Tag Archives: WO

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Topics

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

Work Plan for Sport 2011-2014

Document or Iniciative

Resolution of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council, on a European Union Work Plan for Sport for 2011-2014 [OJ C 162 of 1.6.2011].

Summary

The Treaty of Lisbon made sport a European Union (EU) area of competency, in which it can support, coordinate and complement the actions of its Member States. By promoting sustainable, smart and inclusive growth, and job creation, sport also contributes to the objectives of the Europe 2020 Strategy. Furthermore, it has a positive effect on social inclusion, education, training, public health and active ageing.

In order to develop the European dimension in sport, the Council approves a 3-year work plan detailing the actions to be implemented by Member States and the Commission.

Three priority themes are identified and accompanied by actions for the period 2011-2014:

  • The integrity of sport, in particular the fight against doping and match-fixing. The actions defined to this end are:
    • prepare draft EU comments to the revision of the World Anti-Doping Agency’s world anti-doping code;
    • develop a European dimension of the integrity of sport with the focus on the fight against match-fixing;
    • develop principles of transparency concerning good governance and organisation of sport;
    • address the issues identified related to access to and to supervision of the profession of sport agents and to transfers in team sports (in particular the issue of the transfer of young players).
  • Social values of sport, in particular health, social inclusion, education and volunteering. The following actions must be carried out:

    • prepare a proposal for European guidelines on ‘dual careers’ aimed at ensuring that young athletes receive quality education alongside their sports training;
    • follow up on the inclusion of sport-related certificates in national qualifications frameworks with reference to the European Qualifications Framework;
    • explore ways to promote health enhancing physical activity and participation in grassroots sport.
  • Economic aspects of sport, in particular sustainable financing of sports and evidence-based policy making. Two actions are defined in this respect:

    • promote data collection to measure the economic benefits of the EU sport sector;
    • strengthen financial solidarity mechanisms between professional sport and grassroots sport.

Implementation

Implementation of the Work Plan will be supported by expert groups created by the Commission and the EU countries in the following areas: anti-doping; good governance in sport; education and training in sport; sport, health and participation; sport statistics and sustainable financing of sport.

The Commission will collaborate with the sports movement and competent organisations at national, European and international levels. It will submit a report by the end of 2013 evaluating the implementation of the Work Plan.

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 18 January 2011 – Developing the European Dimension in Sport [COM(2011) 12 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

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].

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about World Radiocommunication Conference 2003

Topics

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

Information society > Radiofrequencies

World Radiocommunication Conference 2003

Document or Iniciative

Commission communication of 14 April 2003 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – The World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 [COM(2003) 183 final].

Summary

Every three years the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a United Nations agency, holds a World Radiocommunication Conference. The Conference 2003 (WRC-03) was held in Geneva from 9 June to 4 July 2003. The Commission participated as a delegation without voting rights. In this capacity, the Commission will endeavour to support decisions which are in line with relevant Community policies and serve commercial and general interests in the European Union (EU).

Within the ITU, the European authorities negotiate on a national basis. However, insofar as national interests converge on many points, EU Member States have chosen to develop their technical positions together within the European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) (1). The development of European technical positions within CEPT will certainly strengthen the EU’s position at WRC-03. However, these positions should also be coordinated at European level, before and after the conference, in accordance with the principles set out in the Community Decision on the radio spectrum.

COMMUNITY POLICIES RELEVANT TO WRC-03

Information society

Transition to the information society is essential if Europe is to fully benefit from digital technologies and the internet. This is why the Community is encouraging the development of applications and content which will enable all Europeans to be part of the information society. In establishing a new regulatory framework for electronic communications, the EU has moved a step further towards supporting a world-class communications and broadcasting infrastructure.

Audiovisual policy

Audiovisual media play a key role in the transmission of social and cultural values; clear public interests are therefore at issue. For example, broadcasting services must continue to have access to the resources they need, including radio spectrum resources.

Transport

The Commission is working on the development of an integrated transport system, including notably maritime safety and air transport. In this context, the objective of the Single European Sky is to optimise air traffic management and air safety in order to satisfy all airspace users. The achievement of this objective essentially depends on the availability of radio spectrum. The satellite navigation programme Galileo is another important element of common transport policy. Like all radio services, in order to operate, Galileo needs a sufficient number of radio spectrum frequencies protected from harmful interference and employable without too many operational constraints.

Coordination of civil protection

The aim of Community cooperation in the field of civil protection is to improve the protection of people, the environment and goods in the event of natural or man-made disasters. In 2001, the Council adopted a decision (Decision 2001/792/EC) establishing a Community mechanism to facilitate reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions. It is known that the coordination of joint European interventions would be improved by the interoperability of communications equipment fostered by harmonised spectrum.

Single European Space

The Galileo project and the GMES initiative (Global Monitoring for Environment and Security) are specific examples of cooperation within the framework of initiatives taken, at European level, in the space sector. An adequate supply of spectrum is clearly essential for a vibrant European space sector.

Research and development

All technologies covered by the WRC are supported by research and development activities. European research funding continues to promote essential fields using wireless technologies. Access to a radio spectrum harmonised at European and world level will remain an essential element of these activities and will be an important objective for research projects.

THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY’S STRATEGIC OBJECTIVES FOR WRC-03

The WRC-03 agenda included a number of questions relating to Community policies. The main Community objectives were:

  • to maintain frequency allocation acquired at WRC-2000 by IMT-2000 (“International Mobile Telecommunications for the year 2000” – 3rd generation mobile communications) and confirm the conditions of use of the spectrum for the Galileo radionavigation services;
  • to progress towards regionally and globally harmonised frequencies for PPDR (Public Protection and Disaster Relief) system, in order to help rescue and emergency teams communicate with each other;
  • to support the creation of other wireless infrastructures in order to encourage competition for the benefit of consumers – in accordance with the eEurope initiative. In particular, the frequency bands determined at European level for radio local area networks (RLAN) should be harmonised at world level.

Related Acts

Conference results

Commission communication of 19 November 2003 to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Results of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) [COM(2003) 707 – Not published in the Official Journal]

At the end of the Conference, the Commission stressed the positive results of the negotiations since, from a Community standpoint, the main objectives of WRC-03 had been achieved. The harmonisation at world level of the conditions of use of RLAN broadband systems and the long term protection of the Galileo satellite navigation system were among the most notable successes.

