, who expressed a need for greater predictability and clarity to ensure a smooth development of these services. The Commission takes the view that it is useful to develop a systematic approach in order to identify and recognise the specific characteristics of social and health services of general interest and to clarify the framework in which they operate and can be modernised. This approach will be set out in a Communication on social services of general interest, including health services, to be adopted in the course of 2005.

Evaluating the operation of the services, at both Community and national level, is essential to ensure the development of high-quality services of general interest that are accessible and affordable in an environment undergoing constant change. The Commission has undertaken to intensify and improve its evaluation activities in the field of services of general interest.

On an internal level, the sectoral regulations put in place at Community level concern the large network industries. In the Commission’s view, the public consultation on the Green Paper has confirmed this approach. It will take into account the results of this consultation in the examinations of the various sectors.

On an international level, the Commission is determined to ensure consistency between the Community’s internal rules and the obligations on itself and the Member States pursuant to international trade agreements. It also wishes to promote services of general interest in development co-operation.

Related Acts

European Parliament Resolution of 13 January 2004 on the Green Paper on services of general interest [A5-0484/2003].

Parliament welcomes the Commission Green Paper and calls on the Commission to present a follow-up by April 2004 at the latest. It takes the view that certain services of general interest should be excluded from the scope of the competition rules, including health, education and social housing, as well as services of general interest aiming to maintain or increase plurality of information and cultural diversity. Moreover, Parliament calls on the Commission to defend this position at WTO negotiations and negotiations on the General Agreement on Trade in Services. It considers that it is neither possible nor relevant to draw up common definitions of services of general interest, or of the public-service obligations resulting from them, but that the European Union must lay down common principles, including the following: universality and equality of access, continuity, security and adaptability; quality, efficiency and affordability, transparency, protection of less well-off social groups, protection of users, consumers and the environment, and citizen participation, taking into account circumstances which are specific to each sector. It stresses the need to ensure that competition rules are compatible with public service obligations, and is opposed to liberalisation of the water supply. Parliament takes the view that water and waste services should not be subject to Community sectoral directives, but that the Union should keep its full responsibility for these sectors as regards quality and environment protection standards.

Commission Green Paper of 21 May 2003 on services of general interest [COM(2003) 270 final – Official Journal C 76 of 25.03.2004].

The Commission, in this Green Paper, undertakes to conduct a complete review of its policies on services of general interest. Its objective is to organise an open debate on the global role of the Union in the definition of the objectives of general interest pursued by these services and on how they are organised, funded and evaluated. The Green Paper also reaffirms the significant contribution of the internal market and competition rules to modernising and improving the quality and efficiency of many public services, to the benefit of Europe’s citizens and businesses. It deals with globalisation and liberalisation, raising the question of whether a general legislative framework should be established at Community level for services of general interest, and seeks to deal with these issues by asking questions about: the impact of any additional Community initiatives to implement the treaty, in full respect of the principle of subsidiarity; the principles likely to be incorporated in any framework legislation on services of general interest and the actual added value of legislation of that kind; the definition of good governance in the organisation, regulation, funding and evaluation of services of general interest; an examination of any new measure likely to be taken to increase legal certainty and facilitate consistent, harmonious coordination between the objective of safeguarding high-quality services of general interest and the rigorous application of the competition and internal market rules.



Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Whaling


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

Maritime Affairs And Fisheries > Management of fisheries resources and the environment



Proposal of 19 December 2007 for a Council Decision establishing the position to be adopted on behalf of the European Community with regard to proposals for amendments to the Schedule of the International Convention on the Regulation of Whaling.

Communication of 19 December 2007 from the European Commission to the European Parliament and to the Council, on Community action in relation to whaling [COM(2007) 823 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The European Union (EU) adopted measures to protect cetaceans (whales, dolphins, etc.) against hunting, capture and captivity, and also against deliberate disturbance or trading, including cetacean products originating from third countries.

The protection of cetaceans is provided at European level by several legislative acts and strategies, such as:

  • the Habitats Directive, which established the Natura 2000 network;
  • the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  • the Strategy for the marine environment;
  • the Regulation on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources;
  • the Regulation on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of these resources in the Mediterranean.

However, whales are migratory and can therefore only be effectively protected if equivalent conservation measures are adopted globally.

Whaling has been globally prohibited since the 1985/1986 season. This moratorium was declared by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), mainly owing to uncertainties in the scientific information on global whale stocks.

The IWC is the competent international organisation regarding the conservation and management of whale stocks and was set up under the International Convention for the Regulation of Whaling signed in 1946. In November 2011, it has 89 members and the EU has observer status.

