Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 14 December 2006 - Strasbourg
Draft general budget for 2007, amended by the Council (all sections)
 Procedure for prior examination and consultation in respect of certain provisions concerning transport proposed in Member States (codified version) ***I
 Elimination of controls at the frontiers of Member States (road and inland waterway transport) (codified version) ***I
 Transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality (codified version) ***I
 Submission of nominal catch statistics by Member States fishing in the north-east Atlantic (codified version) ***I
 Community criteria for the eradication and monitoring of certain animal diseases (codified version) *
 Agreement between the EC and Paraguay on certain aspects of air services *
 R&D activities in the domain of intelligent manufacturing systems (EU-Australia Agreement, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Korea, Japan and the USA) *
 Direct support schemes under CAP; the COM for sugars; restructuring of the sugar industry; owing to the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU *
 Drugs prevention and information (2007-2013) ***I
 Civil justice (2007-2013) ***I
 European Refugee Fund ***I
 Double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers ***I
 European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals *
 Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism (Programme on Security and Safeguarding Liberties) *
 Numerical strength of the committees
 European Institute for Gender Equality ***II
 Driving licenses ***II
 Amendment of Rule 81 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, Implementing provisions
 Amendment of the Rules of Procedure (Quaestors, committee bureaux)
 External Borders Fund ***I
 European Return Fund ***I
 Medicinal products for paediatric use ***I
 European Small Claims Procedure ***I
 Fundamental rights and citizenship (2007-2013) *
 Criminal justice (2007-2013) *
 Prevention of and Fight against Crime (Programme on Security and Safeguarding Liberties) *
 Development of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) (regulation) *
 Development of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) (decision) *
 Nuclear Safety and Security Assistance*
 Visas for crossing Member States' external borders *
 Follow-up to the Sakharov Prize
 Data protection within the framework of police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters
 A European strategy for sustainable, competitive and secure energy
 Biomass and biofuels
 Fiji
 Implication of UN forces in sexual abuses in Liberia and in Haiti
 Burma
 Hague Convention on securities

Draft general budget for 2007, amended by the Council (all sections)
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007 as modified by the Council (all sections) (15637/2006 – C6-0442/2006 – 2006/2018(BUD)2006/2018B(BUD)) and Letters of Amendment Nos 1/2007 (SEC(2006)0762), 2/2007 (13886/2006 – C6-0341/2006) and 3/2007 (15636/2006 – C6-0443/2006) to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007
P6_TA(2006)0570A6-0451/2006

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 272 of the EC Treaty and Article 177 of the Euratom Treaty,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2000/597/EC, Euratom of 29 September 2000 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(1),

–   having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(2),

–   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(3),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 6 May 1999 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and improvement of the budgetary procedure(4),

–   having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007, which the Council established on 14 July 2006 (C6-0299/2006),

–   having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2006 on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007, Section III – Commission (C6-0299/2006) and Letter of amendment No 1/2007 (SEC(2006)0762) to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007(5),

–   having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2006 on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007, Section I – European Parliament, Section II – Council, Section IV – Court of Justice, Section V – Court of Auditors, Section VI – European Economic and Social Committee, Section VII – Committee of the Regions, Section VIII (A) – European Ombudsman, Section VIII (B) – European Data Protection Supervisor (C6-0300/2006)(6) ,

–   having regard to Letter of amendment No 2/2007 (13886/2006 - C6-0341/2006) to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007,

–   having regard to Letter of amendment No 3/2007 (15636/2006 - C6-0443/2006) to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2007,

–   having regard to its amendments and proposed modifications of 26 October 2006 to the draft general budget(7),

–   having regard to the Council's modifications to the amendments and proposed modifications adopted by Parliament to the draft general budget (15637/2006 – C6-0442/2006),

–   having regard to the results of the conciliation of 21 November 2006 and the subsequent meeting of 28 November 2006,

–   having regard to the statement by the Council on the outcome of its deliberations on the amendments and proposed modifications adopted by Parliament to the draft general budget,

–   having regard to Rule 69 and Annex IV of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0451/2006),

A.   whereas it has followed a consistent strategy throughout its work on the 2007 budget,

B.   whereas this strategy was based on the three pillars set out in its resolution of 18 May 2006 on the 2007 budget: the Commission's Annual Policy Strategy report (APS)(8), namely: setting policy priorities; delivering value for money; preparing for the 2008/2009 review,

C.   whereas this approach highlighted the major challenges and opportunities for the European Union in relation to the ongoing process of globalisation, and raised fundamental questions about the nature of the EU's strategic partnerships with partner countries and regions around the world,

D.   whereas this clear, consistent, strategic vision delivered results for Parliament in its negotiations with the Council on Parliament's key priorities, including with regard to the Financial Regulation,

E.   whereas the results obtained on Parliament's priorities, on delivering value for money, and on the Financial Regulation will bring real benefits to Europe's citizens in terms of more efficient and more effective spending and will contribute to Parliament's continuing efforts to achieve a positive statement of assurance (DAS) for EU spending,

General considerations: achieving priorities, delivering value for money, preparing for the 2008/2009 review
Achieving priorities

1.  Recalls that the strategy and political priorities for Parliament's approach to the 2007 budget were set out in its abovementioned APS resolution of 18 May 2006, in particular paragraphs 5 and 6; considers that the APS resolution was therefore an essential means for setting out its strategy at an early stage in the annual budget procedure;

2.  Welcomes the results which it has achieved on its broad priorities and on the key issues in negotiations with the Council in the trialogue and conciliation procedure in advance of Parliament's second reading on the budget;

3.  On the overall level of payments, rejects the approach taken by Council of arbitrary, across-the-board cuts in payment levels; considers that payments should be directed to those priority programmes on which efficient and effective spending can be ensured; agrees in the context of an overall deal with Council on a final level of payments of EUR 115 500 million, which equates to 0,99% of EU GNI;

4.  4 Recalls its declaration on payments reminding that Points 12 and 13 of the IIA of 17 May 2006 set absolute amounts, representing annual ceilings on expenditure under the general budgets, in the context of the MFF; therefore, the respect of the annual ceilings fixed by the MFF 2007-2013 constitutes automatic acceptance of the rates of increase for non-compulsory expenditure in the annual budgets; reminds the Council that in case these articles are not respected, Parliament will consider this as a violation of the IIA;

5.  Notes in this context that Parliament's specialised committees were modest in their demands for increased payment appropriations in the establishment of Parliament's first reading on the 2007 budget given that the main new legal bases have been agreed during the course of 2006 with a view to new EU spending programmes beginning in 2007;

6.  On the overall level of commitment appropriations, notes that Parliament has taken a prudent approach in line with that of the specialised committees and has not requested the use of the flexibility instrument; sets commitment appropriations at or close to the ceilings in Annex I of the IIA of 17 May 2006 for the majority of the headings of the 2007 budget;

7.  On the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), decides to restore commitment appropriations for 2007 to the level foreseen in the Preliminary Draft Budget (PDB) of EUR 159 200 000, but expects Council to implement both the spirit and the letter of the IIA of 17 May 2006 as regards CFSP spending and as confirmed in the exchange of letters between Chairmen Brok and Lewandowski and Finnish Minister Wideroos;

Delivering value for money

8.  Emphasises that the value for money approach has been an innovative element of the 2007 budgetary procedure with a view to ensuring improved evaluation of EU programmes and scrutiny of budget implementation in line with Parliament's priorities and its institutional prerogatives; notes the joint statement agreed with the Commission on proper budget implementation and emphasises that the overall objective of this exercise is to deliver better value for money to European citizens and to respond to the challenges which the EU faces through the best possible allocation of funds (see attached declaration);

9.  Recalls its decision to place 30% of appropriations, totalling over EUR 500 million, in reserve on nearly 40 budget lines on which Parliament has had significant concerns about the quality and level of budget implementation on the basis of a thorough examination of the available information sources; welcomes the constructive response of the Commission to the requirements set out by Parliament for the release of these reserves in its budgetary amendments; further to the response from the Commission annexed to its traditional early-November letter of executability, decides to maintain over EUR 8 900 000 in reserve on 2 budget lines; resolves to continue to monitor closely the quality and level of implementation of spending on these lines during the course of 2007 in line with a declaration on better value for money;

10.  Further welcomes the meeting of 15 November 2006 with the Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget and the Commission Secretary-General as a strong demonstration of the Commission's commitment to the value for money approach; notes that Parliament's Committee on Budgets will conduct, in the first part of 2007, a hearing on taking forward the value for money approach;

11.  Recalls the importance attached by Parliament to the achievement of a positive statement of assurance for funds under shared management; underlines its intention to ensure that, in line with the IIA of 17 May 2006, the relevant audit authorities in Member States produce an assessment of the compliance of management and control systems with Community regulations; reiterates that Member States should therefore undertake to produce an annual summary at the appropriate national level of the available audits and declarations; welcomes the recent development in one Member State to consolidate all the separate accounts where EU money is spent under shared management with a view to the subsequent auditing of these figures; considers that a review of the Court of Auditors' methodology for assessing compliance with EU financial rules through a peer review process with other comparable institutions will contribute to improvements in the Court's approach to auditing EU accounts; notes with amazement that no such peer review process has yet been completed; requests this to be done by 31 July 2007;

12.  On the three new agencies (Chemicals Agency, Gender Institute and Agency on Fundamental Rights), notes the joint declarations agreed between the Parliament, Council and Commission regarding the financing and the financial programming for these agencies in the context of the IIA of 17 May 2006; regarding the existing agencies, decides to restore appropriations in the PDB but place in reserve increases above a reference amount pending a positive evaluation of the performance of the agencies against their final work programmes; notes that these evaluations should be completed in the context of a meeting with the Heads of the agencies in Spring 2007;

Preparing for the 2008/2009 review

13.  Reiterates its concern that the European Union should develop a more pro-active strategy to engage with the opportunities and challenges of the ongoing process of globalisation; considers that a re-evaluation of the EU's approach to partnerships with third countries and regions is necessary in this context and that use of the term "strategic" should be reserved for the EU's most important partnerships, such as the trans-atlantic partnership with the United States of America;

14.  Confirms that the political analysis as prepared by the "Temporary Committee on Policy Challenges and Budgetary Means of the Enlarged Union 2007-2013" and the relevant resolution adopted by Parliament on 8 June 2005(9) remain the basis for the review and any possible changes of the IIA; considers that the evaluation of the effectiveness and the implementation of the new generation of multiannual programmes and instruments have to be included;

15.  Notes that the preparatory actions adopted by Parliament as regards business and scientific exchanges with China and India are intended to signal the importance attached by Parliament to developing stronger cooperation with these rapidly developing countries;

16.  Considers that a greater degree of transparency should be achieved by the Commission as regards the advantages and disadvantages of working with NGOs in delivering EU development assistance; in this light recommends that a cost-benefit analysis be carried out on the functioning of NGOs; intends to examine further the scope for a greater use of micro-credits in future EU development assistance;

17.  Considers that the Commission should re-examine the nature of the EU's strategic partnerships in a report to be presented by 30 April 2007, defining in particular the meaning of the word strategic, and that this is but one example of the wider need for the European Union clearly to establish its overall policy priorities in a manner that can be effectively communicated to the citizens of Europe; notes that clear policy priorities are a pre-requisite for the allocation of budgetary resources to these priorities; highlights that in its work on the 2007 budget Parliament established its policy priorities early in the procedure and so developed an effective strategy for the 2007 budget;

18.  Believes therefore that Parliament should build upon the priority-setting approach taken in the 2007 budgetary procedure, inter alia through a series of hearings on specific policy topics, to define its medium-term policy priorities; considers that, in line with paragraphs 38 to 40 of the APS resolution of 18 May 2006, this should contribute to the development by Parliament of a strategy for the 2008/2009 review;

Horizontal issues and key elements per MFF heading
Horizontal issues

19.  On pilot projects and preparatory actions, notes the increased ceilings for new projects set out in the IIA of 17 May 2006 and highlights that these projects allow Parliament to indicate priority areas for developing European policies; decides therefore to propose a number of new projects broadly in line with the priorities set out in paragraph 6 of the APS resolution of 18 May 2006;

20.  Notes the adoption of the Commission's Letter of amendment No 3/2007 and the elements of the Commission's Letter of amendment No 2/2007 including the provisions relating to classification concerning Hercule II and the European Globalisation Fund; rejects other elements of Letter of amendment 2/2007 and decides to introduce appropriate amounts and budget nomenclature in line with its external priorities;

21.  Welcomes the agreement reached to make available an amount of EUR 500 million for the European Globalisation Fund budgeted for the year 2007; stresses that the procedure adopted for budgeting the Fund remains in conformity with the provisions of Point 28 of the IIA of 17 May 2006 and reaffirms its view that in accordance with the Agreement the order of the sources used for financing the European Globalisation Fund in a year N is the one resulting from the chronological sequence of availability of the information on margins and cancelled commitments, i.e. firstly, cancelled commitment appropriations from year N-2, secondly, margin left available in year N-1, thirdly, cancelled commitment appropriations from year N-1; welcomes the Commission's view on this issue as expressed in the letter of the Commissioner for Financial Programming and Budget to the President of the European Parliament of 17 November 2006;

Main elements per IIA heading
Heading 1a - Competitiveness for growth and employment

22.  Confirms its conviction expressed in its APS resolution of 18 May 2006 that knowledge, skills, research and development, innovation, information society technologies, and a sustainable transport and energy policy form the basis of a healthy modern economy and are essential for job creation; has therefore decided to reject the Council's approach of reductions in a number of crucial budget lines aiming at improving the competitiveness of the EU's economy; has decided to increase payment appropriations, albeit at a reduced level relative to its first reading, for priority programmes linked to the Lisbon agenda such as the Competitiveness and Innovation Programme (CIP) and the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013);

23.  Is convinced that raising the EU's competitiveness is an essential element of the EU's response to the challenges of globalisation; therefore considers increases in appropriations in heading 1a to be a clear signal of the future direction that EU spending should take; recalls the need for adequate public funding to create the pump-priming effect expected of European Investment Bank cofinancing; awaits with impatience the proposals by the Commission and Council on this subject; stresses that an increase in the long-term subscribed capital would be desirable for the European Investment Fund, both to accompany the introduction of the new mandates (including the CIP) in 2007 and to finance the new technology transfer project operations, as wished by Parliament, the Council or the Commission;

24.  Stresses the technological and economic significance of the Galileo programme; reminds the Commission that, taken over the period as a whole, this programme is underfinanced in the new MFF and calls on the Commission to seek promptly a workable and lasting solution in order to ensure the success of this programme;

Heading 1b - Cohesion for growth and employment

25.  Notes that the appropriations for the Structural and Cohesion funds are considerably lower for the 2007-2013 MFF than had been anticipated, largely as a result of the conclusions of the December 2005 European Council; considers therefore that the appropriations in the PDB should be restored; underlines the importance of establishing and approving as quickly as possible national programmes now that the new IIA has been agreed; stresses the importance of cohesion as one of the policy priorities of the EU; on pre-accession assistance, asks the Commission to present a transfer request or amending budget during the course of 2007 if the amounts foreseen in the 2007 Budget turn out to be insufficient;

Heading 2 - Preservation and management of natural resources

26.  Notes that 2007 will be the first year of full implementation of the most recent reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); rejects the cuts in compulsory expenditure adopted by the Council in its second reading; rejects the re-classification of several budget lines in the agricultural field from non-compulsory to compulsory expenditure as proposed by the Commission in its Letter of amendment No 2/2007;

27.  Deplores the fact that in spite of the major needs for restructuring, modernisation and diversification of Europe's rural economy, the resources allocated to rural development are set to fall in real terms; considers that a voluntary transfer of funds from direct agricultural support (CAP "first pillar") to rural development is not the appropriate means for remedying this situation; expresses in this connection strong reservations about the current Commission proposal concerning voluntary modulation of up to 20% of direct agricultural support to rural development; calls on the Commission to conduct an impact assessment in accordance with the Interinstitutional Agreement of 16 December 2003 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on better law-making(10); reiterates that Parliament still reserves its position concerning voluntary modulation and considers it would be useful to assess it together with the issue of co-financing in the context of the 2008/2009 review as expressed in Declaration No 9 of the IIA of 17 May 2006 concerning voluntary modulation;

28.  Is disappointed that in spite of the major needs for appropriations for development of a dead vaccine for the Blue Tongue virus (BTV), Council refused to approve this initiative by Parliament in its second reading; welcomes however the Commission's suggestion, expressed in the letter of executability, to incorporate the development of a new vaccine for blue tongue in the Research budget under the IPA projects; emphasises that preference should be given to the development of a multivalent vaccine, which is effective against the different types of the virus;

29.  Endorses and welcomes the joint declaration on Life+ agreed by Parliament, Council and Commission as regards the provision of interim financing in the event of a legislative gap arising between the beginning of 2007 and the final adoption of the legal act;

Heading 3a - Freedom, security and justice

30.  Points out that the area of freedom, security and justice, and in particular the promotion of fundamental rights, the definition of a common asylum and migration policy and the fight against terrorism and organised crime, is one of the Union's key priorities;

31.  Considers that integrated management of the Union's external borders is one of the objectives currently requiring urgent support; accordingly restores the PDB level of commitment appropriations for the FRONTEX agency, whilst placing some funds in reserve in line with the overall approach on agencies;

Heading 3b - Citizenship

32.  Recalls the importance of the principle of subsidiarity in the field of culture, education, training and youth, and believes that respect for pluralism of opinion is the first condition for an effective communication policy in order to bring the EU closer to citizens; considers that better use can be made of new communications media to bring together European policymakers from all political opinion to share ideas; welcomes, in this context, the gratifying development of reporting by Euronews; calls on the Commission to support the broadcasting of Euronews in Arabic, so that both Arabic-speaking members of the community in the EU and people in Arabic-speaking Mediterranean countries can be more effectively reached and informed about Europe's commitment; urges the Commission to clarify the budget implications of, and the actions to be taken under, the Plan D for Democracy Debate and Dialogue; asks the Commission to publish on the Internet the detail of allocation of subsidies (amounts and beneficiaries) for all actions;

33.  Highlights the importance it attaches to effective EU communications strategies and specifically to ensuring that on-line mechanisms can be used to the fullest possible extent to facilitate the development of information and ideas linkages between European opinion-formers and stakeholders; notes in this connection the pilot project adopted on pilot information networks (PINs) to improve communication between policymakers, not least between European and national Parliamentarians, considers that this initiative should build upon existing European web portals in a manner that adds value to existing specific actions in this area;

34.  Calls on the Commission to carry out a survey on the condition and the estimated cost of restoration of the churches in the northern part of Cyprus which have been desecrated, converted into mosques or damaged since the Turkish army took control of the area in 1974, in line with the declaration of the European Parliament on the protection and preservation of the religious heritage in the northern part of Cyprus(11);

35.  Calls into question the quality of the information policy pursued by the Commission; requests the Commission to formally confirm its willingness to represent all institutions and their respective powers adequately;

Heading 4 - The EU as a global player

36.  Believes that the EU should ensure that it has the wherewithal to act as a global player in keeping with its values; proposes the restoration of PDB figures on a number of lines and increases beyond the PDB in payments and in commitments in some areas with a view to boosting EU activities through Community programmes in the fields of foreign policy, development and humanitarian aid, and business and scientific exchanges with key emerging countries;

37.  Highlights the importance of transparency in the use of the funds allocated to Iraq via the two trust  funds and recalls the need to monitor closely Iraq's absorption capacity; therefore asks the Commission to provide regular information about the projects financed by the EU and the level of absorption of the funds earmarked for that country;

38.  Notes that the new legal framework for the EU's external actions also implies a new budget structure; welcomes in general the simplification of instruments and the new budget nomenclature proposed with it; welcomes also the presentation of a separate instrument on Human Rights and Democracy, which requires a modification of the nomenclature of the PDB; cannot accept, however, that a number of  the proposed changes reduce transparency for either sectors and/or regions and countries; has decided the necessary modifications in this respect; calls on the Commission to provide also a breakdown per activity and pre-accession country and, in the interests of transparency, a corresponding nomenclature in all corresponding budget lines; moreover, calls on the Commission to provide a regular monitoring report to the budgetary authority on the progress of both the two new Member States and the pre-accession countries;

39.  Restores appropriations for the CFSP to the level proposed in the Commission's PDB and Council's DB; underlines that it requests the Council to comply with the letter and the spirit of the IIA of 17 May 2006 as regards the CFSP in line with the exchange of letters between Chairmen Brok and Lewandowski and Minister Wideroos;

40.  Notes that Parliament's second reading on the 2007 budget leaves no margin remaining under heading 4 and that increased commitments through amending budgets during the course of 2007 would therefore imply recourse to the flexibility instrument; expects to be kept fully informed on a pro-active a priori basis by the Council of the financial needs for the forthcoming Kosovo mission;

Heading 5 - Administration

41.  On staffing in the EU institutions, notes that the cuts in staffing levels initially proposed by the Council will not be implemented in the 2007 budget; endorses the joint declaration with the Council on recruitment in relation with the 2004 and 2007 enlargements; welcomes the commitment from the Commission to carry out a substantive screening exercise providing a mid-term evaluation of its staff needs and a detailed report on the Commission's staffing of support and coordination functions covering all places of work by 30 April 2007;

42.  Decides to release the amounts placed in reserve in its first reading for Commission staff resources on the basis of a letter from the President of the Commission accepting that all four requests of Parliament to release the reserve will be fully met; looks forward to a strategic discussion of staffing in the EU institutions during 2007 in the context of the screening exercise requested by Parliament;

Other sections of the 2007 budget

43.  Notes that the budgetary increase given to "other sections" in the 2007 Budget, excluding enlargement costs, was only 1,7% over the 2006 budget; this increase constitutes only a marginal increase and reflects the increase in the inflation rate and the cost for the specific priorities of the institutions and is, in fact, significantly less than that requested in the PDB; decides to retain its original position taken in first reading by restoring EUR 10 630 000 of the EUR 28 280 000 reductions made by Council;

44.  Reiterates its belief in the implementation of budgetary rigour in all on-going activities ensuring a more effective budgeting and reflecting the current real needs and priorities of the institutions; acknowledges also however that the institutions need to have the necessary tools to function and operate at a reasonably effective level thereby ensuring that the various objectives of the institutions can really be met; regrets therefore the Council's decision not to agree with Parliament's budget for the "other sections" as approved in first reading;

45.  Requests that the institutions submit by 1 September of each year more informative reports on their activities and their performance; these activity based reports are required to give more and clearer information on how successfully funds are being utilised and to justify the consumption of the budgetary amounts; this would enable the budgetary authority to monitor how and where the increase in funds is rendering the institutions more efficient;

46.  Reiterates the importance of interinstitutional cooperation which, undoubtedly, can bring about benefits to the institutions involved; in this respect, considers that the joint administrative service of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions is an effective and dynamic way of avoiding duplication, reducing costs and developing team spirit without reducing the quality and efficiency of the service provided; invites the two Committees to examine - by not later than July 2007 - this co-operation in the light of the co-sharing principle and with a view to taking the necessary measures to ensure that the needs of both institutions are met and that a more equitable governance of the joint service is guaranteed; recommends that an exercise relating to the evaluation of the functions and activities of the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions should be carried out by not later than the end of June 2007;

o
o   o

47.  Instructs its President to declare that the budget has been finally adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

48.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution and the declarations annexed thereto to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and the other institutions and bodies concerned.

ANNEX

Joint declaration on the three new agencies foreseen in the 2007 budget in application of Point 47 of the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 17 May 2006

The preliminary draft budget for the year 2007 foresees the financing of the following three new agencies:

· the European Chemicals Agency

· the European Gender Institute

· the European Agency on Fundamental Rights.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission undertake to build on this first experience with these three new agencies to further develop the procedure foreseen in Point 47 of the IIA when drawing up proposals for the creation of new agencies.

Joint declaration on the financing of the European Chemicals Agency

In May 2006, the Commission presented the first financial programming for the period 2007-2013, in accordance with Point 46 of the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management.

On the basis of the information transmitted by the Commission on 7 November 2006, the European Parliament and the Council note that the financing of the European Chemicals Agency can be secured within the agreed expenditure ceiling of heading 1a for the period 2007-2013.

Moreover, the European Parliament and the Council note that the amendments to the legal base of the European Chemicals Agency entail a total additional expenditure of EUR 113 600 000, in the years 2008 and 2009 under heading 1a of the multi-annual financial framework 2007-2013, compared to the financial programming presented in May 2006 by the Commission and without taking into account possible redeployments within heading 1a.

Should the Commission, be it on request of the Agency or due to any other unforeseen circumstance, intend to deviate from the amounts originally deemed necessary for the financing of the Agency in the period concerned, it shall notify the budgetary authority of this intention and its effect on the remaining margin of the relevant heading of the multi-annual financial framework and indicate the re-programming.

Joint declaration on the financing of the European Gender Institute

In May 2006, the Commission presented the first financial programming for the period 2007-2013, in accordance with Point 46 of the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management.

On the basis of the information transmitted by the Commission on 7 November 2006, the European Parliament and the Council note that the financing of the European Gender Institute can be secured within the agreed expenditure ceiling of heading 1a for the period 2007-2013.

Should the Commission, be it on request of the Institute or due to any other unforeseen circumstance, intend to deviate from the amounts originally deemed necessary for the financing of the Institute in the period concerned, it shall notify the budgetary authority of this intention and its effect on the remaining margin of the relevant heading of the multi-annual financial framework and indicate the re-programming.

Joint declaration on the financing of the European Agency on Fundamental Rights

In May 2006, the Commission presented the first financial programming for the period 2007-2013, in accordance with Point 46 of the Interinstitutional Agreement (IIA) of 17 May 2006 on budgetary discipline and sound financial management.

On the basis of the information transmitted by the Commission on 7 November 2006, the European Parliament and the Council note that the financing of the European Agency on Fundamental Rights can be secured within the agreed expenditure ceiling of heading 3a for the period 2007-2013.

Should the Commission, be it on request of the Agency or due to any other unforeseen circumstance, intend to deviate from the amounts originally deemed necessary for the financing of the Agency in the period concerned, it shall notify the budgetary authority of this intention and its effect on the remaining margin of the relevant heading of the multi-annual financial framework and indicate the re-programming.

Joint declaration on recruitment in relation with the 2004 and 2007 enlargement

The European Parliament and the Council note with great concern the delays in the selection and recruitment process relating to the 2004 enlargement, the low occupancy of posts at Middle Management level, the high ratio of permanent posts occupied by temporary agents and the lack of a sufficient number of appropriate competitions.

The European Parliament and the Council insist that all efforts should be made by the institutions and specifically by the European Personnel Selection Office (EPSO) to ensure that the necessary action is taken to rectify the situation and to speed up the whole process of filling the posts granted by the budgetary authority. The criteria should be as stipulated in Article 27 of the Staff Regulations and to arrive at the broadest possible geographical proportional basis as soon as possible.

The European Parliament and the Council intend to monitor closely the ongoing recruitment process. To this effect, they request each institution and EPSO to provide twice a year an information to the Budgetary Authority on the state of affairs regarding recruitments in relation with the 2004 and 2007 enlargement.

The European Parliament and the Council invite the Secretaries-General of the institutions to present a report on the progress made in the field as follows:

   concerning the filling of the posts granted in the 2004-2006 budgets by the end of January 2007;
   concerning the filling of the posts granted in 2007 by 15 June 2007 and by 31 October 2007.

Joint declaration on Life+

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission recall the budgetary principle that the implementation of significant operational expenditure requires the prior adoption of a basic act.