This communication presents a detailed analysis of the decisions and:

  • highlights the effects of the results of the Conference on EU policies;
  • assesses the extent to which the EU’s objectives for WRC-03 have been achieved;
  • defines the type of regulatory measures the EU should take as a follow-up to WRC-03;
  • examines Community interests which could be at stake at the next conference (WRC-07);
  • analyses the negotiating process at WRC-03.

Implementing measures

Some WRC-03 results require work to begin on implementing measures, notably concerning harmonisation of the availability and conditions of use of the radio spectrum. Some work had already begun before WRC-03. Action will be taken on the basis of the mechanisms provided for in Decision 676/2002/EC (“Radio Spectrum Decision”), involving consultation of the Radio Spectrum Committee (RSC) and associating CEPT expertise. The Radio Spectrum Policy Group has been asked to help establish the link between various Community policy objectives and the main guidelines for Community radio spectrum policy.

 

World Radiocommunications Conference 2000

World Radiocommunications Conference 2000

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about World Radiocommunications Conference 2000

Topics

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

Information society > Radiofrequencies

World Radiocommunications Conference 2000 (WRC-2000)

To initiate a political discussion in the European Parliament and Council on the Community interests at stake at the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-2000), in the light of the results of the 1997 World Radiocommunications Conference, and to ensure appropriate involvement of all interested parties in the preparatory process.

2) Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on radio frequency requirements for Community policies in the context of the World Radiocommunications Conference (WRC-2000) [COM(98) 298 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

3) Summary

A vast array of radiocommunications techniques and services has become vital to the European economy, consumers and public safety. They provide essential links in public and private telecommunications networks; they assure efficient, safe transport by sea, air and land; they broadcast information services and entertainment; they allow weather forecasting and help to fight pollution and to perform many other functions needed by modern society. The point which these radiocommunications services have in common is that they compete for the use of scarce radio spectrum resources.

Decisions on which type of services may use which frequencies, and under what conditions, are taken at World Radiocommunications Conferences (WRCs) which are organised under the auspices of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and in which all 15 Member States of the European Union participate. The last WRC was held in 1997 and took important decisions on mobile and satellite communications, broadcasting and satellite radionavigation and aeronautical services. The next WRC will be held in March 2000.

The context for WRCs has changed considerably from being a forum for discussing primarily technical matters in the past, to one where economic and political forces, driven by liberalisation, competition, globalisation and technological innovation in the communications and information sectors, have become decisive for the frequency allocation decisions to be taken.

At Community level, the implementation of a number of common policies depends on the availability of the frequencies needed, as in the case of mobile and satellite communications, broadcasting, aeronautical and satellite radionavigation services and Earth observation.

The Member States do not wish to give the Community the role of developing common Community positions or negotiating at WRCs on their behalf. In view of the changing WRC context, however, there is a growing need to provide political support for the WRC positions, taking into account that diverging views among WRC negotiating parties as regards frequency harmonisation are normally based on a diverging political assessment of radiocommunications systems of commercial and general interest. This could become evident, for instance, if Europe were to request further frequencies for the development of third-generation mobile communications (UMTS) which other countries could oppose due to the national focus on satellite communications (notably in the USA) or to difficulties with phasing out or relocating existing systems (in the developing countries). Frequencies for aeronautical and radionavigation services may be needed to satisfy demand for both commercial and public interest applications, depending on national requirements and priorities, and taking into account claims by commercial mobile satellite operators. Effective political backing for the technical positions worked out is therefore essential to achieve good results at the WRC and for appropriate technical and political representation of Community interests in contact with the Community’s main trading partners. The Community, represented by the Commission, could be instrumental in this regard, provided the Member States themselves provide political support for the WRC positions worked out.

Coordination of the Member States’ positions in CEPT for the 1995 and 1997 WRCs generally led to results allowing further development of Europe’s radiocommunications market. For WRC-97, the 43 CEPT countries signed about 300 European common proposals (ECPs) for the 50 items on the agenda, most of which were adopted by the Conference. However, notwithstanding the satisfactory support from the European countries for the common European positions presented at WRC-97, very controversial issues could not be settled on the basis of technical positions alone, as was the case with respect to satellite broadband services, aeronautical and satellite-radionavigation services and Earth observation. The Community policy framework for satellite and mobile communications, which includes close consultation and coordination with industry and representative organisations, allows for precise translation of the relevant Community policies into frequency requirements to be negotiated at WRCs. However, in the case of the other policies mentioned, such consultation and coordination is not always apparent, with the risk that commercial telecommunications interests could have a stronger position for obtaining frequencies.

In accordance with the Council conclusions of 22 September 1997, which were adopted on the basis of the Commission communication to the European Parliament and the Council on WRC-97, the European Commission will be involved in WRC-2000 with the following objectives:

  • ensure compliance of the European positions for the WRC with relevant Community policies both prior to and at the Conference;
  • encourage European industry to propose radiocommunications initiatives and involve industry and other relevant players and organisations in the development of European positions on, inter alia, mobile and satellite communications, broadcasting, aeronautical services, radionavigation and Earth observation;
  • maintain and establish contacts with third countries and regions in order to obtain their support for European objectives and to achieve a certain level of approximation of proposals before the start of the Conference;
  • strengthen the negotiating position of Europe at the WRC and achieve results which are to the benefit of the European economy and its citizens.

It is necessary, however, to address these objectives in a general review of spectrum policy in the Community, where frequency requirements are examined as part of a European long-term strategic spectrum plan striking a balance between commercial and general interests, based on wide consultations with all interested parties and endorsed at political level and allowing the production of European positions for WRCs.

4) Follow-Up Work

Communication of 19 November 2003 from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: Results of the World Radiocommunication Conference 2003 (WRC-03) [COM(2003) 707].

This communication reports a positive outcome to the negotiations, since from the Community’s point of view the main objectives of WRC-03 have been achieved. The most notable successes include worldwide harmonisation of the conditions for using broadband RLAN systems and long-term protection of the Galileo satellite navigation system.