There are many exceptions that make it possible for some countries not to comply with the IWC’s moratorium on whaling. For example, Iceland and Norway are not bound by the moratorium because of the objections or reservations they have lodged under the 1946 Convention. In addition, whaling is permitted under special permits granted by national authorities for scientific research purposes. Japan, for instance, carries out “scientific programmes” and can market the meat of the whales captured under these programmes. Lastly, aboriginal subsistence whaling is still authorised.

The IWC’s mandate covers both the management of whaling and the conservation of whales. This dual mandate has led to extremely polarised positions between pro-whaling and anti-whaling states, which is jeopardising international cooperation and hindering progress towards the effective protection of all whale species.

In order to strengthen the position in favour of the protection of whales, the EU invites all Member States that have not yet signed the 1946 Convention to do so. The EU and its Member States will work together with other countries and will strive to convince them to oppose whaling.

The Commission proposes that the Member States present a common position for the EU in the IWC to ensure an effective international regulatory framework for the protection of whales. Based on this position, the Member States should particularly oppose the partial or total lifting of the moratorium on whaling and the broadening of the scope of secret ballots in the IWC. They should also support:

  • the creation of whale sanctuaries;
  • aboriginal subsistence whaling, as long as it does not jeopardise whale stocks;
  • the implementation of globally applicable whaling regulations, particularly as regards whaling for scientific research purposes;
  • proposals which are consistent with the EU’s position in relation to the CITES Convention and other international agreements to which the European Community is a party;
  • activities of the Conservation Committee and proposals to address the conservation concerns on small cetaceans;
  • the collection of scientific data using non-destructive methods that do not harm whales, and research on the conservation of whale populations.

References And Procedure

Proposal Official Journal Procedure

COM(2007) 821

White Paper on Financial Services Policy

White Paper on Financial Services Policy

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on Financial Services Policy


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

Internal market > Financial services: general framework

White Paper on Financial Services Policy (2005-2010)

This White Paper presents the European Commission’s financial services policy priorities from 2005 to 2010. The Commission considers it essential that the progress of the Financial Services Action Plan (FSAP) continue in order to open up untapped potential for economic growth and employment in the financial services sector of the European Union. The consolidation of the progress achieved the elimination of remaining barriers and the improvement of legislation and controls are the leitmotifs of the White Paper for the period 2005-2010.

Document or Iniciative

Commission White Paper of 1 December 2005 on Financial Services Policy 2005-2010 [COM(2005) 629 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The dynamic consolidation of financial services

Completing the single market in financial services is a crucial part of the Lisbon economic reform process.

In this context, the integration of European financial markets envisaged by the Financial Services Action Plan for 1999-2005 (FSAP) proves to be essential, as it will open up considerable potential in terms of growth and employment that has not yet been tapped.

In the White Paper, the Commission lays down the main aims of its policy for the next five years:

  • consolidation of the progress achieved;
  • completion of current measures;
  • enhancement of supervisory cooperation and convergence;
  • removal of the remaining barriers to integration.

The document thus identifies a number of priorities, in particular the increased efficiency of the pan-European markets for long-term savings products, the completion of the internal market for retail services and a more efficient venture capital market.

Better Lawmaking

Open consultations and impact assessments attached to new legislative proposals will continue to play a central role and will be required before any legislation is deemed necessary.

The Commission considers it important to strengthen the control mechanisms for the effective application of Community legislation; to do this, increased cooperation between the Member States is considered necessary. In order to facilitate the effective monitoring of progress:

  • the annual Progress Report on financial services will give an account of the overall rate of transposition and the online FSAP transposition matrix will be updated regularly;
  • the transposition workshops with Member States and European regulators will continue to play a central role in the implementation of particular provisions of EC legislation.

The ex-post evaluation of all legislative measures is a priority in the upcoming years. By 2009, the Commission will endeavour to have completed a full economic and legal assessment of all FSAP measures.

The Commission is planning a number of targeted initiatives to strengthen the coherence and consistency of the body of law which includes the Community and national implementing measures for legislation on financial services. In detail, the plans are to:

  • bring together the relevant Community instruments on the Internet;
  • check sectoral consistency in the securities field;
  • detect, through a study to be carried out in 2008, any inconsistencies in the information supplied in response to the requirements in the existing EC rules;
  • publish a Communication/Recommendation in 2006 concerning collective investments in order to resolve uncertainties from an information angle;
  • codify sixteen insurance Directives concerning the framework for the Solvency II project into a single directive;
  • where any incorrect implementation of Community law is found, take appropriate action, including the opening of infringement proceedings.

Users make an important contribution to the definition of European policy on financial services. Accordingly, the FIN-USE forum plays an essential role.
Furthermore, the Commission considers that it is necessary to improve the transparency and comparability of financial products and to help consumers understand them better. The Commission will therefore write a periodic newsletter to explain the most relevant user/consumer aspects of its ongoing work.