At the same time, the three institutions acknowledge that, at the start of budget year 2007 some new basic acts, intended to provide the follow-up to preceding basic acts which expire at the end of 2006, may still be under consideration by the legislative authority. Nonetheless, certain actions do require fresh budgetary commitments to avoid damaging disruption in implementation and preservation of the acquis. Such a risk exists for certain actions for which there is already broad political agreement among the three institutions.

A particular concern has been expressed, notably by Parliament in its resolution on the first reading of the draft budget 2007, in relation to the Life+ programme, which will ensure the follow-up to its predecessor Life III and other related actions. Should a legislative gap arise between the beginning of the year 2007 and the final adoption of the legal act, the three institutions agree that an amount of up to EUR 15 million (out of an overall Life+ budget of EUR 240 million proposed in the 2007 preliminary draft budget) may be committed in the interim period for activities preparing the relay by Life+ under the best conditions, i.e. with a view to preserving the acquis built-up through ongoing actions in the field of the environment. Such activities whose continuation is essential for preserving continuity of the acquis relate notably to information systems ensuring the monitoring of EU environmental legislation, the registries underpinning the Emission Trading Scheme, scientific and external expertise preparing Commission proposals in cases where the Commission is bound by target dates, information and awareness actions.

Joint statement of the European Parliament and the Commission to ensure proper budget implementation

In the framework of the budgetary procedure the European Parliament and the Commission emphasise the need for improved value for money in the EU budget and are of the opinion that this concept must be applied on a permanent basis. The aim of this approach is to evaluate and assess the quantitative and qualitative aspects of each EU programme.

In this context, the evaluation of EU programmes should become a major element of concern for the institutions involved in the annual budgetary procedure.

The European Parliament and the Commission recall that Activity-Based Management (ABM) is to offer an integrated view of the performance and cost of the various policy areas including both operational and administrative resources.

The two Institutions agree to take the necessary steps with regard to improving the monitoring of budget implementation through a process using all available information as from January 2007 to which all committees of the European Parliament will be associated. The European Parliament undertakes to make better use of transfers and amending budgets as instruments to scrutinise budget implementation during the year in respect of Parliament's priorities and its inter-institutional prerogatives.

The results of this ongoing process will be the subject of exchange of views in each trialogue foreseen in Annex II of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006.

This exercise aims to ensure that policies financed by the EU budget deliver better value for money to European citizens and respond to the challenges which the European Union faces through the best possible allocation of EU funds.

Declaration of the European Parliament on budgetary discipline for payments

The European Parliament recalls that Points 12 and 13 of the IIA of 17 May 2006 set absolute amounts, representing, annual ceilings on expenditure under the general budgets, in the context of the multi-annual financial framework.

Therefore, the respect of the annual ceilings fixed by the multi-annual financial framework 2007-2013 constitutes an automatic acceptance of the rates of increase for non-compulsory expenditure in the annual budgets.

If Points 12 and 13 of the IIA are not respected, the European Parliament will consider this as a violation of the IIA.

The European Parliament undertakes to implement the provisions of Points 12 and 13 of the IIA as a measure of budgetary discipline for the entire duration of the multi-annual financial framework.

(1) OJ L 253, 7.10.2000, p. 42.
(2) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 172, 18.6.1999, p. 1. Agreement as last amended by Decision 2005/708/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 269, 14.10.2005, p. 24).
(5) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0451.
(6) Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2006)0452.
(7) Texts adopted, Annex.
(8) Texts adopted, P6_TA(2006)0221.
(9) OJ C 124 E, 25.5.2006, p. 373.
(10) OJ C 321, 31.12.2003, p. 1.
(11) Texts Adopted, 5.9.2006, P6_TA(2006)0335.


Procedure for prior examination and consultation in respect of certain provisions concerning transport proposed in Member States (codified version) ***I
PDF 192kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on a procedure for prior examination and consultation in respect of certain laws, regulations and administrative provisions concerning transport proposed in Member States (codified version) (COM(2006)0284 – C6-0185/2006 – 2006/0099(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0571A6-0458/2006

(Codecision procedure: codification)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0284)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 71 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0185/2006),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994 - Accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts(2),

–   having regard to Rules 80, 51 and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0458/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

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

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2.


Elimination of controls at the frontiers of Member States (road and inland waterway transport) (codified version) ***I
PDF 191kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the elimination of controls performed at the frontiers of Member States in the field of road and inland waterway transport (codified version) (COM(2006)0432 – C6-0261/2006 – 2006/0146(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0572A6-0459/2006

(Codecision procedure: codification)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0432)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 71 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0261/2006),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994 - Accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts(2),

–   having regard to Rules 80, 51 and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0459/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

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

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2.


Transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality (codified version) ***I
PDF 191kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation (Euratom, EC) of the European Parliament and of the Council on the transmission of data subject to statistical confidentiality to the Statistical Office of the European Communities (codified version) (COM(2006)0477 – C6-0290/2006 – 2006/0159(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0573A6-0457/2006

(Codecision procedure: codification)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0477)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0290/2006),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994 - Accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts(2),

–   having regard to Rules 80, 51 and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0457/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

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

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2.


Submission of nominal catch statistics by Member States fishing in the north-east Atlantic (codified version) ***I
PDF 190kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the submission of nominal catch statistics by Member States fishing in the north-east Atlantic (codified version) (COM(2006)0497– C6-0301/2006 – 2006/0164(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0574A6-0460/2006

(Codecision procedure - codification)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0497)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 285(1) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0301/2006),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994 - Accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts(2),

–   having regard to Rules 80, 51 and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0460/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

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

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2.


Community criteria for the eradication and monitoring of certain animal diseases (codified version) *
PDF 190kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council decision laying down Community criteria for the eradication and monitoring of certain animal diseases (codified version) (COM(2006)0315 – C6-0236/2006 – 2006/0104(CNS))
P6_TA(2006)0575A6-0461/2006

(Consultation procedure - codification)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2006)0315)(1),

–   having regard to the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0236/2006),

–   having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 20 December 1994 - Accelerated working method for official codification of legislative texts(2),

–   having regard to Rules 80, 51 and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0461/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

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

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 102, 4.4.1996, p. 2.


Agreement between the EC and Paraguay on certain aspects of air services *
PDF 189kWORD 30k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Republic of Paraguay on certain aspects of air services (COM(2006)0266 – C6-0308/2006 – 2006/0094(CNS))
P6_TA(2006)0576A6-0406/2006

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2006)0266)(1),

–   having regard to Articles 80(2) and 300(2), first subparagraph, first sentence, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0308/2006),

–   having regard to Rules 51, 83(7) and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0406/2006),

1.  Approves conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Republic of Paraguay.

(1) Not yet published in the OJ.


R&D activities in the domain of intelligent manufacturing systems (EU-Australia Agreement, Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Korea, Japan and the USA) *
PDF 207kWORD 31k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council decision authorising the conclusion of the agreement to renew and modify the agreement on research and development activities in the domain of intelligent manufacturing systems (IMS) between the European Community and Australia, Canada, the EFTA countries of Norway and Switzerland, Korea, Japan and the United States of America (COM(2006)0343 – C6-0373/2006 – 2006/0111(CNS))
P6_TA(2006)0577A6-0418/2006

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2006)0343)(1),

−   having regard to Articles 170 and 300(2), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0373/2006),

–   having regard to Rules 51, 83(7) and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A6-0418/2006),

1.  Approves the conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and Australia, Canada, the EFTA countries of Norway and Switzerland, Korea, Japan and the United States of America.

(1) Not yet published in OJ.


Direct support schemes under CAP; the COM for sugars; restructuring of the sugar industry; owing to the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU *
PDF 195kWORD 32k
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council regulation adapting Regulation (EC) No 1782/2003 establishing common rules for direct support schemes under the common agricultural policy and establishing certain support schemes for farmers, Regulation (EC) No 318/2006 on the common organisation of the markets in the sugar sector and Regulation (EC) No 320/2006 establishing a temporary scheme for the restructuring of the sugar industry in the Community, by reason of the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the European Union (COM(2006)0677 – C6-0424/2006 – 2006/0226(CNS))
P6_TA(2006)0578A6-0412/2006

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2006)0677)(1),

–   having regard to Article 4(3) of the Treaty of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania and Article 41, second subparagraph, and Article 20 of the Act of Accession of Bulgaria and Romania, in conjunction with Annex IV thereto, pursuant to which it has been consulted by the Council (C6-0424/2006),

–   having regard to Rules 51 and 43(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A6-0412/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal;

2.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

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

(1) Not yet published in OJ.


Drugs prevention and information (2007-2013) ***I
PDF 441kWORD 74k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing for the period 2007-2013 the specific programme "Drugs prevention and information" as part of the General programme "Fundamental Rights and Justice" (COM(2006)0230 – C6-0095/2005 – 2005/0037B(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0579A6-0454/2006

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the amended Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0230)(1) ,

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 152 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0095/2005),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0454/2006),

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 Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing for the period 2007-2013 the specific programme "Drugs prevention and information" as part of the General programme "Fundamental Rights and Justice"

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0037B


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 152 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)  The Treaty establishing the European Community establishes that in the definition and implementation of all Community policies and activities a high level of human health has to be ensured; Article 3(1)(p) of the Treaty requires Community action to include a contribution to the attainment of a high level of health protection.

(2)  Community action should complement national policies directed towards improving public health, obviating sources of danger to human health and reducing health-related harm associated with drug dependence, including information and prevention policies.

(3)  Given that, according to research, the morbidity and the mortality associated with drug dependence affects a sizeable number of European citizens, the health-related harm associated with drug dependence constitutes a major problem for public health.

(4)  The communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the results of the final evaluation of the EU Drugs Strategy and Action Plan on Drugs (2000–2004) (COM(2004)0707) pointed out the need to regularly involve civil society in the formulation of the EU's policies on drugs.

(5)  Decision No 1786/2002/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 adopting a programme of Community action in the field of public health (2003–2008)(4) includes the development of strategies and measures on drug dependence, as one of the important lifestyle-related health determinants.

(6)  In Recommendation 2003/488/EC of 18 June 2003 on the prevention and reduction of health-related harm associated with drug dependence(5), the Council recommended that Member States set as a public health objective the prevention of drug dependence and the reduction of related risks, and that they develop and implement comprehensive strategies accordingly.

(7)  The Brussels European Council of 16 and 17 December 2004 adopted the EU Drugs Strategy 2005–2012, which covers all European Union drug-related activities and sets main targets. These targets include the attainment of a high level of health protection, well-being and social cohesion by preventing and reducing drug use, dependence and drug-related harms to health and society.

(8)  The Council adopted the EU Drugs Action Plan (2005–2008)(6) as a crucial instrument for transposing the EU Drugs Strategy 2005–2012 into concrete actions. The ultimate aim of the Action Plan is to significantly reduce the prevalence of drug use among the population and to reduce the social harm and health damage caused by the use of and trade in illicit drugs.

(9)  This Decision aims at the implementation of targets identified by the EU Drugs Strategy 2005-2012 and the EU Drugs Action Plans 2005-2008 and 2009-2012 by supporting projects aiming at the prevention of drug use, including by addressing the reduction of drug-related harm and treatment methods taking account of the latest scientific knowledge.

(10)  It is important and necessary to recognise the serious immediate and long-term implications of drugs for individuals, families and communities, with regard to health, psychological and social development, the equal opportunities of those concerned, and the high social and economic costs to society as a whole.

(11)  Special attention should be paid to the prevention of drug use among young people, who are the most vulnerable in the population. The main challenge in prevention is to encourage young people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

(12)  The European Community can bring added value to the actions to be undertaken by Member States in the field of drugs information and prevention, including treatment and reduction of drug-related harm, by complementing those actions and by promoting synergies.

(13)  Complementarity with the technical expertise of the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) should be ensured by making use of methodology and best practices developed by the EMCDDA and by the EMCDDA's involvement in the preparation of the annual work programme.

(14)  The objectives of the proposed action, namely drugs prevention and information, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States because of the need for an exchange of information at EU level and for the Community-wide dissemination of good practices. This can be better achieved at Community level. Due to the need for a coordinated and multidisciplinary approach and by reason of the scale and impact of the initiative, 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 Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(15)  Bearing in mind the importance of visibility of Community funding, the Commission should provide guidance to allow any authority, non-governmental organisation, international organisation or other entity receiving a grant under this programme properly to acknowledge the support received.

(16)  This Decision establishes a financial envelope for the entire duration of the programme, which is to be the prime reference amount for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure, within the meaning of point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(7).

(17)  Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(8), hereinafter "the Financial Regulation", and Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(9), which safeguard the Community's financial interests, should apply, taking into account the principles of simplicity and consistency in the choice of budgetary instruments, a limitation on the number of cases where the Commission retains direct responsibility for their implementation and management, and the required proportionality between the amount of resources and the administrative burden related to their use.

(18)  Appropriate measures should also be taken to prevent irregularities and fraud and the necessary steps should be taken to recover funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used in accordance with Council Regulations (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the Communities' financial interests(10) and (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission(11) and Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)(12).

(19)  The Financial Regulation requires a basic act to be adopted to cover operating grants.

(20)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should 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(13), with a distinction being made between those measures which are subject to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny and those which are subject to the advisory procedure, the advisory procedure being in certain cases, with a view to increased efficiency, the more appropriate,

HAVE DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Creation of the programme

1.  This Decision establishes the programme "Drugs prevention and information", hereinafter referred to as "the programme", as part of the general programme "Fundamental Rights and Justice", in order to contribute to ensuring a high level of human health protection and to reducing drug-related health damage.

2.  The programme shall cover the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

Article 2

General objectives

1.  This programme shall have the following general objectives:

   a) to contribute to improvement of information on drug use;
   b) to prevent and reduce drug use, dependence and drug-related harm;
   c) to support the implementation of the EU Drugs Strategy.

Article 3

Specific objectives

The programme shall have the following specific objectives:

  (a) To promote transnational actions to:
   set up multidisciplinary networks;
   ensure the expansion of the knowledge base, the exchange of information and the identification and dissemination of good practice, including through training, study visits and staff exchange;
   raise awareness of the health and social problems caused by the drug use and to encourage an open dialogue with a view to promoting a better understanding of the drug phenomenon;
   support measures aimed at preventing drug use, including by addressing reduction of drug-related harm and treatment methods which take account of the latest scientific knowledge.
   (b) To involve civil society in the implementation and development of the EU Drugs Strategy and Drugs Action Plans.
   (c) To monitor, carry out and evaluate the implementation of specific actions under the Drugs Action Plans 2005–2008 and 2009–2012. The European Parliament shall be involved in the evaluation process through its participation in the Commission's evaluation steering group.

Article 4

Actions

With a view to pursuing the general and specific objectives set out in Articles 2 and 3, this programme will support, under the conditions set out in the annual work programmes, the following types of actions:

   a) specific actions taken by the Commission, such as studies and research, opinion polls and surveys, formulation of indicators and common methodologies, collection, development and dissemination of data and statistics, seminars, conferences and experts meetings, organisation of public campaigns and events, development and maintenance of websites, preparation and dissemination of information materials, support to and animation of networks of national experts and analytical, monitoring and evaluation activities; or
   b) specific transnational projects of Community interest presented by at least two Member States, or at least one Member State and one other State which may either be an acceding or a candidate country, under the conditions set out in the annual work programmes; or
   c) support for the activities of non-governmental organisations or other entities pursuing an aim of general European interest regarding the general objectives of the programme under the conditions set out in the annual work programmes.

Article 5

Participation

1.  The following countries, hereinafter referred to as "participating countries", may participate in the actions of the programme:

   a) the EFTA States that are party to the EEA Agreement, in accordance with the provisions of that Agreement;
   b) the candidate countries, as well as the western Balkan countries included in the stabilisation and association process in accordance with the conditions laid down in the association agreements or their additional protocols relating to participation in Community programmes concluded or to be concluded with those countries.

2.  Projects may associate candidate countries not participating in this programme where this would contribute to their preparation for accession, or other third countries or international organisations not participating in this programme where this serves the aim of the projects.

Article 6

Target Groups

1.  The programme is aimed at all groups that directly or indirectly deal with the drugs phenomenon.

2.  With regard to drugs, youth, women, vulnerable groups and problematic neighbourhoods are groups at risk and shall be identified as target groups. Other target groups are, inter alia, teachers and educational staff, parents, social workers, local and national authorities, medical and paramedical staff, judicial staff, law enforcement and penitentiary authorities, NGOs, trade unions and religious communities.

Article 7

Access to the programme

Access to the programme shall be open to public or private organisations and institutions (local authorities at the relevant level, university departments and research centres) working in the area of information on and prevention of drugs use, including the reduction and treatment of drug-related harm.

Bodies and organisations which are profit-oriented shall have access to grants under the programme only in conjunction with non profit-oriented or public organisations.

Article 8

Types of intervention

1.  Community funding may take the following legal forms:

   grants,
   public procurement contracts.

2.  Community grants shall be awarded following calls for proposals, save in duly substantiated exceptional cases as provided for by the Financial Regulation, and shall be provided through operating grants and grants for actions.

The annual work programmes shall specify the minimum rate of annual expenditure to be allocated to grants.

The maximum rate of co-financing shall be specified in the annual work programmes.

3.  Furthermore, expenditure for accompanying measures, through public procurement contracts, shall be provided for, in which case Community funds will cover the purchase of services and goods. This will cover, inter alia, expenditure on information and communication, preparation, implementation, monitoring, checking and evaluation of projects, policies, programmes and legislation.

Article 9

Implementing measures

1.  The Commission shall implement Community assistance in accordance with the Financial Regulation.

2.  To implement the programme, the Commission shall, within the limits of the general objectives set out in Article 2, adopt an annual work programme taking into account the technical expertise of the EMCDDA. The annual work programme shall set out specific objectives and thematic priorities, and shall include a description of accompanying measures envisaged in Article 8(3) and if necessary a list of other actions.

The annual work programme for 2007 shall be adopted three months after the entry into force of this Decision.

3.  The annual work programme will be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny set out in Article 10(3).

4.  The evaluation and award procedures relating to grants to actions shall take into account, inter alia, the following criteria:

   a) conformity with the annual work programme, the general objectives as specified in Article 2 and measures taken in the different domains as specified in Articles 3 and 4;
   b) the quality of the proposed action regarding its conception, organisation, presentation and expected results;
   c) the amount requested for community financing and its appropriateness as to expected results;
   d) the impact of the expected results on the general objectives defined in Article 2 and on measures taken in the different domains as specified in Articles 3 and 4.

5.  The applications for operating grants, referred to in Article 4(c), shall be assessed in the light of:

   consistency with the programme objectives;
   the quality of the planned activities;
   the likely multiplier effect on the public of these activities;
   the geographic and social impact of the activities carried out;
   citizen involvement in the organisation of the bodies concerned;
   the cost/benefit ratio of the activity proposed.

6.  Decisions related to actions referred to in Article 4(a) shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 10(3). Decisions related to projects and activities referred to in Article 4(b) and (c) shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 10(2).

Decisions on applications for grants involving profit-oriented bodies or organisations shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 10(3).

Article 10

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.

Article 11

Complementarity

1.  Synergies and complementarity with other Community instruments shall be sought, particularly the general programme "Security and Safeguarding Liberties", the Seventh Research and Development Framework Programme and the Community Programme on Public Health. Complementarity with the methodology and best practices developed by the EMCDDA shall be ensured, in particular with regard to the statistical element of information on drugs.

2.  The programme may share resources with other Community instruments, in particular the general programmes "Security and Safeguarding Liberties" and "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows", and the Seventh Research and Development Framework Programme, in order to implement actions meeting the objectives of all the programmes.

3.  Operations financed under this Decision shall not receive assistance for the same purpose from other Community financial instruments. The Commission shall ensure that the beneficiaries of the programme provide it with information about funding received from the Community budget and from other sources, as well as information about on-going applications for funding.

Article 12

Budgetary Resources

1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of this instrument from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 is set at EUR 21,35 million.

2.  The budgetary resources allocated to the actions provided for in this programme shall be entered in the annual appropriations of the general budget of the European Union. The available annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial framework.

Article 13

Monitoring

1.  The Commission shall ensure that, for any action financed by the programme, beneficiaries submit technical and financial reports on the progress of work. A final report shall also be submitted within three months of the completion of the action. The Commission shall determine the form and content of these reports.

2.  The Commission shall ensure that contracts and agreements resulting from the implementation of the programme provide in particular for supervision and financial control by the Commission (or any representative authorised by it), if necessary by means of on-the-spot checks, including sample checks, and audits by the Court of Auditors.

3.  The Commission shall ensure that, for a period of five years following the last payment in respect of any action, beneficiaries of financial assistance keep available for the Commission all supporting documents regarding expenditure on the action.

4.  On the basis of the results of the reports and sample checks referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the Commission shall ensure that the amount of financial assistance originally approved, the conditions of its allocation and the timetable for its payment are adjusted as necessary.

5.  The Commission shall ensure that every other step necessary to verify that the actions financed are carried out properly and in compliance with the provisions of this Decision and the Financial Regulation is taken.

Article 14

Protection of Community financial interests

1.  The Commission shall ensure that, when actions financed under the present Decision are implemented, the financial interests of the Community are protected by the application of preventive measures against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities, by effective checks and by the recovery of the amounts unduly paid and, if irregularities are detected, by effective, proportional and dissuasive penalties, in accordance with Regulations (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 and (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96, and with Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999.

2.  For the Community actions financed under this programme, Regulations (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 and (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 shall apply to any infringement of a provision of Community law, including infringements of a contractual obligation stipulated on the basis of the programme, resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator, which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the European Union or budgets managed by the European Communities, by an unjustified item of expenditure.

3.  The Commission shall ensure that the amount of financial assistance granted for an action is reduced, suspended or recovered, if it finds irregularities, including non-compliance with the provisions of this Decision or the individual decision or the contract or agreement granting the financial support in question, or if it transpires that, without Commission approval having being sought, the action has been subjected to a change which conflicts with the nature or implementing conditions of the project.

4.  If the time limits have not been observed or if only part of the allocated financial assistance is justified by the progress made with implementing an action, the Commission shall ensure that the beneficiary concerned is requested to submit observations within a specified period. If the beneficiary does not give a satisfactory answer, the Commission shall ensure that the remaining financial assistance can be cancelled and repayment of sums already paid is demanded.

5.  The Commission shall ensure that any undue payment is repaid to it. Interest shall be added to any sums not repaid in good time under the conditions laid down by the Financial Regulation.

Article 15

Evaluation

1.  The programme will be monitored regularly in order to follow the implementation of activities carried out thereunder.

2.  The Commission shall ensure the regular, independent, external evaluation of the programme.

3.  The Commission shall present to the European Parliament and the Council:

   a) an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of this programme no later than 31 March 2011;
   b) an annual presentation on the implementation of the programme;
   ( c) a communication on the continuation of this programme no later than 30 August 2012;
   ( d) an ex-post evaluation report no later than 31 December 2014.

Article 16

Publication of projects

Each year, the Commission shall publish a list of projects financed under the programme, with a short description of each project.

Article 17

Visibility

The Commission shall lay down guidelines to ensure the visibility of funding granted under this Decision.

Article 18

Entry into force

This Decision shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 1 January 2007, with the exception of Articles 9(2) and 9(3), which shall apply from the date of entry into force of this Decision.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 69, 21.3.2006, p. 1.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 14 December 2006.
(4) OJ L 271, 9.10.2002, p. 1. Decision as amended by Decision No 786/2004/EC (OJ L 138, 30.4.2004, p. 7).
(5) OJ L 165, 3.7.2003, p. 31.
(6) OJ C 168, 8.7.2005, p. 1.
(7) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(8) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(9) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1.
(11) OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2.
(12) OJ L 136, 31.5.1999, p. 1.
(13) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/CE (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).


Civil justice (2007-2013) ***I
PDF 324kWORD 76k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing for the period 2007-2013 the specific programme "Civil justice" as part of the General programme "Fundamental Rights and Justice" (COM(2005)0122 – C6-0096/2005 – 2005/0040(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0580A6-0452/2006

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0122)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Articles 61(c) and 67(2) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0096/2005),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0452/2006),

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 Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Decision No .../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing for the period 2007-2013 the specific programme "Civil justice" as part of the General programme "Fundamental Rights and Justice"

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0040


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 61(c) and Article 67(5) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(2),

Whereas:

(1)  The European Community has set itself the objective of maintaining and developing an area of freedom, security and justice, in which the free movement of persons is assured. To that end, the Community must adopt, among others, measures in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters necessary for the proper functioning of the internal market.

(2)  Following previous programmes, such as Grotius(3) and the Robert Schuman project(4), Council Regulation (EC) No 743/2002(5) established, for the period 2002 to 2006, a general Community framework of activities to facilitate the implementation of judicial cooperation in civil matters.

(3)  The European Council meeting in Brussels on 4 and 5 November 2004 adopted. The Hague Programme "Strengthening freedom, security and justice in the European Union".

(4)  The Council and the Commission adopted in June 2005 an Action Plan implementing the Hague Programme.

(5)  The ambitious objectives set by the Treaty and The Hague Programme should be realised through the establishment of a flexible and effective programme that will facilitate planning and implementation.

(6)  The Civil Justice Programme should provide for initiatives taken by the Commission, in compliance with the principle of subsidiarity, for actions in support of organisations promoting and facilitating judicial cooperation in civil matters, and for actions in support of specific projects.

(7)  A general Civil Justice Programme to improve mutual understanding of the legal and judicial systems of the Member States will contribute to lowering the barriers to judicial cooperation in civil matters, which will improve the functioning of the internal market.

(8)  According to the Hague Programme, strengthening mutual cooperation requires an explicit effort to improve mutual understanding among judicial authorities and different legal systems; European networks of national public authorities should deserve special attention and support in this respect.

(9)  This Decision should provide for the possibility of co-financing the activities of certain European networks to the extent that the expenditure is incurred in pursuing an objective of general European interest. However, such co-financing should not imply that a future programme would cover such networks, nor should it prejudice other European networks from benefiting from support to their activities in accordance with this Decision.

(10)  Any institution, association or network receiving a grant from this programme should acknowledge the Community support received in accordance with visibility guidelines to be laid down by the Commission.

(11)  This Decision establishes a financial envelope for the entire duration of the programme, which is to be the prime reference amount for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure, within the meaning of point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(6).

(12)  Since the objectives of the Civil Justice Programme cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale and effects of the initiative, 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 Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(13)  Appropriate measures should be taken to prevent irregularities and fraud and the necessary steps should be taken to recover funds lost, wrongly paid or incorrectly used in accordance with Council Regulations (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the Communities' financial interests(7) and (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission(8) and Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF)(9).

(14)  Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(10) (hereinafter "the Financial Regulation"), and Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2342/2002 of 23 December 2002 laying down detailed rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(11), which safeguard the Community's financial interests, have to be applied taking into account the principles of simplicity and consistency in the choice of budgetary instruments, a limitation on the number of cases where the Commission retains direct responsibility for their implementation and management, and the required proportionality between the amount of resources and the administrative burden related to their use.

(15)  The Financial Regulation requires a basic act to be adopted to cover operating grants.

(16)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should 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(12), with a distinction being made between those measures which are subject to the regulatory procedure with scrutiny and those which are subject to the advisory procedure, the advisory procedure being in certain cases, with a view to increased efficiency, the more appropriate.

(17)  In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland annexed to the Treaty on the European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, the United Kingdom and Ireland have notified their wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(18)  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark is not participating in the adoption of this Decision, and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(19)  The European Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion on this Decision(13),

HAVE DECIDED AS FOLLOWS:

Article 1

Creation of the programme

1.  This Decision establishes the specific programme "Civil Justice", hereinafter referred to as "the programme", as part of the general programme "Fundamental Rights and Justice", in order to contribute to the progressive establishment of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice.

