Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 9 July 2008 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Annual Action Programmes for Brazil for 2008 and for Argentina for 2008
 EU priorities for the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly
 Safety on the Community's railways ***II
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 establishing a European Railway Agency ***II
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Rules for the operation of air services in the Community (recast) ***II
 Programme for the Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics (MEETS) ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Batteries and accumulators and their waste ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Internal market in natural gas ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
 Coordination of social security systems ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
  Annex
  Annex
  Annex
  Annex
 Coordination of social security systems ***I
  Resolution
  Consolidated text
  Annex
 Extending Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 to third country nationals otherwise excluded *
 Formation of political groups (amendment of Rule 29)
 The role of the national judge in the European judicial system
 Airbus/Boeing disputes
 European strategic energy technology plan
 Sovereign Wealth Funds
 Towards a new culture of urban mobility
 Report on the ECB annual report for 2007

Annual Action Programmes for Brazil for 2008 and for Argentina for 2008
DOC 38k
European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2008 on the draft Commission decisions establishing Annual Action Programmes for Brazil for 2008 and for Argentina for 2008
P6_TA(2008)0338 B6-0336/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation(1) ,

–   having regard to the draft Commission decisions establishing Annual Action Programmes for Brazil and for Argentina for 2008 (CMTD-2008-0263 - D000422-01, CMTD-2008-0263 - D000421-01),

–   having regard to the opinion delivered on 10 June 2008 by the committee referred to in Article 35(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 ('the Development Cooperation Instrument (DCI) Management Committee'),

–   having regard to Article 8 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(2) ,

–   having regard to the Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission of 3 June 2008 on procedures for implementing Council Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC(3) ,

–   having regard to Rule 81 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas, on 10 June 2008, the DCI Management Committee voted in favour of the draft Annual Action Programmes (AAPs) for Brazil for 2008 and for Argentina for 2008 (CMTD-2008-0263 - D000422-01, CMTD-2008-0263 - D000421-01),

B.   whereas, pursuant to Article 7(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC and Article 1 of the above-mentioned Agreement of 3 June 2008, Parliament received the draft implementing measures submitted to the DCI Management Committee and the results of voting,

C.   whereas Article 2(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 stipulates that 'the primary and overarching objective of cooperation under this Regulation shall be the eradication of poverty in partner countries and regions in the context of sustainable development',

D.   whereas Article 2(4) of Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 stipulates that 'measures referred to in Article 1(1)(4) shall be designed so as to fulfil the criteria for Official Development Assistance (ODA) established by the Development Assistance Committee of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/DAC)',

E.   whereas, in its Reporting Directives for the Creditor Reporting System (DCD/DAC (2002)21), the OECD/DAC defines ODA as financial flows to countries on the DAC List of Aid Recipients for which, inter alia, 'each transaction is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective',

Brazil

1.   Notes that the draft AAP for Brazil for 2008 contains the Academic Mobility Programme for Brazil 2008-2010 (which is the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window for Brazil) as the only action, that this action comes under the Country Strategy Paper's priority sector I entitled 'Enhancing bilateral relations, Action 2: Higher education programme for Brazil' and that the financing for mobility of EU national students and academic staff (up to 30% of the total funding for individual mobility for students and staff) is provided for as an important element of the AAP for Brazil for 2008;

Argentina

2.   Notes that the draft AAP for Argentina for 2008 contains the Erasmus Mundus External Cooperation Window for Argentina as the only action, that this action comes under the Country Strategy Paper's focal sector entitled 'Strengthening of bilateral relations and mutual understanding between the EC and Argentina' and that the financing of mobility of EU national students and academic staff (up to 30% of the total funding for individual mobility for students and staff) is provided for as an important element of the AAP for Argentina for 2008;

o
o   o

3.   Takes the view that the Commission, therewith, exceeds, in the AAP for Brazil for 2008 and in the AAP for Argentina for 2008, its implementing powers laid down in the basic act, given that the above-mentioned elements are not in compliance with Article 2(1) and (4) of Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006, as the primary objective of these elements is not the eradication of poverty, and as these elements do not fulfil the criteria for ODA established by the OECD/DAC(5) ;

4.   Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft decisions establishing AAPs for Brazil for 2008 and for Argentina for 2008 and to submit to the DCI Management Committee new draft decisions fully respecting the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006;

5.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 378, 27.12.2006, p. 41.
(2) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(3) OJ C 143, 10.6.2008, p. 1.
(4) Article 1(1): 'The Community shall finance measures aimed at supporting cooperation with developing countries, territories and regions (...).'.
(5) Namely, that 'each transaction is administered with the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries as its main objective' (OECD/DAC Fact Sheet of October 2006, 'Is it ODA?', p.1).


EU priorities for the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly
DOC 69k
European Parliament recommendation of 9 July 2008 to the Council on the EU priorities for the 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly (2008/2111(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0339 A6-0265/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the proposal by Alexander Lambsdorff and Annemie Neyts-Uyttebroeck on behalf of the ALDE Group for a recommendation to the Council on the 63rd session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly (B6-0176/2008 ),

–   having regard to the UN Secretary-General's 2005 report entitled "In larger Freedom", the subsequent Resolution 60/1 of the UN General Assembly on the 2005 World Summit Outcome and the UN Secretary-General's report of 7 March 2006 entitled "Investing in the United Nations: for a stronger Organization worldwide",

–   having regard to the EU Priorities for the 62nd General Assembly of the UN,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 29 January 2004 on the relations between the European Union and the United Nations(1) , of 9 June 2005 on the reform of the United Nations(2) and of 29 September 2005 on the outcome of the United Nations World Summit of 14-16 September 2005(3) ,

–   having regard to the preliminary list of items to be included in the provisional agenda of the 63rd regular session of the General Assembly of 11 February 2008 and specifically to the items headed "Maintenance of international peace and security", "Development of Africa", "Promotion of Human Rights" and "Management Reform",

–   having regard to the results of the Ninth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 9), held from 19 to 30 May 2008 in Bonn,

–   having regard to the 2009 Review Conference of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,

–   having regard to Rule 114(3) and Rule 90 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0265/2008 ),

A.   whereas the EU's foreign policy is based on strong and unequivocal support for effective multilateralism, as embodied in the UN Charter,

B.   whereas the EU is a key political and financial partner of the UN in fighting poverty and promoting economic and social development, providing collective security, including protecting the livelihood of endangered populations, and upholding human rights throughout the world,

C.   whereas the reform agenda of the UN, which encompasses the establishment of new bodies, the radical overhaul of others, the reshaping of the management of its ground operations, the reorganisation of its assistance delivery and an in-depth reform of its Secretariat, is extremely ambitious and requires continuous political support, particularly at a time when, following the definition of the new policy framework, the implementation stage has started,

D.   whereas two new key bodies, the Human Rights Council and the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), have entered a crucial phase, in which they have to prove their ability to achieve the goals respectively set for them by the UN Member States,

E.   whereas the long overdue reform of the UN Security Council has yet to be achieved, given the sensitivities involved and the tension between greater accountability and increased geopolitical balance, on the one hand, and the need to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of that body, on the other hand,

F.   whereas 2008 is a crucial year for the efforts to eradicate poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) worldwide by 2015, and whereas EU Member States should provide global leadership ahead of the relevant key meetings to be held in the second half of this year,

G.   whereas, with regard to the achievement of the MDGs, EU efforts serve as an important catalyst and an example to other donors but will nevertheless, if current trends are not reversed, still fall short, by EUR 75 billion, of the EU's official development aid commitments by 2010,

H.   whereas in sub-Saharan Africa many countries are not on track to meet any of the MDGs, and whereas in many middle-income countries too there are regions and ethnic groups made up of millions of people who are making unsatisfactory progress towards meeting the targets,

I.   whereas soaring food prices and slowing global growth threaten to set back progress on the MDGs by an estimated seven years unless further investment is made in the agricultural sector and the agro-food industry in developing countries,

J.   whereas the UN General Assembly decided to hold on 4 and 5 October 2007 the High-level Dialogue on interreligious and intercultural cooperation for the promotion of tolerance, understanding and universal respect on matters of freedom of religion or belief and cultural diversity, in coordination with other similar initiatives in this area,

K.   whereas 2008 is the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue,

L.   whereas the agenda of the UN General Assembly is not yet sufficiently focused and streamlined, which it needs to be in order to make the work of that body more consistent and to facilitate the follow-up of its resolutions,

M.   whereas the UN Department for Peacekeeping Operations currently manages 20 field operations involving over 100 000 troops, half of which are deployed in Africa,

N.   whereas the degree of coordination of EU Member States' positions within the UN varies from body to body and from policy to policy,

O.   whereas such coordination should not be achieved to the detriment of negotiations with countries from other geopolitical blocs, which are an essential prerequisite for striking necessary alliances within the UN,

P.   whereas such coordination requires closer cooperation between the relevant Brussels-based working groups of the Council and the EU Offices and the EU Member States" Permanent Representations in New York and Geneva,

Q.   whereas the Treaty of Lisbon confers legal personality upon the EU, a novelty which has major repercussions on the representation of the EU at the UN,

1.  Addresses the following recommendations to the Council:

   The EU at the UN and ratification of the Lisbon Treaty
   a) calls for the EU's political priorities for the next UN General Assembly session to be the subject of an in-depth, wide-ranging debate between Parliament, the Council and the Commission,
   b) considers that the Council's formal position on the priorities for the UN General Assembly should be regarded by the Permanent Representations of EU Member States in New York as a binding political platform to be used in negotiations with other countries,
   c) believes that the coordination of EU Member States" positions within the UN should generally begin in the relevant working groups of the Council, thus making it easier for New York diplomats to achieve a common position on specific issues in the UN bodies and allowing more time for consultations and negotiations with other regional groupings or countries belonging to such other groupings,
   d) invites the Council and the Commission to consider a reorganisation and expansion of their offices in New York and Geneva in view of the increased powers and responsibilities that the EU's representatives will be expected to exercise once the Lisbon Treaty is ratified, guaranteeing optimal coordination and synergy between Community policies, programmes and funds and the instruments and missions comprised in the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy,
   e) urges the Council and the Commission to study in depth the implications which the Treaty of Lisbon has for the EU's future representation at the UN, and calls on EU Member States to commit themselves clearly and unequivocally to ensuring that the EU enjoys adequate visibility and authority within the UN bodies and fora,
   f) encourages the Council to negotiate and define, as soon as possible, the operational nature of the EU's observer status at the UN,
   g) calls equally on EU Member States to seek a review of the current structure of regional groupings within the UN in order to ensure that this reflects the membership of the EU resulting from the last enlargement,
   h) invites the Council and the Commission to inform Parliament on a regular basis about the implications, including the budgetary ones, of any possible steps towards reorganisation of the EU's presence within the various component parts of the UN, including the Secretariat, as well as its funds and programmes,
   The EU contribution to UN reforms
   i) welcomes the resumption of the activities of the Working Group on the revitalisation of the UN General Assembly tasked with identifying ways to enhance the Assembly's role, authority, effectiveness and efficiency, and calls on the EU Member States to promote, in this context, a strengthening of the role of the President of the General Assembly, matched by the allocation of adequate financial, human and infrastructural resources, and the establishment of more systematic cooperation between the General Assembly, the Secretary-General and the UN Security Council, in order to increase the latter's accountability and legitimacy,
   j) encourages EU Member States to continue to demand the long-awaited mandate review intended to strengthen and update the programme of work of the UN, so that it responds to the contemporary requirements of EU Member States, by reviewing all mandates more than five years old which originate from resolutions of the General Assembly and other organs,
   k) reminds EU Member States of the pledges made at the 2005 World Summit to strengthen the UN through a number of management and secretariat reforms; calls on the Council to support those reforms in order to increase accountability and oversight, to improve management performance and transparency, and to strengthen ethics, efficiency and organisational capacity by, first and foremost, focusing on reforming the structure of the Secretariat,
   l) urges the Council to ensure that the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the UN Department of Political Affairs are staffed to a level commensurate with their tasks and responsibilities and to support efforts by the UN Secretary-General in this respect,
   m) urges the EU Members State to support efforts by the UN Secretary-General in the process of implementation of the concept of "responsibility to protect", as endorsed at the 2005 World Summit; calls on EU Member States to participate actively in this process,
   n) invites the Council to fully support the re-launch of negotiations aimed at implementing the recommendations of the High-Level Panel on System-wide Coherence, and recommends the EU Member States to cooperate actively with developing countries which are recipients of European or national assistance and to exert the EU's collective influence as well as the EU Member States' individual influence in order to secure the support of those countries for the overhaul of UN assistance delivery and the promotion of greater coherence between UN policies on the ground,
   o) calls on EU Member States to arrive at a more cohesive position on the reform of the UN Security Council – one which, whilst maintaining the ultimate objective, within a reformed UN, of one permanent seat for the EU, aims in the meantime at augmenting the weight of the EU in a manner which is commensurate with the EU's contribution to UN peacekeeping operations and to UN development assistance,
   p) reminds EU Member States in this respect that it is of the utmost importance to ensure that EU Member States present in the UN Security Council uphold EU official positions, duly brief other EU Member States on the discussions taking place in the Security Council and actively coordinate their positions with the relevant working groups in the Council,
   q) calls on EU Member States to support the Task Force on Security Council reform of the President of the UN General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim; welcomes in this regard the momentum for reforming the Security Council created as a consequence of the initiative referred to as the "Overarching Process"; encourages the Council to promote a discussion focusing on points of convergence with a view to achieving tangible progress in this respect,
   The EU and the UN Human Rights Council
   r) urges EU Member States, especially France and Slovakia as newly elected members of the UN Human Rights Council, to redouble their efforts in ensuring the successful operation of the Human Rights Council in order to protect and promote universal rights; in this respect, calls for greater accountability in the procedure for the establishment and renewal of Special Procedures and for the appointment of mandate holders, which should be based on the principles of transparency and real competition,
   s) stresses the importance of participation by civil society in the work of the UN Human Rights Council, and urges the EU Member States taking part in the work of the UN Human Rights Council to introduce effective ways and instruments enabling civil society to participate in the UN Human Rights Council in order to better protect human rights in the world and to contribute positively to the transparency of the institution,
   t) calls on the Council to sustain efforts aimed at increasing the accountability of UN member states in the field of human rights by increasing the efficiency of the Universal Periodic Review, notably by tightening up procedures to avoid deliberate obstruction or diversionary tactics,
   u) is concerned by recent criticism of the work of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights; calls on the EU Member States to support the Office, especially in the Fifth Committee of the General Assembly, so as to ensure that there is no interference with the independence of the Office and that the Office is granted all the financial resources needed to enable it to carry out its mandate; calls on EU Member States to closely monitor the current procedure for the appointment of the new High Commissioner, given that the mandate of the previous incumbent, Louise Arbor, expired in June 2008,
   v) calls on all EU Member states to remain engaged in the preparations for the 2009 Durban Review Conference and to ensure that the Conference provides the opportunity for all stakeholders to renew their determination and commitment to fight racism, racial and caste discrimination, xenophobia and all other forms of intolerance and to adopt concrete benchmarks with a view to the eradication of racism, on the basis of, and fully respecting, the Durban Declaration and the Programme of Action,
   w) calls on the Council to ensure that there is no recurrence of the negative events associated with the initial Durban conference; calls on all EU Member States to make sure that civil society takes part in the 2009 Durban Review Conference in Geneva, in accordance with the UN Charter and Resolution 1996/31 of the UN Economic and Social Council of 25 July 1996,
   x) calls on all EU Member States to promote and protect the rights of children by supporting the mainstreaming of children's rights in all activities within relevant organs and mechanisms of the UN system,
   The EU and the PBC
   y) takes the view that EU Member States should collectively support a strengthening of the role of the PBC in relation to the UN system, ensure that its recommendations are adequately taken into account by the relevant UN bodies and advocate increased synergies between the PBC and UN agencies, funds and programmes; stresses the importance of closer cooperation between the PBC and international financial institutions actively involved in countries emerging from conflict,
   z) invites the Council and the EU Member States to encourage contributions to the UN Peacebuilding Fund in order to ensure that it is provided with sufficient resources,
   aa) urges EU Member States in the Security Council to facilitate consultation of the PBC on the referral of new countries to the PBC and on the mandate of integrated peace-building operations, in particular with a view to ensuring a smooth transition, in due course, from peacekeeping to peacebuilding; welcomes in this respect the fact that the Peacebuilding Support Office is associated with the integrated mission planning process,
   ab) considers it essential that, besides improving coordination between actors, ensuring predictable financing and extending the international attention paid to post-conflict countries, the PBC should also address, in conjunction with the relevant UN departments, the need to improve the organisation's learning capacity in the field of peacebuilding,
   ac) in view of the above, stresses the need to ensure that human and financial resources available to the PBC are proportionate to the tasks and expectations of UN bodies and of the beneficiary countries, and calls on the EU Member States to raise this issue in the relevant committee of the UN General Assembly,
   The EU and the MDGs
   ad) urges the Council to support the calls by President Barroso and Commissioner Louis Michel for EU Member States to draw up clear, binding national timetables and budgets to increase real aid in order to reach the promised collective target of 0.56% of gross national income in 2010 and 0.7% in 2015,
   ae) reminds the EU Member States that no new promises or new procedures are needed now to achieve the MDGs, and that the focus must be on meeting the promises and pledges already made and scaling up the existing procedures,
   af) notes the continued need for the crisis in the public financing of health services to be addressed if the three health MDGs are to be put back on track, through adequate and predictable recurrent funding for human resources, access to medicines and decentralised and participatory management, and calls on EU Member States to make every effort to strengthen universal, integrated health systems which respond to local needs, and gradually to include the integration of disease-specific programmes (MDG 6),
   ag) considers that gender equality (MDG 3) is an essential element in efforts to meet the MDG targets and recommends that EU Member States urgently address the global financing gap for the achievement of MDG 3; notes that, alongside education, the empowerment of women significantly contributes to the attainment of MDG 4 on child mortality and MDG 5 on maternal health, which are critical indicators of overall progress in development,
   ah) notes that, despite significant progress towards universal primary education in recent years, some 93 million children of primary school age – the majority of them girls – were still not in school in 2006; calls on the EU Member States to address the increased financial needs to support education, including in conflict-affected fragile states,
   ai) recalling the EU's commitments to promote policy coherence for development, recommends that the Council and the EU Member States encourage a UN-wide discussion on how to ensure that efforts and targets on climate change reinforce the attainment of the MDGs; notes that much greater contributions to adaptation funds are required in order to "climate-proof" development in the poorest countries,
   aj) urges the EU Member States to participate actively in the High Level Meeting on the implementation of the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) to be held on 22 September 2008 and in the UN High Level meeting on the MDGs to be held on 25 September 2008 in New York,
   ak) recommends that the Council and EU Member States renew discussions about debt relief at the UN level, with a view to redefining debt sustainability criteria in such a way as to promote the advancement of development goals rather than debt reimbursement,
   al) considers that maternal mortality rates remain unacceptably high in many developing countries, with more than 500 000 women dying each year from treatable and preventable complications relating to pregnancy and childbirth; therefore urges EU Member States to dramatically step up efforts and funding so as to ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health information and services, which are essential for the attainment of the health MDGs, gender equality and the fight against poverty,
   am) in the light of the current food crisis, urges the Council and EU Member States to take steps to reduce trade distortion,
   Improving EU-UN cooperation in practice
   an) urges the EU Member States and the Commission to support the UN Democracy Fund, in both political and financial terms,
   ao) calls on the Council, and particularly on those EU Member States which are permanent or non-permanent members of the UN Security Council, to advocate a revision of the UN sanctions system (terrorists" blacklists) to bring it into line with the obligations of the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in particular via the establishment of appropriate notification and appeal procedures; welcomes in this respect, as a first step in the right direction, the adoption by the UN Security Council of Resolution 1730 (2006) which establishes a de-listing procedure and a focal point for de-listing requests within the UN Secretariat,
   ap) calls on the EU Member States to launch, within the UN and prior to the above-mentioned Review Conference, a debate on the challenges faced by the International Criminal Court which may undermine the Court's effectiveness, with a view to achieving an agreement on the still outstanding definition of the crime of aggression and the conditions under which the Court could exercise its jurisdiction, as provided for in Article 5(2) of the Rome Statute,
   aq) believes, in view of the evident effects of climate change on the livelihood of millions of people, that the EU should actively encourage the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to pursue negotiations with a view to concluding an international climate change agreement by the end of 2009, and calls on the EU Member States to take the lead in such comprehensive global negotiations; furthermore, urges EU Member States to promote, in this context, the use of renewable and CO2-neutral energy sources; finally, takes the view that EU Member States should consider recommending the establishment of a disaster counselling unit at UN level, which would offer systematic advice to governments on effective disaster preparedness,
   ar) calls on both EU and UN actors to give general consideration to EU-African Union cooperation in the establishment of peace and security on the African continent, focusing specifically on ways in which the UN can improve the quality of its missions by making use of the EU's complementary abilities; recommends that careful consideration be given to the merging of capabilities so as to create synergies not just with regard to technology and military equipment but also with regard to legitimacy and acceptance, as well as cost-effectiveness and suitability for the mandate,
   as) calls on the Council to continue to give high priority to building successful cross-regional partnerships, in particular working with partners in all regions of the world to ensure effective implementation of UN General Assembly Resolution 62/149 calling for a worldwide moratorium on executions with a view to abolishing the death penalty,
   at) takes note of the fact that the UN Secretary-General has decided to reconfigure the UN Mission to Kosovo, thus allowing the EU to play an enhanced operational role in the field of the rule of law, and calls on EU Member States, who have unanimously endorsed the launch of the European Rule of Law Mission (EULEX KOSOVO), to monitor closely the implementation of this decision on the ground,
   au) is concerned about the stalemate in disarmament-related negotiations on such issues as a fissile material cut-off treaty and a verification protocol for the Biological Weapons Convention as well as a lack of movement in ratifying the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; nevertheless, recognises that the 63rd UN session offers the EU an excellent opportunity to show leadership in promoting ratification and universalisation of the recently agreed treaty banning cluster munitions, and in opening negotiations with a view to the conclusion of an International Arms Trade Treaty and an international treaty imposing a global ban on depleted uranium weapons; calls on the EU and the UN to continue their efforts towards strengthening the UN Programme of Action on the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons, and expanding the scope of the Ottawa Treaty banning landmines,
   av) urges the EU Member States to make the necessary efforts to secure an international consensus that will enable the negotiations on the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism to be concluded,
   aw) calls on the Council to encourage all activities and appropriate financing aimed at the mainstreaming of gender issues into all aspects of the UN's activities,
   ax) urges the Council to support all activities aimed at combating the extinction of species and protecting the environment as well as mobilising the necessary financial resources;

2.   Instructs its President to forward this recommendation to the Council and, for information, to the Commission.

(1) OJ C 96 E, 21.4.2004, p. 79.
(2) OJ C 124 E, 25.5.2006, p. 549.
(3) OJ C 227 E, 21.9.2006, p. 582.


Safety on the Community's railways ***II
DOC 35k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2004/49/EC on safety on the Community's railways (Railway Safety Directive) (16133/3/2007 – C6-0129/2008 – 2006/0272(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0340 A6-0223/2008

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Council common position (16133/3/2007 – C6-0129/2008 )(1) ,

–   having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0784 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 62 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0223/2008 ),

1.   Approves the common position as amended;

2.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission.

Position of the European parliament adopted at second reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2004/49/EC on safety on the Community's railways (Railway Safety Directive)

P6_TC2-COD(2006)0272


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at second reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive 2008/110/EC.)

(1) OJ C 122E, 20.5.2008, p. 10.
(2) Texts adopted of 29.11.2007, P6_TA(2007)0557 .


Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 establishing a European Railway Agency ***II
DOC 35k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 establishing a European Railway Agency (Agency Regulation) (16138/3/2007 – C6-0131/2008 – 2006/0274(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0341 A6-0210/2008

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Council common position (16138/3/2007 – C6-0131/2008 )(1) ,

–   having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0785 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 62 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0210/2008 ),

1.   Approves the common position as amended;

2.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 881/2004 establishing a European Railway Agency (Agency Regulation)

P6_TC2-COD(2006)0274


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at second reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EC) No 1335/2008.)

(1)1 OJ C 93 E, 15.4.2008, p. 1.
(2)2 Texts adopted of 29.11.2007, P6_TA(2007)0558 .


Rules for the operation of air services in the Community (recast) ***II
DOC 32k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for the operation of air services in the Community (recast) (16160/4/2007 – C6-0176/2008 – 2006/0130(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0342 A6-0264/2008

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Council common position (16160/4/2007 – C6-0176/2008 )(1) ,

–   having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0396 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 67 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0264/2008 ),

1.   Approves the common position;

2.   Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the common position;

3.   Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council pursuant to Article 254(1) of the EC Treaty;

4.   Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to have it published in the Official Journal of the European Union;

5.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

(1)1 OJ C 129 E, 27.5.2008, p. 1.
(2)2 Texts adopted of 11.7.2007, P6_TA(2007)0337 .


Programme for the Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics (MEETS) ***I
DOC 52k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Programme for the Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics (MEETS) (COM(2007)0433 – C6-0234/2007 – 2007/0156(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0343 A6-0240/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0433 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0234/2007 ),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(1) ,

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0240/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Considers that the financial envelope indicated in the legislative proposal must be compatible with the ceiling of subheading 1a of the 2007-2013 multiannual financial framework as revised by Decision 2008/371/EC(2) and points out that the annual amount will be decided as part of the annual budgetary procedure in accordance with point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006;

3.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

4.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Programme for the Modernisation of European Enterprise and Trade Statistics (MEETS)

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0156


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Decision No 1297/2008/EC.)

(1) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1..
(2) OJ L 128, 16.5.2008, p.8.


Batteries and accumulators and their waste ***I
DOC 50k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/66/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators as regards Article 6(2) on placing batteries and accumulators on the market (COM(2008)0211 – C6-0165/2008 – 2008/0081(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0344 A6-0244/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2008)0211 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0165/2008 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0244/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/66/EC on batteries and accumulators and waste batteries and accumulators as regards placing batteries and accumulators on the market

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0081


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Directive 2008/103/EC.)


Restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations ***I
DOC 66k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 76/769/EEC as regards restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethanol, 2-(2-butoxyethoxy)ethanol, methylenediphenyl diisocyanate, cyclohexane and ammonium nitrate (COM(2007)0559 – C6-0327/2007 – 2007/0200(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0345 A6-0135/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0559 ),

–   having regard to Articles 251(2) and 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0327/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0135/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directive 76/769/EEC as regards restrictions on the marketing and use of certain dangerous substances and preparations 2-(2-methoxyethoxy)ethanol, 2-(2-butoxyethoxy)ethanol, methylenediphenyl diisocyanate, cyclohexane and ammonium nitrate

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0200


(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position at first reading corresponds to the final legislative act, Decosopm No 1348/2008/EC.)


Conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks ***I
DOC 145k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks (COM(2007)0532 – C6-0319/2007 – 2007/0199(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0346 A6-0253/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0532 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0319/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6-0253/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0199


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 95 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission║,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1) ,

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3) ,

Whereas:

(1)   The internal market for gas, which has been progressively implemented since 1999, aims to deliver real choice for all consumers in the Community, be they citizens or businesses , new business opportunities and more cross-border trade in order to achieve efficiency gains, competitive prices, higher standards of service and access for as many people as possible , and to contribute to security of supply and sustainability.

(2)   Directive 2003/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas ║(4) and Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 September 2005 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks(5) have made significant contributions towards the creation of such an internal market for gas.

3)   ║ The right to sell gas in any Member State on equal terms, without discrimination or disadvantage cannot, however, currently be guaranteed to all companies in the Community. In particular, non-discriminatory network access and an equally effective level of regulatory supervision in each Member State do not yet exist and isolated markets persist .

(4)    A sufficient level of cross-border gas interconnection capacity should be achieved as a first step towards integrating markets and in order to complete the internal market for gas .

(5)    The Communication of the Commission of 10 January 2007 entitled "An Energy Policy for Europe" ║highlighted the importance of completing the internal market in natural gas and to create a level playing field for all gas undertakings in the Community. The Communications f rom the Commission of the same date on prospects for the internal gas and electricity market ║ and in relation to its inquiry pursuant to Article 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 into the European gas and electricity sectors ║ showed that the present rules and measures have not been sufficiently transposed in all Member States, with the result that the objective of a well-functioning internal energy market has not yet been satisfactorily achieved .

(6)    Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 needs to be adapted in line with these communications to improve the regulatory framework of the internal market for gas.

(7)    In particular, the creation of physical connections between gas networks and increased cooperation and coordination among transmission system operators are required to ensure progressive compatibility of the technical and commercial codes for providing and managing effective and transparent access to the transmission networks across borders, ║ to ensure coordinated and sufficiently forward-looking planning and sound technical evolution of the transmission system in the Community, with due regard to the environment, and to promote energy efficiency and research and innovation, in particular as regards the penetration of energy from renewable sources and the dissemination of low carbon technology. Transmission system operators should operate their networks according to these compatible technical and market codes.

(8)    In order to ensure an optimal management of the gas transmission network in the Community a European network of the transmission system operators should be established. Its tasks should be carried out in compliance with Community competition rules which remain applicable to the decisions of the European network of the transmission system operators. Its tasks should be well-defined and their working method should be such as to ensure efficiency, representativity and transparency. Given that more effective progress may be achieved through an approach at regional level, transmission system operators should set up regional structures within the overall cooperation structure, whilst ensuring that results at regional level are compatible with codes and investment plans at Community level. Member States should promote cooperation and monitor the effectiveness of the network at regional level.

(9)   To enhance competition through liquid wholesale gas markets, it is vital that gas can be traded independently of its location in the system. The only way to do this is to give network users the freedom to book entry and exit capacity independently, thereby creating gas transport through zones instead of along contractual paths. The preference for entry-exit systems to facilitate the development of competition was already expressed by most stakeholders at the 6th Madrid Forum.

(10)   There is substantial contractual congestion in the gas networks. The congestion management and capacity allocation principles for new or newly negotiated contracts are therefore based on the freeing-up of unused capacity by enabling network users to sublet or re-sell their contracted capacities and the obligation of transmission system operators to offer unused capacity to the market, at least on a day-ahead and interruptible basis. Given the large proportion of existing contracts and the need to create a truly level playing field between users of new and existing capacity these principles need to be applied to all contracted capacity, including existing contracts.

(11)   Market monitoring undertaken over recent years by the national regulatory authorities and by the Commission has shown that current transparency requirements and rules on access to infrastructure are not sufficient to secure a genuine, well-functioning, efficient and open internal market .

(12)   Equal access to information on the physical status of the system is necessary to enable all market participants to assess the overall demand and supply situation and identify the reasons for movements in the wholesale price. This includes more precise information on supply and demand, network capacity, flows and maintenance, balancing and availability and usage of storage. The importance of this information for the functioning of the internal market for gas requires the lifting of the limitations to publication for confidentiality reasons.

(13)   To enhance trust in the market, its participants need to be sure that abusive behaviour can be sanctioned effectively . The competent authorities should be given the competence effectively to investigate allegations of market abuse. To this end, access by the competent authorities to data that provides information on operational decisions made by supply undertakings is necessary . In the gas market, all such decisions are communicated to the system operators in the form of capacity reservations, nominations and realised flows. System operators should keep information in relation thereto available to and easily accessible by the competent authorities for a fixed period of time. The competent authorities should, furthermore, regularly monitor the compliance of the system operators with the rules.

(14)   Competition for household consumers requires that suppliers not be blocked when they want to enter new retail markets. The r ules and responsibilities governing the supply chain therefore need to be known to all market participants , and ║ need to be harmonised with a view to enhancing Community market integration. The competent authorities should regularly monitor the compliance of market participants with the rules.

(15)   Access to gas storage facilities and LNG facilities is insufficient in some Member States , and the implementation of the existing rules therefore needs to be radically improved. Monitoring by the European Regulators' Group for electricity and gas (ERGEG) has shown that the storage system operators' voluntary guidelines for good practices for third-party access, which were agreed by all stakeholders at the Madrid Forum, are, in some cases , being inadequately applied and therefore need to be given binding force . Even though the voluntary guidelines have been almost completely transposed throughout the European Union, lending them binding character would increase operators' confidence in non-discriminatory access to storage.

(16)   Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 provides that certain measures are to be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(6) .

(17)   Decision 1999/468/EC has been amended by Council Decision 2006/512/EC(7) , which introduced a regulatory procedure with scrutiny for measures of general scope designed to amend non-essential elements of a basic instrument adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty, inter alia by deleting some of those elements or by supplementing the instrument by the addition of new non-essential elements.

(18)   In accordance with the ║ statement by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission(8) concerning Decision 2006/512/EC, for the regulatory procedure with scrutiny to be applicable to instruments adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty which are already in force, those instruments must be adjusted in accordance with the applicable procedures.

(19)   The Commission should be empowered to adopt the measures necessary for the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 in order to establish or adopt the guidelines necessary for providing the minimum degree of harmonisation required to achieve the aim of this Regulation. Since those measures are of general scope and are designed to amend non-essential elements of Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005, inter alia by supplementing it with new non-essential elements, they must be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC.

(20)   Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 should therefore be amended accordingly,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 is amended as follows:

(1)   Article 1 shall be replaced by the following:

"

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

This Regulation║:

   a) establishes non-discriminatory rules for access conditions to natural gas transmission systems taking into account the specificities of national and regional markets with a view to ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market for gas ;
   b) establishes non-discriminatory rules for access conditions to LNG facilities and storage facilities;
   c) facilitates the emergence of a well-functioning and transparent ▌wholesale market with a high level of security of gas supply and provides mechanisms to harmonise the network access rules for cross-border exchange in gas.

Without prejudice to Article 6a(4), this Regulation, shall only apply to storage facilities falling under Article 19(3) or (4) of Directive 2003/55/EC.

The matters referred to in the first subparagraph shall include the establishment of harmonised principles for tariffs, or the methodologies underlying their calculation, for access to the network, the establishment of third-party access services and harmonised principles for capacity allocation and congestion management, the determination of transparency requirements, balancing rules and imbalance charges, and the facilitation of capacity trading.

"

(2)  Article 2 shall be amended as follows:

  a) ║ paragraph 1 shall be amended as follows :
   i) point 1 shall be replaced by the following: "
   1. "transmission' means the transport of natural gas through a transit pipeline or through a pipeline network, which mainly contains high pressure pipelines, excluding transport through an upstream pipeline or pipeline network or pipelines or pipeline networks connecting storage to local distribution and generally excluding transport through pipelines primarily used in the context of local distribution of natural gas;
"
   ii) the following points shall be added: "
   24. "LNG-facility capacity' means capacity at an LNG-terminal for the liquefaction of natural gas or the importation, offloading, ancillary services, temporary storage and re-gasification of LNG,
   25. "space' means the volume of gas which a user of a storage facility is entitled to use for the storage of gas ;
   26. "deliverability' means the rate at which the storage user is entitled to withdraw gas from the storage facility;
   27. "injectability' means the rate at which the storage user is entitled to inject gas into the storage facility;
   28. "storage capacity' means any combination of space, injectability and deliverability

29.   "Agency' means the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators established by Regulation (EC) No …/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... [on establishment of an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators] * .
_________________
* OJ L .... "
   b) paragraph 2 shall be replaced by the following:"
2.   Without prejudice to the definitions in paragraph 1 of this Article the definitions contained in Article 2 of Directive 2003/55/EC, which are relevant for the application of this Regulation, shall also apply with the exception of the definition of transmission in point 3 of that Article 2 .
The definitions in points 3 to 23 in paragraph 1 of this Article in relation to transmission shall apply by analogy in relation to storage and LNG facilities. "

(3)   The following articles ║ shall be inserted after Article 2 :

"

Article 2a

European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas

All transmission system operators shall cooperate at Community level through a European network of transmission system operators for gas in order to ensure the optimal management, coordinated operation and sound technical evolution of the European gas transmission network and to promote the completion of the internal market for gas, cross-border trade and the functioning of the energy markets .

Article 2b

Establishment of the European Network for Transmission System Operators for Gas

1.   By […] ║ the transmission system operators for gas shall submit to the Commission and to the Agency ║ draft ║ statutes, a list of future members and draft rules of procedure ▌with a view to establishing a European network of transmission system operators for gas ║.

2.   Within two months from receipt, the Agency, after formally consulting the organisations representing all stakeholders, in particular the system users and customers, shall provide an opinion to the Commission on the draft statutes, list of members and draft rules of procedure.

3.   The Commission shall deliver an opinion on the draft statutes, list of members and draft rules of procedure, taking into account the opinion of the Agency provided for in paragraph 2 and within three months of receipt thereof .

4.   Within three months of receipt of the Commission's opinion, the transmission system operators shall establish the European Network for Transmission System Operators for Gas, adopt its statutes and rules of procedure and publish them.

Article 2c

Tasks of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas

1.  In order to achieve the objectives set out in Article 2a, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas shall agree and submit to the Agency for approval following the procedure provided for in Article 2d in conjunction with Article 6(3) of Regulation (EC) No …/2008 [establishing the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators], the following :

   a) draft network codes in the areas mentioned in paragraph 3, elaborated in cooperation with market participants and network users ;
   b) common network operation tools and research plans;
   c) a 10-year investment plan including a supply and demand adequacy report, every two years;
   d) measures to ensure the real-time coordination of grid operation in normal and emergency conditions;
   e) guidelines on the coordination of technical cooperation between Community and third-country transmission system operators;
   f) an annual work programme based on the priorities set by the Agency ;
   g) an annual report; and
   h) annual summer and winter supply outlooks.

2.   The annual work programme referred to in paragraph 1(f) shall contain a list and description of the network codes, a plan on coordination of operation of the network and research and development activities, to be drawn up in that year and an indicative calendar.

3.  The detailed network codes shall cover the following areas, according to the priorities defined in the annual work programme:

   a) security and reliability rules including interoperability rules and operational procedures for emergency situations ;
   b) grid connection and access rules;
   c) cross-border capacity allocation and congestion management rules;
   d) network-related transparency rules;
   e) balancing and settlement rules ▌;
   f) energy efficiency regarding gas networks.

4.   The Agency shall monitor the implementation of the network codes by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas .

5.   The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas shall publish a Community-wide 10-year network investment plan every two years following its approval by the Agency . The investment plan shall include the modelling of the integrated network, taking into account storage and LNG facilities, scenario development, a supply and demand adequacy report and an assessment of the resilience of the system. The investment plan shall, in particular, build on national investment plans taking into account Community and regional aspects of network planning, including the Guidelines for Trans-European energy networks in accordance with Decision No 1364/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council* . The investment plan shall identify investment gaps, notably with respect to cross-border capacities, and shall include investments in interconnection, in particular, and as a priority, connections between energy islands and gas networks in the Community and investments in other infrastructure necessary for effective trading, competition and security of supply. A review of barriers to the increase of cross-border capacity of the network arising from different approval procedures or practices shall be annexed to the investment plan .

The transmission system operators shall implement the published investment plan .

6.   ▌The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, on its own initiative, may propose to the Agency draft network codes in any area other than those listed in paragraph 3, with a view to achieving the objectives set out in Article 2a. The Agency shall adopt the network codes following the procedure set out in Article 2f while ensuring that those codes are not in contradiction with the guidelines adopted under Article 2e.

Article 2d

Monitoring by the Agency

1.   The Agency shall monitor the execution of the tasks referred to in Article 2c(1) of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas.

2.   The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas shall submit the draft network codes and the documents referred to in Article 2c(1) , to the Agency for approval .

The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas shall collect all relevant information regarding the implementation of the network codes and submit it to the Agency for evaluation.

3.    The Agency shall monitor the implementation of the technical codes, the 10-year investment plan and the ▌annual work programme and shall include the results of that monitoring in its annual report. In the event of non-compliance with the network codes by the transmission system operators, the ▌10-year investment plan or the annual work programme of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas the Agency shall provide information thereof to the Commission .

Article 2e

Development of guidelines

1.   The Commission shall, after consulting the Agency, establish an annual priority list identifying issues of primary importance for the development of the internal market for gas.

2.   Having regard to the priority list, the Commission shall mandate the Agency to develop, within six months, draft guidelines establishing basic, clear and objective principles for the harmonisation of rules, as set out in Article 2c.

3.   In drafting those guidelines, the Agency shall formally consult the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas and other stakeholders in an open and transparent manner.

4.   The Agency shall adopt draft guidelines on the basis of that consultation. It shall specify the observations received during the consultation and explain how they were taken into account. It shall give reasons where observations have not been taken into account.

5 .   On its own initiative or at the request of the Agency, the Commission may initiate the same procedure to update the guidelines.

Article 2f

Development of network codes

1.    Within six months of the adoption of the guidelines by the Agency and in accordance with Article 2e, the Commission shall mandate the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas to develop draft network codes in full compliance with the principles established in the guidelines.

2.    In drafting those network codes, the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas shall take into consideration technical expertise from market participants and network users and shall keep them informed of progress.

3.    The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas shall submit the draft network codes to the Agency.

4.    The Agency shall conduct a formal consultation in relation to the draft network codes in an open and transparent manner.

5.    The Agency shall adopt the draft network codes on the basis of that consultation. It shall specify the observations received during the consultation and explain how they were taken into account. It shall give reasons where observations have not been taken into account.

6.    On the Agency's own initiative or at the request of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas, a revision of the existing network codes may be undertaken following the same procedure.

7.    The Commission may, on the recommendation of the Agency, submit the network codes to the Committee referred to in Article 14(1) for its final adoption in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 14(2).

Article 2g

Consultations

1.   In carrying out its tasks, the Agency shall formally consult, ▌in an open and transparent manner, ▌all appropriate market participants. The consultation shall include supply undertakings, customers, system users, distribution system operators, LNG system operators and storage system operators, including relevant (industry) associations, technical bodies and stakeholder platforms.

2.   All documents and minutes of meetings related to the issues referred to in paragraph 1 shall be made public.

3.   Before adopting the guidelines and network codes, the Agency shall specify the observations received during the consultation and explain how they were taken into account . The Agency shall provide reasons where observations have not been taken into account.

4.    The European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas shall cooperate with market participants and network users in accordance with Article 2f(2).

Article 2h

Costs

The costs relating to the activities of the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas mentioned in Articles 2a to 2i shall be borne by the transmission system operators and shall be taken into account in the calculation of tariffs.

Article 2i

Regional cooperation of transmission system operators

1.   Transmission system operators shall establish regional cooperation within the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas to contribute to the tasks mentioned in Article 2c(1). In particular, they shall publish a regional investment plan every two years, and may take investment decisions based thereon .

The regional investment plan may not be contradictory to the 10 year investment plan referred to in Article 2c(1)(c).

2.   Transmission system operators shall promote operational arrangements in order to ensure optimum management of the network, and promote the development of energy exchanges, the coordinated allocation of cross-border capacity ▌and the compatibility of cross-border balancing mechanisms.

3.   The national regulatory authorities and other relevant national authorities shall cooperate at all levels for the purpose of harmonising the market design and integrating their national markets at least at one or more regional levels, as a first and intermediate step towards a fully liberalised internal market. In particular, they shall promote the cooperation of transmission network operators at a regional level and facilitate their regional integration with a view to creating a competitive internal market, facilitating harmonisation of their regulatory and technical frameworks and, in particular, integrating persisting gas islands.

___________________

* OJ L 262, 22.9.2006, p.1.

"
  4) ║ Article 3(1) shall be amended as follows :
   a) subparagraph 1 shall be replaced by the following: "
1.    Tariffs, or the methodologies used to calculate them, applied by transmission system and LNG system operators and approved by the regulatory authorities pursuant to Article 25(2) of Directive 2003/55/EC, as well as tariffs published pursuant to Article 18 (1) of that Directive, shall be transparent, take into account the need for system integrity and its improvement and reflect actual costs incurred, insofar as such costs correspond to those of an efficient and structurally comparable network operator and are transparent, whilst including appropriate return on investments. Tariffs, or the methodologies used to calculate them, shall be applied in a non-discriminatory manner. "
   b) subparagraph 3 shall be replaced by the following: "
Tariffs, or the methodologies used to calculate them, shall facilitate efficient gas trade and competition, while at the same time avoiding cross-subsidies between network users and providing incentives for investment and maintaining or creating interoperability for transmission networks. This may involve special regulatory treatment for new investment. "
   c) the following subparagraphs shall be added:"
Tariffs for network users shall be set separately and independently per entry point into or exit point out of the transmission system. Network charges shall not be calculated on the basis of contract paths. Access to the network shall be open to new entrants on a non-discriminatory basis.
Tariffs, or the methodologies used to calculate them, shall be applied in a non-discriminatory manner and shall be transparent. "

(5)   The title of Article 4 is replaced by the following:

"

Third-party access services concerning transmission system operators;

"

(6)   The following article shall be inserted after Article 4 :

"

Article 4a

Third-Party Access services concerning storage and LNG facilities

1.  LNG and storage system operators shall:

   a) ensure that they offer services on a non-discriminatory basis to all network users that accommodate market demand; in particular, where an LNG or storage system operator offers the same service to different customers simultaneously , it shall do so under equivalent contractual terms and conditions;
   b) offer services that are compatible with the use of the interconnected gas transportation systems and ease access through cooperation with the transmission system operator;
   c) make relevant information public, in particular data on the use and availability of services, in a time frame compatible with the storage and LNG facility users' reasonable commercial needs, subject to the monitoring of such publication by the competent authority .

2.  Storage system operators shall:

   a) provide both firm and interruptible third-party access services; the price of interruptible capacity shall reflect the probability of interruption;
   b) offer to storage facility users both long- and short-term services;
   c) offer to storage facility users both bundled and unbundled services of storage space, injectability and deliverability.

3.  LNG and storage facility contracts shall not result in arbitrarily higher tariffs in the event that they are signed:

   a) outside ║ a natural gas year with non-standard start dates; or
   b) with a shorter duration than a standard transport a nd storage contract on an annual basis.

4.   Where appropriate, third-party access services may be granted subject to appropriate guarantees from network users with respect to the creditworthiness of such users. Such guarantees must not constitute any undue market entry barriers and must be non-discriminatory, transparent and proportionate.

5.   Contractual limits on the required minimum size of LNG facility capacity and storage capacity shall be justified on the basis of technical constraints, and shall permit smaller storage users to gain access to storage services.

"

(7)  Article 5 shall be amended as follows:

   a) the title shall be replaced by the following:"
Principles of capacity allocation mechanisms and congestion management procedures concerning transmission system operators "

b)    paragraph 2(a) shall be replaced by the following:

"
   a) provide appropriate economic signals for efficient and maximum use of technical capacity, facilitate investment in new infrastructure and facilitate cross-border trade in gas.
"
   c) paragraph 3 shall be replaced by the following:"
3.   Transmission system operators shall implement and publish non–discriminatory and transparent congestion management procedures which facilitate cross-border trade in gas on a non-discriminatory basis and in accordance with the principles of free competition .
To prevent contractual congestion, the transmission system operator shall offer unused capacity on the primary market at least on a day-ahead basis insofar as this does not prevent the implementation of long-term supply contracts . "
   d) paragraph 4 shall be deleted;
   e) the following paragraphs shall be added:"
6.   Transmission system operators shall regularly assess market demand for new investment. When planning new investments, transmission system operators shall assess market demand and take into account security of supply criteria .
7 .   In the event of long-term physical congestion, the transmission system operators shall relieve congestion by adding new capacities according to market demand. In order to assess market demand, the transmission system operators shall undertake open-season procedures .
8 .   The national regulatory authorities shall monitor congestion management within national gas systems and interconnectors.
The transmission system operators shall submit their congestion management procedures, including capacity allocation, for approval to the national regulatory authorities. The national regulatory authorities may request amendments to those procedures before approving them. "

(8)   The following article shall be inserted after Article 5 :

"

Article 5a

Principles of Capacity allocation mechanisms and congestion management procedures concerning storage facilities and LNG facilities

1.   The maximum storage and LNG facility capacity shall be made available to market participants, taking into account system integrity and operation.