The efficiency of FIN-NET, the network for the out-of-court settlement of cross-border disputes in the financial services sector, will be improved. In the coming years, the Commission plans to strengthen the synergy between financial services policy and other policy areas, particularly competition, consumer affairs and taxation.
With regard to taxation, the Commission intends to present a legislative proposal to adapt the rules on VAT on financial services to changes in the single market for financial services.

EC regulatory and supervisory structures

Community policy on the regulation and supervision of financial services is based on the four levels of the Lamfalussy process. The Commission intends to develop this process over the next five years. The key regulatory policy issues are:

  • to continue the debate on comitology reform;
  • to improve the system of accountability and transparency;
  • to develop cross-sectoral regulatory cooperation;
  • to ensure that the four levels of the Lamfalussy process respect the Better Lawmaking agenda;
  • to contribute to the global convergence of standards.

It is extremely important for the supervisory authorities to cooperate and exchange information, and the Commission wishes to encourage this by:

  • clarifying and optimising the responsibilities incumbent upon, respectively, the Member State of origin and the host Member State;
  • exploring the possibility of delegating certain types of tasks and responsibilities;
  • improving the efficiency of supervision, without increasing obligations and, consequently, reporting and information costs;
  • ensuring faster and more consistent cooperation, and contributing to the development of a European supervisory culture.

Ongoing and future legislative activities (2005-2010)

The Commission is currently involved in four legislative projects:

  • retail banking: the Commission will publish a White Paper on mortgage lending in 2006; two proposals for Directives will also be presented, one concerning payment services and the other consumer credit;
  • Solvency II: in connection with this project, the Commission will present a comprehensive draft text in 2007 with the aim of modernising regulation and supervision in the insurance sector;
  • review of qualifying shareholdings: the supervisory authorities must ensure more clarity and transparency. In particular, the Commission is planning to amend the Banking Directive (Article 16) and the Insurance Directive (Article 15) and to establish common supervisory criteria;
  • clearing and settlement: the Commission will carry out an extensive consultation and an impact analysis to assess the need for a framework Directive to make cross-border transactions for clearing and settlements carried out by operators in the sector efficient, safe and low-cost.

The Commission intends to conduct in-depth reflection in five fields, namely the elimination of unjustified barriers to cross-border consolidation, the E-money Directive, Insurance Guarantee Schemes, the Hague Securities Convention and the feasibility of optional instruments (“Article 26 scheme”) in the financial services sector.

The Commission is planning two future initiatives in the field of investment funds and retail financial services which should bring benefits to the EU economy:

  • In 2006, the Commission will publish a White Paper on enhancing the legislative framework for investment funds. The general purpose of this document, which will be the result of a process of extensive consultations, is to offer soundly structured, well administered collective investment instruments which deliver the highest possible returns consistent with the individual investors’ financial capacity and risk appetite. The risks and costs incurred by this type of activity must be duly communicated to investors;
  • In the Commission’s opinion, the retail financial services market is still too fragmented and new measures need to be taken. In particular, the obstacles associated with all types of bank accounts (current, savings or securities accounts) must be removed, consumer choice widened and competition between service providers improved. In the field of credit intermediaries, the Commission believes that further investigation is needed.

The external dimension

As the standards set today on accounting, auditing and equity capital have an international dimension, the EU deems it essential to take a leading role in setting standards at global level, and in particular in the opening of the global financial services markets. The Commission intends to develop the dialogue on financial markets between the EU and the United States, and to extend cooperation to include other countries such as Japan, China, Russia and India. The EU needs to be represented strongly in international bodies, where it must be able to speak with one voice on sensitive issues such as money laundering, terrorism financing and tax evasion. European coordination in international fora (the Basel Committee, IAIS, IOSCO or UNIDROIT) needs to be stepped up.

The Commission undertakes to draft a report each year outlining the developments and progress achieved. Annex I to the White Paper gives an overview of the tasks or activities planned in the field of financial services.


In 2004, as the legislative phase of the FSAP was coming to an end, the Commission decided to take stock of progress on the integration of the financial markets in Europe and to launch a general consultation on the basis of reports from four high-level expert groups. The Green Paper on Financial Services Policy, which opened a public consultation in mid-2005, focused mainly on the implementation of existing measures and on cooperation, not on the proposal of new legislation. The resulting White Paper sets out the priority means for achieving the integration of the financial services market.

Related Acts

Commission Green Paper of 3 May 2005 on Financial Services Policy 2005-2010 [COM(2005) 177 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This document presents the Commission’s initial ideas concerning Community priorities for the financial services policy. This work is the result of the two-year consultation process which started with the work of four expert groups, followed by a wide public consultation.