2.  The programme shall cover the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013.

3.  In this Decision the term "Member State" shall mean Member States with the exception of Denmark.

Article 2

General objectives

1.  This programme shall have the following general objectives:

   a) to promote judicial cooperation with the aim of contributing to the creation of a genuine European area of justice in civil matters based on mutual recognition and mutual confidence;
   b) to promote the elimination of obstacles to the good functioning of cross-border civil proceedings in the Member States;
   c) to improve the daily life of individuals and businesses by enabling them to assert their rights throughout the European Union, notably by fostering access to justice;
   d) to improve the contacts, exchange of information and networking between legal, judicial and administrative authorities and the legal professions, including by way of support of judicial training, with the aim of better mutual understanding between such authorities and professionals.

2.  Without prejudice to the objectives and powers of the Community, the general objectives of the programme contribute to the development of Community policies, and more specifically to the creation of a judicial area.

Article 3

Specific objectives

The programme shall have the following specific objectives:

a)   to foster judicial cooperation in civil matters aiming at:

– ensuring legal certainty and improving access to justice;

– promoting mutual recognition of decisions in civil and commercial cases;

– eliminating obstacles to cross-border litigation created by disparities in civil law and civil procedures and promoting the necessary compatibility of legislation for that purpose;

– guaranteeing a proper administration of justice by avoiding conflicts of jurisdiction;

b)   to improve mutual knowledge of Member States" legal and judicial systems in civil matters and to promote and strengthen networking, mutual cooperation, exchange and dissemination of information, experience and best practices;

c)   to ensure the sound implementation, the correct and concrete application and the evaluation of Community instruments in the areas of judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters;

d)   to improve information on the legal systems in the Member States and access to justice;

e)   to promote the training of legal practitioners in European Union and Community law;

f)   to evaluate the general conditions necessary to reinforce mutual confidence, while fully respecting the independence of judiciary;

g)   to facilitate the operation of the European judicial network in civil and commercial matters established by Council Decision 2001/470/CE of 28 May 2001(14).

Article 4

Actions

With a view to pursuing the general and specific objectives set out in Articles 2 and 3, this programme will support the following types of actions under the conditions set out in the annual work programmes:

   1. Specific actions initiated by the Commission, such as, studies and research, opinion polls and surveys, formulation of indicators and common methodologies, collection, development and dissemination of data and statistics, seminars, conferences and expert meetings, organisation of public campaigns and events, development and maintenance of websites, preparation and dissemination of information material, support for and management of networks of national experts and analytical, monitoring and evaluation activities; or
   2. Specific transnational projects of Community interest presented by an authority or any other body of a Member State, an international or non-governmental organisation, and involving in any case at least two Member States, or at least one Member State and one other State which may either be an acceding or a candidate country; or
   3. Support for the activities of non-governmental organisations or other entities pursuing an aim of general European interest in accordance with the general objectives of the programme under the conditions set out in the annual work programmes; or
   4. Operating grants to co-finance expenditure associated with the permanent work programme of the European Network of Councils for the Judiciary and the Network of the Presidents of the Supreme Judicial Courts of the European Union, insofar as it is incurred in pursing an objective of general European interest by promoting exchanges of views and experience on matters concerning the jurisprudence, organisation and functioning of its members in the performance of their judicial and/or advisory functions, particularly with regard to Community law.

Article 5

Participation

1.  The following countries, hereinafter referred to as "participating countries", may participate in the actions of the programme: the acceding countries, the candidate countries, as well as the western Balkan countries included in the stabilisation and association process in accordance with the conditions laid down in the association agreements or their additional protocols relating to participation in Community programmes concluded or to be concluded with those countries.

2.  Projects may associate legal practitioners from Denmark, from the candidate countries not participating in this programme where this would contribute to their preparation for accession, or from other third countries not participating in this programme where this serves the aim of the projects.

Article 6

Target Groups

1.  The programme is targeted at inter alia, legal practitioners, the national authorities and the citizens of the Union in general.

2.  "Legal practitioners" means, inter alia, judges, prosecutors, advocates, solicitors, notaries, academic and scientific personnel, ministry officials, court officers, bailiffs, court interpreters and other professionals associated with the judiciary in the area of civil law.

Article 7

Access to the programme

Access to this programme shall be open to institutions and public or private organisations, including professional organisations, universities, research institutes and legal and judicial training institutes for legal practitioners, international organisations and non-governmental organisations of the Member States.

Article 8

Types of intervention

1.  Community funding may take the following legal forms:

   grants;
   public procurement contracts.

2.  Community grants shall be awarded further to calls for proposals, and shall be provided through operating grants and grants to actions. The maximum rate of co-financing will be specified in the annual work programmes.

3.  Furthermore, expenditure is foreseen for accompanying measures, through public procurement contracts, in which case Community funds will cover the purchase of services and goods. This will cover, inter alia, expenditure on information and communication, preparation, implementation, monitoring, checking and evaluation of projects, policies, programmes and legislation.

Article 9

Implementing measures

1.  The Commission shall implement the Community financial support in accordance with the Financial Regulation.

2.  To implement the programme, the Commission shall, within the limits of the general objectives set out in Article 2, adopt an annual work programme specifying its specific objectives, thematic priorities, a description of accompanying measures envisaged in Article 8 and if necessary a list of other actions.

3.  The annual work programme shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 10(3).

4.  The evaluation and award procedures relating to grants to actions shall take into account, inter alia, the following criteria:

   a) conformity with the annual work programme, the general objectives as specified in Article 2 and measures taken in the different domains as specified in Articles 3 and 4;
   b) quality of the proposed action regarding its conception, organisation, presentation and expected results;
   c) amount requested for community financing and its appropriateness as to expected results;
   d) impact of the expected results on the general objectives defined in Article 2 and on measures taken in the different domains as specified in Articles 3 and 4.

5.  The applications for operating grants, referred to in Article 4(4), shall be assessed in the light of:

   consistency with the programme objectives;
   quality of the planned activities;
   likely multiplier effect on the public of these activities;
   geographic impact of the activities carried out;
   citizen involvement in the organisation of the bodies concerned;
   cost/benefit ratio of the activity proposed.

6.  The Commission shall examine each of the draft actions submitted to it under Articles 4(2) and 4(3). Decisions related to these actions shall be adopted in accordance with the advisory procedure referred to in Article 10(2).

Article 10

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.

Article 11

Complementarity

1.  Synergies and complementarity will be sought with other Community instruments, particularly the criminal justice specific programme of the general programme "Fundamental rights and Justice", and the general programmes "Security and Safeguarding Liberties" and "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows". The statistical element of information on civil justice will be developed in collaboration with Member States, using as necessary the Community Statistical Programme.

2.  The programme may exceptionally share resources with other Community instruments, in particular the criminal justice specific programme of the general programme "Fundamental rights and Justice", in order to implement actions meeting the objectives of both programmes.

3.  Operations financed under this Decision shall not receive financial support for the same purpose from other Union or Community financial instruments. It shall be ensured that the beneficiaries of the programme provide the Commission with information about funding received from the Community budget and from other sources, as well as information about ongoing applications for funding.

Article 12

Budgetary Resources

1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of this instrument is set at EUR 109,3 million for the period set out in Article 1.

2.  The budgetary resources allocated to the actions provided for in this programme shall be entered in the annual appropriations of the general budget of the European Union. The available annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial framework.

Article 13

Monitoring

1.  The Commission shall ensure that for any action financed by the programme, the beneficiary submits technical and financial reports on the progress of work. A final report shall also be submitted within three months of the completion of the action. The Commission shall make the reports available to the Member States. The Commission shall determine the form and content of the reports.

2.  Without prejudice to the audits carried out by the Court of Auditors in liaison with the competent national audit bodies or departments pursuant to Article 248 of the Treaty, or any inspection carried out pursuant to Article 279(c) of the Treaty, officials and other staff of the Commission may carry out on-the-spot checks, including sample checks, on actions financed under the programme.

3.  Contracts and agreements resulting from this Decision shall provide in particular for supervision and financial control by the Commission (or any representative authorized by it), if necessary on-the-spot, and audits by the Court of Auditors.

4.  The Commission shall ensure that for a period of five years following the last payment in respect of any action, the beneficiary of financial assistance keeps available for the Commission all the supporting documents regarding expenditure on the action.

5.  On the basis of the results of the reports and sample checks referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the Commission shall ensure that the amount of the financial assistance originally approved, the conditions of its allocation and the timetable for its payments are adjusted as necessary.

6.  The Commission shall ensure that every other step necessary to verify that the actions financed are carried out properly and in compliance with the provisions of this Decision and the Financial Regulation is taken.

Article 14

Protection of Community financial interests

1.  The Commission shall ensure that, when actions financed under the present Decision are implemented, the financial interests of the Community are protected by the application of preventive measures against fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities, by effective checks and by the recovery of the amounts unduly paid and, if irregularities are detected, by effective, proportional and dissuasive penalties, in accordance with Regulations (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95, (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96, and (EC) No 1073/1999.

2.  For the Community actions financed under this programme, Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 and Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 shall apply to any infringement of a provision of Community law, including infringements of a contractual obligation stipulated on the basis of the programme, resulting from an act or omission by an economic operator, which has, or would have, the effect of prejudicing the general budget of the European Union or budgets managed by the European Communities, by an unjustified item of expenditure.

3.  The Commission shall ensure that the amount of financial assistance granted for an action is reduced, suspended or recovered if it finds irregularities, including non-compliance with the provisions of this Decision or the individual decision or the contract or agreement granting the financial support in question, or if it transpires that, without Commission approval having being sought, the action has been subjected to a change which conflicts with the nature or implementing conditions of the project.

4.  If the time limits have not been observed or if only part of the allocated financial assistance is justified by the progress made with implementing an action, the Commission shall ensure that the beneficiary is requested to submit observations within a specified period. If the beneficiary does not give a satisfactory answer, the Commission shall ensure that the remaining financial assistance can be cancelled and repayment of sums already paid is demanded.

5.  The Commission shall ensure that any undue payment is repaid to the Commission. Interest shall be added to any sums not repaid in good time under the conditions laid down by the Financial Regulation.

Article 15

Evaluation

1.  The programme will be monitored regularly in order to follow the implementation of activities carried out under this programme.

2.  The Commission shall ensure the regular, independent, external evaluation of the programme.

3.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council:

   a) an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of this programme, and including on the work carried out by the beneficiaries of operating grants referred to in Article 4(4), no later than 31 March 2011;
   b) an annual presentation on the implementation of the programme;
   ( c) a Communication on the continuation of this programme no later than 30 August 2012;
   ( d) an ex post evaluation report no later than 31 December 2014.

Article 16

Publication of actions

Each year the Commission shall publish a list of actions financed under the programme with a short description of each project.

Article 17

Visibility

The Commission shall lay down guidelines to ensure the visibility of funding granted under this Decision.

Article 18

Entry into force

This Decision shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. It shall apply from 1 January 2007.

Done at,

For the European Parliament, For the Council,

The President The President

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) Position of the European Parliament of 14 December 2006.
(3) OJ L 287, 8.11.1996, p. 3.
(4) OJ L 196, 14.7.1998, p. 24.
(5) OJ L 115, 1.5.2002, p. 1.
(6) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1.
(8) OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2.
(9) OJ L 136, 31.5.1999, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1.).
(11) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 1.
(12) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/CE (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).
(13) OJ C 69, 21.3.2006, p. 1.
(14) OJ L 174, 27.6.2001, p. 25.


European Refugee Fund ***I
PDF 402kWORD 248k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" (COM(2005)0123 – C6-0124/2005 – 2005/0046(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0581A6-0437/2006

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0123)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 63(2)(b) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0124/2005),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Development and the Committee on Budgets(A6-0437/2006),

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 Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Decision No ... /2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" and repealing Council Decision 2004/904/EC

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0046


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 63(2)(b) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

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

Having regard to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions(3),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4),

Whereas:

(1)  With a view to the progressive establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice, the Treaty provides both for the adoption of measures aimed at ensuring the free movement of persons, in conjunction with accompanying measures relating to external border controls, asylum and immigration, and for the adoption of measures relating to asylum, immigration and the safeguarding of the rights of third-country nationals.

(2)  The European Council, at its meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999, reaffirmed its resolve to create an area of freedom, security and justice. For that purpose, a common European policy on asylum and migration should aim both at the fair treatment of third-country nationals and the better management of migration flows. A common policy on asylum, including a Common European Asylum System, should be a constituent part of the European Union's objective of progressively establishing an area of freedom, security and justice open to those who, forced by circumstances, legitimately seek protection in the European Union.

(3)  This Decision respects fundamental rights and observes the principles as reflected, in particular, in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and the Geneva Convention of 28 July 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees, as supplemented by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967 (hereinafter referred to as "the Geneva Convention").

(4)  With respect to the treatment of persons falling within the scope of this Decision, Member States are bound by their obligations under instruments of international law to which they are party and which prohibit discrimination.

(5)  The best interests of the child should be a primary consideration of Member States when implementing this Decision, in compliance with the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, where applicable.

(6)  Implementation of this policy should be based on solidarity between Member States and requires mechanisms to promote a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving and bearing the consequences of receiving refugees and displaced persons. To that end, a European Refugee Fund was established for the period 2000 to 2004 by Council Decision 2000/596/EC(5). That decision was replaced by Council Decision 2004/904/EC of 2 December 2004 establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2005 to 2010(6). This ensured continued solidarity between Member States in the light of recently adopted Community legislation in the field of asylum, taking account of the experience acquired when implementing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2000 to 2004.

(7)  In the Hague Programme of 4 and 5 November 2004, the European Council set a series of objectives and priorities with a view to further developing the Common European Asylum System in its second phase.

(8)  In particular, the European Council underlined the need for the European Union to contribute in a spirit of shared responsibility to a more accessible, equitable and effective international protection system and to provide access to protection and durable solutions at the earliest possible stage, and called for the development of EU-Regional Protection Programmes, including a joint resettlement programme for Member States willing to participate in such a programme.

(9)  The European Council also called for the establishment of appropriate structures involving the national asylum services of the Member States with a view to facilitating practical and collaborative cooperation, aimed at achieving an EU-wide single procedure, the joint compilation, assessment and application of country of origin information and addressing particular pressures on asylum systems or reception capacities resulting from factors such as geographic location.

(10)  A new European Refugee Fund (hereinafter referred to as "the Fund") should be established in the light of the establishment of the European Fund for the integration of legally-resident third-country nationals, the European Fund for the return of illegally-resident third-country nationals and the External Borders Fund for the period 2007 to 2013, as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows", in particular with a view to setting out common management, control and evaluation arrangements.

(11)  In the light of the scope and the purpose of the Fund, it should not, in any event, support actions with respect to areas and centres for holding persons in third countries.

(12)  It is necessary to adapt the duration of the Fund to the duration of the multiannual financial framework as set out in the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(7).

(13)  This Decision is designed to form part of a coherent framework, which also includes Decision No .../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the External Borders Fund for the period 2007-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(8)(9), Decision No .../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the European Return Fund for the period 2008-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(10)*, and Council Decision.../2007/EC of ... establishing the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals for the period 2007-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(11)*, which aims to address the issue of fairly sharing responsibilities between Member States as concerns the financial burden arising from the introduction of integrated management of the European Union's external borders and from the implementation of common policies on asylum and immigration, as developed in accordance with Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty.

(14)  It is appropriate to support and improve the efforts made by Member States to grant appropriate reception conditions to refugees, displaced persons and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection, in accordance with Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third-country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted(12), to apply fair and effective asylum procedures and to promote good practice in the field of asylum so as to protect the rights of persons requiring international protection and enable Member States' asylum systems to work efficiently.

(15)  The integration of refugees into the society of the country in which they are established is one of the objectives of the Geneva Convention. Such persons must be enabled to share the values set out in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. To this end, there should be support for action by Member States to promote their social, economic and cultural integration in so far as it contributes to economic and social cohesion, the maintenance and strengthening of which is one of the Community's fundamental tasks provided for in Articles 2 and 3(1)(k) of the Treaty.

(16)  In the light of the Hague Programme, it is necessary to ensure that the Fund's resources are used in the most efficient way possible to achieve the aims of European Union asylum policy, taking into account the need to support resettlement and practical cooperation between Member States, inter alia as a means of addressing particular pressures on reception capacities and asylum systems.

(17)  The Fund should support Member States' efforts relating to the enhancement of their capacity to develop, monitor and evaluate their asylum policies in light of their obligations under Community legislation, in particular with a view to engaging in practical cooperation between Member States.

(18)  The Fund should also support the voluntary efforts made by Member States to provide international protection and a durable solution in their territories to refugees and displaced persons identified as eligible for resettlement by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), such as the actions that the Member States implement to assess the resettlement needs and transfer the persons concerned to their territories, with a view to granting them a secure legal status and to promoting their effective integration.

(19)  It is in the nature of the Fund that it should be able to provide support to voluntary burden-sharing operations agreed between Member States and consisting of the transfer of beneficiaries of international protection, and of applicants for international protection, from one Member State to another which grants them equivalent protection.

(20)  The Fund should also be able to offer adequate support to joint efforts by Member States to identify, share and promote best practices and establish effective cooperation structures in order to enhance the quality of decision-making within the framework of the Common European Asylum System.

(21)  A financial reserve should be established for the implementation of emergency measures to provide temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons, pursuant to Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof(13).

(22)  It should also be possible to use that financial reserve to support Member States' efforts to address situations of particular pressure which result from sudden arrivals of large numbers of persons who may be in need of international protection and which place significant and urgent demands on Member States' reception facilities or asylum systems. The conditions and the procedure for granting financial assistance in these situations should be laid down.

(23)  The support provided by the Fund would be more efficient and better targeted if co-financing of eligible actions were based on a multiannual programme, subject to a mid-term review, and on an annual programme drawn up by each Member State taking into account its situation and needs.

(24)  Whilst it is appropriate to award a fixed amount to each Member State, it remains fair to allocate a large part of the available annual resources in proportion to the burden borne by each Member State through its efforts in receiving refugees and displaced persons, including refugees enjoying international protection within the framework of national programmes.

(25)  Persons granted international protection and a durable solution through resettlement should be included in the numbers of beneficiaries of international protection taken into account when allocating the available annual resources between Member States.

(26)  Taking into account the importance of the strategic use of resettlement from countries or regions designated for the implementation of regional protection programmes, it is necessary to provide additional financial support for the resettlement of persons from the Western Newly Independent Sates and sub-Saharan Africa, which were so designated in the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on regional protection programmes of 1 September 2005 and the Council Conclusions of 12 October 2005, and from any other countries or regions that are so designated in the future.

(27)  It is equally necessary to provide additional financial support to resettlement actions targeted at certain particularly vulnerable categories of persons, where resettlement is determined to be the most appropriate response to their special needs.

(28)  In the context of shared management as referred to in Article 53(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(14) (hereinafter referred to as "the Financial Regulation"), the conditions allowing the Commission to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the general budget of the European Union should be specified and the obligations for the cooperation of the Member States clarified. Applying those conditions would enable the Commission to satisfy itself that Member States are using the Fund in a lawful and correct manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of Articles 27 and 48(2) of the Financial Regulation.

(29)  Member States should adopt adequate measures to guarantee the proper functioning of the management and control system and the quality of implementation. To this end, it is necessary to establish general principles and necessary functions which all programmes should fulfil.

(30)  In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, Member States should have the primary responsibility for the implementation and control of the interventions of the Fund.

(31)  The obligations on the Member States as regards management and control systems, the certification of expenditure, and the prevention, detection and correction of irregularities and infringements of Community law should be specified in order to guarantee efficient and correct implementation of their multiannual and annual programmes. In particular, as far as management and control are concerned, it is necessary to establish the arrangements by which Member States ensure that the relevant systems are in place and function satisfactorily.

(32)  Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in this field should be encouraged.

(33)  The effectiveness and impact of actions supported by the Fund also depend on their evaluation and the dissemination of their results. The responsibilities of the Member States and the Commission in this regard, and arrangements to ensure the reliability of evaluation and the quality of the related information, should be formalised.

(34)  Bearing in mind the importance of visibility of Community funding, the Commission should provide guidance facilitating the proper acknowledgement of the support received by any authority, non-governmental organisation, international organisation or other entity receiving a grant under this Fund, taking into account the practice with respect to other instruments under shared management, such as the Structural Funds.

(35)  Actions should be evaluated with a view to a mid-term review and impact assessment, and the evaluation process should be incorporated into project monitoring arrangements.

(36)  This Decision establishes a financial envelope for the entire duration of the programme, which constitutes the prime reference for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure, according to point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement on budgetary discipline and sound financial management.

(37)  Since the objective of this Decision, namely to promote a balance of effort between Member States in receiving refugees and displaced persons, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore by reason of the scale and effects of the action 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 Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve this objective.

(38)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should 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(15).

(39)  Since the measure of this Decision relating to the adoption of strategic guidelines is of general scope and is designed to amend non-essential elements of this Decision, inter alia by deleting some of those elements or by supplementing this Decision by the addition of new non-essential elements, it should be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC. On grounds of efficiency, the normal time-limits for the regulatory procedure with scrutiny should be curtailed for the adoption of the strategic guidelines.

(40)  Decision 2004/904/EC should be repealed.

(41)  In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Ireland has notified, by letter of 6 September 2005, its wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(42)  In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, the United Kingdom has notified, by letter of 27 October 2005, its wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(43)  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Decision and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(44)  In accordance with the second indent of paragraph 2 of Article 67 of the Treaty, Council Decision 2004/927/EC of 22 December 2004 providing for certain areas covered by Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty establishing the European Community to be governed by the procedure laid down in Article 251 of that Treaty(16) rendered the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty applicable in the areas covered by Articles 62(1), (2)(a) and (3) and 63(2)(b) and (3)(b) of that Treaty,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

CHAPTER I

SUBJECT-MATTER, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

This Decision establishes for the period from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 the European Refugee Fund (hereinafter referred to as "the Fund"), as part of a coherent framework which also includes Decision No .../2007/EC(17), Decision No .../2007/EC(18)*, and Decision .../2007/EC(19)**, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the area of freedom, security and justice and the application of the principle of solidarity between the Member States.

This Decision defines the objectives to which the Fund contributes, its implementation, the available financial resources and the distribution criteria for the allocation of the available financial resources.

It establishes the Fund's management rules, including financial rules, as well as monitoring and control mechanisms, based on the sharing of responsibilities between the Commission and the Member States.

Article 2

General objective of the Fund

1.  The general objective of the Fund shall be to support and encourage the efforts made by the Member States in receiving, and in bearing the consequences of receiving, refugees and displaced persons, taking account of Community legislation on those matters, by co-financing the actions provided for in this Decision.

2.  The Fund shall contribute to the financing of technical assistance at the initiative of the Member States or the Commission.

Article 3

Eligible actions in the Member States

1.  The Fund shall support actions in Member States relating to one or more of the following:

   a) reception conditions and asylum procedures;
   b) integration of persons referred to in Article 6 whose stay in a particular Member State is of a lasting and stable nature;
   c) enhancement of Member States' capacity to develop, monitor and evaluate their asylum policies in the light of their obligations under existing and future Community legislation relating to the Common European Asylum System, in particular with a view to engaging in practical cooperation activities between Member States;
  d) resettlement of persons referred to in Article 6(e). For the purposes of this Decision, resettlement means the process whereby, on a request from UNHCR based on a person's need for international protection, third-country nationals or stateless persons are transferred from a third country to a Member State where they are permitted to reside with one of the following statuses:
   i) refugee status within the meaning of Article 2(d) of Directive 2004/83/EC, or
   ii) a status which offers the same rights and benefits under national and Community law as refugee status;
   e) transfer of persons falling within the categories referred to in Article 6(a) and (b) from the Member State which granted them international protection to another Member State where they will be granted similar protection and of persons falling within the category referred to in Article 6(c) to another Member State where their applications for international protection will be examined.

2.  As regards reception conditions and asylum procedures, eligible actions shall include the following:

   a) accommodation infrastructure or services;
   b) structures and training to ensure access to asylum procedures for asylum seekers;
   c) provision of material aid and medical or psychological care;
   d) social assistance, information or help with administrative and/or judicial formalities and information or counselling on the possible outcomes of the asylum procedure, including on aspects such as voluntary return;
   e) legal aid and language assistance;
   f) education, language training and other initiatives which are consistent with the status of the person concerned;
   g) the provision of support services such as translation and training to help improve reception conditions and the efficiency and quality of asylum procedures;
   h) information for local communities as well as training for the staff of local authorities, who will be interacting with those being received in the host country;
   i) transfer of persons falling within the category referred to in Article 6(c) from the Member State where they are located to the Member State responsible for the examination of their asylum application.

3.  As regards the integration into Member States' societies of persons referred to in paragraph 1(b) and members of their family, eligible actions shall include the following:

   a) advice and assistance in areas such as housing, means of subsistence, integration into the labour market, medical, psychological and social care;
   b) actions enabling such persons to adapt to the society of the Member State in socio-cultural terms, and to share the values enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;
   c) actions to promote durable and sustainable participation in civil and cultural life;
   d) measures focusing on education, vocational training, or recognition of qualifications and diplomas;
   e) actions designed to promote self-empowerment and to enable such persons to provide for themselves;
   f) actions that promote meaningful contact and constructive dialogue between such persons and the receiving society, including actions which promote the involvement of key partners such as the general public, local authorities, refugee associations, voluntary groups, social partners and the broader civil society;
   g) measures to support the acquisition of skills by such persons, including language training;
   h) actions that promote both equality of access and equality of outcomes in relation to such persons' dealings with public institutions.

4.  As regards actions relating to the enhancement of Member States' capacity to develop, monitor and evaluate their asylum policies, the following, in particular, shall be eligible for support from the Fund:

   a) actions promoting the collection, compilation, use and dissemination of country of origin information, including translation;
   b) actions enhancing the capacity to collect, analyse and disseminate statistics on asylum procedures, reception, integration and beneficiaries of international protection;
   c) actions enhancing the capacity to assess asylum applications, including appeals;
   d) actions contributing to the evaluation of asylum policies, such as national impact assessments, surveys among target groups, the development of indicators and benchmarking.

5.  As regards actions relating to resettlement, the following, in particular, shall be eligible for support from the Fund:

   a) actions relating to the establishment and development of a resettlement programme;
   b) actions relating to the assessment of potential resettlement cases by the competent Member States' authorities, such as conducting missions to the host country, interviews, medical and security screening;
   c) pre-departure health assessment and medical treatment;
   d) pre-departure material provisions;
   e) pre-departure information measures;
   f) travel arrangements, including the provision of medical escort services;
   g) information and assistance immediately upon arrival, including interpretation services.

6.  As regards actions relating to the transfer of beneficiaries of and applicants for international protection between Member States, the following, in particular, shall be eligible for support from the Fund:

   a) pre-departure information measures;
   b) travel arrangements, including the provision of medical escort services;
   c) information and assistance immediately upon arrival, including interpretation services.

7.  The actions referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 shall also be eligible for support from the Fund where they are targeted at the persons referred to in Article 6(e).

8.  Actions provided for in paragraphs 1 to 6 shall, in particular, promote the implementation of the provisions of the relevant Community legislation in the field of the Common European Asylum System.

9.  Actions shall take account of gender-related issues, the best interests of children, the specific situation of vulnerable persons such as minors, unaccompanied minors, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents with minor children, victims of torture, or rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence or abuse, victims of trafficking, and individuals in need of emergency care and essential treatment of illness.