2.  LNG and storage system operators shall implement and publish non-discriminatory and transparent capacity allocation mechanisms which shall:

   a) provide appropriate economic signals for the efficient and maximum use of capacity and facilitate investment in new infrastructure;
   b) be compatible with the market mechanism including spot markets and trading hubs, while being flexible and capable of adapting to evolving market circumstances;
   c) be compatible with the connected network access systems.

3.  LNG and storage facility contracts shall include measures to prevent capacity-hoarding, by taking into account the following principles, which shall apply in cases of contractual congestion:

   a) the system operator shall offer unused LNG facility and storage capacity on the primary market without delay ; for storage facilities this shall be at least on a day-ahead and interruptible basis,
   (b) LNG and storage facility users who wish to re-sell their contracted capacity on the secondary market shall be entitled to do so.

Those measures shall take into account the integrity of the system concerned as well as security of supply.

"

(9)  Article 6 shall be amended as follows:

   a) the title shall be replaced by the following:"
Transparency requirements concerning transmission system operators
   b) paragraph 5 shall be deleted;
   c) the following paragraph shall be added;
"7. Transmission system operators shall make public ex-ante and ex-post supply and demand information, based on nominations, forecasts and realised flows in and out of the system. The level of detail of the information that is made public shall reflect the information available to the transmission system operator. The competent authority shall ensure that all necessary information is published .

Transmission system operators shall inform the national regulatory authority, on request, of measures taken as well as of costs incurred and revenues generated to balance the system.
The market participants concerned shall provide the transmission system operators with the data referred to in this Article."; "

(10)   The following articles shall be inserted after Article 6 :

"

Article 6a

Transparency requirements concerning storage facilities and LNG facilities

1.   LNG and storage system operators shall make public detailed information regarding the services they offer and the relevant conditions applied, together with the technical information necessary for LNG and storage facility users to gain effective access to the LNG and storage facilities.

2.   For the services provided, each LNG and storage system operator shall make public information on contracted and available storage and LNG facility capacities numerically, on a regular and rolling basis and in a user-friendly and standardised manner. The competent authority shall ensure that all necessary information is published.

3.   LNG and storage system operators shall always disclose the information required by this Regulation in a meaningful, easily quantifiable and easily accessible way and on a non-discriminatory basis.

4.   All LNG and storage system operators shall make public the amount of gas in each storage facility, group of storage facilities in the same balancing zone, or LNG facility, inflows and outflows, and the available storage and LNG facility capacities, including for those facilities exempted from third-party access. The information shall also be communicated to the transmission system operator who shall make it public on an aggregated level per system or subsystem defined by the relevant points. The information shall be updated at least on a daily basis .

5 .   In order to ensure transparent, objective and non-discriminatory tariffs and to facilitate efficient utilisation of the infrastructures, the LNG and storage facility operators or relevant regulatory authorities shall publish reasonably and sufficiently detailed information on tariff derivation, methodologies and structure of tariffs for infrastructure under regulated third-party access. LNG and storage facility operators shall submit their congestion management procedures including capacity allocation for approval to the regulatory authorities. The regulatory authorities may request amendments to those procedures before approving them.

6 .   Where a LNG or storage facility operator considers that it is not entitled, for reasons of confidentiality, to make public all the data required, it shall seek the authorisation of the national regulatory authority to limit publication with respect to the point or points in question.

The national regulatory authority shall grant or refuse the authorisation on a case-by-case basis, taking into account in particular the need to respect legitimate commercial confidentiality and the objective of creating a competitive internal market for gas. If the authorisation is granted, available storage and/or LNG facility capacity shall be published without indicating the numerical data that would contravene confidentiality.

Article 6b

Record keeping for system operators

Transmission system operators, storage system operators and LNG system operators shall keep at the disposal of the national regulatory authority, the national competition authority and the Commission all information referred to in Article 6 and 6a, and in part 3 of the Annex for a period of five years.

"

(11)   Article 7 shall be amended as follows:

a)   the following sentence shall be added at the end of paragraph 1:

"

Balancing rules shall be market based.

"

b)   paragraph 2 shall be replaced by the following:

"

2.   In order to enable network users to take timely corrective action, transmission system operators shall provide sufficient, well-timed and reliable on-line based information on the balancing status of network users.

The information provided shall reflect the level of information available to the transmission system operator and the settlement period for which imbalance charges are calculated.

No charge shall be made for the provision of such information.

"

c)   paragraphs 4, 5 and 6 shall be deleted;

(12)   Article 8 shall be replaced by the following:

"

Article 8

Trading of capacity rights

Each transmission, storage and LNG system operator shall take reasonable steps to allow capacity rights to be freely tradable and to facilitate such trade. Trading shall take place subject to the principles of transparency and non-discrimination. Each such operator shall develop harmonised transportation, LNG facility and storage contracts and procedures on the primary market to facilitate secondary trade of capacity and recognise the transfer of primary capacity rights where notified by system users.

The harmonised transportation, LNG facility and storage contracts and procedures shall be notified to the regulatory authorities.

"

(13)   The following article shall be inserted after Article 8 :

"

Article 8a

Retail markets

In order to facilitate the emergence of well-functioning , effective and transparent ▌markets on a regional and Community scale, Member States shall ensure that the roles and responsibilities of transmission system operators, distribution system operators, supply undertakings and customers and if necessary other market participants are defined in detail with respect to contractual arrangements, commitment to customers, data exchange and settlement rules, data ownership and metering responsibility.

Those rules shall be made public ▌and shall be subject to review by the regulatory authorities.

"

14)   ║ Article 9 shall be replaced by the following:

"

Article 9

Guidelines on third-party access services

1.   Where appropriate, the Commission may adopt guidelines providing the minimum degree of harmonisation required to achieve the aim of this Regulation, which shall specify ▌ details of third-party access services including the character, duration and other requirements of these services, in accordance with Articles 4 and 4a.

2.   The guidelines on third-party access referred to in paragraph 1 shall be laid down in the Annex with respect to transmission system operators.

3.    The application and amendment of Guidelines on third-party access adopted pursuant to this Article shall reflect differences between national gas systems, and shall therefore not require uniform detailed terms and conditions of third party access at Community level. They may, however, set minimum requirements to be met to achieve non-discriminatory and transparent network access conditions necessary for an internal gas market, which may then be applied in the light of differences between national gas systems.

"

(15)    Article 13(1) shall be replaced by the following:

"

1.    The Member States shall ensure that national regulatory authorities established under Article 25 of Directive 2003/55/EC have the competence to ensure effective compliance with this Regulation by providing them with the power, in relation to any single breach, either to impose effective, dissuasive and proportionate penalties of up to 10 % of the system operator's annual turnover in its domestic market or to revoke the operator's licence. The Member States shall inform the Commission thereof by 1 January 2010 and shall inform it without delay of any subsequent amendments.

"

(16)    Article 14(2) shall be replaced by the following:

"

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5a(1) to (4), and Article 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

"

(17)    Article 16(b) shall be replaced by the following:

"
   b) interconnectors between Member States, LNG and storage facilities and significant increases of capacity in existing infrastructures and modifications of such infrastructures which enable the development of new sources of gas supply as referred to in Article 22(1) and (2) of Directive 2003/55/EC which are exempted from the provisions of Articles 7, 18, 19, 20 or 25(2), (3) and (4) of that Directive as long as they are exempted from the provisions referred to in this subparagraph, with the exception of Article 6a( 4) of this Regulation; or
"

(18)    The Annex shall be amended as follows:

a)   the title of point 1 shall be replaced by the following:

"

Third-party access services concerning transmission system operators

"

b)   the title of point 2 shall be replaced by the following:

"

Principles of capacity allocation mechanisms and congestion management procedures concerning transmission system operators and their application in the event of contractual congestion║

"

Article 2

This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ║

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) OJ C 211, 19.8.2008, p.23.
(2) OJ C 172, 5.7.2008, p. 55 .
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 9 July 2008 .
(4) OJ L 176, 15.7.2003, p. 57.
(5) OJ L 289, 3.11.2005, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. ║
(7) OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11.
(8) OJ C 255, 21.10.2006, p. 1.


Internal market in natural gas ***I
DOC 368k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas (COM(2007)0529 – C6-0317/2007 – 2007/0196(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0347 A6-0257/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0529 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2), Article 47(2) and Articles 55 and 95 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0317/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinions of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (A6-0257/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2008/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0196


(Text with EEA relevance)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 47(2) and Articles 55, and 95 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission║,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1) ,

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3) ,

Whereas:

(1)   The internal market for gas, which has been progressively implemented throughout the Community since 1999, aims at delivering real choice for all║ consumers in the European Union , whether they are citizens or businesses , new business opportunities and more cross-border trade, so as to achieve efficiency gains, competitive prices, and higher standards of service, and to contribute to security of supply and sustainability.

(2)   Directive 2003/55/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2003 concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas ║(4) has made a significant contribution towards the creation of ║ an internal market for gas.

3)   ║ The right to sell gas in any Member State on equal terms and without discrimination or disadvantages cannot, however, currently be guaranteed to all companies in all Member States . In particular, non-discriminatory network access and an equally effective level of regulatory supervision in each Member State do not yet exist, since the ║ legal framework is insufficient.

(4)   The Communication of the Commission of 10 January 2007 entitled "An Energy Policy for Europe" ║ highlighted the importance of completing the internal market in natural gas and of creating a level playing field for all natural gas undertakings established in the Community. The Communications of the Commission, of the same date, on prospects for the internal gas and electricity market and its final report in relation to its inquiry pursuant to Article 17 of the Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 into the European gas and electricity sectors showed that the present rules and measures do not provide the necessary framework for achieving the objective of a well-functioning internal market.

(5)   Without effective separation of networks from the activities of production and supply, there is a risk of discrimination not only in the operation of the network but also in the incentives for vertically integrated companies to invest adequately in their networks.

(6)    The Member States should promote cooperation and monitor the effectiveness of the network at regional level. Several Member States have already put forward a proposal that would fulfil such an objective.

(7)    The rules on legal and functional unbundling currently in place have not yet led to effective unbundling of the transmission system operators in every Member State, partly due to the fact that existing Community legislation has not been fully implemented . At its meeting in Brussels on 8 and 9 March 2007, the European Council invited the Commission to develop legislative proposals for the effective separation of supply and production activities from network operations.

(8)    Only the removal of the inherent incentive for vertically integrated undertakings to discriminate against competitors as regards network access and investment can ensure effective unbundling. Ownership unbundling, which implies the appointment of the network owner ║as the network operator and the network operator's independence from any supply and production interests, is clearly the most effective and stable way to solve the inherent conflict of interest and to ensure security of supply. For this reason, the European Parliament in its resolution of 10 July 2007 on prospects for the internal gas and electricity market(5) ║ referred to ownership unbundling at transmission level as the most effective tool by which to promote non-discriminatory investments in infrastructures ║, fair access to the grid for new entrants and transparency in the market. Member States should therefore be required to ensure that the same person or persons are not entitled to exercise control, including through minority blocking rights on decisions of strategic importance such as investments, over a production or supply undertaking and, at the same time, hold any interest in or exercise any right over a transmission system operator or transmission system. Conversely, control over a transmission system operator should preclude the possibility of holding any interest in or exercising any right over a supply undertaking.

(9)    Any system for unbundling should be effective in removing any conflict of interests between producers and transmission system operators, in order to create incentives for the necessary investments and guarantee the access of new market entrants under a transparent and efficient regulatory regime and should not create an onerous or cumbersome regulatory regime for national regulatory authorities that would be difficult or expensive to implement.

(10)    Gas is mainly, and increasingly, imported into the European Union from third countries. Community law should therefore take account of the specific integration of the gas sector into the world market, including the differences in the upstream and downstream markets.

(11)    Since ownership unbundling requires, in some instances, ║ restructuring of undertakings, Member States that decide to implement ownership unbundling should be granted additional time to apply the relevant provisions. In view of the vertical links between the electricity and gas sectors, the unbundling provisions should ║, moreover, apply across both sectors.

(12)    Member States that so wish may apply the provisions of this Directive that relate to the effective and efficient separation of transmission systems and transmission system operators. Such separation is effective insofar as it helps to ensure the independence of transmission system operators and is efficient insofar it provides a more appropriate regulatory framework to guarantee fair competition, sufficient investment, access to new market entrants and the integration of natural gas markets. Such separation is, moreover, based on a pillar of organisational measures and measures relating to the governance of transmission system operators and on a pillar of measures relating to investment, connecting new production capacities to the network and market integration through regional cooperation and is in line with the requirements laid down by the European Council at its meeting on 8 and 9 March 2007 .

(13)    Member States should promote regional cooperation, with the possibility of designating a regional coordinator in charge of facilitating dialogue between competent national authorities. New producers and supply undertakings should, furthermore, be connected to the network in an effective manner in due course.

(14)    In order to ensure the proper implementation of this Directive, the Commission should assist those Member States that encounter problems therewith.

(15)    The aim of an integrated European energy network is essential for security of supply and a well-functioning internal market for gas. The Commission, in consultation with the stakeholders (in particular the transmission system operators and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ('the Agency') established by Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... [on establishment of an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators] (6) ), should therefore assess the feasibility of creating a single European transmission system operator and analyse the costs and benefits with respect to market integration as well as the effective and secure operation of the transmission network .

(16)    To ensure full independence of network operation from supply and production interests and to prevent exchange of any confidential information, the same person should not be a member of the managing boards of both a transmission system operator and an undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply. For the same reason, the same person should not be entitled to appoint members of the managing boards of a transmission system operator and to hold any interest in a supply undertaking.

(17)    The setting up of transmission system operators independent from supply and production interests should enable vertically integrated companies to maintain their ownership of network assets whilst ensuring an effective separation of interests, provided that the independent transmission system operator performs all the functions of a network operator, and detailed regulation and extensive regulatory control mechanisms are put in place.

(18)    Where the undertaking owning a transmission system is part of a vertically integrated undertaking, Member States should ║ be given a choice between two options: ownership unbundling or the establishment of an independent transmission system operator .

(19)    In order to develop competition in the internal market for gas, non-household customers should be able to choose their suppliers as well as enter into contracts to secure their gas requirements with several suppliers. Such customers should be protected against exclusivity clauses, the effect of which is to exclude competing and/or complementary offers.

(20)    The implementation of effective unbundling should respect the principle of non -discrimination between the public and private sectors. To this end , the same person should not be able to exercise any influence, solely or jointly, over the composition, voting or decision of the bodies of both transmission system operators and supply undertakings. ▌

(21)    ▌Separation of network and supply activities should apply throughout the Community ▌. This should apply equally to undertakings established in the European Union and those established in third countries . To ensure that network and supply activities throughout the Community are kept separate, national regulatory authorities should be empowered to refuse certification to transmission system operators that do not comply with the unbundling rules. To ensure ║ consistent application across the Community and ║ respect for the international obligations of the Community, the Agency should have the right to review the decisions on certification taken by the national regulatory authorities.

(22)    The safeguarding of energy supply is an essential element of public security and is therefore inherently connected to the efficient functioning of the internal market for gas and the integration of the isolated markets of Member States . Use of the network is essential for gas to reach ║ citizens of the Union . Functioning open gas markets with genuine trading possibilities, and, in particular, the networks and other assets associated with gas supply are essential for public security, ║ the competitiveness of the economy and ║ the well-being of the citizens of the Union . Without prejudice to its international obligations ║, the Commission considers that the gas transmission system sector is of high importance to the Community and therefore additional safeguards are necessary regarding the influence of third countries in order to avoid any threats to Community public order and public security and the welfare of the citizens of the Union . Such measures are also necessary for ensuring compliance with the rules on effective unbundling.

(23)    It is necessary to ensure the independence of storage system operators in order to improve third-party access to storage facilities that are technically and/or economically necessary for providing efficient access to the system for the supply of customers. It is therefore appropriate that storage facilities are operated through legally separate entities that have effective decision making rights with respect to assets necessary to maintain, operate and develop storage facilities. It is also necessary to increase transparency in respect of the storage capacity that is offered to third parties, by obliging Member States to define and publish a non-discriminatory, clear framework that determines the appropriate regulatory regime applicable to storage facilities.

(24)    Non-discriminatory access to the distribution network determines downstream access to customers at retail level. The scope for discrimination as regards third-party access and investment is, however, less significant at distribution level than it is at transmission level because at distribution level congestion and the influence of production interests are generally less important than at transmission level. Moreover, functional unbundling of distribution system operators became, in accordance with Directive 2003/55/EC, compulsory only as of 1 July 2007 and its effects on the internal market still need to be evaluated. The rules on legal and functional unbundling currently in place can lead to effective unbundling provided they are more clearly defined, properly implemented and closely monitored. To create a level playing field at retail level, the activities of distribution system operators should therefore be monitored so that they are prevented from taking advantage of their vertical integration as regards their competitive position on the market, in particular in relation to small household and non-household customers.

(25)    Member States should take concrete measures to assist the wider use of biogas and gas from biomass, the producers of which must be granted non-discriminatory access to the gas system, provided that such access is compatible with the relevant technical rules and safety standards on an ongoing basis.

(26)    Directive 2003/55/EC introduced a requirement for Member States to establish national regulatory authorities with specific competences. However, experience shows that the effectiveness of regulation is frequently hampered by a lack of independence of national regulatory authorities from government, and insufficient powers and discretion. For this reason, at its above-mentioned meeting in Brussels ║, the European Council invited the Commission to develop legislative proposals providing for further harmonisation of the powers and strengthening of the independence of national regulatory authorities .

(27)    National regulatory authorities need to be able to take decisions on all relevant regulatory issues if the internal market is to function properly , and to be fully independent from any other ▌ interests of public or private companies .

(28)    National regulatory authorities should have the power to issue binding decisions on network operators and to impose effective, appropriate and dissuasive sanctions on network operators that fail to comply with their obligations. They should also be granted the powers to decide, irrespective of the application of competition rules, on any appropriate measures regarding the access to networks with the aim of effective competition necessary for the proper functioning of the market; as well as to ensure high standards of public service in compliance with market opening, the protection of vulnerable customers and the full effectiveness of consumer protection measures ║. Those provisions should be without prejudice to both the Commission's powers concerning the application of competition rules including the examination of mergers with a Community dimension, and the rules on the internal market, such as the free movement of capital.

(29)    National regulatory authorities and financial market regulators should cooperate in order to allow each other an overview of their respective markets. They should have the power to obtain relevant information from natural gas undertakings through appropriate and sufficient investigations, settle disputes, and impose effective sanctions.

(30)    Investments in major new infrastructures should be strongly promoted while ensuring the proper functioning of the internal market for gas. In order to enhance the positive effect of exempted infrastructure projects on competition and security of supply, market interest during the project planning phase should be tested and congestion management rules should be implemented. Where an infrastructure is located in the territory of more than one Member State, the Agency ║ should handle the exemption request in order to take better account of its cross-border implications and to facilitate its administrative handling. Moreover, given the exceptional risk profile of constructing these exempt major infrastructure projects it should be possible temporarily to║ grant partial derogations to supply and production undertakings in respect of the unbundling rules for the projects concerned. This should, in particular, apply, for security of supply reasons, to new pipelines within the Community transporting gas from third countries into the Community.

(31)    The internal ║ market for gas suffers from a lack of liquidity and transparency hindering the efficient allocation of resources, risk hedging and new entry. Trust in the market, its liquidity and the number of market participants need to increase, and therefore regulatory oversight over undertakings active in the supply of gas need to be increased. Such requirements should be without prejudice to, and compatible with, the existing Community legislation on financial markets. National regulatory authorities and financial market regulators need to cooperate in order to enable each other to have an overview of the markets concerned.

(32)    The structural rigidities of the gas market which arise from the concentration of suppliers, the long-term contracts that underpin deliveries, and the lack of downstream liquidity, generate non-transparent pricing structures. In order to bring clarity to the cost structure, more transparency is needed in the price formation, and a trading obligation should therefore be mandatory.

(33)    The public service requirements and the common minimum standards that follow from them need to be further strengthened to make sure that all consumers can benefit from competition. A key aspect in supplying customers is access to consumption data, and consumers must have access to their data so that they can invite competitors to make an offer based on these data. Consumers also should have the right to be properly informed about their energy consumption. Regularly provided information on energy costs will create incentives for energy savings because it will give customers direct feedback on the effects of investment in energy efficiency and change of behaviour.

(34)    The public service requirements and the common minimum standards that follow therefrom need to be further strengthened to ensure that gas services are accessible to the public and to small and medium-sized enterprises.

(35)    Member States should ensure that individual smart meters are installed, as provided for in Directive 2006/32/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on energy end-use efficiency and energy services (7) , in order to give consumers accurate information about energy consumption and to secure end-user efficiency.

(36)    Consumers should be the main focus of this Directive. Existing rights for consumers need to be strengthened and guaranteed, and should include greater transparency and representation. Consumer protection means that all customers should benefit from a competitive market. Consumer rights should be enforced by national regulatory authorities by the creation of incentives and the imposition of sanctions on undertakings which do not comply with consumer protection and competition rules.

(37)    Clear and comprehensible information should be made available to consumers concerning their rights in relation to the energy sector. Following on from its communication of 5 July 2007 entitled 'Towards a European Charter of the Rights of Energy Consumers', the Commission should put forward, after consulting relevant stakeholders, including national regulatory authorities, consumer organisations and the social partners, an accessible, user-friendly charter listing the rights of energy consumers already in existing Community law including this Directive. Energy suppliers should ensure that all consumers receive a copy of that charter and that it is publicly available.

(38)    In order to contribute to security of supply, Member States should, whilst maintaining a spirit of solidarity ▌, notably in the event of an energy supply crisis, work together closely . Council Directive 2004/67/EC of 26 April 2004 concerning measures to safeguard security of natural gas supply (8) should serve as a basis for that purpose .

(39)    In view of the creation of an internal market for gas, Member States should foster the integration of their national markets and the cooperation of network operators at European and regional level. Regional integration initiatives are an essential intermediate step in achieving the integration of the internal energy markets, which remains the final objective. The regional level contributes towards accelerating the integration process by making it possible for the actors concerned, particularly the Member States, the national regulatory authorities and the transmission system operators, to cooperate in regard to specific issues.

(40)    The development of a truly pan-Community pipeline network should be one of the main goals of this Directive and regulatory issues on cross-border interconnections and regional markets should, therefore, be the responsibility of the Agency.

(41)    National regulatory authorities should provide information to the market also to permit the Commission to exercise its role of observing and monitoring the internal market for gas and its short, medium and long-term evolution, including aspects such as supply and demand, transmission and distribution infrastructures, cross-border trade, investments, wholesale and consumers prices, market liquidity, environmental and efficiency improvements.

(42)    Since the objective of this Directive , namely the creation of a fully operational internal║ market for gas , cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of its scale and effects║, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective .

(43)    Member States should consider, with the social partners concerned, the implications of amending Directive 2003/55/EC, in particular the different models to ensure independence of transmission system operators, in terms of the employment, working conditions and information, consultation and participation rights of workers, with a view to mitigating the negative consequences.

(44)    Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 September 2005 on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission network(9) provides the Commission with the possibility of adopting guidelines to achieve the necessary degree of harmonisation. Such guidelines, which are thus binding implementing measures, are a useful tool which can be adapted quickly where necessary.

(45 )   Directive 2003/55/EC provides that certain measures are to be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(10) .

(46 )   Decision 1999/468/EC has been amended by Council Decision 2006/512/EC(11) , which introduced a regulatory procedure with scrutiny for measures of general scope designed to amend non-essential elements of a basic instrument adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty, inter alia by ║ supplementing it with new non-essential elements.

(47)    Directive 2003/55/EC should be amended accordingly,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Amendments to Directive 2003/55/EC

Directive 2003/55/EC is amended as follows:

(1)    Article 1(2) shall be replaced by the following: "

2.    The rules established by this Directive for natural gas, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), shall also apply in a non-discriminatory way to biogas and gas from biomass or other types of gas in so far as such gases can technically and safely be injected into, and transported through, the natural gas system.

"

(2 )   Article 2 shall be amended as follows:

a)    point 3 shall be replaced by the following: "

   3. "transmission' means the transport of natural gas through a network containing mainly high-pressure pipelines , other than an upstream pipeline network or the part of high-pressure pipelines primarily used in the context of local distribution of natural gas, with a view to its delivery to customers, but not including supply;
"

b)    point 9 shall be replaced by the following: "

   9. 'storage facility' means a facility used for the stocking of natural gas and owned and/or operated by a natural gas undertaking, including the part of LNG facilities used for storage but excluding the portion used exclusively for production operations, and excluding facilities reserved exclusively for transmission system operators in carrying out their functions;
"

c)    point 14 shall be replaced by the following: "

   14. 'ancillary services' means all services necessary for access to and the operation of transmission and/or distribution networks and/or LNG facilities and/or storage facilities including load balancing, blending and injection of inert gases, but excluding facilities reserved exclusively for transmission system operators carrying out their functions;
"

d)    point 17 shall be replaced by the following: "

   17. 'interconnector' means a long-distance gas pipeline which crosses or spans a border between Member States for the main purpose of connecting the national transmission systems of these Member States;
"

e)    point 20 shall be replaced by the following :"

   20. "vertically integrated undertaking' means a natural gas undertaking, or a group of natural gas undertakings where the same person or the same persons are entitled, directly or indirectly, to exercise control within the meaning of Article 3(2) of Council Regulation (EC) No 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings (the EC Merger Regulation) *, and where the undertaking or group of undertakings perform at least one of the functions of transmission, distribution, LNG or storage, and at least one of the functions of production or supply of natural gas;
___________________________
* OJ L 24, 29.1.2004, p. 1 .
"

f)    the following points shall be added:"

   34. "gas supply contract' means a contract for the supply of natural gas, but does not include a gas derivative;
   35. "gas derivative' means a financial instrument specified in one of Sections C5, C6, or C7 of Annex I to Directive 2004/39/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on markets in financial instruments* , where that instrument relates to natural gas;
  36. "control' means any rights, contracts or any other means which, either separately or in combination and having regard to the considerations of fact or law involved, confer the possibility of exercising decisive influence on an undertaking, in particular by:
   a) ownership or the right to use all or part of the assets of an undertaking;
   b) rights or contracts which confer decisive influence on the composition, voting or decisions of the organs of an undertaking.║

For the avoidance of doubt, the long-term transport contract of an undertaking that holds interests in production or supply activities shall not constitute control of a transmission system per se;

   37. 37 . 'isolated market' means a Member State that has no interconnection to other Member States" national transmission systems and/or whose gas supply is controlled by a person or persons from a third country;

38 . 'project of European interest' means a gas infrastructure project which results in new gas resources becoming available to the Community and in greater diversification of gas supplies in more than one Member State;

   39. 39 . 'fair and undistorted competition in an open market' means common opportunities and equal access for all providers within the European Union, for which the Member States, national regulatory authorities and the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ('the Agency') established by Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... on establishment of an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators** shall be responsible;
   40. 40 . 'energy poverty' means the situation where the members of a household cannot afford to heat their home to an acceptable standard, based on the levels recommended by the World Health Organisation;
   41. 41 . 'affordable price' means a price defined by Member States at national level in consultation with national regulatory authorities, social partners and relevant stakeholders while taking account of the definition of energy poverty provided for in point 40;
  42. 42 . 'industrial site' means a privately owned geographical area with a natural gas network managed by one company with a connection to the transmission or distribution network:
   a) which predominantly supplies the industrial activities of the network operator or of connected undertakings, or
   b) which supplies a limited number of industrial consumers or customers linked with the industrial activities on the industrial site .
__________________
* OJ L 145, 30.4.2004, p. 1.
** OJ L ...
"

(3)    Article 3 shall be amended as follows :

a)    paragraph 2 shall be replaced by the following: "

Having full regard to the relevant provisions of the Treaty, in particular Article 86 thereof, Member States may impose on natural gas undertakings, in the general economic interest, public service obligations which may relate to security, including security of supply, regularity and quality, and environmental protection, including energy efficiency and climate protection.

"

b)    paragraph 3 shall be replaced by the following: "

3.    Member States shall take appropriate measures to protect final customers and shall, in particular, ensure that there are adequate safeguards to protect vulnerable customers, including prohibiting the disconnection of pensioners and disabled people in winter. In this context, Member States shall recognise energy poverty and shall provide definitions of vulnerable customers. Member States shall ensure that rights and obligations linked to vulnerable customers are applied and, in particular, shall take measures to protect final customers in remote areas. They shall ensure high levels of consumer protection, particularly with respect to transparency regarding contractual terms and conditions, general information and dispute settlement mechanisms. Member States shall ensure that the eligible customer is in fact able easily to switch to a new supplier. As regards at least household customers, these measures shall include those set out in Annex A.

"

c)    the following paragraphs shall be inserted after paragraph 3 :"

Member States shall take appropriate measures to address energy poverty in national action plans in order to ensure that the number of people suffering energy poverty decreases in real terms and shall communicate such measures to the Commission. Each Member State shall be responsible for providing, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, a definition of energy poverty at national level, in consultation with national regulatory authorities and stakeholders with reference to Article 2(40). Such measures may include benefits in social security systems, support to energy efficiency improvements and energy production at the lowest possible prices, and shall not impede the opening of the market set out in Article 23. The Commission shall provide guidance to monitor the impact of such measures on energy poverty, and on the functioning of the market.

3b.    Member States shall ensure that all customers are entitled to have their gas provided by a supplier, subject to the supplier's agreement, regardless of the Member State in which the supplier is authorised or otherwise approved. In this regard, Member States shall take all necessary measures to ensure that undertakings which are approved as suppliers in another Member State can supply their citizens without having to comply with any further conditions.

"

d)    paragraph 4 shall be replaced by the following: "

4.    Member States shall implement appropriate measures in order to achieve the objectives of social and economic cohesion, with a view to lowering the cost of gas provided to low-income household customers and guaranteeing the same conditions for the customers living in remote areas on the one hand, and the objectives of environmental protection on the other . Those measures include energy efficiency/demand-side management measures and means to combat climate change, and security of supply, and may also include, in particular, the provision of adequate economic incentives, using, where appropriate, all existing national and Community tools, for the maintenance and construction of necessary network infrastructure, including interconnection capacity.

"

e)    the following paragraphs shall be inserted after paragraph 4 :"

4a.    In order to promote energy efficiency, national regulatory authorities shall mandate natural gas undertakings to introduce pricing formulas which increase in the case of greater levels of consumption and shall ensure the active participation of customers and distribution system operators in system operations by supporting the introduction of measures to optimise the use of gas, particularly during peak hours. Such pricing formulas, combined with the introduction of smart meters and grids, shall promote energy efficiency behaviour and the lowest possible costs for household customers, in particular household customers suffering energy poverty.

4b.    Member States shall provide single points of contact in order to ensure that consumers have access to all necessary information concerning their rights, current legislation and the means of redress available to them in the event of a dispute.

"

f)    the following paragraph shall be inserted after paragraph 5 :"

5a.    The implementation of this Directive shall have no negative consequences for the employment, working conditions and information, consultation and participation rights of the workers concerned. Member States shall consult the social partners concerned as regards the implementation of any amendments to this Directive to mitigate such negative consequences. The Commission shall report to the sectoral social dialogue committees for gas and for electricity on the consultations and measures taken.

"

(4)    Article 4(2) shall be replaced by the following: "

2.    Where Member States have a system of authorisation, they shall lay down objective and non-discriminatory criteria which shall be met by an undertaking applying for an authorisation to build and/or operate natural gas facilities or applying for an authorisation to supply natural gas. Member States shall, in any event, not be entitled to bind the authorisation to criteria which give the competent authorities discretionary powers. The non-discriminatory criteria and procedures for the granting of authorisations shall be made public. Member States shall ensure that authorisation procedures for facilities, pipelines and associated equipment take into account the importance of the project for the internal market for gas.

"

(5)    The following articles shall be inserted after Article 5 :"

Article 5a

Regional solidarity

1.   In order to safeguard a secure supply on the internal market of natural gas, Member States shall, without imposing a disproportionate burden on market participants, cooperate in order to promote regional and bilateral solidarity.

2.  This cooperation shall cover situations resulting or likely to result in the short term in a severe disruption of supply affecting a Member State. It shall include:

   a) coordination of national emergency measures as mentioned by Article 8 of Directive 2004/67/EC;
   b) identification and, where necessary, development or upgrading of electricity and natural gas interconnections;
   c) conditions and practical modalities for mutual assistance.

3.   The Commission, the other Member States and the market participants shall be kept informed of such cooperation.

Article 5b

Promotion of Regional Cooperation

1.    National regulatory authorities shall cooperate ║ for the purpose of harmonising the market design and integrating their national markets at least at one regional level, as a first and intermediate step towards a fully liberalised internal market for gas . In particular, they shall promote the cooperation of network operators at a regional level and facilitate their integration at regional level with the aim of creating a competitive internal market, facilitating the harmonisation of their legal, regulatory and technical framework and, above all, integrating the gas islands that persist in the European Union . Member States shall also promote cross-border and regional cooperation among national regulatory authorities .

2.    The Agency shall cooperate with national regulatory authorities and transmission system operators in accordance with Chapters III and IV to ensure the convergence of regulatory frameworks between the regions with the aim of creating a competitive internal market. Where the Agency considers that binding rules on such cooperation are required, it shall make appropriate recommendations. In regional markets, the Agency shall be deemed to be the competent authority in the areas specified in Article 24d .

"

(6)    Article 7 shall be replaced by the following :"

Article 7

Unbundling of transmission systems and transmission system operators

1.  Member States shall ensure that as from ...*:

   a) each undertaking which owns a transmission system acts as a transmission system operator;
  b) the same person or ║ persons are not entitled, either individually or jointly :
   i) ║directly or indirectly to exercise control over an undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply, and ║ directly or indirectly to exercise control or hold any interest in or exercise any right over a transmission system operator ▌, or
   ii) ║directly or indirectly to exercise control over a transmission system operator ▌, and ║ directly or indirectly to exercise control or hold any interest in or exercise any right over an undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply;
   c) the same person or the ║ persons are not entitled to appoint members of the supervisory board, the administrative board or bodies legally representing the undertaking, of a transmission system operator ▌, and ║ directly or indirectly to exercise control or hold any interest in or exercise any right over an undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply;
   d) the same person is not entitled to be a member of the supervisory board, the administrative board or bodies legally representing the undertaking, of both an undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply and a transmission system operator or a transmission system;
   e) the same person or persons are not entitled to operate the transmission system via management contract or exercise influence in any other way of non-ownership, and directly or indirectly to exercise control or hold any interest in or exercise any right over an undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply.

2.  The interests and rights referred to in paragraph 1(b) shall include, in particular:

   a) the ownership of part of the capital or of the business assets;
   b) the power to exercise voting rights;
   c) the power to appoint members of the supervisory board, the administrative board or bodies legally representing the undertaking; or
   d) the right to obtain dividends or other shares of the benefits.

3.   For the purpose of paragraph 1(b), the term "undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply" shall cover "undertaking performing any of the functions of generation or supply" within the meaning of Directive 2003/54/EC║, and the terms "transmission system operator" and "transmission system" shall cover "transmission system operator" and "transmission system" within the meaning of Directive 2003/54/EC.

4.    Member States shall monitor the process of unbundling vertically integrated undertakings and shall submit a report to the Commission on the progress achieved.

"

5 .   Member States may allow for derogations from paragraph 1(b) and ║(c) until ...**, provided that transmission system operators are not part of a vertically integrated undertaking.

6 .   The obligation set out in paragraph 1(a) is deemed to be fulfilled in a situation where several undertakings which own transmission systems have created a joint venture which acts as a transmission system operator in several Member States for the transmission systems concerned. ▌

7.    Where a person referred to in paragraph 1(b) to (e) is the Member State or another public body, two separate public bodies exercising control over either a transmission system operator or a transmission system on the one hand and an undertaking performing any of the functions of production or supply on the other shall be deemed not to be the same person or persons.

8 .   Member States shall ensure that commercially sensitive information referred to in Article 10(1) held by a transmission system operator which was part of a vertically integrated undertaking, and the staff of such a transmission system operator, are not transferred to undertakings performing any of the functions of production or supply.

9.    Where on ...***, the transmission system belongs to a vertically integrated undertaking, Member States may decide not to apply paragraph 1.

In such a case, Member States shall comply with the provisions of Chapter IVa.

Vertically integrated undertakings that own a transmission system may not in any event be prevented from taking steps to comply with paragraph 1.

_____________________

* One year after the date of transposition of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

** Two years after the date of transposition of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

*** Date of entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] ..

(7)    The following articles shall be inserted after Article 7 :"

Article 7a

Control over transmission system owners and transmission system operators

1.   Without prejudice to the international obligations of the Community, transmission systems or transmission system operators shall not be controlled by a person or persons from third countries.

2.   An agreement aimed at establishing a common framework for investing in the energy sector and opening the energy market of a third country, including as regards undertakings established within the European Union, concluded with one or several third countries to which the Community is a party may allow for a derogation from paragraph 1.

Article 7b

Designation and certification of transmission system operators

1.   Undertakings which own a transmission system and which have been certified by the national regulatory authority as having complied with the requirements of Article 7(1) and Article 7a, pursuant to the certification procedure set out in this Article , shall be approved and designated as transmission system operators by Member States. The designation of transmission system operators shall be notified to the Commission and published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

2.   Without prejudice to the international obligations of the Community, where certification is requested by a transmission system owner or transmission system operator controlled by a person or persons from third countries in compliance with Article 7a, it shall be refused unless the transmission system owner or transmission system operator demonstrate that there is no possibility for the entity concerned to be influenced, in breach of Article 7(1), directly or indirectly by any operator active in the production or supply of gas or electricity or by a third country.

3.   Transmission system operators shall notify ║ the national regulatory authority of any planned transaction which may require a reassessment of their compliance with Article 7(1) or Article 7a.

4.  National regulatory authorities shall monitor the continuing compliance of transmission system operators with Article 7(1) and Article 7a. They shall open a certification procedure to ensure such compliance:

   a) upon notification by the transmission system operator pursuant to paragraph 3;
   b) on their own initiative where they have knowledge that a planned change in rights or influence over transmission system owners or transmission system operators may lead to an infringement of Article 7(1) or Article 7a, or where they have reason to believe that such an infringement may have occurred; or
   c) upon reasoned request from the Commission.

5.   The national regulatory authorities shall adopt a decision on the certification of a transmission system operator within four months from the date of the notification by the transmission system operator or from the date of the Commission request. ║Certification is deemed to be granted in the event that the national regulatory authorities fail to adopt a decision within that period. The explicit or tacit decision of the national regulatory authority may become effective only after the conclusion of the procedure set out in paragraphs 6 to 9 and only if the Commission fails to raise objections against it.

6.   The explicit or tacit decision on the certification of a transmission system operator shall be notified without delay to the Commission by the national regulatory authority, together with all the relevant information with respect to the decision.

7.   The Commission shall examine the notification as soon as it is received. Within two months after receiving a notification, where the Commission finds that the decision of the national regulatory authority raises serious doubts as to its compatibility with Article 7(1), Article 7a or Article 7b(2) it shall decide to initiate proceedings. In such a case, it shall invite the national regulatory authority and the transmission system operator concerned to submit comments. Where additional information is sought by the Commission, the two-month-period may be extended by two additional months starting from the receipt of the complete information.

8.  Where the Commission has decided to initiate proceedings, it shall, within ║ four months of the date of such decision, issue a final decision:

   a) not to raise objections against the decision of the national regulatory authority;
or
   b) requiring the national regulatory authority concerned to amend or revoke its decision if it considers that Article 7(1), Article 7a or Article 7b(2) have not been complied with.

9.   Where the Commission has not taken a decision to initiate proceedings or a final decision within the time-limits set in paragraphs 7 and 8 respectively, it shall be deemed not to have raised objections against the decision of the national regulatory authority.

10.   The national regulatory authority shall comply with the Commission decision to amend or revoke the certification decision within a period of four weeks and shall inform the Commission accordingly.

11.   National regulatory authorities and the Commission may request from transmission system operators and undertakings performing any of the functions of production of supply any information relevant for the fulfillment of their tasks under this Article.

12.   National regulatory authorities and the Commission shall preserve the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information.

13.    The procedures set out in this Article, and, in particular, the limitations set out in paragraph 2, shall not apply to upstream pipelines solely aimed at directly connecting gas supply networks of countries of origin to a landing point within the territory of the Community, and to their upgrades.

Article 7c

Designation of storage and LNG system operators

Member States shall designate, or shall require natural gas undertakings which own storage or LNG facilities to designate, for a period of time to be determined by Member States having regard to considerations of efficiency and economic balance, one or more system operators.

"

(8)    Article 8 shall be amended as follows:

a)    paragraph 1 shall be amended as follows:

i)    point (a) shall be replaced as follows."

   a) "(a) operate, maintain and develop under economic conditions secure, reliable and efficient transmission, storage and/or LNG facilities to secure an open market for new entrants , with due regard to the environment ▌."
"

ii)    the following point shall be inserted after point (b): "

(ba) build sufficient interconnection capacity linking their transmission infrastructure in order to meet all reasonable demands for capacity, facilitate an efficient overall market, and fulfil the criteria for security of supply of gas;

"

b)   (b) paragraph 3 shall be replaced by the following :"

3.    Member States may, through their national regulatory authorities, require transmission system operators to comply with minimum standards for the maintenance and development of the transmission system, including interconnection capacity. National regulatory authorities should be given broader powers for the purpose of ensuring consumer protection within the European Union.

"

c)   (c) the following paragraph shall be added :"

4a.    While carrying out their tasks, transmission system operators shall take into account the codes adopted by the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas.

"

(9)    Article 9 shall be deleted.

(10)    Article 10 shall be replaced by the following :"

Article 10

Confidentiality for transmission system operators and transmission system owners

1.   Without prejudice to Article 16 or any other legal duty to disclose information, each transmission, storage and/or LNG system operator, and transmission system owners, shall preserve the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information obtained in the course of carrying out its business, and shall prevent information about its own activities which may be commercially advantageous from being disclosed in a discriminatory manner, and in particular shall not disclose any commercially sensitive information to the remaining parts of the company, unless this is necessary for carrying out a business transaction. In order to ensure the full respect of the rules on information unbundling it must also be ensured that the transmission owner and the remaining part of the company do not use joint services, apart from purely administrative or IT functions (e.g. no joint legal service).

2.   Transmission, storage and/or LNG system operators shall not, in the context of sales or purchases of natural gas by related undertakings, abuse commercially sensitive information obtained from third parties in the context of providing or negotiating access to the system.║

3.    Commercially sensitive information shall be determined by using objective and transparent criteria.

"

(11)    Article 12 shall be amended as follows:

a)    paragraph 1 shall be replaced by the following: "

1.    Each distribution system operator shall be responsible for ensuring the long-term ability of the system to meet reasonable demands for the distribution of gas, and for operating, maintaining and developing under economic conditions a secure, reliable and efficient distribution system in its area with due regard for the environment, and for promoting energy efficiency.

"

b)   (b) paragraph 4 shall be replaced by the following:

4.    Each distribution system operator shall provide system users with the information they need for efficient access to and use of the system.

c)    the following paragraphs shall be inserted after paragraph 4 :"

4a.    The distribution system operator shall submit to the relevant national regulatory authority, by ...*, a proposal describing the appropriate information and communication systems to be implemented in order to provide the information referred to in paragraph 4. That proposal shall facilitate, inter alia the use of bi-directional electronic meters, which shall be rolled out to all customers by ... ** the active participation of final customers and distributed producers in system operation and the flow of real-time information between distribution and transmission system operators with the aim of optimising the use of all available production, network and demand resources.

4b.    By ...*** national regulatory authorities shall approve or reject the proposals referred to in paragraph 4a. National regulatory authorities shall ensure full interoperability of the information and communication systems to be implemented. For this purpose, they may issue guidelines and may call for the amendment of the proposals referred to in paragraph 4a.

4c.    Prior to notification to the distribution system operator of its decision concerning the proposal referred to in paragraph 4a, the national regulatory authority shall inform the Agency or, if the Agency is not yet in operation, the Commission thereof. The Agency or the Commission shall ensure that the information and communication systems to be implemented facilitate the development of the internal market for gas and do not introduce any new technical barriers.

______________________

* One year after entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

** Ten years after entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

*** Two years after entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

"

(12)    The following chapters shall be inserted after Chapter IV :

CHAPTER IVa

Independent transmission system operators

Article 12a

Scope

The provisions of this Chapter shall apply when a Member State decides not to apply Article 7(1) in accordance with Article 7(7) .

Article 12b

Assets, equipment, staff and identity

1.   Transmission system operators shall be equipped with all human, physical and financial resources necessary for fulfilling their obligations under this Directive and carrying out the business of gas transmission, provided that:

   a) assets that are necessary for the business of gas transmission, including the transmission network, shall be owned by the transmission system operator;
   b) personnel necessary for the business of gas transmission, including the performance of all corporate tasks, shall be employed by the transmission system operator;
   c) leasing of personnel and rendering of services, to and from any other parts of the vertically integrated undertaking shall be prohibited;
   d) appropriate financial resources for future investment projects and/or for the replacement of existing assets shall be kept available notably by the vertically integrated undertaking following an appropriate request from the transmission system operator in the framework of the annual financial plan referred to in Article 12f;
   e) transmission system operators shall not use the same external contractors or consultants as the vertically integrated undertaking and they must not share information technology systems or equipment, physical premises and security access systems.

2.   The business of gas transmission shall at least include the following activities in addition to those listed in Article 8:

   a) representation of the transmission system operator and contacts in relation to third parties and the regulatory authorities;
   b) representation of the transmission system operator within the European network of transmission system operators;
   c) granting and managing third-party access;
   d) collection of all charges related to the transmission system including the access charges, balancing charges for ancillary services such as gas treatment, purchasing of services (balancing costs, energy for losses);
   e) operation, maintenance and development of the transmission system;
   f) investment planning ensuring the long-term ability of the system to meet reasonable demand and guaranteeing security of supply;
   g) setting up appropriate joint ventures, including with one or more transmission system operators, gas exchanges, pursuing the objective to develop the creation of regional markets or to facilitate the liberalisation process;
   h) all corporate services, including legal services, accountancy and IT services.

3.    Transmission system operators shall be organised in the legal form of a limited liability company as referred to in Article 1 of Directive 68/151/EEC.

4.    The transmission system operator shall not, in its corporate identity, communication, branding and premises, create confusion in respect of the separate identity of the vertically integrated undertaking.

5.    The accounts of transmission system operators shall be audited by an auditor other than the one auditing the vertically integrated undertaking or any part of it.

Article 12c

Independence of the transmission system operator

1.    Without prejudice to the powers of the members of the supervisory body appointed by the vertically integrated undertaking under Article 12f, the transmission system operator shall have effective decision-making rights, independent from the vertically integrated undertaking, with respect to assets necessary to operate, maintain or develop the network. The transmission system operator shall have the power to raise money on the capital market in particular through borrowing and capital increase in the framework of the annual financial plan referred to in Article 12f.