White Paper on the single market for investment funds

White Paper on the single market for investment funds

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on the single market for investment funds


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

Internal market > Financial services: transactions in securities

White Paper on the single market for investment funds

This Commission White Paper defines a package of targeted amendments to the current EU framework for investment funds (the “UCITS Directive”), with a view to simplifying the European legislative and operational environment while providing attractive and secure investment solutions to investors.

Document or Iniciative

Commission White Paper of 15 November 2006 on enhancing the single market framework for investment funds [COM(2006) 686 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


The UCITS Directive is no longer able to support the European fund industry as it restructures to meet new competitive challenges and the changing needs of European investors.

Supporting a more efficient European fund industry

The Commission’s White Paper proposes several ways of improving the current Directive:

  • removing administrative barriers to cross-border marketing. The existing administrative procedures that must be satisfied before a fund can be marketed in another Member State – in particular, detailed ex ante verification of fund documentation by the host authority and the current two-month maximum waiting period – will be scaled back;
  • facilitating cross-border fund mergers. The Commission will propose additions to the UCITS Directive to create the appropriate legal and regulatory conditions for the merger of funds coordinated on a Europe-wide basis;
  • asset pooling. Amendments to diversification rules are envisaged with a view to enabling an expansive approach to entity pooling;
  • the management company passport. Authorised management companies will be able to manage coordinated corporate and contractual funds in other Member States;
  • strengthening supervisory cooperation. Given the greater legal and technical complexity involved, provisions relating to competent authorities and cooperation will have to be strengthened;
  • efficiency improvements that do not require changes to the Directive. There are many steps that individual Member States can take to improve their domestic operating environment for coordinated investment funds, e.g. expediting initial fund approvals.

Making the single fund market work for the end-investor

If the end-investor is to see tangible improvements, the sector must be subject to strong competition across the single market. Two measures appear to be required for this:

  • a simplified prospectus. This information instrument must be improved: it is, first and foremost, supposed to be a short and understandable statement of charges, risks and expected performance which is meaningful and easily understandable for the end-investor;
  • distribution systems: putting investors’ interests first. As fund distribution accounts for the biggest single component of costs in the investment fund industry, distribution systems must work efficiently. Investors should, in particular, be able to count on objective and professional intermediaries and distributors.

Non-harmonised funds distributed to retail investors

Non-harmonised funds distributed to retail investors, which are not covered by UCITS legislation (e.g. open-ended real estate funds), constitute an ever more important sector. The Commission will undertake a systematic analysis of the risk and performance of these funds and assess whether or not a framework enabling the establishment of a single market for non-harmonised funds distributed to retail investors is a realistic option and, if so, in what way.

The MiFID places responsibility on the distributing investment firm to ascertain, on a client-by-client basis, whether a particular investment is suitable or appropriate. The Commission will study the types of marketing and sales restrictions that should be repealed in favour of reliance on the investment firms exercising responsibility for the sale of products which are suited to the clients for which they are intended.

The Commission and CESR will perform a systematic inventory and analysis of national barriers to “private placement” of financial instruments with institutional investors and other eligible counterparties.


Since the UCITS Directive was adopted in 1985, the European investment fund market has increased significantly in size and the number of funds continues to grow. By the end of 2005, there were more than 29 000 UCITSs. In 2005 the total volume of assets managed by investment funds in Europe grew, representing 59% of EU GDP (EUR 5 000 billion).
Core elements of the Directive are no longer functioning effectively due to the significant changes of the last twenty years.

The Commission has drawn up this White Paper, which aims to simplify Directive 85/611/EEC (l24036a), on the basis of extensive consultation and debate since 2004 with consumers, industry practitioners and policymakers, and with due regard to the replies received to the Green Paper [COM(2005) 314 final] and to the three reports drawn up by ad hoc expert groups. The Commission intends to put forward the necessary amendments to the Directive in the autumn of 2007.


White Paper on governance

White Paper on governance

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on governance


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

Institutional affairs > The decision-making process and the work of the institutions

White Paper on governance

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission of 25 July 2001 “European governance – A white paper” [COM(2001) 428 final – Official Journal C 287 of 12.10.2001].


It is necessary to reform European governance in order to bring citizens closer to the European institutions.

Five principles combine to form the basis of good governance:

  • openness: the European institutions should attach more importance to transparency and communication in their decision-making;
  • participation: citizens must be more systematically involved in the drafting and implementation of policies;
  • accountability: the role of each party in the decision-making process needs to be clarified. Each actor involved should then assume responsibility for the role given to them;
  • effectiveness: decisions need to be taken at the appropriate level and time, and deliver what is needed;
  • coherence: the EU conducts extremely diverse policies which need to be pursued coherently.

The proposals in this White Paper do not necessarily require new treaties. This is first and foremost a question of political will, to which all the institutions and Member States need to commit.

To reform governance of the European Union, the Commission proposes four major changes.


Policies should no longer be decided at the top. The legitimacy of the EU now lies with the participation of its citizens.