10.  The Fund shall only support actions with respect to accommodation of persons referred to in Article 6(c) which is separate from areas or centres solely destined for persons whose entry is refused or for persons who are intercepted after crossing an external border illegally or when approaching an external border with a view to entering the territory of the Member States illegally.

Article 4

Community actions

1.  At the Commission's initiative, up to 10 % of the Fund's available resources may be used to finance transnational actions or actions of interest to the Community as a whole (hereinafter referred to as "Community actions") concerning asylum policy and measures applicable to the target groups referred to in Article 6.

2.  To be eligible for funding, Community actions shall, in particular:

   a) further Community cooperation in implementing Community law and good practices, including interpretation and translation services supporting such cooperation;
   b) support the setting-up of transnational cooperation networks and pilot projects based on transnational partnerships between bodies located in two or more Member States designed to stimulate innovation, facilitate exchanges of experience and good practice and improve the quality of asylum policy;
   c) support transnational awareness-raising campaigns;
   d) support studies, dissemination and exchange of information on best practices and all other aspects of asylum policies, including on the use of state-of-the-art technology and on cooperation at national level between key partners, such as local and regional authorities, refugee associations and voluntary groups;
   e) support pilot projects, including innovative projects, and studies exploring the possibility of new forms of Community cooperation and Community law in this area;
   f) support development and application by Member States of common statistical tools, methods and indicators for measuring policy developments in the field of asylum;
   g) offer to networks linking non-governmental organisations which assist refugees and asylum seekers and which are present in at least 10 Member States structural support intended to facilitate exchanges of experience and sound practice and to ensure that the development of Community asylum policy and practice takes into account the experience gained by non-governmental organisations and the interests of refugees and asylum seekers;
   h) provide Member States with support services in the event of duly substantiated emergency situations requiring urgent action.

3.  The annual work programme laying down the priorities for Community actions shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 5

Emergency measures

1.  In the event of temporary protection mechanisms within the meaning of Directive 2001/55/EC being implemented, the Fund shall also finance measures to help the Member States, such measures being separate from, and in addition to, the actions referred to in Article 3.

2.  Without prejudice to paragraph 1, the Fund shall also provide assistance to Member States for the implementation of emergency measures aimed at addressing situations of particular pressure. Such situations are characterised by the sudden arrival at particular points on the borders of a large number of third-country nationals who may be in need of international protection, which place exceptionally heavy and urgent demands on the reception facilities, the asylum system or infrastructure of the Member State(s) concerned and may give rise to risks to human life, well being or access to protection provided under Community legislation.

3.  The actions implemented in order to address the situations of particular pressure referred to in paragraph 2 shall be eligible for support from the Fund if:

   a) they are intended to be implemented immediately and cannot practicably be included in the relevant annual programme; and
   b) their duration does not exceed six months.

4.  Eligible emergency measures shall concern the following types of action:

   a) reception and accommodation;
   b) provision of means of subsistence, including food and clothing;
   c) medical, psychological or other assistance;
   d) staff and administration costs linked to the reception of persons concerned and implementation of the measures;
   e) logistical and transport costs;
   f) legal aid and language assistance;
   g) provision of translation and interpretation services, country of origin information expertise and other measures contributing to the rapid identification of persons who may be in need of international protection and to a fair and efficient processing of asylum applications.

5.  Measures under paragraph 4 may be supported by expert teams.

Article 6

Target groups

For the purposes of this Decision the target groups shall comprise the following categories:

   a) any third-country national or stateless person having the status defined by the Geneva Convention and who is permitted to reside as a refugee in one of the Member States;
   b) any third-country national or stateless person enjoying a form of subsidiary protection within the meaning of Directive 2004/83/EC;
   c) any third-country national or stateless person who has applied for one of the forms of protection described in points (a) and (b);
   d) any third-country national or stateless person enjoying temporary protection within the meaning of Directive 2001/55/EC;
   e) any third-country national or stateless person who is being or has been resettled in a Member State.

CHAPTER II

PRINCIPLES OF ASSISTANCE

Article 7

Complementarity, consistency and compliance

1.  The Fund shall provide assistance which complements national, regional and local actions, integrating into them the priorities of the Community.

2.  The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that assistance from the Fund and the Member States is consistent with the activities, policies and priorities of the Community. This consistency shall be indicated in particular in the multiannual programme referred to in Article 18.

3.  Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with the provisions of the Treaty and of acts adopted thereunder.

Article 8

Programming

1.  The objectives of the Fund shall be pursued within the framework of the multiannual programming period from 2008 to 2013, subject to a mid-term review in accordance with Article 22. The multiannual programming system shall include the priorities and a process for management, decision making, auditing and certification.

2.  The multiannual programmes approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual programmes.

Article 9

Subsidiary and proportional intervention

1.  Implementation of multiannual and annual programmes referred to in Articles 18 and 20 shall be the responsibility of Member States at the appropriate territorial level, in accordance with the institutional system specific to each Member State. This responsibility shall be exercised in accordance with this Decision.

2.  In relation to audit provisions, the means employed by the Commission and the Member States shall vary according to the size of the Community contribution. The same principle shall apply to provisions on evaluation and to the reports on multiannual and annual programmes.

Article 10

Implementation methods

1.  The Community budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented in accordance with Article 53(1)(b) of the Financial Regulation, with the exception of the Community actions referred to in Article 4 and the technical assistance referred to in Article 15 of this Decision.

2.  The Commission shall exercise its responsibility for implementing the general budget of the European Union by:

   a) checking the existence and proper functioning of management and control systems in the Member States in accordance with the procedures described in Article 32;
   b) withholding or suspending payments, in full or in part, in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 41 and 42, if the national management and control systems fail, and applying any other financial correction required, in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 45 and 46.

Article 11

Partnership 

1.  Each Member State shall organise, in accordance with current national rules and practices, a partnership with the authorities and bodies which are involved in the implementation of the multiannual programme or which, according to the Member State concerned, are able to make a useful contribution to its development.

Such authorities and bodies may include the competent regional, local, urban and other public authorities, international organisations, in particular UNHCR, and bodies representing civil society, such as non-governmental organisations or social partners.

2.  Such partnership shall be conducted in full compliance with the respective institutional, legal and financial jurisdiction of each partner category.

CHAPTER III

FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

Article 12

Global resources

1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of this Decision from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 shall be EUR 628 million.

2.  The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the Financial Framework.

3.  The Commission shall make indicative annual breakdowns by Member States in accordance with the criteria established in Article 13.

Article 13

Annual distribution of resources for eligible action in the Member States

1.  Each Member State shall receive a fixed amount of EUR 300 000 from the Fund's annual allocation.

This amount shall be raised to EUR 500 000 per annum for the period 2008 to 2013 for Member States which acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004.

This amount shall be raised to EUR 500 000 per annum for Member States which accede to the European Union during the period from 2007 to 2013 for the remaining part of the period from 2008 to 2013 as from the year following their accession.

2.  The remainder of the available annual resources shall be broken down between the Member States as follows:

   a) 30 % in proportion to the number of persons who fall into one of the categories referred to in Article 6(a), (b) and (e) admitted over the previous three years;
   b) 70 % in proportion to the number of persons who fall into one of the categories referred to in Article 6(c) and (d) registered over the previous three years.

For the purposes of this breakdown, persons referred to in Article 6(e) shall not be taken into account under the category referred to in Article 6(a).

3.  Member States shall receive a fixed amount of EUR 4 000 for each resettled person falling into one of the following categories:

   a) persons from a country or region designated for the implementation of a Regional Protection Programme;
   b) unaccompanied minors;
   c) children and women at risk, particularly from psychological, physical or sexual violence or exploitation;
   d) persons with serious medical needs that can only be addressed through resettlement.

4.  Where a Member State resettles a person falling within more than one of the categories referred to in paragraph 3, it shall receive the fixed amount for this person only once.

5.  The reference figures shall be the latest statistics produced by the Commission (Eurostat), on the basis of data provided by Member States in accordance with Community law.

Where Member States have not supplied the Commission (Eurostat) with the statistics concerned, they shall provide provisional data as soon as possible.

Before accepting these data as reference figures, the Commission (Eurostat) shall evaluate the quality, comparability and completeness of the statistical information in accordance with normal operational procedures. At the request of the Commission (Eurostat), Member States shall provide it with all the necessary information to do so.

6.  By 1 May each year, Member States shall provide the Commission with an estimate of the number of persons referred to in paragraph 3 whom they will resettle the following year, including a breakdown by the different categories referred to in that paragraph. The Commission shall communicate this information to the Committee referred to in Article 52.

Article 14

Financing structure

1.  Financial contributions under the Fund shall take the form of grants.

2.  Actions supported by the Fund shall be co-financed by public or private sources, shall be of a non-profit nature and shall not be eligible for funding from other sources covered by the general budget of the European Union.

3.  Fund appropriations shall be complementary to public or equivalent expenditure allocated by Member States to the measures covered by this Decision.

4.  The Community contribution to supported projects, as regards actions implemented in the Member States under Article 3, shall not exceed 50 % of the total cost of a specific action.

This may be increased to 75 % for projects addressing specific priorities identified in the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 17.

The Community contribution shall be increased to 75 % in the Member States covered by the Cohesion Fund.

5.  Within the framework of the implementation of national programming as set out in Chapter IV, Member States shall select projects for financing on the basis of the following minimum criteria:

   a) the situation and requirements in the Member State concerned;
   b) the cost-effectiveness of the expenditure, inter alia in view of the number of persons concerned by the project;
   c) the experience, expertise, reliability and financial contribution of the organisation applying for funding and any partner organisation;
   d) the extent to which the project complements other actions funded by the general budget of the European Union or as part of national programmes.

6.  As a general rule, Community financial aid for actions supported by the Fund shall be granted for a period of no more than three years, subject to periodic progress reports.

7.  The Community contribution to supporting actions implemented under Article 3(4) shall not exceed 15 % of the total of the annual resources allocated to each Member State in accordance with Article 13.

Article 15

Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission

1.  At the initiative of and/or on behalf of the Commission, subject to a ceiling of EUR 500 000 of the Fund's annual allocation, the Fund may finance preparatory measures, monitoring, administrative and technical support measures, as well as evaluation, audit and inspection measures necessary for implementing this Decision.

2.  Those measures shall include:

   a) studies, evaluations, expert reports and statistics, including those of a general nature concerning the operation of the Fund;
   b) information measures for the Member States, the final beneficiaries and the general public, including awareness-raising campaigns and a common database of projects financed under the Fund;
   c) the installation, operation and interconnection of computerised systems for management, monitoring, inspection and evaluation;
   d) the design of a common framework for evaluation and monitoring as well as a system of indicators, taking into account, where appropriate, national indicators;
   e) improvements in evaluation methods and the exchange of information on practices in this field;
   f) information and training measures for the authorities designated by Member States in accordance with Article 25, complementary to the efforts of the Member States to provide guidance to their authorities in accordance with Article 31(2).

Article 16

Technical assistance at the initiative of the Member States

1.  At the initiative of a Member State, for each annual programme, the Fund may finance preparatory measures, management, monitoring, evaluation, information and control measures, as well as measures for the reinforcement of the administrative capacity for the implementation of the Fund.

2.  The amount set aside for technical assistance under each annual programme may not exceed:

   a) for the period 2008 to 2010, 7 % of the total annual amount of co-financing allocated to that Member State plus EUR 30 000; and
   b) for the period 2011 to 2013, 4 % of the total annual amount of co-financing allocated to that Member State plus EUR 30 000.

CHAPTER IV

PROGRAMMING

Article 17

Adoption of strategic guidelines

1.  The Commission shall adopt strategic guidelines setting out a framework for the intervention of the Fund, taking into account progress in the development and implementation of Community legislation in the area of asylum policy as well as the indicative distribution of the financial resources of the Fund for the period of the multiannual programme.

2.  For each of the objectives of the Fund, those guidelines shall in particular give effect to the priorities of the Community with a view to promoting the implementation of the Common European Asylum System.

3.  The Commission shall adopt the strategic guidelines relating to the multiannual programming period by 31 July 2007 at the latest.

4.  The strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 52(3). Those strategic guidelines, once adopted, shall be annexed to this Decision.

Article 18

Preparation and approvalof national multiannual programmes

1.  Each Member State shall propose, on the basis of the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 17, a draft multiannual programme which shall consist of the following elements:

   a) a description of the current situation in that Member State as regards arrangements for reception, asylum procedures, counselling for voluntary return, integration, and resettlement and transfer from another Member State of persons covered by Article 6, as well as the development, monitoring and evaluation of asylum policies;
   b) an analysis of requirements in the Member State in question in terms of reception, asylum procedures, counselling for voluntary return, integration, and resettlement and transfer from another Member State of persons covered by Article 6, as well as the development, monitoring and evaluation of asylum policies;
   c) the presentation of an appropriate strategy to achieve those objectives and the priorities attached to their attainment, and a description of the actions envisaged to implement those priorities;
   d) an indication of whether that strategy is compatible with other regional, national and Community instruments;
   e) information on the priorities and their specific targets. Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of indicators, taking into account the proportionality principle. The indicators must make it possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline situation and the effectiveness of the targets implementing the priorities;
   f) a description of the approach chosen for the implementation of the partnership principle laid down in Article 11;
   g) a draft financing plan which sets out, for each priority and each annual programme, the Fund's proposed financial contribution and the overall amount of public or private co-financing;
   h) the provisions laid down to ensure that the multiannual programme is made public.

2.  Member States shall submit their draft multiannual programme to the Commission no later than four months after the Commission has provided the strategic guidelines for the period in question.

3.  In order to approve the draft multiannual programme, the Commission shall examine:

   a) the draft multiannual programme's consistency with the objectives of the Fund and the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 17;
   b) the relevance of the actions envisaged in the draft multiannual programme in the light of the strategy which is proposed;
   c) the compliance of the management and control arrangements set up by the Member State for the implementation of the Fund's interventions with the provisions of this Decision;
   d) the draft multiannual programme's compliance with Community law and, in particular, with Community law aiming at ensuring the free movement of persons in conjunction with the directly related accompanying measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and immigration.

4.  Where the Commission considers that a draft multiannual programme is inconsistent with the strategic guidelines and/or does not comply with the provisions of this Decision setting out management and control systems or with Community law, it shall invite the Member State concerned to provide all necessary additional information and, where appropriate, to revise the draft multiannual programme accordingly.

5.  The Commission shall approve each multiannual programme within three months of its formal submission, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 19

Revision of multiannual programmes

1.  At the initiative of the Member State in question or the Commission, the multiannual programme shall be re-examined and, if necessary, revised for the rest of the programming period in order to take greater or different account of Community priorities. Multiannual programmes may be re-examined in the light of evaluations and/or following implementation difficulties.

2.  The Commission shall adopt a decision approving the revision of the multiannual programme as soon as possible after the formal submission of a request to that effect by the Member State concerned. The revision of the multiannual programme shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 20

Annual programmes

1.  The multiannual programme approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual programmes.

2.  The Commission shall provide the Member States, by 1 July of each year, with an estimate of the amounts to be allocated to them for the following year from the total appropriations allocated under the annual budgetary procedure, calculated as provided for by Article 13.

3.  Member States shall submit to the Commission, by 1 November of each year, a draft annual programme for the following year, established in accordance with the multi-annual programme and consisting of the following elements:

   a) the general rules for selection of projects to be financed under the annual programme;
   b) a description of the actions to be supported under the annual programme;
   c) the proposed financial breakdown of the Fund's contribution between the programme's various actions; and an indication of the amount requested to cover technical assistance under Article 16 for the purpose of implementing the annual programme.

4.  By way of derogation from paragraph 3, Member States shall submit the draft annual programmes for 2008 to the Commission by 1 March 2008.

5.  When examining the draft annual programme of a Member State, the Commission shall take account of the final amount of the appropriations allocated to the Fund under the budgetary procedure.

Within one month of the formal submission of the draft annual programme, the Commission shall inform the Member State concerned of whether it can be approved. If the draft annual programme is inconsistent with the multiannual programme, the Commission shall invite that Member State to provide all necessary information and, where appropriate, to revise the draft annual programme accordingly.

The Commission shall adopt the financing decision approving the annual programme by 1 March of the year in question. The decision shall indicate the amount allocated to the Member State concerned and the period for which the expenditure is eligible.

6.  To take into account duly substantiated emergency situations which were not foreseen at the time of the approval of the annual programme and which require urgent action, a Member State may revise up to 10 % of the financial breakdown of the contribution from the Fund between the various actions listed in the annual programme or allocate up to 10 % of the breakdown to other actions in accordance with this Decision. The Member State concerned shall inform the Commission of the revised annual programme.

Article 21

Special provisions concerning emergency measures

1.  Member States shall provide the Commission with a statement of requirements and an implementation plan for the emergency measures provided for in Article 5, including a description of the planned measures and the bodies responsible for implementing them.

2.  A Member State requesting assistance from the Fund in order to address a situation of particular pressure, as described in Article 5(2), shall submit to the Commission an application providing all available relevant information, including:

   a) a detailed description of the current situation, in particular concerning the number of arrivals, the effects on reception capacities, the asylum system or infrastructure and the urgent needs, as well as a substantiated forecast of possible developments in the situation in the short-term;
   b) a substantiated indication of the exceptional character of the situation, demonstrated by elements which may include recent statistics and other data regarding the inflow of persons at the particular point of the border concerned;
   c) a detailed description of the emergency measures envisaged, their scale, their nature and the partners concerned;
   d) a breakdown of the estimated costs of the measures envisaged.

The Commission shall decide whether the conditions for granting financial assistance for emergency measures from the Fund are fulfilled and set the amount of financial assistance to be granted on the basis of the information referred to above as well as any additional relevant information at its disposal. The Commission shall inform Member States of that decision.

3.  Financial assistance from the Fund for the emergency measures provided for in Article 5 shall be limited to a period of six months and shall not exceed 80 % of the cost of each measure.

4.  In the event of the implementation of the temporary protection mechanism, as referred to in Article 5(1), available resources shall be distributed among the Member States on the basis of the number of persons benefiting from temporary protection in each Member State as referred to in Article 5(1).

Article 22

Mid-term review of the multiannual programme

1.  The Commission shall review the strategic guidelines and, where necessary, adopt, by 31 March 2010, revised strategic guidelines for the period 2011 to 2013.

2.  If such revised strategic guidelines are adopted, each Member State shall re-examine its multiannual programme and, where appropriate, revise it.

3.  The rules laid down in Article 18 on the preparation and approval of national multiannual programmes shall apply mutatis mutandis to the preparation and approval of these revised multiannual programmes.

4.  The revised strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 52(3).

CHAPTER V

MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEMS

Article 23

Implementation

The Commission shall be responsible for implementing this Decision and shall adopt such implementing rules as may be necessary.

Article 24

General principles of management and control systems

The management and control systems of multiannual programmes set up by Member States shall provide for:

   a) the definition of the functions of the bodies concerned in management and control and the allocation of functions within each body;
   b) respect for the principle of separation of functions between and within such bodies;
   c) adequate resources for each body to carry out the functions which have been allocated to it throughout the period of implementation of actions co-financed by the Fund;
   d) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of the expenditure declared under the annual programmes;
   e) reliable accounting, monitoring and financial reporting systems in computerised form;
   f) a system of reporting and monitoring where the responsible body entrusts the performance of tasks to another body;
   g) manuals of procedures in relation to the functions to be performed;
   h) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the system;
   i) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail;
   j) procedures for reporting and monitoring irregularities and for the recovery of amounts unduly paid.

Article 25

Designation of authorities

1.  For the implementation of its multiannual programme and annual programmes the Member State shall designate the following:

   a) a responsible authority: a functional body of the Member State, national public authority or body designated by the Member State or a body which is governed by the private law of the Member State and has a public service mission, which shall be responsible for the management of the multiannual programme and annual programmes supported by the Fund and handle all communication with the Commission;
   b) a certifying authority: a national public authority or body, or individual acting as such a body or authority, designated by the Member State to certify declarations of expenditure before they are sent to the Commission;
   c) an audit authority: a national public authority or body, provided that it is functionally independent of the responsible authority and the certifying authority, designated by the Member State and responsible for verifying the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   d) where appropriate, a delegated authority.

2.  The Member State shall lay down rules governing its relations with the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 and their relations with the Commission.

3.  Subject to Article 24 (b), some or all of the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article may be located within the same body.

4.  The rules for implementing Articles 26 to 30 shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 26

Responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall meet the following minimum conditions. It shall:

   a) have legal personality, except where it is a functional body of the Member State;
   b) have the infrastructure required for easy communication with a wide range of users and with the responsible bodies in the other Member States and the Commission;
   c) work in an administrative context allowing it to carry out its tasks correctly and avoiding any conflict of interest;
   d) be in a position to apply Community fund management rules;
   e) have financial and management capacities proportionate to the volume of Community funds which it will be called upon to manage;
   f) have at its disposal personnel with appropriate professional qualifications for administrative work in an international environment.

2.  The Member State shall provide the responsible authority with adequate funding so that it can continue to carry out its tasks properly throughout the period 2008 to 2013.

3.  The Commission may assist the Member States in the training of staff, in particular as regards the correct application of Chapters V to IX.

Article 27

Tasks of the responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall be responsible for managing and implementing the multi-annual programme in accordance with the principle of sound financial management.

It shall in particular:

   a) consult partners in accordance with Article 11;
   b) submit to the Commission proposals for multiannual and annual programmes to which Articles 18 and 20 refer;
   c) organise and advertise calls for tenders and proposals if appropriate;
   d) organise the selection of projects for co-financing under the Fund in accordance with the criteria set out in Article 14(5);
   e) receive payments made by the Commission, and make payments to the final beneficiaries;
   f) ensure consistency and complementarity between co-financing under the Fund and from other relevant national and Community financial instruments;
   g) monitor the delivery of the co-financed products and services and check that the expenditure declared for actions has actually been incurred and complies with Community and national rules;
   h) ensure that there is a system for recording and storing in computerised form accounting records of each action under the annual programmes and that the data on implementation necessary for financial management, monitoring, control and evaluation are collected;
   i) ensure that final beneficiaries and other bodies involved in the implementation of actions co-financed by the Fund maintain either a separate accounting system or an adequate accounting code for all transactions relating to the action without prejudice to national accounting rules;
   j) ensure that the evaluations of the Fund referred to in Article 49 are carried out within the time limits laid down in Article 50(2) and meet the quality standards agreed between the Commission and the Member State;
   k) set up procedures to ensure that all documents regarding expenditure and audits required to ensure an adequate audit trail are held in accordance with the requirements referred to in Article 43;
   l) ensure that the audit authority receives for the purposes of carrying out the audits defined in Article 30(1) all necessary information on management procedures operated and the projects co-financed by the Fund;
   m) ensure that the certifying authority receives all necessary information on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure for the purpose of certification;
   n) draw up and submit to the Commission progress and final reports on the implementation of the annual programmes, declarations of expenditure certified by the certifying authority and requests for payment or, where appropriate, statements of reimbursement;
   o) carry out information and advisory activities and disseminate results of supported actions;
   p) cooperate with the Commission and the responsible authorities in the other Member States;
   q) verify the implementation by the final beneficiaries of the guidelines referred to in Article 33(6).

2.  The responsible authority's management activities for projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 16.

Article 28

Delegation of tasks by the responsible authority

1.  Where all or some of the responsible authority's tasks are delegated to a delegated authority, the responsible authority shall define the scope of the tasks delegated, and set out detailed procedures for the implementation of the delegated tasks, which shall comply with the conditions laid down in Article 26.

2.  These procedures shall include supplying the responsible authority with regular information on the effective performance of the delegated tasks and a description of the means employed.

Article 29

Certifying authority

1.  The certifying authority shall:

  a) certify that:
   i) the declaration of expenditure is accurate, results from reliable accounting systems and is based on verifiable supporting documents,
   ii) the expenditure declared complies with applicable Community and national rules and has been incurred in respect of actions selected in accordance with the criteria applicable to the programme and complying with Community and national rules;
   b) ensure for the purposes of certification that it has received adequate information from the responsible authority on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure included in declarations of expenditure;
   c) take account for the purposes of certification of the results of all audits carried out by or under the responsibility of the audit authority;
   d) maintain accounting records in computerised form of expenditure declared to the Commission;
   e) verify the recovery of any Community financing found to have been unduly paid as a result of irregularities detected, together with interest where appropriate;
   f) keep an account of amounts recoverable and amounts recovered under the general budget of the European Union, where possible by deducting them from the next declaration of expenditure.

2.  The certifying authority's activities relating to projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 16, provided that the prerogatives of this authority as described in Article 25 are respected.

Article 30

Audit authority

1.  The audit authority shall:

   a) ensure that audits are carried out to verify the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   b) ensure that audits are carried out on actions on the basis of an appropriate sample to verify expenditure declared; the sample shall represent at least 10 % of the total eligible expenditure for each annual programme;
   c) present to the Commission within six months of the approval of the multiannual programme an audit strategy covering the bodies which will perform the audits referred to under points (a) and (b), ensuring that the main beneficiaries of co-financing by the Fund are audited and that audits are spread evenly throughout the programming period.

2.  Where the designated audit authority under this Decision is also the designated audit authority under Decisions No .../2007/EC, No …/2007/EC and …/2007/EC(20), or where common systems apply to two or more of these Funds, a single combined audit strategy may be submitted under paragraph 1(c).

3.  For each annual programme, the audit authority shall draft a report which shall comprise:

   a) an annual audit report setting out the findings of the audits carried out in accordance with the audit strategy in respect of the annual programme and reporting any shortcomings found in the systems for the management and control of the programme;
   b) an opinion, on the basis of the controls and audits that have been carried out under the responsibility of the audit authority, as to whether the functioning of the management and control system provides reasonable assurance that declarations of expenditure presented to the Commission are correct and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular;
   c) a declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment or statement of reimbursement of the final balance and the legality and regularity of the expenditure concerned.

4.  The audit authority shall ensure that the audit work takes account of internationally accepted audit standards.

5.  The audit relating to projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 16, provided that the prerogatives of the audit authority as described in Article 25 are respected.

CHAPTER VI

RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONTROLS

Article 31

Responsibilities of the Member States

1.  Member States shall be responsible for ensuring sound financial management of multi-annual and annual programmes and the legality and regularity of underlying transactions.

2.  Member States shall ensure that responsible authorities and any delegated authority, certifying authorities, audit authorities and any other bodies concerned receive adequate guidance on setting up the management and control systems referred to in Articles 24 to 30 to ensure that Community financing is used efficiently and correctly.

3.  Member States shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities. They shall notify these to the Commission, and keep the Commission informed of the progress in the administrative and legal proceedings.

When amounts unduly paid to a final beneficiary cannot be recovered, the Member State concerned shall be responsible for reimbursing the amounts lost to the general budget of the European Union when it is established that the loss has been incurred as a result of its fault or negligence.

4.  Member States shall be primarily responsible for the financial control of actions and shall ensure that management and control systems and audits are implemented in such a way as to guarantee that Community funds are used properly and effectively. They shall provide the Commission with a description of these systems.

5.  The detailed rules for implementing paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 32

Management and control systems

1.  Before the Commission approves the multiannual programme, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2), the Member States shall ensure that management and control systems have been set up in accordance with Articles 24 to 30. They shall be responsible for ensuring that the systems function effectively throughout the programming period.

2.  Member States shall submit to the Commission, together with their draft multiannual programme, a description of the organisation and procedures of the responsible authorities, delegated authorities and certifying authorities, and the internal audit systems operating in those authorities and bodies, the audit authority, and any other bodies carrying out audits under its responsibility.