2.    Subsidiaries of the vertically integrated undertaking performing functions of production or supply shall not have any direct or indirect shareholding in the transmission system operator. The transmission system operator shall neither hold direct or indirect shares in any subsidiary of the vertically integrated undertaking performing functions of production or supply, nor receive dividends or any other financial benefit from such a subsidiary except for the revenues derived from the use of the network.

3.    The overall management structure and the corporate statutes of the transmission system operator shall ensure effective independence of the transmission system operator as referred to in this Chapter. The vertically integrated undertaking shall not determine, whether directly or indirectly, the competitive behaviour of the transmission system operator in relation to the day-to-day activities of the transmission system operator and management of the network, or in relation to activities necessary for the preparation of the 10-year investment plan developed pursuant to Article 12h.

4.    Any commercial and financial relations between the vertically integrated undertaking and the transmission system operator, including loans from the transmission system operator to the vertically integrated undertaking, shall be subject to market conditions. The transmission system operator shall keep detailed records of such commercial and financial relations and make them available to the national regulatory authority on request.

5.    The transmission system operator shall submit to the national regulatory authority all commercial and financial agreements with the vertically integrated undertaking.

6.    The transmission system operator shall inform the national regulatory authority of the available financial resources referred to in Article 12b(1)(d).

7.    An undertaking which has been certified by the national regulatory authority as complying with the requirements of this Chapter shall be approved and designated as a transmission system operator by the Member State concerned. The certification procedure in Article 7b shall be applicable .

8.    Transparency shall be mandatory to ensure non-discrimination, in particular in relation to references for tariffs, third-party access services, capacity allocation and balancing. Vertically integrated undertaking shall be required to refrain from any activities that impede the transmission system operators in fulfilment of those obligations.

Article 12d

Independence of staff and management of the transmission system operator

1.    Decisions regarding appointment and renewal, working conditions including remuneration and termination of the term of office of the persons responsible for the management and/or members of the administrative bodies of the transmission system operator shall be taken by the supervisory body of the transmission system operator appointed in accordance with Article 12f.

2.    The identity and the conditions governing the term, the duration and the termination of office of the persons nominated by the supervisory body for appointment or renewal as persons responsible for the management and/or as members of the administrative bodies of the transmission system operator, and the reasons for any proposed decision terminating such term of office, shall be notified to the national regulatory authority. Those conditions and the decisions referred to in paragraph 1 shall become binding only if, within a period of three weeks after notification, the national regulatory authority has not objected to them. The national regulatory authority may object if serious doubts arise as to the professional independence of a nominated person responsible for the management and/or member of the administrative bodies, or in the case of premature termination of his/her term of office, if serious doubts exist regarding its justification.

3.    The persons responsible for the management and/or the members of the administrative bodies of the transmission system operator appointed by the supervisory body shall hold no professional position or responsibility, interest or business relationship, directly or indirectly, in or with the vertically integrated undertaking or any part of it or its controlling shareholders other than the transmission system operator for a period of five years before their appointment.

4.    The persons responsible for the management and/or members of the administrative bodies, and employees of the transmission system operator shall hold no other professional position or responsibility, interest or business relationship, directly or indirectly, in or with any part of the vertically integrated undertaking or with its controlling shareholders.

5.    The persons responsible for the management and/or members of the administrative bodies, and employees of the transmission system operator shall hold no interest in or receive financial benefit from any part of the vertically integrated undertaking, whether directly or indirectly, other than the transmission system operator. Their remuneration shall not depend on activities or results of the vertically integrated undertaking other than those of the transmission system operator.

6.    Effective rights of appeal to the national regulatory authority shall be guaranteed for any complaints by the persons responsible for the management and/or members of the administrative bodies of the transmission system operator against premature terminations of their term of office.

7.    After termination of their term of office in the transmission system operator, the persons responsible for its management and/or members of its administrative bodies shall have no professional position or responsibility, interest or business relationship, directly or indirectly, in or with any part of the vertically integrated undertaking other than the transmission system operator, or its controlling shareholders for a period of no less than five years.

Article 12e

Trustee

1.    An independent Trustee shall be appointed by the national regulatory authority on the proposal and at the expense of the vertically integrated undertaking. The Trustee shall act exclusively in the legitimate interest of the vertically integrated undertaking in the preservation of the asset value of the transmission system operator, while safeguarding the independence of the transmission system operator from the vertically integrated undertaking. In the exercise of its functions, the Trustee shall have no regard to the interest of the production and supply business of the vertically integrated undertaking.

2.    The Trustee shall have no professional position or responsibility, interest or business relationship, directly or indirectly, in or with the vertically integrated undertaking or any part thereof, its controlling shareholders, or any undertaking performing functions of production or supply, for a period of 5 years before its appointment.

The terms of the mandate of the Trustee, including the duration, the conditions for termination and the financial conditions, shall be subject to approval by the national regulatory authority.

During its mandate, the Trustee may have no other professional position or responsibility, interest or business relationship, directly or indirectly, in or with any part of the vertically integrated undertaking or with its controlling shareholders.

Following termination of the mandate, the Trustee shall have no professional position or responsibility, interest or business relationship, directly or indirectly, in or with any part of the vertically integrated undertaking or its controlling shareholders for a period of no less than five years.

3.   The Trustee shall be responsible for:

   a) the appointment, renewal and dismissal of the members, other than those referred to in Article 12f(2)(a), of the supervisory body of the transmission system operator; and
   b) the exercise of its voting rights in the supervisory body.

Article 12f

Supervisory body

1.    The transmission system operator shall have a supervisory body which shall be in charge of taking decisions which may have a significant impact on the value of the assets of the shareholders within the transmission system operator, in particular decisions regarding the approval of the annual financial plan, the level of indebtedness of the transmission system operator and the amount of dividends distributed to shareholders.

2.   The supervisory body shall be composed of:

   a) members representing the vertically integrated undertaking,
   b) members representing third-party shareholders,
   c) members representing the transmission system operator,
   d) the Trustee, and
   e) where the relevant legislation of a Member State so provides, members representing other interested parties such as employees of the transmission system operator.

3 .   Article 12d(2) to (7) shall apply to the members of the supervisory body.

4 .   The Trustee shall have the right of veto with respect to decisions that in his/her view may significantly reduce the asset value of the transmission system operator. When assessing whether a decision may significantly reduce the value of the assets, the annual financial plan and the amount of debts of the transmission system operator shall be of particular importance. In the event that two thirds of the members of the supervisory body overrule such veto, Article 12h(7) shall apply.

Article 12g

Compliance programme and compliance officer

1.    Member States shall ensure that transmission system operators establish and implement a compliance programme which sets out the measures taken in order to ensure that discriminatory conduct is excluded, and ensure that the compliance with this programme is adequately monitored. The programme shall set out the specific obligations of employees to meet this objective. It shall be subject to approval by the national regulatory authority. Without prejudice to the powers of the national regulatory authority, compliance with the programme shall be independently monitored by the compliance officer.

2.    The supervisory body shall appoint a compliance officer. The compliance officer may be a natural or legal person. Article 12d(2) to (7) shall apply to the compliance officer. The national regulatory authority may object to the appointment of a compliance officer for reasons of lack of independence or professional capacity .

3.   The compliance officer shall be in charge of:

   a) monitoring the implementation of the compliance programme;
   b) elaborating an annual report, setting out the measures taken in order to implement the compliance programme and submitting it to the national regulatory authority;
   c) reporting to the supervisory body and issuing recommendations on the compliance programme and its implementation;
   d) reporting to the national regulatory authority on any commercial and financial relations between the vertically integrated undertaking and the transmission system operator.

4.    The compliance officer shall submit the proposed decisions on the investment plan or on individual investments in the network to the national regulatory authority. Such decisions shall be submitted no later than when the management and/or the competent administrative body of the transmission system operator submit them to the supervisory body.

5.    The compliance officer shall notify the national regulatory authority in the event that the vertically integrated undertaking, in the general assembly or through the vote of the members of its supervisory body, has prevented the adoption of a decision with the effect of preventing or delaying investments in the network.

6.    The conditions governing the mandate or the employment conditions of the compliance officer shall be subject to the approval of the national regulatory authority and shall ensure the independence of the compliance officer.

7.    The compliance officer shall regularly report, either orally or in writing, to the national regulatory authority and shall have the right regularly to report, either orally or in writing, to the supervisory body of the transmission system operator.

8.   The compliance officer may attend all meetings of the management or administrative bodies of the transmission system operator and those of the supervisory body and the general assembly. The compliance officer shall attend all meetings that address the following matters:

   a) conditions for access to the network, as defined in Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005, in particular regarding tariffs, third-party access services, capacity allocation and congestion management, transparency, balancing and secondary markets;
   b) projects undertaken in order to operate, maintain and develop the transmission system, including investments in new transport connections, in expansion of capacity and in optimisation of existing capacity;
   c) energy purchases or sales necessary for the operation of the transmission system.

9.    The compliance officer shall monitor the compliance of the transmission system operator with Article 10.

10.    The compliance officer shall have access to all relevant data and to the offices of the transmission system operator and to all the information necessary for the fulfilment of its task.

11.    After prior approval by the national regulatory authority, the supervisory body may dismiss the compliance officer.

12.    Obligations of the transmission system operator and vertically integrated undertaking in particular for commercial and financial agreements between transmission system operator and vertically integrated undertaking should only be notified to the national regulatory authority without the need for approval. The appointment and working conditions of management and of the compliance officer shall be notified to the national regulatory authority without the need for approval.

Article 12h

Network development and powers to make investment decisions

1.    Every year, transmission system operators shall submit to the national regulatory authority a 10-year network development plan based on existing and forecast supply and demand after having consulted all the relevant stakeholders. The plan shall contain efficient measures in order to guarantee the adequacy of the system and the security of supply.

2.   The 10-year network development plan shall in particular:

   a) indicate to market participants the main transmission infrastructures that need to be built or upgraded over the next ten years;
   b) contain all the investments already decided and identify new investments which have to be executed in the next three years;
   c) provide for a time frame for all investment projects.

3.    When elaborating the 10-year network development plan, the transmission system operator shall make reasonable assumptions about the evolution of its production, supply, consumption and exchanges with other countries, taking into account investment plans for regional and EU-wide networks, as well as investment plans for storage and LNG regasification facilities.

4.    The national regulatory authority shall consult all actual or potential network users on the 10-year network development plan in an open and transparent manner. Persons or undertakings claiming to be potential users may be required to substantiate such claims. It shall publish the result of the consultation process, in particular possible needs for investments.

5.    The national regulatory authority shall examine whether the 10-year network development plan covers all investment needs identified during the consultation process, and whether it is consistent with the Community-wide 10-year network development plan referred to in Article 2c(1) of Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005. If any doubt arises as to the consistency with the Community-wide 10-year network development plan, the national regulatory authority shall consult the Agency. The national regulatory authority may require the transmission system operator to amend its plan.

6.    The national regulatory authority shall monitor and evaluate the implementation of the 10-year network development plan.

7.   In circumstances where the transmission system operator, other than for overriding reasons beyond its control, does not execute an investment, which, according to the 10-year network development plan, was supposed to be executed in the following three years, Members States shall ensure that the national regulatory authority has the obligation to take at least one of the following measures to ensure that the investment in question is made:

   a) require the transmission system operator to execute the investments in question in coherence with the annual financial plan referred to in Article 12f, or,
   b) organise a tender procedure open to any investors for the investment in question.

When the national regulatory authority has made use of its powers under point (b), it may require the transmission system operator to accept any of the following:

   a) third-party financing,
   b) third-party construction,
   c) building the respective new assets, or
   d) operating the respective new asset.

The transmission system operator shall provide the investors with all information needed to realise the investment, connect new assets to the transmission network and generally make its best efforts to facilitate the implementation of the investment project.

The relevant financial arrangements shall be subject to approval by the national regulatory authority.

8.    In the event that the national regulatory authority makes use of its powers under paragraph 7, the relevant tariff regulations shall cover the costs of the investments in question.

Article 12i

Decision-making powers regarding the connection of storage facilities, LNG regasification facilities and industrial consumers to the transmission network

1.    Transmission system operators shall establish and publish transparent and efficient procedures and tariffs for non-discriminatory connection of storage facilities, LNG regasification facilities and industrial consumers to the network. The procedures shall be subject to approval by the national regulatory authority.

2 .   Transmission system operators shall not be entitled to refuse the connection of a new storage facility, LNG regasification facility or industrial consumer on the grounds of possible future limitations to available network capacities or additional costs linked with necessary capacity increase. The transmission system operator shall ensure sufficient entry and exit capacity for the new connection.

3.    Transmission system operators shall grant and manage third-party access to the network, especially the access for new market operators and producers of biogas with respect to the safety rules of the network.

CHAPTER IVb

Article 12j

Revision clause

1 .   The Agency shall, by ..*, submit to the European Parliament and Council, a detailed report outlining the extent to which the unbundling requirements under this Directive have been successful in ensuring full and effective independence of transmission system operators.

2.    For the purpose of its assessment under paragraph 1, the Agency shall take into account in particular the following criteria: fair and non-discriminatory network access, effective regulation, the development of the network, investments and undistorted incentives to invest, the development of interconnection infrastructure, and the security of supply situation in the Community .

3.    The Commission shall, by ...**, submit to the European Parliament and the Council, a detailed report outlining the feasibility of creating a single European transmission system operator and analyse the costs and benefits with respect, notably, to property rights, market integration as well as the effective and secure operation of the transmission network. The report shall be drafted in consultation with the stakeholders in particular the transmission system operators and the Agency .

4.    Where appropriate, and in particular in the event that the detailed report referred to in paragraph 1 determines that the conditions referred to in paragraph 2 have not been guaranteed in practice, the Commission shall submit proposals to the European Parliament and the Council to ensure full and effective independence of transmission system operators by ...*** .

____________________________

* Five years after entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] . ** Five years after entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

*** Seven years after entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

(13 )   Article 13 shall be amended as follows:

a)   in paragraph 2(c), the following sentence shall be inserted after the first sentence:"

In order to fulfill these tasks, the distribution system operator shall have at its disposal the necessary resources including human, technical, financial and physical.

"

b)   paragraph 2(d) shall be amended as follows:

   i) the last sentence shall be replaced by the following :"
An annual report, setting out the measures taken, shall be submitted by the person or body responsible for monitoring the compliance programme, hereinafter referred to as 'compliance officer', to the national regulatory authority referred to in Article 24a(1) and shall be published. "

ii)   the following sentence shall be added: "

"The compliance officer shall be fully independent and shall have access to all the necessary information of the distribution system operator and any affiliated companies to fulfil his task.

"

c)   the following paragraph shall be added:"

3.   Where the distribution system operator is part of a vertically integrated undertaking, Member States shall ensure that the activities of the distribution system operator is monitored so that it cannot take advantage of its vertical integration to distort competition. In particular, vertically integrated distribution system operators shall not, in their communication and branding, create confusion in respect of the separate identity of the supply branch of the vertically integrated undertaking.

"

(14 )   Article 15 shall be replaced by the following :"

Article 15

Combined operator

This directive shall not prevent the operation of a combined transmission, LNG, storage and distribution system operator provided it complies, for each of its activities, with the applicable provisions of Article 7 ║ and Article 13(1).

"

(15)    The following article shall be inserted after Article 18 :"

Article 18a

Access to LNG facilities

1.    For the organisation of access to LNG facilities either the regulated access procedure, or the negotiated access procedure referred to in paragraph 2 shall apply. These procedures shall operate in accordance with objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria. National regulatory authorities shall observe compliance with these criteria.

Member States shall decide on the applicable access procedure based on defined and published criteria. These criteria will notably address if competition between LNG facilities takes place in the relevant market, and if the access to LNG is arranged through an independent infrastructure operator that provides open access. National regulatory authorities shall monitor compliance with these criteria and make public, or require LNG operators to make public which LNG facilities, or which parts thereof, are offered under the negotiated access procedure referred to in paragraph 2.

2.    In the event of negotiated access, Member States shall take the necessary measures for natural gas undertakings and eligible customers either inside or outside the territory covered by the interconnected system to be able to negotiate access to LNG facilities. The parties shall be required to negotiate access to LNG facilities in good faith.

"

(16 )   Article 19 shall be replaced by the following:"

Article 19

Access to storage

1.    For the organisation of access to storage facilities when technically and/or economically necessary for providing efficient access to the system for the supply of customers, Member States shall decide if they choose either the regulated access procedure as described in paragraph 4, or the negotiated access procedure referred to in paragraph 3. These procedures shall operate in accordance with objective, transparent and non-discriminatory criteria. National regulatory authorities shall observe compliance with these criteria.

National regulatory authorities shall define and publish criteria according to which the access regime to storage facilities may be determined, notably addressing if competition between storage facilities takes place in the relevant market, and if such organisation is arranged through an independent infrastructure operator that provides open access. National regulatory authorities shall monitor compliance with these criteria and make public, or oblige storage operators to make public which storage facilities, or which parts of those storage facilities are offered under the different procedures referred to in paragraphs 3 and 4.

2 .   The provisions of paragraph 1 shall not apply to ancillary services and temporary storage that are related to LNG facilities and are necessary for the regasification process and subsequent delivery to the transmission system.

3.    In the case of negotiated access, national regulatory authorities shall take the necessary measures for natural gas undertakings and eligible customers either inside or outside the territory covered by the interconnected system to be able to negotiate access to storage, when technically and/or economically necessary for providing efficient access to the system. The parties shall be obliged to negotiate access to storage in good faith.

"

Contracts for access to storage shall be negotiated with the relevant storage system operator. National regulatory authorities shall require storage system operators to publish their main commercial conditions for the use of storage within the first six months following implementation of this Directive and on an annual basis every thereafter. The development of these conditions shall take into consideration the views of system users, who have the right to object to them to the national regulatory authority.

4.    In the case of regulated access, national regulatory authorities shall take the necessary measures to give natural gas undertakings and eligible customers either inside or outside the territory covered by the interconnected system a right to access to storage on the basis of published tariffs and/or other terms and obligations for use of that storage, when technically and/or economically necessary for providing efficient access to the system. The development of these tariffs and other terms and obligations shall take into consideration the views of system users, who have the right to object to them to the national regulatory authority. This right of access for eligible customers may be given by enabling them to enter into supply contracts with competing natural gas undertakings other than the owner and/or operator of the system or a related undertaking.

(17)    Article 22 is replaced by the following:"

Article 22

New infrastructure

1.  Major new gas infrastructures, i.e. interconnectors between Member States, LNG and storage facilities, may, upon request, be exempted, for a defined period of time, from the provisions of Articles 7, 18, 19 and 20, and Article 24c(4), (5) and (7) under the following conditions:

   a) the investment must enhance competition in gas supply and enhance security of supply;
   b) the level of risk attached to the investment is such that the investment would not take place unless an exemption was granted;
   c) the infrastructure must be owned by a natural or legal person which is separate at least in terms of its legal form from the system operators in whose systems that infrastructure will be built;
   d) charges are levied on users of that infrastructure;
   e) the exemption is not detrimental to competition or the effective functioning of the internal gas market, or the efficient functioning of the regulated system to which the infrastructure is connected;
   f) the project is of an European interest and crosses at least one national border within the European Union.

2.   Paragraph 1 shall apply also to all significant increases of capacity in existing infrastructures and to modifications of such infrastructures which enable the development of increased and additional quantities .

3.   The national regulatory authority referred to in Chapter VIa may, on a case by case basis, decide on the exemptions referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2. Where the infrastructure in question is located in the territory of more than one Member State, the Agency shall exercise the tasks conferred on the national regulatory authority by the present Article. The Agency's decision shall be subject to prior consultation of the relevant national regulatory authorities and the applicant.

An exemption may cover all or only certain specific parts of, the capacity of the new infrastructure, or of the existing infrastructure with significantly increased capacity.

In deciding to grant an exemption consideration shall be given, on a case by case basis, to the need to impose conditions regarding the duration of the exemption and non-discriminatory access to the infrastructure. When deciding on those conditions account shall, in particular, be taken of the additional capacity to be built or the modification of existing capacity, the time horizon of the project and national circumstances.

Before granting an exemption the national regulatory authority shall decide upon the rules and mechanisms for management and allocation of capacity, which may, if necessary, be amended during the period in which the infrastructure is exempted from the above-mentioned provisions, in order to make adjustments to economic and market-relevant needs. The rules shall require that all potential users of the infrastructure are invited to indicate their interest in contracting capacity before capacity allocation in the new infrastructure, including for own use, takes place. The national regulatory authority shall require congestion management rules to include the obligation to offer unused capacity on the market, and shall require users of the facility to be entitled to trade their contracted capacities on the secondary market. In its assessment of the criteria referred to in paragraph 1(a), (b) and (e) ║, the national regulatory authority shall take into account the results of that capacity allocation procedure, where third parties have indicated a firm commitment.

The exemption decision, including any conditions referred to in the second subparagraph, shall be duly reasoned and published.

4.  The national regulatory authority shall transmit to the Commission without delay a copy of every request for exemption as of its receipt. The decision shall be notified, without delay, by the competent authority to the Commission, together with all the relevant information with respect to the decision. This information may be submitted to the Commission in aggregate form, enabling the Commission to reach a well-founded decision. In particular, the information shall contain:

   a) the detailed reasons on the basis of which the national regulatory authority granted or refused the exemption together with the reference to the specific Article on which such decision is based , including the financial information justifying the need for the exemption;
   b) the analysis undertaken of the effect on competition and the effective functioning of the internal gas market resulting from the grant of the exemption;
   c) the reasons for the time period and the share of the total capacity of the gas infrastructure in question for which the exemption is granted;
   d) in case the exemption relates to an interconnector, the result of the consultation with the regulatory authorities concerned;
   e) the contribution of the infrastructure to the diversification of gas supply.

5.   Within two months after receiving a notification, the Commission may take a decision requiring the national regulatory authority to amend or revoke the decision to grant an exemption. That period shall begin on the day following the receipt of the notification. The two month period may be extended by two additional months where additional information is sought by the Commission. That additional period shall begin on the day following the receipt of the complete additional information. The two month period can also be extended with the consent of both the Commission and the national regulatory authority. Where the requested information is not provided within the period set out in the request, the notification shall be deemed to be withdrawn unless, before the expiry of that period, either the period has been extended with the consent of both the Commission and the national regulatory authority, or the national regulatory authority, in a duly reasoned statement, has informed the Commission that it considers the notification to be complete.

The national regulatory authority shall comply with the Commission decision to amend or revoke the exemption decision within a period of four weeks and shall inform the Commission accordingly.

The Commission shall preserve the confidentiality of commercially sensitive information.

The Commission's ▌ exemption decision shall lose its effect ▌if the infrastructure has not become operational five years after all national and regional decisions and authorisations have been issued, unless the delay is due to circumstances beyond control of the person to whom the exemption has been granted .

6.    The exemptions referred to in paragraph 1 shall automatically apply to exemptions granted pursuant to this Article on .... The conditions of an exemption approval granted under this Article shall not be changed retrospectively without the agreement of all parties concerned.

___________________________

* Date of entry into force of Directive .../.../EC [amending Directive 2003/55/EC concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas] .

"

(18 )   The following chapter shall be inserted after Article 24:"

CHAPTER VIa

NATIONAL REGULATORY AUTHORITIES

Article 24a

Designation and independence of regulatory authorities

1.   Each Member State shall designate a single national regulatory authority.

2.   Each Member State shall guarantee the independence of the national regulatory authority and shall ensure that it exercises its powers impartially and transparently. For this purpose, Member State shall ensure that, when carrying out the regulatory tasks conferred upon it by this Directive and other relevant legislation , the national regulatory authority is legally distinct and functionally independent from any other public or private entity, and that its staff and the persons responsible for its management act independently from any market interest and shall not seek or take direct instructions from any government or other public or private entity when carrying out the regulatory tasks ..

3.  In order to protect the independence of the national regulatory authority, Member States shall in particular ensure that:

   a) the national regulatory authority has legal personality, financial autonomy, and adequate human and financial resources to carry out its duties;
   b) the members of the management board of the national regulatory authority are appointed for a non-renewable fixed term of at least five years but for no more than seven years and that for the first mandate, that term shall be two-and-a-half years for half of the members. The members shall be relieved from office during their term only if they no longer fulfil the conditions set out in this Article or if they have been guilty of serious misconduct under national law; and
   c) the budgetary needs of the national regulatory authority are covered by the direct revenues from energy market operations .

Article24b

Policy objectives of the national regulatory authority

In carrying out the regulatory tasks specified in this Directive, the national regulatory authority shall take all reasonable measures to achieve the following objectives:

   a) the promotion, in close cooperation with the Commission, the Agency, and the national regulatory authorities of other Member States ║, of a competitive, secure and environmentally sustainable internal gas market within the Community, and effective market opening for all consumers and suppliers in the Community, and ensuring that energy supply networks operate in an effective, reliable way, taking in to account long term objectives ;
   b) the development of competitive and properly functioning ▌markets within the Community in view of the achievement of the objective mentioned in point (a);
   c) the suppression of any restrictions to natural gas trade between Member States, including the development of appropriate cross border transmission capacities to meet demand and enhance the integration of national markets so as to facilitate unrestrained natural gas flow across the Community;
   d) the development , in the most cost effective way, of customer-orientated, secure, reliable and efficient network systems, promoting ▌system adequacy whilst ensuring energy efficiency and integration of large and small-scale renewable energy (e.g. biogas) and distributed production in both transmission and distribution networks ;
   e) facilitating the access to the network, in particular removing barriers that could prevent access for new market entrants and renewable energies;
   ( f ) ensuring that network operators are granted adequate incentives, in both the short and the long term, to increase efficiencies in network performance and foster market integration;
   g) ensuring that customer benefits through the efficient functioning of their national market, ensuring consumer protection and promoting effective competition in cooperation with competition authorities;
   h) contributing towards high standards of public service for natural gas and the protection of vulnerable customers, and helping to ensure that consumer protection measures set out in Annex A are effective;
   i) harmonising necessary data exchange processes.

Article 24c

Duties and powers of the national regulatory authority

1.  The national regulatory authority shall have the following duties to be carried out where appropriate in close consultation with other relevant Community or national bodies, transmission system operators and other market stakeholders and without prejudice to their specific competencies :

   a) ensuring compliance of transmission and distribution system operators, and where relevant system owners, as well as ║ any natural gas undertakings, with their obligations under this Directive and other relevant Community legislation, including as regards cross border issues;
   b) cooperating on cross-border issues with the national regulatory authority or authorities of other Member States and the Agency , including ensuring that there is sufficient interconnection capacity between transmission infrastructure to satisfy an efficient overall market assessment and security of supply criteria, without discrimination between supply undertakings in different Member States ;
   c) complying with, and implementing, any relevant binding decisions of the Commission and of the Agency║;
   d) reporting annually on its activities and the fulfilment of its duties to the Commission, the relevant authorities of the Member States and the Agency ║. Such reports shall cover the steps taken and the results obtained as regards each of the tasks listed in this Article;
   e) monitoring compliance with unbundling requirements under this Directive and other relevant Community legislation and ensuring that there are no cross subsidies between transmission, distribution, storage, LNG and supply activities as well as ensuring that distribution and transmission tariffs are set well in advance of the relevant periods during which they apply ;
   f) reviewing the investment plans of the transmission system operators, and providing in its annual report an assessment of the investment plan of the transmission system operators as regards its consistency with the European-wide 10-year network development plan mentioned in Article 2c of Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005; the investment plans of transmission system operators shall ensure that the skills and number of the staff are sufficient to meet the service obligations; failure to honour the investment plan shall result in proportionate sanctions imposed on the transmission system operator in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Agency;
   g) approving the annual investment plans of the transmission system operators;
   h) monitoring compliance with network security and reliability, setting or approving standards and requirements for quality of service and supply and reviewing performances for quality of service and supply, network security and reliability rules;
   i) monitoring the level of transparency, ensuring compliance of network operators with transparency obligations;
   j) monitoring the level of market opening and competition at wholesale and retail levels, including on natural gas exchanges, household prices, switching rates, disconnection rates and household complaints in an agreed format, as well as any distortion or restriction of competition in cooperation with national competition authorities, including providing any relevant information, bringing any relevant cases to the attention of the relevant competition authorities;
   k) monitoring the occurrence of restrictive contractual practices, including exclusivity provisions, which may prevent or restrain the choice of non-household customers from contracting simultaneously with more than one supplier and, where appropriate, informing the national competition authorities of such practices;
   l) with full regard to the provisions of the Treaty, promoting agreements on a long-term basis between energy consumers and suppliers that contribute to the improvement of the energy production and distribution and, at the same time, allow consumers to share the resulting benefits, provided that such agreements can contribute to an optimal level of investment in the energy sector;
   m) monitoring the time taken by transmission and distribution undertakings to make connections and repairs and imposing sanctions in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Agency if these time periods are exceeded without due cause ;
   n) monitoring ▌the access conditions to storage facilities and other ancillary services as provided for in Article 19;
   o) without prejudice to the competence of other national regulatory authorities, ensuring high standards of public service for natural gas, the protection of vulnerable customers, and that consumer protection measures set out in Annex A are effective and enforced ;
   p) publishing, at least annually, recommendations ║ on compliance of supply tariffs with Article 3; due attention shall be paid in those recommendations to the impact on the functioning of the market of regulated prices (wholesale and end-users" prices);
   q) ensuring effective and equal access to customer consumption data including data on prices and any related expenditure for all market participants, the application of an easily understandable harmonised format for such consumption data, adequate prepayment that reflects the actual consumption and prompt access for all customers to such data under point (h) of Annex A;
   r) monitoring the implementation of rules relating to the roles and responsibilities of transmission system operators, distribution system operators, suppliers and customers and other market parties pursuant to Article 8b of Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005;
   s) fixing or approving network access tariffs and publishing the methodology used to set the tariffs;

"

   t) ensuring the transparency of wholesale fluctuations in prices;
   u) monitoring the correct application of the criteria that determine whether a storage facility falls under Article 19(3) or ║ (4).

2 .  Member States shall ensure that national regulatory authorities are granted the powers enabling them to carry out the duties referred to in paragraph 1 ║ in an efficient and expeditious manner. For this purpose, the national regulatory authority shall, inter alia, have ║ the power to :

   a) ║ issue binding decisions on gas undertakings;
   b) ║ carry out in cooperation with the national competition authority investigations of the functioning of gas markets, and to decide on any appropriate measures necessary and proportionate to promote effective competition and ensure the proper functioning of the market, including gas release programmes ;
   c) ║ request any information from natural gas undertakings relevant for the fulfilment of its tasks;
   d) ║ impose effective, appropriate and dissuasive sanctions to natural gas undertakings not complying with their obligations under this Directive or any decisions of the national regulatory authority or of the Agency, or propose to a competent body to impose such sanctions; furthermore, to impose, or to propose to impose fines of up to 10 % of the yearly turnover of the transmission system operator on the transmission system operator or on the vertically integrated undertaking, as the case may be, for non-compliance with their respective obligations pursuant to this Directive ;
   e) ║ have appropriate rights of investigations, and relevant powers of instructions for dispute settlement under paragraphs 8 and 9 ;
   f) undertake approve safeguards measures as referred to in Article 26.

3.   In addition to the tasks and powers conferred on it under paragraphs 1 and 2, when a transmission system operator has been designated in accordance with Chapter IVa, the national regulatory authority shall, inter alia, be granted the following tasks and powers:

   a) to impose sanctions including fines accordance with paragraph 2(d) for discriminatory behaviour in favour of the vertically integrated undertaking;
   b) to monitor communications between the transmission system operator and the vertically integrated undertaking so as to ensure compliance of the transmission system operator with its obligations;
   c) to act as a dispute settlement authority between the vertically integrated undertaking and the transmission system operator in respect of any complaint submitted pursuant to paragraph 8;
   d) to monitor commercial and financial relations including loans between the vertically integrated undertaking and the transmission system operator,
   e) to monitor all commercial and financial agreements on the condition that they comply with market conditions;
   f) to request justification from the vertically integrated undertaking when notified by the compliance officer in accordance with Article 12g(4). Such justification shall in particular include evidence to the end that no discriminatory behaviour to the advantage of the vertically integrated undertaking has occurred;
   g) to carry out inspections on the premises of the vertically integrated undertaking and the transmission system operator;
   h) to request any information from the transmission system operator and to directly contact all staff of the transmission system operator; if doubts remain, the same rights shall apply for the vertically integrated undertaking and its subsidiaries;
   i) to conduct all necessary inspections of the transmission system operator and, if doubts remain, of the vertically integrated undertaking and its subsidiaries; the rules of Article 20 of Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty* shall apply;
  j) to impose effective, appropriate and dissuasive sanctions to the transmission system operator and/or the vertically integrated undertaking not complying with their obligations under this Article or any decisions of the national regulatory authority; that power shall include the right to:
   i) impose effective, appropriate and dissuasive fines related to the turnover of the transmission system operator or the vertically integrated undertaking;
   ii) issue orders to remedy discriminatory behaviour;
   iii) withdraw, at least partly, the licence of the transmission system operator in case of repeated breach of the unbundling provisions set out in this Article.

4.  The national regulatory authorities shall be responsible for fixing or approving prior to their entry into force the terms and conditions for:

   a) connection and access to national networks, including transmission and distribution tariffs and methodologies for their calculation, or alternatively, the methodologies and their monitoring for setting or approving the transmission and distribution tariffs , and terms, conditions and tariffs for access to LNG facilities including methodologies for their calculation, or alternatively, the methodologies and their monitoring for setting or approving the tariffs for access to LNG facilities . These tariffs shall reflect the actual costs incurred, insofar as such costs correspond to those of an efficient operator and shall be transparent. They shall allow the necessary investments in the networks and LNG facilities to be carried out in a manner allowing these investments to ensure the viability of the networks and LNG facilities. These tariffs shall not discriminate against new entrants ;
   b) the provision of balancing services which shall reflect the cost and shall be revenue neutral to the extent possible, whilst providing appropriate incentives for network users to balance their input and offtakes; they shall be fair and non-discriminatory and based on objective criteria;
   c) the access to cross-border infrastructures, including the procedures for the allocation of capacity and congestion management. They shall have the authority to require the transmission system operators, to modify those terms and conditions.

5.   In fixing or approving the terms and conditions or methodologies for calculation of the tariffs, and the balancing services, the national regulatory authorities shall ensure that network operators are granted adequate incentive, over both the short and long term, to increase efficiencies, foster market integration, ensure security of supply, and support the related research activities.

6 .   The national regulatory authorities shall monitor congestion management within national gas transmission networks.

Transmission system operators shall submit their congestion management procedures, including capacity allocation, to the national regulatory authorities for approval. National regulatory authorities may request amendments to those procedures before approving them.

7 .   National regulatory authorities shall have the authority to require transmission, ▌LNG and distribution system operators, if necessary, to modify the terms and conditions, including tariffs referred to in this Article, to ensure that they are proportionate and applied in a non-discriminatory manner.

8 .   Any party having a complaint against a transmission, LNG, storage or distribution system operator may refer the complaint to the national regulatory authority which, acting as dispute settlement authority, shall issue a decision within two months after receipt of the complaint. That period may be extended by two months where additional information is sought by the national regulatory authorities. This period may be extended with the agreement of the complainant. The national regulatory authority's decision shall have binding effect unless and until overruled on appeal.

9 .   Any party who is affected and who has a right to complain concerning a decision on methodologies taken pursuant to this Article or, where the national regulatory authority has a duty to consult, concerning the proposed tariffs and methodologies, may, at the latest within two months, or a shorter time period as provided by Member States, following publication of the decision or proposal for a decision, submit a complaint for review. Such a complaint shall not have suspensive effect.

10 .   Member States shall create appropriate and efficient mechanisms for ▌control and transparency so as to avoid any abuse of a dominant position, in particular to the detriment of consumers, and any predatory behaviour. These mechanisms shall take account of the provisions of the Treaty, and in particular Article 82 thereof.

11 .   The national regulatory authorities shall put in place independent complaints services and alternative redress schemes such as an independent energy ombudsman or a consumer body. Those services or schemes shall be responsible for the efficient treatment of complaints and shall comply with best practice criteria. The national regulatory authorities shall set standards and guidelines on how complaints will be handled by producers and network operators.

12 .   Member States shall ensure that the appropriate measures are taken, including administrative action or criminal proceedings inconformity with their national law, against the natural or legal persons responsible where confidentiality rules imposed by this Directive have not been respected.

13 .   Complaints referred to in paragraphs 8 and 9 shall be without prejudice to the exercise of rights of appeal under Community and national law.

14 .   Decisions taken by national regulatory authorities shall be fully reasoned and available to the public to allow for legal scrutiny .

15 .   Member States shall ensure that suitable mechanisms exist at national level under which a party affected by a decision of the national regulatory authority has a right of appeal national judicial body or other independent national authority independent of the parties involved and of any government .

Article 24d

Regulatory regime for cross-border issues

1.   National regulatory authorities shall closely cooperate and consult with each other, and shall provide each other and the Agency with any information necessary for the fulfilment of their tasks under this Directive. In respect of the information exchanged, the receiving authority shall ensure the same level of confidentiality as that required of the originating authority.

2.  In order to ensure that where regional gas markets occur integration is mirrored by adequate regulatory structures, the national regulatory authorities concerned shall ensure, in close cooperation with and under the guidance of the Agency, that at least the following regulatory tasks are performed in relation to their regional markets:

   a) cooperation at least at a regional level to foster the creation of operational arrangements in order to ensure an optimal management of the network, develop joint gas exchanges and the allocation of cross-border capacity, and to ensure an adequate level of interconnection capacity including through new interconnection, within the region and between regions to allow for the development of effective competition and the improvement of security of supply;
   b) harmonisation at least at the relevant regional level of all technical and market codes for the relevant transmission system operators and other market actors;
   c) harmonisation of the rules governing the management of congestion;
   d) adoption of rules to ensure that the owners and/or managers of gas exchange(s) which operate the relevant regional pool markets are fully independent of the owners and/or managers of production assets.

National regulatory authorities shall have the right to enter into agreements with each other to foster regulatory cooperation and the actions referred to in first subparagraph shall be carried out, as appropriate, in close consultation with other relevant national authorities and without prejudice to their specific competencies.

3.  The Agency shall decide upon the regulatory regime for infrastructure connecting at least two Member States:

   a) upon a joint request from the competent national regulatory authorities; or║
   b) where the competent national regulatory authorities have not been able to reach an agreement on the appropriate regulatory regime within six months from the date that the file was brought before the last of those regulatory authorities.

Article 24e

Compliance with Guidelines

1.   The Commission or any national regulatory authority ║ may request the opinion of the Agency on the compliance of a decision taken by a national regulatory authority with guidelines referred to in this Directive or in Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005.

2.   The Agency shall provide its opinion to the Commission or the national regulatory authority which has requested it ║ and to the national regulatory authority which has taken the decision in question within two months .

3.   Where the national regulatory authority which has taken the disputed decision fails to comply with the Agency's opinion within four months from the date of its receipt, the Agency shall inform the Commission accordingly .

4.   Any national regulatory authority may inform the Commission where it considers that a decision taken by a national regulatory authority does not comply with guidelines referred to in this Directive or in Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 within two months from the date of that decision.

5.   Where the Commission ║ finds that the decision of a national regulatory authority raises serious doubts as to its compatibility with guidelines referred to in this Directive or in Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005, either within two months of being informed of the failure to comply with the Agency's opinion in accordance with paragraph 3 or of the failure to comply with guidelines in accordance with paragraph 4, or, on its own initiative, within three months from the date of the disputed decision, the Commission may decide to initiate proceedings. In such a case, the Commission shall invite the national regulatory authority and the parties to the proceedings before the national regulatory authority to submit comments.

6.  Where the Commission has decided to initiate proceedings, it shall, within ║four months of the date of such decision, issue a final decision:

   a) not to raise objections against the decision of the national regulatory authority; or
   b) requiring the national regulatory authority concerned to amend or revoke its decision if it considers that guidelines have not been complied with.

7.   Where the Commission has not taken a decision to initiate proceedings or a final decision within the time-limits set in paragraphs 5 and 6 respectively, it shall be deemed not to have raised objections against the decision of the national regulatory authority.

8.   The national regulatory authority shall comply with the Commission decision to amend or revoke its decision within a period of two months and shall inform the Commission accordingly.

9.   The Commission shall adopt guidelines setting out the details of the procedure to be followed for the application of this Article. This measure designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive by supplementing it shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 30(3).

Article 24f

Record keeping

1.   Member States shall require supply undertakings to keep at the disposal of the competent authorities, to enable them to fulfil their duties , for at least five years, the relevant data relating to all transactions in gas supply contracts and gas derivatives with wholesale customers and transmission system operators as well as storage and LNG operators.

2.   The data may include details on the characteristics of the relevant transactions such as duration, delivery and settlement rules, the quantity, the dates and times of execution and the transaction prices and means of identifying the wholesale customer concerned, as well as specified details of all unsettled gas supply contracts and gas derivatives.

3.   The national regulatory authority may decide to make available to market participants elements of this information provided that commercially sensitive information on individual market players or individual transactions is not released. This paragraph shall not apply to information about financial instruments which fall within the scope of Directive 2004/39/EC.

4 .   The provisions of this Article shall not create additional obligations vis-à-vis the authorities mentioned in paragraph 1 for entities falling within the scope of Directive 2004/39/EC.

5 .   In the event that the authorities mentioned in paragraph 1 need access to data kept by entities falling within the scope of Directive 2004/39/EC, the authorities responsible under that Directive shall provide the authorities mentioned in paragraph 1 with the required data.

_____________________

* OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1 .

(19)    Article 25 shall be deleted.

(20)    The following article shall be inserted after Article 26 :"

Article 26a

Exemption of industrial sites

1.    Member States may exempt industrial sites from Articles 4 and Article 7, Article 8(1) and (2), Article 11, Article 12(5), Articles 13, 17 and 18, Article 23(1), and/or Article 24 of this Directive.

2.    Third-party access shall not be affected by the exemptions referred to in paragraph 1. Customers on industrial sites shall be able freely to choose their gas supplier, having resort to the national regulatory authorities in the event of a disagreement with the network operator.

"

(21)    Article 30 shall be replaced by the following:"

Article 30

Committee

1.   The Commission shall be assisted by a committee.

2.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 3 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

3.   Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5a(1) to (4), and Article 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, having regard to the provisions of Article 8 thereof.

"

(22)    ▌Annex A, shall be replaced by the following:║"

"Without prejudice to Community rules on consumer protection, in particular Directive 97/7/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Directive 93/13/EEC, the measures referred to in Article 3 are to ensure that customers:

  a) have a right to a contract with their gas service provider that specifies :
   - the identity and address of the supplier;
   - the services provided, the service quality levels offered, as well as the time for the initial connection;
   - the types of maintenance service offered;
   - the means by which up-to-date information on all applicable tariffs and maintenance charges may be obtained;
   - the duration of the contract, the conditions for renewal and termination of services and of the contract, the existence of any right of withdrawal without charge;
   - any compensation and the refund arrangements which apply if contracted service quality levels are not met including inaccurate and delayed billing;
   - the method of initiating procedures for settlement of disputes in accordance with point (f);
   - information on consumer rights, including all of the above, clearly communicated through billing and natural gas undertaking web sites; and
   - details concerning the competent appeals authority and of the procedure to be followed by customer in case of dispute.

Conditions shall be fair and well-known in advance. In any event, the information referred to in this point should be provided prior to the conclusion or confirmation of the contract. Where contracts are concluded through intermediaries, that information shall also be provided prior to the conclusion of the contract;

   b) are given adequate notice of any intention to modify contractual conditions and are informed about their right of withdrawal when the notice is given. Service providers shall notify their subscribers directly of any increase in charges, at an appropriate time no later than one normal billing period after the increase comes into effect in a transparent and comprehensible manner. Member States shall ensure that customers are free to withdraw from contracts if they do not accept the new conditions notified to them by their gas service provider;
   c) receive transparent information on applicable prices and tariffs and on standard terms and conditions, in respect of access to and use of gas services;
   d) are offered a wide choice of payment methods, which shall not discriminate between customers. Any difference in terms and conditions shall reflect the costs to the supplier of the different payment systems. General terms and conditions shall be fair and transparent. They shall be given in clear and comprehensible language. Customers shall be protected against unfair or misleading selling methods including non-contractual barriers imposed by the trader, for example excessive contractual documentation;
   e) are not charged for changing supplier;
   f) benefit from transparent, simple and inexpensive procedures for dealing with their complaints. In particular, all consumers shall have the right to service delivery and complaint handling by their gas service provider. Such procedures shall enable disputes to be settled fairly and promptly, and within three months, with provision, where warranted, for a system of reimbursement and/or compensation. They should follow, wherever possible, the principles set out in Commission Recommendation 98/257/EC of 30 March 1998 on the principles applicable to the bodies responsible for out-of-court settlement of consumer disputes*;
   g) where they are already connected to the gas system, are informed about their rights to be supplied, under the national legislation applicable, with natural gas of a specified quality at reasonable prices;
(h) are easily able to switch to a new supplier and have at their disposal their consumption data, and shall be able to, by explicit agreement and free of charge, give any authorised supply undertaking ▌access to its metering data. The party responsible for data management is obliged to give that data to the undertaking. Member States shall define a format for the data and a procedure for suppliers and consumers to have access to the data. No additional costs can be charged to the consumer for this service;
   i) are properly informed at least quarterly of actual gas consumption and costs. No additional costs can be charged to the consumer for this service. The Member States shall ensure that roll-out of smart meters is completed with minimum disruption to consumers by ...* which shall be the responsibility of the distribution system operator or supply undertakings. National regulatory authorities shall be responsible for monitoring the process of such development and for laying down common standards for that purpose. Member States shall ensure that standards establishing the minimum technical design and operational requirements for meters address interoperability issues to provide maximum benefit at minimum cost to consumers ;
   j) receive a final closure account bill following switching of supply undertaking no later than one month after informing the relevant supply undertaking.
________________
* OJ L 115, 17.4.1998, p. 31.
** T en years after entry into force of Directive .../...EC [amending the Directive 2003/55/EC] ." .

"

Article 2

Transposition

1.   Member States shall bring into force the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with this Directive by ...* ║. They shall ║ communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions and a correlation table between those provisions and this Directive forthwith .

They shall apply these provisions from ...*(12) ║.

When Member States adopt those provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or be accompanied by such a reference on the occasion of their official publication. Member States shall determine how such reference is to be made.

2.   Member States shall communicate to the Commission the text of the main provisions of national law which they adopt in the field covered by this Directive.

3 .   Member States shall repeal any laws, regulations and administrative provisions which prevent any natural gas undertaking, regulatory or other authority from complying with their duties or fulfilling their powers or obligations under this Directive.

4 .   The Commission shall report annually to the European Parliament and the Council on the formal and practical implementation of this Directive in each Member State.

5 .   Where a publicly controlled entity is directly or indirectly involved in the acquisition of parts of a vertically integrated undertaking, the price in relation to the arrangement of such a transaction shall be notified to the Commission. Such notification shall include certification of the underlying asset value by an international auditing company. The Commission shall use such information solely to exercise control over State aid.

Article 3

Entry into force

This Directive shall enter into force on the […] day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Article 4

Addressees

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at ║

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) OJ C 211, 19.8.2008, p. 23.
(2) OJ C 172, 5.7.2008, p. 55.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 9 July 2008.
(4) OJ L 176, 15.7.2003, p. 57.
(5) OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 206.
(6) OJ L ...
(7) OJ L 114, 27.4.2006, p. 64.
(8) OJ L 127, 29.4.2004, p. 92.
(9) OJ L 289, 3.11.2005, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. ║
(11) OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11 .
(12)* 18 months after entry into force of this Directive.