More openness in the way the Union works

Participation depends on people being able to take part in public debate. For this to happen, the general public needs to be more actively informed about European issues. The Commission will call on national and local networks and authorities in order to present information which is adapted to the concerns of European citizens. The Europa website will form an interactive platform for dialogue and discussion. The Commission also intends to continue developing Eur-lex. The Council and the European Parliament need to make their information more accessible throughout the codecision procedure, particularly at the conciliation phase. Finally, the Member States should promote public debate on European affairs.

Reaching out to citizens through regional and local democracy

In order to build a better partnership across the various levels, the Commission proposes a number of initiatives, including:

  • participation by local-government associations in policy development: the Commission notes that Community decisions fail to take sufficient account of local and regional knowledge. It therefore proposes to step up cooperation between local-government associations and the Committee of the Regions. It also suggests that the latter conduct a more systematic examination of the local and regional impact of certain directives. Finally, the Member States should improve the involvement of local actors in EU policy-making;
  • greater flexibility in the implementation of certain Community policies with a strong territorial impact: the Commission proposes that contracts be concluded between the Member States, regions, local authorities and the Commission. These contracts would allow the local authorities to implement Community legislation, whilst taking the wide diversity of local conditions into account;
  • overall policy coherence: European policies work too often by adopting a sectoral approach. These should form part of a coherent whole and address their territorial impact in order to achieve more sustainable and balanced territorial development within the Union. The Commission intends to develop indicators to identify where coherence is needed.

Involving civil society

The Commission considers that civil society plays an important role in the development of Community policies. It will continue to encourage the activities of non-governmental organisations, the social partners and civil society in general. The Commission points out that the organisations representing civil society should themselves apply the principles of good governance as a show of their responsibility and openness. By the end of 2001, it will have set up an online database of civil society organisations.

As a final point, the Economic and Social Committee should give its opinions before rather than after proposals have been transmitted to the legislature, in order to contribute more towards shaping policies.

More effective and transparent consultation at the heart of EU policy-shaping

The institutions and the Member States should step up their efforts to consult better on EU policies. The European Parliament should play a prominent role, given its task of representing citizens. It could, for example, make more frequent use of public hearings. More encouragement could also be given to the involvement of national parliaments.

The Commission intends to clarify how consultations are run. It will publish a review of existing consultative fora for each sector. It also aims to provide a framework for consultation by drawing up a code of conduct that sets minimum standards. These standards should improve the representativeness of civil society organisations and structure their debate with the Commission. In some policy sectors, where consultative practices are already well established, the Commission seeks to develop more extensive partnership arrangements. It then invites the other Institutions to apply a similar approach to their own activities.

Connecting with networks

Networks link businesses, communities, research centres, and regional and local authorities at a European or even global level. These networks can enhance the success of Community policies. The Commission will work more closely together with them to enable them to contribute to decision shaping and policy execution. It will examine how transnational cooperation between regional or local actors could be better supported.


This White Paper aims to make Community decisions more effective in order to win back the support and confidence of European citizens.

Restoring confidence in expert advice

The recent food crises and the ethical issues raised by the advent of bio-technologies have highlighted the need to inform people more about what is known and where uncertainty persists on a scientific level. The system of expert committees used by the Union is opaque and public confidence in expert advice needs to be restored. From June 2002 onwards, the Commission will publish guidelines on how to make its use of expert advice more responsible, pluralistic and transparent. The Commission also suggests the networking of expertise, which too often is organised at national level.

Better and faster regulation – combining policy instruments for better results

The European Commission has identified seven factors for improving regulation:

  • proposals must be prepared on the basis of an analysis to determine whether action at EU level is needed or not;
  • the choice between legislation and less binding tools should be made carefully;
  • it is necessary to determine the most appropriate type of legislative tool. Regulations should be used when there is a need for uniform application across the Union. Framework directives are appropriate when greater flexibility in implementation is desirable. They offer the advantage of being agreed quickly by Council and the European Parliament. Finally, the Commission suggests making greater use of “primary” legislation limited to essential elements, leaving the implementing authority to fill in the technical detail;
  • the Commission wishes to promote co-regulation, when this provides value added and serves the general interest: co-regulation allows the parties involved to define implementing measures in accordance with the objectives defined by the legislator;
  • Community action should be complemented or reinforced in certain areas through the use of the open method of coordination. This method is a way of encouraging cooperation, the exchange of best practice, and adding value at a European level where there is little scope for legislative solutions;
  • the Commission intends to be more systematic in evaluating the actions carried out and drawing the necessary conclusions;
  • the Commission promises to withdraw its proposals if these are too burdensome or complicated, following inter-institutional bargaining. It also suggests that the Council and the European Parliament speed up the legislative process, where possible. To do so, the Council should vote whenever a qualified majority is possible, rather than seek unanimity at all costs. The Council and the European Parliament should, finally, attempt to reach agreement at the first reading.