3.  The Commission shall review the application of this provision in the context of the preparation of the report set out in Article 50(3).

Article 33

Responsibilities of the Commission

1.  The Commission shall satisfy itself in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 32 that the Member States have set up management and control systems that comply with Articles 24 to 30, and on the basis of the annual audit reports and its own audits, that the systems function effectively during the programming period.

2.  Without prejudice to audits carried out by Member States, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot checks to verify the effective functioning of the management and control systems, which may include audits of actions included in the annual programmes, with a minimum of three working days' notice. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such audits.

3.  The Commission may require a Member State to carry out on-the-spot checks to verify the correct functioning of the systems or the correctness of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such checks.

4.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that appropriate information, publicity and follow-up are provided for actions supported by the Fund.

5.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that actions are consistent with, and complementary to, other relevant Community policies, instruments and initiatives.

6.  The Commission shall lay down guidelines to ensure the visibility of the funding granted under this Decision.

Article 34

Cooperation with the audit authorities of the Member States

1.  The Commission shall cooperate with the audit authorities to coordinate their respective audit plans and methods and shall immediately exchange the results of audits carried out of management and control systems in order to make the best possible use of control resources and to avoid unjustified duplication of work.

The Commission shall provide its comments on the audit strategy presented under Article 30 within not more than three months of its receipt.

2.  In determining its own audit strategy, the Commission shall identify those annual programmes which it considers satisfactory on the basis of its existing knowledge of the management and control systems.

For those programmes, the Commission may conclude that it can rely principally on the audit evidence provided by the Member States and that it will carry out its own on-the-spot checks only if there is evidence to suggest shortcomings in the systems.

CHAPTER VII

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Article 35

Eligibility – declarations of expenditure

1.  All declarations of expenditure shall include the amount of expenditure incurred by final beneficiaries in implementing the actions and the corresponding contribution from public or private funds.

2.  Expenditure shall correspond to the payments effected by the final beneficiaries. It shall be justified by receipted invoices or accounting documents of equivalent evidential value.

3.  Expenditure may be considered eligible for support from the Fund only if it is actually paid no earlier than 1 January of the year referred to in the financing decision approving the annual programme referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 20(5). The co-financed actions must not have been completed before the starting date for eligibility.

4.  The rules governing eligibility of expenditure within the framework of implemented actions co-financed by the Fund in the Member States under Article 3 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 36

Completeness of payment to final beneficiaries

Member States shall satisfy themselves that the responsible authority ensures that the final beneficiaries receive the total amount of the contribution from public funds as quickly as possible. No amounts shall be deducted or withheld, nor shall any further specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect be levied that would reduce these amounts for the final beneficiaries, provided that the final beneficiaries meet all the requirements regarding the eligibility of actions and expenses.

Article 37

Use of the euro

1.  Amounts set out in the draft multiannual and annual programmes of the Member States referred to in Articles 18 and 20 respectively, certified declarations of expenditure, requests for payments referred to in Article 27(1)(n), expenditure mentioned in the progress report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 39(4) and the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 51 shall be denominated in euros.

2.  Commission financing decisions approving the annual programmes of Member States referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 20(5), Commission commitments and Commission payments shall be denominated and carried out in euros.

3.  Member States which have not adopted the euro as their currency on the date of the request for payment shall convert into euros the amounts of expenditure incurred in national currency. This amount shall be converted into euros using the monthly accounting exchange rate of the Commission for the month during which the expenditure was entered in the accounts of the responsible authority of the programme concerned. This rate shall be published electronically by the Commission each month.

4.  When the euro becomes the currency of a Member State, the conversion procedure set out in paragraph 3 shall continue to apply to all expenditure recorded in the accounts by the certifying authority before the date of entry into force of the fixed conversion rate between the national currency and the euro.

Article 38

Commitments

Community budgetary commitments shall be made annually on the basis of the Commission financing decision approving the annual programme referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 20(5).

Article 39

Payments – Pre-financing

1.  Payments by the Commission of the contribution from the Fund shall be made in accordance with the budget commitments.

2.  Payments shall take the form of pre-financing and payment of the balance. They shall be made to the responsible authority designated by the Member State.

3.  A first pre-financing payment representing 50 % of the amount allocated in the financing decision approving the annual programme shall be made to the Member State within sixty days following the adoption of that decision.

4.  A second pre-financing payment shall be made no more than three months after the Commission has approved, within two months of the formal submission of a request for payment by a Member State, a progress report on the implementation of the annual programme and a certified declaration of expenditure drawn up in accordance with Article 29(1)(a) and Article 35 accounting for at least 60 % of the amount of the initial payment.

The amount of the second pre-financing payment made by the Commission shall not exceed 50 % of the total amount allocated by the financing decision approving the annual programme and, in any event, where a Member State has committed nationally an amount less than the amount indicated in the financing decision approving the annual programme, the balance of the amount of Community funds actually committed by the Member State for selected projects under the annual programme minus the first pre-financing payment.

5.  Any interest generated by pre-financing payments shall be posted to the annual programme concerned, being regarded as a resource for the Member State as national public contribution and shall be declared to the Commission at the time of the declaration of expenditure relating to the final report on the implementation of the annual programme concerned.

6.  The amounts paid as pre-financing shall be cleared from the accounts when the annual programme is closed.

Article 40

Payment of balance

1.  The Commission shall pay the balance provided it has received the following documents no later than nine months after the eligibility deadline for expenditure laid down in the financing decision approving the annual programme:

   a) a certified declaration of expenditure, duly drawn up in accordance with Article 29(1)(a) and Article 35, and a request for payment of the balance or statement of reimbursement;
   b) the final report on the implementation of the annual programme as set out in Article 51;
   c) the annual audit report, opinion and declaration provided for in Article 30(3).

The payment of the balance shall be subject to the acceptance of the final report on the implementation of the annual programme and of the declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment of the balance.

2.  If the responsible authority fails to provide the documents required in paragraph 1 by the due date and in an acceptable format, the Commission shall decommit any part of the budget commitment of the corresponding annual programme that has not been used for payment of the pre-financing.

3.  The automatic cancellation procedure defined in paragraph 2 shall be suspended, for the amount of the projects concerned, where legal proceedings or administrative appeals having suspensive effects are under way at Member State level when the documents defined in paragraph 1 are submitted. The Member State shall, in the final report submitted, give detailed information on such projects, and send reports on progress made with regard to these projects every six months. Within three months of the conclusion of the legal proceedings or administrative appeal procedure, the Member State shall present the documents required in paragraph 1 for the projects concerned.

4.  The nine-month period referred to in paragraph 1 shall cease to run if the Commission adopts a decision suspending payments of the co-financing for the relevant annual programme in accordance with Article 42. The period shall start to run again from the date when the Commission decision referred to in Article 42(3) has been notified to the Member State.

5.  Without prejudice to Article 41, the Commission shall, within six months of receiving the documents referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, inform the Member State of the amount of expenditure recognised by the Commission as chargeable to the Fund, and of any financial corrections deriving from the difference between declared expenditure and the expenditure recognised. The Member State shall have three months to present its comments.

6.  Within three months of receiving the Member State's comments, the Commission shall decide on the amount of expenditure recognised as chargeable to the Fund, and recover the balance arising from the difference between the final recognised expenditure and the sums already paid to that Member State.

7.  Subject to available funding, the Commission shall pay the balance within no more than sixty days from the date on which it accepts the documents referred to in paragraph 1. The balance of the budgetary commitment shall be decommitted within six months following the payment.

Article 41

Withholding of payments

1.  The payment shall be withheld by the authorising officer by delegation within the meaning of the Financial Regulation for a maximum period of six months if:

   a) in a report of a national or Community audit body there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control systems;
   b) that officer has to carry out additional verifications following information coming to his notice which alerted him that expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected.

2.  The Member State and the responsible authority shall be informed immediately of the reasons for the payment being withheld. The payment shall be withheld until the necessary measures are taken by the Member State.

Article 42

Suspension of payments

1.  All or part of the pre-financing and payments of the balance may be suspended by the Commission when:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which affects the reliability of the procedure for certification of payments and for which corrective measures have not been taken; or
   b) expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected; or
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Articles 31 and 32.

2.  The Commission may decide to suspend pre-financing and payments of the balance after having given the Member State the opportunity to present its observations within a period of three months.

3.  The Commission shall end suspension of pre-financing and payments of the balance when it considers that the Member State has taken the necessary measures to enable the suspension to be lifted.

4.  If the necessary measures are not taken by the Member State, the Commission may adopt a decision to cancel all or part of the Community contribution to the annual programme in accordance with Article 46.

Article 43

Conservation of documents

Without prejudice to the rules governing State aid under Article 87 of the Treaty, the responsible authority shall ensure that all the supporting documents regarding expenditure and audits on the programmes concerned are kept available for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for a period of five years following the closure of the programmes in accordance with Article 40(1).

This period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal proceedings or at the duly substantiated request of the Commission.

The documents shall be kept either in the form of the originals or in versions certified to be in conformity with the originals on commonly accepted data carriers.

CHAPTER VIII

FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS

Article 44

Financial corrections by Member States

1.  Member States shall in the first instance bear the responsibility for investigating irregularities, acting upon evidence of any major change affecting the nature or the conditions for the implementation or control of programmes and making the required financial corrections.

2.  Member States shall make the financial corrections required in connection with the individual or systemic irregularities detected in actions or annual programmes.

Corrections made by the Member States shall consist in cancelling, and if applicable, recovering all or part of the Community contribution. Where the amount is not repaid in the time allowed by the relevant Member State, default interest shall be due at the rate provided for in Article 47(2). Member States shall take into account the nature and gravity of the irregularities and the financial loss to the Fund.

3.  In the event of systemic irregularities the relevant Member State shall extend its enquiries to cover all operations liable to be affected.

4.  Member States shall include in the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 51 a list of cancellation procedures initiated for the annual programme concerned.

Article 45

Audit of accounts and financial corrections by the Commission

1.  Without prejudice to the powers of the Court of Auditors or the checks carried out by the Member States in accordance with national laws, regulations and administrative provisions, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot checks, including sample checks, on the actions financed by the Fund and on management and control systems with a minimum of three working days' notice. The Commission shall give notice to the Member State concerned with a view to obtaining all the assistance necessary. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such checks.

The Commission may require the Member State concerned to carry out an on-the-spot check to verify the accuracy of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such checks.

2.  If, after completing the necessary verifications, the Commission concludes that a Member State is not complying with its obligations under Article 31, it shall suspend the pre-financing or payment of the balance in accordance with Article 42.

Article 46

Criteria for the corrections

1.  The Commission may make financial corrections by cancelling all or part of the Community contribution to an annual programme where, after carrying out the necessary examination, it concludes that:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which has put at risk the Community contribution already paid to the programme;
   b) expenditure contained in a certified declaration of expenditure is irregular and has not been corrected by the Member State prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph;
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Article 31 prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph.

The Commission shall decide after having taken into account any comments made by the Member State.

2.  The Commission shall base its financial corrections on individual cases of irregularity identified, taking account of the systemic nature of the irregularity to determine whether a flat-rate or extrapolated correction should be applied. Where the irregularity relates to a declaration of expenditure for which a reasonable assurance had previously been given by the audit authority in accordance with Article 30(3)(b), there will be a presumption of a systemic problem giving rise to the application of a flat-rate or extrapolated correction, unless the Member State can provide proof within three months to rebut this presumption.

3.  The Commission shall, when deciding the amount of a correction, take account of the importance of the irregularity and the extent and financial implications of the deficiencies found in the annual programme concerned.

4.  Where the Commission bases its position on the facts established by auditors other than those of its own services, it shall draw its own conclusions regarding the financial consequences, after examining the measures taken by the Member State concerned under Article 32, the reports of notified irregularities and any replies from the Member State.

Article 47

Repayment

1.  Any repayment due to be made to the general budget of the European Union shall be effected before the due date indicated in the order for recovery drawn up in accordance with Article 72 of the Financial Regulation. This due date shall be the last day of the second month following the issuing of the order.

2.  Any delay in effecting repayment shall give rise to interest on account of late payment, starting on the due date and ending on the date of actual payment. The rate of such interest shall be the rate applied by the European Central Bank to its principal refinancing operations, as published in the C series of the Official Journal of the European Union, in force on the first calendar day of the month in which the due date falls, increased by three and a half percentage points.

Article 48

Obligations of Member States

A financial correction by the Commission shall not prejudice the Member State's obligation to pursue recoveries under Article 44.

CHAPTER IX

MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTS

Article 49

Monitoring and evaluation

1.  The Commission shall carry out regular monitoring on the Fund in cooperation with the Member States.

2.  The Fund shall be evaluated by the Commission in partnership with the Member States to assess the relevance, effectiveness and impact of actions in the light of the general objective referred to in Article 2 in the context of the preparation for the report set out in Article 50(3).

3.  The Commission shall also consider the complementarity between the actions implemented under the Fund and those pursued under other relevant Community policies, instruments and initiatives.

Article 50

Reporting obligations

1.  In each Member State the responsible authority shall take the necessary measures to ensure project monitoring and evaluation.

To that end, the agreements and contracts it concludes with the organisations responsible for the implementation of the actions shall include clauses laying down an obligation to submit regular and detailed reports on the state of progress of implementation and completion of the assigned objectives, which shall be the basis for, respectively, the progress and final reports on the implementation of the annual programme.

2.  The Member States shall submit to the Commission by 30 June 2012 for the period 2008 to 2010 and by 30 June 2015 for the period 2011 to 2013 respectively, an evaluation report on the results and impact of actions co-financed by the Fund.

3.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions by 31 December 2012 for the period 2008 to 2010 and by 31 December 2015 for the period 2011 to 2013 respectively, an ex-post evaluation report.

Article 51

Final report on the implementation of the annual programme

1.  The final report on the implementation of the annual programme shall include the following information in order to obtain a clear view of the implementation of the programme:

   a) the financial and operational implementation of the annual programme;
   b) the progress made in implementing the multiannual programme and its priorities in relation to its specific, verifiable targets, with a quantification, wherever and whenever they lend themselves to quantification, of the indicators;
  c) the steps taken by the responsible authority to ensure the quality and effectiveness of implementation, in particular:
   i) monitoring and evaluation measures, including data collection arrangements,
   ii) a summary of any significant problems encountered in implementing the operational programme and any measures taken,
   iii) the use made of technical assistance;
   d) the measures taken to provide information on and make public the annual and multiannual programmes.

2.  The report shall be judged acceptable where it contains all the information listed in paragraph 1. The Commission shall reach a decision on the content of the report submitted by the responsible authority within two months of having received all the information referred to in paragraph 1, which shall be acknowledged to the Member States. If the Commission does not respond within the time limit laid down, the report shall be deemed to be accepted.

CHAPTER X

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 52

Committee

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the common Committee "Solidarity and Management of Migration flows", established by Decision No …/2007/EC(21) .

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

The time-limits laid down in Article 5a(3)(c), (4)(b) and (4)(e) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at six weeks.

Article 53

Review

The European Parliament and the Council shall review this Decision on the basis of a proposal from the Commission by 30 June 2013.

Article 54

Transitional provisions

1.  This Decision shall not affect the continuation or modification, including the total or partial cancellation, of assistance approved by the Commission on the basis of Decision 2004/904/EC, or any other legislation which applies to that assistance on 31 December 2007.

2.  When adopting decisions on co-financing under this Fund, the Commission shall take account of measures adopted on the basis of Decision 2004/904/EC before …(22) which have financial repercussions during the period covered by that co-financing.

3.  Sums committed for co-financing approved by the Commission between 1 January 2005 and 31 December 2007 for which the documents required for closure of the programmes have not been sent to the Commission by the deadline for submitting the final report shall be automatically decommitted by the Commission by 31 December 2010, giving rise to the repayment of amounts unduly paid.

Amounts relating to operations or programmes which have been suspended due to legal proceedings or administrative appeals having suspensory effect shall be disregarded in calculating the amount to be automatically decommitted.

4.  Member States shall submit to the Commission by 30 June 2009 an evaluation report on the results and impacts of actions co-financed by the Fund concerning the period 2005 to 2007.

5.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions by 31 December 2009, a report on the results achieved and on qualitative and quantitative aspects of implementation of the Fund for the period 2005 to 2007.

Article 55

Repeal

Decision 2004/904/EC shall be repealed with effect from 1 January 2008.

Article 56

Entry into force and application

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

This Decision shall apply from 1 January 2008, with the exception of Articles 13, 17, 18, 20, 23 and 25, Article 31(2), Article 31(5), Article 32, Article 35(4) and Article 52 which shall apply from …(23).

Article 57

Addressees

This Decision is addressed to the Member States in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 88, 11.4.2006, p. 15.
(3) OJ C 115, 16.5.2006, p. 47.
(4) Position of the European Parliament of 14 December 2006.
(5) OJ L 252, 6.10.2000, p. 12.
(6) OJ L 381, 28.12.2004, p. 52.
(7) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(8) OJ ...
(9)* OJ: please insert number, date and OJ reference of that Decision.
(10) OJ ...
(11) OJ ...
(12) OJ L 304, 30.9.2004, p. 12.
(13) OJ L 212, 7.8.2001, p. 12.
(14) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(15) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).
(16) OJ L 396, 31.12.2004, p. 45.
(17)* OJ: please insert the number of the first Decision referred to in recital 13 (External Borders Fund).
(18)** OJ: please insert the number of the second Decision referred to in recital 13 (European Return Fund).
(19)*** OJ: please insert the number of the third Decision referred to in recital 13 (European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals).
(20)* OJ: please insert the numbers of the 3 Decisions referred to in recital 13.
(21)* OJ: please insert the number of the first Decision referred to in recital 13 (External Borders Fund).
(22)* Date of entry into force of this Decision.
(23)* Date of entry into force of this Decision.


Double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers ***I
PDF 118kWORD 41k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 417/2002 on the accelerated phasing-in of double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 2978/94 (COM(2006)0111 - C6-0104/2006 - 2006/0046(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0582A6-0417/2006

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2006)0111)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 80(2) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0104/2006),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism (A6-0417/2006),

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 Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 417/2002 on the accelerated phasing-in of double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers

P6_TC1-COD(2006)0046


(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 80(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

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

Having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions,

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

Whereas:

(1)  Regulation (EC) No 417/2002(4) provides for the accelerated phasing-in of double-hull or equivalent design requirements for single-hull oil tankers laid down in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships, 1973, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto ("MARPOL 73/78"), in order to reduce the risk of accidental oil pollution in European waters.

(2)  Regulation (EC) No 417/2002 introduced measures prohibiting the carriage of heavy grades of oil in single-hull oil tankers leaving or bound for ports in the European Union.

(3)  Following action by the Member States and the Commission within the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), this ban has been imposed world-wide through an amendment to Annex I to MARPOL 73/78.

(4)  Paragraphs 5, 6 and 7 of Regulation 13H of Annex I to MARPOL 73/78 concerning the ban on the carriage of heavy grades of oil in single-hull oil tankers contain exemptions from Regulation 13H. The statement by the Italian Presidency of the European Council on behalf of the European Union, recorded in the official report of the IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC 50), expresses a political commitment to refrain from making use of these exemptions.

(5)  Under Regulation (EC) No 417/2002, a ship flying the flag of a Member State could apply the exemptions from Regulation 13H if it operated outside ports or offshore terminals under Community jurisdiction and still comply with Regulation (EC) No 417/2002.

(6)  Regulation (EC) No 417/2002 should therefore be amended accordingly,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Article 4(3) of Regulation (EC) No 417/2002 is replaced by the following:

"

3.  No oil tanker carrying heavy grades of oil shall be allowed to fly the flag of a Member State unless such tanker is a double-hull tanker.

No oil tanker carrying heavy grades of oil, irrespective of its flag, shall be allowed to enter or leave ports or offshore terminals or to anchor in areas under the jurisdiction of a Member State, unless such tanker is a double-hull oil tanker.

"

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) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 318, 23.12.2006, p. 229.
(3) Position of the European Parliament of 14 December 2006.
(4) OJ L 64, 7.3.2002, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 2172/2004 (OJ L 371, 18.12.2004, p. 26).


European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals *
PDF 463kWORD 207k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council decision establishing the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals for the period 2007-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" (COM(2005)0123 – C6-0238/2005 – 2005/0048(CNS))
P6_TA(2006)0583A6-0419/2006

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2005)0123)(1),

–   having regard to Article 63(3)(a) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0238/2005),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0419/2006),

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.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

5.  Instructs its President to forward its position as annexed to this legislative resolution to the Council and Commission.

ANNEX

2005/0048(CNS)

Amended Proposal for a Council decision establishing the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country nationals for the period 2007-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 63(3)(a) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission(2),

Having regard to the opinion of the European Parliament(3),

Whereas:

(1)  With a view to the progressive establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice, the Treaty establishing the European Community provides both for the adoption of measures aimed at ensuring the free movement of persons, in conjunction with flanking measures relating to external borders controls, asylum and immigration, and for the adoption of measures relating to asylum, immigration and safeguarding the rights of third country nationals.

(2)  The European Council, at its special meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999, stated that the European Union must ensure fair treatment of third country nationals who reside legally on the territory of its Member States. A more vigorous integration policy should aim at granting them rights and obligations comparable to those of EU citizens. It should also enhance non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural life and develop measures against racism and xenophobia.

(3)  The integration of third-country nationals in the Member States is a key element in promoting economic and social cohesion, a fundamental objective of the Community stated in the Treaty. However, having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, this instrument is primarily targeted to third-country nationals who are newly-arrived, as far as the co-financing of concrete actions supporting the integration process.

(4)  In the Hague Programme of 4-5 November 2004, the European Council underlines that to achieve the objective of stability and cohesion within Member States" societies it is essential to develop effective policies. It calls for greater coordination of national integration policies on the basis of a common framework and invites the Member States, the Council and the Commission to promote the structural exchange of experience and information on integration.

(5)  As requested in the Hague Programme, the Council of the European Union and the representatives of the governments of the Member States established on 19 November 2004 "Common Basic Principles for immigrant integration policy in the European Union". The Common Basic Principles assist Member States in formulating integration policies by offering them a thoughtful guide of basic principles against which they can judge and assess their own efforts.

(6)  The Common Basic Principles are complementary and in full synergy with the Community legislative instruments on the admission and stay of legally residing third country nationals concerning family reunion and long term residents, and other relevant existing legislative frameworks, including those relating to gender equality, non discrimination and social inclusion.

(7)  Recalling the presentation of the Communication of the Commission of 1 September 2005 on a common Agenda for Integration: framework for the integration of third country nationals in the EU, the Council Conclusions on a common agenda for integration of 1/2 December 2005 underline the need to strengthen the integration policies of the Member States and acknowledge the importance of defining a framework at European level for the integration of legally residing third country nationals in all aspects of society and in particular concrete measures for implementing the Common Basic Principles.

(8)  The failure of an individual Member State to develop and implement integration policies can have in different ways adverse implications for other Member States and the European Union.

(9)  To underpin this programming in the area of integration, the budgetary Authority entered specific appropriations in the general budget of the European Communities from 2003 to 2006 for the financing of pilot projects and preparatory actions in the field of integration (INTI).

   (10) Deleted
  

In light of INTI and referring to the Commission Communications on immigration, integration and employment and the First annual report on Migration and Integration, it is considered necessary to endow the Community from 2007 with a specific instrument designed to contribute to the national efforts of Member States to develop and implement integration policies which enable third-country nationals of different cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds to fulfil the conditions of residence and to facilitate their integration into European societies, in accordance with the Common Basic Principles and in complementarity with the ESF.

(12)  To ensure the consistency of the Community's response to integration of third country nationals, actions financed under this instrument should be specific and complementary to actions financed under the ESF and the European Refugee Fund. In this context, specific joint programming arrangements to ensure the consistency of the Community's response to integration of third country nationals through the ESF and this instrument will be developed.

(13)  Bearing in mind that this instrument and the ESF are under shared management with Member States, arrangements should also be made at national level to ensure consistency in implementation. For that purpose, the authorities of the Member States responsible for the implementation of this instrument should be required to establish cooperation and coordination mechanisms with the authorities designated by the Member States for managing the implementation of the ESF and the European Refugee Fund and to ensure that actions under this Fund should be specific and complementary to actions financed under the ESF and the European Refugee Fund.

(14)  This instrument is designed to form part of a coherent framework consisting of this Decision, the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008-2013, the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the External Border Fund for the period 2007-2013 and the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European Return Fund for the period 2008-2013, which aims at addressing the issue of a fair share of responsibilities between Member States as concerns the financial burden arising from the introduction of an integrated management of the Union's external borders and from the implementation of common policies on asylum and immigration, as developed in accordance with Title IV of the Treaty establishing the European Community.

(14a) This instrument should be targeted primarily, as far as the co-financing of concrete actions supporting the integration process of third country nationals in Member States is concerned, to actions relating to third country nationals who are newly arrived Reference could be made in this context to the Council Directive 2003/109/EC which refers to the period of five years of legal residence as a requirement with which third-country nationals have to comply in order to qualify for long-term residence status.

(14b) This instrument should also support Member States in enhancing their capacity to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate in general all integration strategies, policies and measures for third country nationals as well as the exchange of information, best practices and co-operation in and between Member States contributing to enhancing this capacity;

(15)  The support provided by the Fund will be more efficient and better targeted if co-financing of eligible actions is based on strategic multiannual programming drawn up by each Member State in dialogue with the Commission.

(16)  On the basis of the strategic guidelines adopted by the Commission, each Member State should prepare a multiannual programming document taking into account its specific situation and needs and setting out its development strategy that should constitute the framework for preparing the implementation of the actions to be listed in annual programmes.

   (17) Deleted
   (18) Deleted

(19)  In the context of shared management as referred to in Article 53(1), point b), of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(4), the conditions allowing the Commission to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the general budget of the European Communities should be specified and the obligations for the cooperation of the Member States clarified. Applying these conditions will enable the Commission to satisfy itself that Member States are utilising the Fund in a lawful and correct manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of Articles 27 and 48(2) of the Financial Regulation.

   (20) Deleted

(21)  Objective criteria should be established to allocate the funds to the Member States. These criteria should take into account the total amount of third country nationals legally staying in Member States and the total new admission of third country nationals over a given reference period.

   (22) Deleted

(23)  Member States should adopt adequate measures to guarantee the proper functioning of management and control system. To this end, it is necessary to establish the general principles and the necessary functions which the systems of all programmes shall fulfil.

   (24) Deleted

(25)  In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, Member States have the primary responsibility for the implementation and control of the interventions.

(26)  The obligations on the Member States as regards management and control systems, the certification of expenditure, and the prevention, detection and correction of irregularities and infringements of Community law should be specified to guarantee the efficient and correct implementation of their multiannual and annual programmes. In particular, as far as the management and control are concerned, it is necessary to establish the modalities by which Member States ensure that the systems are in place and function satisfactorily.

(27)  Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in this field should be encouraged.

   (28) Deleted

(29)  The effectiveness and impact of actions supported by this instrument also depend on their evaluation. The responsibilities of the Member States and the Commission in this regard, and arrangements to ensure the reliability of evaluation, should be formalised.

(30)  Actions should be evaluated with a view to a mid-term review and impact assessment, and the evaluation process should be incorporated into project monitoring arrangements.

(31)  A financial reference amount, within the meaning of point 38 of the interinstitutional agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(5) is included in this Decision for the entire duration of the programme, without thereby affecting the powers of the budgetary authority as they are defined by the Treaty.

(31A) Bearing in mind the importance of visibility of the Community funding, the Commission should provide guidance to facilitate that any authority, non-governmental organisation, international organisation or other entity receiving a grant by this Fund properly acknowledges the support received, taking into account the practice for other instruments under shared management, such as the Structural Funds.