Coordination of social security systems ***I
DOC 334k
Resolution
Consolidated text
Annex
Annex
Annex
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems (COM(2006)0016 – C6-0037/2006 – 2006/0006(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0348 A6-0251/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0016 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 42 and 308 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0037/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0251/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 574/72

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0006


Text with relevance for the EEA and for Switzerland

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 42 and 308 thereof,

Having regard to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems(1) , and in particular Article 89 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission║,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(2) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3) ,

Whereas:

(1)   Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 modernises the rules on the coordination of Member States" social security systems, specifying the measures and procedures for implementing it and simplifying them for all players involved. Implementing rules should be laid down.

(2)   Closer and more effective cooperation between social security institutions is a key factor in allowing the persons covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 to access their rights as quickly as possible and under optimum conditions.

(3)   Electronic communication is a suitable means of rapid and reliable data exchange between Member States" institutions. Processing ║data electronically should help to speed up the procedures for everyone involved. The persons concerned must also benefit from all of the guarantees provided for in the Community provisions on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing and free movement of personal data. Member States should therefore take the necessary measures to ensure that data relating to national social security legislation covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 is adequately dealt with in accordance with the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and its exchange in the context of this Regulation .

(4)   Availability of the details (including electronic details) of those national bodies likely to be involved in implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, in a form which allows them to be updated in real time, should facilitate exchanges between Member States" institutions. This approach, which focuses on the relevance of purely factual information and its immediate accessibility to citizens, is a valuable simplification which is to be introduced by this Regulation.

(5)    Achieving the smoothest possible operation and efficient management of the complex procedures implementing the rules on the coordination of social security systems requires a system for the immediate updating of Annex IV. The preparation and application of provisions to that effect calls for close cooperation between the Member States and the Commission and their implementation should be carried out rapidly, in view of the consequences of delays for citizens and administrative authorities alike. The Commission should therefore be empowered to establish and manage a database and ensure that it is operational at least from the date of entry into force of this Regulation. The Commission should, in particular, take the necessary steps to integrate into that database the information listed in Annex IV .

(6)    Strengthening certain procedures should ensure greater legal certainty and transparency for the users of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004. For example, setting common deadlines for fulfilling certain obligations or completing certain administrative tasks should assist in clarifying and structuring relations between insured persons and institutions.

7)    ║Member States, their competent authorities and the social security institutions must have the option of agreeing among themselves on simplified procedures and administrative arrangements which they consider to be more effective and suitable to the circumstances of their respective social security systems. However, such arrangements must not affect the rights of those covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/2004.

(8)    The inherent complexity of the field of social security requires all institutions of the Member States to make a particular effort to support insured persons in order to avoid penalising those who have not submitted their claim or certain information to the institution responsible for processing this application in accordance with the rules and procedures set out in Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and in this Regulation.

(9)    To determine the competent institution, namely the one whose legislation applies or which is liable for the payment of certain benefits, the circumstances of the insured person and those of the family members must be examined by the institutions of one or more Member States. To ensure that the person concerned is protected for the duration of the necessary communication between institutions, provision should be made for provisional membership of a social security system.

(10)    Member States should cooperate to determine the place of residence of persons to whom this Regulation and Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 apply and, in the event of a dispute, should take into consideration all relevant criteria to resolve the matter. To this end, Member States may take into account the relevant provisions of this Regulation.

(11 )   Many measures and procedures provided for in this Regulation are intended to ensure greater transparency concerning the criteria which the institutions of the Member States must apply under Regulation (EC) No 883/2004. They are the result of the case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the decisions of the Administrative Commission and the experience of more than thirty years of application of the coordination of social security systems in the context of the fundamental freedoms enshrined in the Treaty.

(12)    This Regulation provides for measures and procedures to promote the mobility of employees and unemployed persons. Frontier workers who have become wholly unemployed may make themselves available to the employment services in both their country of residence and the Member State where they were last employed. However, they should be entitled to benefits only from their Member State of residence.

(13)    Extending the scope of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 to all insured persons, including the non-working population, requires certain specific rules and procedures for these persons, notably to define the legislation applicable for taking account of periods which persons who have never been employed or self-employed in the various Member States in which they have been resident have devoted to bringing up children.

(14)    Certain procedures must also reflect the need for a balanced sharing of costs between Member States. In particular in the area of sickness, these procedures must take account of the position of Member States which bear the costs of allowing insured persons access to their healthcare system and the position of Member States whose institutions bear the cost of benefits in kind received by their insured persons in a Member State other than that in which they are resident.

(15)    In the specific context of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004, it is necessary to clarify the conditions for meeting the costs of sickness benefits in kind as part of scheduled treatments, namely treatments for which an insured person goes to a Member State other than that in which he/she is insured or resident. The obligations of the insured person with regard to the application for prior authorisation should be specified, as should the institution's obligations towards the patient with regard to the conditions of authorisation. The consequences for the chargeability of the costs of care received in another Member State on the basis of an authorisation should also be clarified.

(16)    More binding procedures to reduce the time needed for payment of these claims between Member States" institutions are essential in order to maintain confidence in the exchanges and meet the need for sound management of Member States" social security systems. Procedures for the processing of claims relating to sickness and unemployment benefits must therefore be strengthened.

(17)    Because the social security schemes covered by Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 are based on solidarity between all insured persons, provision should be made for mechanisms to ensure more effective recovery of claims relating to benefits not due or contributions not paid. Procedures for mutual assistance between institutions must be clarified in line with the provisions laid down in Council Directive 2008/55/EC of 26 May 2008 on mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to certain levies, duties, taxes and other measures(4) so as to better protect the financial interests of the Member States by organising cooperation, especially between tax authorities.

(18 )   Informing insured persons of their rights and obligations is a crucial component of a relationship of trust with the competent authorities and the Member States" institutions.

(19 )   Given that the objective of this Regulation , namely the adoption of coordination measures to guarantee the effective exercise of free movement of persons, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore ║, be better achieved at Community level, the Community may take action in accordance with the subsidiarity principle enshrined in Article 5 of the Treaty. In accordance with the proportionality principle set out in the above Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve the objective.

(20)    This Regulation should replace Council Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 of 21 March 1972 fixing the procedure for implementing Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community(5) .

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Title I

General provisions

Chapter I

Definitions

Article 1

Definitions

1.  For the purposes of this Regulation:

   a) "the basic Regulation" shall mean Regulation (EC) No 883/2004;
   b) "the implementing Regulation" shall mean this Regulation; and
   c) the definitions set out in the basic Regulation shall apply.

2.  In addition to the definitions referred to in paragraph 1, for the purposes of this Regulation :

   a) "access point" shall mean any body designated as an electronic contact point ║by the competent authority of a Member State for one or more branches of social security referred to in Article 3 of the basic Regulation to send and receive electronically the data necessary for the application of the basic Regulation and the implementing Regulation via the joint network ▌between the ▌Member States;
   b) "liaison body" shall mean any body designated by the competent authority of a Member State for one or more branches of social security referred to in Article 3 of the basic Regulation to respond to requests for information and assistance for the purposes of the application of the basic Regulation and the implementing Regulation and which has to fulfil the tasks assigned to it under Title IV of the implementing Regulation;
   c) "document" shall mean a set of data, irrespective of the medium used, structured in such a way that it can be exchanged electronically and which must be communicated to enable the operation of the basic Regulation and the implementing Regulation;
   d) "standardised electronic message" shall mean any structured document in a format designed for the electronic exchange of information between Member States ;
   e) "transmission by electronic means" shall mean transmission using electronic equipment for processing (including digital compression) of data and employing wires, radio transmission, optical technologies or any other electromagnetic means;
   (f) "Technical Commission" shall mean the body referred to in Article 73 of the basic Regulation;
   (g) "Audit Board" shall mean the body referred to in Article 74 of the basic Regulation.

Chapter II

Provisions concerning cooperation and exchanges of data

Article 2

Scope and rules for exchanges between institutions

1.    For the purposes of the implementing Regulation, exchanges between Member States' authorities and institutions and persons covered by the basic Regulation shall be based on the principles of public service, objectivity, cooperation, active assistance, efficiency, accessibility for disabled people and rapid delivery.▌

2 .   The ▌institutions shall provide or exchange, within the deadlines prescribed by the social security legislation of the Member State in question, all data necessary for establishing and determining the rights and obligations of persons to whom the basic Regulation applies . Such data shall be transferred between Member States directly by the institutions themselves or indirectly via the liaison bodies.

3 .   Where a person has mistakenly submitted information, documents or claims to an institution in the territory of a Member State other than that in which the institution designated in accordance with the implementing Regulation is situated , the information, documents or claims shall be resubmitted without delay by the former institution to the institution designated in accordance with the implementing Regulation, indicating the date on which they were initially submitted. This date shall be binding on the latter institution. Member States' institutions shall not, however, be held liable, or be deemed to have taken a decision by virtue of their failure to act, where this is a result of the late transmission of information, documents or claims by other Member States' institutions.

4.   Where data are transferred indirectly via the access point or the liaison body, this access point or liaison body shall be regarded as fulfilling the role and function of the competent institution in this Member State with regard to time-limits for responding to claims submitted.

Article 3

Scope and rules for exchanges between beneficiaries and institutions

1.   Persons covered by the basic Regulation shall be required to forward to the relevant institution the information, documents or supporting evidence necessary to establish their situation or that of their families , to establish or maintain their rights and obligations and to determine the applicable legislation and their obligations under it.

2.   When collecting, transmitting or processing personal data pursuant to its legislation for the purposes of implementing the basic Regulation, each Member State shall ensure that the persons concerned are able fully to exercise their rights regarding personal data protection , in accordance with Community provisions on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and the free movement of such data.

In particular, Member States shall guarantee that such personal data is not used for purposes other than those of social security except where expressly so authorised by the person concerned. Member States shall also, upon request, provide the persons concerned with specific and adequate information on the processing of their personal data required for the purposes of this Regulation.

The persons concerned shall be able to exercise their rights as data subjects in the areas covered by this Regulation through the competent institution, irrespective of the origin of the data.

The list and contact details of the personal data protection officers, who are appointed in each Member State in accordance with Article 18 of Directive 95/46/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 1995 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data (6) , and who deal with data related to social security legislation covered under the basic Regulation shall constitute part of Annex IV to the implementing Regulation.

3.   To the extent necessary for the application of the basic Regulation and the implementing Regulation, the relevant institutions shall forward ▌the information and issue the ▌documents to the persons concerned within the deadlines prescribed by the social security legislation of the Member State in question .

4.   The competent institution of a Member State which directly sends a document containing a decision on the rights of a person residing or staying in the territory of another Member State shall request an acknowledgement of receipt, irrespective of the medium or the method of dispatch used. The acknowledgement of receipt may be given using any medium and in any form.

5.   In the absence of proof that the decision referred to in paragraph 4 has been sent, the time-limits relating to the forfeiture or limitation of rights acquired under the basic Regulation shall not be invoked against the beneficiaries.

6.   Where the date on which the decision referred to in paragraph 4 was sent is duly established, the decision of the competent institution shall be held to be invoked against the person concerned within a month of that date. However, if the legislation of the Member State which made the decision provides for a longer time-limit, that time-limit shall apply.

7.   In any event, the person concerned shall be entitled to the remedies and procedures provided for in the legislation applied by the institution responsible for the decision.

Article 4

Format and method of exchanging data

1.   The Administrative Commission shall lay down the structure, content, format and methods of exchange of ║ documents and ▌standardised electronic messages.

2.   The transmission of data between the institutions, the access points or the liaison bodies shall be carried out by electronic means under a common secure framework that can guarantee the confidentiality and protection of exchanges of data.

3.   In their communications with the persons concerned , the relevant institutions shall use the modalities appropriate to each case, favouring the use of electronic means as far as possible . The Administrative Commission shall lay down the practical arrangements for sending information, documents or decisions by electronic means to the person concerned.

Article 5

Legal value of documents and supporting documents issued in another Member State

1.   Documents issued by the institution of a Member State ║and showing the position of a person for the purposes of the application of the basic Regulation and of the implementing Regulation, and supporting documents issued by the authorities of another Member State, including the taxation authorities, shall be accepted by the institutions of the other Member States provided they have not been withdrawn or declared to be invalid by the competent authority or institution of the Member State in which they were issued.

2.   Where there is doubt about the validity of a document or the accuracy of the facts on which the particulars contained therein are based, the receiving institution shall ask the issuing institution ║for the necessary clarification and, where appropriate, the withdrawal of that document. The issuing institution shall reconsider the grounds for issuing the document and, if necessary, withdraw it.

3.   Where no agreement is reached between the institutions concerned one month after the date on which the receiving institution ║ submitted its request, the matter may be brought before the Administrative Commission in accordance with Article 76(6) of the basic Regulation in order to reconcile the points of view within six months of the date on which the matter was brought before it.

Article 6

Provisional application of legislation and provisional payment of benefits

1.  Unless otherwise provided for in the implementing Regulation, where there is a difference of views between the institutions or authorities of two or more Member States concerning the determination of the applicable legislation, ▌the person concerned shall be made provisionally subject to the legislation of one of those Member States, the order of priority being determined as follows :

   a) the legislation of the Member State where the person actually pursues his/her employment or self-employment if the employment or self-employment is pursued in only one Member State; or
   b) the legislation of the Member State of residence when the person concerned performs part of his/her activity/activities there or when the person is not employed or self employed; or
   c) c ) the legislation of the Member State concerned the application of whose legislation was first requested , where the person pursues an activity or activities in two or more Member States .

2.   Where there is a difference of views between the competent institutions or authorities of two or more Member States about which institution should provide the benefits, the person concerned who could claim benefits if there was no dispute shall be entitled, on a provisional basis, to the benefits foreseen by the legislation applied by the institution of his/her place of residence or, if that person does not reside on the territory of one of the Member States concerned, to the benefits foreseen by the legislation applied by the institution to which the application was first submitted.

3 .   Where no agreement is reached between the institutions or authorities concerned, the matter may be brought before the Administrative Commission by the competent authorities no earlier than one month after the date on which the difference of views as mentioned in paragraph 1 or 2 arose. The Administrative Commission shall seek to reconcile the points of views within six months of the date on which the matter was brought before it.

4 .   Where it is established either that the applicable legislation is not that of the Member State of provisional membership, or ║the institution which provisionally granted the benefits║ was not the competent institution, the institution identified as being competent shall be deemed retroactively to have been so, as if that difference of views had not existed, at the latest from either the date of provisional membership or of the first provisional granting of the benefits concerned.

5 .   If necessary, the competent institution shall settle the financial situation of the person concerned as regards contributions and cash benefits paid provisionally, where appropriate, on the basis of the arrangements laid down in Articles 71 to 81 of the implementing Regulation .

Provisional benefits in kind granted under paragraph 2 shall be reimbursed by the competent institution in accordance with Title IV of the implementing Regulation.

Article 7

Obligation of provisional award

1.   Unless otherwise provided for in the implementing Regulation, where a person is either eligible for a benefit or liable to pay a contribution in accordance with the basic Regulation, and the competent institution does not have all the information concerning the situation in another Member State that is necessary to calculate definitively the amount of that benefit or contribution, that institution shall award this benefit on request of the person concerned or calculate this contribution on a provisional basis, if such a calculation is possible on the basis of the information at the disposal of the institution .

2.   The benefit or the contribution concerned shall be recalculated as soon as the documentary evidence is provided to the institution concerned.

Chapter III

Other general provisions for the application of the basic Regulation

Article 8

Administrative arrangements between two or more Member States

1.   The provisions of this Regulation shall replace ║the arrangements for the application of the conventions referred to in Article 8 (1) of the basic Regulation , except the provisions concerning the arrangements for the conventions referred to in Annex II of the basic Regulation, provided that the provisions of the said arrangements are included in Annex I of the implementing Regulation.

2.   The Member States may conclude among themselves, if necessary, arrangements pertaining to the application of conventions referred to in Article 8(2) of the basic Regulation provided that these arrangements do not adversely affect the rights and obligations of the persons concerned and are included in Annex I to the implementing Regulation .

Article 9

Other procedures between institutions

1.   Two or more Member States, or their competent authorities, ▌may agree ║procedures other than those foreseen by the implementing Regulation , provided that these procedures do not adversely affect the rights or obligations of the persons concerned .

2.   Any agreements concluded to that end shall be notified to the Administrative Commission and listed in Annex I to this Regulation.

Article 10

Prevention of overlapping of benefits

When benefits due under the legislation of two or more Member States are mutually reduced, suspended or withdrawn, any amounts that would not be paid in the event of strict application of the rules concerning reduction, suspension or withdrawal laid down by the legislation of the Member States concerned shall be divided by the number of benefits subjected to reduction, suspension or withdrawal.

Article 11

Elements for determining residence

1.  Where there is a difference of views between the institutions of two or more Member States about the determination of the residence of a person to whom the basic Regulation applies , these institutions shall establish by common accord the centre of interests of the person concerned, based on an overall assessment of all available and relevant information, which may include, as appropriate :

   ( a) the duration and continuity of presence on the territory of the Member States concerned ;
  b) personal circumstances, including:
   i) the nature and the specific characteristics of any activity pursued, in particular the place where such activity is habitually pursued, the stability of the activity, and the duration of any work contract;
   ii) his/her family status and family ties;
   iii) the exercise of any non-remunerated activity;
   iv) in the case of students, the source of their income;
   v) his/her housing situation, in particular how permanent it is;
   vi) the Member State in which the person is deemed to reside for taxation purposes .

2.   Where consideration of the various criteria based on relevant facts as set out in paragraph 1 does not lead to agreement between the institutions concerned , the person's intention, as appears from the facts and circumstances of the case, especially the reasons that led the person to move, shall be considered to be decisive for establishing his/her actual place of residence.

Article 12

Aggregation of periods

1.   For the purposes of applying Article 6 of the basic Regulation, the competent institution shall contact the institutions of the Member States to whose legislation the person concerned has also been subject, in order to determine all the periods ▌completed under this legislation

2.   The periods of insurance, employment, self-employment or residence completed under the legislation of a Member State shall be added to those completed under the legislation of any other Member State, insofar as it is necessary for the purposes of applying Article 6 of the basic Regulation , provided that these periods do not overlap.

3.   Where a period of compulsory insurance or residence ║completed║ under the legislation of a Member State coincides with a period of voluntary or continued optional insurance║under the legislation of another Member State, only the period of compulsory insurance shall be taken into account.

4.   Where a period of insurance or residence other than an equivalent period completed under the legislation of a Member State coincides with an equivalent period on the basis of the legislation of another Member State, only the period other than an equivalent period shall be taken into account.

5.   Any period regarded as equivalent under the legislation of two or more Member States shall be taken into account only by the institution of the Member State to whose legislation the insured person was last compulsorily subjected before the said period. In the event that the insured person was not compulsorily subjected to the legislation of a Member State before the said period, the latter shall be taken into account by the institution of the Member State to whose legislation the insured person was compulsorily subjected for the first time after the said period.

6.   In the event that ║certain periods of insurance or residence ║completed under the legislation of a Member State cannot be determined precisely, it shall be presumed that these periods do not overlap with periods of insurance or residence completed under the legislation of another Member State, and account shall be taken thereof, where advantageous to the person concerned, insofar as they can reasonably be taken into consideration.

7.    Where periods of insurance or residence are not taken into account under this Article because other periods that do not qualify for the benefit concerned take precedence, the periods not taken into account shall not lose their effect under national legislation, as regards the acquisition, retention or recovery of the right to benefits.

Article 13

Rules for conversion of periods of insurance

Where periods of insurance completed under the legislation of a Member State are expressed in ║units different to those ║ of another Member State, the conversion needed for the purpose of aggregation shall be carried out under the following rules:

   a) one day shall be equivalent to eight hours, and vice versa;
   b) five days shall be equivalent to one week, and vice versa;
   c) 22 days shall be equivalent to one month, and vice versa;
   d) three months or thirteen weeks or sixty-six days shall be equivalent to one quarter, and vice versa;
   e) for the conversion of weeks into months and vice versa, weeks and months shall be converted into days;
   f) the application of points a) to e) may not lead to the admission, for all the periods of insurance completed in a calendar year, of a total exceeding 264 days or 52 weeks or 12 months or four quarters.

Where the periods of insurance completed under the legislation of a Member State are expressed in months, the days that correspond to a fraction of a month, in accordance with the conversion rules set out in the first subparagraph, shall be considered to be a full month.

Title II

Determination of the legislation applicable

Article 14

Details relating to Articles 12 and 13 of the basic Regulation

1.    For the purposes of the application of Article 12(1) of the basic Regulation, a "person who pursues an activity as an employed person in a Member State on behalf of an employer … and who is posted by that employer to another Member State" shall include a person who is recruited with a view to being posted to another Member State, provided that, immediately before commencing his/her employment, the person concerned is already subject to the legislation of the Member State in which his/her employer is established.

2.    For the purposes of the application of Article 12(1) of the basic Regulation, the words "which normally carries out its activities there" shall refer to an employer that ordinarily performs substantial activities, other than purely internal management activities, in the territory of the Member State in which it is established, taking account of all criteria characterising the activities carried out by the undertaking in question . The relevant criteria must be suited to the specific characteristics of each employer and the real nature of the activities carried out.

3.    For the purposes of the application of Article 12(2) of the basic Regulation, the words "who normally pursues an activity as a self-employed person" shall refer to a person who habitually carries out substantial activities in the territory of the Member State in which he/she is established. In particular, that person must have already pursued his/her activity for some time before the date when he/she wishes to take advantage of the provisions of that Article and, during any period of temporary activity in another Member State, must continue to maintain, in the Member State where he/she is established, the requirements for the pursuit of his/her activity in order to be able to pursue it on his/her return.

4 .   For the purposes of the application of Article 12(2) of the basic Regulation, the criterion for determining whether the activity that a self-employed person goes to pursue in another Member State is "similar" to the self-employed activity normally pursued, shall be that of the actual nature of the activity, rather than of the designation of employed or self-employed activity that may be given to this activity by the other Member State.

5.   For the purposes of the application of Article 13(1) of the basic Regulation, a person who "normally pursues an activity as an employed person in two or more Member States" shall refer, in particular, to a person who:

   a) while maintaining an activity in one Member State, simultaneously exercises a separate activity in one or more other Member States, irrespective of the duration or nature of that separate activity;
   b) continuously pursues activities in alternation, with the exception of marginal activities, in two or more Member States, irrespective of the frequency or regularity of the alternation.

6 .   For the purposes of the application of Article 13(2) of the basic Regulation a person who "normally pursues an activity as a self-employed person in two or more Member States" shall refer, in particular, to a person who simultaneously or in alternation pursues one or more separate self-employed activities, irrespective of the nature of those activities, in two or more Member States.

7 .   For the purpose of distinguishing the activities under paragraphs 5 and 6 from the situations described in Article 12(1) and (2) of the basic Regulation, the duration of the activity in one or more other Member States (whether it is permanent or of an ad hoc or temporary nature) shall be decisive. For these purposes, an overall assessment shall be made of all the relevant facts including in particular, in the case of an employed person, the place of work as defined in the employment contract.

8 .   For the purposes of the application of Article 13(1) and (2) of the basic Regulation, ▌a "substantial part of employed or self-employed activity" pursued in a Member State shall mean a quantitatively substantial part of all the activities of the employed or self-employed worker ▌pursued there, without this necessarily being the principal part of these activities.

To determine whether a substantial part of the activities is pursued in a Member State, the following indicative criteria shall be taken into account:

   a) in the case of an employed activity, the working time and/or remuneration; and
   b) in the case of a self-employed activity, the turnover, working time, number of services rendered and/or income.

In the framework of an overall assessment, a total of less than 25% in respect of the criteria mentioned above shall indicate that a substantial part of the activities is not pursued in the relevant Member State.

9 .   For the purposes of the application of Article 13(2)(b) of the basic Regulation (, the "centre of interest" of the activities of a self-employed person shall be determined by taking account of all the aspects of that person's occupational activities, notably the place where the person's fixed and permanent place of business is located, the habitual nature or the duration of the activities pursued, the Member State in which the person concerned is subject to taxation on all his/her income, irrespective of the source, and the intention of the person concerned as revealed by all the circumstances.

10 .   For the determination of the applicable legislation under paragraphs 8 and 9, the institutions concerned shall take into account the situation projected for the following 12 calendar months.

11 .   If a person pursues his activity as an employed person in two or more Member States on behalf of an employer established outside the territory of the Union, and if this person resides in a Member State without pursuing substantial activity there, he/she shall be subject to the legislation of the Member State of residence.

Article 15

Procedures for the application of Article 11(3)(b) and (d), Article 11(4) and Article 12 of the basic Regulation (on the provision of information to the institutions concerned)

1.    Unless otherwise provided for by Article 16 of the implementing Regulation, where a person pursues his/her activity in a Member State other than the Member State competent under Title II of the basic Regulation, the employer or, in the case of a person who does not pursue an activity as an employed person, the person concerned, shall inform the competent institution of the Member State whose legislation is applicable thereof, whenever possible in advance. That institution shall, without delay, make information concerning the legislation applicable to the person concerned pursuant to Article 11(3)(b) or Article 12 of the basic Regulation available to the institution designated by the competent authority of the Member State in which the activity is pursued.

2.    The provisions of paragraph 1 shall apply mutatis mutandis to persons covered by Article 11(3)(d) of the basic Regulation.

3.    An employer within the meaning of Article 11(4) of the basic Regulation who has an employee on board a vessel flying the flag of another Member State, shall inform the competent institution of the Member State whose legislation is applicable, whenever possible in advance. That institution shall, without delay, make information concerning the legislation applicable to the person concerned, pursuant to Article 11(4) of the basic Regulation, available to the institution designated by the competent authority of the Member State whose flag, the vessel on which the employee is to perform the activity, is flying.

Arti cle 16

Procedure for the application of Article 13 of the basic Regulation

1.   A person who pursues activities in two or more Member States shall inform the institution designated by the competent authority of the Member State of residence. This institution shall forward this information to the designated institution of each Member State in which an activity is pursued.

2.   The institution designated by the competent authority of the Member State of residence shall without delay determine ▌ the legislation applicable to the person concerned, having regard to the provisions of Article 13 of the basic Regulation and Article 14 of the implementing Regulation. That determination shall be provisional. The institution shall inform the institutions designated by the competent authorities of each Member State in which an activity is pursued of its provisional determination .

3.   The provisional determination of the applicable legislation, as provided for in paragraph 2, shall become definitive within two months of ▌the designated institution in the Member States where the activity is pursued being informed of the provisional determination , unless the legislation has already been definitively determined on the basis of paragraph 4, or at least one of the institutions concerned informs the institution designated by the competent authority of the Member State of residence by the end of the two-month period that it cannot yet accept the determination or that it takes a different view on this

4.    Where uncertainty about the determination of the applicable legislation requires contacts between the institutions or authorities of two or more Member States, at the request of one or more of the institutions designated by the competent authorities of the Member States concerned or of the competent authorities themselves, the legislation applicable to the person concerned shall be determined by common accord, having regard to the provisions of Article 13 of the basic Regulation and the relevant provisions of Article 14 of the implementing Regulation.

Where there is a difference of views between the institutions or competent authorities concerned, those bodies shall seek agreement in accordance with the conditions set out above, and the provisions of Article 6 of the implementing Regulation shall apply.

5.    The competent institution of the Member State whose legislation is determined to be applicable either provisionally or definitively shall, without delay, inform the person concerned.

6.    If the person concerned fails to provide the information referred to in paragraph 1, the provisions of this Article shall be applied at the initiative of the institution designated by the competent authority of the Member State of residence as soon as it becomes aware of that person's situation, possibly via another institution concerned.

Article 17

Procedure for the application of Article 15 of the basic Regulation

Auxiliary staff shall exercise the right of option foreseen in Article 15 of the basic Regulation at the time of conclusion of the contract of employment. The authority authorised to conclude this contract shall inform the designated institution of the Member State for whose legislation the member of auxiliary staff has opted.

Article 18

Procedure for the application of Article 16(1) of the basic Regulation

A request by the employer or the person concerned for an exemption from Articles 11 to 15 of the basic Regulation, shall be submitted , whenever possible in advance, to the competent authority or the body designated by the authority of the Member State, whose legislation the employer or person concerned requests be applied .

Article 19

Provision of information to persons concerned and employers

1.   The competent institution of the Member State whose legislation becomes applicable by virtue of Title II of the basic Regulation shall inform the person concerned and, where appropriate, his/her employer(s) of the obligations pursuant to this legislation. It shall provide them with the necessary assistance to complete the formalities required by that legislation.

2.   The competent institution of the Member State whose legislation is applicable by virtue of a provision of Title II of the basic Regulation shall issue to the person concerned a certificate of applicable legislation ║and shall indicate where appropriate, until what date and under what conditions. The certificate shall indicate the wages stated by the employer.

Article 20

Cooperation between institutions

1.   The relevant institutions ▌shall communicate to the competent institution of the Member State, whose legislation is applicable to a person by virtue of Title II of the basic Regulation, the necessary information required to establish the date on which this legislation becomes applicable and the contributions which he/she and his/her employer(s) are liable to pay under this legislation.

2.   The competent institution of the Member State whose legislation becomes applicable to a person shall inform the institution of the Member State to whose legislation that person was last subject, indicating the date on which the application of this legislation takes effect.

Article 21

Obligations of the employer

1.   An employer║ who has his registered office or place of business outside the competent Member State shall be obliged to fulfil all the obligations laid down by the legislation applicable to the employee, in particular the obligation to pay the contributions provided for by this legislation, as if he had his registered office or place of business in the competent Member State .

2.   An employer that does not have a place of business in the Member State whose legislation is applicable and his/her employee may agree that the latter may fulfil the employer's obligations on its behalf as regards the payment of contributions without prejudice to the employer's underlying obligations . The employer shall ║send notice of such an arrangement to the competent institution of this Member State.

Title III

Special provisions concerning the various categories of benefits

Chapter I

Sickness, maternity and equivalent paternity benefits

Article 22

General implementing provisions

1.   The competent authorities or institutions shall ensure that any necessary information is made available to insured ▌persons regarding the procedures and conditions for the granting of benefits in kind ▌where these benefits are received in the territory of a Member State other than that of the competent institution ▌.

2.   Articles 25 and 26 of the implementing regulation shall not affect the application of the national provisions of a Member State that allow for a greater part of the cost of benefits in kind in the situations referred to in paragraph 1 to be borne, than under the terms of the basic Regulation

3.   Two or more Member States, or their competent authorities, may agree between themselves on other procedures and arrangements for the application of Articles 25, 26 and 27 of the implementing regulation . However, the agreements concluded to this end may not have unfavourable effects on the conditions and amounts for the chargeability of the benefits in kind of the persons concerned that would stem from the application of this Regulation. These agreements shall be notified to the Administrative Commission.

4.   Notwithstanding Article 5(a) of the basic Regulation, a Member State may become responsible for the cost of benefits in accordance with Article 22 of the basic Regulation only if either the insured person has made a claim for a pension under the legislation of that Member State or in accordance with Articles 23 to 30 of the basic Regulation he/she receives a pension under the legislation of that Member State.

Article 23

Regime applicable in the event of the existence of several regimes in the Member State of residence or stay

If the legislation of the place of residence or stay comprises several schemes of sickness, maternity and paternity insurance, the provisions applicable under Articles 17, 19(1), 20, 22, 24, 26 and 27 of the basic Regulation shall be those of the legislation on the general scheme for employed persons.

Article 24

Residence in a Member State other than the competent Member State

1.   For the purposes of the application of Article 17 of the basic Regulation, an insured person or members of his/her family shall be obliged to register with the institution of the place of residence, sending a document showing their right to the benefits in kind payable by the competent Member State.

This document shall be issued by the competent institution, where appropriate in the light of the information provided by the employer. If the insured person or the members of his/her family do not send the said document, the institution of the place of residence shall request the necessary information from the competent institution.

2.   The document referred to in paragraph 1 shall remain valid until the competent institution informs the institution of the place of residence of its cancellation.

The institution of the place of residence shall inform the competent institution of any registration under paragraph 1 and of any change or cancellation of that registration .

3.   This Article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the persons referred to in Articles 22, 24, 25 and 26 of the basic Regulation.

Article 25

Stay in a Member State other than the competent Member State

A)   Procedure and scope of right

1.   For the purposes of the application of Article 19 of the basic Regulation, the insured person shall present a document issued by his/her competent institution demonstrating his/her entitlement to benefits in kind. to the health care provider in the Member State of stay If the insured person does not have such a document, the institution of the place of stay, upon request or if otherwise necessary, shall contact the competent institution to obtain one .

2.   That document shall demonstrate that the insured person is entitled to benefits in kind under the conditions laid down in Article 19 of the basic Regulation on the same terms as those applicable to persons insured under the legislation of the Member State of stay.

3.   The benefits in kind referred to in Article 19(1) of the basic Regulation shall refer to the benefits in kind ║provided in the Member State of stay, in accordance with its national legislation, and which become necessary on medical grounds in order to prevent an insured person from being required to return, before the end of the planned duration of stay, to the competent Member State to obtain the necessary treatment║.

B)   Procedure and arrangements for meeting the costs and providing reimbursement of benefits in kind.

4 .   If the insured person has actually borne the costs of all or part of the benefits in kind provided within the framework of Article 19 of the basic Regulation and if the legislation applied by the institution of the place of stay enables reimbursement of those costs to an insured person , he/she may send his/her application for reimbursement to the institution of the place of stay. In that case, that institution shall reimburse directly to that person the amount of the costs corresponding to these benefits within the limits and under the conditions of the reimbursement rates in its legislation.

5.    5 If the reimbursement of these costs has not been requested directly from the institution of the place of stay, the costs incurred shall be reimbursed to the person concerned by the competent institution in accordance with the reimbursement rates administered by the institution of the place of stay or, if Article 61 of the implementing Regulation had applied in the case concerned , the amounts which would have been subject to reimbursement to the institution of the place of stay .

The institution of the place of stay shall ║provide the competent institution, upon request, with all necessary information about these rates or amounts . ▌

6 .   By way of derogation from paragraph 5 , the competent institution may reimburse the costs incurred within the limits of and at the rates laid down in its legislation, provided that the insured person has agreed to this provision being applied to him/her.

7.    The reimbursement to the insured person shall not, in any event, exceed the amount of costs actually incurred by him/her.

8 .   In the case of significant expenditure, the competent institution may pay the insured person an appropriate advance as soon as that person submits his/her application for reimbursement to it.

C)    Family Members

9 .   Paragraphs 1-8 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the members of the family of the insured person.

Article 26

Scheduled treatment

A)   Authorisation procedure

1.   For the purposes of the application of Article 20(1) of the basic Regulation, the insured person shall present a document issued by the competent institution to the institution of the place of stay. For the purposes of this Article , the competent institution shall mean the institution which bears the cost of the scheduled treatment; in the cases referred to in Article 20(4) and 27(5) of the basic Regulation, in which the benefits in kind provided in the Member State of residence are reimbursed by fixed amounts, the competent institution shall mean the institution of the place of residence .

2.   If an insured person does not reside in the competent Member State, he/she shall request authorisation from the institution of the place of residence, which shall forward it to the competent institution without delay .

In that event, the institution of the place of residence shall certify whether the conditions set out in the second sentence of Article 20(2) of the basic Regulation are met in the Member State of residence.

The competent institution may refuse authorisation only if, in accordance with the assessment of the institution of the place of residence, the conditions set out in the second sentence of Article 20(2) of the basic Regulation are not met in the Member State of residence of the insured person, or if the same treatment can be provided in the competent Member State itself, within a time-limit which is medically justifiable, taking into account the current state of health and the prognosis of the person concerned.

The competent institution shall inform the institution of the Member State of residence of its decision.

In the absence of a reply within fifteen "calendar days" of the date on which the request was sent, the authorisation shall be considered to have been granted by the competent institution.

3.   If an insured person who does not reside in the competent Member State is in need of an urgent and vitally necessary treatment, the authorisation cannot be refused under the second sentence of Article 20(2) of the basic Regulation. In such circumstances, the authorisation shall be granted by the institution of the place of residence on behalf of the competent institution, which shall be immediately informed by the institution of the place of residence.

The competent institution shall be obliged to accept the findings made and the treatment options given by the doctors approved by the institution of the place of residence that issues the authorisation concerning the need for urgent and vitally necessary treatment that is decided ║

4 .   The competent institution shall retain the right to have the insured person examined by a doctor of its own choice in the Member State of stay or residence at any time during the procedure granting the authorisation .

5 .   The institution of the place of stay shall, without prejudice to any decision regarding authorisation, inform the competent institution if it appears medically appropriate to supplement the treatment covered by the existing authorisation .

B)   Meeting the cost of benefits in kind incurred by the insured person

6.    Without prejudice to paragraph 7, Article 25(5) and (6) of the implementing Regulation shall apply mutatis mutandis.

7 .   If the insured person has actually borne all or part of the costs for the authorised medical treatment, and the costs which the competent institution is obliged to reimburse to the institution of the place of stay or to the insured person pursuant to paragraph 6 (actual cost) are lower than the costs which it would have had to assume for the same treatment in the competent Member State (notional cost), the competent institution shall reimburse, upon request, the cost of treatment incurred by the insured person up to the amount by which the notional cost exceeds the actual cost. The reimbursed sum may not, however, exceed the costs actually incurred by the insured person and may take account of the amount which the insured person would have had to pay if the treatment had been delivered in the competent Member State .

C)   Meeting the costs of travel and stay as part of scheduled treatment.

8 .   ▌The costs of travel and stay that are inseparable from the treatment of the insured person and, if necessary, the costs of travel and stay for a person who must accompany him/her, shall be assumed by this institution when an authorisation is granted in the case of treatment in another Member State. In the event of the insured person being a person with disabilities, the travel and stay of an accompanying person shall be considered necessary.

D)   Family members

9 .   The provisions of paragraphs 1-8 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the members of the family of the insured persons.

Article 27

Cash benefits relating to incapacity for work in the event of a stay or residence in a Member State other than the competent Member State

A)   Procedure to be followed by the insured person

1.   If the legislation of the competent Member State requires that the insured person present a certificate in order to be entitled to cash benefits relating to incapacity for work pursuant to Article 21(1) of the basic Regulation, the insured person shall ask the doctor of the Member State of residence who established his/her state of health to ▌certify his/her incapacity for work and its probable duration .

2.   The insured person shall send the certificate to the competent institution within the time-limit laid down in the legislation of the competent Member State .

3.    Where doctors providing treatment in the Member State of residence do not issue certificates of incapacity for work, and where such certificates are required under the legislation of the competent Member State, the person concerned shall apply directly to the institution of the place of residence. That institution shall immediately arrange for a medical assessment of the person's incapacity for work and for the certificate referred to in paragraph 1 to be drawn up. The certificate shall be forwarded to the competent institution forthwith.

4 .   The forwarding of the document referred to paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall not exempt the insured person from fulfilling the obligations provided for by the applicable legislation, in particular with regard to his/her employer. Where appropriate the employer and/or the competent institution may call upon the employee to participate in activities designed to promote and assist his/her return to employment.

B)   Procedure to be followed by the institution of the Member State of residence

5.   At the request of the competent institution or in the cases referred to in paragraph 3, the institution of the place of residence shall have the medical condition of the insured person checked, where necessary, as if that person were insured by it. The information in the report of the examining doctor concerning , in particular, the probable duration of the incapacity for work, shall be forwarded by the institution of the place of residence to the competent institution within three working days of the date of the examination.

C)   Procedure to be followed by the competent institution

6.    The competent institution shall retain the right to have the insured person examined by a doctor of its choice.

7 .   Without prejudice to the second sentence of Article 21(1) of the basic Regulation, the competent institution shall pay the cash benefits directly to the person concerned and shall, where necessary, inform the institution of the place of residence thereof.

8 .   For the purposes of the application of Article 21(1) of the basic Regulation, the particulars of the certificate of incapacity for work of an insured person drawn up in another Member State on the basis of the medical findings of the examining doctor must be accepted by the competent institution unless there has been any abusive conduct.

9 .   If the competent institution decides to refuse the cash benefits, it shall notify the insured person of its decision and simultaneously notify the institution of the place of residence thereof.

D)   Procedure in the event of a stay in a Member State other than the competent Member State.

10 .   The provisions of paragraphs 1-9 shall apply mutatis mutandis when the insured person stays in a Member State other than the competent Member State.

Article 28

Long-term care benefits in cash in the event of a stay or residence in a Member State other than the competent Member State

A)    Procedure to be followed by the insured person

1.    In order to be entitled to cash benefits relating to long-term care pursuant to Article 21(1) of the basic Regulation, the insured person shall apply to the competent institution. The competent institution shall, where necessary, inform the institution of the place of residence thereof.

B)    Procedure to be followed by the institution of the place of residence

2.    At the request of the competent institution, the institution of the place of residence shall examine the condition of the insured person with respect to his/her need for long-term care. The competent institution shall provide the institution of the place of residence with all the information necessary for such an examination.

C)    Procedure to be followed by the competent institution

3.    In order to determine the degree of need for long-term care, the competent institution shall have the right to have the insured person examined by a doctor or any other expert of its choice.

4.    Article 27(7) of the implementing Regulation shall apply mutatis mutandis.

D)    Procedure in the event of a stay in a Member State other than the competent Member State

5.    Paragraphs 1-4 shall apply mutatis mutandis when the insured person stays in a Member State other than the competent Member State.

E)    Family members

6.    Paragraphs 1-5 shall apply mutatis mutandis to the members of the family of the insured person.

Article 29

Application of Article 28 of the basic Regulation

If the Member State where the former frontier worker last pursued his/her activity is no longer the competent Member State, and the former frontier worker or a member of his/her family travels there with the purpose of receiving benefits in kind by virtue of Article 28 of the basic Regulation, he/she shall submit to the institution of the place of stay a document issued by the competent institution.

Article 30

Contributions by pensioners

If a person receives a pension from more than one Member State, the amount of contributions deducted from all the pensions paid shall under no circumstances be greater than the amount deducted from a person with the same amount of pension obtained from the competent Member State.

Article 31

Application of Article 34 of the basic Regulation

A)    Procedure to be followed by the competent institution

1.    The competent institution shall ▌inform the person concerned of the provision contained in Article 34 of the basic Regulation regarding the prevention of overlapping of benefits. The application of such rules shall ensure that the person not residing in ▌the competent Member State is entitled to benefits of at least the same total amount or value as those to which he/she would be entitled if he/she resided in that Member State.

2.    The competent institution shall also inform the institution of the place of residence or stay of the payment of long-term care cash benefits where the legislation applied by the latter institution provides for long-term care benefits in kind included in the list referred to in Article 34(2) of the basic Regulation.

B)    Procedure to be followed by the institution of the place of residence or stay

3.    Having received the information provided for in paragraph 2, the institution of the place of residence or stay shall, without delay, inform the competent institution of any long-term care benefit in kind intended for the same purpose granted under its legislation to the person concerned and of the rate of reimbursement applicable thereto.

4 .   The Administrative Commission shall lay down implementing measures for this Article where necessary.

Article 32

Special implementing measures

1.   For the Member States referred to in Annex II, the provisions of Title III, Chapter I, of the basic Regulation ▌relating to benefits in kind shall apply to persons entitled to benefits in kind solely on the basis of a special scheme for civil servants only to the extent specified therein . The institution of another Member State shall not, on those grounds alone, become responsible for bearing the costs of benefits in kind or in cash provided to those persons or to members of their family.

2.   Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1, Article 23 of the basic Regulation shall apply to persons who are entitled to both a pension under a civil servants" scheme in one of the Member States referred to in Annex 2 and a pension under the legislation of another Member State.

3.   Practical implementing measures for paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be taken by the Administrative Commission.

Chapter II

Benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases

Article 33

Right to benefits in kind and in cash in the event of residence or stay in a Member State other than the competent Member State

For the purposes of applying Article 36(1) of the basic Regulation, the procedures laid down in Articles 24 to 27 of the implementing Regulation shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Article 34

Cooperation between institutions in the event of an accident at work or occupational disease which occurs in a Member State other than the competent Member State

1.   If the accident at work or occupational disease is diagnosed for the first time in a Member State other than the competent Member State, the declaration of the occupational accident or disease shall be carried out in accordance with the legislation of the competent State, without prejudice, where appropriate, to the legal provisions in force in the Member State in which the occupational accident occurred or in which the first medical diagnosis of the occupational disease was made, which remain applicable in such cases. This declaration shall be addressed to the competent institution and a copy shall be sent to the institution in the place of residence or stay.

2.   The institution of the Member State in the territory of which the occupational accident occurred or in which the occupational disease was first diagnosed, shall notify the competent institution of medical certificates drawn up in the territory of that State and, at the request of that institution, shall provide any appropriate information.

3.   Where, as a result of a commuting accident which occurs in the territory of a Member State other than the competent Member State, an inquiry is necessary in the territory of the first Member State, an investigator may be appointed for this purpose by the competent institution, which shall inform the authorities of that Member State. The authorities shall assist the investigator, in particular by appointing a person responsible for helping to consult the reports and any other documents relating to the accident.

4.   Following treatment, a detailed report accompanied by medical certificates relating to the permanent consequences of the accident or illness, in particular the victim's present state and the recovery or stabilisation of injuries, shall be sent to the competent institution. The relevant fees shall be paid by the institution in the place of residence or by the institution in the place of stay, where appropriate, at the rate applied by that institution to the charge of the competent institution.

5.   At the request of the institution in the place of residence or the institution in the place of stay, where appropriate, the competent institution shall notify it of the decision setting the date for the recovery or stabilisation of injuries and, where appropriate, the decision concerning the granting of a pension.

Article 35

Contestation of the occupational nature of the accident or disease

1.   Where the competent institution contests application of the legislation relating to accidents at work or occupational diseases under Article 36(2) of the basic Regulation, it shall immediately inform the institution in the place of residence or stay which provided the benefits in kind, which will then be considered as sickness insurance benefits.

2.   When a final decision has been taken on this subject, the competent institution shall immediately inform the institution in the place of residence or stay which provided the benefits in kind. The latter institution shall continue to pay benefits in kind as sickness insurance benefits if the employed or self-employed person is entitled to them and an occupational accident or disease is not involved. If that is not the case, benefits in kind paid to the beneficiary as sickness insurance shall be considered as occupational accident or disease benefits from the date on which the occupational accident or disease was first diagnosed.

Article 36

Procedure in the event of exposure to the risk of an occupational disease in several Member States

1.   In the case referred to in Article 38 of the basic Regulation, the declaration of the occupational disease shall be sent either to the competent institution for occupational diseases of the last Member State under the legislation of which the victim pursued an activity likely to cause the said disease, or to the institution in the place of residence, which shall forward the declaration to the ║competent institution.

If the latter institution establishes that an activity likely to cause the occupational disease in question was last pursued under the legislation of another Member State, it shall send the declaration and the accompanying certificates to the equivalent institution in that Member State.

2.   Where the institution of the last Member State under the legislation of which the victim pursued an activity likely to cause the occupational disease in question establishes that the victim or his/her survivors do not meet the requirements of that legislation, that institution shall forward immediately to the institution of the previous Member State under the legislation of which the victim pursued an activity likely to cause the occupational disease in question the declaration and all accompanying certificates, including the findings and reports of medical examinations performed by the first institution, as well as a copy of the decision referred to in the second paragraph.