Simplifying Community law

The Commission proposes the launch of an ambitious programme to simplify Community legislation. The Member States should, however, refrain from adding disproportionate requirements when transposing Community directives.

Better application of EU rules through regulatory agencies

The Commission wishes to create new independent regulatory agencies with decision-making power. This decision-making power will be strictly defined: the agencies will not be able to arbitrate between public interests, or take measures of general scope. They will be subject to a Community system of control.

Better application at national level

The Member States need to step up their efforts to improve the quality of transposing and enforcing Community law. To do so, the Commission proposes that they:

  • set up twinning arrangements between national administrations, in order to exchange best practice in this field;
  • create coordination units responsible for enforcing Community law within the central government of each Member State;
  • make national courts and lawyers more familiar with Community law;
  • create similar arrangements in the Member States to the EU Ombudsman and the Petitions’ Committee of the European Parliament, in order to improve the capacity for dispute settlement.

The Commission will vigorously pursue infringements of Community law. To do so, it will draw up a list of priorities for the investigation of possible breaches. However, a lengthy judicial procedure against a Member State is neither the most practical solution nor the fastest. The Commission will therefore continue to pursue active dialogue with the Member States in order to defuse disputes at the earliest possible stage.


EU citizens want the EU to be powerful on the international stage. The Commission emphasises that the Union’s first step must be to reform governance successfully at home in order to enhance the case for change at an international level. The European Union should then apply the principles of good governance to its global responsibility by, for example, being more accessible to governmental and non-governmental stakeholders.

The European Union should strive to improve the effectiveness and legitimacy of global rule-making, working to modernise and reform international institutions. The Commission will promote the use of new tools at global level as a complement to “hard” international law.

The Commission will, finally, propose a review of the Union’s international representation so that it speaks with a single voice.


The refocusing of policy, i.e. the clear identification of an overall strategic policy for the Union, is necessary so that people have a better understanding of the EU’s political project. This is no easy task, as the sectoral thinking behind EU policies is not conducive to the coherence of Community action.

Refocused EU policies

Refocusing policies means that the Union should identify more clearly its long-term objectives. The Commission already makes a effort in the field of strategic planning through a number of initiatives such as:

  • the Commission’s Annual Policy Strategy: published at the start of each year, this identifies strategic priorities with a 2 to 3 year time span;
  • the Commission President’s State of the Union address: each year the Commission President surveys the progress made on the Commission’s strategic priorities and indicates the challenges which lie ahead;
  • the annual report on the implementation of the Amsterdam Protocol on Subsidiarity and Proportionality which, from 2002 onwards, will be oriented towards the EU’s main objectives.

The European Council should play a more important role in shaping the direction of the Union.

Refocused institutions

Each institution should refocus on its key functions: the Commission initiates and executes policy; the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament adopt legislation and budgets; the European Council sets political guidance. This refocusing of the institutions will make it possible to reinvigorate the Community method. Nevertheless, this Community method needs to be updated by, for example, clarifying the roles of each party.

The Council of Ministers should arbitrate more between sectoral interests. It should develop its capacity to coordinate all aspects of EU policy both in the Council and at home.

The European Parliament and all the national parliaments should stimulate a public debate on the future of Europe and its policies. The European Parliament should focus its budget control on the attainment of political objectives.

The Commission concludes by suggesting that it be made clearer who is responsible for policy execution. The conditions under which the Commission adopts executive measures should be reviewed. In particular, it wants the European Parliament to be involved in monitoring implementation. It feels that Article 202 of the Treaty has become outdated because of the development of the codecision procedure which puts Council and the European Parliament on an equal footing. Finally, the Commission questions the need to maintain the regulatory and management committees.


The White Paper on Governance sets down markers for the debate on the future of Europe. It has been supplemented by an extensive process of institutional reform initiated at the European Council in Laeken and concluded with the signing of the Treaty of Lisbon .

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 6 June 2002 – European Governance: Better lawmaking [COM(2002) 275 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This communication supplements the “Simplifying and improving the regulatory environment” action plan. Its main aim is to shift the focus of the institutions and raise the quality of implementation by the Union through a number of initiatives, including:

  • clarifying executive responsibilities: the rules governing comitology need to be clarified, chiefly through the clear definition of the roles of each institution. The European Parliament has a role to play in comitology, particularly in the areas covered by codecision;
  • supervising the creation of European agencies: the Commission will propose an interinstitutional agreement to Parliament and the Council on this matter;
  • taking account of the regional, urban and local contexts: the regional and local authorities and Member States will have the chance to conclude pilot contracts with the Commission with a view to achieving the Community’s sustainable development objectives;
  • adopting a new approach to vetting application of the law: the Commission will pay more attention to the delays in implementing national application measures.