 

World Summit for Social Development

World Summit for Social Development

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about World Summit for Social Development

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Employment and social policy: international dimension and enlargement

World Summit for Social Development

On the occasion of the World Summit for Social Development, the European Union highlights the need to work towards balanced and sustainable economic and social progress at international level.

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament of 21 December 1994 – the European Union’s priorities for the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, March 1995) [COM(1994) 669 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

Social development cannot be dissociated from democracy; the respect for human rights implies the participation of the whole of civil society, including via dialogue between employers and workers.

Structural measures, at national as well as international level, must take their place in economic policy-making with a view to ensuring the sustainability of growth and preventing the development of excessive inequalities.

The EU’s main objectives are as follows:

  • all countries should set and phase in social development objectives in accordance with their level of development;
  • advancement of social rights by encouraging countries to ratify ILO conventions and ensuring compliance with them;
  • reduction of excessive inequalities should be a specific objective of social development policies;
  • better coordination of cooperation and development policies;
  • explicit inclusion of social development in the policies recommended by international institutions such as the IMF and World Bank;
  • international free movement of capital, which is vital to development.

On a bilateral level, the EU should undertake to:

  • give priority, in development cooperation programmes agreed between the EU and its partners, to job creation and the fight against poverty;
  • give priority, in granting aid and trade preferences, to countries which adopt genuine and effective social development strategies.

Cost/efficiency and targeting of official development aid (ODA) need to be improved.

The issue of development resources needs to be looked at in a wider context, on the basis of the following priorities:

  • adoption of domestic policies geared towards efficiency and fairness (by ensuring proper access to productive resources and markets, redirecting public spending towards precise social development objectives, etc.);
  • encouraging the flow of capital and the transfer of technology and know-how to developing countries and economies in transition.

The EU will continue its efforts to eradicate poverty and integrate all sections of society (massive creation of jobs, prevention of social exclusion, overhauling of social protection systems).

The EU, as the major provider of development aid, is determined to continue to make a substantial contribution to international action.

Related Acts

Commission Recommendation 2000/581/EC of 15 September 2000 on the ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention No 182 of 17 June 1999 concerning the prohibition and immediate action for the elimination of the worst forms of child labour [Official Journal L 243 of 28.09.2000].

ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work, 1998

The Declaration confirms the core labour standards as identified by the Copenhagen Summit and states that all ILO members, even if they have not yet ratified the basic conventions, are required by virtue of their ILO membership to promote and to comply with the principles related to the fundamental rights set out in the ILO Conventions.

In order to promote the universal application of core labour standards, a control mechanism, a monitoring system and technical assistance were introduced.

Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development, Copenhagen, March 1995 (Declaration and Programme of Action)

The Summit provided an opportunity to identify universal core labour standards for the first time: freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, elimination of all forms of forced or compulsory labour, effective abolition of child labour, elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation.

The Commission for Social Development is responsible, within the United Nations Economic and Social Council, for the follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development, and in particular for examining the application of the Copenhagen Declaration and the Summit’s Programme of Action.

On 14 February 1997 the Commission adopted a Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on the European Union’s follow-up to the World Summit for Social Development [COM(96) 724 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

As the policies introduced in Europe already broadly cover the undertakings given in Copenhagen, the aim of the Communication is to consider what specific follow-up action the European Union should take in the five areas identified.

A. Developing the social dimension in the international institutional framework: globalisation reduces the autonomy of policies, which means that greater international cooperation is required in the major forums (UN, ILO, IMF, World Bank, WTO, G7, etc.).

B. Incorporating respect for basic social rights and promoting social and human development in bilateral agreements: in its bilateral relations and when granting aid and trade preferences, the Community should give priority to the countries which take specific measures to meet the Copenhagen commitments (promotion of workers’ basic rights, application of the ILO conventions or compliance with their principles). The Commission proposes granting, by common accord, at least 20% of public Community assistance to the development of basic social programmes, with at least 20% of public expenditure in the developing countries being earmarked for the same aims.

C. Incorporating the fight against poverty into development action and continuing efforts to combat marginalisation within the Community: in the dialogue with the developing countries, the Community could, as a matter of course, consider an analysis of the poverty situation and assess national political action to combat inequality. It is also important to ensure that, in the Union, everyone benefits from economic progress.

D. Keeping employment as the top priority for economic and social policy: it would be helpful to pass on the priority given by the Union to combating unemployment and to compare it with other initiatives in a wider international context (ILO, G7, etc.).

E. Ensuring respect for and protection of immigrants and combating racism and xenophobia: the Community intends to take other measures as part of the European Year against Racism (1997).

In the spirit of the Copenhagen Summit, the Commission consults civil society on a whole series of social issues in a forum organised every 18 months.

An assessment of the internal and external aspects of Union policies will be presented in the year 2000.

The Medium-term Social Action Programme adopted by the Commission on 12 April 1995 (COM(95) 134 final) includes a large number of proposals responding to the commitments made at the Copenhagen summit.

On 3 February 1995 the European Parliament adopted a resolution on the European Union’s priorities for the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, March 1995).

Work with display screen equipment

Work with display screen equipment

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Work with display screen equipment

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Health hygiene and safety at work

Work with display screen equipment

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 90/270/EEC of 29 May 1990 on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment (fifth individual Directive within the meaning of Article 16(1) of Directive 89/391/EEC) [Official Journal L 156 of 21.6.1990] [See amending act(s)].

Summary

European legislation protects the safety and health of workers using display screen equipment *.

This Directive contains individual provisions intended to supplement the general provisions of Directive 89/391/EEC concerning health and safety at work.

However, this Directive does not apply to:

  • workstations * and computer systems on board a means of transport;
  • computer systems mainly intended for public use;
  • portable systems, except in prolonged use at a workstation;
  • equipment having a small display (calculators, cash registers, etc.);
  • traditional typewriters.

Employers’ obligations

In order to ensure the safety and health of workers, employers are obliged to:

  • perform an evaluation of workstations, and bring them into line with the requirements of the Directive (Annex),
  • inform, consult and train workers with regard to all measures connected with their health and safety.

In addition, the daily activities of workers using display screen equipment must be interrupted by breaks or changes of activity.

In addition, workers must undergo an eye and eyesight test before commencing their display screen work, and then at regular intervals during their activities and if visual difficulties develop. If necessary, workers must be provided with special corrective appliances, without charge.