It shall also inform the insured person of its decision, indicating in particular the reasons for refusing benefits, the remedies and periods allowed for appeals, as well as the date on which the dossier was sent to the institution of the Member State under the legislation of which the insured person previously pursued an activity likely to cause the occupational disease in question.

3.   It is advisable, where appropriate, to go back under the same procedure ║as far as the equivalent institution in the Member State under whose legislation the victim first pursued an activity likely to cause the occupational disease in question.

Article 37

Exchange of information between institutions and advance payments in the event of an appeal against rejection

1.   In the event of an appeal against a decision to refuse benefits taken by the institution of one of the Member States under the legislation of which the victim pursued an activity likely to cause the occupational disease in question, that institution shall inform the institution to which the declaration was sent, in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 36(2) of the implementing regulation , and shall subsequently inform it of the final decision.

2.   Where a person is entitled to benefits under the legislation applied by the institution to which the declaration was sent, that institution shall make the advance payments, the amount of which shall be determined, where appropriate, after consulting the institution which made the decision against which the appeal was lodged. The latter institution shall reimburse the advance payments made if, as a result of the appeal, it is obliged to provide these benefits. That amount will then be deducted from the benefits due to the person concerned, in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 71 of the implementing regulation .

Article 38

Aggravation of an occupational disease

In the cases covered by Article 39 of the basic Regulation, the claimant must give the institution in the Member State from which he/she is claiming entitlement to benefits all the details concerning benefits previously granted for the occupational disease in question. That institution may contact any other previously competent institution in order to obtain the information it considers necessary.

Article 39

Assessment of the degree of incapacity in the event of occupational accidents or diseases which occurred previously or subsequently.

For the purposes of applying Article 40(3) of the basic Regulation, where a previous or subsequent incapacity for work was caused by an accident which occurred when the person concerned was subject to the legislation of a Member State which makes no distinction according to the origin of the incapacity to work, the competent institution in the case of the previous or subsequent incapacity for work or the body designated by the competent authority of the Member State in question shall be obliged, when requested to do so by the competent institution of another Member State, to provide information concerning the degree of the previous or subsequent incapacity for work, and, where possible, information making it possible to determine whether the incapacity is the result of an accident at work within the meaning of the legislation applied by the institution in the other Member State.

In such cases , the competent institution shall take into account the degree of incapacity caused by these previous or subsequent cases when determining the right to benefits and the amount, in accordance with the applicable legislation.

Article 40

Submission and investigation of claims for pensions or supplementary allowances

1.   In order to receive a pension or supplementary allowance under the legislation of a Member State, the employed or self-employed person or his/her survivors residing in the territory of another Member State shall submit a claim either to the competent institution or to the institution in the place of residence, which shall send it to the competent institution. The claim shall be accompanied by the necessary supporting documents and be drawn up in accordance with the legislation applied by the competent institution.

2.   The competent institution shall notify the claimant of its decision directly or through the liaison body of the competent State. It shall send a copy of this decision to the liaison body of the Member State in which the claimant resides.

Article 41

Special implementing measures

The provisions of Title III, Chapter 2 of the basic Regulation covering benefits in kind shall not apply to persons entitled to benefits in kind solely on the basis of a special scheme for civil servants in one of the Member States referred to in Annex II to the implementing Regulation.

Chapter III

Death grants

Article 42

Claim for death grants

For the purposes of applying Articles 42 and 43 of the basic Regulation, the claim for death grants shall be sent to the institution in the claimant's place of residence.

Chapter IV

Invalidity benefits and old-age and survivors" pensions

Article 43

Calculation of benefit

1.   For the purposes of calculating the theoretical amount and the actual amount of the benefit in accordance with Article 52(1)(b) of the basic Regulation, ▌the rules provided for in Article 12(3), (4), (5) and (6) of the implementing Regulation shall apply.

2.   Where periods of voluntary or optional continued insurance have not been taken into account under Article 12(3) of the implementing Regulation, the institution of the Member State under whose legislation these periods were completed shall calculate the amount corresponding to these periods under the legislation it applies. The actual amount of the benefit, calculated in accordance with Article 52(1)(b) of the basic Regulation, shall be increased by the amount corresponding to periods of voluntary or optional continued insurance.

3.   The institution of each Member State shall calculate, under the legislation it applies, the amount due corresponding to periods of voluntary or optional continued insurance which, under Article 53(3)(c) of the basic Regulation, shall not be subject to another Member State's rules relating to withdrawal, reduction or suspension.

Where the legislation applied by the competent institution does not allow it to determine this amount directly on the grounds that that legislation allocates different values to insurance periods, a notional amount may be established. The Administrative Commission shall lay down the modalities for the determination of that notional amount.

Article 44

Taking into account of child-raising periods

1.    For the purposes of this Article, "child-raising period" shall mean any period which is credited under the pension legislation of a Member State or which provides a supplement to a pension explicitly for the reason that a person has raised a child, irrespective of the method used to calculate those periods and whether they accrue during the time of child-raising or are acknowledged retroactively.

2.    Where, under the legislation of the Member State which is competent under Title II of the basic Regulation, no child-raising period is taken into account, the institution of the Member State whose legislation was applicable to the person concerned, in accordance with Title II of the basic Regulation, on the grounds that he or she was pursuing an activity as an employed or self-employed person at the date when, under that legislation, the child-raising period started to be taken into account for the child concerned, shall remain responsible for taking into account that period as a child-raising period under its own legislation, as if such child-raising had taken place in its own territory.

3.    Paragraph 2 shall not apply if the person concerned is/or becomes subject to the legislation of another Member State due to the pursuit of an employed or self-employed activit y there.

Article 45

Claim for benefits

A)   Submission of the claim for benefits under Article 44(2) of the basic Regulation

1.   In order to receive benefits under type A legislation under Article 44(2) of the basic Regulation, the claimant shall submit a claim to the institution of the Member State║ whose legislation was applicable at the time when the incapacity for work occurred followed by invalidity or the aggravation of this invalidity, or to the institution of the place of residence, which shall forward the claim to the former institution .

2.   If sickness benefits in cash have been awarded, the expiry date of the period for awarding these benefits shall, where appropriate, be considered as the date of submission of the pension claim.

3.   In the case referred to in Article 47(1)(b) of the basic Regulation , the institution with which the person concerned was last insured shall inform the institution which initially paid the benefits of the amount and the date of commencement of the benefits under the applicable legislation. From that date benefits due before aggravation of the invalidity shall be withdrawn or reduced to the supplement referred to in Article 47(2) of the basic Regulation.

B)   Submission of other claims for benefits

4.   In situations other than those referred to in paragraph 1 , the claimant shall submit a claim to the institution of his/her place of residence or to the institution of the last Member State whose legislation was applicable. If the person concerned was not, at any time, subject to the legislation applied by the institution of the place of residence, that institution shall forward the claim to the institution of the last Member State whose legislation was applicable .

5.   The date of submission of the claim shall apply in all the institutions concerned.

6.   By way of derogation from paragraph 5, if the claimant does not specify all the periods of insurance or residence which were subject to the legislation of other Member States, despite being specifically asked to do so, the date on which the claimant completes his/her initial claim or submits a new claim for the missing periods shall be considered as the date of submission of the claim to the institution applying the legislation in question, subject to more favourable provisions of that legislation.

Article 46

Certificates and information to be submitted with the claim by the claimant

1.   The claim shall be submitted by the claimant in accordance with the provisions of the legislation applied by the institution referred to in Article 45(1) or (4) of the implementing Regulation and be accompanied by the supporting documents required by that legislation . In particular, the claimant shall supply all available relevant information and supporting documents relating to periods of insurance (institutions, identification numbers), employment ( employers) or self-employment (nature and place of activity) and residence (addresses) which may have been completed under other legislation, as well as the length of those periods .

2.   Where, in accordance with Article 50(1) of the basic Regulation, the claimant requests deferment of the award of old-age benefits ▌under the legislation of one or more Member States, he/she shall state that in his/her claim and specify under which legislation the deferment ▌is requested. In order to enable the claimant to exercise that right, the institutions concerned shall, upon the request of the claimant, notify him/her of all the information available to them so that he/she can assess the consequences of concurrent or successive awards of benefits which he/she might claim.

3.    Should the claimant withdraw a claim for benefits provided for under the legislation of a particular Member State, that withdrawal shall not be considered as a concurrent withdrawal of claims for benefits under the legislation of other Member States.

Article 47

Investigation of claims by the institutions

A)   Investigating institution

1.   The institution to which the claim for benefits shall be submitted or forwarded in accordance with the provisions of Article 45(1) or (4) of the implementing Regulation shall be referred to hereinafter as the "contact institution". The institution of the place of residence shall not be referred to as the contact institution if the person concerned has not, at any time, been subject to the legislation which that institution applies .

In addition to investigating the claim for benefits under the legislation which it applies, the contact institution shall promote the exchange of data, communication of decisions and operations necessary for the investigation of the claim by the institutions concerned, supply the claimant, upon request, with any information relevant to the Community aspects of the investigation and keep him/her informed of its progress.

B)   Investigation of claims for benefits under Article 44 of the basic Regulation

2.   In the case referred to in Article 44(3) of the basic Regulation, the investigating institution shall send all the documents of the person concerned to the institution with which he/she was previously insured, which shall in turn examine the case.

3.   Articles 48 to 52 shall not be applicable to the investigation of claims referred to in Article 44 of the basic Regulation.

C)   Investigation of other claims for benefits

4.   In situations other than those referred to in paragraph 2 , the contact institution shall, without delay, send claims for benefits and all the documents which it has available and, where appropriate, the relevant documents supplied by the claimant to all the institutions in question so that they can all start the investigation of the claim concurrently. The contact institution shall notify the other institutions of periods of insurance or residence subject to its legislation. It shall also indicate which documents will be submitted at a later date and supplement the claim as soon as possible.

5.   Each of the ▌institutions in question shall notify the contact institution and the other institutions in question, as soon as possible, of the periods of insurance or residence subject to their legislation. ▌

6.   Each of the institutions in question shall calculate the amount of benefits in accordance with Article 52 of the basic Regulation ▌and shall notify the contact institution and the other institutions concerned of its decision, of the amount of benefits due and of any information required for the purposes of Articles 53 to 55 of the basic Regulation .

7.   Should an institution establish, on the basis of the information referred to in paragraphs 4 and 5 of this Article, that Article 46(2) or Article 57(2) or (3) of the basic Regulation is applicable , it shall inform the contact institution and the other institutions concerned .

Article 48

Notification of decisions to the claimant

1.   Each institution shall notify the claimant of the decision it has taken in accordance with the applicable legislation. Each decision shall specify the remedies and periods allowed for appeals. Once the contact institution has been notified of all decisions taken by each institution, it shall send the claimant and the other institutions concerned a summary of those decisions. A model summary shall be drawn up by the Administrative Commission. The summary shall be sent to the claimant in the language of the institution or, at the request of the claimant, in any language of his/her choice recognised as an official language of the Community institutions in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty .

2.   Where it appears to the claimant, following receipt of the summary, that his/her rights may have been adversely affected by the interaction of decisions taken by two or more institutions, the claimant shall have the right to a review of the decisions by the institutions concerned within the time limits laid down in the respective national legislation. The time limits shall start to run on the date of receipt of the summary. The claimant shall be notified of the result of the review in writing .

Article 49

Determination of the degree of invalidity

1.   Where the provisions of Article 46(3) of the basic Regulation are applicable, the investigating institution alone shall be authorised to take the decision concerning the degree of invalidity of the claimant. It shall take this decision as soon as it is in a position to determine whether the conditions for eligibility laid down in the applicable legislation are met, taking into account, where appropriate, the provisions of Articles 6 and 51 of the basic Regulation. It shall immediately notify the other institutions in question of this decision.

Where the eligibility criteria, other than those relating to the degree of invalidity, laid down in the applicable legislation are not met, taking into account the provisions of Articles 6 and 51 of the basic Regulation, the investigating institution shall immediately inform the competent institution of the last Member State to whose legislation the claimant was subject. The latter institution shall be authorised to take the decision concerning the degree of invalidity of the claimant if the conditions for eligibility laid down in the applicable legislation are met. It shall immediately notify the other institutions involved of this decision.

2 .   When determining eligibility it is advisable, where appropriate, ║, to go back under the same procedure as far as the competent institution for invalidity in the Member State to whose legislation the claimant was first subject.

3 .   Where the provisions of Article 46(3) of the basic Regulation are not applicable, each institution, shall, in accordance with its legislation have the possibility of having the claimant examined by a medical doctor or other expert of its choice to determine the degree of invalidity. However, the institution of a Member State shall take into consideration documents, medical reports and administrative information collected by the institution of any other Member State as if they had been drawn up in its own Member State.

Article 50

Provisional instalments and advance payment of benefits

1.   Notwithstanding Article 7 of this Regulation, any institution which establishes while investigating a claim for benefits that the claimant is entitled to an independent benefit under the applicable legislation, in accordance with Article 52(1)(a) of the basic Regulation, shall pay this benefit immediately. This payment shall be considered provisional if the amount may be affected by the result of the claim investigation procedure.

2.   Where no provisional benefit can be paid to the claimant under paragraph 1 but it is evident from the information received that the claimant is eligible under Article 52(1)(b) of the basic Regulation, the investigating institution shall make a recoverable advance payment, the amount of which shall be as close as possible to the amount which will probably be paid under Article 52(1)(b) of the basic Regulation.

3.   Each institution which is obliged to pay the provisional benefits or advance payment under paragraphs 1 or 2 shall inform the claimant without delay , specifically drawing his/her attention to the provisional nature of the measure and any rights of appeal in accordance with its legislation .

Article 51

New calculation of benefits

1.   Where there is a new calculation of benefits in accordance with Articles 48(3) and (4), 50(4) and 59(1) of the basic Regulation, Article 50 of the implementing Regulation shall be applicable mutatis mutandis.

2.   Where there is a new calculation, withdrawal or suspension of the benefit, the institution which took the decision shall inform the person concerned immediately in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 3(4) to (7) of the implementing Regulation and shall inform each of the institutions in respect of which the person concerned has an entitlement.

Article 52

Measures intended to accelerate the pension calculation process

1.  In order to facilitate and accelerate the investigation of claims and the payment of benefits, the institutions to whose legislation a person has been subject shall:

   a) exchange with or make available to institutions of other Member States the elements for identifying persons who change from one applicable national legislation to another, and together ensure that those identification elements are retained and correspond, or, failing that, provide those persons with the means to access their identification elements directly;
   b) sufficiently prior to the minimum age for commencing pension rights or an age to be determined, by the institutions to whose legislation a person has been subject, exchange with or make available to the person concerned and to institutions of other Member States information (periods completed or other important elements) on the pension entitlements of persons who have changed from one applicable legislation to another or, failing that, inform those persons of, or provide them with, the means of familiarising themselves with their prospective benefit entitlement.

2.   For the purposes of applying paragraph 1, the Administrative Commission shall determine the elements of information to be exchanged or made available and shall establish the appropriate procedures and mechanisms, taking account of the characteristics, administrative and technical organisation, and the technological means at the disposal of national pension schemes. The Administrative Commission shall ensure the implementation of those pension schemes by organising a follow-up to the measures taken and their application .

3 .   For the purposes of applying paragraph 1, the institution in the first Member State where a person is allocated a Personal Identification Number (PIN) for the purposes of social security administration should be provided with the information mentioned above.

Article 53

Coordination measures in a Member State

1.   Without prejudice to Article 51 of the basic Regulation, where national legislation includes rules for determining the institution responsible or the scheme applicable or for designating periods of insurance to a specific scheme , those rules shall be applied, taking into account only periods of insurance completed under the legislation of the Member State concerned.

2.   Where national legislation includes rules for the coordination of special schemes for civil servants and the general scheme for employed persons, those rules shall not be affected by the provisions of the basic Regulation and of the implementing Regulation.

Chapter V

Unemployment benefits

Article 54

Aggregation of periods and calculation of benefits

1.    Article 12(1) of the implementing Regulation shall apply mutatis mutandis to Article 61 of the basic Regulation. Without prejudice to the underlying obligations of the institutions involved, the person concerned may submit to the competent institution a document issued by the institution of the Member State to whose legislation he/she was subject in respect of his/her last activity as an employed or self-employed person specifying the periods completed under that legislation.

2 .   For the purposes of applying Article 62(3) of the basic Regulation , the competent institution of the Member State to whose legislation the person concerned was subject in respect of his/her last activity as an employed or self-employed person shall, at the request of the institution in the place of residence, provide it with all the information necessary to calculate unemployment benefits, in particular the salary or professional income received.

3.   For the purposes of applying Article 62 of the basic Regulation and notwithstanding Article 63 of that Regulation, the competent institution of a Member State whose legislation provides that the calculation of benefits varies with the number of members of the family shall also take into account the members of the family of the person concerned residing in another Member State as if they resided in the competent Member State. This provision shall not apply where, in the Member State of residence of members of the family, another person is entitled to unemployment benefits calculated on the basis of the number of members of the family.

Article 55

Conditions and restrictions on the retention of the entitlement to benefits for unemployed persons going to another Member State

1.   In order to be covered by the provisions of Article 64 of the basic Regulation , the unemployed person going to another Member State shall inform the competent institution prior to his/her departure and request a document certifying that he/she retains entitlement to benefits under the conditions laid down in Article 64(1)(b) of the basic Regulation.

That institution shall inform the person concerned of his/her obligations and shall provide the abovementioned document which includes the following information:

   a) the date on which the unemployed person ceased to be available to the employment services of the competent State;
   b) the period granted in accordance with Article 64(1)(b) of the basic Regulation in order to register as a person seeking work in the Member State to which the unemployed person has gone;
   c) the maximum period during which the entitlement to benefits may be retained in accordance with Article 64(1)(c) of the basic Regulation;
   d) circumstances likely to affect the entitlement to benefits.

2.   The unemployed person shall register as a person seeking work with the employment services of the Member State to which he/she goes in accordance with the provisions of Article 64(1)(b) of the basic Regulation and shall send the document referred to in paragraph (1) to the institution of that Member State. If he/she fails to do this, the institution in the place to which the unemployed person has gone shall contact the competent institution in order to obtain the necessary information.

3.   The employment services in the Member State to which the unemployed person has gone to seek employment shall inform the unemployed person of his/her obligations.

4.   The institution in the place to which the unemployed person has gone shall immediately send a document to the competent institution containing the date on which the unemployed person registered with the employment services and his/her new address.

If, throughout the period during which the unemployed person retains entitlement to benefits, any circumstance likely to affect the entitlement to benefits arises, the institution in the place to which the unemployed person has gone shall send immediately to the competent institution and to the person concerned a document containing the relevant information.

At the request of the competent institution, the institution in the place to which the unemployed person has gone shall provide relevant information on a monthly basis concerning the follow-up of the unemployed person's situation, in particular whether the latter is still registered with the employment services and is complying with organised checking procedures.

5.   The institution in the place to which the unemployed person has gone shall carry out or arrange for checks to be carried out as if the person concerned were an unemployed person obtaining benefits under its own legislation. It shall immediately inform the competent institution of the occurrence of any circumstance referred to in paragraph 1(d).

6.   The competent authorities or competent institutions of two or more Member States may agree amongst themselves a set of measures to promote the job-seeking activities of unemployed persons who go to one of those Member States under Article 64 of the basic Regulation.

Article 56

Unemployed persons who resided in a Member State other than the competent Member State

1.   Where the unemployed person decides, in accordance with Article 65(2) of the basic Regulation, to register as a person seeking work in the Member State in which he/she resides as well as in the Member State in which he/she pursued his/her last activity as an employed or self-employed person, he/she shall inform as a priority the institution and employment services of his/her place of residence.

At the request of the employment services of the Member State in which he/she pursued his/her last activity as an employed or self-employed person, the employment services in the place of residence shall send the relevant information concerning the unemployed person's registration and search for employment.

2.   Where the legislation applicable in the Member States concerned requires the fulfilment of certain obligations and/or job-seeking activities by the unemployed person, the obligations and/or job-seeking activities by the unemployed person in the Member State of residence shall have priority .

The non-fulfilment by the unemployed person of all the obligations and/or job-seeking activities in the Member State in which he/she pursued his/her last activity shall not affect the benefits awarded in the Member State of residence.

3.   For the purposes of applying Article 65(5)(b) of the basic Regulation , the institution of the Member State to whose legislation the worker was last subject shall inform the institution in the place of residence, when requested to do so by the latter, whether the worker is entitled to benefits under Article 64 of the basic Regulation ║.

Chapter VI

Family benefits

Article 57

Priority rules in the event of overlapping

For the purposes of applying Article 68(1)(b)(i) and (ii) of the basic Regulation, where the order of priority cannot be established on the basis of the children's place of residence, each Member State concerned shall calculate the amount of benefits including the children not resident within its own territory. When applying Article 68(1)(b)(i), the competent institution of the Member State whose legislation provides for the highest level of benefits shall pay the full amount of such benefits and be reimbursed half this sum by the competent institution of the other Member State up to the limit of the amount provided for in the legislation of the latter Member State. 

Article 58

Rules applicable where the applicable legislation and/or the competence to grant family benefits changes

1.   1 Where the applicable legislation and/or the competence to grant family benefits change between Member States during a calendar month, irrespective of the payment dates of family benefits under the legislation of those Member States, the institution which has paid the family benefits by virtue of the legislation under which the benefits have been granted at the beginning of this month shall continue to do so until the end of the month in progress.

2.   It shall inform the institution of the other Member State or Member States concerned of the date on which it ceases to pay the family benefits in question. Payment of benefits from the other Member State or Member States concerned shall take effect from that date.

Article 59

Procedure for applying Articles 67 and 68 of the basic Regulation

1.   The application for family benefits shall be addressed ▌to the competent institution. For the purposes of applying Articles 67 and 68 of the basic Regulation, the situation of the whole family shall be taken into account as if all persons involved were subject to the legislation of the Member State concerned and residing there, in particular as regards a person's entitlement to claim such benefits. Where a parent entitled to claim the benefits does not exercise his/her right, an application for family benefits submitted by the other parent, a person treated as a parent, or a person or institution acting as guardian of the child or children, shall be taken into account by the competent institution of the Member State whose legislation is applicable.

2.   The institution to which an application is made in accordance with paragraph 1 shall examine the application on the basis of the detailed information supplied by the applicant, ▌taking into account the overall de facto and legal situation of the applicant's family.

If that institution concludes that its legislation is applicable by priority right in accordance with Article 68(1) and (2) of the basic Regulation, it shall provide the family benefits according to the legislation it applies.

If it appears to that institution that there may be an entitlement to a differential supplement by virtue of the legislation of another Member State in accordance with Article 68(2) of the basic Regulation, that institution shall forward the application, without delay, to the competent institution of the other Member State and inform the person concerned; moreover it shall inform the institution of the other Member State of its decision on the application and the amount of family benefits paid.

3.   Where the institution to which application is made concludes that its legislation is applicable, but not by priority right in accordance with Article 68(1) and (2) of the basic Regulation, it shall take a provisional decision, without delay, on the priority rules to be applied and shall forward the application, in accordance with Article 68(3) of the basic Regulation to the institution of the other Member State, also informing the applicant thereof. That institution shall have two months to take a position on the provisional decision taken .

If the institution to which the application was forwarded does not take a position within two months of receipt of the application, the provisional decision referred to above shall apply and the institution shall pay the benefits provided for under its legislation and inform the institution to which the application was made of the amount of benefits paid .

4.   Where there is a difference of views between the institutions concerned about which legislation is applicable by priority, Article 6(2) to (5) of the implementing Regulation shall apply. For this purpose, the institution of the place of residence referred to in Article 6(2) shall be the institution of the child or children's place of residence .

5.   If the institution which has supplied benefits on a provisional basis has paid more than the amount for which it is ultimately responsible, it shall claim reimbursement of the excess from the institution with primary responsibility in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 71.

Article 60

Procedure for applying Article 69 of the basic Regulation

For the purposes of applying Article 69 of the basic Regulation, the Administrative Commission shall draw up a list of the additional or special family benefits for orphans covered by that Article. If there is no provision for the institution competent to grant, by priority right, such additional or special family benefits for orphans under the legislation it applies, it shall without delay forward any application for family benefits , together with all relevant documents and information, to the institution of the Member State to whose legislation the person concerned has been subject for the longest period of time and which provides such additional or special family benefits for orphans . In some cases, this may mean referring back, under the same conditions, to the institution of the Member State under whose legislation the person concerned has completed the shortest of his or her insurance or residence periods.

Title IV

Financial provisions

Chapter I

Reimbursement of the cost of benefits in application of Article 35(1) and Article 41 of the basic Regulation

Section 1

Reimbursement on the basis of actual expenditure

Article 61

Principles

1.   For the purposes of applying Article 35(1) and Article 41 of the basic Regulation, the actual amount of benefits in kind, as shown in the accounts of the institution that provided them, shall be reimbursed to that institution by the competent institution, except where Article 62 of the implementing Regulation is applicable.

2 .   If any or part of the actual amount of the benefits referred to in paragraph 1 is not shown in the accounts of the institution that provided them, the amount to be refunded shall be determined on the basis of a lump-sum payment calculated from all the appropriate references obtained from the data available. The Administrative Commission shall assess the bases to be used for calculation of the lump-sum payment and shall decide the amount thereof.

3.    Higher rates than those applicable to the benefits in kind provided to insured persons subject to the legislation applied by the institution providing the benefits referred to in paragraph 1 may not be taken into account in the reimbursement.

Section 2

Reimbursement of benefits on a lump-sum basis

Article 62

Identification of the Member States concerned

1.   The Member States referred to in Article 35(2) of the basic Regulation whose legal or administrative structures are such that the use of reimbursement on the basis of actual expenditure is not appropriate are indicated in Annex III to the implementing Regulation.

2 .   In the case of the Member States indicated in Annex III to the implementing Regulation, the amount of benefits in kind supplied to family members who do not reside in the same Member State as the insured person, as provided for in Article 17 of the basic Regulation, and to pensioners and members of their family, as provided for in Article 22, Article 24(1) and Articles 25 and 26 of the basic Regulation, shall be reimbursed by the competent institutions to the institutions providing the said benefits, on the basis of a fixed amount established for each calendar year. This fixed amount shall be as close as possible to actual expenditure.

Article 63

Calculation method of the monthly fixed amounts and the total fixed amount

1.   For each creditor Member State, the monthly fixed amount per person (F i ) for a calendar year shall be determined by dividing the annual average cost per person (Y i ) , broken down by age group (i) , by 12 and by applying a reduction (X) to the result in accordance with the following formula:

F i = Y i *1/12*(1-X)

Where:

   the ▌index (i = 1, 2 and 3) represents the three age groups used for calculating the fixed amounts :
i = 1: persons aged under 20
i = 2: persons aged from 20 to 64
i = 3: persons aged 65 and over

–   Yi represents the annual average cost for persons in age group i, as defined in paragraph 2.

   the coefficient X (0,20 or 0,15) represents the reduction as defined in
paragraph 3 .

2.   The annual average cost per person (Yi) in age group i shall be obtained by dividing the annual expenditure on all benefits in kind provided by the institutions of the creditor Member State to all persons in the age group concerned subject to its legislation and residing within its territory by the average number of persons concerned in that age group in the calendar year in question . The calculation shall be based on the expenditure under the schemes referred to in Article 23 of the implementing Regulation .

3.    The reduction to be applied to the monthly fixed amount shall, in principle, be equal to 20 % (X = 0,20). It shall be equal to 15 % (X = 0,15) for pensioners and members of their family where the competent Member State is not listed in Annex IV to the basic Regulation.

4 .   For each debtor Member State, the total fixed amount for a calendar year shall be the sum of the products obtained by multiplying, in each age group i, the determined monthly fixed amounts per person by the number of months completed by the persons concerned in the creditor Member State in that age group .

The number of months completed by the persons concerned in the creditor Member State shall be the sum of the calendar months in a calendar year during which the persons concerned were, because of their residence in the territory of the creditor Member State, eligible to receive benefits in kind in that territory at the expense of the debtor Member State. Those months shall be determined from an inventory kept for that purpose by the institution of the place of residence, based on documentary evidence of the entitlement of the beneficiaries supplied by the competent institution.

5.    No later than ...(7) , the Administrative Commission shall present a specific report on the application of this Article and in particular on the reductions referred to in paragraph 3. On the basis of that report, the Administrative Commission may present a proposal containing any amendments that prove necessary in order to ensure that the calculation of fixed amounts comes as close as possible to the actual expenditure incurred and the reductions referred to in paragraph 3 do not result in unbalanced payments or double payments for the Member States.

6 .   The Administrative Commission shall establish the methods for determining the elements for calculating the fixed amounts referred to in the above paragraphs.

7.    Notwithstanding paragraphs 1 to 4, Member States may continue to apply Articles 94 and 95 of Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 for the calculation of the fixed amount until .....(8) , provided that the reduction referred to in paragraph 3 is applied.

Article 64

Notification of annual average costs

The annual average cost per person in each age group for a specific year shall be notified to the Audit Board by the end of the second year following the year in question at the latest. If the notification is not made by this deadline, the annual average cost per person which the Administrative Commission has last determined for a previous year will be taken.

The annual average costs shall be published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

Section 3

Common provisions

Article 65

Procedure for reimbursement between institutions

1.    The reimbursements between the Member States concerned shall be made as promptly as possible. Every institution concerned shall be obliged to reimburse claims before the deadlines mentioned in this Article, as soon as it is in a position to do so. A dispute concerning a particular claim must not hinder the reimbursement of another or other claims.

2.    The reimbursements between the institutions of the Member States, provided for in Articles 35 and 41 of the basic Regulation, shall be made via the liaison body. There may be a separate liaison body for reimbursements under Articles 35 and 41 of the basic Regulation .

Article 66

Deadlines for the introduction and settlement of claims

1.   Claims based on actual expenditure shall be introduced to the liaison body of the debtor Member State within twelve months of the end of the calendar half-year during which those claims were recorded in the accounts of the creditor institution .

2.   Claims of fixed amounts for a calendar year shall be introduced to the liaison body of the debtor Member State within the six-month period following the month during which the average costs for the year concerned were published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The inventories provided for in Article 63(4) of the implementing Regulation shall be presented by the end of the year following the reference year.

3.   Claims introduced after the deadlines specified in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not be considered.

4.   The claims shall be paid to the liaison body of the creditor Member State referred to in Article 65 of the implementing Regulation by the debtor institution within six months of the end of the month during which they were introduced to the liaison body of the debtor Member State . This does not apply to claims which the debtor institution has rejected for a relevant reason within that period.

5.   Any disputes concerning a claim shall be settled, at the latest, within one year of the month in which the claim was introduced.

6.    The Audit Board shall facilitate the final closing of accounts in cases where a settlement cannot be reached within the period referred to in paragraph 5, and, upon a reasoned request by one of the parties, shall give its opinion on a dispute within six months of the month in which the matter was referred to it.

Article 67

Interest on late payments and down payments

1.   From the end of the six-month period referred to in Article 66 (4) of the implementing Regulation , interest may be charged by the creditor institution on outstanding claims, unless the debtor institution has made, within six months of the end of the month during which the claim was introduced, a down payment of at least 90 % of the total claim introduced pursuant to Article 66(1) or (2) of the implementing Regulation. For those parts of the claim not covered by the down payment, interest may be charged only from the end of the one-year period referred to in Article 66(5) of the implementing Regulation.

2.   The interest shall be calculated on the basis of the reference rate applied by the European Central Bank to its main refinancing operations. The reference rate applicable shall be that in force on the first day of the month on which the payment is due .

3.    No liaison body shall be obliged to accept a down payment as provided for in paragraph 1. However, if a liaison body declines such an offer the creditor institution shall no longer be entitled to charge interest on late payments related to the claims in question other than under the second sentence of paragraph 1.

Article 68

Statement of annual accounts

1.   The Administrative Commission shall establish the claims situation for each calendar year in accordance with Article 72(g) of the basic Regulation, on the basis of the Audit Board's report. To this end, the liaison bodies shall notify the Audit Board, by the deadlines and according to the procedures laid down by the latter, of the amount of the claims introduced, settled or contested (creditor position) and the amount of claims received, settled or contested (debtor position).

2.   The Administrative Commission may perform any appropriate checks on the statistical and accounting data used as the basis for drawing up the annual statement of claims provided for in paragraph 1 in order, in particular, to ensure that they comply with the rules laid down under this Title.

Chapter II

Reimbursement of unemployment benefits pursuant to Article 65 of the basic Regulation

Article 69

Reimbursement of unemployment benefits

If there is no agreement in accordance with Article 65(8) of the basic Regulation, ▌the institution of the place of residence shall request reimbursement of unemployment benefits by virtue of Article 65(6) and (7) of the basic Regulation from the institution of the Member State to whose legislation the beneficiary was last subject. The request shall be made within six months of the end of the calendar half-year during which the last payment of unemployment benefit, for which reimbursement is requested, was made . The request shall indicate the amount of benefit paid during the three or five month-period referred to in Article 65(6) and (7) of the basic Regulation, ▌the period for which the benefits were paid and the identification data of the unemployed person. The claims shall be introduced and paid via the liaison bodies of the Member States concerned.

There is no requirement to consider requests introduced after the time limit referred to in the first paragraph.

The provisions of Article 65(1) and Article 66(4) to (6) of the implementing Regulation shall apply mutatis mutandis.

From the end of the six-month period referred to in Article 66(4) of the implementing Regulation, interest may be charged by the creditor institution on outstanding claims. That interest shall be calculated in accordance with Article 67(2) of the implementing Regulation.

The maximum amount of the reimbursement referred to in the third sentence of Article 65(6) of the basic Regulation is, in each individual case, the amount of the benefit to which a person concerned would be entitled according to the legislation of the Member State that he/she was last subject if registered with the employment services of that Member State. However, in relations between Member States listed in Annex XY, the competent institutions of one of those Member States to whose legislation the person concerned was last subject shall determine the maximum amount in each individual case on the basis of the average amount of unemployment benefits provided under the legislation of that Member State in the preceding calendar year.

Chapter III

Recovery of benefits paid in excess, recovery of provisional payments, compensation, assistance with recovery

Section 1

Principles

Article 70

1.   For the purposes of applying Article 84 of the basic Regulation and within the framework defined therein, recovery of claims shall, wherever possible, be by way of compensation either between the creditor institutions (hereinafter referred to as "the applicant parties"), and the debtor institutions (hereinafter referred to as "the requested parties"), or vis-à-vis the insured person in accordance with Articles 71 and 72 of the implementing Regulation.

If it has not been possible to recover all or any of the claim via the compensation procedure referred to in the previous paragraph, the remainder of the amount payable by the beneficiary shall be recovered in accordance with the provisions of Articles 73 to 82 of the implementing Regulation .

2.   The liaison body shall be considered as the requested party in respect of the claims addressed to it.

Section 2

Compensation

Article 71

Cash benefits received unduly or in excess

1.   If the institution of a Member State has paid benefits to a recipient in excess of his or her entitlement, that institution shall, within the terms and limits laid down in the legislation it applies, request the institution of any other Member State responsible for paying benefits to that beneficiary to deduct the amount paid in excess from further sums owed to the beneficiary. The latter institution shall deduct the amount concerned subject to the conditions and limits applying to this kind of compensation system by the legislation it applies in the same way as if it had made the overpayments itself, and shall transfer the amount deducted to the creditor institution.

2.   In connection with Article 6, within two months at the latest after the applicable legislation has been determined or the institution responsible for paying the benefits identified, the institution that provisionally paid the cash benefits shall draw up a statement of the amount owed to it by the competent institution. Where contributions have been paid provisionally by the beneficiary and/or his or her employer, these shall be taken into account in establishing the amount owed.

The competent institution responsible for paying the benefits shall deduct the amount due in respect of the provisional payment from the amounts it owes to the beneficiary. The debtor institution shall deduct this amount subject to the conditions and limits applying to this kind of compensation system under the legislation it applies and transfer the amount deducted immediately to the creditor institution.

3.   If an insured person has received social welfare assistance in one Member State during a period in which he/she was entitled to benefits under the legislation of another Member State, the body which provided the assistance may, if it is legally entitled to reclaim the benefits due to the said person, request the institution of any other Member State responsible for paying benefits in favour of that person to deduct the amount of assistance paid from the amounts which the latter pays to the said person.

This provision shall apply mutatis mutandis to any family member of an insured person who has received assistance in the territory of a Member State during a period in which the insured person was entitled to benefits under the legislation of another Member State in respect of the family member concerned.

The creditor institution shall send a statement of the amount due to the debtor institution, which shall then deduct the amount subject to the conditions and limits laid down for this kind of compensation system by the legislation it applies and transfer the amount immediately to the creditor body.

4.   In the cases specified in paragraphs 2 and 3, the competent institution shall address a statement to the person concerned showing the amounts still due or paid in excess according to the legislation it applies.

Article 72

Contributions paid unduly or in excess

In the terms of Article 6, an institution which has provisionally received contributions from an insured person and/or his/her employer shall not reimburse the amounts in question to the persons who paid them until it has ascertained from the competent institution the sums due to it under Article 6(4).

Section 3

Recovery

Article 73

Requests for information

1.   The requested party shall provided the applicant party at the latter's request with all relevant information for recovery of a claim.

In order to obtain such information, the requested party shall make use of the powers conferred under the laws, regulations or administrative provisions applicable to the recovery of similar claims arising in its own Member State.

2.   The request for information shall indicate the name, address, and any other information to which the applicant party normally has access with regard to the person to whom the information to be provided relates and the nature and amount of the claim in respect of which the request is being made.

3.   The requested party shall not be obliged to transmit information it would not be able to obtain for the purposes of recovering similar claims arising in its own Member State.

4.   The requested party shall inform the applicant party of any reasons preventing the information requested from being supplied.

Article 74

Notification

1.   At the request of the applicant party, the requested party shall notify the addressee, in accordance with the rules of law in force on the notification of similar acts in its own Member State, of all instruments and decisions, including those of a judicial nature, relating to a claim or its recovery, emanating from the Member State of the applicant party.

2.   The request for notification shall indicate the name and address of the addressee and any other information concerning the latter to which the applicant party would normally have access, the nature and the subject of the instrument or decision to be notified and, where applicable, the name, address and any other information to which the applicant party would normally have access on the debtor and the claim to which the instrument or decision relates, and any other useful information.

3.   The requested party shall inform the applicant party immediately of the action taken in response to the request for notification and, more particularly, of the date on which the decision or instrument was forwarded to the addressee.

Article 75

Request for recovery

1.   The request for recovery of contributions or of benefits paid unduly or in excess, addressed by the applicant party to the requested party, shall be accompanied by an official or certified copy of the instrument permitting its enforcement, issued in the Member State of the applicant party and, where applicable, the original or a certified copy of other documents needed for recovery.

2.  The applicant body may make a request for recovery only if:

   a) the claim and/or the instrument permitting its enforcement are not contested in the Member State, except where the second subparagraph of Article 78(2) is applied;
   b) it has, in its own Member State, applied the recovery procedure available to it on the basis of the instrument referred to in paragraph 1, and the measures taken will not result in the payment in full of the claim.

3.  The recovery request shall indicate:

   a) the name, address and any other relevant information relating to the identification of the person concerned and/or to the third party holding his or her assets;
   b) any information relevant for identifying the requested party;
   c) the instrument permitting enforcement, issued in the Member State of the applicant party;
   d) the nature and amount of the claim, including the principal, the interest and any other penalties, fines and costs due, indicated in the currencies of both parties" Member States;
   e) the date of notification of the instrument to the addressee by the applicant party and/or the requested party;
   f) the date from which and the period during which enforcement is possible under the laws in force in the Member State of the applicant party;
   g) any other relevant information.

4.   The request for recovery shall also contain a statement by the applicant party confirming that the conditions laid down in paragraph 2 have been fulfilled.

5.   As soon as any relevant information relating to the matter which gave rise to the request for recovery comes to the knowledge of the applicant party, the latter shall forward it to the requested party.

Article 76

Instrument permitting enforcement of the recovery

1.   The instrument permitting enforcement of recovery of the claim shall be directly recognised and treated automatically as an instrument permitting the enforcement of a claim of the requested party.

2.   Notwithstanding paragraph 1, the instrument permitting enforcement of the claim may, where appropriate and in accordance with the provisions in force in the Member State of the requested body, be accepted, recognized, supplemented, or replaced by an instrument authorising enforcement in the territory of that Member State.

Within three months of the date of receipt of the request for recovery, the competent authorities shall endeavour to complete the formalities for such acceptance, recognition, supplementing or replacement, except where the provisions of the third subparagraph are applied. They may not ║refuse to complete such formalities, if the instrument permitting enforcement is properly drawn up. If the three-month deadline is exceeded, the requested party shall inform the applicant party of the reasons for the delay.

If any of these formalities should give rise to contestation concerning the claim and/or the instrument permitting enforcement issued by the applicant party, Article 78 shall apply.

Article 77

Payment arrangements and deadlines

1.   Claims shall be recovered in the currency of the Member State of the requested party. The requested party shall transfer the entire amount of the recovered claim to the applicant party.

2.   Where the laws, regulations or administrative provisions in force in its own Member State so permit, and after consulting the applicant party, the requested party may allow the debtor time to pay or authorise payment by instalment. Any interest charged by the requested party in respect of such extra time to pay shall also be remitted to the applicant party.

From the date on which the instrument permitting enforcement is directly recognised or accepted, recognised, supplemented or replaced in accordance with Article 76, interest shall be charged for late payment under the laws, regulations and administrative provisions in force in the Member State of the requested party and ║ remitted to the applicant party.

Article 78

Contestation of the claim or of the instrument permitting enforcement of its recovery

1.   If, in the course of the recovery procedure, the claim and/or the instrument permitting its enforcement issued in the Member State of the applicant party are contested by the party concerned, the action shall be brought by the latter before the competent body of the Member State of the applicant party in accordance with the laws in force in that Member State . The applicant party shall notify the requested party of this action. The requested party may also be notified of it by the party concerned.

2.   As soon as the requested party has received the notification referred to in paragraph 1 either from the applicant party or from the party concerned, it shall suspend the enforcement procedure pending the decision of the body competent in the matter, unless a request to the contrary is made by the applicant party in accordance with the second subparagraph. Should the requested party deem it necessary, it may take precautionary measures to guarantee recovery in as far as the laws or regulations of its own Member State allow such action for similar claims.

Notwithstanding the first subparagraph ║, the applicant party may, in accordance with the laws, regulations and administrative practices in force in its own Member State, request the requested party to recover a contested claim, provided that the laws, regulations and administrative practices in the requested party's Member State so permit. If the contestation is settled in favour of the debtor, the applicant party shall be liable to reimburse any sums recovered, together with any compensation due in accordance with the legislation in force in the requested party's Member State.

3.   Where the contestation concerns enforcement measures taken in the Member State of the requested party, the action shall be brought before the competent body of that Member State in accordance with its laws and regulations.

4.   Where the competent body before which the action is brought in accordance with paragraph 1 is a judicial or administrative tribunal, the decision of that tribunal, if favourable to the applicant party and permitting recovery of the claim in the Member State of the applicant party, shall constitute the "instrument permitting enforcement" and recovery of the claim shall proceed on the basis of that decision.

Article 79

Limits applying to assistance

The applicant party shall not be obliged:

   a) to grant the assistance provided for in Articles 73 to 78 of the implementing regulation if recovery of the claim may, because of the situation of the debtor, create serious economic or social difficulties in the debtor's Member State, in as far as the laws, regulations or administrative practices in the Member State of the applicant party allow such action for similar national claims;
   b) to grant the assistance provided for in Articles 73 to 78 of the implementing regulation , if the initial request under Articles 73 to 75 of the implementing regulation , applies to claims more than five years old, counted from the time the instrument permitting enforcement is established in accordance with the laws, regulations or administrative practices of the Member State of the applicant party up to the date of the request. However, if the claim or instrument is contested, the time limit shall start to run from the moment that the applicant state establishes that the claim or the instrument may no longer be contested.

Article 80

Precautionary measures

Upon reasoned request by the applicant party, the requested party shall take precautionary measures to ensure recovery of a claim in as far as the laws and regulations in force in the Member State of the requested party so permit.

For the purposes of implementing the above paragraph, the provisions and procedures laid down in Articles 73 to 75 and Article 77 of the implementing Regulation shall apply mutatis mutandis.

Article 81

Costs

1.   No enforcement costs are payable where the debt is recovered via the compensation method provided for in Articles 71 and 72 of the implementing Regulation .

2.   The requested party shall also recover from the person concerned any costs linked to recovery pursuant to Articles 73 to 77 and Article 81 of the implementing regulation , and retain them, in accordance with the laws and regulations of that party's Member State applicable to similar claims.

3.   The Member States shall waive all claims upon each other for reimbursement of costs arising from the mutual assistance afforded under the basic Regulation or the implementing Regulation.

4.   Where recovery poses a specific problem or concerns a very large amount in costs, the requesting and requested parties may agree reimbursement arrangements specific to the case in question.

The competent authority of the applicant party's Member State shall remain liable to the competent authority of the requested party's Member State for any costs and losses incurred as a result of actions deemed to be unfounded as far as the substance of the claim or the validity of the instrument issued by the applicant party is concerned.

Title V

Miscellaneous, transitional and final provisions

Article 82

Administrative checks and medical examination

1.   Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 27, where a recipient of benefits as referred to in Chapters I, II and IV of Title III is staying or residing within the territory of a Member State other than that in which the debtor institution is located, the medical examination shall be carried out, at the request of the debtor institution, by the institution of the beneficiary's place of stay or residence as provided for in the legislation applied by that institution. In such case, the debtor institution shall be bound by the findings of the institution of the place of stay or residence.

If, by virtue of Article 82 of the basic Regulation, the institution of the place of stay or residence is called upon to perform a medical examination, it shall follow the procedures laid down by the legislation it applies. If no such procedures have been specified, it shall consult the debtor institution on the procedures to be followed.

The debtor institution shall reserve the right to have the beneficiary examined subsequently by a doctor of its choice . However, the beneficiary may be asked to return to the Member State of the debtor institution only if he or she is able to make the journey without prejudice to his/her health and the cost of travel and accommodation is paid for by the debtor institution.

2.   Where a recipient of benefits as referred to in Chapters I, II and IV of Title III is staying or residing in the territory of a Member State other than that in which the debtor institution is located, the administrative check shall, at the request of the debtor institution, be performed by the institution of the beneficiary's place of stay or residence. The debtor institution shall inform the institution of the place of stay or residence of the points to be covered by the administrative check. If this information is not provided, the institution of the place of stay or residence shall undertake the check in accordance with its own legislation.

The institution of the place of stay or residence shall forward a report to the debtor institution that requested the check.

Article 83

Notifications

1.   The Member States shall notify the ║Commission of the details of the bodies defined in Article 1(m), (q) and (r) of the basic Regulation▌ and Article 1(2)(a) and (b) of the implementing Regulation, and the institutions designated in accordance with the implementing Regulation.

2.   The bodies specified in paragraph 1 shall be provided with an electronic identity in the form of an identification code and electronic address.

3.   The Administrative Commission shall establish the structure, content and modalities , including the common format and model, for notification of the details specified in paragraph 1.

4.   Annex IV to the implementing Regulation gives details of the public data base containing the information specified in paragraph 1. The database shall be established and managed by the Commission. The Member States shall, however, be responsible for the input of their own national contact information into this database. Moreover, the Member States shall ensure the accuracy of the input of the national contact information required under paragraph 1.