This communication concludes by reaffirming the importance of the Community method as the very basis of the European Union. A “quiet revolution in terms of the way we act”, the governance reforms call for efforts by the institutions to consolidate and clarify the sharing of competences.

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on the collection and use of expertise by the Commission: principles and guidelines – “Improving the knowledge base for better policies” [COM(2002) 713 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In the White Paper on governance, the Commission stated that it would publish guidelines on the use of expert advice by the Commission. This communication fulfils this commitment. The Commission reaffirms the three principles on which expert advice should be based: quality, openness and effectiveness. The Commission should exploit the most appropriate expertise to construct better policies. The Commission also emphasises its determination to restore the confidence of citizens in the use of expertise, by giving them access to expert advice and meetings.

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 – The operating framework for the European Regulatory Agencies [COM(2002) 718 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this communication, the Commission specifies the tasks, procedures for setting up, and composition of the regulatory agencies. These agencies are subject to the supervision of the Commission, the European Ombudsman, the European Parliament, the Council, the Court of Auditors and the Court of Justice of the European Communities.

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 – A framework for target-based tripartite contracts and agreements between the Community, the Member States and regional and local authorities [COM(2002) 709 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This communication aims to clarify the notion of tripartite contracts mentioned in the White Paper on governance. It distinguishes target-based tripartite contracts, which ensue from the application of binding Community law, from target-based tripartite agreements, which describe agreements concluded between the Commission, a Member State and regional and local authorities outside a binding legal act. The Commission sets out the arrangements for concluding this type of agreement, and concludes by presenting a model contract or agreement.

Communication from the Commission of 11 December 2002 on the better monitoring of the application of Community law [COM(2002) 725 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

The Commission intends to improve monitoring of the application of Community law, by first of all emphasising the prevention of infringements. To do so, the Commission will develop cooperation with the Member States, chiefly by helping them with the transposition of directives. The Commission will also continue to carry out its role as guardian of the Treaties by taking action against infringements. This will be done on the basis of priority criteria relating to the seriousness of breaches. For example, the failure to transpose directives will be considered as a serious infringement and infringement proceedings will be launched immediately in this case.

Commission communication to the European Parliament and the European Ombudsman of 20 March 2002 on relations with the complainant in respect of infringements of community law [COM(2002) 141 final – Official Journal C 244 of 10 October 2002].

In this communication, the Commission sets out administrative measures for the benefit of the complainant in the context of infringement proceedings, such as the methods of submitting a complaint, the protection of personal data, or the time limit for investigating complaints.

Proposal for a Council Decision of 11 December 2002 amending Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission [COM(2002) 719 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

In this communication, the Commission presents the Council decision on comitology. The Council agrees to include the European Parliament in supervising implementation for matters subject to codecision. The regulatory procedure will be applied when the executive measures are of general scope concerning the substance of the matter in question. The advisory procedure will be appropriate when the executive measures have an individual scope or concern the procedural arrangements for implementation.

This fact sheet is not legally binding on the European Commission, it does not claim to be exhaustive and does not represent an official interpretation of the text of the Treaty.

White Paper on Communication

White Paper on Communication

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about White Paper on Communication


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

Institutional affairs > The decision-making process and the work of the institutions

White Paper on Communication

Document or Iniciative

Commission Communication of 1 February 2006, “White Paper on a European communication policy” [COM(2006) 35 final – Not published in the Official Journal].


This White Paper has made it possible to launch a broad consultation to improve communication and enhance public debate in Europe. For six months, the Institutions, EU citizens and stakeholders had the opportunity to make their contributions to European communication policy.

The Commission identified five areas for action. Specific proposals, which the consultation was intended to address, were put forward for implementation in each area. The Commission also organised a series of “stakeholder forums” which gave specific interest groups the opportunity to state their opinions on these matters. Lastly, from spring 2006, it has been publishing Eurobarometer surveys.

Defining Common Principles

The European Union’s communication policy derives from several principles such as the right to information and freedom of expression, the inclusion of all citizens in public debate, diversity and participation.

To put these principles into action, the Commission is submitting the following measures for consultation:

  • Drawing up a European charter or code of conduct on communication: This document will gather together the common principles on communication and ask all the stakeholders to commit to them;
  • Launching a web-based citizens’ forum: This forum will allow citizens to be consulted on the content of the European charter or code of conduct on communication.

Empowering Citizens

Improving civic education and connecting citizens with each other and with the public institutions: if we are to involve citizens more, these are the goals we must achieve. The European Union can provide support for Member States with regard to civic education thanks to programmes such as Leonardo da Vinci, Socrates, Erasmus, Youth in action, or programmes in the field of information technologies.