Key terms
  • Display screen equipment: an alphanumeric or graphic display screen, regardless of the display process employed.
  • Workstation: refers to the work surface, display screen equipment, additional equipment and accessories (keyboard, telephone, printer, etc.).

References

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

Directive 90/270/EEC

11.6.1990

31.12.1992

OJ L 156 of 21.6.1990

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

Directive 2007/30/EC

28.6.2007

31.12.2012

OJ L 165 of 27.6.2007

Related Acts

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions on the practical implementation of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Directives 89/391/EEC (framework), 89/654/EEC (workplaces), 89/655/EEC (work equipment), 89/656/EEC (personal protective equipment), 90/269/EEC (manual handling of loads) and 90/270/EEC (display screen equipment) [COM(2004) 62 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Women's health

Women’s health

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Women’s health

Topics

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

Public health > Health determinants: environment

Women’s health

Document or Iniciative

Commission Report of 22 May 1997 on the state of women’s health in the European Community [COM(97) 224 final – Not published in the Official Journal]

Summary

The report examines the main causes of mortality and morbidity as well as a number of individual and social determinants which influence women’s health within the context of evolving demographic and social trends.

The main sources of data are:

  • the World Health Organisation’s “Health for All” database;
  • various reports and data from EUROSTAT;
  • an EC-wide Eurobarometer survey carried out in early 1996.

The data obtained are somewhat limited in their comprehensiveness and comparability. These constraints narrow the range of subjects dealt with in the report.

The report focuses on women aged 15 years and older, because most gender-specific health data at EC level concentrate on this age-group.

Social and demographic trends

Women account for 51.2% of the population of the European Community. This percentage is very stable across the Member States, varying from a 50.4% in Ireland to 51.8% in Portugal.

There is considerable variation in the percentage of women across age-groups: in the group of women under 20 years of age, there are 95 women for every 100 men, while among 80-year-olds there are about 221 women for every 100 men. This degree of variation can be partly explained by the difference in life expectancy, with that of women having significantly increased to reach 80 years old, six years more than the average expectancy for men.

There have been considerable changes in family life. The rate of marriage has declined significantly, from 8 to 5.1 marriages for every 1 000 persons in the period from 1960 to 1995. At the same time, the rate of divorce has more than tripled, from 0.54 to 1.8 for every 1 000 persons (except in Ireland). The average age of first marriage and the age at first birth have risen to 26.1 and 28.6 years respectively.

Women’s labour force participation has increased tremendously, although there are very considerable variations across the Member States, ranging from 70% in the Nordic countries (where there exists the greater equality between sexes) to 40% in southern Europe. Concomitant with this trend has been an increase in part-time work (between 70% and 90% of part-time jobs are done by women) and temporary employment. Women are affected more than men by unemployment.

Selected health indicators

Infant mortality has fallen sharply in the Community; only 6.9 baby girls out of 1 000 live births die before the age of 1 year, which represents a decline of 68% since 1970. Maternal mortality rates have also declined significantly (by 79% since 1970) to 7 deaths per 100 000 women in 1992.

62% of women in the Community consider themselves to be in good or very good health, although this figure obscures very considerable variations between Member States, ranging from 75.8% in Ireland to 34.7% in Portugal.

The average height of women has increased over the last few decades, and is now 163.5 cm. Dutch women average a height of 167.9 cm, while Portuguese women average 159.6 cm.

Morbidity

Since there are no disease-specific morbidity measures at Community level, indirect measures such as short- and long-term disability and health care utilisation have been used.

On average, almost one out of every four women report limitations in their daily activities to some extent (17.3%) or severely (6.3%) because of long-standing illness. This average varies from a high of 30% in Finland and Portugal to a low of 15% in Luxembourg, and increases with age.

The rate of temporary activity limitation is fairly low in absolute terms, although 14% of women report having had to cut down on their activities in the past two weeks because of illness or injury. The lowest rate is in Italy (5.6%) and the highest in the Netherlands (20%).

On average, one out of three women has consulted with a physician in person or by telephone in the past two weeks (ranging from 25% in Ireland and the Netherlands to 38% in Spain). An average of 10% of women in the Community report having had one or more (non-birth) hospitalisations in the past year, staying a total of about 10 days in the hospital. There is a considerable variation in this figure between Denmark (3.8%) and France and Finland (13%). Older women are twice as likely as younger women to have been hospitalised, and they tend to stay longer as well.

Causes of death and trends in female mortality

Across all ages, the most frequent causes of death among women are diseases of the circulatory system (accounting for 43% of all deaths), cancer (26%), diseases of the respiratory system (6%) and suicide and accidents (5%).

The major causes of death vary with age:

  • for women under 30, motor vehicle accidents are the main cause of death;
  • in the 30-34 age-group, the main cause is suicide;
  • for women aged 35-64, the main cause of death is cancer, particularly breast and cervical cancer;
  • for women aged 65 and over, diseases of the circulatory system account for almost half of all deaths.

Health determinants and health promotion

To a very large extent, the two major causes of mortality (heart disease and cancer) are preventable through primary (healthier lifestyles) or secondary prevention (early detection through, for example, screening). The main risk factors associated with much premature mortality (death before the age of 65) include smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

In most Member States, about 25% of women smoke, and this figure is increasing continually. Denmark and Portugal stand out because of their respectively very high (42%) and very low rates (12%) of smoking among women. Smoking is the main risk factor in about 30% of cancers and is a major factor in cardiovascular diseases.

There are no data available on average alcohol consumption among women. However, it is known that women drink less than men, although this gap between the sexes is gradually getting smaller. Immoderate consumption increases the risk of liver complaints, diseases of the circulatory system and certain types of cancer.

Even though data on diet are scarce, analyses can draw on data on the outcome of eating patterns, i.e. weight. In the Community, one out of every five women is overweight as measured by the body mass index (BMI), while 15% are underweight. The highest incidences of excess weight are in Greece (33.2%) and Portugal (28.5%), and the lowest in France (15.5%) and Denmark (16.6%). Being overweight is a significant risk factor for heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

The frequency and types of health check-ups for women vary considerably by age-group and by country. For example, 44% of women aged 65 or over have had a heart check-up in the past year, compared with only 10% among women aged under 35. In Germany, 35.3% of women have had a heart check-up, whilst the figure for the Netherlands is 9.7%.