5.   The Member States shall be responsible for keeping the information specified in paragraph 1 up to date.

Article 84

Information

1.   The Administrative Commission shall prepare the information needed to ensure that the parties concerned are aware of their rights and the administrative formalities required to assert them. This information shall, where possible, be disseminated electronically via publication on line on sites accessible to the public. The Administrative Commission shall ensure that the information is regularly updated.

2.   The Advisory Committee referred to in Article 75 of the basic Regulation may issue opinions and recommendations on improving the information and its dissemination.

3.   The Member States shall ensure that the necessary information is made available to the persons covered by the basic Regulation in order to inform them of the changes introduced by the basic Regulation and by the implementing Regulation to enable them to assert their rights.

4.   The competent authorities shall ensure that their institutions are aware of and apply all the Community provisions, legislative or otherwise, including the decisions of the Administrative Commission, in the areas covered by and within the terms of the basic Regulation and the implementing Regulation.

Article 85

Currency conversion

For the purposes of applying the basic Regulation and the implementing Regulation, the exchange rate between two currencies shall be the reference rate published by the European Central Bank.

Article 86

Statistics

The competent authorities shall compile statistics on the application of the basic Regulation and the implementing Regulation and forward them to the secretariat of the Administrative Commission. These data shall be collected and organised according to the plan and method defined by the Administrative Commission. The Commission shall be responsible for disseminating the information.

Article 87

Amendment of the Annexes

Annexes I, II, III and IV to the implementing Regulation and Annexes I, VI, VII, VIII and IX of the basic Regulation may be amended by Commission Regulation at the request of the Member State(s) concerned or their competent authorities, subject to the unanimous agreement of the Administrative Commission.

Article 88

Transitional provisions

The provisions of Article 87 of the basic Regulation shall apply to the situations covered by the implementing Regulation.

Article 89

Repeal

1.   ║Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 is repealed with effect from...(9)

However, Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 shall remain in force and continue to have legal effect for the purposes of:

   a) Council Regulation (EC) No 859/2003 of 14 May 2003 extending the provisions of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 and Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 to nationals of third countries who are not already covered by those provisions solely on the grounds of their nationality(10) until such time as the said Regulation is repealed or amended;
   b) Council Regulation (EEC) No 1661/85 of 13 June 1985 laying down the technical adaptations to the Community rules on social security for migrant workers with regard to Greenland(11) , until such time as the said Regulation is repealed or amended;
   c) the Agreement on the European Economic Area(12) , the Agreement between the European Community and its Member States, of the one part, and the Swiss Confederation, of the other, on the free movement of persons(13) and other agreements containing a reference to Regulation (EEC) No 574/72, until such time as the said agreements are amended on the basis of this Regulation.

2.   In Council Directive 98/49/EC of 29 June 1998 on safeguarding the supplementary pension rights of employed and self-employed persons moving within the Community(14) the references to Regulation (EEC) No 574/72 shall be understood as referring to this Regulation.

Article 90

Final provisions

This Regulation shall enter into force six months after the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ║,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

Implementing provisions for bilateral agreements remaining in force and new implementing provisions for bilateral agreements

(Article 8(1) and Article 9(2))

ANNEX II

Special schemes for civil servants

(Articles 32 and 41)

A.   Special schemes for civil servants not covered by the provisions of Title III, Chapter 1 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 concerning benefits in kind

1.   Germany

Versorgungssystem für Beamte (sickness scheme for civil servants)

2.   Spain

Mutualismo administrativo (special scheme for civil servants, the armed forces and court administrative officials)

B.   Special schemes for civil servants not covered by the provisions of Title III, Chapter 2 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 concerning benefits in kind

1.   Germany

Unfallfürsorge für Beamte (accident scheme for civil servants)

ANNEX III

Member States reimbursing the cost of benefits on a lump-sum basis

(Article 62(1))

ANNEX IV

Competent authorities and institutions, institutions of the place of residence and stay, access points, institutions and bodies designated by the competent authorities

(Article 83 (4))

(1) OJ L 166, 30.4.2004, p.1 , as corrected by OJ L 200, 7.6.2004, p.1.
(2) OJ C 324 , 30.12.2006, p. 59.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 9 July 2008 .
(4) OJ L 150, 10.6.2008, p. 28.
(5) OJ L 74, 27.3.1972, p. 1. ║
(6) OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31.
(7)* Five years after the entry into force of the implementing Regulation.
(8)* Five years after the entry into force of the implementing Regulation.
(9)* The date of entry into force of this Regulation.
(10) OJ L 124, 20.5.2003, p. 1.
(11) OJ L 160, 20.6.1985, p. 7.
(12) OJ L 1 of 3.1.1994, p. 1.
(13) OJ L 114, 30.4.2002, p. 6.
(14) OJ L 209, 25.7.1998, p. 46.


Coordination of social security systems ***I
DOC 269k
Resolution
Consolidated text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems, and determining the content of Annex XI (COM(2006)0007 – C6-0029/2006 – 2006/0008(COD) )
P6_TA(2008)0349 A6-0229/2008

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0007 ),

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2007)0376 ),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 42 and 308 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0029/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rules 42 and 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0229/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal COM(2006)0007 as amended;

2.   Considers procedure 2007/0129(COD) to have lapsed as a result of the incorporation into procedure 2006/0008(COD) of the contents of the Commission proposal COM(2007)0376 ;

3.   Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend the proposals substantially or replace them with other texts;

4.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 9 July 2008 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems, and determining the content of its annexes

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0008


(Text with relevance for the EEA and for Switzerland)

THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 42 and 308 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission║,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(1) ,

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions(2) ,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(3) ,

Whereas:

(1)    Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the coordination of social security systems (4) provides for the content of Annexes II, X and XI to that Regulation to be determined before the date of its application.

(2)    Annexes I, III, IV, VI, VII, VIII and IX to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 should be adapted to take into account both the requirements of the Member States that have acceded to the European Union since that Regulation was adopted and recent developments in other Member States.

(3)    Article 56(1) and Article 83 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 ▌ provide for special provisions concerning the application of the legislation of the Member States to be set out in Annex XI to that Regulation. Annex XI is intended to take into account the particularities of the various social security systems of Member States in order to facilitate the application of the rules on coordination.

(4)    A number of Member States have requested for entries concerning the application of their social security legislation to be included in Annex XI and have provided the Commission with legal and practical explanations of their legislation and systems.

(5)    In accordance with the need for rationalisation and simplification of the new Regulation, a common approach is needed in order to ensure that entries in respect of different Member States which are of a similar nature or pursue the same objective are, in principle, dealt with in a similar manner.

(6)    As the aim of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 is to coordinate social security legislation, for which Member States are exclusively responsible, entries that are not compatible with its purpose or objectives ║, and entries seeking only to clarify the interpretation of national legislation, should not be included in that Regulation.

(7)    Some of the Member States' requests have raised issues that are common to several Member States. It is ║ appropriate to deal with those issues at a more general level, either by clarification in the body of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 or in another of its annexes , which should ║ be amended accordingly, or through ║ provisions in the implementing regulation referred to in Article 89 of that Regulation , rather than by inserting similar entries in Annex XI for several Member States.

(8)    It is also appropriate to deal with certain specific issues in annexes other than Annex XI , in accordance with their purpose and content ║ in order to ensure that the annexes to║ Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 are coherent internally and between each other .

(9)    In order to facilitate the use of ║ Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 by citizens ║ asking for information or making claims to the institutions of the Member States, references to the legislation of the Member States concerned should also be made ║ in the original language wherever necessary in order to avoid any possible misunderstanding.

(10)    Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 should therefore be amended accordingly.

(11)    Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 provides that it is to apply from the date of entry into force of the implementing regulation . This Regulation should therefore apply from the same date,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 is hereby amended as follows:

1.    The following recital is inserted after Recital 5:

"

(5a)    Some of the Member States' entries in Annex VI of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 are now covered by certain general provisions in Regulation (EC) No 883/2004. Under the title 'Equal treatment of benefits, income, facts or events', for example, Article 5 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 provides that where, under the legislation of the competent Member State, legal effects are attributed to the occurrence of certain facts or events, such legal effects must be attributed to equivalent facts or events occurring in another Member State. Consequently, a number of entries in Annex VI of Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 have become otiose.

"

2.    The following recital is inserted after Recital 8:

"

(8a)    The family members of former frontier workers should be able to continue medical treatment in the former country of employment of the insured person after his or her retirement.

"

3.    The following recital is inserted after Recital 17:

"

(17a)    When legislation becomes applicable to a person under Title II of this Regulation, the conditions for affiliation and entitlement to benefits should be defined by the legislation of the competent Member State, while respecting Community law.

"

4.    The following recital is inserted after Recital 18:

"

(18a)    The principle of unity of the applicable legislation is of great importance and should be enhanced. This should not mean, however, that the grant of a benefit alone, in accordance with this Regulation and comprising the payment of insurance contributions or insurance coverage for the beneficiary, renders the legislation of the Member State whose institution has granted that benefit the applicable legislation for that person* .

_________________

* Joined cases C-502/01 and C-31/02, Gaumain-Cerri and Barth, ECR [2004] I-6483.

"

5.    In Article 1, the following point is inserted after point (v) :

"

(va) "benefits in kind" means those benefits in kind provided for under the legislation of a Member State that are intended to supply, make available, pay directly or reimburse the cost of medical care or products and services ancillary to such care, including long-term care benefits in kind.

"

6.    Article 3(5) is replaced by the following:

"

5.   This Regulation shall not apply to :

   a) social and medical assistance; or
   b) benefits in regard to which a Member State assumes the liability for damages to persons and provides compensation, such as those for victims of war and military action or their consequences; victims of crime, assassination or terrorist acts; victims of damage occasioned by agents of the Member State in the course of their duties; or victims who have suffered a disadvantage for political or religious reasons or for reasons of descent.

"
   7) 7 . ║ Article 14(4) is replaced by the following:"
4.   Where the legislation of a Member State makes admission to voluntary insurance or optional continued insurance conditional upon residence in that Member State or upon previous activity as an employed or self-employed person, Article 5(b) shall apply only to persons who have been subject, at some earlier stage, to the legislation of that Member State on the basis of an activity as an employed or self-employed person.
5.   Where the legislation of a Member State makes admission to a voluntary insurance or optional continued insurance scheme conditional upon a person having completed insurance periods, such admission shall ║ be granted only to persons who have previously completed insurance periods in that Member State under the same scheme. "

8.    Article 18(2) is replaced by the following:

"

2.    The members of the family of a frontier worker shall be entitled to benefits in kind during their stay in the competent Member State. For so long as Annex III remains in force, however, where the competent Member State is listed in Annex III, the members of the family of a frontier worker who reside in the same Member State as the frontier worker shall be entitled to benefits in kind in the competent Member State only under the conditions laid down in Article 19(1).

"

9.    Article 28(1) is replaced by the following:

"

1.    A frontier worker who has retired because of old age or invalidity is entitled in the event of sickness to continue to receive benefits in kind in the Member State where he or she last pursued his or her activity as an employed or self-employed person, in so far as this constitutes the continuation of treatment which began in that Member State. The words 'continuation of treatment' mean the continued investigation, diagnosis and treatment of an illness for its entire duration.

The first subparagraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to the members of the family of the retired frontier worker.

"

10)    10 . ║ Article 51(3) is replaced by the following:

"

3.    Where the legislation or specific scheme of a Member State makes the acquisition, retention or recovery of the right to benefits conditional upon the person concerned being insured at the time of the materialisation of the risk, this condition shall be regarded as having been satisfied if that person has been previously insured under the legislation or specific scheme of that Member State and if he or she is, at the time of the materialisation of the risk, insured under the legislation of another Member State for the same risk or, failing that, a benefit is due under the legislation of another Member State for the same risk. The latter condition shall, however, be deemed to be fulfilled in the cases referred to in Article 57.

"
   11) 11 . ║ Article 52(4) is replaced by the following:"
4.  Where the calculation pursuant to paragraph 1(a) in one Member State invariably results in the independent benefit being equal to or higher than the pro rata benefit, calculated in accordance with paragraph 1(b), the competent institution shall waive the pro rata calculation, on condition that:
   a) such a situation is set out in part 1 of Annex VIII;
   b) no legislation containing rules against overlapping, referred to in Articles 54 and 55, is applicable unless the conditions laid down in Article 55(2) are fulfilled; and
   (c) Article 57 is not applicable in relation to periods completed under the legislation of another Member State in the circumstances set out in this specific case .
"

12.    In Article 52, the following paragraph is added:

"

4a.    Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraphs 1, 2 and 3, the pro rata calculation shall not apply to schemes providing benefits in respect of which periods of time are of no relevance to the calculation, subject to such schemes being listed in part 2 of Annex VIII. In such cases, the person concerned shall be entitled to the benefit calculated in accordance with the legislation of the Member State concerned.

"

13 .   In Article 56(1)(c), the words "where necessary" are inserted before the words "in accordance with the procedures laid down in Annex XI ║".

14.    In Article 56, the following paragraph is inserted after paragraph 1 :

"

1a.    In the event that paragraph 1(c) is not applicable because the legislation of a Member State provides for the benefit to be calculated on the basis of elements other than periods of insurance or residence which are not linked to time, the competent institution shall take into account, in respect of each period of insurance or residence completed under the legislation of any other Member State, the amount of the capital accrued, the capital which is considered as having been accrued or any other element for the calculation under the legislation it administers divided by the corresponding units of periods in the pension scheme concerned.

"

15.    In Article 57, the following paragraph is added:

"

3a.    This Article shall not apply to schemes listed in part 2 of Annex VIII.

"

16.    Article 62(3) is replaced by the following:

"

3.    By way of derogation from paragraphs 1 and 2, as far as the unemployed persons covered by Article 65(5)(a) are concerned, the institution of the place of residence shall take into account the salary or professional income received by the person concerned in the Member State to whose legislation he or she was subject during his or her last activity as an employed or self-employed person, in accordance with the Implementing Regulation.

"

17.    The following article is inserted after Article 68:

"

Article 68a

Provision of benefits

In the event that family benefits are not used by the person to whom they should be provided for the maintenance of the members of the family, the competent institution shall discharge its legal obligations by providing the said benefits to the natural or legal person in fact maintaining the members of the family, at the request and through the agency of the institution in their Member State of residence or of the designated institution or body appointed for that purpose by the competent authority of their Member State of residence.

"

18.    In Article 87, the following paragraph is inserted after paragraph10 :

"

10a.    Annex III shall be repealed 5 years after the date of application of this Regulation.

"

19 .   The Annexes are amended in accordance with the Annex to this Regulation.

Article 2

This Regulation shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

It shall apply from the date of entry into force of the implementing regulation referred to in Article 89 of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 .

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at ║,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX

The Annexes to Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 are amended as follows.

1.   Annex I, Part I is amended as follows:

   a) after the entry under the heading "A. BELGIUM", the following entry is inserted: "
A bis.   "Aa. BULGARIA
Maintenance payments made by the state under Article 92 of the Family Code"; "
   b) after the entry "C. GERMANY", the following entries are inserted: "
C bis.   "Ca. ESTONIA
Maintenance allowances under the Maintenance Allowance Act of 21 February 2007
Cb.    SPAIN
Advances of maintenance payments under the Royal Decree 1618/2007 of 7 December 2007"; "
   c) after the entry under the heading "D. FRANCE", the following entries are inserted: "
D bis.   "Da. LITHUANIA
Payments from the Children's Maintenance Fund under the Law on Children's Maintenance Fund
Db.    LUXEMBOURG
Advances and recovery of maintenance payments within the meaning of the Act of 26 July 1980"; "
   d) after the entry under the heading "E. AUSTRIA", the following entry is inserted: "
E bis.   "Ea. POLAND
Benefits from Alimony Fund under the Act of Assistance to the Persons Entitled to Alimony"; "
   e) after the entry under the heading "F. PORTUGAL", the following entries are inserted: "
F bis.   "Fa. SLOVENIA
Maintenance replacement in accordance with the Act of Public Guarantee and Maintenance Fund of the Republic of Slovenia of 25 July 2006
Fb.    SLOVAKIA
Substitute alimony benefit (substitute maintenance payment) pursuant to the Act No 452/2004 Coll. on substitute alimony benefit as amended by later regulations" . "

2 .  Annex I, Part II is amended as follows:

   a) after the entry under the heading "A. BELGIUM", the following entries are inserted: "
A bis.   "Aa. BULGARIA
Maternity lump sum allowance under the Law on Family Allowances for Children
Ab.    CZECH REPUBLIC
Childbirth allowance
Ac.    ESTONIA
Childbirth allowance
Adoption allowance"; "
   b) the entry "B. SPAIN" is replaced by the following :"
B.   "B. SPAIN
Single payment birth and adoption grants"; "
   c) under the heading "C. FRANCE" the following words are added:"
, except when they are paid to a person who remains subject to French legislation pursuant to Article 12 or Article 16"; "
   d) after the entry under the heading "C. FRANCE", the following entries are inserted: "
C bis.   "Ca. LATVIA
Childbirth grant
Adoption allowance
Cb.    LITHUANIA
Child lump sum grant "

e)    after the entry under the heading "D. LUXEMBOURG", the following entries are inserted:

"

D bis.   "Da. HUNGARY

Maternity grant

Db.    POLAND

Single payment birth grant under the Act on Family Benefits

Dc.    ROMANIA

Childbirth allowance

Layettes for newborn children

Dd.    SLOVENIA

Childbirth grant

De.    SLOVAKIA

Childbirth allowance

Supplement to childbirth allowance" .

"

3 .   Annex II is replaced by the following:

"

ANNEX II

PROVISIONS OF CONVENTIONS WHICH REMAIN IN FORCE AND WHICH, WHERE APPLICABLE, ARE RESTRICTED TO THE PERSONS COVERED THEREBY

[Article 8(1)]

General comments

The provisions of bilateral conventions that do not fall within the scope of this Regulation or that remain in force between Member States are not listed in this Annex. Such provisions include obligations between Member States arising from conventions providing, for example, for provisions regarding the aggregation of insurance periods fulfilled in a third country.

Provisions of social security conventions remaining applicable

(a)    BELGIUM-GERMANY

Articles 3 and 4 of the final protocol of 7 December 1957 to the general convention of the same date, as set out in the complementary protocol of 10 November 1960 (reckoning of insurance periods completed in some border regions before, during and after the Second World War).

(b)    BELGIUM-LUXEMBOURG

Convention on social security for frontier workers of 24 March 1994 (relating to the complementary flat-rate reimbursement).

(c)    BULGARIA-GERMANY

Article 28(1)(b) of the convention on social security of 17 December 1997 (maintenance of conventions concluded between Bulgaria and the former German Democratic Republic for persons who received a pension before 1996).

(d)    BULGARIA-AUSTRIA

Article 38(3) of the convention on social security of 14 April 2005 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 27 November 1961); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(e)    BULGARIA-SLOVENIA

Article 32(2) of the convention on social security of 18 December 1957 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed until 31 December 1957).

(f)    CZECH REPUBLIC-GERMANY

Article 39(1)(b) and (c) of the agreement on social security of 27 July 2001 (maintenance of the convention concluded between the former Czechoslovak Republic and the former German Democratic Republic for persons who received a pension before 1996; reckoning of periods of insurance completed in one of the contracting states for persons who received a pension for these periods on 1 September 2002 from the other contracting state, while residing in the territory of that other contracting state).

(g)    CZECH REPUBLIC-CYPRUS

Article 32(4) of the convention on social security of 19 January 1999 (determining competence for the calculation of periods of employment completed under the relevant convention of 1976); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(h)    CZECH REPUBLIC-LUXEMBOURG

Article 52(8) of the convention of 17 November 2000 (reckoning of pension insurance periods for political refugees).

(i)    CZECH REPUBLIC-AUSTRIA

Article 32(3) of the convention on social security of 20 July 1999 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 27 November 1961); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(j)    CZECH REPUBLIC-SLOVAKIA

Articles 12, 20 and 33 of the convention on social security of 29 October 1992 (Article 12 determines competence for a grant of survivor's benefits; Article 20 determines competence for calculation of insurance periods completed until the day of dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic; Article 33 determines competence for payment of pensions awarded before to the day of the dissolution of the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic).

(k)    DENMARK-FINLAND

Article 7 of the Nordic convention on social security of 18 August 2003 (coverage of extra travel expenses in case of sickness during a stay in another Nordic country, which makes expensive return travel to the country of residence necessary) .

(l)    DENMARK-SWEDEN

Article 7 of the Nordic convention on social security of 18 August 2003 (coverage of extra travel expenses in case of sickness during a stay in another Nordic country, which makes expensive return travel to the country of residence necessary) .

(m)    GERMANY-SPAIN

Article 45(2) of the convention on social security of 4 December 1973 (representation by diplomatic and consular authorities).

(n)    GERMANY-FRANCE

(i)    Complementary agreement No 4 of 10 July 1950 to the general convention of the same date, as set out in supplementary agreement No 2 of 18 June 1955 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed between 1 July 1940 and 30 June 1950);

(ii)    Title I of that supplementary agreement No 2 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 8 May 1945);

iii)    points 6, 7 and 8 of the general protocol of 10 July 1950 to that general convention (administrative arrangements);

(iv)    Titles II, III and IV of the agreement of 20 December 1963 (social security in the Saar).

(o)    GERMANY-LUXEMBOURG

Articles 4 to 7 of the convention of 11 July 1959 (reckoning of insurance periods completed between September 1940 and June 1946).

(p)    GERMANY-HUNGARY

Article 40(1)(b) of the convention on social security of 2 May 1998 (maintenance of the convention concluded between the former German Democratic Republic and Hungary for persons who received a pension before 1996).

(q)    GERMANY-NETHERLANDS

Articles 2 and 3 of complementary agreement No 4 of 21 December 1956 to the Convention of 29 March 1951 (settlement of rights acquired under the German social insurance scheme by Dutch workers between 13 May 1940 and 1 September 1945).

(r)    GERMANY-AUSTRIA

(i)    Article 1(5) and Article 8 of the convention on unemployment insurance of 19 July 1978 and Article 10 of the final protocol to that convention (grant of unemployment allowance to frontier workers by the previous state of employment) shall continue to apply to persons who have exercised an activity as a frontier worker on or before 1 January 2005 and who have become unemployed before 1 January 2011;

(ii)    Article 14(2)(g), (h), (i) and (j) of the convention on social security of 4 October 1995 concerning the division of competencies between both countries with regard to past insurance cases and acquired insurance periods (determination of competencies between both countries with regard to former insurance cases and acquired insurance periods); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(s)    GERMANY-POLAND

(i)    Convention of 9 October 1975 on old-age and work-injury provisions, under the conditions and the scope defined by Article 27(2), (3) and (4) of the Convention on Social Security of 8 December 1990 (maintenance of legal status, on the basis of the convention of 1975, of the persons who established their residence in the territory of Germany or Poland before 1 January 1991 and who continue to reside there);

(ii)    Articles 27(5) and 28(2) of the convention on social security of 8 December 1990 (maintenance of entitlement to a pension paid on the basis of the convention of 1957 concluded between the former German Democratic Republic and Poland; reckoning of periods of insurance completed by Polish employees under the convention of 1988 concluded between the former German Democratic Republic and Poland).

(t)    GERMANY-ROMANIA

Article 28(1)(b) of the convention on social security of 8 April 2005 (maintenance of the convention concluded between the former German Democratic Republic and Romania for persons who received a pension before 1996).

(u)    GERMANY-SLOVENIA

Article 42 of the convention on social security of 24 September 1997 (settlement of rights acquired before 1 January 1956 under the social security scheme of the other contracting state); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(v)    GERMANY-SLOVAKIA

The second and third subparagraphs of Article 29(1) of the Agreement of 12 September 2002 (maintenance of the convention concluded between the former Czechoslovak Republic and the former German Democratic Republic for persons who received a pension before 1996; reckoning of periods of insurance completed in one of the contracting states for persons who received a pension for those periods on 1 December 2003 from the other contracting state, while residing in the territory that other contracting state).

(w)    GERMANY-UNITED KINGDOM

(i)    Article 7(5) and (6) of the convention on social security of 20 April 1960 (legislation applicable to civilians serving in the military forces);

(ii)    Article 5(5) and (6) of the convention on unemployment insurance of 20 April 1960 (legislation applicable to civilians serving in the military forces).

(x)    IRELAND-UNITED KINGDOM

Article 19(2) of the agreement on social security of 14 December 2004 (transfer and reckoning of certain disability credits).

(y)    SPAIN-PORTUGAL

Article 22 of the general convention of 11 June 1969 (export of unemployment benefits). This entry shall remain valid for two years from the date of application of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004.

(z)    ITALY-SLOVENIA

(i)    Agreement on regulation of mutual obligations in social insurance with reference to paragraph 7 of Annex XIV to the Peace Treaty (concluded by exchange of notes on 5 February 1959) (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 18 December 1954); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that agreement applies,

(ii)    Article 45(3) of the convention on social security of 7 July 1997 concerning ex-Zone B of the Free Territory of Trieste (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 5 October 1956); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(aa)    LUXEMBOURG-PORTUGAL

Agreement of 10 March 1997 (on the recognition of decisions by institutions in one contracting party concerning the state of invalidity of applicants for pensions from institutions in the other contracting party).

(ab)    LUXEMBOURG-SLOVAKIA

Article 50(5) of the convention on social security of 23 May 2002 (reckoning of pension insurance periods for political refugees).

(ac)    HUNGARY-AUSTRIA

Article 36(3) of the convention on social security of 31 March 1999 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 27 November 1961); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(ad)    HUNGARY-SLOVENIA

Article 31 of the convention on social security of 7 October 1957 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 29 May 1956); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(ae)    HUNGARY-SLOVAKIA

Article 34(1) of the convention on social security of 30 January 1959 (Article 34(1) of the convention provides that the insurance periods awarded before the day of signing the convention are the insurance periods of the contracting State on which territory the entitled person had a residence); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(af)    AUSTRIA-POLAND

Article 33(3) of the convention on social security of 7 September 1998 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 27 November 1961); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(ag)    AUSTRIA-ROMANIA

Article 37(3) of the convention on social security of 28 October 2005 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 27 November 1961); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(ah)    AUSTRIA-SLOVENIA

Article 37 of the convention on social security of 10 March 1997 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 1 January 1956); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(ai)    AUSTRIA-SLOVAKIA

Article 34(3) of the convention on social security of 21 December 2001 (reckoning of periods of insurance completed before 27 November 1961); the application of this point is restricted to the persons to whom that convention applies .

(aj)    PORTUGAL-UNITED KINGDOM

Article 2(1) of the protocol on medical treatment of 15 November 1978.

(ak)    FINLAND-SWEDEN

Article 7 of the Nordic convention on social security of 18 August 2003, concerning coverage of extra travel expenses in case of sickness during a stay in another Nordic country, which makes more expensive return travel to the country of residence necessary.

"

4 .  Annex III is amended as follows:

   a) after the entry "DENMARK", the entry "ESTONIA" is inserted;
   b) after the entry "IRELAND", the following entries are inserted: "
"LITHUANIA
HUNGARY". "

5 .  Annex IV is amended as follows:

   a) after the entry "BELGIUM", the following entries are inserted: "
"BULGARIA
CZECH REPUBLIC"; "
   b) after the entry "FRANCE", the entry "CYPRUS" is inserted;
   c) after the entry "LUXEMBOURG", the following entries are inserted: "
"HUNGARY "
THE NETHERLANDS";
   d) after the entry "AUSTRIA", the following entries are inserted: "
"POLAND
SLOVENIA" . "

6.   Annex VI is amended as follows:

   a) the following entries are inserted: "
- A.   "-A. CZECH REPUBLIC
Full disability pension for persons whose total disability arose before reaching eighteen years of age and who were not insured for the required period (Section 42 of the Pension Insurance Act No 155/1995 Coll.).
-Aa.    ESTONIA
(i)    Invalidity pensions granted before 1 April 2000 under the State Allowances Act and which are retained under the State Pension Insurance Act.
(ii)    National pensions granted on the basis of invalidity according to the State Pension Insurance Act.
(iii)    Invalidity pensions granted according to the Defence Forces Service Act, Police Service Act, Prosecutor's Office Act, Status of Judges Act, Members of the Riigikogu Salaries, Pensions and Other Social Guarantees Act and President of the Republic Official Benefits Act."; "
   b) the sequence of the entries for A. GREECE and B. IRELAND are reversed as follows: "A. IRELAND" and "B. GREECE";
   c) the entry under the heading "A. IRELAND" is replaced by the following: "
"Part II, Chapter 17 of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005"; "
   d) after the entry under the heading "B. GREECE", the following entry is inserted: "
B bis.   "Ba. LATVIA
Invalidity pensions (third group) under Article 16(1)(2) of the Law on State Pensions of 1 January 1996."; "
   e) the entries under the heading "C. FINLAND" are amended as follows: "
"National Pensions to persons who are born disabled or become disabled at an early age (the National Pension Act, 568/2007);
Invalidity pensions determined according to transitional rules and awarded prior to 1 January 1994 (Act on Enforcement of the National Pensions Act, 569/2007).". "

7 .  Annex VII is amended as follows:

   a) in the tables headed "BELGIUM" and "FRANCE", the rows relating to Luxembourg are deleted,
   b) the table headed "LUXEMBOURG" is deleted.

8 .   Annex VIII is replaced by the following:

"

ANNEX VIII

CASES IN WHICH THE PRO RATA CALCULATION IS WAIVED OR DOES NOT APPLY

[Article 52(4) and (5)]

Part 1: Cases in which the pro rata calculation is waived pursuant to Article 52(4)

A.    DENMARK

All applications for pensions referred to in the law on social pensions with the exception of those referred to in Annex IX.

B.    IRELAND

All applications for state pension (transition), state pension (contributory), widow's (contributory) pension and widower's (contributory) pension.

C.    CYPRUS

All applications for old age, invalidity, widow's and widower's pensions.

D.    LATVIA

(a)    All applications for invalidity pensions (Law on State Pensions of 1 January 1996);

(b)    All applications for survivor's pensions (Law on State Pensions of 1 January 1996; Law on State-Funded Pensions of 1 July 2001).

E.    LITHUANIA

All applications for state social insurance survivor's pensions calculated on the basis of the basic amount of survivor's pension (Law on State Social Insurance Pensions).

F.    NETHERLANDS

All applications for old-age pensions under the law on general old-age insurance.

G.    AUSTRIA

(a)    All applications for benefits under the federal law of 9 September 1955 on general social insurance, the federal law of 11 October 1978 on social insurance for self-employed persons engaged in trade and commerce, the federal law of 11 October 1978 on social insurance for self-employed farmers and the federal law of 30 November 1978 on social insurance for the self-employed in the liberal professions;

(b)    All applications for invalidity pensions based on a pension account pursuant to the general pensions act of 18 November 2004;

(c)    All applications for survivor's pensions based on a pension account pursuant to the general pensions act of 18 November 2004, if no increase in benefits is to be applied in respect of additional months of insurance pursuant to Article 7(2) of the general pensions act;

(d)    All applications for invalidity and survivor's pensions of the Landesärztekammern (provincial chambers of physicians) based on basic provision (basic and any supplementary benefit, or basic pension);

(e)    All applications for permanent occupational invalidity support and survivor's support from the pension fund of the Österreichische Tierärztekammer (Austrian chamber of veterinary surgeons);

(f)    All applications for benefits from occupational invalidity, widows and orphans pensions according to the statutes of the welfare institutions of the Rechtsanwaltskammern (bar associations), Part A.

H.    POLAND

All applications for disability pensions, old-age pensions under the defined benefits scheme and survivor's pensions.

I.    PORTUGAL

All applications for invalidity, old-age and survivor's pension claims, except for where the totalised periods of insurance completed under the legislation of more than one Member State are equal to or longer than 21 calendar years, the national periods of insurance are equal or inferior to 20 years, and the calculation is made under Article 11 of Decree-Law No 35/2002, 19 February.

J.    SLOVAKIA

(a)    All applications for survivor's pension (widow's, widower's and orphan's pension) calculated pursuant to the legislation in force before 1 January 2004 the amount of which is derived from a pension formerly paid to the deceased,

(b)    All applications for pensions calculated pursuant to Act No 461/2003 Coll. on social security as amended.

K.    SWEDEN

All applications for guarantee pension in the form of old-age pension (Act 1998:702) and old-age pension in the form of supplementary pension (Act 1998:674).

L.    UNITED KINGDOM

All applications for retirement pension, widow's and bereavement benefits, with the exception of those for which:

  a) during a tax year beginning on or after 6 April 1975:
   i) the party concerned completed periods of insurance, employment or residence under the legislation of the United Kingdom and another Member State; and
   ii) one (or more) of the tax years referred to in point (i) was not considered a qualifying year within the meaning of the legislation of the United Kingdom;
   b) the periods of insurance completed under the legislation in force in the United Kingdom for the periods prior to 5 July 1948 would be taken into account for the purposes of Article 52(1)(b) of this Regulation by application of the periods of insurance, employment or residence under the legislation of another Member State.

All applications for additional pension pursuant to the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, section 44, and the Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992, section 44.

Part 2: Cases in which Article 52(5) applies:

A.    FRANCE

Basic or supplementary schemes in which old-age benefits are calculated on the basis of retirement points.

B.    LATVIA

Old-age pensions (Law on state pensions of 1 January 1996 and Law on state-funded pensions of 1 July 2001).

C.    HUNGARY

Pension benefits based on the membership of private pension funds.

D.    AUSTRIA

(a)    Old-age pensions based on a pension account pursuant to the general pensions act of 18 November 2004;

(b)    Compulsory allowances under Article 41 of the Federal Law of 28 December 2001, BGBl I Nr. 154 on the Pharmazeutische Gehaltskasse für Österreich (general salary fund of Austrian pharmacists).

(c)    Retirement and early retirement pensions of the Landesärztekammern (provincial chambers of physicians) based on basic provision (basic and any supplementary benefit, or basic pension), and all pension benefits of the same body based on additional provision (additional or individual pension).

(d)    Old-age support from the pension fund of the Österreichische Tierärztekammer (Austrian chamber of veterinary surgeons) .

(e)    Benefits according to the statutes of the welfare institutions of the Austrian bar associations, Parts A and B, with the exception of applications for benefits from disability, widows and orphans pensions according to the statutes of the welfare institutions of the same body, Part A.

(f)    Benefits by the welfare institutions of the federal chamber of architects and consulting engineers under the Ziviltechnikerkammergesetz 1993 (law on the chamber of civil engineers) and the statutes of the welfare institutions, with the exception of benefits on grounds of occupational invalidity and survivor's benefits deriving from the last-named benefits.

(g)    Benefits according to the statute of the welfare institution of the federal chamber of professional accountants and tax advisors under the Wirtschaftstreuhandberufsgesetz (law on professional accountants and tax advisors).

E.    POLAND

Old-age pensions under the defined contribution scheme.

F.    SLOVENIA

Pension from compulsory supplementary pension insurance.

G.    SLOVAKIA

Mandatory old-age pension saving.

H.    SWEDEN

Income-based pension and premium pension (Act 1998:674).

I.    UNITED KINGDOM

Graduated retirement benefits paid pursuant to the National Insurance Act 1965, sections 36 and 37, and the National Insurance Act (Northern Ireland) 1966, sections 35 and 36.

J.    BULGARIA

Old-age pensions from the Supplementary Compulsory Pension Insurance, under Part II, Title II, of the social insurance code.

K .   ESTONIA

Mandatory funded old-age pension scheme.

"

9 .   Annex IX is amended as follows:

(a)   Part I is amended as follows:

   i) after the entry under the heading "F. IRELAND" the following entry is inserted: "
F bis.   "Fa. LATVIA
Invalidity pensions (third group) under Article 16(1)(2) of the law on state pensions of 1 January 1996"; "
   ii) under the heading "G. NETHERLANDS", the following words are added: "
"The law of 10 November 2005 on work and income according to labour capacity"; "
   iii) the entry under the heading "H. FINLAND" is replaced by the following: "
"National pensions to persons who are born disabled or become disabled at an early age (the National Pensions Act, 568/2007)
National pensions and spouse's pensions determined according to the transitional rules and awarded prior to the 1 of January 1994 (Act on Enforcement of the National Pensions Act, 569/2007)
The additional amount of children's pension when calculating independent benefit in accordance with the national pension act, 568/2007)"; "
   iv) the entry under the heading "I. SWEDEN" is replaced by the following: "
"Swedish income-related sickness compensation and activity compensation (Act 1962:381)
Swedish guarantee pension and guaranteed compensation which replaced the full Swedish state pensions provided under the legislation on the state pension which applied before 1 January 1993, and the full state pension awarded under the transitional rules of the legislation applying from that date" . "

(b)   Part II is amended as follows:

   i) after the entry under the heading "C. ITALY", the following entries are inserted: "
C bis.   "Ca. LATVIA
Survivor's pension calculated on the basis of assumed insurance periods (Article 23(8) of the Law on State Pensions of 1 January 1996)
Cb.    LITHUANIA
(a)    State social insurance work incapacity pensions, paid under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions
(b)    State social insurance survivor's and orphan's pensions, calculated on the basis of the work incapacity pension of the deceased under the Law on State Social Insurance Pensions"; "
   ii) after the entry under the heading "D. LUXEMBOURG", the following entry is inserted: "
Da.    SLOVAKIA
(a)    Slovak invalidity pension and survivor's pension derived therefrom
(b)    Invalidity pension for a person who became invalid as a dependent child and who is always deemed to have fulfilled the required period of insurance (Articles 70(2) and 72(3), and Article 73(3) and (4) of Act No 461/2003 on social insurance, as amended) "

(c)    In Part III, the entry "Nordic Convention of 15 June 1992 on social security" is replaced by the following:

"

Nordic Convention on Social Security of 18 August 2003.

"

10 .   Annex X is replaced by the following:

"

ANNEX X

SPECIAL NON-CONTRIBUTORY CASH BENEFITS

[Article 70(2)(c)]

A.    BELGIUM

(a)    Income replacement allowance (Law of 27 February 1987)

(b)    Guaranteed income for elderly persons (Law of 22 March 2001)

B.    BULGARIA

Social pension for old age (Article 89 of the Social Security Code)

C.    CZECH REPUBLIC

Social allowance (State Social Support Act No 117/1995 Sb)

D.    DENMARK

Accommodation expenses for pensioners (Law on individual accommodation assistance, consolidated by Law No 204 of 29 March 1995)

E.    GERMANY

Basic subsistence income for the elderly and for persons with reduced earning capacity under Chapter 4 of Book XII of the Social Code

Benefits to cover subsistence costs under the basic provision for jobseekers unless, with respect to those benefits, the eligibility requirements for a temporary supplement following receipt of unemployment benefit (Article 24 (1) of Book II of the Social Code) are fulfilled

F.    ESTONIA

(a)    Disabled adult allowance (Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act of 27 January 1999)

(b)    State unemployment allowance (Labour Market Services and Support Act of 29 September 2005)

G.    IRELAND

(a)    Jobseeker's allowance (Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Part 3, Chapter 2)

(b)    State pension (non-contributory) (Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Part 3, Chapter 4)

(c)    Widow's (non-contributory) pension and widower's (non-contributory) pension (Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Part 3, Chapter 6)

(d)    Disability allowance (Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Part 3, Chapter 10)

(e)    Mobility allowance (Health Act 1970, Section 61)

(f)    Blind pension (Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005, Part 3, Chapter 5)

H.    GREECE

Special benefits for the elderly (Law No 1296/82)

I.    SPAIN

(a)    Minimum income guarantee (Law No 13/82 of 7 April 1982)

(b)    Cash benefits to assist the elderly and invalids unable to work (Royal Decree No 2620/81 of 24 July 1981)

(c)    The following pension benefits:

i)    non-contributory invalidity and retirement pensions as provided for in Article 38(1) of the Consolidated Text of the General Law on Social Security, approved by Royal Legislative Decree No 1/1994 of 20 June 1994 and

ii)    the benefits which supplement the pensions referred to in point i, as provided for in the legislations of the autonomous regions, where such supplements guarantee a minimum subsistence income having regard to the economic and social situation in the autonomous regions concerned

(d)    Allowances to promote mobility and to compensate for transport costs (Law No 13/1982 of 7 April 1982)

J.    FRANCE

(a)   Supplementary allowances of:

   i) the special invalidity fund, and
   ii) the old-age solidarity fund
in respect of acquired rights (Law of 30 June 1956, codified in Book VIII of the Social Security Code)

(b)    Disabled adult's allowance (Law of 30 June 1975, codified in Book VIII of the Social Security Code)

(c)    Special allowance (Law of 10 July 1952, codified in Book VIII of the Social Security Code) in respect of acquired rights

(d)    Old-age solidarity allowance (ordinance of 24 June 2004, codified in Book VIII of the Social Security Code) as of 1 January 2006

K.    ITALY

(a)    Social pensions for persons without means (Law No 153 of 30 April 1969)

(b)    Pensions and allowances for the civilian disabled or invalids (Law No 118 of 30 March 1974, No 18 of 11 February 1980 and No 508 of 23 November 1988)

(c)    Pensions and allowances for the deaf and dumb (Law No 381 of 26 May 1970 and No 508 of 23 November 1988)

(d)    Pensions and allowances for the civilian blind (Law No 382 of 27 May 1970 and No 508 of 23 November 1988)

(e)    Benefits supplementing the minimum pensions (Law No 218 of 4 April 1952, No 638 of 11 November 1983 and No 407 of 29 December 1990)

(f)    Benefits supplementing disability allowances (Law No 222 of 12 June 1984)

(g)    Social allowance (Law No 335 of 8 August 1995)

(h)    Social increase (Article 1(1) and (12) of Law No 544 of 29 December 1988 and successive amendments)

L.    CYPRUS

(a)    Social Pension (Social Pension Law of 1995 (Law 25(I)/95), as amended)

(b)    Severe motor disability allowance (Council of Ministers' Decisions No 38210 of 16 October 1992, No 41370 of 1 August 1994, No 46183 of 11 June 1997 and No 53675 of 16 May 2001)

(c)    Special grant to blind persons (Special Grants Law of 1996 (Law 77(I)/96), as amended)

M.    LATVIA

(a)    State social security benefit (Law on State Social Benefits of 1 January 2003)

(b)    Allowance for the compensation of transportation expenses for disabled persons with restricted mobility (Law on State Social Benefits of 1 January 2003)

N.    LITHUANIA

(a)    Social assistance pension (Article 5 of the Law of 2005 on State Social Assistance Benefits)

(b)    Relief compensation (Article 15 of the Law of 2005 on State Social Assistance Benefits)

(c)    Transport compensation for the disabled who have mobility problems (Article 7 of the Law of 2000 on Transport Compensation)

O.    LUXEMBOURG

Income for the seriously disabled (Article 1(2) of the Law of 12 September 2003), with the exception of persons recognised as being disabled workers and employed on the mainstream labour market or in a sheltered environment

P.    HUNGARY

(a)    Invalidity annuity (Decree No 83/1987 (XII 27) of the Council of Ministers on invalidity annuity)

(b)    Non-contributory old age allowance (Act III of 1993 on Social Administration and Social Benefits)

(c)    Transport allowance (Government Decree No 164/1995 (XII 27) on Transport Allowances for Persons with Severe Physical Handicap)

Q.    MALTA

(a)    Supplementary allowance (Section 73 of the Social Security Act (Cap. 318) 1987)

(b)    Old-age pension (Social Security Act (Cap. 318) 1987)

R.    NETHERLANDS

(a)    Wet Arbeidsongeschiktheidsvoorziening jonggehandicapten (Wajong) (Disability Assistance Act for Young Persons with a Disability) of 24 April 1997

(b)    Toeslagenwet (TW) (Supplementary Benefits Act) of 6 November 1986

S.    AUSTRIA

Compensatory supplement (Federal Act of 9 September 1955 on General Social Insurance, Federal Act of 11 October 1978 on Social insurance for persons engaged in trade and commerce, and Federal Act of 11 October 1978 on Social insurance for farmers

T.    POLAND

Social pension (Act of 27 June 2003 on social pensions)

U.    PORTUGAL

(a)    Non-contributory State old-age and invalidity pension (Decree-Law No 464/80 of 13 October 1980)

(b)    Non-contributory widowhood pension (Regulatory Decree No 52/81 of 11 November 1981)

(c)    Solidarity supplement for the elderly (Decree-Law No 232/2005 of 29 December 2005, amended by Decree-Law No 236/2006 of 11 December 2006

V.    SLOVENIA

(a)    State pension (Pension and Disability Insurance Act of 23 December 1999)

(b)    Income support for pensioners (Pension and Disability Insurance Act of 23 December 1999)

(c)    Maintenance allowance (Pension and Disability Insurance Act of 23 December 1999)

W.    SLOVAKIA

(a)    Adjustment awarded before 1 January 2004 to pensions constituting the sole source of income

(b)    Social pension which has been awarded before 1 January 2004

X.    FINLAND

(a)    Housing allowance for pensioners (Act concerning the Housing Allowance for pensioners, 571/2007)

(b)    Labour market support (Act on Unemployment Benefits 1290/2002)

(c)    Special assistance for immigrants (Act on Special Assistance for Immigrants, 1192/2002)

Y.    SWEDEN

(a)    Housing supplements for persons receiving a pension (Law 2001: 761)

(b)    Financial support for the elderly (Law 2001: 853)

Z.    UNITED KINGDOM

(a)    State Pension credit (State Pension Credit Act 2002 and State Pension Credit Act (Northern Ireland) 2002)

(b)    Income-based allowances for jobseekers (Jobseekers Act 1995 and Jobseekers (Northern Ireland) Order 1995)

(c)    Income Support (Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992)

(d)    Disability Living Allowance mobility component (Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992 and Social Security Contributions and Benefits (Northern Ireland) Act 1992)

"

11 .   Annex XI is replaced by the following:

"

ANNEX XI

SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE LEGISLATION OF THE MEMBER STATES

[ Articles 51(3) and 56(1) and Article 83]

A.   BELGIUM

None

B .   BULGARIA

Article 33(1) of the Bulgarian Health Insurance Act shall apply to all persons for whom Bulgaria is the competent Member State under Chapter 1 of Title III of this Regulation.

C .   CZECH REPBULIC

None

D .   DENMARK

1 . (a)   For the purpose of calculating the pension under the lov om social pension (Social Pension Act), periods of activity as an employed or self-employed person completed under Danish legislation by a frontier worker or a worker who has gone to Denmark to do work of a seasonal nature are regarded as periods of residence completed in Denmark by the surviving spouse insofar as, during those periods, the surviving spouse was linked to the above-mentioned worker by marriage without separation from bed and board or de facto separation on grounds of incompatibility and provided that during those periods the spouse resided in the territory of another Member State.

For the purposes of this paragraph, "work of a seasonal nature" means work which, being dependent on the succession of the seasons, automatically recurs each year.

(b)   For the purpose of calculating the pension under the lov om social pension (Social Pension Act), periods of activity as an employed or self-employed person completed in Denmark before 1 January 1984 by a person to whom paragraph 2(a) does not apply shall be regarded as periods of residence completed under Danish legislation by the surviving spouse, insofar as, during those periods, the surviving spouse was linked to the person by marriage without separation from bed and board or de facto separation on grounds of incompatibility, and provided that, during those periods, the spouse resided in the territory of another Member State.