(32)  Since the objectives of the proposed action, namely to promote the integration of third country nationals in the host societies of Member States within the framework of the Common Basic Principles, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale and effects of the action, be better achieved by the Community, 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 Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.

(33)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted in accordance with Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999, as amended by Council Decision 2006/512/EC of 17 July 2006(6) laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission. The implementing measures will be subject to a management committee procedure, this provision being the more appropriate in certain cases in order to increase efficiency.

(33A) In order to ensure a timely implementation of the Fund, this Decision should apply from 1 January 2007.

(34)  In accordance with Article 1 and 2 or the Protocol on the position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Decision, and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(35)  In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Ireland has notified, by letter of 6 September 2005, its wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(36)  In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, the United Kingdom has notified, by letter of 27 October 2005, its wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

The European Economic and Social Committee has delivered an opinion(7)

The Committee of the Regions has delivered an opinion(8)

HAS ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

CHAPTER I

SUBJECT MATTER, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

1.  This Decision establishes for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 the European Fund for integration of third-country nationals, hereinafter referred to as "The Fund", as part of a coherent framework also including the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008-2013, the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the External Border Fund for the period 2007-2013 and the Decision of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European Return Fund for the period 2008-2013, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice and the application of the principle of solidarity between the Member States.

This Decision defines the objectives to which the Fund contributes, its implementation, the available financial resources and the distribution criteria for the allocation of the available financial resources.

It establishes the Fund's management rules, including financial ones, monitoring and control mechanisms based on a share of responsibilities between the Commission and the Member States.

2.  Third-country nationals who are on the territory of a third country and who are complying with specific pre-departure measures and/or conditions set out in national law, including those relating to the ability to integrate in the society of this Member State fall under the scope of this Decision.

3.  Third-country nationals who have made an application for asylum in respect of which a final decision has not yet been taken, or enjoy refugee or subsidiary protection status, or qualify as refugees or are eligible for subsidiary protection in accordance with Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004, are excluded from the scope of this Decision.

4.  Third country national means any person who is not a Union citizen within the meaning of Article 17(1) of the Treaty.

Article 2

General Objective of the Fund

1.  The general objective of the Fund is to support the efforts of Member States in enabling third-country nationals of different economic, social, cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic backgrounds to fulfil the conditions of residence and to facilitate their integration into the European societies.

The Fund shall primarily focus on actions relating to the integration of newly arrived third-country nationals

2.  In order to further the objective mentioned in paragraph 1 the Fund will contribute to the development and implementation of national integration strategies for third-country nationals in all aspects of society in particular taking into account the principle that integration is a two-way dynamic process of mutual accommodation by all immigrants and residents of Member States.

3.  The Fund shall contribute to the financing of the technical assistance on the initiative of the Member States or the Commission.

Article 3

Specific objectives

The Fund shall contribute to the following specific objectives:

   (a) Facilitation of the development and implementation of admission procedures relevant to and supportive of the integration process of third country nationals;
   (b) Development and implementation of the integration process of newly-arrived third country nationals in Member States;
   (c) Increase of the capacity of Member States to develop, implement, monitor and evaluate policies and measures for the integration of third country nationals;
   (d) Exchange of information, best practices and co-operation in and between Member States in developing, implementing, monitoring and evaluating policies and measures for the integration of third country nationals.

Article 4

Eligible actions in the Member States

1.  As regards the objective defined in Article 3, point (a), the Fund shall support actions in Member States which:

   a) facilitate the development and implementation by Member States of admission procedures, inter alia by supporting consultation processes with relevant stakeholders and expert advice or information exchanges on approaches which target specific nationalities or categories of third country nationals;
   b) render the implementation of admission procedures more effective and accessible to third-country nationals inter alia by using user-friendly Communication and Information Technology, information campaigns and selection procedures;
   c) prepare third-country nationals for their integration into host society in a better way by supporting pre-travel measures which enable them to acquire knowledge and skills necessary for their integration, such as vocational training, information packages, comprehensive civic orientation courses and language tuition in the country of origin.

2.  As regards the objective defined in Article 3, point (b), the Fund shall support actions in Member States which:

   a) set up programmes and activities aiming at introducing newly arrived third country nationals to the host society and enabling them to acquire basic knowledge about the host society's language, history, institutions, socio economic features, cultural life and the fundamental norms and values, as well as complement such existing programmes and activities;
   b) develop and improve the quality of such programmes and activities at local and regional level, with a particular emphasis on civic orientation;
   c) reinforce the capacity of such programmes and activities to reach out to particular groups, such as dependants of persons subject to admission procedures, children, women, elderly, illiterate or persons with disabilities;
   d) increase the flexibility of such programmes and activities, in particular through part time courses, fast track modules, distance or E-learning systems or similar models, enabling third-country nationals to complete the programmes and activities while at the same time working or studying;
   e) develop and implement such programmes or activities, targeting at young third-country nationals, with specific social and cultural challenges related to identity issues;
   f) develop such programmes or activities encouraging the admission and supporting the integration process of highly qualified and qualified third-country nationals;

3.  As regards the objectives defined in Article 3 points (c) and (d), the Fund shall support actions in and between Member States which:

   a) improve the access of third-country nationals to public and private goods and services, inter alia by intermediary services, interpretation and translation services and by improving the staff's intercultural capacities;
   b) build sustainable organisational structures for integration and diversity management, promote durable and sustainable participation in civil and cultural life, and develop modes of co-operation between different relevant stakeholders enabling officials at various levels to swiftly gain information about experiences and practices else where and, where possible, to pool resources;
   c) develop and implement intercultural training, capacity building and diversity management, training of staff within public and private service providers, including educational institutions;
   d) reinforce the capacity to coordinate, implement, monitor and evaluate national integration strategies for third-country nationals across the different levels and departments of government;
   e) contribute to the evaluation of admission procedures or the programmes and activities referred to in paragraph 2 by supporting representative surveys among third-country nationals having benefited from them and/or among relevant stakeholders, such as enterprises, non-governmental organisations and regional or local authorities;
   f) introduce and implement schemes to gather and analyse information about the needs of different categories of third-country nationals at local or regional level by involving platforms for consultation of third country nationals and for exchange of information between stakeholders and by conducting surveys among immigrant communities on how best to respond to those needs;
   g) contribute to the two-way process underlying integration policies by developing platforms for consultation of third country nationals, exchange of information between stake holders and intercultural, inter-faith and religious dialogue platforms between communities and/or between communities and policy and decision making authorities;
   h) develop indicators and benchmarking for measuring progress at national level;
   i) develop high quality monitoring tools and evaluation schemes for integration policies and measures.
   j) increase the acceptance of migration in host societies as well as the acceptance of integration measures through awareness-raising campaigns, particularly in the media.

Article 5

Actions of interest to the Community

1.  At the Commission's initiative, up to 7% of the Fund's available resources may be used to finance transnational actions or actions of interest to the Community as a whole ("Community actions") concerning immigration and integration policy.

2.  To be eligible for funding, Community actions shall in particular:

   a) further Community cooperation in implementing Community law and good practices in the field of immigration and implementing good practices in the field of integration;
   b) · support the setting-up of transnational cooperation networks and pilot projects based on transnational partnerships between bodies located in two or more Member States designed to stimulate innovation, facilitate exchanges of experience and good practice and improve the quality of integration policies;
   c) · support transnational awareness-raising campaigns;
   d) · support studies, dissemination and exchange of information on best practices and all other aspects of immigration and integration policies, including for the use of state of the art technology,
   e) support pilot projects and studies exploring the possibility of new forms of Community cooperation in the field of immigration and integration and Community law in the field of immigration;
   f) support the development and application by Member States of common statistical tools, methods and indicators for measuring policy developments in the fields of immigration and integration.

3.  The annual work programme laying down the priorities for Community actions shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2).

Article 6

[Target Groups]

Deleted

CHAPTER II

PRINCIPLES OF ASSISTANCE

Article 7

Complementarity, consistency and compliance

1.  The Fund shall provide assistance which complements national, regional and local actions, integrating into them the priorities of the Community.

In particular, to ensure the consistency of the Community's response to integration of third country nationals, actions financed under this instrument shall be specific and complementary to actions financed under the European Social Fund and the European Refugee Fund.

2.  The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that assistance from the Fund and the Member States is consistent with the activities, policies and priorities of the Community. This consistency shall be indicated in particular in the multiannual programme referred to in Article 18.

3.  Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with the provisions of the Treaty and of acts adopted under them.

Article 8

Programming

1.  The objectives of the Fund shall be pursued in the framework of a multiannual programming period (2007-2013), subject to a mid-term review, in accordance with Article 21A. The multiannual programming system shall include the priorities and a process of management, decision making, auditing and certification.

2.  The multiannual programmes approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual programmes.

Article 9

Subsidiary and proportional intervention

1.  Implementation of multiannual and annual programmes referred to in Articles 19 and 21 shall be the responsibility of Member States at the appropriate territorial level, in accordance with the institutional system specific to each Member State. This responsibility shall be exercised in accordance with this Decision.

2.  The means employed by the Commission and the Member States shall vary according to the size of the Community contribution in relation to audit provisions. Differentiation also applies to provisions on evaluation and to the reports on multiannual and annual programmes.

Article 10

Implementation methods

1.  The Community budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented in accordance with Article 53 (1), point (b) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, with the exception of the Community Actions referred to in Article 5 and the technical assistance referred to in Article 16. The Member States and the Commission shall ensure compliance with the principle of sound financial management.

2.  The Commission exercises its responsibility for implementing the general budget of the European Communities by:

   a) checking the existence and proper functioning of management and control systems in the Member States in accordance with the procedures described in Article 30;
   b) interrupting or suspending all or part of payments in accordance with Articles 40 and 41 if the national management and control systems fail, and by applying any other financial correction required, in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 44 and 45.

Article 11

[Additionality]

Deleted

Article 12

Partnership 

1.  Each Member State shall organise, in accordance with current national rules and practices, a partnership with the authorities and bodies which are involved in the implementation of the multiannual programme or are able to provide a useful contribution to its development according to the Member State concerned.

Such authorities and bodies may include the competent regional, local, urban and other public authorities, international organisations and bodies representing civil society such as non-governmental organisations, including migrant organisations, or social partners.

This partnership shall include at least the implementing authorities designated by Member States for the purpose of the management of the interventions of the European Social Fund and the responsible authority of the European Refugee Fund.

2.  The partnership shall be conducted in full compliance with the respective institutional, legal and financial jurisdiction of each partner category.

CHAPTER III

FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

Article 13

Global resources

1.  The financial reference amount or the implementation of actions financed by this Fund for the period from 1 January 2007 until 31 December 2013 shall be EUR [825] million.

1bis. The annual appropriations for the Fund shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial framework.

2.  The Commission shall make indicative annual breakdowns by Member States in accordance with the criteria established in Article 14.

Article 14.

Annual distribution of resources for eligible actions in the Member States

1.  Each Member State shall receive a fixed amount of EUR 500,000 from the Fund's annual allocation.

This amount shall be fixed at EUR 500,000 per annum for Member States which will accede to the European Union in the period 2007–2013, for the remaining part of the period 2007–2013 from the year following their accession.

2.  The remainder of the available annual resources shall be broken down between the Member States as follows:

   a) 40 % in proportion to the average of the total number of legally residing third country nationals in Member States over the previous three years; and
   b) 60%in proportion to the number of third country nationals who have obtained an authorisation issued by the authorities of a Member States to reside on its territory over the previous three years

3.  However, for the purpose of the calculation referred to in point (b) of paragraph 2, the following categories of persons shall not be included:

   a) seasonal workers, as defined under national law;
   b) third country nationals admitted for the purposes of studies, pupil exchange, unremunerated training or voluntary service in accordance with Council Directive 2004/114/EC of 13 December 2004(9);
   c) third country nationals admitted for purposes of scientific research in accordance with Council Directive 2005/71/EC of 12 October 2005(10);
   d) third country nationals who have received a renewal of an authorisation issued by the authorities of a Member State or a change of status, including third country nationals who acquire long-term resident status in accordance with Council Directive 2003/109/EC of 25 November 2003(11).

4.  The reference figures shall be the latest statistics produced by the Statistical Office of the European Communities on the basis of data provided by Member States in accordance with Community law.

Where Member States have not supplied to the Commission (Eurostat) the statistics concerned, they shall provide provisional data as soon as possible.

Before accepting these data as reference figures, the Commission (Eurostat) shall evaluate the quality, comparability and completeness of the statistical information in accordance with normal operational procedures. At the request of the Commission (Eurostat), Member States shall provide it with all the necessary information to do so.

Article 15

Financing structure

1.  The Fund's financial contribution shall take the form of grants.

2.  Actions supported by the Fund shall be co-financed by public or private sources, shall be of a non-profit nature and shall not be eligible for funding from other sources covered by the general budget of the European Communities.

3.  Fund appropriations shall be complementary to public or equivalent expenditure allocated by Member States to the measures covered by this Decision.

4.  The Community contribution to supported projects, as regards actions implemented in the Member States under Article 4 shall not exceed 50% of the total cost of a specific action.

This may be increased to 75% for projects addressing specific priorities identified in the strategic guidelines as defined in Article 18.

This shall be increased to 75% in the Member States covered by the Cohesion Fund.

5.  In the framework of the implementation of national programming as set out in Chapter IV, Member States shall select projects for financing on the basis of the following minimum criteria:

   (a) The situation and requirements in the Member State;
   b) the cost-effectiveness of the expenditure, inter alia in view of the number of persons concerned by the project;
   c) the experience, expertise, reliability and financial contribution of the organisation applying for funding and any partner organisation;
   d) the extent to which the projects complement other action funded by the general budget of the European Union or as part of national programmes.

6.  As a general rule, Community financial aid granted for actions supported by the Fund shall be given for a period of no more than three years, subject to periodic progress reports.

Article 16

Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission

1.  At the initiative of and/or on behalf of the Commission, subject to a ceiling of 500,000 of the Fund's annual allocation, the Fund may finance the preparatory measures, monitoring, administrative and technical support measures, as well as evaluation, audit and inspection measures necessary for implementing this Decision.

2.  Those actions shall include:

   a) studies, evaluations, expert reports, statistics, including those of a general nature concerning the operation of the Fund;
   b) information measures for the Member States the final beneficiaries and the general public, including awareness-raising campaigns and a common data base on the projects financed under the Fund;
   c) the installation, operation and interconnection of computerised systems for management, monitoring, inspection and evaluation;
   d) the design of a common framework for evaluation and monitoring as well as a system of indicators, taking into account, where appropriate, national indicators;
   e) improvements in evaluation methods and the exchange of information on practices in this field.
   f) information and training measures for the authorities designated by Member States in accordance with Chapter V, complementary to the efforts of the Member States to provide guidance to their authorities in accordance with Article 31, paragraph 2.

Article 17

Technical assistance of the Member States

1.  At the initiative of the Member State in question, for each annual programme, the Fund may finance preparatory measures, management, monitoring, evaluation, information and control measures, as well as measures for the reinforcement of the administrative capacity for the implementation of the Fund.

2.  The annual amount set aside for technical may not exceed

   a) 7% of the total annual amount of co-financing allocated to the Member State, plus EUR 30,000 for 2007-2010 and
   b) 4 % of the total annual amount of co-financing allocated to the Member State, plus EUR 30,000 for 2011-2013.

CHAPTER IV

PROGRAMMING

Article 18

Adoption of strategic guidelines

1.  The Commission shall adopt strategic guidelines setting out a framework for the intervention of the Fund, taking into account the progress in development and implementation of Community legislation in the area of immigration and other areas related to the integration of third country nationals as well as the indicative distribution of the financial resources of the Fund for the period concerned.

2.  For each of the objectives of the Fund, those guidelines shall in particular give effect to the priorities of the Community with a view to promoting the common basic principles.

3.  The Commission shall adopt the strategic guidelines relating to the multiannual programming period on 31 May 2007 at the latest.

4.  The strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2).

Article 19

Preparation and approval of national multiannual programmes

1.  Each Member State shall propose on the basis of the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 18 a draft multiannual programme which shall consist of the following elements:

   a) a description of the current situation in the Member State as regards the implementation of national integration strategies in light of the common basic principles and, where available, as regards the development and implementation of national admission and introduction programmes;
   b) an analysis of requirements in the Member State in question in terms of the national integration strategies and, where available, admission and introduction programmes, and an indication of operational objectives designed to meet these requirements during the period covered by the multiannual programme;
   c) the presentation of an appropriate strategy to achieve these objectives and the priorities attached to their attainment, and a description of the actions envisaged to implement these priorities;
   d) an indication of whether this strategy is compatible with other regional, national and Community instruments;
   e) information on the priorities and their specific targets. Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of indicators, taking into account the proportionality principle. The indicators must make it possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline situation and the effectiveness of the targets implementing the priorities;
   f) a description of the approach chosen for the implementation of the principle of partnership laid down in Article 12;
   g) a draft financing plan which sets out, for each priority and each year, the Fund's proposed financial contribution and the overall amount of public or private co-financing;
  ( h) implementing provisions for the multiannual programme, consisting of:
   the designation by the Member State of all the entities stipulated in Article 24;
   a description of the implementation, monitoring, control and evaluation systems, including description of measures taken to ensure complementarity of actions with those financed under the European Social Fund;
   a definition of the procedures for the mobilisation and circulation of financial flows in order to ensure their transparency;
   the provisions laid down to ensure that the multiannual programme is publicised.

2.  Member States shall submit their draft multiannual programme no later than four months after the Commission has provided the strategic guidelines for the period in question.

3.  In order to approve the draft multiannual programme, the Commission shall examine:

   a) its consistency with the objectives of the Fund and the strategic guidelines defined in Article 18,
   b) the relevance of the actions envisaged in the draft in light of the strategy which is proposed;
   c) the compliance of the management and control arrangements set up by the Member State for the implementation of the Fund's interventions with the provisions set out in this Decision;
   d) its compliance with Community law and in particular with Community law aiming at ensuring the free movement of persons in conjunction with the directly related flanking measures with respect to external borders controls, asylum and immigration.

4.  Where the Commission considers that a draft multiannual programme is inconsistent with the strategic guidelines or does not comply with the provisions of this decision setting out management and control systems or with Community law, it shall invite the Member State to provide all necessary information and, where appropriate, to revise the proposed programme accordingly.

5.  The Commission shall approve each multiannual programme within three months following its formal submission, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2).

Article 20

Revision of multiannual programmes

1.  At the initiative of the Member State in question or the Commission, the multiannual programme shall be re-examined and, if necessary, revised for the rest of the programming period in order to take greater or different account of the Community priorities. Multiannual programmes may be re-examined in the light of evaluations and / or following implementation difficulties.

2.  The Commission shall adopt a decision approving the revision of the multiannual programme as soon as possible after the formal submission of a request by the Member State concerned. The revision of the multiannual programme shall be done in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2).

Article 21

Annual programmes

1.  The multiannual programmes approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual programmes.

2.  The Commission shall provide the Member States, no later than 1 July of each year, with an estimate of the amounts to be allocated to them for the following year from the total appropriations allocated under the annual budgetary procedure, calculated as provided by Article 14.

3.  The Member States shall submit to the Commission, no later than 1 November of each year, a draft annual programme for the following year, established in accordance with the multiannual programme and consisting of the following elements:

   a) the general rules for selection of projects to be financed under the annual programme;
   b) a description of the tasks to be supported under the annual programme;
   c) the proposed financial breakdown of the Fund's contribution between the programme's various actions and an indication of the amount requested to cover technical assistance under Article 17 for the purpose of implementing the annual programme.

4.  When examining the draft annual programme of a Member State, the Commission shall take account of the final amount of the appropriations allocated to the Fund under the budgetary procedure[…].

Within one month of the formal submission of this draft, the Commission shall inform the Member State whether it can approve it or not. If the draft annual programme is inconsistent with the multiannual programme, the Commission shall invite the Member State to provide all necessary information and, where appropriate, to revise the proposed programme accordingly.

The Commission shall adopt the financing decision, approving the annual programme, no later than 1 March of the year in question. The decision shall indicate the amount allocated to the Member State and the period for which the expenditure is eligible.

Article 21A

Mid-term review of the multiannual programme

1.  The Commission shall review the strategic guidelines and where necessary, adopt, on 31 March 2010 at the latest, new strategic guidelines for the period 2011- 2013.

2.  If such strategic guidelines are adopted, each Member States shall re-examine its multi-annual programme and where appropriate, revise it.

3.  The rules in Article 19 on the preparation and approval of national multi-annual programmes shall apply mutatis mutandis for the preparation and approval of these revised multi-annual programmes.

4.  The revised strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2).

CHAPTER V

MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEMS

Article 22

Implementation

The Commission shall be responsible for implementing this Decision and shall adopt such implementing rules as may be necessary.

Article 23

General Principles in the management and control systems

The management and control systems of multiannual programmes set up by Member States shall provide for:

   a) the definition of the functions of the bodies […]concerned in management and control and the allocation of functions within each body[…];
   b) the respect of the principle of separation of functions between and within such bodies;
   c) adequate resources for each body or department to carry out the functions which have been allocated to it throughout the period of implementation of actions financed by the Fund;
   d) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of the expenditure declared under the multiannual programmes;
   e) reliable accounting, monitoring and financial reporting systems in computerised form;
   f) a system of reporting and monitoring where the responsible body entrusts the execution of tasks to another body;
   g) manuals of procedures in relation to the functions to be performed;
   h) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the system;
   i) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail;
   j) reporting and monitoring procedures for irregularities and for the recovery of amounts unduly paid.

Article 24

Designation of authorities

1.  For implementing its multiannual programme and annual programmes the Member State shall designate the following:

   a) a responsible authority : a functional body of the Member State or national public authority or body designated by the Member State or a body governed by the private law of the Member State and which has a public sevice mission, which shall be responsible for the management of multi-annual and annual programmes supported by the Fund and shall handle all communication with the Commission;
   b) a certifying authority: a national public authority or body, or individual acting as such body or authority, designated by the Member State to certify declarations of expenditure and applications for payment before they are sent to the Commission;
   c) an audit authority: national public authority or body, provided that it is functionally independent of the responsible authority and the certifying authority, designated by the Member State and responsible for verifying the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   d) where appropriate, a delegated authority;

2.  The Member State shall lay down rules governing its relations with those authorities referred to in paragraph 1 and their relations with the Commission.

3.  Subject to Article 23 (b), some or all of the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 maybe located within the same body.

4.  The rules for implementing Articles 25 to 29 shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2).

Article 25

Responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall meet the following minimum conditions. It shall:

   a) have legal personality, except where it is a functional body of the Member State;
   b) have the infrastructure required for easy communication with a wide range of users and with the responsible bodies in the other Member States and the Commission;
   c) work in an administrative context allowing it to carry out its tasks correctly and avoiding any conflict of interest;
   d) be in a position to apply Community fund management rules;
   e) have financial and management capacities proportionate to the volume of Community funds which it will be called upon to manage;
   f) have at its disposal personnel with appropriate professional qualifications and language skills for administrative work in an international environment.

2.  The Member State shall provide the responsible authority with adequate funding so that it can continue to carry out its tasks properly and uninterruptedly throughout the period 2007-2013.

(3 a) The Commission may assist the Member States in the training of staff, in particular as regards the correct application of Chapter V-IX of this Decision.

Article 26

Tasks of the responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall be responsible for managing and implementing the multi-annual programme in accordance with the principle of sound financial management.

It shall in particular:

   a) consult partners in accordance with Article 12;
   b) submit to the Commission the proposals for multiannual and annual programmes defined in Articles 19 and 21;
   c) set up a cooperation mechanism with the managing authorities designated by the Member State for the purposes of the implementation of the actions under the European Social Fund and the European Refugee Fund;
   d) organise and advertise calls for tenders and proposals, if appropriate;
   e) organise selection and award procedures for co-financing actions under the Fund in accordance with the principles set out in Article 15 paragraph 5;
   f) receive payments made by the Commission, and make payments to the final beneficiaries;
   g) ensure consistency and complementarity between co-financing under the Fund and from other relevant national and Community financial instruments;
   h) monitor the delivery of the co-financed products and services and that the expenditure declared for actions has actually been incurred and complies with Community and national rules;
   i) ensure that there is a system for recording and storing in computerised form accounting records of each action under the annual programmes and that the data on implementation necessary for financial management, monitoring, control and evaluation is collected;
   j) ensure that final beneficiaries and other bodies involved in the implementation of actions co-financed by the Fund maintain either a separate accounting system or an adequate accounting code for all transactions relating to the action, without prejudice to national accounting rules;
   k) ensure that the evaluations of multiannual programmes referred to in Article 48 are carried out within the time limits laid down in this Decision and meet the quality standards agreed between the Commission and the Member State;
   l) set up procedures to ensure that all documents regarding expenditure and audits required to ensure an adequate audit trail are held in accordance with the requirements referred to in article 42;
   m) ensure that the audit authority receives, for the purposes of carrying out the audits defined in Article 29(1) all necessary information on management procedures operated and the projects co-financed by the Fund;
   n) ensure that the certifying authority receives all necessary information on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure for the purpose of certification;
   o) draw up and submit to the Commission progress and final reports on the implementation of the annual programmes, declarations of expenditure certified by the certifying authority and requests for payment or where appropriate declaration of reimbursement;
   p) carry out information and advisory activities; and disseminate results of supported actions;
   q) cooperate with the Commission and the responsible authorities in the other Member States.
   r) verify the implementation by the final beneficiaries of the guidelines referred to in Article 32(6).

2.  The responsible authority's management activities for projects implemented in the Member States can be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 17.

Article 27

Delegation of tasks by the responsible authority

1.  Where all or some of the responsible authority's tasks are delegated to a delegated authority, the responsible authority shall define precisely the scope of the tasks delegated, and set out detailed procedures for the implementation of the delegated tasks, which shall comply with the conditions laid down in Article 25.

2.  These procedures shall include supplying the responsible authority with regular information on the effective performance of the delegated tasks and a description of the means employed.

Article 28

Certifying authority

1.  The certifying authority shall:

  a) certify that:
   - the declaration of expenditure is accurate, results from reliable accounting systems and is based on verifiable supporting documents,
   - the expenditure declared complies with applicable Community and national rules and has been incurred in respect of actions selected in accordance with the criteria applicable to the programme and complying with Community and national rules;
   b) ensure for the purposes of certification that it has received adequate information from the responsible authority on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure included in declarations of expenditure;
   c) take account for the purposes of certification of the results of all audits carried out by or under the responsibility of the audit authority;
   d) maintain accounting records in computerised form of expenditure declared to the Commission;
   e) ensure the recovery of any Community financing found to have been unduly paid as a result of irregularities detected, together with interest where appropriate, keeping an account of amounts recoverable and repaying amounts recovered to the general budget of the European Communities, where possible by deducting them from the next declaration of expenditure.

2.  The certifying authority's activities relating to projects implemented in the Member States can be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 17, provided that the prerogatives of this authority as described in Article 24 are respected.

Article 29

Audit authority

1.  The audit authority shall:

   a) ensure that audits are carried out to verify the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   b) ensure that audits are carried out on actions on the basis of an appropriate sample to verify expenditure declared; the sample shall represent at least 10% of the total eligible expenditure for each annual programme;
   c) present to the Commission within six months of the approval of the multiannual programme an audit strategy covering the bodies which will perform the audits referred to under subparagraphs a) and b), ensuring that the main beneficiaries of co-financing by the Fund are audited and that audits are spread evenly throughout the programming period.