As regards diabetes, around 22% of women have had a diabetes test in the past year, although the figure is 44% among overweight women aged 40 and over. There is considerable variation between Member States: Germany reports the highest rate of testing (35.3%), with the lowest rates being reported in the Netherlands and Sweden (9.7% and 12.8% respectively).

Around 16% of women in the Community report having had an osteoporosis test in the past year. The rate of testing ranges from 4% in Finland to 28% in Austria.

Thanks to the various programmes at national and Community level, the rate of cancer screening is very high. Almost 40% of women report having had a cervical smear in the previous year, although the figure varies considerably between Member States, from 15.8% in Ireland to 63.5% in Denmark.

Similarly, almost 40% of women report having performed a breast self-examination in the previous year, and 18% report having had a mammography during the same period. Some Member States have introduced systematic screening programmes which have had a significant impact on the cancer mortality rate. Moreover, 90% of women endorsed free mammography screening.

Special issues in women’s health

Several health issues have emerged over the past few years because of their particular importance for women:

– There is a lack of data on the incidence and prevalence of eating disorders (bulimia and anorexia nervosa), although the perception is that it has been increasing throughout the Community over the last 20 years. One study puts the mortality rate among anorexia suffers at 6% (suicide, heart attack) and at 3% for those with bulimia.

– At the end of 1996, women accounted for 17% of AIDS sufferers, and this percentage was on the increase. Most of these women were intravenous drug users. The main transmission routes of HIV among women vary between Member States: intravenous drug use in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ireland and heterosexual transmission in Belgium. Men are more likely to transmit HIV to women than vice versa. Preventive interventions aimed at women have in general been limited.

Availability of contraceptives and abortion are important issues for women of reproductive age. Most Member States report contraceptive use rates between 71% and 81%, except for Spain (59%) and Portugal (66%). The most widely used method of contraception is the birth control pill, followed by the condom. The choice of contraceptive method is influenced by a variety of factors, particularly health risks and the side-effects associated with a particular method, as well as the age of the woman (younger women favour the use of birth control pills or condoms, while older women may prefer IUDs or surgical sterilisation). Abortion is permitted, under varying criteria/conditions, in all Member States except Ireland and Northern Ireland. Abortion rates per 1 000 women vary from one Member State to another, ranging from 18.3 in Sweden to 5.4 in Spain.

– the average age at menopause is 50-52 years. Its effects on women’s health vary: 75% of menopausal women experience some problems or discomfort, but only 10-20% seek medical help. The increasing longevity of women has intensified the debate about the possible long-term consequences of menopause. Although there is currently no proof of a causal link between post-menopausal hormone levels and health, morbidity statistics reveal increased incidence of cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis in post-menopausal women. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is still surrounded by controversy; rates of HRT use are estimated at 2% in Italy and 56% in Finland. It should be noted that a large majority of women feel that they are not being properly informed about the advantages and cost of this treatment.

Violence against women is gradually being recognised as a public health issue because of both the physical and psychological harm it causes. Although data are scarce, it is now recognised that violence against women by a male partner is the most endemic form of violence. It is estimated that between one woman in three (Portugal and Germany) and one woman in five (Ireland) are victims of domestic violence.

In overall terms, the conclusion may be drawn that women in Europe are in good health and feel quite healthy. However, the report emphasises the improvements needed as regards preventive measures and the provision of information, and also the need to recognise that some health problems are specific to women.

Workers' mobility: facilitating the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights

Workers’ mobility: facilitating the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Workers’ mobility: facilitating the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social protection

Workers’ mobility: facilitating the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights

Proposal

Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving the portability of supplementary pension rights.

Summary

This proposal for a directive provides for four main measures to protect the supplementary pension rights * of workers moving within the European Union (EU).

In the event of adoption, this directive will not apply to:

  • supplementary pension schemes which, as at the date of entry into force of the Directive, will no longer be open to new members;
  • supplementary pension schemes that are subject to measures intended to preserve or restore their financial situation;
  • insolvency protection systems, compensation arrangement schemes or national reserve funds.

Conditions governing acquisition

The Member States are to take the necessary steps to ensure that:

  • where active scheme membership is made conditional upon a period of employment, this period shall not exceed one year;
  • where a minimum age is stipulated for the accrual by an active scheme member of acquired rights, this age shall not exceed 21 years;
  • where an acquisition period is applied, this shall under no circumstances exceed one year for active scheme members over the age of 25, or five years for active scheme members below that age;
  • where an outgoing worker has not yet acquired pension rights when the employment relationship is terminated, the supplementary pension scheme * shall reimburse the contributions paid by the outgoing worker, or paid on the worker’s behalf in accordance with national law or collective agreements or contracts.

Preservation of dormant pension rights

The Member States are to take measures to:

  • guarantee that pension rights acquired by outgoing workers may be preserved in the supplementary scheme where they acquired them;
  • ensure that dormant pension rights * or their values are treated in line with the value of the rights of active scheme members.

Information

This proposal supplements Directive 2003/41/EC on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision as regards information. The aim is to ensure that every potentially outgoing worker, whether or not a member of a scheme, will receive the necessary information on how terminating an employment relationship could affect supplementary pension rights.

Active scheme members who so request may receive information concerning:

  • the conditions for acquiring supplementary pension rights;
  • the consequences of the application of these conditions when the employment relationship is terminated;
  • the value of their acquired rights or an evaluation of their acquired pension rights going back a maximum of 12 months from the date of the request;
  • the conditions concerning the future treatment of dormant pension rights.

Deferred beneficiaries who so request may receive information concerning:

  • the value of their dormant rights * or an evaluation going back no further than 12 months from the request;
  • the conditions concerning the future treatment of dormant pension rights.

Minimum requirements

This proposal provides for the principle of non-regression.

Accordingly, the Member States may adopt or retain more favourable provisions than those laid down in the proposal.

The implementation of the directive may in no case lead to a diminishing of rights concerning the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pensions.

Implementation

The Member States must adopt the necessary laws, regulations and administrative provisions, or ensure that they are put in place by the social partners, within two years after adoption of this Directive at the latest.