(c)   Periods to be taken into account under points (a) and (b) shall not be taken into consideration if they coincide with the periods taken into account for the calculation of the pension due to the person concerned under the legislation on compulsory insurance of another Member State or with the periods during which the person concerned received a pension under such legislation. Those periods shall, however, be taken into consideration if the annual amount of the said pension is less than half the basic amount of the social pension.

2 . (a)   Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 6, persons who have not been gainfully employed in one or more Member States are entitled to a Danish social pension only if they have been, or have previously been, permanent residents of Denmark for at least three years, subject to the age limits prescribed by Danish legislation. Subject to Article 4, Article 7 does not apply to a Danish social pension to which entitlement has been acquired by such persons.

(b)   The above-mentioned provisions do not apply to Danish social pension entitlement for the family members of persons who are or have been gainfully employed in Denmark, or for students or the members of their families.

3 .   The temporary benefit for unemployed persons who have been admitted to the ledighedsydelse (║ flexible job║ scheme) (Law No 455 of 10 June 1997) is covered by Title III, Chapter 6 of this Regulation. As regards unemployed persons going to another Member State, Articles 64 and 65 will be applicable when this Member State has similar employment schemes for the same category of persons.

4 .   Where the beneficiary of a Danish social pension is also entitled to a survivor's pension from another Member State, these pensions for the implementation of Danish legislation shall be regarded as benefits of the same kind within the meaning of Article 53(1), subject to the condition, however, that the person whose periods of insurance or of residence serve as the basis for the calculation of the survivor's pension had also acquired a right to a Danish social pension.

E .   GERMANY

1 .   Notwithstanding Article 5(a) of this Regulation and Article 5(4), point 1║ of the Sozialgesetzbuch VI (SGB VI) (║ Social Code, Volume VI ), a person who receives a full old-age pension under the legislation of another Member State if that person requests compulsory affiliation may request to be compulsorily insured under the German pension insurance scheme .

2 .   Notwithstanding Article 5(a) of this Regulation and Article 7(1) and (3) of the SGB VI , a person who is compulsorily insured in another Member State or receives an old-age pension under the legislation of another Member State may join the voluntary insurance scheme in Germany.

3.    For the purpose of granting cash benefits under paragraph 47(1) of SGB V, paragraph 47(1) of SGB VII and paragraph 200(2) of the Reichsversicherungsordnung to insured persons who live in another Member State, German insurance schemes calculate net pay, which is used to assess benefits, as if the insured person lived in Germany, unless the insured person requests an assessment on the basis of the net pay which he or she in fact receives.

4.    Nationals of other Member States whose place of residence or usual abode is outside Germany and who fulfil the general conditions of the German pension insurance scheme may pay voluntary contributions only if they have been voluntarily or compulsorily insured in the German pension insurance scheme at some time previously; this also applies to stateless persons and refugees whose place of residence or usual abode is in another Member State.

5.   The pauschale Anrechnungszeit (fixed credit period) pursuant to Article 253 of the SGB VI ║ shall be determined exclusively with reference to German periods.

6.   In cases to which the German pension legislation in force on 31 December 1991 is applicable for the recalculation of a pension , only the German legislation ║ applies for the purposes of crediting German Ersatzzeiten (substitute ║ periods).

7.    The German legislation on accidents at work and occupational diseases to be compensated for under the law governing foreign pensions and for benefits for insurance periods which can be credited under the law governing foreign pensions in the territories named in paragraph 1(2)(3) of the Bundesvertriebenengesetz (Law on displaced persons and refugees) continues to apply within the scope of application of this Regulation notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2 of the Fremdrentengesetz (Law on foreign pensions).

8.    For the calculation of the theoretical amount referred to in Article 52(1)(b)(i) of this Regulation, in pension schemes for liberal professions, the competent institution shall take as a basis, in respect of each of the years of insurance completed under the legislation of any other Member State, the average annual pension entitlement acquired during the period of membership of the competent institution through the payment of contributions.

F .   E STONIA

For the purpose of calculating parental benefit, periods of employment in Member States other than Estonia shall be considered to be based on the same average amount of Social Tax as paid during the periods of employment in Estonia with which they are aggregated. If during the reference year the person has been employed only in other Member States, the calculation of the benefit shall be considered to be based on the average Social Tax paid in Estonia between the reference year and the maternity leave.

G .   GREECE

1.    Law No 1469/84 concerning voluntary affiliation to the pension insurance scheme for Greek nationals and foreign nationals of Greek origin is applicable to nationals of other Member States, stateless persons and refugees, where the persons concerned, regardless of their place of residence or stay, have at some time in the past been compulsorily or voluntarily affiliated to the Greek pension insurance scheme.

2.    Notwithstanding Article 5(a) of this Regulation and Article 34 of Law No 1140/81, a person who receives a pension in respect of accidents at work or occupational diseases under the legislation of another Member State may request to be compulsorily insured under the legislation applied by the agricultural insurance scheme, to the that extent he or she pursues an activity falling within the scope of that legislation.

H .   SPAIN

1.    For the purposes of implementing Article 52(1)(b)(i) of this Regulation, the years which the worker lacks to reach the pensionable or compulsory retirement age as stipulated under Article 31(4) of the consolidated version of the Ley de clases pasivas del Estado (Law on State Pensioners) shall be taken into account as actual years of service to the State only if at the time of the event in respect of which invalidity or death pensions are due, the beneficiary was covered by Spain's special scheme for civil servants or was performing an activity assimilated under the scheme, or if, at the time of the event in respect of which the pensions are due, the beneficiary was performing an activity that would have required the person concerned to be included under the State's special scheme for civil servants, the armed forces or the judiciary, had the activity been performed in Spain .

2. (a)   Under Article 56(1)(c), the calculation of the theoretical Spanish benefit shall be carried out on the basis of the actual contributions of the person during the years immediately preceding payment of the last contribution to Spanish social security. Where, in the calculation of the basic amount for the pension, periods of insurance and/or residence under the legislation of other Member States have to be taken into account, the contribution basis in Spain which is closest in time to the reference periods shall be used for the aforementioned periods, taking into account the development of the retail price index.

b)   ║ (b) The amount of the pension obtained shall be increased by the amount of the increases and revaluations calculated for each subsequent year for pensions of the same nature.

3 .   Periods completed in other Member States which must be calculated in the special scheme for civil servants, the armed forces and the judicial administration, will be treated in the same way, for the purposes of Article 56 of this Regulation, as the periods closest in time covered as a civil servant in Spain.

4.    The additional amounts based on age referred to in the Second Transitional Provision of the General Law on Social Security shall be applicable to all beneficiaries of this Regulation who have contributions to their name under the Spanish legislation prior to 1 January 1967; it shall not be possible, by application of Article 5 of this Regulation, to treat periods of insurance credited in another Member State prior to the aforementioned date as being the same as contributions paid in Spain, solely for the present purposes. The date corresponding to 1 January 1967 shall be 1 August 1970 for the Special Scheme for Seafarers and 1 April 1969 for the Special Social Security Scheme for Coal Mining.

I .   FRANCE

1.    Nationals of other Member States whose place of residence or usual abode is outside France and who fulfil the general conditions of the French pension insurance scheme may pay voluntary contributions to it only if they had been voluntarily or compulsorily insured in the French pension insurance scheme at some time previously; this also applies to stateless persons and refugees whose place of residence or usual abode is in another Member State.

2 .   For persons receiving benefits in kind in France pursuant to Articles 17, 24 or 26 of this Regulation who are resident in the French departments of Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin or Moselle, benefits in kind provided on behalf of the institution of another Member State which is responsible for bearing their cost include benefits provided by both the general sickness insurance scheme and the obligatory supplementary local sickness insurance scheme of Alsace-Moselle.

3 .   French legislation applicable to a person engaged, or formerly engaged, in an activity as an employed or self-employed person for the application of Chapter 5 of Title III of this Regulation includes both the basic old-age insurance scheme(s) and the supplementary retirement scheme(s) to which the person concerned was subject.

J .   IRELAND

1.   Notwithstanding Article 21(2) and Article 62 of this Regulation, for the purposes of calculating the prescribed reckonable weekly earnings of an insured person for the grant of sickness ║ or unemployment benefit under Irish legislation, an amount equal to the average weekly wage ║ of employed persons in the relevant prescribed year shall ▌ be credited to that insured person in respect of each week of activity as an employed person under the legislation of another Member State during the said prescribed year .

2.   Where Article 46 of this Regulation applies, if the person concerned suffers incapacity for work leading to invalidity while subject to the legislation of another Member State, Ireland shall, for the purposes of Section 118(1)(a) of the Social Welfare Consolidation Act 2005 , take account of any periods during which, in respect of the invalidity that followed that incapacity for work, he or she would have been regarded as being incapable of work under Irish legislation.

K .   ITALY

None ║

L .   CYPRUS

For the purposes of applying the provisions of Articles 6, 51 and 61, for any period commencing on or after 6 October 1980, a week of insurance under the legislation of the Republic of Cyprus is determined by dividing the total insurable earnings for the relevant period by the weekly amount of the basic insurable earnings applicable in the relevant contribution year, provided that the number of weeks so determined shall not exceed the number of calendar weeks in the relevant period.

M .   LATVIA

None║

N .   LITHUANIA

None║

O .   LUXEMBOURG

None║

P .   HUNGARY

None║

Q .   MALTA

Special provisions for civil servants:

(a)    For the purposes of the application of Articles 49 and 60 of this Regulation only, persons employed under the Armed Forces Act (Chapter 220 of the Laws of Malta), the Police Act (Chapter 164 of the Laws of Malta) and the Prisons Act (Chapter 260 of the Laws of Malta) shall be treated as civil servants.

(b)    Pensions payable under the above Acts and under the Pensions Ordinance (Chapter 93 of the Laws of Malta) shall, for the purposes of Article 1(e) of this Regulation alone, be deemed to be "special schemes for civil servants

"

R .   NETHERLANDS

1.   Health care insurance

(a)  As regards entitlement to benefits in kind under Dutch legislation, persons entitled to benefits in kind for the purpose of the implementation of Chapters 1 and 2 of Title III of this Regulation shall comprise :

   i) persons who, under Article 2 of the Zorgverzekeringswet (Health Care Insurance Act), are obliged to take out insurance under a health care insurer; and
   ii) insofar as they are not already included under point (i), members of the family of active military personnel who are living in another Member State and persons who are resident in another Member State and who, under this Regulation are entitled to health care in their state of residence, the costs being borne by the Netherlands.

(b)   The persons referred to in paragraph 1(a)(i) shall , in accordance with the provisions of the Zorgverzekeringswet (Health Care Insurance Act) take out insurance with a health care insurer, and the persons referred to in paragraph 1(a)(ii) shall register with the College voor zorgverzekeringen (Health Care Insurance Board).

(c)   The provisions of the Zorgverzekeringswet (Health Care Insurance Act) and the Algemene Wet Bijzondere Ziektekosten (▌General Act on Exceptional Medical Expenses) concerning liability for the payment of contributions shall apply to the persons referred to under paragraph 1(a) and the members of their families. In respect of family members, the contributions shall be levied on the person from whom the right to health care is derived with exception of the members of the family of military personnel who are living in another Member State who shall be levied directly .

(d)   The provisions of the Zorgverzekeringswet (Health Care Insurance Act) concerning late insurance shall apply mutatis mutandis in the event of late registration with the College voor zorgverzekeringen (Health Care Insurance Board) in respect of the persons referred to in paragraph 1(a)(ii).

(e)   Persons entitled to benefits in kind by virtue of the legislation of a Member State other than the Netherlands who reside in the Netherlands or stay temporarily in the Netherlands shall be entitled to benefits in kind in accordance with the policy offered to insured persons in the Netherlands by the institution of the place of residence or the place of stay, taking into account Article 11(1), (2) and (3) and Article 19(1) of the Zorgverzekeringswet (Health Care Insurance Act), as well as to benefits in kind provided for by the Algemene wet bijzondere ziektekosten (General Act on Exceptional Medical Expenses).

(f)  For the purposes of Articles 23 to 30, the following benefits (in addition to pensions covered by Title III, Chapters 4 and 5) shall be treated as pensions due under Dutch legislation:

   pensions awarded under the Algemene burgerlijke pensioenwet of 6 January 1966 (Law on pensions for civil servants and their survivors ║);
   pensions awarded under the Algemene militaire pensioenwet of 6 October 1966 (Law on pensions for military personnel and their survivors ║);
   benefits for incapacity for work awarded under the Wet arbeidsongeschiktheidsvoorziening militairen of 7 June 1972 (Law on benefits for incapacity for work for military personnel ║);
   pensions awarded under the Law of 15 February 1967 on pensions for employees of the NV Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railway Company) and their survivors (Spoorwegpensioenwet) (Railway Pensions Act);
   pensions awarded under the Reglement Dienstvoorwaarden Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Regulation governing conditions of employment of the Dutch Railway Company);
   benefits awarded to retired persons before reaching the pensionable age of 65 years under a pension designed to provide income for former employed persons in their old age, or benefits provided in the event of premature exit from the labour market under a scheme set up by the state or by an industrial agreement for persons aged 55 or over ▌.
   benefits awarded to military personnel and civil servants under a scheme applicable in the event of redundancy, superannuation and early retirement.

(g)   For the purposes of Chapters 1 and 2 of Title III of this Regulation, the no-claims refund provided for in the Dutch scheme in the event of limited use of health-care facilities shall be deemed to be a sickness benefit in cash.

2.   Application of the Algemene Ouderdomswet (AOW) (Law on general old-age insurance)

(a)  The reduction referred to in Article 13(1) of the ║ AOW ║ shall not be applied for calendar years before 1 January 1957 during which a recipient not satisfying the conditions for having such years treated as periods of insurance:

   - resided in the Netherlands between the ages of 15 and 65, or
   - while residing in another Member State, worked in the Netherlands for an employer established in the Netherlands, or
   - worked in another Member State during periods regarded as periods of insurance under the Dutch social security system.

By way of derogation from Article 7 of the AOW, anyone who resided or worked in the Netherlands in accordance with the above conditions only prior to 1 January 1957 shall also be regarded as being entitled to a pension.

(b)   The reduction referred to in Article 13(1) of the AOW shall not apply to calendar years prior to 2 August 1989 during which, between the ages of 15 and 65, a person who is or was married was not insured under the above legislation, whilst being resident in the territory of a Member State other than the Netherlands, if these calendar years coincide with periods of insurance completed by the person's spouse under that legislation or with calendar years to be taken into account under point  2(a), provided that the couple's marriage subsisted during that time.

By way of derogation from Article 7 of the AOW, such person shall be regarded as entitled to a pension.

(c)  The reduction referred to in Article 13(2) of the AOW shall not apply to calendar years before 1 January 1957 during which a pensioner's spouse who fails to satisfy the conditions for having such years treated as periods of insurance:

   - resided in the Netherlands between the ages of 15 and 65, or
   - while residing in another Member State, worked in the Netherlands for an employer established in the Netherlands, or
   - worked in another Member State during periods regarded as periods of insurance under the Dutch social security system.

(d)   The reduction referred to in Article 13(2) of the AOW shall not apply to calendar years prior to 2 August 1989 during which, between the ages of 15 and 65, a pensioner's spouse resident in a Member State other than the Netherlands was not insured under the above legislation, if those calendar years coincide with periods of insurance completed by the pensioner under that legislation or with calendar years to be taken into account under point  2(a), provided that the couple's marriage subsisted during that time.

(e)  Point  2(a), ║(b), ║(c) and ║(d) shall not apply to periods which coincide with:

   - periods which may be taken into account for calculating pension rights under the old-age insurance legislation of a Member State other than the Netherlands, or
   - periods for which the person concerned has drawn an old-age pension under such legislation.

Periods of voluntary insurance under the system of another Member State shall not be taken into account for the purposes of this provision.

(f)   Point  2(a), ║ (b), ║ (c) and ║ (d) shall apply only if the person concerned has resided in one or more Member States for six years after the age of 59 and only for such time as that person is resident in one of those Member States.

(g)   By way of derogation from Chapter IV of the AOW, anyone resident in a Member State other than the Netherlands whose spouse is covered by compulsory insurance under that legislation shall be authorised to take out voluntary insurance under that legislation for periods during which the spouse is compulsorily insured.

This authorisation shall not cease where the spouse's compulsory insurance is terminated as a result of his or her death and where the survivor receives only a pension under the Algemene nabestaandenwet (║ general law for surviving dependants).

In any event, the authorisation in respect of voluntary insurance ceases on the date on which the person reaches the age of 65.

The contribution to be paid for voluntary insurance shall be set in accordance with the provisions relating to the determination of the contribution for voluntary insurance under the AOW. However, if the voluntary insurance follows on from a period of insurance as referred to in point  2(b), the contribution shall be set in accordance with the provisions relating to the determination of the contribution for compulsory insurance under the AOW, with the income to be taken into account being deemed to have been received in the Netherlands.

(h)   The authorisation referred to in point  2(g) shall not be granted to anyone insured under another Member State's legislation on pensions or survivor's benefits.

(i)   Anyone wishing to take out voluntary insurance under point  2(g) shall be required to apply for it to the ║ Sociale Verzekeringsbank ( social insurance bank) no later than one year after the date on which the conditions for participation are fulfilled.

(j)   For the purposes of Article 52(1)(b), only periods of insurance completed under the AOW after the age of 15 shall be taken into account as periods of insurance.

3.   Application of the Algemene nabestaandenwet (ANW) (║ general law on surviving relatives )

(a)    Where the surviving spouse is entitled to a survivor's pension under the ║ ANW ║ pursuant to Article 51(3) , that pension shall be calculated in accordance with Article 52(1)(b) of this Regulation .

For the application of these provisions, periods of insurance prior to 1 October 1959 shall also be regarded as periods of insurance completed under Dutch legislation if during those periods the insured person, after the age of 15:

   - resided in the Netherlands, or
   - while resident in another Member State, worked in the Netherlands for an employer established in the Netherlands, or
   - worked in another Member State during periods regarded as periods of insurance under the Dutch social security system.

(b)    Account shall not be taken of the periods to be taken into consideration under paragraph 3(b) which coincide with periods of compulsory insurance completed under the legislation of another Member State in respect of survivor's pensions.

(c)    For the purposes of Article 52(1)(b), only periods of insurance completed under Dutch legislation after the age of 15 shall be taken into account as periods of insurance.

(d)    By way of derogation from Article 63a(1) of the ANW, a person resident in a Member State other than the Netherlands whose spouse is compulsorily insured under the ANW shall be authorised to take out voluntary insurance under that legislation, provided that such insurance has already begun by...(5) ║, but only for periods during which the spouse is compulsorily insured. This authorisation shall cease as from the date of termination of the spouse's compulsory insurance under the ANW, unless the spouse's compulsory insurance is terminated as a result of his or her death and where the survivor only receives a pension under the ANW.

In any event, the authorisation in respect of voluntary insurance ceases on the date on which the person reaches the age of 65.

The contribution to be paid for voluntary insurance shall be set in accordance with the provisions relating to the determination of contributions for voluntary insurance under the ANW. However, if the voluntary insurance follows on from a period of insurance as referred to in paragraph 2(b), the contribution shall be set in accordance with the provisions relating to the determination of contributions for compulsory insurance under the ANW, with the income to be taken into account being deemed to have been received in the Netherlands.

4.   Application of Dutch legislation relating to incapacity for work

(a)   Where , pursuant to Article 51(3) of this Regulation , the person concerned is entitled to a Dutch invalidity benefit, the amount referred to in Article 52(1)(b) for calculating that benefit shall be determined:

  i) where, prior to the occurrence of incapacity for work, the person last exercised an activity as an employed person within the meaning of Article 1(a), in accordance with
   the provisions laid down in the Wet op arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering (WAO) (Law on incapacity for work) if the incapacity for work occurred before 1 January 2004 or
   the provisions laid down in the Wet Werk en inkomen naar arbeidsvermogen (WIA) (Law on work and income according to labour capacity) if the incapacity for work occurred on or after 1 January 2004.
   ii) where, prior to the occurrence of the incapacity for work, the person concerned last exercised an activity as a self-employed person within the meaning of Article 1(b), in accordance with the provisions laid down in the Wet arbeidsongeschiktheidsverzekering zelfstandigen (WAZ) (Law on Incapacity for Work relating to self-employed persons) if the incapacity for work occurred before 1 August 2004 .

(b)   In calculating benefits under either the WAO, WIA or the WAZ, the Dutch institutions shall take account of:

   - periods of paid employment and periods treated as such, completed in the Netherlands before 1 July 1967;
   - periods of insurance completed under the WAO;
   - periods of insurance completed by the person concerned, after the age of 15, under the Algemene Arbeidsongeschiktheidswet (AAW) (General law on incapacity for work) , insofar as these do not coincide with the periods of insurance completed under the WAO;
   - periods of insurance completed under the WAZ.
   - periods of insurance completed under the WIA.

S .   AUSTRIA

1.   For the purpose of acquiring periods in the pension insurance, attendance at a school or comparable educational establishment in another Member State shall be regarded as equivalent to attendance at a school or educational establishment pursuant to Articles 227(1)(1) and 228(1)(3) of the Allgemeines Sozialversicherungsgesetz (ASVG) (law on general social security ║), Article 116(7) of the Gewerbliches Sozialversicherungsgesetz (GSVG) (Federal law on social insurance for persons engaged in trade and commerce) and Article 107(7) of the Bauern-Sozialversicherungsgesetz (BSVG) (law on social security ║ for farmers), when the person concerned was subject at some time to Austrian legislation on the grounds that he pursued an activity as an employed or self-employed person, and the special contributions provided for under Article 227(3) of the ASVG, Article 116(9) of the GSVG and Article 107(9) of the BSGV for the purchase of such periods of education, are paid.

2 .   For the calculation of the pro rata benefit referred to in Article 52(1)(b), special increments for contributions for supplementary insurance and the miner's supplementary benefit under Austrian legislation shall be disregarded. In such cases the pro rata benefit calculated without those contributions shall, if appropriate, be increased by unreduced special increments for contributions for supplementary insurance and the miner's supplementary benefit.

3 .   Where, pursuant to Article 6, substitute periods under an Austrian pension insurance scheme have been completed, but these cannot form a basis for calculation pursuant to Articles 238 and 239 of the ║ ASVG ║, Articles 122 and 123 of the ║ GSVG ║ or Articles 113 and 114 of the ║ BSVG ║, the calculation basis for periods of childcare pursuant to Article 239 of the ASVG, Article 123 of the GSVG and Article 114 of the BSVG shall be used.

T .   POLAND.

None║

U .   PORTUGAL

None║

V .   ROMANIA

None

W .   SLOVENIA

None║

X.    SLOVAKIA

None║

Y .   FINLAND

1 .   For the purposes of determining entitlement and of calculating the amount of the Finnish national pension under Articles 52 to 54, pensions acquired under the legislation of another Member State are treated in the same way as pensions acquired under Finnish legislation.

2 .   When applying Article 52(1)(b)(i) for the purpose of calculating of earnings for the credited period under Finnish legislation on earnings-related pensions, where an individual has pension insurance periods based on activity as an employed or self-employed person in another Member State for part of the reference period under Finnish legislation, the earnings for the credited period shall be equivalent to the sum of earnings obtained during the part of the reference period in Finland divided by the number of months for which there were insurance periods in Finland during the reference period.

Z .   SWEDEN

1.   When parental leave allowance is paid under the provisions in Article 67 to a family member who is not employed, the parental leave allowance is paid at a level corresponding to the basic or lowest level.

2.    For the purpose of calculating parental leave allowance in accordance with Chapter 4, paragraph 6 of the Lag (1962:381) om allmän försäkring (Law on national insurance) for persons eligible for a work-based parental leave allowance, the following shall apply:

For a parent for whom sickness benefit generating income is calculated on the basis of income from gainful employment in Sweden, the requirement to have been insured for sickness benefit above the minimum level for at least 240 consecutive days preceding the child's birth shall be satisfied if, during the period mentioned, the parent had income from gainful employment in another Member State corresponding to insurance above the minimum level.

3 .   The provisions of this Regulation on the aggregation of insurance periods or periods of residence shall not apply to the transitional provisions in the Swedish legislation on entitlement to guarantee pension for persons born in or before 1937 who have been resident in Sweden for a specified period before applying for a pension (Act 2000:798).

4.   For the purpose of calculating notional income for the income-related sickness compensation and income-related activity compensation in accordance with Chapter 8 of the Lag (1962:381) om allmän försäkrings (Law on national insurance ║), the following shall apply:

   a) where the insured person, during the reference period, has also been subject to the legislation of one or more other Member States on account of activity as an employed or self-employed person, income in the Member State(s) concerned shall be deemed to be equivalent to the insured person's average gross income in Sweden during the part of the reference period in Sweden, calculated by dividing the earnings in Sweden by the number of years over which those earnings accrued;
   b) where the benefits are calculated pursuant to Article 46 and persons are not insured in Sweden, the reference period shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 8, paragraphs 2 and 8 of the abovementioned Law as if the person concerned were insured in Sweden. If the person concerned has no pension-generating income during this period under the Law on income-based old-age pension (1998:674), the reference period shall be permitted to run from the earlier point in time when the insured person had income from gainful activity in Sweden.

5 . (a)   For the purpose of calculating notional pension asset for income-based survivor's pension (Act 2000:461), if the requirement in Swedish legislation for pension entitlement in respect of at least three out of the five calendar years immediately preceding the insured person's death (reference period) is not met, account shall also be taken of insurance periods completed in other Member States as if they had been completed in Sweden. Insurance periods in other Member States shall be regarded as based on the average Swedish pension base. If the person concerned has only one year in Sweden with a pension base, each insurance period in another Member State shall be regarded as constituting the same amount.

(b)   For the purpose of calculating notional pension credits for widow's pensions relating to deaths on or after 1 January 2003, if the requirement in Swedish legislation for pension credits in respect of at least two out of the four years immediately preceding the insured person's death (reference period) is not met and insurance periods were completed in another Member State during the reference period, those years shall be regarded as being based on the same pension credits as the Swedish year.

UNITED KINGDOM

1.  Where, in accordance with United Kingdom legislation, a person may be entitled to a retirement pension if:

   a) the contributions of a former spouse are taken into account as if they were that person's own contributions; or
   b) the relevant contribution conditions are satisfied by that person's spouse or former spouse,
then provided, in each case, that the spouse or former spouse is or had been exercising an activity as an employed or self-employed person, and had been subject to the legislation of two or more Member States, the provisions of Chapter 5 of Title III of this Regulation shall apply in order to determine entitlement under United Kingdom legislation. In this case, references in the said Chapter 5 to "periods of insurance" shall be construed as references to periods of insurance completed by:
  i) a spouse or former spouse where a claim is made by:
   - a married woman; or
   - a person whose marriage has terminated otherwise than by the death of the spouse, or
  ii) a former spouse, where a claim is made by:
   - a widower who immediately before pensionable age is not entitled to widowed parent's allowance; or
   - a widow who immediately before pensionable age is not entitled to widowed mother's allowance, widowed parent's allowance or widow's pension, or who is only entitled to an age-related widow's pension calculated pursuant to Article 52(1)(b), and for this purpose "age-related widow's pension" means a widow's pension payable at a reduced rate in accordance with section 39(4) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

2.   For the purposes of applying Article 6 of this Regulation to the provisions governing entitlement to attendance allowance, carer's allowance and disability living allowance, a period of employment, self-employment or residence completed in the territory of a Member State other than the United Kingdom shall be taken into account insofar as is necessary to satisfy conditions as to required periods of presence in the United Kingdom, prior to the day on which entitlement to the benefit in question first arises.

3.   For the purposes of Article 7 of this Regulation, in the case of invalidity, old-age or survivors" cash benefits, pensions for accidents at work or occupational diseases and death grants, any beneficiary under United Kingdom legislation who is staying in the territory of another Member State shall, during that stay, be considered as if he or she resided in the territory of that other Member State .

4.  Where Article 46 applies, if the person concerned suffers incapacity for work leading to invalidity while subject to the legislation of another Member State, the United Kingdom shall, for the purposes of Section 30A(5) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992, take account of any periods during which the person concerned has received, in respect of that incapacity for work:

   a) cash sickness benefits or wages or salary in lieu thereof,
   b) benefits within the meaning of Chapters 4 and 5 of Title III granted in respect of the invalidity which followed that incapacity for work,
under the legislation of the other Member State, as though they were periods of short-term incapacity benefit paid in accordance with Sections 30A(1) to (4) of the Social Security Contributions and Benefits Act 1992.

5.   In applying Article 46, account shall only be taken of periods during which the person was incapable of work within the meaning of United Kingdom legislation.

6.(a)    For the purpose of calculating an earnings factor in order to determine entitlement to benefits under United Kingdom legislation, for each week of activity as an employed person under the legislation of another Member State, and which commenced during the relevant income tax year within the meaning of United Kingdom legislation, the person concerned shall be deemed to have paid contributions as an employed earner, or have earnings on which contributions have been paid, on the basis of earnings equivalent to two-thirds of that year's upper earnings limit.

(b)   For the purposes of Article 52(1)(b)(ii), where:

   i) in any income tax year starting on or after 6 April 1975, a person carrying out activity as an employed person has completed periods of insurance, employment or residence exclusively in a Member State other than the United Kingdom, and the application of point 6(a) ║ results in that year being counted as a qualifying year within the meaning of United Kingdom legislation for the purposes of Article 52(1)(b)(i), he or she shall be deemed to have been insured for 52 weeks in that year in that other Member State;
   ii) any income tax year starting on or after 6 April 1975 does not count as a qualifying year within the meaning of United Kingdom legislation for the purposes of Article 52(1)(b)(i), any periods of insurance, employment or residence completed in that year shall be disregarded.

(c)    For the purpose of converting an earnings factor into periods of insurance, the earnings factor achieved in the relevant income tax year within the meaning of United Kingdom legislation shall be divided by that year's lower earnings limit. The result shall be expressed as a whole number, any remaining fraction being ignored. The figure so calculated shall be treated as representing the number of weeks of insurance completed under United Kingdom legislation during that year provided that such figure shall not exceed the number of weeks during which in that year the person was subject to that legislation.".

(1) OJ C 161, 13.7.2007, p. 61 .
(2) OJ C , , p. .
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 9 July 2008.
(4) OJ L 166, 30.4.2004, p. 1. Corrected version at OJ L 200, 7.6.2004, p. 1.
(5)+ OJ: please insert the date of entry into force of Regulation (EC) No .../2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems.


Extending Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 to third country nationals otherwise excluded *
DOC 40k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 9 July 2008 on the proposal for a Council regulation extending the provisions of Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 and Regulation (EC) No […] to nationals of third countries who are not already covered by these provisions solely on the ground of their nationality (COM(2007)0439 – C6-0289/2007 – 2007/0152(CNS) )
P6_TA(2008)0350 A6-0209/2008

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal (COM(2007)0439 ),

–   having regard to Article 63(4) of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 67 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0289/2007 ),

–   having regard to Rule 51 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0209/2008 ),

1.   Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.   Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

3.   Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

4.   Calls on the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

5.   Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a Regulation
Recital 3 a (new)
(3a)    This Regulation respects the fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised, in particular, by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, notably Article 34(2) thereof .
Amendment 2
Proposal for a Regulation
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a)    Promoting a high level of social protection and raising the standard of living and the quality of life in the Member States are objectives of the European Union.

Formation of political groups (amendment of Rule 29)
DOC 42k
European Parliament decision of 9 July 2008 on amendment of Rule 29 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure - Formation of political groups (2006/2201(REG) )
P6_TA(2008)0351 A6-0206/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the proposal for amendment of its Rules of Procedure (B6-0420/2006 ),

–   having regard to Rules 201 and 202 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A6-0206/2008 ),

1.   Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;

2.   Decides that the amendment will enter into force on the first day of the first part-session following the European elections in the year 2009;

3.   Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission, for information.

Present text   Amendment
Amendment 3
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 29 – paragraph 2
2.   A political group shall comprise Members elected in at least one-fifth of the Member States. The minimum number of Members required to form a political group shall be twenty .
2.   A political group shall comprise Members elected in at least one-quarter of the Member States. The minimum number of Members required to form a political group shall be twenty-five .
Amendment 1
Parliament's Rules of Procedure
Rule 29 − paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.    Where a group falls below the required threshold, the President, with the agreement of the Conference of Presidents, may allow it to continue to exist until Parliament's next constitutive sitting, provided the following conditions are met:
- the members continue to represent at least one-fifth of the Member States;
- the group has been in existence for a period longer than one year.
The President shall not apply this derogation where there is sufficient evidence to suspect that it is being abused.

The role of the national judge in the European judicial system
DOC 60k
European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2008 on the role of the national judge in the European judicial system (2007/2027(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0352 A6-0224/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to Article 61 of the EC Treaty, which provides for the progressive establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice including measures in the field of judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters,

–   having regard to the Hague Programme for strengthening freedom, security and justice in the European Union(1) , adopted by the Brussels European Council on 5 November 2004, and to the Commission's communication of 10 May 2005 on "The Hague Programme: Ten priorities for the next five years" (COM(2005)0184 ),

–   having regard to the call, made on 14-15 December 2001 by the Laeken European Council, for the rapid setting-up of a European network to encourage training for the judiciary, with a view to helping to develop trust between those involved in judicial cooperation,

–   having regard to its resolutions of 10 September 1991 on the establishment of a European Law Academy(2) and of 24 September 2002 on the European Judicial Training Network(3) (EJTN),

–   having regard to the Commission's communications of 29 June 2006 on judicial training in the European Union (COM(2006)0356 ), of 5 September 2007 on a Europe of results: applying Community law (COM(2007)0502 ), and of 4 February 2008 on the creation of a Forum for discussing EU justice policies and practice (COM(2008)0038 ),

–   having regard to Council Decision 2008/79/EC, Euratom of 20 December 2007 amending the Protocol on the Statute of the Court of Justice(4) , and the consequent modifications of the Court of Justice's Rules of Procedure introducing an urgent preliminary ruling procedure,

–   having regard to Articles 81(2)(h) and 82(1)(c) of the future Treaty on the Functioning of the Union, as inserted by the Treaty of Lisbon, which would provide a legal basis for measures aimed at providing support for the training of the judiciary and judicial staff,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0224/2008 ),

A.   whereas a survey carried out for the purposes of this resolution during the second half of 2007 highlighted:

   significant disparities in national judges' knowledge of Community law(5) across the European Union, with awareness of it being sometimes very limited,
   the urgent need to enhance the overall foreign language skills of national judges,
   the difficulties experienced by national judges in accessing specific and up-to-date information on Community law,
   the need to improve and intensify the initial and life-long training of national judges in Community law,
   the judges' relative lack of familiarity with the preliminary ruling procedure, and the need to reinforce the dialogue between national judges and the Court of Justice,
   the fact that Community law is perceived by many judges as excessively complex and opaque,
   the need to ensure that Community law lends itself better to application by national judges,

B.   whereas the primary responsibility for judicial training, including its European dimension, rests with the Member States; whereas the above-mentioned Hague programme contains a statement by the European Council that "an EU component should be systematically included in the training of judicial authorities"(6) , and whereas the training of the judiciary in each Member State is nevertheless a matter of common concern for the EU institutions and every Member State,

C.   whereas Community law must not be perceived as an area reserved for an elite body of specialists, and whereas training opportunities in this area must not be confined to judges of the higher courts, but rather extended equally to judges at all levels of the judicial system,

D.   whereas certain bodies supported financially by the Community are increasingly successful, and already train judges and state prosecutors in large numbers,

E.   whereas knowledge of foreign languages is crucial in ensuring proper judicial cooperation, in particular in civil and commercial matters, in areas where direct contact between judges is provided for, and in ensuring access to exchange programmes for judges,

F.   whereas the current average duration of the preliminary ruling procedure, despite constant efforts on the part of the Court of Justice, remains excessively long and considerably reduces the attractiveness of this procedure for national judges,

G.   whereas the Court of Justice has held that it is for the Member States to establish a system of legal remedies and procedures which ensure respect for the right to effective judicial protection of rights derived from Community law(7) ,

H.   whereas nothing in this resolution should be taken as affecting the independence of judges and of the national legal systems, in accordance with Recommendation No. R(94)12 of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe and the 1998 European Charter on the statute for judges,

The national judge as first judge of Community law

1.   Notes that the European Community is a community based on the rule of law(8) ; notes that Community law remains a dead letter if it is not properly applied in the Member States, including by national judges, who are therefore the keystone of the European Union judicial system and who play a central and indispensable role in the establishment of a single European legal order, not least in the light of the recent achievements by the Community legislature(9) to involve them more actively in, and accord them greater responsibility for, the implementation of Community law;

2.   Welcomes the Commission's acknowledgment that national judges play an essential role in ensuring respect for Community law, for example through the principles of the primacy of Community law, direct effect, consistency of interpretation and state liability for breaches of Community law; calls on the Commission to pursue its efforts in this direction in addition to sectoral initiatives already in place; furthermore, calls on the Commission to proceed without delay with the publication of an information note on actions for damages for breaches of Community law by national authorities;

Issues relating to language

3.   Considers that language is the main tool of practitioners of justice; considers that the current level of foreign language training for national judges, in conjunction with the actual level of knowledge of Community law, limits not only possibilities for judicial cooperation on specific instruments, but also the development of mutual trust, proper use of the acte clair doctrine, and participation in exchange programmes; calls on all players involved in judicial training to give specific attention to the training of judges in foreign languages;

4.   Notes that the application of Community law by national judges is a complex challenge for national judges, particularly for those in the Member States which joined the European Union in May 2004 and subsequently, making it necessary to step up measures to promote professional training for judges in those Member States;

5.   Is, moreover, of the opinion that, by enacting a series of regulations containing conflict-of-law rules, the Community legislature has made a policy choice which involves the likely application of foreign law by national judges, possibly also entailing the use of a comparative approach; considers that these elements, taken together, further strengthen the case for increasing foreign language training;

6.   Considers that it is in the public interest to enhance the language skills of the judiciary in the Member States; calls on the Member States, therefore, to ensure that such training is free of charge and easily accessible, and to explore the possibility of judges being able to study a foreign language in a Member State where it is spoken, for example in conjunction with participation in a judicial exchange;

7.   Considers access to academic literature in the judge's mother tongue to be important for a better understanding of Community law, and notes the apparent scarcity of specialised literature on Community law in certain official languages of the EU, for example concerning private international law issues, and the grave potential consequences this has for the construction of a common legal order reflecting a diversity of legal traditions; therefore calls on the Commission to support the development of such literature, particularly in the less-spoken official languages;

Access to relevant sources of law

8.   Notes that complete and up-to-date information on Community law is not available in a systematic and proper manner to many national judges, and that Community law is sometimes poorly represented in domestic official journals, codes, commentaries, periodicals and textbooks and based on translations of uneven quality; calls on the Member States to renew efforts in this area;

9.   Is of the opinion that a true European judicial area in which effective judicial cooperation can take place requires not only knowledge of European law, but also mutual general knowledge of the legal systems of the other Member States; highlights the inconsistencies in the treatment of foreign law throughout the European Union and considers that this important issue should be addressed in the future; takes note in that respect of the Commission's forthcoming horizontal study on the treatment of foreign law in civil and commercial matters, and of the ongoing studies within the framework of the Hague Conference on Private International Law;

10.   Welcomes the Commission's intention to support the improved availability of national databases on national court rulings concerning Community law; considers that these databases should be as complete and user-friendly as possible; considers, moreover, that the Conventions and Regulation on jurisdiction and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters would be a case in point for a European database, given their frequent use by national judges;

11.Is of the opinion that all national judges should have access to databases containing pending references for preliminary rulings from all Member States; considers it equally useful for judgments of referring courts applying a preliminary ruling to be further publicised, as is already touched upon in the Court of Justice's information note on references from national courts for a preliminary ruling(10) ;
12.Considers, given the wealth of online information available on Community law, that judges must be trained not only in the substance of the law, but also in how to access up-to-date legal sources efficiently;
13.Welcomes the Commission's commitment to publish citizens" summaries of Community legal acts, and considers that such non-legalistic summaries would also help legal practitioners to access relevant information more quickly;
14.Encourages the development of online tools and initiatives in the field of e-learning, which, whilst not being a complete answer to training, should be seen as complementary to face-to-face contact between judges and trainers;
Towards a more structured framework for judicial training in the European Union

15.  Calls for the EU component in the training at national level of all members of the judiciary:

   to be systematically incorporated into training for, and examinations to enter, the judicial professions,
   to be further strengthened from the earliest possible stage onwards, with an increased focus on practical aspects,
   to cover methods of interpretation and legal principles which may be unknown to the domestic legal order, but which play an important role in Community law;

16.   Takes note of the growing success of the exchange programme for members of the judiciary; encourages the EJTN to make it accessible to the widest number of judges, and to ensure an adequate inclusion of judges from civil, commercial and administrative backgrounds; welcomes the EJTN's activities in the field of language training and the extension of the exchange programme to the Court of Justice, Eurojust and the European Court of Human Rights;

17.   Regards the availability of national judges to participate in basic and advanced training as a major logistical and financial issue for Member States; considers, in principle, that judges should not have to bear any of the costs related to their training in Community law; requests the Commission to provide Parliament with estimates for each Member State of the cost involved in temporarily replacing judges who participate in exchange programmes;

18.   Taking into account the Commission's recognition that the EJTN enjoys a de facto monopoly for operating the Exchange Programme for Judicial Authorities, calls on the Commission to ensure that the procedures by which the EJTN applies for funds for that Exchange Programme reflect that monopoly situation; calls, in particular, for those procedures to be streamlined in order to ensure that funds are made available timeously so as to enable the EJTN to organise and run an efficient programme which meets the expectations of, and commitments made to, participating national schools, international bodies and judges and prosecutors; considers that, if this is not the case, the credibility of the Exchange Programme may be called into question, to the detriment of national judges and prosecutors interested in taking part and the advancement of mutual confidence across European judiciaries;

19.   Takes note of the Commission's assessment that the most appropriate option for promoting training in the European judicial area is currently financial support to various bodies through the Fundamental Rights and Justice Framework Programme for 2007-2013, and that the question of developing European judicial training structures towards other forms could be raised again when that programme comes to an end;

20.   Calls on the Commission to evaluate rigorously the results of this framework programme, in the light of this resolution, and to formulate new proposals for the development and diversification of measures to promote professional training for judges;

21.   Considers, however, that the time is ripe for a pragmatic institutional solution to the question of judicial training at EU level which makes full use of existing structures whilst avoiding unnecessary duplication of programmes and structures; calls, therefore, for the creation of a European Judicial Academy composed of the EJTN and the Academy of European Law; calls for this institutional solution to take account of relevant experience gained in running the European Police College;

22.   Considers that national judges cannot adopt a passive attitude to Community law, as made clear by the Court of Justice's case-law on national courts raising Community law issues of their own motion(11) ;

23.   Calls for the training of candidates for judicial appointment to be strengthened from the earliest point onwards and by analogy with the above suggestions and proposals concerning national judges;

A reinforced dialogue between national judges and the Court of Justice

24.   Considers that the preliminary ruling procedure is an essential guarantee of the coherence of the Community legal order and the uniform application of Community law;

25.   Calls on the Court of Justice and all parties concerned to further reduce the average length of the preliminary ruling procedure, thus making this crucial opportunity for dialogue more attractive to national judges;

26.   Urges the Commission to investigate whether any national procedural rules constitute an actual or potential hindrance to the possibility for any court or tribunal of a Member State to make a preliminary reference, as provided for in the second paragraph of Article 234 of the EC Treaty, and to pursue vigorously the infringements which such hindrances represent;

27.   Considers that limitations on the Court of Justice's jurisdiction, particularly those concerning Title IV of the EC Treaty, unnecessarily prejudice the uniform application of Community law in those areas, and send a negative message to the vast majority of judges dealing with such matters, making it impossible for them to establish direct contact with the Court of Justice and creating unnecessary delays;

28.   Regrets that, under Article 10 of the Protocol on transitional provisions annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon, the powers of the Court of Justice with respect to acts in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters adopted before the entry into force of that Treaty are to remain the same as they are under the present EU Treaty for a transitional period of five years; welcomes, however, the declaration made by the Intergovernmental Conference concerning that article of the Protocol and accordingly urges the Council and the Commission to join with Parliament in re-adopting those acts in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters which were adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon;

29.   In view of the introduction of an urgent preliminary ruling procedure, agrees with the Council that it is important for the Court of Justice to provide guidance to which national judges could refer when deciding whether to request the urgent procedure;

30.   Calls on the Court of Justice to consider all possible improvements to the preliminary ruling procedure which would involve the referring judge more closely in its proceedings, including enhanced possibilities for clarifying the reference and participating in the oral procedure;

31.   Considers that, in a decentralised and mature Community legal order, national judges should not be marginalised but rather given more responsibility and further encouraged in their role as first judges of Community law; therefore urges consideration of a "green light" system whereby national judges could include their proposed answers to the questions they refer to the Court of Justice, which could then decide within a given period whether to accept the proposed judgment or whether to rule itself in the manner of an appellate court;

Laws better tailored to application by national judges

32.   Takes note of the creation of a Forum for discussing EU justice policies and practice, and calls on the Commission to ensure that the Forum carries out its deliberations in a transparent manner; notes the Commission's commitment to report on a regular basis both to Parliament and to the Council;

33.   Insists on the need for clearer language in Community legislation, and greater terminological coherence between legal instruments; supports in particular the use of the projected Common Frame of Reference in European contract law as a better law-making instrument;

34.   Strongly supports the Commission's insistence that the Member States systematically provide correlation tables setting out how Community directives are applied in national regulations; agrees that such tables provide valuable information at minimal cost and burden; considers, moreover, that correlation tables increase transparency in the implementation of Community law and give national judges and parties before them a realistic opportunity to see whether Community law lies behind a particular national rule and to check for themselves whether, and if so how, transposition has been properly carried out;

o
o   o

35.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the report of the committee responsible to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, and the European Ombudsman.

(1) OJ C 53, 3.3.2005, p. 1.
(2) OJ C 267, 14.10.1991, p. 33.
(3) OJ C 273 E, 14.11.2003, p. 99.
(4) OJ L 24, 29.1.2008, p. 42.
(5) For the purposes of this resolution, references to Community law should be understood as also including Union law.
(6) OJ C 53, 3.3.2005, p. 1, at p. 12.
(7) Case C-50/00 P UPA [2002] ECR I-6677, at paragraph 41.
(8) Case 294/83 "Les Verts" v European Parliament [1986] ECR 1339, at paragraph 23.
(9) See for example Council Regulation (EC) No 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty (OJ L 1, 4.1.2003, p. 1).
(10) OJ C 143, 11.6.2005, p. 1, at paragraph 31.
(11) Cases C-312/93 Peterbroeck [1995] ECR I-4599, C-473/00 Cofidis [2002] ECR I-10875 and C-168/05 Mostaza Claro [2006] ECR I-10421.