2.  Where the designated audit authority under this decision is also the designated audit authority under Decisions….., …… and …………, (12)or where common systems apply to two or more of these Funds, a single combined audit strategy may be submitted under paragraph 1 point c).

3.  For each annual programme, the audit authority shall draft a report which shall comprise:

   a) an annual audit report setting out the findings of the audits carried out in accordance with the audit strategy in respect of the annual programme and reporting any shortcomings found in the systems for the management and control of the programme.
   b) an opinion, on the basis of the controls and audits that have been carried out under the responsibility of the audit authority, as to whether the functioning of the management and control system provides reasonable assurance that declarations of expenditure presented to the Commission are correct and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular.
   c) a declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment of the final balance and the legality and regularity of the expenditure concerned.

4.  The audit authority shall ensure that the audit work takes account of internationally accepted audit standards.

5.  The audit relating to projects implemented in the Member States can be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 17, provided that the prerogatives of this authority as described in Article 24 are respected.

CHAPTER VI

RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONTROLS

Article 30

Responsibilities of the Member States

1.  Member States shall be responsible for ensuring sound financial management of multiannual and annual programmes and the legality and regularity of underlying transactions.

2.  They shall ensure that responsible authorities and any delegated authority, certifying authorities, audit authorities and any other bodies concerned receive adequate guidance on setting up the management and control systems referred to in Articles 23 to 29 to ensure that Community financing is used efficiently and correctly.

3.  Member States shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities. They shall notify these to the Commission, and keep the Commission informed of the progress in the administrative and legal proceedings.

When amounts unduly paid to the final beneficiary cannot be recovered, the Member State is responsible for reimbursing the amounts lost to the general budget of the European Communities when it is established that the loss has been incurred as a result of its fault or negligence.

4.  Member States shall be primarily responsible for the financial control of actions and shall ensure that management systems and audits are implemented in such a way as to guarantee that Community funds are used properly and effectively. They shall provide the Commission with a description of these systems.

5.  The detailed rules for implementing paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2).

Article 31

Management and control systems

1.  Prior to the approval of the multiannual programme by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 51(2), the Member States shall ensure that management and control systems have been set up in accordance with Articles 23 to 29. They shall be responsible for ensuring that the systems function effectively throughout the programming period.

2.  Member States shall submit to the Commission, together with their draft multiannual programme, a description of the organisation and procedures of the responsible authorities, delegated authorities and certifying authorities, and the internal audit systems operating in these authorities and bodies, the audit authority, and any other bodies carrying out audits under its responsibility.

3.   The Commission shall review the application of this provision in the context of the preparation of the report for the period 2007 – 2013, set out in Article 49 (3).

Article 32

Responsibilities of the Commission

1.  The Commission shall satisfy itself in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 31 that the Member States have set up management and control systems that comply with Articles 23 to 29, and on the basis of the annual audit reports and its own audits that the systems function effectively during the programming period.

2.  Without prejudice to audits carried out by Member States, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot audits to verify the effective functioning of the management and control systems, which may include audits on actions included in the annual programmes, with a minimum of three working day's notice. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such audits.

3.  The Commission may require a Member State to carry out an on-the-spot check to verify the correct functioning of the systems or the correctness of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such audits.

4.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that appropriate information, publicity and follow-up are provided for actions supported by the Fund.

5.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that actions are consistent with, and complementary to, other relevant Community policies, instruments and initiatives.

6.  The Commission shall lay down guidelines to ensure the visibility of the funding granted under this Decision.

Article 33

Cooperation with the control bodies of the Member States

1.  The Commission shall cooperate with the audit authorities to coordinate their respective control plans and audit methods and shall immediately exchange the results of audits carried out on management and control systems in order to make the best possible use of control resources and to avoid unjustified duplication of work.

The Commission shall provide its comments on the audit strategy presented under Article 29 not later than three months.

2.  In determining its own audit strategy, the Commission shall identify those annual programmes which it considers satisfactory on the basis of its existing knowledge of the management and control systems.

For those programmes, the Commission may conclude that it can rely principally on the audit evidence provided by the Member States and that it will carry out its own on-the-spot audits only if there is evidence to suggest shortcomings in the systems.

CHAPTER VII

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Article 34

Eligibility – declarations of expenditure

1.  All declarations of expenditure shall include the amount of expenditure incurred by final beneficiaries in implementing the actions and the corresponding contribution from public or private funds.

2.  Expenditure shall correspond to the payments effected by the beneficiaries. It shall be justified by receipted invoices or accounting documents of equivalent evidential value.

3.  Expenditure may be considered eligible for support from the Fund only if it is actually paid no earlier than 1 January of the year referred to in the financing decision, approving the annual programme indicated in Article 21(4). Actions co-financed must not have been completed before the starting date for eligibility.

By way of exception, the period for which the expenditure is eligible shall be fixed at three years for the expenditure implementing the actions supported under the 2007 annual programmes.

4.  The rules governing eligibility of expenditure within the framework of actions co-financed by the Fund in the Member States under Article 4 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure provided for by Article 51(2).

Article 35

Completeness of payment to beneficiaries

Member States shall satisfy themselves that the responsible authority ensures that the final beneficiaries receive the total amount of the contribution from public funds as quickly as possible. No amounts shall be deducted or withheld, nor any further specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect shall be levied that would reduce these amounts for the final beneficiaries provided that the final beneficiaries meet all the requirements regarding the eligibility of actions and expenses.

Article 36

Use of the euro

1.  Amounts set out in the draft multi-annual and annual programmes of the Member States referred to in respectively Articles 19 and 21, certified declarations of expenditure, requests for payments referred to in Article 26(1) point (o) and expenditure mentioned in the progress report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 38(4) and the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 50 shall be denominated in euro.

2.  Commission financing decisions, approving the annual programmes of Member States referred to in Article 21(4), commitments and payments shall be denominated and carried out in euro.

3.  Member States which have not adopted the euro as their currency on the date of the request for payment shall convert into euro the amounts of expenditure incurred in national currency. This amount shall be converted in euro using the monthly accounting exchange rate of the Commission in the month during which the expenditure was registered in the accounts of the responsible authority of the programme concerned. This rate shall be published electronically by the Commission each month.

4.  When the euro becomes the currency of a Member State, the conversion procedure set out in the preceding paragraph shall continue to apply to all expenditure recorded in the accounts by the certifying authority before the date of entry into force of the fixed conversion rate between the national currency and the euro.

Article 37

Commitments

Community budgetary commitments shall be made annually on the basis of the financing decision, approving the annual programme referred to in Article 21(4).

Article 38

Payments - Pre-financing

1.  Payments by the Commission of the contribution from the Funds shall be made in accordance with the budget commitments.

2.  Payments shall take the form of pre-financing and payment of the balance. They shall be made to the responsible authority designated by the Member State.

3.  A pre-financing payment representing 50% of the amount allocated in the Commission's financing decision approving the annual programme shall be made to the Member State within sixty days following the adoption of that decision.

4.  A second pre-financing payment shall be made no more than three months after the Commission has approved, within two months of the formal submission, a progress report on the implementation of the annual programme and a certified declaration of expenditure drawn up in accordance with Articles 28(1)(a) and 34 accounting for at least 60% of the amount of the initial payment. The amount of the second pre-financing payment made by the Commission shall not exceed 50% of the total amount allocated by the financing decision, approving the annual programme and, in any event, where a Member State has committed nationally an amount less the amount indicated in the financing decision, approving the annual programme, the balance of the amount of Community funds actually committed by the Member State for selected projects under the annual programme minus the first pre-financing payment.

5.  Any interest generated by pre-financing payments shall be posted to the programme concerned, being regarded as a resource for the Member State as national public contribution and shall be declared to the Commission at the time of the final declaration of expenditure of the programme concerned.

6.  The amounts paid as pre financing shall be cleared from the accounts when the annual programme is closed.

Article 39

Payments of balance

1.  1 The Commission shall pay the balance provided it has received the following documents no later than nine months after the eligibility deadline for expenditure laid down in the financing decision, approving the annual programme:

   a) a certified declaration of expenditure duly drawn up in accordance with Articles 28(1) point (a) and 34 and a request for payment of the balance or a declaration of reimbursement;
   b) the final report on the implementation of the annual programme, as set out in Article 50;
   c) the annual audit report, opinion and declaration provided for in Article 29(3).

The payment of the balance is subject to the acceptance of the final report on the implementation of the annual programme and of the declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment of the balance.

2.  If the responsible authority fails to provide the documents required in paragraph 1 by the due date and in an acceptable format, the Commission shall decommit any part of the budget commitment of the corresponding annual programme that has not been used for payment of the pre-financing.

3.  The automatic cancellation procedure defined in paragraph 2 shall be suspended, for the amount of the projects concerned, where legal proceedings or administrative appeal having suspensive effects are ongoing at Member State level at the time of submission of the documents defined in paragraph 1. The Member State shall, in the partial final report submitted, give detailed information on such projects, and send reports on progress made with regard to these projects every 6 months. Within 3 months of the conclusion of the legal proceedings or administrative appeal procedure, the Member State shall present the documents required in paragraph 1 for the projects concerned.

4.  The nine months period referred to in paragraph 1 shall be interrupted if the Commission has adopted a decision suspending payments of the co-financing for the relevant annual programme in accordance with the provisions of Article 41. The period shall start to run again from the date when the Commission decision referred to in Article 41(3) has been notified to the Member State.

5.  Without prejudice to the provisions of Article 40, the Commission shall, within six months of receiving the documents referred to in paragraph 1, inform the Member State of the amount of expenditure recognised by the Commission as chargeable to the Fund, and of any financial corrections deriving from the difference between declared expenditure and the expenditure recognised. The Member State shall have three months to present its comments.

6.  Within three months of receiving the Member State's comments, the Commission shall decide on the amount of expenditure recognised as chargeable to the Fund, and recover the balance arising from the difference between final recognised expenditure and the sums already paid to the Member States.

7.  Subject to available funding, the Commission shall pay the balance within no more than sixty days from the date on which it accepts the documents referred to in paragraph one above. The balance of the budgetary commitment shall be decommitted six months following the payment.

Article 40

Interruption

1.  The payment deadline shall be interrupted by the authorising officer by delegation within the meaning of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 for a maximum period of six months if […]:

   a) in a report of a national or Community audit body there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control systems[…],
   b) that officer has to carry out additional verifications following information coming to his notice which alerted him that expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected.

2.  The Member State and the certifying authority shall be informed immediately of the reasons for the interruption. The interruption shall be ended as soon as the necessary measures have been taken by the Member State.

Article 41

Suspension

1.  All or part of the pre-financing and balance payments may be suspended by the Commission when:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which affects the reliability of the procedure for certification of payments and for which corrective measures have not been taken; or
   b) expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected; or
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Articles 30 and 31.

2.  The Commission may decide to suspend pre-financing and balance payments after having given the Member State the opportunity to present its observations within a period of three months.

3.  The Commission shall end the suspension of pre-financing and balance payments when it considers that the Member State has taken the necessary measures to enable the suspension to be lifted.

4.  If the required measures are not taken by the Member State, the Commission may adopt a decision to cancel all or part of the Community contribution to the annual programme in accordance with Article 45.

Article 42

Conservation of documents

Without prejudice to the rules governing State aid under Article 87 of the Treaty, the responsible Authority shall ensure that all the supporting documents regarding expenditure and audits on the programmes concerned are kept available for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for a period of five years following the closure of the programmes as defined in Article 39(1).

This period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal proceedings or at the duly motivated request of the Commission.

The documents shall be kept either in the form of the originals or in versions certified to be in conformity with the originals on commonly accepted data carriers..

CHAPTER VIII

FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS

Article 43

Financial corrections established by the Member States

1.  The Member States shall in the first instance bear the responsibility for investigating irregularities, acting upon evidence of any major change affecting the nature or the conditions for the implementation or control of programmes and making the required financial corrections.

2.  The Member State shall make the financial corrections required in connection with the individual or systemic irregularities detected in actions or annual programmes. The corrections made by the Member States shall consist in recovering all or part of the Community contribution. The Member State shall take into account the nature and gravity of the irregularities and the financial loss to the Fund.

3.  Member States shall include in the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 50 a list of cancellation proceedings initiated for the annual programme concerned.

The corrections made by the Member State shall consist in cancelling all or part of the Community contribution, and, where the amount is not repaid in the time allowed by the relevant Member State, default interest shall be due at the rate provided for by Article 46(2).

4.  In the case of systemic irregularities the Member State shall extend its enquiries to cover all operations liable to be affected.

Article 44

Audit of accounts and financial corrections by the Commission

1.  Without prejudice to the powers of the Court of Auditors or the checks carried out by the Member States in accordance with national laws, regulations and administrative provisions, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot checks, including sample checks, on the operations financed by the Fund and on management and control systems with a minimum of three working days' notice. The Commission shall give notice to the Member State concerned with a view to obtaining all the assistance necessary. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such checks.

The Commission may require the Member State concerned to carry out an on-the-spot-check to verify the correctness of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such checks.

2.  If, after completing the necessary verifications, the Commission concludes that a Member State is not complying with its obligations under Article 30, it shall suspend the pre-financing or final payment in accordance with Article 41.

Article 45

Criteria for the corrections

1.  The Commission may make financial corrections by cancelling all or part of the Community contribution to an annual programme where, after carrying out the necessary examination, it concludes that:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which has put at risk the Community contribution already paid to the programme;
   b) expenditure contained in a certified declaration of expenditure is irregular and has not been corrected by the Member State prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph;
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Article 30 prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph.

The Commission shall decide after having taken into account any comments made by the Member State.

2.  The Commission shall base its financial corrections on individual cases of irregularity identified, taking account of the systemic nature of the irregularity to determine whether a flat-rate or extrapolated correction should be applied. Where the case of irregularity relates to a declaration of expenditure for which a positive assurance had previously been given in accordance with the Article 29(3)(b) in an annual report, there will be a presumption of a systemic problem giving rise to the application of a flat-rate or extrapolated correction, unless the Member State can provide proof within three months to rebut this presumption.

3.  The Commission shall, when deciding the amount of a correction, take account of the importance of the irregularity and the extent and financial implications of the deficiencies found in the annual programme concerned.

4.  Where the Commission bases its position on the facts established by auditors other than those of its own services, it shall draw its own conclusions regarding the financial consequences, after examining the measures taken by the Member State concerned under Article 31, the reports of notified irregularities and any replies from the Member State.

Article 46

Repayment

1.  Any repayment due to be made to the general budget of the European Communities shall be effected before the due date indicated in the order for recovery drawn up in accordance with Article 72 Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) N° 1605/2002(13). This due date shall be the last day of the second month following the issuing of the order.

2.  Any delay in effecting repayment shall give rise to interest on account of late payment, starting on the due date and ending on the date of actual payment. The rate of such interest shall be the rate applied by the European Central Bank to its principal refinancing operations, as published in the C series of the Official Journal of the European Union, in force on the first calendar day of the month in which the due date falls, increased by three and a half percentage points.

Article 47

Obligations of Member States

A financial correction by the Commission shall not prejudice the Member State's obligation to pursue recoveries under Article 45.

CHAPTER IX

MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTS

Article 48

Monitoring and evaluation

1.  The Commission shall carry out regular monitoring on the Fund in cooperation with the Member States.

2.  The Fund shall be evaluated regularly by the Commission in partnership with the Member States to assess the relevance, effectiveness and impact of actions in the light of the general objective referred to in Article 2 in the context of the preparation of the report set out in Article 49(3).

3.  The Commission shall also look at the complementarity between the actions implemented under the Fund and those pursued under other relevant Community policies, instruments and initiatives.

Article 49

Reporting obligations

1.  In each Member State the responsible authority shall take the necessary measures to ensure project-monitoring and evaluation.

To that end, the agreements and contracts it concludes with the organisations responsible for the implementation of the actions shall include clauses laying down an obligation to submit regular and detailed reports on the state of progress of implementation and completion of the assigned objectives which shall be the basis for respectively the progress and final reports on the implementation of the annual programme.

2.  The Member States shall submit to the Commission:

   a) no later that 30 June 2010, an evaluation report on the implementation of actions co-financed by the Fund;
   b) no later than 30 June 2012 (for the period 2007-2010) and 30 June 2015 (for the period 2011-2013) respectively, an evaluation report on the results and impact of actions co-financed by the Fund

3.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

   a) no later than 30 June 2009, a report on and a review of the application of the criteria set out in Article 14 for the annual breakdown of resources between member States; together with proposals for amendments if deemed necessary;
   b) no later than 31 December 2010, an intermediate report on the results achieved and on qualitative and quantitative aspects of implementation of the Fund, together with a proposal on the Fund's future development;
   c) no later than 31 December 2012 (for the period 2007-2010) and 31 December 2015 (for the period 2011-2013) respectively, an ex post evaluation report.

Article 50

Final report on the implementation of the annual programme

1.  The report shall include the following information in order to obtain a clear view of the implementation of the programme:

   a) the financial and operational implementation of the annual programme;
   b) the progress made in implementing the multiannual programme and its priorities in relation to their specific, verifiable targets, with a quantification, wherever and whenever they lend themselves to quantification, of the indicators;
  c) the steps taken by the responsible authority to ensure the quality and effectiveness of implementation, in particular:
   - monitoring and evaluation measures, including data collection arrangements;
   - a summary of any significant problems encountered in implementing the operational programme and any measures taken ;
   - the use made of technical assistance.
   d) the measures taken to provide information on and make public the annual and multiannual programmes.

2.  The report shall be judged acceptable where it contains all the information listed in paragraph 1. The Commission shall reach a decision on the content of the report submitted by the responsible authority within two months of having received all the information referred to in paragraph 1, which shall be acknowledged to the Member States. If the Commission does not respond within the time-limit laid down, the report shall be deemed to be accepted.

CHAPTER X

TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

Article 50A

The preparation for the multi-annual programme

1.  By way of derogation from Article 19, Member States shall

   a) as soon as possible after the entry into force of this Decision but no later than 1 March 2007, designate the national responsible authority referred to in Article 25, paragraph 1, point a), as well as, where appropriate, the delegated authority;
   b) no later than 1 May 2007, submit the description of the management and control systems referred to in Article 32, paragraph 2.

2.  By 31 May 2007, the Commission shall provide Member States with

   a) an estimate of the amounts allocated to them for the financial year 2007;
   b) estimates of the amounts to be allocated to them for the financial years 2008 – 2013, on the basis of an extrapolation of the calculation for the estimate for the financial year 2007, bearing in mind the proposed annual appropriations for the years 2007 – 2013 as set out by the financial perspectives.

Article 50B

The preparation for the 2007 annual programme

1.  By way of derogation from Article 21, the following time table shall apply for implementation in the financial year 2007:

   a) By 31 May 2007, the Commission shall provide Member States with an estimate of the amounts allocated to them for the financial year 2007;
   b) By 1 September 2007, Member States shall present the draft annual programme to the Commission.

2.  Expenditure actually disbursed between 1 January 2007 and the date on which the financing decision approving the annual programme of the Member State in question is adopted, may qualify for support from the Fund.

3.  To allow for the adoption in 2008 of financing decisions, approving the annual programme for 2007, the Commission shall make the Community budgetary commitment for 2007 on the basis of the estimate of the amount to be allocated to the Member States, calculated as provided by Article 14.

CHAPTER XI

FINAL PROVISIONS

Article 51

Committee

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the common Committee "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows", established by the Decision establishing the External Borders Fund for the period 2007-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" ../… (14) ("the "Committee").

2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 4 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.

3.  The Committee shall adopt its Rules of Procedure.

Article 52

Review

The Council shall review this Decision on the basis of a proposal from the Commission by 30 June 2013 at the latest.

Article 53

Entry into force

This Decision shall apply from 1 January 2007.

Article 54

Addressees

This Decision is addressed to the Member States.

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C …
(3) OJ C …
(4) OJ L 248,16.9.2002, p. 1.
(5) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p11
(7) OJC …
(8) OJC ….
(9) OJ L 375, 23.12.2004, p. 12
(10) OJ L 289, 3.11.2005, p. 15
(11) OJ L 16, 23.1.2004, p. 44
(12) References will be inserted to decisions establishing the ERF, the External Borders Fund and the Return Fund.
(13) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002.
(14) References will be inserted to decisions establishing the ERF, the External Borders Fund and the Return Fund.


Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism (Programme on Security and Safeguarding Liberties) *
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European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a Council decision establishing the specific programme 'Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism' for the period 2007-2013 – General Programme 'Security and Safeguarding Liberties' (COM(2005)0124 – C6-0241/2005 – 2005/0034(CNS))
P6_TA(2006)0584A6-0390/2006

(Consultation procedure)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2005)0124)(1),

–   having regard to Article 308 of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C6-0241/2005),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Budgets (A6-0390/2006),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Considers that the indicative financial reference amount indicated in the legislative proposal must be compatible with the ceiling of heading 3 A of the new multi-annual Financial Framework and points out that the annual amount will be decided within the annual budgetary procedure in accordance with the provisions of point 38 of the Interinstitutional Agreement between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management of 17 May 2006(2);

3.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, pursuant to Article 250(2) of the EC Treaty;

4.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

5.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to amend the Commission proposal substantially;