Given the diversity of supplementary pension schemes, the Member States may be granted an extended period of five years (beyond the initial two-year transposition deadline) for transposing certain provisions which might be too restrictive in the short term.

Report

With effect from the year following the two-year deadline for adoption of this directive, the Commission shall draw up, every five years, a report based on the information sent by the Member States.

Background

The revised Lisbon Strategy and the Social Agenda (2006-2010) underline the importance of mobility for improving the adaptability of workers and businesses and increasing labour-market flexibility. Faced with the problem of an ageing population, the Member States are placing greater emphasis on supplementary pension schemes to cover the risks of old age. It is thus becoming particularly important to reduce the obstacles to mobility which stem from these schemes.

A first step in this direction was taken in 1998 with the adoption of a directive on safeguarding supplementary pension rights, aimed mainly at guaranteeing the right to equal treatment for people moving from one country to another.

The present proposal for a directive is designed to supplement the 1998 text. It has been preceded by two rounds of consultation of the social partners, with the Pensions Forum being closely involved.

Key terms used in the act
  • Supplementary pension: pension provided for by the rules of a supplementary pension scheme established in conformity with national legislation and practice.
  • Supplementary pension scheme: any occupational retirement pension scheme established in conformity with national legislation and practice, which is linked to an employment relationship and is intended to provide a supplementary pension for employed or self-employed persons.
  • Dormant pension rights: acquired pension rights which are retained under the scheme in which they have been accrued by a deferred beneficiary.
  • Value of dormant rights: capital value of the pension rights calculated in accordance with national law and practice.

References And Procedures

Proposal Official Journal Procedure
COM(2005) 507 Codecision COD/2005/0214


Another Normative about Workers’ mobility: facilitating the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > European Strategy for Growth > Growth and jobs

Workers’ mobility: facilitating the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights

Proposal

Implementing the Community Lisbon Programme: proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on improving the portability of supplementary pension rights.

Summary

This proposal for a directive provides for four main measures to protect the supplementary pension rights * of workers moving within the European Union (EU).

In the event of adoption, this directive will not apply to:

  • supplementary pension schemes which, as at the date of entry into force of the Directive, will no longer be open to new members;
  • supplementary pension schemes that are subject to measures intended to preserve or restore their financial situation;
  • insolvency protection systems, compensation arrangement schemes or national reserve funds.

Conditions governing acquisition

The Member States are to take the necessary steps to ensure that:

  • where active scheme membership is made conditional upon a period of employment, this period shall not exceed one year;
  • where a minimum age is stipulated for the accrual by an active scheme member of acquired rights, this age shall not exceed 21 years;
  • where an acquisition period is applied, this shall under no circumstances exceed one year for active scheme members over the age of 25, or five years for active scheme members below that age;
  • where an outgoing worker has not yet acquired pension rights when the employment relationship is terminated, the supplementary pension scheme * shall reimburse the contributions paid by the outgoing worker, or paid on the worker’s behalf in accordance with national law or collective agreements or contracts.

Preservation of dormant pension rights

The Member States are to take measures to:

  • guarantee that pension rights acquired by outgoing workers may be preserved in the supplementary scheme where they acquired them;
  • ensure that dormant pension rights * or their values are treated in line with the value of the rights of active scheme members.

Information

This proposal supplements Directive 2003/41/EC on the activities and supervision of institutions for occupational retirement provision as regards information. The aim is to ensure that every potentially outgoing worker, whether or not a member of a scheme, will receive the necessary information on how terminating an employment relationship could affect supplementary pension rights.

Active scheme members who so request may receive information concerning:

  • the conditions for acquiring supplementary pension rights;
  • the consequences of the application of these conditions when the employment relationship is terminated;
  • the value of their acquired rights or an evaluation of their acquired pension rights going back a maximum of 12 months from the date of the request;
  • the conditions concerning the future treatment of dormant pension rights.

Deferred beneficiaries who so request may receive information concerning:

  • the value of their dormant rights * or an evaluation going back no further than 12 months from the request;
  • the conditions concerning the future treatment of dormant pension rights.

Minimum requirements

This proposal provides for the principle of non-regression.

Accordingly, the Member States may adopt or retain more favourable provisions than those laid down in the proposal.

The implementation of the directive may in no case lead to a diminishing of rights concerning the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pensions.

Implementation

The Member States must adopt the necessary laws, regulations and administrative provisions, or ensure that they are put in place by the social partners, within two years after adoption of this Directive at the latest.

Given the diversity of supplementary pension schemes, the Member States may be granted an extended period of five years (beyond the initial two-year transposition deadline) for transposing certain provisions which might be too restrictive in the short term.

Report

With effect from the year following the two-year deadline for adoption of this directive, the Commission shall draw up, every five years, a report based on the information sent by the Member States.

Background

The revised Lisbon Strategy and the Social Agenda (2006-2010) underline the importance of mobility for improving the adaptability of workers and businesses and increasing labour-market flexibility. Faced with the problem of an ageing population, the Member States are placing greater emphasis on supplementary pension schemes to cover the risks of old age. It is thus becoming particularly important to reduce the obstacles to mobility which stem from these schemes.

A first step in this direction was taken in 1998 with the adoption of a directive on safeguarding supplementary pension rights, aimed mainly at guaranteeing the right to equal treatment for people moving from one country to another.

The present proposal for a directive is designed to supplement the 1998 text. It has been preceded by two rounds of consultation of the social partners, with the Pensions Forum being closely involved.

Key terms used in the act
  • Supplementary pension: pension provided for by the rules of a supplementary pension scheme established in conformity with national legislation and practice.
  • Supplementary pension scheme: any occupational retirement pension scheme established in conformity with national legislation and practice, which is linked to an employment relationship and is intended to provide a supplementary pension for employed or self-employed persons.
  • Dormant pension rights: acquired pension rights which are retained under the scheme in which they have been accrued by a deferred beneficiary.
  • Value of dormant rights: capital value of the pension rights calculated in accordance with national law and practice.

References And Procedures

Proposal Official Journal Procedure
COM(2005) 507 Codecision COD/2005/0214

Work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe

Work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe

Topics

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

Education training youth sport > Education and training: general framework

Work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe

Document or Iniciative

Detailed work programme on the follow-up of the objectives of education and training systems in Europe [Official Journal C 142/01 of 14.06.2002].