Airbus/Boeing disputes
DOC 39k
European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2008 on the World Trade Organisation disputes between the European Union and the United States on alleged subsidies to Airbus and Boeing
P6_TA(2008)0353 B6-0334/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) disputes between the European Union (EU) and the United States (US) on alleged subsidies to Airbus and Boeing,

–   having regard to its resolution of 1 June 2006 on EU-US transatlantic economic relations(1) ,

–   having regard to the resolution of the US Senate (Res. 632) of 8 December 2006 urging the US and the EU to work together to strengthen the transatlantic market,

–   having regard to the EU-US Summit of 30 April 2007,

–   having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas it values the transatlantic partnership between the EU and the US and supports fair and balanced trade policies in general,

B.   whereas, over the past decade, the transatlantic economic relationship has experienced an unprecedented period of integration, with European investment in the US representing 75% of total US investment inflows in 2006 and US investment in Europe rising to a record USD 128 billion (128 000 000 000), or 59% of total US foreign direct investment outflows, in 2006,

C.   whereas the importance of the aircraft industry for employment and job creation, particularly in high-skilled sectors, as well as in a broad range of other industries, for regional development and for state-of-the-art transnational industrial cooperation is of particular relevance,

D.   whereas, in the civil aircraft industry, both Airbus and Boeing presently have the capability to design and integrate large commercial aircraft and it is in the interest of airlines and their customers to maintain a high level of healthy competition,

E.   whereas, in 1992, the EU and the US signed a bilateral agreement on trade in large civil aircraft (the 1992 Agreement) that created a balanced playing field with rules governing government support,

F.   whereas the EU has consistently adhered to the spirit and letter of the 1992 Agreement and has regularly provided documented evidence of compliance,

G.   whereas the US has largely ignored its obligations under the 1992 Agreement by not reporting its subsidies to Boeing as well as by providing subsidies in excess of agreed limits and by granting prohibited subsidies to Boeing,

H.   whereas the 1992 Agreement maintained stability in the sector until 2004, when the US unilaterally purported to withdraw from it and brought a WTO case against the EU, citing European repayable financing which fully complied with the 1992 Agreement and which is similar to that benefiting Boeing for the development and production of large parts of its 787 in Japan and other risk-sharing countries,

I.   whereas, despite numerous efforts by the EU in good faith, it has hitherto not been possible to establish a fair and balanced basis for a negotiated settlement,

J.   whereas it reaffirms its support for the Commission's consistent openness to a balanced, negotiated solution without preconditions,

K.   whereas balanced and fair government support for aerospace on both sides of the Atlantic has resulted in research and innovation, increased safety, improved environmental performance, and efficiencies in air transportation,

L.   whereas the Member States´ financing for Airbus is strictly limited, repayable with interest and clearly has no impact on Boeing's ability to compete, as Airbus repaid 40 % more than it has received from governments of the Member States since 1992 and has repaid in excess of EUR 7 billion so far,

M.   whereas the EU is challenging various prohibited and actionable US Federal, State and local subsidies benefiting Boeing, totalling USD 23.7 billion in non-repayable subsidies over the past two decades and up to 2024,

N.   whereas Parliament reaffirms its belief in the importance of fair and open competition in public procurement competitions and has noted favourably the contract award to the Northrop Grumman European Aeronautic Defence and Space company (EADS) team for the US aerial tanker programme based on neutral criteria designed to identify and place the best and most suitable equipment in the hands of the US Air Force,

O.   whereas Parliament notes, however, with deep concern, the bitter attacks by Boeing in an attempt to portray EADS operations and certain Member States as 'unreliable aerospace business partners' and a security risk to US military readiness, a message that has not gone unnoticed in Europe,

P.   whereas the report of the Government Accountability Office sustaining Boeing's bid protest is recognised as an evaluation merely of the selection process and not the merits of the aircraft; whereas it reaffirms its belief that the integrity of the US Department of Defence procurement process will remain intact for all competitors;

1.  Addresses the following recommendations to the Commission, acting on behalf of the EU in defending the interests of the Member States and the EU large civil aircraft industry:

   (a) Parliament calls on the Member States and the Commission to ensure that any anti-competitive actions contained in legislation or in executive policy that would improperly restrict the ability of EU companies to compete in either civil or military programmes should be met with the appropriate response by the Community and its Member States;
   (b) Parliament fully supports the defence of EU interests in the pending dispute settlement proceedings before the WTO and urges the Commission to continue its efforts in this regard: it doubts, however, whether WTO rulings in themselves will provide the necessary long-term solution the market requires as a basis for future peaceful and fair competition in this sector which, by contrast, a negotiated solution could deliver;
   (c) Parliament considers that the starting point for any talks would need to be a discussion without preconditions on the terms of negotiation, demonstrating the genuine intent by both sides to arrive at a pragmatic balance between EU civil support and the US military-industrial scheme, which lays down those aspects of government involvement genuinely impinging on the establishment of a truly level playing field.

2.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the President and Congress of the United States of America.

(1) OJ C 298E, 8.12.2006, p. 235.


European strategic energy technology plan
DOC 70k
European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2008 on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (2008/2005(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0354 A6-0255/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'A European Strategic Energy Technology Plan (SET-Plan): Towards a low carbon future' (COM(2007)0723 ) (the SET-Plan Communication),

–   having regard to the full impact assessment (SEC(2007)1508 ), the "Technology Map" (SEC(2007) 1510) and the "Capacities Map" (SEC(2007)1511 ) accompanying the SET-Plan Communication,

-   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 20 20 by 2020: Europe's climate change opportunity (COM(2008)0030 ),

-   having regard to the impact assessment of the Package of implementation measures for the EU's objectives on climate change and renewable energy for 2020 (SEC(2008)0085 ),

-   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'Supporting Early Demonstration of Sustainable Power Generation from Fossil Fuels' (COM(2008)0013 ),

–   having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled 'The support of electricity from renewable energy sources' (SEC(2008)0057 ),

-   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'An Energy Policy for Europe' (COM(2007)0001 ),

–   having regard to the Commission Communication entitled 'Economic reforms and competitiveness: key messages from the European Competitiveness Report 2006' (COM(2006)0697 ),

-   having regard to the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources (COM(2008)0019 ),

-   having regard to the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2003/87/EC so as to improve and extend the greenhouse gas emission allowance trading system of the Community (COM(2008)0016 ),

-   having regard to the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the geological storage of carbon dioxide and amending Council Directives 85/337/EEC, 96/61/EC, Directives 2000/60/EC, 2001/80/EC, 2004/35/EC, 2006/12/EC and Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 (COM(2008)0018 ),

-   having regard to Decision No 1982/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013)(1) ,

-   having regard to Council Decision 2006/976/Euratom of 19 December 2006 concerning the specific programme implementing the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) for nuclear research and training activities (2007 to 2011)(2) ,

-   having regard to Decision No 1639/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 establishing a Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (2007 to 2013)(3) ,

-   having regard to the proposal for a Council Regulation setting up the Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (COM(2007)0571 ),

-   having regard to its resolution of 25 September 2007 on the Road Map for renewable energy in Europe(4) ,

-   having regard to its resolution of 31 January 2008 on an Action Plan for Energy Efficiency: Realising the Potential(5) ,

-   having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2008 on the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund(6) ,

-   having regard to its position of 11 March 2008 on the European Institute of Innovation and Technology(7) ,

-   having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 8 and 9 March 2007,

-   having regard to the conclusions of the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council of 28 February 2008 on the European Strategic Energy Technology Plan,

-   having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Brussels European Council of 13 and 14 March 2008,

-   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

-   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy and the opinion of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A6-0255/2008 ),

A.   whereas successive announcements by Parliament, the Council and the Commission have stressed that the objectives of European energy and climate policy are tackling climate change, improving energy security and enhancing the competitiveness of the European economy,

B.   whereas the threat posed by climate change continues to grow and the COP14 talks at Poznan and the COP15 talks at Copenhagen will be of critical importance to achieving an international agreement on climate change to replace the Kyoto protocol regime,

C.   whereas the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change recognises that the cost of not acting to mitigate climate change far outweighs the cost of action,

D.   whereas the European Union's dependency on imports of fossil fuels could increase to 65 % of total consumption by 2030,

E.   whereas the Commission has estimated that it will cost EUR 70 billion per annum by 2020 to achieve the European Union's greenhouse gas reduction and renewable energy targets,

F.   whereas improving energy efficiency is one of the most cost-effective means of cutting greenhouse gas emissions,

G.   whereas research and technological development are key to achieving the objectives of European energy policy,

H.   whereas better synergy in future European energy technology research can only stimulate sustainable economic growth, contribute to the comparative advantages of the European economy, improve employment and thus help achieve the objectives of the Lisbon strategy and combat climate change,

I.   whereas the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) allocates only EUR 2,3 billion over the seven-year period to energy research,

J.   whereas private sector investment in research on energy technology is very limited in the European Union when compared to the efforts made by third-country competitors as well as other EU sectors,

K.   whereas public and private energy research budgets in the European Union have declined substantially since the 1980s; and whereas the European Union performs poorly when innovation indicators based on technology research spending levels are compared at international level,

L.   whereas public intervention in support of new, less-polluting energy technologies is necessary and justified since these are initially more costly than those they replace and, at the initial market-penetration stage, may therefore not be accompanied by either short-term trading profits or better prices for consumers,

Need for a Strategic Energy Technology Plan

1.   Welcomes the European Strategic Energy Technology (SET-Plan); considers that a European energy technology policy with adequate financial support is fundamental to achieving the European Union's energy and climate change objectives for 2020;

2.   Stresses that the European Union must deliver its greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency and renewable energy targets by 2020 whilst maintaining a competitive and sustainable economy; believes that the development and deployment of innovative, low-cost, low-carbon energy technologies, energy efficiency and renewable energy is essential to reducing the cost of cutting emissions, creating new markets for EU industry and securing a world-wide commitment to tackling climate change;

3.   Considers that in order to achieve those targets it is vital to reduce the cost of green energy and boost innovation in the energy sector; believes that this makes it necessary to improve the process of technology transfer from research centres to enterprises, cut market penetration times, end the current technological and regulatory inertia and enhance network interconnectivity;

4.   Believes that new technologies, particularly renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies, are also needed to facilitate the diversification of energy sources, reduce energy demand and provide less polluting and safer methods of using indigenous resources, in aid of security of energy supply; calls on the Commission to undertake an assessment of the European Union's energy resources;

5.   Believes that the SET-Plan should support a wide range of activities which stimulate public debate on the merits of different new energy technologies, namely through consumer education and information campaigns;

6.   Believes that cheaper, more effective low carbon technologies can contribute to achieving a new international agreement on climate change to replace the Kyoto protocol regime;

Coordination and Strategic Planning

7.   Stresses the need to enhance the coordination of Strategic Energy Technologies at various levels and among different partners; also stresses the need to avoid excessive bureaucracy, ensure simplicity and clarity and secure widespread participation of all potential partners when improving coordination, for example through the proposed European Community Steering Group on Strategic Energy Technologies and the proposed European Energy Research Alliance, which should be open to all European research centres regardless of their dimension or resources;

8.   Supports the establishment of a high-level steering group and a transparent and easily accessible information system on energy technology, in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises, and asks the Commission to keep Parliament informed about the establishment of this group and its work and about the information strategy;

9.   Notes that instruments developed under the Framework Programmes (ERA-NETs, NoEs, ETPs) could be used to support the future European Energy Technology Information System;

10.   Emphasises that coordinated cooperation with the Member States is vital in order to achieve the targets set, maximise benefits and reduce costs; believes that the Community instruments that operate at Member State level, such as the Structural Funds, may bolster research, development and innovation capacities in those areas;

11.   Emphasises the vital importance of improving coordination with third countries and reinforcing international cooperation in order to implement a coherent and differentiated strategy in relation to developed, developing and emerging economies;

12.   Stresses that the capacity of the European Union research base needs to be enlarged and that further education and training is essential to provide the quantity and quality of human resources required to take full advantage of the new technology opportunities opening up; believes that an integrated approach across the FP7 specific programmes could be beneficial in this regard;

13.   Draws attention to the potential risk of duplication and multiplication of new initiatives; calls on the Commission to consider how the new European Industrial Initiatives (EIIs) will fit in with existing programmes, including FP7 and more specifically the European Technology Platforms, the Joint Technology Initiatives decided upon under FP7, the Competitiveness and Innovation Framework Programme (CIP) and, in particular, with the European Institute of Innovation and Technology and its Knowledge and Information Communities on climate change and energy; calls on the Commission to explain how the EIIs will support synergies between Community and national level;

14.   Reiterates that the SET-Plan needs to build energy research and innovation capacity on an EU scale; agrees with the Commission that pan-European research infrastructures form part of the solution; asks, therefore, the European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures to identify the need for European research infrastructures in the field of innovative energy technologies, such as renewable energy technologies;

15.   Believes that the trans-European energy networks and simplified authorisation procedures in this sector play a fundamental role in the European Union's strategic energy policy;

Research and technology transfer

16.   Stresses that necessary coordination has to extend to the various scientific and technological fields which, owing to their multidisciplinary nature, play a part in energy technology research and development; emphasises, in this respect, the need to boost research in basic sciences such as biology, information technology, materials science and macro-technologies;

17.   Asks the Commission to take into consideration the potential for employment of energy technologies in the more recently acceded Member States and to introduce supporting mechanisms based on the EU policies;

18.   Emphasises the need to improve the transfer of technology from research centre to enterprise; urges that the new European Institute of Innovation and Technology play a role in this field;

19.   Urges that the private sector invest more in research and assume greater risks, this being a prerequisite for the European Union to become a frontrunner in this area;

European Industrial Initiatives

20.   Strongly believes that increased support is needed for low carbon technologies in the demonstration and commercialisation phase for new decentralised renewable technologies; welcomes the proposed EIIs, therefore; stresses, however, the need also to increase support for R&D in technologies that will be needed over the longer term, with particular emphasis on strategically important technologies such as solar energy technologies that can lead to an energy-independent European Union in the long term;

21.   Considers that the EIIs should be focussed on areas with the greatest potential to help achieve the European Union's climate change, energy efficiency and renewable energy objectives on a sustainable basis and for reduced costs and replication in the long term;

22.   Calls for the life cycle of each technology and its environmental impact at each stage of the production processes to be taken into account when prioritising EIIs; calls for the possibility of transferring those technologies to developing economies to be taken into consideration in order to reduce the technology gap with those countries;

23.   Calls for enhanced technology transfer with the developed countries and for the establishment of scientific cooperation with those countries for the development of new energy technologies;

24.   Supports the Commission's proposal that EIIs should be developed differently to suit the needs of specific technologies; believes that such adaptability would enable the development of strategic alliances between Member States, local and regional governments, research centres and the private sector for the development of particular technologies; calls on these bodies to work together to develop detailed proposals for EIIs as a matter of urgency;

25.   Strongly supports the proposed EIIs on wind, solar, bio-energy, CO2 capture, transport and storage, electricity grids and nuclear fission;

26.   Calls, in particular, for biofuels research to be intensified so as to ensure that the overall environmental impact of producing such fuels is unequivocally beneficial;

27.   Notes the importance of developing large-scale biomass to gas conversion to produce hydrogen and liquid synthetic fuels for sustainable transport technologies;

28.   Stresses that the EII on nuclear fission should enable continuity and include the R&D work on 3rd and 4th generation technologies;

29.   Regrets that the SET-Plan focuses mainly on supply side measures and omits measures to reduce energy demand, such as energy savings and energy efficiency;

30.   Insists that energy efficiency should figure more prominently in the SET-Plan, since it is the area with the most potential for cost effective emission reductions in the medium term, particularly in the building sector, which accounts for 40 % of the total EU energy consumption; calls, therefore, on the Commission to add energy efficiency technologies, including co- and poly-generation, to the areas covered by the EIIs; supports the inclusion of energy efficiency as one of the priorities covered by the EIIs;

31.   Asks the Commission to investigate the possibility of extending the EIIs proposed to other sectors with significant emissions reduction potential such as cogeneration, hydrogen, the construction and housing sector, heating and cooling systems, better energy storage and distribution infrastructures and interconnection of networks;

32.   Believes that the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology could play a role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, provided its efficiency and safety is assured; calls on the Commission to facilitate the realisation of up to 12 proposed CCS full-scale demonstration projects within the EIIs; notes that support for clean coal technologies, as coal to gas conversion, will make it easier and cheaper to deploy CCS with the possibility of making it mandatory in the future;

Financing

33.   Awaits the Commission's proposed Communication on financing for new low carbon and CCS technologies; regrets that that Communication was not published together with the SET-Plan;

34.   Stresses that the SET-Plan should not be financed through the reallocation of funds made available for energy under FP7 or CIP;

35.   Believes that, given the priority attached to climate change and energy issues, significant additional EU resources for energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies are needed and should be deployed to help to meet the EU's 2020 targets;

36.   Encourages the Commission urgently to ensure adequate financing and support for new low carbon and zero carbon technology R&D, demonstration and commercialisation, so that from 2009 onwards, at least EUR 2 billion per annum of the European Union budget is spent on support for such technologies independently from FP7 and CIP; also calls on the Commission to put forward proposals for additional resources in the mid-term review of the financial framework 2007-2013;

37.   Considers that better and greater use should be made of both financial and human resources to speed up the development and deployment of clean future technologies;

38.   Emphasises the need to increase EU research capacity; calls, therefore, for more funding for human resources and training in the energy technology sector; calls also for greater coordination between Community and national financial instruments to support training and research, in particular the FP7;

39.   Supports, in the light of the need for more complementarity between EU funds, the proposals in the Commission Communication entitled 'Competitive European regions through research and innovation' (COM(2007)0474 ) ; welcomes, in that context, the Commission's practical guide on coordinating EU funds from regional, national, EU and European Investment Bank (EIB) sources in the field of R&D and innovation; agrees with the Commission that there is a need to communicate better to stakeholders the provision of Article 54(5) of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006(8) concerning the use of funding from two different Community sources for the same set of eligible costs;

40.   40 Calls on the Commission, when presenting the financial plan, to explain where joint EU action provides added value in the various technology sectors and set out the findings relating to the sustainability of the various technological developments;

41.   Notes the need for resources to be deployed in partnership with industry, in order to leverage private sector investments in new low carbon technologies; stresses the need for a clear long-term vision and financial framework, supported by financial institutions such as the EIB, in order to give private sector partners sufficient certainty to invest; stresses the need to involve SMEs, particularly in technologies for dispersed energy supply systems;

42.   Notes that, under the proposed revision of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, auction revenues could provide a significant source of funding for enhancing the European Union's security of supply in energy while achieving its targets as regards climate change, energy efficiency and renewables;

o
o   o

43.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 412, 30.12.2006, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 400, 30.12.2006, p. 404.
(3) OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 15.
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0406 .
(5) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0033 .
(6) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0096 .
(7) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0081 .
(8) OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 25. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC) No 1989/2006 (OJ L 411, 30.12.2006, p. 6).


Sovereign Wealth Funds
DOC 36k
European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2008 on sovereign wealth funds
P6_TA(2008)0355 B6-0304/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication on a common European approach to Sovereign Wealth Funds (COM(2008)0115 ),

–   having regard to the ongoing work of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and, in particular, of the International Working Group on Sovereign Wealth Funds,

–   having regard to the report of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Investment Committee adopted on 4 April 2008,

–   having regard to Articles 64 and 65 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (ex Articles 57 and 58 of the Treaty establishing the European Community),

–   having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas sovereign wealth funds (SWFs) have been active in global financial markets for more than 50 years,

B.   whereas no disruption of financial markets may be attributed to the activities of SWFs,

C.   whereas the ownership structure of SWFs places them outside the scope of EU financial market regulation,

D.   whereas the investment strategy of SWFs has shown a preference for long-term, stable investments,

E.   whereas there is some concern regarding a lack of transparency in some SWFs as regards their assets, investment strategies, profits and governance structures,

F.   having regard to SWFs' role during the recent financial crisis in saving some major financial institutions from bankruptcy,

G.   having regard to the growth potential of SWFs,

H.   whereas the European Union should remain firmly committed to a policy of openness to investments and free movement of capital,

1.   Considers that SWFs have not caused any disruption of capital markets, but that their structure, size and rapid growth call for a careful analysis of their role and influence; acknowledges the fact that the approach to transparency and governance of SWFs differ;

2.   Is concerned that the lack of transparency of certain SWFs may not allow a proper understanding of their structure and motivation; requests the Commission to acknowledge the fact that transparency and disclosure are the key principle for the establishment of a truly level playing field and the smooth running of markets in general;

3.   Welcomes the Commission Communication, on SWFs which reasserts the importance of open markets and the Commission's commitment to a global solution; notes the various initiatives either at national level or within international forums to enhance transparency and improve governance, and asks the Commission to work closely with the IMF and the OECD to establish a global code of conduct;

4.   Considers, nevertheless, that the Commission Communication on SWFs should be considered a first step, and therefore requests the Commission to monitor SWF activities and play a coordinating role in order to ensure that national initiatives do not counter the commitment to openness to investments or endanger the European Union's position on global markets;

5.   Requests the Commission to conduct an analysis of tools at the European Union's disposal in EC Treaty provisions and existing legislation – such as transparency requirements, voting rights, shareholders' rights and golden shares – that would allow some reaction in the event of ownership problems due to SWF intervention;

6.   Requests the Council and the Commission to assess the margin for manoeuvre left to EU institutions by the provisions of Articles 64 and 65 of the TFEU, in order to verify the options for coordinated action at EU level, which is essential to EU interests and the smooth functioning of the internal market; request the Commission to work on a list of sectors that could come within the scope of the Article 65 provisions on public policy;

7.   Requests the Council and the Commission to conduct an in-depth analysis of the functioning of the global financial markets and to define and promote a strong EU vision, taking into account global initiatives, of what should be the principles and rules guiding their functioning; is of the opinion that a common position of this kind would strengthen the EU's position within international forums; requests the Commission to apply the principle of reciprocity, where appropriate;

8.   Is concerned about oil prices and their consequences for the euro/dollar exchange rate, as profits from oil are often reinvested via SWFs in euro-denominated assets and euro area markets in general;

9.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.


Towards a new culture of urban mobility
DOC 74k
European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2008 on "Towards a new culture of urban mobility" (2008/2041(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0356 A6-0252/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Green Paper entitled "Towards a new culture of urban mobility" (COM(2007)0551 ),

–   having regard to the White Paper entitled "European Transport Policy for 2010: time to decide" (COM(2001)0370 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "Keep Europe moving – sustainable mobility for our continent: mid-term review of European Commission's 2001 Transport White Paper" (COM(2006)0314 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "Towards Europe-wide safer, cleaner and efficient mobility: the first intelligent car report" (COM(2007)0541 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century – Commission's position on the CARS 21 High Level Group Final Report, A contribution to the EU's Growth and Jobs Strategy" (COM(2007)0022 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "On the Intelligent Car Initiative: Raising Awareness of ICT for Smarter, Safer and Cleaner Vehicles" (COM(2006)0059 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the Key to Sustainable Mobility" (COM(2006)0336 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan" (COM(2007)0607 ),

–   having regard to the Commission communication entitled "On a Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment" (COM(2005)0718 ),

–   having regard to the proposals and guidelines of the Commission and the opinions of the European Parliament on the structural funds, the cohesion fund and the 7th Research Framework Programme,

–   having regard to the revised proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (COM(2007)0817 ),

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2008 on the input for the 2008 Spring Council as regards the Lisbon Strategy(1) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on keeping Europe moving – sustainable mobility for our continent"(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2008 on CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework(3) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 5 September 2007 on Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the Key to Sustainable Mobility(4) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2006 on the thematic strategy on the urban environment(5) ,

–   having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee on "Urban Mobility",

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinions of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0252/2008 ),

A.   whereas urban centres (cities and their surroundings) are in many ways extremely important for the lives of EU citizens; whereas urban centres face similar problems and challenges with regard to pollution, congestion, noise and road safety as a consequence of urban mobility, in spite of the differences in their size and structure,

B.   whereas there is an urgent need for new thinking and innovative concepts on mobility in cities as urban transport is a major contributor to climate change, pollution and other environmental problems as well as the related negative effects on the quality of life and health of city dwellers; whereas these problems need to be tackled if any overall EU strategy to combat climate change and other environmental problems is to be successful,

C.   whereas a suitable division of tasks between the EU and towns and cities must be ascertained, in which the EU should play a clearly defined role; whereas in line with the principle of better regulation and the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, Community action on urban mobility should be taken only when there is clear EU added value,

D.   whereas the principles of the EU internal market should also be taken into account in the field of urban mobility,

E.   whereas European towns and cities should be able to choose from a wide range of flexible instruments so as to put together a tailor-made policy mix in order to provide integrated, sustainable, socially effective and economically viable solutions to their specific mobility problems; whereas better logistical solutions and a shift towards more sustainable transport modes must be sought in all transport modes and areas (pedestrians, cyclists, public and private passenger transport, freight distribution, and services) to provide for good accessibility to city centres and smooth traffic flows, which are of great importance for residents, visitors, commuters, producers and suppliers of goods and services - particularly SMEs; whereas special attention should be paid to the interoperability of the instruments chosen so as to enable authorities at a later stage to enforce road traffic offences related to urban areas on a cross-border basis,

F.   whereas European policy on urban transport must take into account economic, social, territorial and environmental cohesion; whereas special attention has to be paid to the particular problems and conditions in the "new" Member States,

G.   whereas attention must be paid to the particular needs of workers (commuters), people with reduced mobility, children (pushchairs), the least affluent and the elderly; whereas it should be kept in mind that the rapid ageing of Europe´s population leads to demographic shifts and to new mobility needs in societies,

H.   whereas it is essential to adopt a new approach to strategic planning for urban areas in order to anticipate the environmental, energy, and mobility challenges that will arise within the next few decades,

I.   whereas internalising external costs is an important step towards the goal of achieving real costing in the transport sector; whereas the possibility of cross-subsidisation of sustainable urban transport concepts needs to be assessed in order to ensure fair treatment between the transport of goods and of passengers and between the different modes of transport; whereas efforts must be made to develop new financial instruments and make better and more frequent use of existing financial instruments such as the Structural and Cohesion Funds in the interest of sustainable urban mobility solutions,

The role of the European Union

1.   Welcomes the above-mentioned Green Paper as a suitable basis for discussion; welcomes also the comprehensive involvement of those concerned in the process of opinion-forming and the shaping of future EU policies on urban transport;

2.   Considers a clear delineation of the EU's areas of responsibility to be necessary, in line with the subsidiarity and proportionality principles laid down in the Treaties; recognises the principle that local authorities are free to adopt their own mobility policies provided that they do not infringe the relevant national and Community legislation; expects at the same time that - applying the principles mentioned above - the Member States, towns and cities are aware of their own responsibility towards the better organisation and planning of urban mobility; acknowledges, however, that concerted action on urban mobility within the Community can bring a clear added value in some areas;

3.   Believes that the EU should define an overall strategy on urban mobility leading to a more rational use of private cars and promote modal shift towards sustainable modes of transport, to support the EU's commitments on environmental protection and on cutting greenhouse gas emissions;

4.  Believes that action must be taken at European level in the following areas and calls for:

   - the development of an integrated global approach to urban mobility which will serve as a common frame of reference for European, national, regional and local players (municipalities, citizens, businesses and industry); this approach should be based on the principles of the EU internal market in sustainable mobility and should take into account the viability of cities and the effect on demographics (outmigration from cities); underlines, that this should give a clear stimulus to cities and urban areas to establish integrated and comprehensive Sustainable Urban Mobility Plans (SUMPs), with an emphasis on long-term city planning and spatial planning; in this regard, calls on the Commission to examine how to link SUMPs to EU-Co-financing of transport projects in cities of more than 100 000 inhabitants and to EU legislation, decisions and targets concerning the reduction of accidents, CO2 emissions, local gas emissions and noise;
   - reliable, comparable data on all aspects of urban and suburban mobility to be gathered and effectively disseminated, taking into account future changes in the framework conditions (e.g. demographic changes, economic growth, climate change);
   - a complete list of Community rules currently in force which affect urban mobility, directly or indirectly, with the potential for improvement and simplification being considered in each case;
   - an evaluation of the implementation and application by Member States of European legislation affecting urban transport, in particular public passenger transport;
   - a list of the local initiatives taken to tackle some of the problems referred to in the Green Paper (e.g. road charging, green zones, safety on public transport, protection of cyclists etc.); hopes that this list can form the basis for the exchange of best practice in these areas;
   - the monitoring of local measures related to access to city centres in order to avoid new trade barriers within the EU internal market;
   - a "European Platform for Urban Mobility" or any other effective forum that brings together all data, best practices and policy information on urban mobility in a comprehensible way to allow citizens and policymakers easy access to vital information needed to develop urban mobility policies; stresses that such a platform should draw as much as possible from existing databases, resources and institutions, in order to avoid red tape and bureaucracy;
   - an evaluation of the external costs of the various modes of transport and assessment of the possibility of internalising these;

5.   Calls on the Commission to work with Member States to overcome national barriers to urban schemes without however proposing EU legislation, which could limit the local flexibility that is required to solve mobility problems;

Legislation

6.   Considers it necessary for the EU to take into account the particular needs of urban transport in the policy areas where it has legislative power (e.g. budget policy, environment policy, social and labour market policy, competition policy, industry policy, regional and cohesion policy, transport and road safety policy, and energy policy);

Standardisation and harmonisation

7.  Calls for specific European rules and/or guidance for the standardisation and harmonisation of the following:

   - design and functioning of green zones and road pricing; considers that the decision on whether to introduce these measures should be taken at local level taking account of the specific situation of each conurbation; whereas following the principles of the EU internal market, special emphasis should be placed on their interoperable structure so as to enable a free flow of traffic and to avoid the establishment of divergent initiatives in different Member States;
   - technical and organisational requirements for the interoperability of the various modes of passenger and freight transport;
   - mobility of people with disabilities, the elderly, people with young children and the least affluent;
   - improvement of road safety according to European and national legislation;
   accessibility and interoperability of Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) technologies for EU-wide applications;

Dissemination and exchange of best practices;

8.  Calls also for suitable measures to promote the exchange of best practices, particularly concerning:

   - optimising the use of available infrastructure, for example through flexible road use concepts;
   adoption of multimodal transport and mobility solutions (road, rail, water);
   - integrated ticketing and billing systems that simplify access to, and the co-modal use of, different transport modes;
   - drawing up customised sustainable mobility plans and supporting measures for regional and urban planning ("city of short distances"), a process in which all parties concerned should be involved from an early stage;
   - guidelines to ensure cross-agency cooperation between all departments of local and regional government and the public utility companies when planning schemes within urban areas;
   - innovative solutions for efficient goods transport, particularly for local goods distribution in cities, including reliable loading and unloading systems to facilitate last-mile operations;
   - sustainable transport services to ensure tourist mobility in urban and suburban areas;
   - guidelines for an environmentally aware public procurement policy;
   - improvements in clean public local passenger transport with a focus on efficiency, attractiveness, emissions reduction and accessibility, including for disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility, as well as a focus on safety and security;
   - promotion of sustainable mobility chains: walking-cycling-car-sharing-car-pooling-taxi-collective/public mobility;
   - better organisation of short-distance transport;
   - traffic management measures to optimise logistics and mobility management in favour of transport reduction and/or avoidance, such as teleworking or flexible starting times at workplaces and schools;
   measures to promote virtual mobility, for example e-learning, e-banking, teleshopping and teleconferencing;
   - introduction of green zones and road pricing;
   - parking policies and practices, such as the introduction of parking guidance systems;
   - improving and extending the use of ITS;

9.   Calls for the broadest possible dissemination of data on issues relevant to urban mobility, such as statistics by Eurostat and CARE (Community database on Accidents on the Roads in Europe); requests that access to the CARE database be opened, which would be a powerful tool for exchanging information and expertise among transport professionals;

10.   Calls on the Commission to support local authorities by promoting pilot and experimental projects, in particular those aimed at applying an integrated approach to the issue of urban mobility and providing assistance for research in the field of urban planning;

Research and development

11.   Stresses the need for research and development in the field of sustainable transport, particularly to promote technological progress in the development of cleaner vehicle technologies; calls on the Commission and the Council to invest in clean, more efficient, consumer oriented and safe urban transport systems, and to take measures to create a market for such systems;

12.   Points out that the EU has a role to play in the development and promotion of ITS and in funding innovative technologies, as they can make a significant contribution to, for example, improving road safety and the flow of traffic and logistical efficiency; considers, therefore, that the further development and, above all, increasing the adoption of ITS in the EU should be promoted;

13.   Calls on the Commission to set up accessible and compatible lists of research and development projects on urban mobility under the different EU framework programmes, indicating examples applied in practice;

Coordination between authorities

14.   Underlines that exchange of best practices concerning mobility governance and better co-ordination is essential for improving urban transport and mobility, as shortcomings such as a lack of appropriate allocation of responsibilities, a lack of co-ordination between various local, regional and national authorities and insufficient co-ordination between the planning of urban, suburban and rural transport systems are becoming apparent; points out that poor coordination between local authorities results in higher delivery costs, more traffic and hence more environmental pollution;

15.   Calls urgently for better coordination between neighbouring local authorities in order to ensure a certain degree of consistency and to provide for sustainable and harmonious development of local and regional transport infrastructures in cross-border areas and elsewhere;

Integrated approach

16.   Considers it necessary for urban development and planning to be carried out on an integrated basis, taking account of present and future urban transport needs; the introduction of fast train connections between city centres and river, rail and airport terminals and in particular outlying regions should be a priority for the purposes of large-scale urban development and modernisation;

17.   Recalls that, in view of increasingly rapid urbanisation, greater attention should be paid to the suburbs and conurbations;

Individual responsibility

18.   Emphasises citizens´ individual responsibility and considers it necessary to encourage them to assess critically their behaviour as road users and, if possible, participate actively in local urban mobility forums; believes that almost every citizen can change his/her habits, for example regarding private car use and alternative means of transport (walking, cycling, or public transport), and thereby make an individual contribution to improving the cleanliness and quality of life in urban areas; calls for alternative mobility options to be provided by national, regional and local authorities to facilitate these changes; furthermore calls on European, national, regional and local authorities to step up education and information campaigns to make citizens more aware of their traffic behaviour; stresses the particular importance of education campaigns for the younger generation;

19.   Highlights in this connection the importance and growing success of the "Car-free Day" in the context of EU Mobility Week; notes that, in 2007, 1909 towns from 23 Member States participated in this initiative; calls on the Commission and Member States to continue to encourage this initiative and work towards its widespread adoption;

20.   Considers that a study should be drawn up which throws light and contains detailed information on all aspects of citizens" urban mobility choices and options (private versus public transport); calls for new and standardised data-gathering on lesser studied issues such as pedestrian and cyclist behaviour and citizens' motivation when making use of certain transport modes and not others;

Financing

21.   Believes that the EU can make an important contribution to financing urban passenger and freight transport measures, for example by using the Structural and Cohesion Funds, and calls on the Commission to honour its responsibility in this respect; recalls the financing responsibility of Member States for measures affecting the environment and transport as prescribed in Community law;

22.   Calls on the Commission to draw up specific market economy-oriented instruments to create a balanced and favourable framework for sustainable mobility in urban centres;

23.   Calls, in the context of the forthcoming review of the EU budget, for the financing of projects from EU funds to be more closely linked to conditions and requirements relating to sustainable transport and environmental protection in future and considers this to be a suitable instrument for promoting environmentally friendly and widely accessible transport concepts;

24.   Calls on the Commission to work, alone or together with the European Investment Bank, for example, on examining the current and future possibilities for financing urban transport; suggests drawing up a comprehensive guide setting out in a systematic manner all funds available for urban transport; calls, in addition, on the Commission to examine the question of cross-subsidisation in the field of transport to ensure fair treatment between all modes of transport and between the transport of passengers and of goods; moreover all aspects of public private partnerships and their possible contribution to sustainable urban mobility concepts should be evaluated;

25.   Calls on the Bureau of the European Parliament and its services to set an example by implementing its own decisions and boosting mobility management measures for Members, staff and visitors with the aim of integrating sustainable mobility into the application of the EMAS Regulation by the Parliament;

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26.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0057 .
(2) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0345 .
(3) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0007 .
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0375 .
(5) OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 182.


Report on the ECB annual report for 2007
DOC 53k
European Parliament resolution of 9 July 2008 on the ECB annual report for 2007 (2008/2107(INI) )
P6_TA(2008)0357 A6-0241/2008

The European Parliament ,

–   having regard to the Annual Report 2007 of the European Central Bank (ECB),

–   having regard to Article 113 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 15 on the Protocol of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank(1) , annexed to the Treaty,

–   having regard to its resolution of 2 April 1998 on democratic accountability in the third phase of EMU(2) ,

–   having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2008 on the Integrated Guidelines for Growth and Jobs (Part: broad guidelines for the economic policies of the Member States and the Community): Launching the new cycle (2008–2010)(3) ,

–   having regard to the Commission Communication on EMU@10: successes and challenges after 10 years of Economic and Monetary Union (COM(2008)0238 ),

–   having regard to the ECB's Financial Stability Review in December 2007 and its report on Financial Integration in Europe of April 2008,

–   having regard to the Commission's spring economic forecast 2008-2009,

–   having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6-0241/2008 ),

A.   whereas in 2007 the GDP of the euro area grew by 2,6 % (compared to 2,7 % in 2006) despite heightened uncertainty stemming from the financial turmoil in the second half of the year,

B.   whereas the inflation rate was 2,1 % compared to 2,2 % in 2006, despite an economic environment characterised by significant upward price pressures,

C.   whereas the ECB continued to adjust interest rates in 2007, to 4,0 % in June 2007 from 3,5 % in December 2006, and maintained that level during the second semester,

D.   whereas statements made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development call for a very cautious approach to the raising of interest rates in the euro area,

E.   whereas in 2007 the exchange rate of the euro appreciated by 6,3 % in nominal effective terms, and appreciation was particularly pronounced in relation to the US dollar (11,8 %),

F.   whereas financial turmoil and large global imbalances represent a risk for worldwide economic growth and exchange rate developments,

G.   whereas it is expected that inflation will rise to between 2,0 % and 3,0 % in 2008 in the euro area, largely reflecting the current trend of increased commodity prices, before falling to a more moderate range of between 1,2 % and 2,4 % in 2009,

H.   Whereas the main objective of the ECB and of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB) is to maintain price stability while supporting the general economic policies of the Community, as defined in Article 105 of the EC Treaty; acknowledging the full independence of the ECB and the ESCB in this context.

I.   whereas the ECB has the dilemma of having to meet the challenges of rising inflation and the first signs of an economic slowdown due to the financial turmoil of recent months,

J.   whereas Parliament wishes to help strengthen the role and international authority of the ECB and the euro area on the international stage,

ECB today

1.   Welcomes the fact that ten years after the launch of economic and monetary union (EMU), both the ECB and the euro are well-respected and generally accepted within the global economy and notes that the euro has become a currency of global standing that almost equals that of the US dollar;

2.   Recalls that the EC Treaty explicitly distinguishes between the ECB's goals of price stability on the one hand and support for general economic policies on the other, and that, therefore, those two goals cannot simply be treated as substitutable; acknowledges the full independence of the ECB in its fulfilment of this double mandate, and welcomes the fact that by means of the Treaty of Lisbon, the ECB should become an EU institution with legal personality and a clearly established independent political and financial status; believes that recognition of the ECB as an EU institution increases the responsibility of Parliament, and, in particular, its committee with responsibility for economic and monetary affairs, as an institution to which the ECB is accountable for its decisions on monetary policy;

3.   Welcomes Cyprus and Malta to the EMU and takes note of their successful entry;

Financial stability

4.   Recognises the excellent work of the ECB in managing the financial turmoil triggered by the US sub-prime mortgage crisis, in particular the operation launched on 9 August 2007, which provided liquidity in the amount of EUR 95 billion to the markets as a fixed-rate tender at 4,00 %, following the same procedure as normal ECB market operations; notes that the operation, together with fine-tuning operations and the abundant weekly refinancing operations that followed, succeeded in stabilising the very short-term interest rates; considers this, once again, to show the value of a common monetary policy as provided for by the ECB, stabilising the economy in periods of instability;

5.   Shares the views of the ECB that the growing complexity of financial instruments and the opacity of exposures of financial institutions can give rise to increased uncertainty regarding the degree of risk involved, the ultimate bearer of the risk, and the extent of potential losses;

6.   Emphasises the need to set up an EU framework for financial supervision, stresses that although the EC Treaty does not entrust the ECB with any direct responsibility related to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and the stability of the financial system, there is a need closely to involve the ECB in supervision;

7.   Believes that the ECB has been strengthened by its successful handling of the current financial crisis; welcomes the ECB's enhanced credibility and international recognition; calls on the Euro Group to follow the ECB's example and to enhance its expertise and coordination in matters relating to the regulation and supervision of financial markets;

8.   Highlights the increased need for cooperation between central banks and supervisory authorities, in order to uphold stability in the financial markets, in particular taking into account the increasingly integrated financial systems; asks the ECB to continue to push for improved integration and communication on an intra-EU level as well as in its relationship with other central banks and relevant institutions, in particular as regards the relationship with the Bank of England, since London is the most important financial centre within the European Union; calls on the ECB to play an active role in the various forums discussing changes in supervision, such as the Lamfalussy follow-up;

9.   Recognises that major central banks such as the ECB and the US Federal Reserve warned against underestimating the risks to the economy before either the IT-bubble burst in 2000/2001 or the sub-prime crisis in 2007; notes that the financial markets failed effectively to respond to those warnings; asks the ECB, therefore, to analyse that response and suggest how to improve the correlation between such forward-looking warnings and market reactions; calls on the ECB, in the light of recent financial turmoil, to analyse and evaluate the aftermath of the financial crisis and examine whether it has sufficient instruments for handling a cross-border European financial crisis, and which powers it needs in order to improve macro-prudential supervision in the euro area;

Economic and monetary development

10.   Notes the ongoing discussion on how to define price stability, in regard to which some argue in favour of a direct inflationary targeting; believes, however, that a two-pillar system based on M3 is the most suitable way of measuring price stability; calls on the ECB to take measures for a continuous improvement of that system; recognises the added value of the additional information and early warning of inflationary risk and the operational discretion that such a system provides;

11.   Highlights that the risks of asymmetric economic developments within the euro area could increase with enlarged membership as the differences in size and maturity of members' economies grow; calls on the ECB to pay particular attention to this situation and tackle those risks at an early stage as well as communicate them to the Member States;

12.   Calls on all Member States participating in the euro area, the Member States that have opted out, as well as the Member States applying to join, to take note of those challenges and therefore fully respect the criteria of the Stability and the Growth Pact and fulfil the Maastricht criteria, as appropriate, as this, together with fiscal consolidation and wage policy in line with developments as regards growth and productivity, provides the strongest protection against challenges presented by asymmetric developments;

13.   Emphasises that against the background of the recent correction of growth expectation, any further raising of interest rates should be undertaken with caution in order not to endanger economic growth; points out that, in order to support the economic recovery, Member States must implement both the necessary structural reforms and investment activities;

14.   Expects the Council to treat all euro area applicant Member States equally and fully respect the assessment and recommendations of the ECB concerning their readiness for joining the euro area;

15.   Takes note of the appreciation of the euro especially with respect to the US dollar; underlines the goal of price stability, but recognises that strong and rapid changes in the euro exchange rate should not impede the ECB's ability to manage its monetary policy, confronted by a source of inflation, or, alternatively, difficult growth perspectives for the export-dependent countries; asks the ECB to monitor this development and to take action if deemed necessary and invites the Euro Group, the Commission and the ECB to step up coordination of their action in the sphere of exchange rate policy;

16.   Recognises the increasing upward pressure on inflation to which food and energy prices contribute in particular; calls on the ECB to strengthen its dialogue with national central banks on the issue to promote a strong focus on price stability globally;

Governance and effective decision making

17.   Recalls the ongoing call for more transparency in the ECB which would result in increased credibility and predictability and appreciates the improvements in this area that have already been implemented; recognises, in this respect, the difficulties relating to the publication of the minutes of the ECB Governing Council's meetings, as differences in individual positions could be interpreted as representing national interests, leading to pressure from Member State governments on Governing Council members; asks the ECB to provide Parliament and the public with an annual summary of measures taken to improve its performance in line with this resolution;

18.   Considers that the monetary policy dialogue between Parliament and the ECB has been a success, and one which should be built on further; emphasises that the ex-post accountability of the ECB is of primordial importance for confidence, and hence stability, on the financial markets; considers that it is important for the unity of the ECB's Executive Board and Governing Council to continue to be confident in their public presentation; supports a targeted information policy on the part of the ECB towards Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the Euro Group; is disappointed by the low level of commitment that the ECB has demonstrated in its response to Parliament's resolution of 12 July 2007 on the ECB annual report for 2006(4) ; strongly stresses that the call for improvements to the ECB's communication policy must be seen only in the context of the simultaneous preservation of the independence of the ECB and its bodies;

19.   Calls on the ECB, in its statements following decisions taken by its Governing Council, to elaborate clearly about whether, in the course of discussions, a consensus was reached easily or if divergent views persisted, since this would provide markets with more information without hampering the common European perspective for the decision of the ECB's Governing Council;

20.   Calls on the ECB to present its ideas for reforming the structure of the Governing Council, as the number of governors is expected to exceed 15 from 1 January 2009; notes that with the increasing number of euro area countries reforms will become even more necessary; supports the ECB's earlier suggestion that the economic weight of participating Member States should be treated as the most significant factor for the rotating voting rights, and that the number of decision makers should be kept low in order to ensure efficiency;

21.   Considers that the independence of the ECB, including the procedure for appointing the members of its Executive Board, has proved its worth; stresses that Article 112(2)(b) of the EC Treaty provides for the members of the Executive Board to be appointed from among persons of recognised standing and professional experience in monetary or banking matters, and emphasises that their nationality should be irrelevant and that they will continue to be judged by the strict criteria set out in the EC Treaty, such as that of their qualifications; considers that ex-ante democratic accountability and transparency would improve if the Council evaluated several potential candidates and if the candidate proposed by the Council were then subject to a vote of approval by Parliament;

22.   Believes that given the ECB's future status under the Treaty of Lisbon, Parliament's role in appointing members of the Executive Board should be enhanced; stresses its willingness, together with the other institutions, to explore possible improvements of the appointment procedure before the next renewal of the Executive Board in 2010;

23.   Recognises the increasing role of the Euro Group and its President for setting a major part of the economic agenda within the European Union, in particular the more formal structure and central role in coordinating the economic policy within the Euro Group, as set out in Article 136 of the EC Treaty, as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, also for Member States not participating in the euro area; supports a strengthening of the development of the euro area speaking with one voice in international forums as provided for in Article 138 of the EC Treaty, as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, and by the President of the Euro Group;

24.   Welcomes the cooperation between the ECB, the Commission and the financial services industry in the successful launch of the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA) and the Short-Term European Paper (STEP) initiatives; considers these to be positive contributions from the financial services industry for driving forward financial integration in the European Union;

25.   Welcomes the start of Target 2 operations and the finalised migration activities to the single shared platform; considers that the use of the single shared platform is an important step in the direction of financial integration and reduction of clearing and settlement costs; believes that it is urgent that the ECB now proposes a governance structure for Target 2 securities (T2S);

External dimension of the euro

26.   Notes a steady rise in the status of the euro as an international currency; points out that the European Union's representation concerning economic and monetary affairs in international forums poorly reflects the true economic weight of the euro area and that this may be seen as an obstacle for an increased influence in international financial affairs; calls, therefore, for concrete steps to be taken towards a unified euro area representation within international financial institutions such as the IMF;

27.   Encourages the ECB to continue moving towards strengthening its coordinating role in international financial contexts; believes that an internationally stronger status for the euro will lead to benefits for the euro area which will encourage Member States currently not participating, to seek full membership;

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28.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Euro Group, and the European Central Bank.

(1) OJ C 191, 29.7.1992, p. 68.
(2) OJ C 138, 4.5.1998, p. 177.
(3) Text adopted, P6_TA(2008)0058 .
(4) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2007)0349 .

Last updated: 7 April 2009Legal notice