In order to connect with citizens, both direct contact between citizens and the EU and indirect contact, such as Internet discussion forums, should be promoted. In fact, the Commission has designed a programme, Citizens for Europe, which enables EU citizens to meet and organise public debates on Europe. It also intends to take stock of existing schemes to exploit their full potential.

Lastly, to connect citizens with public institutions, European Institutions should first be made more accessible and more transparent. The European Parliament and the Council have made significant efforts in that direction. As for the Commission, it has established minimum standards for consultation, launched its own European Transparency Initiative, and intends to make a determined effort to promote multilingualism.

To keep in touch with citizens, the Commission is taking action in the following areas:

  • fostering the exchange of best practices with regard to civic education, developing of common educational tools, and lastly, getting European teachers who teach civic education into a network;
  • connecting all European libraries digitally;
  • setting up new meeting places for Europeans;
  • extending the programmes which enable citizens to visit the Institutions;
  • adding online forums to EU websites;
  • reviewing the minimum standards for consultation to ensure a more balanced representation of interest groups;
  • organising joint open debates during which the three main Institutions would take questions from the public.

Working with the media and new technologies

There is not enough media coverage of European issues. To improve this, the Commission would like to begin by making Europe more human. It is too often seen as faceless – it needs a clear public identity. Also, more account needs to be taken of the national, regional and local dimension. European issues should not only be addressed by specialised media – they should also be debated nationally and locally. The European Institutions should also put European policies in a local context. Lastly, the potential of new technologies needs to be exploited more fully. New technologies should not only be promoted, as they are one of the tools of cross-border democracy, they should also be made more widespread to grant everyone access.

In order to involve the media more effectively in communicating on Europe, the Commission proposes to:

  • devise a European communication policy that encourages the public authorities to work more with the media;
  • equip the EU Institutions with the best communication tools and capacities. To achieve this, Europe By Satellite should first be upgraded, but also a European programme for training in public communication should be set up to provide officials from European and national institutions with training in communication;
  • adapt the information provided to the media to the needs of the local populations;
  • draft a report on information technologies and democracy in Europe in order to better assess citizens’ access to the new communication tools.

Understanding European Public Opinion

In this area, the Commission has already successfully developed tools to analyse public opinion, such as Eurobarometer surveys, and independent social research on European issues. Furthermore, the methodology for Eurobarometer surveys is being reviewed.

Additional measures could be taken to gauge European opinion:

  • strengthening cooperation between the European Institutions to design and plan Eurobarometer surveys and disseminate the results;
  • accompanying every new Eurobarometer survey with public debates;
  • organising polls and surveys on EU communication from spring 2006;
  • setting up a network of national experts on public opinion surveys;
  • creating an independent observatory for European public opinion.

Working Together

Creating a European public sphere requires commitment from everyone involved: the Member States, the EU Institutions, local and regional authorities, political parties and, lastly, the civil society organisations. For the benefit of all of these, the Commission is putting forward a series of actions to enable them to participate more in communication about Europe:

  • increasing cooperation between the national and European levels: the vehicles of cooperation could be either financial or operational, such as making available the European information networks and relays. Meetings between national ministers and European Commissioners will be built up. Lastly, Member States could organise public and parliamentary discussions on the Commission’s annual strategic priorities;
  • increasing cooperation among national authorities dealing with public communication with a view to developing joint initiatives and sharing best practices;
  • communicating more about the EU’s role in the world: this is an effective way to involve the citizens of Europe themselves. To achieve it, more resources need to be allocated to diplomacy;
  • increasing cooperation between the EU Institutions with regard to informing citizens, for example by improving the organisation of the InterInstitutional Group on Information;
  • having the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions increase their efforts to organise regional and local discussion of European issues;
  • encouraging political parties to become more involved in European political issues;
  • encouraging civil society organisations to devise targeted cooperation projects in the field of public communication.

Organisation of the consultation

The consultation process on this White Paper is planned to last six months, from February until July 2006

At the end of this consultation, working groups comprising representatives of the Commission and of its partners have been set up for each of the areas for action identified. They have been asked to produce concrete proposals for action. The Commission has outlined a number of measures in this Communication to improve the way the EU informs and listens to the public. They are the result of the extensive White Paper consultation, launched in February 2006, which has since then prompted hundreds of responses.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission of 3 October 2007 to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Communicating Europe in Partnership[COM(2007) 569 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication from the Commission of 13 October 2005to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – The Commission’s contribution to the period of reflection and beyond – Plan-D for Democracy, Dialogue and Debate [COM(2005)494 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Communication to the Commission of 20 July 2005, “Action Plan to Improve Communicating Europe by the Commission” [SEC(2005) 985 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

This fact sheet is not legally binding on the European Commission, it does not claim to be exhaustive and does not represent an official interpretation of the text of the Treaty.