Summary

At the Barcelona European Council meeting, the “Education” Council and the Commission jointly proposed the following work programme, together with a detailed timetable for working towards the concrete future objectives of education and training systems, with particular reference to key issues:

Improving the quality of education and training systems

Strategic and associated objectives

Key issues

Indicators for measuring progress

Improving education and training for teachers and trainers
Starting period: during 2002

– Identifying the skills that teachers and trainers should have, given their changing roles in the knowledge society;
– Creating the conditions which adequately support teachers and trainers as they tackle the challenges of the knowledge society, from the point of view of lifelong learning;
– Ensuring that a sufficient number of people enter the teaching profession, across all subjects and at all levels, as well as providing for the long-term needs of the profession by making it more attractive;
– Attracting recruits to teaching and training who have professional experience in other fields.

– Shortage/surplus of qualified teachers and trainers on the labour market,
– progression in number of applicants for training programmes (teachers and trainers),
– percentage of teachers and trainers who follow continuous professional training.

Developing the skills needed for a knowledge society
Starting period: second half of 2001

– Identifying new basic skills and ways of integrating them into the curricula, alongside the traditional basic skills;
– Making attainment of basic skills genuinely available to everyone, including those who are less advantaged or have special needs, school drop-outs and adult learners;
– Promoting official validation of basic skills, in order to facilitate ongoing education and training, as well as employability.

– People completing secondary education,
– continuous training of teachers,
– literacy and numeracy “learning to learn” attainment levels,
– percentage of adults failing to complete upper secondary education who have participated in any form of education or training, by age group.

Ensuring access to ICT for everyone
Starting period: second half of 2001

– Providing adequate equipment and educational software;
– Encouraging the best use of teaching and learning techniques based on ICT (information and communication technologies).

– Percentage of teachers that have been trained in ICT use in schools,
– percentage of pupils and students using ICT in their studies,
– percentage of learning sessions in teaching and training institutions during which ICT are used.

Increasing recruitment to scientific and technical studies
Starting period: second half of 2001

– Boosting interest in mathematics, science and technology from an early age;
– Motivating more young people to choose studies and careers in the fields of mathematics, science and technology;
– Improving the gender balance in these subjects;
– Securing a sufficient number of qualified teachers.

– Increase in number of entries into mathematics, science and technology courses (upper secondary advanced levels and tertiary levels, by gender),
– increase in number of graduates in mathematics, science and technology, by gender,
– increase in number of scientists and engineers in society, by gender,
– increase in number of qualified teachers in the fields of mathematics, science and technology (secondary level).

Making the best use of resources
Starting period: during 2002

– Increasing investment in human resources while ensuring an equitable and effective distribution of available means in order to facilitate general access to, and enhance the quality of, education and training;
– Supporting the development of compatible quality assurance systems respecting diversity across Europe;
– Developing the potential of public-private partnerships.

– Increase in per capita investment in human resources (structural indicator).

Facilitating the access of all to education and training

Strategic and associated objectives

Key issues

Indicators for measuring progress

Creating an environment conducive to learning
Starting period: between the second half of 2002 and the end of 2003

– Broadening access to lifelong learning by providing information, advice and guidance on the full range of education and training opportunities available;
– Organising education and training in a way that allows adults to effectively participate and combine this participation with other activities and responsibilities;
– Ensuring that education and training are accessible to all;
– Promoting flexible learning paths for all;
– Promoting networks of education and training institutions at various levels in the context of lifelong learning.

– Percentage of the population aged between 25 and 64 participating in education and training (structural indicator).

Making learning more attractive
Starting period: between the second half of 2002 and the end of 2003

– Encouraging young people to remain in education or training after the end of compulsory schooling, and motivating and enabling adults to participate in learning throughout life;
– Developing methods for the official validation of non-formal learning experiences;
– Finding ways of making learning more attractive, both within the formal education and training systems and outside them;
– Fostering a culture of learning.

– Percentage of working time spent by employees on training, by age group,
– participation in higher education,
– proportion of the population aged 18-24 with only lower secondary education achievement and not pursuing education or training (structural indicator).

Supporting active citizenship, equal opportunities and social cohesion
Starting period: during 2002

– Ensuring that the learning of democratic values and democratic participation in schools is effectively promoted in order to prepare people for active citizenship;
– Fully integrating the equal opportunities dimension into the objectives and functioning of education and training;
– Ensuring fair access to the acquisition of skills.

– Proportion of the population aged 18-24 with only lower secondary education achievement and not pursuing education or training (structural indicator).

Opening up education and training systems to the wider world

Strategic and associated objectives

Key issues

Indicators for measuring progress

Strengthening links with the world of work, research and society as a whole
Starting period: between the second half of 2002 and the end of 2003

– Promoting close cooperation between education and training systems and society generally;
– Establishing partnerships between all types of education and training institutions, businesses and research centres, for their mutual benefit;
– Promoting the role of stakeholders in the development of training, including initial training, and learning at the workplace.

– Percentage of students and persons in initial training who benefit from work-linked placements.

Developing the spirit of enterprise
Starting period: between the second half of 2002 and the end of 2003

– Promoting a sense of initiative and creativity throughout the education and training system in order to develop the spirit of enterprise (“entrepreneurship”);
– Facilitating the acquisition of skills needed to set up and run a business.

– Proportion of self-employed workers in various sectors of the knowledge economy (particularly the 25-35 age group),
– percentage of education and training institutions providing advice and guidance for setting up businesses.

Improving foreign language learning
Starting period: between the second half of 2002 and the end of 2003

– Encouraging everyone to learn two or, where appropriate, more languages in addition to their mother tongue, and increasing awareness of the importance of foreign language learning at all ages;
– Encouraging schools and training institutions to use effective teaching and training methods, and motivating continuation of language learning at a later stage of life.

– Percentage of pupils and students attaining a certain level of proficiency in two foreign languages,
– percentage of language teachers having participated in initial training or in-service training courses with a mobility element providing direct contact with the language/culture they teach.

Increasing mobility and exchanges
Starting period: during 2002

– Providing the widest possible access to mobility for individuals and education and training organisations, including those serving a less privileged public, and reducing the remaining obstacles to mobility;
– Monitoring the volume, destinations, participation rates and qualitative aspects of mobility flows across Europe;
– Facilitating the validation and recognition of skills acquired in the context of mobility;
– Promoting the presence and recognition of European education and training in the world as well as their attractiveness to students, academics and researchers from other world regions.

– Proportion of students and trainees from one country carrying out part of their studies in another EU or third country,
– proportion of teachers, researchers and academics from other EU countries employed at different levels of the education system,
– number and distribution of EU and non-EU students and trainees participating in an education or training programme.

Strengthening European cooperation
Starting period: during 2002

– Enhancing the effectiveness and timeliness of recognition procedures for the purposes of further study, training or employment throughout Europe;
– Promoting cooperation between responsible organisations and authorities from the point of view of more compatibility in quality assurance and validation;
– Promoting transparency of information on education and training opportunities and structures with a view to the creation of an open European area for education;
– Promoting the European dimension of teaching and training.

– Proportion of undergraduate and postgraduate students and researchers continuing their studies in another EU or third country,
– percentage of graduates obtaining joint degrees in Europe,
– percentage of students and trainees within ECTS or Europass and/or obtaining a Diploma/Certificate Supplement.

In keeping with the open method of coordination, this work programme also identifies the main instruments to be used for measuring progress and comparing results across Europe, at both European and international levels.

Background

According to the timetable, the results are to be evaluated in mid-2003, followed by the submission of an interim report on the implementation of the work programme to the spring 2004 European Council, with the final report coming in 2010.

World Trade Organisation

World Trade Organisation

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about World Trade Organisation

Topics

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

World Trade Organisation

Document or Iniciative

Council Decision 1999/61/EC of 14 December 1998 concerning the conclusion on behalf of the European Community, as regards matters within its competence, of the results of the World Trade Organisation negotiations on financial services. (pdf )

Summary

When the Uruguay Round of trade negotiations was concluded in December 1993, it was not possible to include the financial services sector on a permanent basis in GATS. The Uruguay Round commitments on financial services therefore came into force for a limited period, which expired on 30 June 1995. A successive interim agreement was concluded by certain WTO members (excluding the United States) in order to maintain the commitments they had entered into until December 1997.

On 12 December 1997 the Committee on Trade in Financial Services approved the results of the negotiations on financial services, whereby those services are to be included in GATS on a permanent basis and in accordance with the most-favoured nation (MFN) principle.

The aim of the Council Decision is to approve on behalf of the European Community the Fifth Protocol to the General Agreement on Trade in Services, under which the financial services sections of the schedules of specific commitments and the lists of MFN exemptions of the members concerned are to be replaced by the lists annexed to the Protocol.

The schedule of specific commitments of the European Communities (GATS/SC/31/Suppl.4) sets out the limitations on market access, listed by sector (insurance, banking and other financial services), applicable in each Member State. Likewise, the list of MFN exemptions (GATS/EL/31) sets out, in accordance with the same criteria, the limitations on national treatment.

A list of additional commitments is also annexed to the Protocol. It contains specific provisions which are binding on the European Communities and their Member States, particularly in the insurance sector.

Act Entry into force – Date of expiry Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Decision 1999/61/EC 14.12.1998 OJ L 20 of 27.1.2999

Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

Topics

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

Employment and social policy > Social dialogue and employee participation

Working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector

Document or Iniciative

Council Directive 2005/47/EC of 18 July 2005 on the Agreement between the Community of European Railways (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF) on certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector [Official Journal L 195 of 27.07.2005].

Summary

The aim of the Directive is to give effect to the Agreement on certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers assigned to interoperable cross-border services concluded between the social partners in the railways sector, namely the Community of European Railways (CER) and the European Transport Workers’ Federation (ETF).

The Agreement strikes a balance between the need to ensure adequate protection of the health and safety of mobile workers in interoperable cross-border services and the need for flexibility in running rail transport enterprises in an integrated European railway network.

The Agreement grants workers a daily rest period of 12 consecutive hours and breaks of between 30 and 45 minutes. It limits daily driving time to 9 hours on a day shift and 8 hours on a night shift.

The Agreement also gives employers greater flexibility because, under exceptional circumstances, they can shorten the daily rest periods to 9 hours instead of to 11 as provided for in the Working Hours Directive.

The Member States may keep or introduce more favourable provisions than those laid down in this Directive. Furthermore, this Directive may not be used to justify a lower level of protection for workers where better protection is afforded under existing national legislation.

Background

This Directive is part of the overall framework for interoperability in the European rail system. A better-integrated rail network will enable the European Union to cut down on road transport and reduce its harmful side-effects. Involving social partners will ensure satisfactory working conditions for workers in interoperable rail services.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Directive 2005/47/EC

18.7.2005

27.7.2008

OJ L 195 of 27.7.2005

Related Acts

Communication of 15 December 2008 from the Commission to the Council – Economic and social impact of the Agreement appended to Directive 2005/47/EC concluded on 27 January 2004 between the social partners on certain aspects of the working conditions of mobile workers engaged in interoperable cross-border services in the railway sector [COM(2008) 855 final – Not published in the Official Journal].
Following the adoption of Directive 2005/47/EC, the Commission presents a socio-economic analysis of the development of working conditions in the railway sector. Developing cross-border links have a positive economic impact, and employment in the railway sector should increase in the coming years. Favourable social conditions should be guaranteed for mobile workers, while taking account of the needs of railway undertakings.

The Commission favours an integrated approach to ensure that working time is organised in accordance with the obligation to protect the health and safety of workers. Member States should also guarantee a balance between work and family life, especially by reaching a consensus with the social partners on the question of rest days at home.

Directive 2003/88/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 November 2003 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time [Official Journal L 299 of 18.11.2003].
This Directive lays down the minimum general obligations in terms of health and safety at work.

Communication of 26 June 2002 from the Commission “The European social dialogue, a force for innovation and change” [

COM(2002) 341 final

– Not published in the Official Journal].
The social dialogue at Community level is an essential element of the adoption of the social and economic reforms. It is part of the reinforcement of good governance and the transparency of the European decision-making process.