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendments by Parliament
Amendment 1
Title
Proposal for a Council decision establishing the specific programme "Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism", for the period 2007-2013
Proposal for a Council decision establishing the specific programme "Prevention of the Risks relating to Security, in particular to Terrorism, and Management of their Consequences", for the period 2007-2013
Amendment 2
Recital 1
(1)  Prevention, preparedness and consequence management of terrorism are essential aspects of the objective of maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice as provided for in Article 2, fourth indent, of the Treaty on European Union
(1)  Prevention of the risks relating to security, in particular to terrorism, and management of their consequences, are essential aspects of the objective of maintaining and developing the Union as an area of freedom, security and justice as provided for in Article 2, fourth indent, of the Treaty on European Union.
Amendment 3
Recital 2
(2)  The Community must take the necessary measures to prevent terrorists from attacking the values of democracy, the rule of law, open society and the freedom of our citizens and societies, and to limit the consequences of any attack wherever possible.
(2)  The Community must take the necessary measures to prevent natural or man-made disasters (including terrorism), in the case of the former, from impairing the well-being, freedom and security of citizens and societies and, in the case of the latter, from attacking the very values of democracy, the rule of law and open society, as well as to limit the consequences of such disasters wherever possible.
Amendment 4
Recital 6
(6)  The Community mechanism to facilitate reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions, established by Council Decision 2001/792/EC, Euratom of 23 October 2001, addresses immediate response to all major emergencies, but has not been designed specifically for prevention, preparedness and consequence management of terrorist attacks.
deleted
Amendment 5
Recital 7
(7)  In the interest of efficacy, cost-efficiency and transparency, the specific efforts on prevention, preparedness and consequence management of terrorism should be streamlined and financed by one single programme.
(7)  In the interest of efficacy, cost-efficiency and transparency, the specific efforts on prevention of the risks relating to security, in particular to terrorism, and management of their consequences, should be streamlined and financed by one single programme.
Amendment 6
Recital 8
(8)  With regard to legal certainty and coherence, and to the complementarity with other financial programmes, the terms "prevention and preparedness measures", "crisis and consequence management" and "critical infrastructure" should be defined.
(8)  With regard to legal certainty and coherence, and to the complementarity with other financial programmes, the terms "prevention measures", "consequence management" and "critical infrastructure" should be defined.
Amendment 7
Recital 9
(9)  Commission actions, together with transnational projects where appropriate, are essential to achieve an integrated and coordinated EU approach. In addition, it is useful and appropriate to support projects within Member States to the extent that they can provide useful experience and knowledge for further actions at Community level, in particular inspections and risk and threat assessments.
(9)  Commission actions and transnational projects are essential to identify and assess without delay the threats to individuals and critical European infrastructure and to achieve an early warning system between the Commission and the Member States and an integrated and coordinated approach to responses at EU level. In addition, it is useful and appropriate to support projects within Member States to the extent that they can provide useful experience and knowledge applicable to further actions at Community level, in particular inspections and risk and threat assessments.
Amendment 8
Recital 10
(10)  It is also appropriate to provide for third countries and international organisations to participate in transnational projects.
(10)  Given that terrorism has no borders, it is also appropriate to provide for third countries and international organisations to participate in transnational projects
Amendment 9
Recital 11
(11)  Complementarity needs to be ensured with other Community and Union programmes such as the EU Solidarity Fund and the Response and Preparedness Instrument for major emergencies, the Community mechanism to facilitate reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions, the Research & Development Framework Programme and the structural funds.
(11)  Complementarity needs to be ensured with other Community and Union programmes such as the EU Solidarity Fund and the Response and Preparedness Instrument for major emergencies, the Community mechanism to facilitate reinforced cooperation in civil protection assistance interventions, the Research & Development Framework Programme and the structural funds. Joint funding should also be expressly authorised with Commission programmes which allow specific studies to be carried out on the security of individuals and of critical infrastructure, in particular in the fields of transport and energy, with the aim of eventually bringing all funding resources together in a single instrument serving a clearly established global strategy.
Amendment 10
Recital 12
(12)  Since the objectives of this programme cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale or impact of the initiative, be better achieved at the Community level, the Community may adopt measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve those objectives.
(12)  Since the objectives of this programme cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and may therefore, by reason of the scale or impact of the initiative, require in this case an intervention at the Community level, the Community may adopt measures in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the European Community. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve those objectives.
Amendment 11
Recital 16
(16)  In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, measures for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted by use of the advisory procedure provided for in Article 3 of that Decision. This is appropriate since the programme does not have a significant impact on the Community budget.
(16)  In accordance with Article 2 of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, measures for the implementation of this Decision should be adopted by use of the regulatory procedure provided for in Article 5 of that Decision.
Amendment 12
Article 1, paragraph 1
This decision establishes for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 the specific programme " Prevention, Preparedness and Consequence Management of Terrorism", hereinafter referred to as " the programme ", as part of the general programme "Security and safeguarding liberties" in order to contribute to the strengthening of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
This decision establishes for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 the specific programme " Prevention of the Risks relating to Security, in particular to Terrorism, and Management of their Consequences", hereinafter referred to as " the programme ", as part of the general programme "Security and safeguarding liberties" in order to contribute to the strengthening of the area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
Amendment 13
Article 2, point (a)
(a) "prevention and preparedness" refers to measures aiming to prevent and/or reduce the risk of a terrorist attack and/or its consequences, particularly through risk and threat assessments, inspections and development of common standards on technology and methodology;
(a) "prevention" refers to measures aiming to prevent and/or reduce the risk of terrorist attacks and other security risks and to identify threats to individuals and critical infrastructure, particularly through risk and threat assessments, inspections and development of common standards on technology and methodology;
Amendment 14
Article 2, point (b)
(b) "consequence management" refers to measures limiting the mid-term consequences of terrorist attacks which are necessary to safeguard the European Union as an area of Freedom, Security and Justice;
(b) "consequence management" refers to the coordination of measures, limited to the actions eligible pursuant to Article 5(2), in order to respond to security incidents, particularly terrorism, and to limit their consequences, these measures being necessary to safeguard the European Union as an area of Freedom, Security and Justice, in particular through the establishment of a centralised early warning system and effective coordination at Community level of responses to such situations;
Amendment 15
Article 2, point (c)
(c) "critical infrastructure" refers to physical resources, services, communication facilities, networks and/or assets the disruption or destruction of which would have a serious impact on the health, safety, security or economic well-being of citizens or of the effective functioning of the European Union or its Member States" governments.
(c) "critical infrastructure" refers to physical resources, services, communication facilities, networks and/or assets the disruption or destruction of which would have a serious impact on the health, safety, security or economic well-being of citizens, on the environment or on the effective functioning of the European Union or its Member States" governments, a non-exhaustive list of which appears in the annex to this decision.
Amendment 16
Article 3, paragraph 1
1.  This programme shall contribute to protect citizens, their liberties and society against terrorist attacks and related incidents, and to safeguard the European Union as an area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
1.  This programme shall contribute to protect citizens, their liberties and society against terrorist attacks and other security risks, irrespective of their cause or origin, as well as related incidents, and to safeguard the European Union as an area of Freedom, Security and Justice.
Amendment 17
Article 3, paragraph 2
2.  The general objectives of the programme contribute to the development of other Union and Community policies such as police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, protection of the environment, public health, transport, research and technological development and economic and social cohesion.
2.  The general objectives of the programme contribute to the development of a comprehensive concept of security based, in particular, on other Union and Community policies such as police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, protection of the environment, energy supply, security of communication and information networks, public health, transport, research and technological development, continuity of public action and economic and social cohesion.
Amendment 18
Article 4, paragraph 1
1.  Within the general objectives, and unless covered by other specific legal instruments, the programme shall stimulate, promote and develop measures on prevention, preparedness and consequence management.
1.  Within the general objectives, and unless covered by other specific legal instruments, the programme shall stimulate, promote and develop measures on prevention of risks relating to security, in particular terrorism, and management of their consequences.
Amendment 19
Article 4, paragraph 2, introductory phrase
2.  With regard to prevention and preparedness to terrorist attacks, the programme aims at
2.  With regard to prevention of terrorist attacks, the programme aims at
Amendments 20 and 21
Article 4, paragraph 2, point (a)
(a) stimulating, promoting, and supporting risk and threat assessments on critical infrastructure, including evaluations on site, to identify possible targets of terrorist attacks and possible needs for upgrading their security,
(a) stimulating, promoting, and supporting risk and threat assessments on individuals and critical infrastructure, in particular by means of evaluations on site, to identify possible targets and possible needs for upgrading their security,
Amendment 22
Article 4, paragraph 3, introductory phrase
3.  With regard to consequence management in case of terrorist attacks, the programme aims at
3.  With regard to the management of consequences, particularly those of terrorist attacks, the programme aims at
Amendment 23
Article 4, paragraph 3, point (a)
(a) stimulating, promoting and supporting exchange of know-how, experience and technology on the potential consequences of terrorist attacks,
(a) stimulating, promoting and supporting exchange of know-how, experience and technology on the potential consequences of terrorist attacks and other security risks,
Amendment 24
Article 4, paragraph 3, point (c)
(c) ensuring real-time input of specific expertise on terrorism matters within overall crisis management, rapid alert and civil protection mechanisms.
(c) ensuring real-time input of specific expertise on matters including terrorism within overall crisis management, rapid alert and civil protection mechanisms.
Amendment 25
Article 5, paragraph 1, point (c), indent 4
– contribute otherwise considerably to protecting the Union and its citizens from terrorist attacks.
– contribute otherwise considerably to protecting the Union and its citizens from terrorist attacks and other security risks; measures undertaken in partnership with the Member States concerned, relating to critical national infrastructure, so as to eliminate or reduce the risks of exploitation of their security shortcomings, particularly if these could have serious cross-border repercussions, shall therefore be eligible.
Amendment 26
Article 5, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a. Member States shall remain responsible for the adoption, implementation and financing of operational security measures identified by this programme as being necessary for the improvement of general security in the European Union.
Amendment 27
Article 7, paragraph 2a (new)
2a. Access to funding shall be facilitated by the application of the principle of proportionality as regards the documents to be supplied and by the creation of a database for the submission of applications.
Amendment 28
Article 7 a (new)
Article 7a
Acknowledgement of funding
All institutions, associations or networks in receipt of a grant under this programme have the obligation to acknowledge the support granted by the European Union. To this end the Commission shall lay down detailed visibility guidelines.
Amendment 29
Article 8, paragraph 4, point (- a) (new)
(- a) priority to be given to prevention of terrorist attacks, in the absence of major disasters;
Amendment 30
Article 8, paragraph 4 a (new)
4a. The Commission shall, as far as possible, simplify procedures and ensure that calls for proposals provided for in this programme do not entail a bureaucratic burden for promoters of the projects proposed. Calls for proposals may be organised in two stages, the first of which would only require information that was strictly necessary for a proper assessment of the project to be sent.
Amendment 31
Article 9, paragraph 2
2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 3 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Articles 5 and 7 of Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply.
Amendment 32
Article 10, paragraph 1
1.  Synergies, consistency and complementarity will be sought with other Union and Community instruments, inter alia with the programmes Prevention of and Fight against Crime and Criminal Justice as well as with the Framework Programmes on Research ad technological Development, the European Union Solidarity Fund and the Response and Preparedness Instrument for major emergencies.
1.  Synergies, consistency and complementarity will be sought with other Union and Community instruments, inter alia with the programmes Prevention of and Fight against Crime and Criminal Justice as well as with the Framework Programmes on Research ad technological Development, the European Union Solidarity Fund and the Response and Preparedness Instrument for major emergencies. The Commission shall ensure that the actions undertaken under these programmes do not overlap.
Amendment 33
Article 10, paragraph 2
2.  The programme may share resources with other Community and Union instruments, in particular the programme "Prevention of and Fight against Crime", in order to implement actions meeting the objectives of both the programme and other Community/Union instruments.
2.  The programme may share resources with other Community and Union instruments, in particular the programme "Prevention of and Fight against Crime", in order to implement actions meeting the objectives of both the programme and other Community/Union instruments and with Commission programmes allowing specific studies relating to critical infrastructure security to be carried out, such as those already in progress in the fields of transport and energy.
Amendment 34
Article 10, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a. The Commission shall ensure that the actions covered by this Decision are complementary to those covered by the programmes mentioned in paragraph 1 and that they do not overlap.
Amendment 35
Article 10, paragraph 3 a (new)
3a. Should the programme's resources prove insufficient for the implementation of measures already in progress, the Community shall guarantee access to other compatible funds.
Amendment 36
Article 12, paragraph 1a (new)
1a. The Commission shall ensure that the actions covered by this Decision are subject to prior evaluation, monitoring and ex-post evaluation.
Amendment 37
Article 14, paragraph 2 a (new)
2a. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council annually, at the same time as it submits the Preliminary Draft Budget, on the implementation of the programme, in particular the use of the resources available.
Amendments 38 and 39
Article 14, paragraph 3
3.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council:
3.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament and the Council:
(- a) a succinct yearly report, including, in particular, information making it possible to measure the programme's success in quantitative terms.
(a) an interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of this programme no later than 31 March 2010;
(a) a detailed interim evaluation report on the results obtained and the qualitative and quantitative aspects of the implementation of this programme no later than 31 March 2010;
(b) a Communication on the continuation of this programme no later than 31 December 2010;
(b) a Communication on the continuation of this programme, especially regarding its objectives, no later than 31 December 2010;
(c) an ex-post evaluation report no later than 31 March 2015.
(c) an ex-post evaluation report, presenting the results achieved by the programme, including a budgetary evaluation, on completion of its implementation but no later than 31 March 2015.
Amendment 40
Article 14 a (new)
Article 14a
Publication of projects
Each year, the Commission, together with the Member States, shall publish a list of the projects financed under this programme with a short description of each project.
Amendment 41
Article 14 b (new)
Article 14b
Equal treatment
Organisations in receipt of an operating grant by virtue of this programme may take part in calls for proposals for other programmes, without however being entitled to preferential treatment vis-à-vis other organisations financed from budgets other than that of the European Union.
Amendment 42
Annex (new)
ANNEX
INDICATIVE LIST OF CRITICAL INFRASTRUCTURE SECTORS:
1)  Energy
a.  Oil and gas production, refining, treatment and storage, including pipelines
b.  Electricity generation
c.  Transmission of electricity, gas and oil
d.  Distribution of electricity, gas and oil
2)  Information, Communication Technologies, ICT
a)  Information system and network protection
b.  Instrumentation automation and control systems (SCADA etc.)
c.  Internet
d.  Provision of fixed telecommunications
e.  Provision of mobile telecommunications
f.  Radio communication and navigation
g.  Satellite communication
h.  Broadcasting
3)  Water
a.  Provision of drinking water
b.  Control of water quality
c.  Stemming and control of water quantity
4)  Food
a)  Provision of food and safeguarding food safety and security
5)  Health
a.  Medical and hospital care
b.  Medicines, serums, vaccines and pharmaceuticals
c.  Bio-laboratories and bio-agents
6)  Financial
a)  Payment services/payment structures (private)
b)  Government financial assignment
7)  Public & Legal Order and Safety
a)  Maintaining public & legal order, safety and security
b)  Administration of justice and detention
8)  Civil administration
a.  Government functions
b.  Armed forces
c.  Civil administration services
d.  Emergency services
exposal and courier services
9)  Transport 29
Road transport
a.  Rail transport
b.  Air traffic
c.  Inland waterways transport
d.  Ocean and short-sea shipping
10)  Chemical and nuclear industry
a.  Production and storage/processing of chemical and nuclear substances
b.  Pipelines of dangerous goods (chemical substances)
11)  Space and Research
a.  Space
b.  Research

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


Numerical strength of the committees
PDF 107kWORD 36k
Decision on the numerical strength of the committees
P6_TA(2006)0585B6-0664/2006

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Rule 174 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to its decision of 21 July 2004 on the numerical strength of the committees(1),

1.  Decides that, as from 8 January 2007, the numerical strength of the committees shall be as follows:

CO1 - Committee on Foreign Affairs: 86 members

CO2 - Committee on Development: 36 members

CO3 - Committee on International Trade: 33 members

CO4 - Committee on Budgets: 50 members

CO5 - Committee on Budgetary Control: 40 members

CO6 - Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs: 51 members

CO7 - Committee on Employment and Social Affairs: 52 members

CO8 - Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety: 68 members

CO9 - Committee on Industry, Research and Energy: 54 members

C10 - Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection: 44 members

C11 - Committee on Transport and Tourism: 51 members

C12 - Committee on Regional Development: 57 members

C13 - Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development: 47 members

C14 - Committee on Fisheries: 40 members

C15 - Committee on Culture and Education: 38 members

C16 - Committee on Legal Affairs: 28 members

C17 - Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs: 60 members

C18 - Committee on Constitutional Affairs: 29 members

C19 - Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality: 40 members

C20 - Committee on Petitions: 40 members;

2.  Decides that, as from 8 January 2007, the numerical strength of the subcommittees shall be as follows:

SCO1A - Subcommittee on Human Rights: 36 members

SCO1B - Subcommittee on Security and Defence: 36 members.

(1) OJ C 103 E, 28.4.2005, p. 30.


European Institute for Gender Equality ***II
PDF 280kWORD 79k
Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a European Institute for Gender Equality (10351/1/2006 - C6-0314/2006 – 2005/0017(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0586A6-0455/2006

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council common position (10351/1/2006 -C6-0314/2006)(1),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0081)(3),

–   having regard to the amended Commission proposal (COM(2006)0209)(4),

–   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 Women's Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0455/2006),

1.  Approves the common position as amended; confirms the joint statement of the Parliament, the Council and the Commission thereon, as annexed hereto;

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

Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No .../2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing a European Institute for Gender Equality

P6_TC2-COD(2005)0017


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 13(2) and 141(3) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(5),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(6),

Whereas:

(1)  Equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of the European Union. Articles 21 and 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union set out a prohibition on any discrimination on grounds of sex and provide that equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas.

(2)  Article 2 of the Treaty provides that equality between men and women is one of the Community's essential tasks. Similarly, Article 3(2) of the Treaty requires the Community to aim to eliminate inequalities and to promote equality between men and women in all its activities and thus ensure the integration of the dimension of equality between men and women in all Community policies.

(3)  Article 13 of the Treaty empowers the Council to take appropriate action to combat discrimination inter alia on grounds of sex in all areas of Community competence.

(4)  The principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation is enshrined in Article 141 of the Treaty and a comprehensive body of legislation on equal treatment of men and women in relation to access to employment and working conditions including equal pay is already in place.

(5)  The Commission's first annual report on equality between men and women to the Spring European Council in 2004 concluded that significant gender gaps exist in most policy fields, that inequality between men and women is a multi-dimensional phenomenon that has to be tackled by a comprehensive mix of policy measures and that enhanced efforts are needed to meet the Lisbon strategy targets.

(6)  The Nice European Council of 7-9 December 2000 called for "Increased awareness, the pooling of resources and the exchange of experience, in particular through the establishment of a European Institute for gender issues".

(7)  The feasibility study(7) carried out for the Commission concluded that there is a clear role for a European Institute for Gender Equality to carry out some of the tasks with which the existing institutions do not currently deal, specifically in the areas of coordination, centralisation and dissemination of research data and information, network building, the raising of visibility of equality between men and women, highlighting the gender perspective and the development of tools for improved integration of gender equality in all Community policies.

(8)  The European Parliament in its Resolution of 10 March 2004 on the European Union's policies on gender equality(8) called on the Commission to speed up the efforts leading to the setting-up of an Institute.

(9)  The Council of Employment, Social Affairs, Health and Consumers Affairs of 1-2 June 2004 and the European Council of 17-18 June 2004 supported the establishment of a European Institute for Gender Equality. The European Council asked the Commission to bring forward a specific proposal.

(10)  The collection, analysis and dissemination of objective, reliable and comparable information and data on equality between men and women, the development of appropriate tools for the elimination of all forms of discrimination on grounds of sex and the integration of the gender dimension in all policy areas, the promotion of dialogue among stakeholders and the raising of awareness among EU citizens are necessary so as to enable the Community to effectively promote and implement gender equality policy, in particular in an enlarged Union. It is therefore appropriate to establish a European Institute for Gender Equality, which would assist the Community institutions and the Member States by carrying out those tasks.

(11)  Gender equality cannot be achieved by an anti-discrimination policy alone but requires measures to promote harmonious co-existence and balanced participation by men and women within society; the Institute should contribute to the attainment of that objective.

(12)  Given the importance of eliminating gender stereotypes in European society in all walks of life and of providing positive examples for women and men to follow, action to achieve those aims should also be included among the Institute's tasks.

(13)  Cooperation with the relevant authorities of the Member States and relevant statistical bodies, in particular Eurostat, is essential to promote the collection of comparable and reliable data at European level. Given that information on equality between men and women is relevant to all levels within the Community – local, regional, national and Community – it would be useful for such information to be available to Member States' authorities in order to help them formulate policies and measures at local, regional and national level in their spheres of competence.

(14)  The Institute should work as closely as possible with all Community programmes and bodies in order to avoid duplication and ensure the best possible use of resources, in particular as regards the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions(9), the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work(10), the Centre for the Development of Vocational Training(11) and the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights(12).

(15)  The Institute should develop cooperation and dialogue with non-governmental and equal opportunities organisations, research centres, social partners, and other related bodies actively seeking to achieve equality at national and European level and in third countries. In the interest of efficiency, it is appropriate for the Institute to set up and coordinate an electronic European Network on Gender Equality with such entities and experts in the Member States.

(16)  With a view to ensuring the necessary balance among the Member States and the continuity of the members of the Management Board, the representatives of the Council will be appointed for each term of office in accordance with the order of rotation of the Presidencies of the Council, commencing in 2007.

(17)  In accordance with Article 3(2) of the Treaty it is appropriate to promote a balanced participation of men and women in the composition of the Management Board.

(18)  The Institute should enjoy maximum independence in the performance of its tasks.

(19)  The Institute should apply the relevant Community legislation concerning public access to documents as set out in Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001(13) and the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data as set out in Regulation (EC) No 45/2001(14).

(20)  Commission Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 of 19 November 2002 on the framework Financial Regulation for the bodies referred to in Article 185 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(15), applies to the Institute.

(21)  For the contractual liability of the Institute, which is governed by the law applicable to the contracts concluded by the Institute, the Court of Justice should have jurisdiction to give judgment, pursuant to any arbitration clause, contained in the contract. The Court of Justice should also have jurisdiction in disputes relating to compensation for any damage arising from the non-contractual liability of the Institute.

(22)  An independent external evaluation should be undertaken to assess the impact of the Institute, the possible need to modify or extend its tasks and the timing of further such reviews.

(23)  Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely to contribute to and strengthen the promotion of gender equality, including gender mainstreaming in all Community policies and the resulting national policies, and the fight against discrimination based on sex, and to raise EU citizens' awareness of gender equality by providing technical assistance to the Community institutions and the authorities of the Member States, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of the scale of the action, 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 Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve those objectives.

(24)  Article 13(2) of the Treaty permits the adoption of Community measures in order to support and promote the objective of combating discrimination on grounds of sex beyond the field of employment. Article 141(3) of the Treaty is the specific legal basis for measures aimed to ensure the application of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation. Therefore, Article 13(2) and Article 141(3) combined constitute the appropriate legal basis for adoption of this Regulation,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

Establishment of the Institute

A European Institute for Gender Equality (hereinafter referred to as "the Institute") is hereby established.

Article 2

Objectives

The overall objectives of the Institute shall be to contribute to and strengthen the promotion of gender equality, including gender mainstreaming in all Community policies and the resulting national policies, and the fight against discrimination based on sex, and to raise EU citizens' awareness of gender equality by providing technical assistance to the Community institutions, in particular the Commission, and the authorities of the Member States, as set out in Article 3.

Article 3

Tasks

1.  To meet the objectives set in Article 2, the Institute shall:

   a) collect, analyse and disseminate relevant objective, comparable and reliable information as regards gender equality, including results from research and best practice communicated to it by Member States, Community institutions, research centres, national equality bodies, non-governmental organisations, social partners, relevant third countries and international organisations, and suggest areas for further research;
   b) develop methods to improve the objectivity, comparability and reliability of data at European level by establishing criteria that will improve the consistency of information and take into account gender issues when collecting data;
   c) develop, analyse, evaluate and disseminate methodological tools in order to support the integration of gender equality into all Community policies and the resulting national policies and to support gender mainstreaming in all Community institutions and bodies;
   d) carry out surveys on the situation in Europe as regards gender equality;
   e) set up and coordinate a European Network on Gender Equality, involving the centres, bodies, organisations and experts dealing with gender equality and gender mainstreaming in order to support and encourage research, optimise the use of available resources and foster the exchange and dissemination of information;
   f) organise ad hoc meetings of experts to support the institute's research work, encourage the exchange of information among researchers and promote the inclusion of a gender perspective in their research;
   g) in order to raise EU citizens' awareness of gender equality, organise, with relevant stakeholders, conferences, campaigns and meetings at European level, and present the findings and conclusions to the Commission;
   h) disseminate information regarding positive examples of non-stereotypical roles for women and men in every walk of life, present its findings and initiatives designed to publicise and build on such success stories;
   i) develop dialogue and cooperation with non-governmental and equal opportunities organisations, universities and experts, research centres, social partners and related bodies actively seeking to achieve equality at national and European level;
   j) set up documentation resources accessible to the public;
   k) make information on gender mainstreaming available to public and private organisations; and
   l) provide information to the Community Institutions on gender equality and gender mainstreaming in the accession and candidate countries.

2.  The Institute shall publish an annual report on its activities.

Article 4

Areas of activity and working methods

1.  The Institute shall carry out its tasks within the competences of the Community and in the light of the objectives adopted and priority areas identified in its annual programme, and with due regard to the available budgetary resources.

2.  The work programme of the Institute shall be in line with the Community priorities in the field of gender equality and the work programme of the Commission, including its statistical and research work.

3.  In pursuing its activities, the Institute shall, in order to avoid duplication and to ensure the best possible use of resources, take account of existing information from whatever source and in particular of activities already carried out by the Community institutions and by other institutions, bodies and competent national and international organisations and work closely with the competent Commission services, including Eurostat. The Institute shall ensure appropriate coordination with all relevant Community agencies and Union bodies to be determined in a memorandum of understanding where appropriate.

4.  The Institute shall ensure that the information disseminated is comprehensible to the final users.

5.  The Institute may enter into contractual relations, in particular subcontracting arrangements, with other organisations, in order to accomplish any tasks which it may entrust to them.

Article 5

Legal personality and capacity

The Institute shall have legal personality. It shall enjoy, in each of the Member States, the most extensive legal capacity accorded to legal persons under their laws. In particular, it may acquire or dispose of movable or immovable property and may be a party to legal proceedings.

Article 6

Independence of the Institute

The Institute shall carry out its activities independently in the public interest.

Article 7

Access to documents

1.  Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 shall apply to documents held by the Institute.

2.  The Management Board shall adopt arrangements for implementing Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 within six months of the establishment of the Institute.

3.  Decisions taken by the Institute pursuant to Article 8 of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 may give rise to the lodging of a complaint to the Ombudsman or form the subject of an action before the Court of Justice, under the conditions laid down in Articles 195 and 230 of the Treaty respectively.

4.  Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 shall apply to the processing of data by the Institute.

Article 8

Cooperation with organisations at national and European level, international organisations and third countries

1.  To help it carry out its tasks, the Institute shall cooperate with organisations and experts in the Member States, such as equality bodies, research centres, universities, non-governmental organisations, social partners as well as with relevant organisations at European or international level and third countries.

2.  Should agreements with international organisations or with third countries prove necessary for the Institute to carry out its tasks efficiently, the Community shall, in accordance with the procedure provided for in Article 300 of the Treaty, enter into such agreements with the international organisations or with third countries in the interests of the Institute. This provision shall not preclude ad hoc cooperation with such organisations or third countries.

Article 9

Composition of the Institute

The Institute shall comprise:

   a) a Management Board;
   b) an Experts' Forum;
   c) a Director and his or her staff.

Article 10

Management Board

1.  The Management Board shall consist of:

   a) eighteen representatives appointed by the Council, on the basis of a proposal from each Member State concerned;
   b) one member representing the Commission, appointed by the Commission;

2.  The members of the Management Board shall be appointed in such a way as to secure the highest standards of competence and a broad range of relevant and transdisciplinary expertise in the area of gender equality.

The Council and the Commission shall aim to achieve a balanced representation between men and women on the Management Board.

Alternates who represent the member in his or her absence shall be appointed by the same procedure.

The list of the members and alternates of the Management Board shall be published by the Council in the Official Journal of the European Union, on the website of the Institute and on other relevant websites.

3.  The term of office shall be three years. For each term of office, the members appointed by the Council shall represent eighteen Members States in the order of the rotating Presidencies, one member being nominated by each Member State concerned.

4.  The Management Board shall elect its Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson to serve for a period of three years.

5.  Each member of the Management Board referred to under paragraph 1(a) or (b), or in his or her absence, his or her alternate, shall have one vote.

6.  The Management Board shall take the decisions necessary for the operation of the Institute. In particular, it shall:

   a) adopt, on the basis of a draft drawn up by the Director, as referred to in Article 12, after consultation with the Commission, the annual work programme and the medium term work programme, covering a three-year period, in accordance with the budget and the available resources; the programmes may be reviewed whenever necessary; the first annual work programme shall be adopted not later than nine months after the appointment of the Director;
   b) adopt the annual report referred to in Article 3(2), comparing, in particular, the results achieved with the objectives of the annual work programme; this report shall be forwarded by 15 June at the latest to the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission, the Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions and shall be published on the website of the Institute;
   c) exercise disciplinary authority over the Director and appoint or dismiss him or her pursuant to Article 12; and
   d) adopt the Institute's annual draft and final budgets.

7.  The Management Board shall adopt the Institute's internal rules on the basis of a proposal drawn up by the Director after consultation with the Commission.

8.  Decisions by the Management Board shall be taken by a majority of its members. The Chairperson shall have the casting vote. In the cases referred to in paragraph 6 and in Article 12(1), decisions shall be taken by a two-thirds majority of its members.

9.  The Management Board shall adopt its rules of procedure on the basis of a proposal drawn up by the Director after consultation with the Commission.

10.  The Chairperson shall convene the Management Board at least once a year. The Chairperson shall convene additional meetings on his or her own initiative or at the request of one-third of the members of the Management Board.

11.  The Institute shall forward annually to the European Parliament and the Council (hereinafter referred to as the "budgetary authority") any information relevant to the outcome of the evaluation procedures.

12.  The Directors of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work, the Centre for the Development of Vocational Training and of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights may as appropriate be invited to attend meetings of the Management Board as observers in order to coordinate the respective working programmes as regards gender mainstreaming.

Article 11

Experts' Forum

1.  The Experts' Forum shall be composed of members from competent bodies specialised in gender equality issues, on the basis of one representative designated by each Member State, two members representing other relevant organisations specialised in gender equality issues designated by the European Parliament, as well as three members designated by the Commission and representing interested parties at European level, with one representative each from:

   a) an appropriate non-governmental organisation at Community level which has a legitimate interest in contributing to the fight against discrimination on grounds of sex and the promotion of gender equality;
   b) employers' organisations at Community level; and
   c) workers' organisations at Community level.

The Member States and the Commission shall aim to achieve a balanced representation between men and women in the Experts' Forum.

Members may be replaced by alternates, appointed at the same time.

2.  Members of the Experts' Forum shall not be members of the Management Board.

3.  The Experts' Forum shall support the Director in ensuring the excellence and independence of activities of the Institute.

4.  The Experts' Forum shall constitute a mechanism for an exchange of information in relation to gender equality issues and the pooling of knowledge. It shall ensure close cooperation between the Institute and competent bodies in the Member States.

5.  The Experts' Forum shall be chaired by the Director or, in his/her absence, by a deputy from within the Institute. It shall meet regularly at the invitation of the Director, or at the request of at least a third of its members, and at least once per year. Its operational procedures shall be specified in the Institute's internal rules and shall be made public.

6.  Representatives of the Commission's departments shall participate in the work of the Experts' Forum.

7.  The Institute shall provide the technical and logistic support necessary for the Experts' Forum and provide a secretariat for its meetings.

8.  The Director may invite experts or representatives of relevant economic sectors, employers, trade unions, professional or research bodies, or non-governmental organisations with recognised experience in disciplines related to the work of the Institute to cooperate in specific tasks and to take part in the relevant activities of the Experts' Forum.

Article 12

Director

1.  The Institute shall be headed by a Director appointed by the Management Board on the basis of a list of candidates proposed by the Commission after an open competition, following publication in the Official Journal of the European Union and elsewhere of a call for expressions of interest. Before being appointed, the candidate selected by the Management Board shall be asked to make a declaration before the competent committee(s) of the European Parliament and answer questions from its/their members.

2.  The Director's term of office shall be 5 years. On a proposal from the Commission and after evaluation, that term of office may be extended once for a period of not more than 5 years. In the evaluation, the Commission shall assess in particular:

   a) the results achieved in the first term of office and the way they were achieved,
   b) the Institute's duties and requirements in the coming years.

3.  The Director shall be responsible, under the supervision of the Management Board, for:

   a) performance of the tasks referred to in Article 3;
   b) preparing and implementing the Institute's annual and medium-term programmes of activities;
   c) preparing the meetings of the Management Board and the Experts' Forum;
   d) preparing and publishing the annual report referred to in Article 3(2);
   e) all staff-related matters, and in particular exercising the powers provided for in Article 13(3);
   f) matters of day-to-day administration; and
   g) the implementation of effective monitoring and evaluation procedures relating to the performance of the Institute against its objectives according to professionally recognised standards. The Director shall report annually to the Management Board on the results of the monitoring system.

4.  The Director shall be accountable for the management of his/her activities to the Management Board and shall take part in its meetings without voting rights. He/she may also be invited by the European Parliament to report during a hearing on significant issues linked to the Institute's activities.

5.  The Director shall be the Institute's legal representative.

Article 13

Staff

1.  The Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of Employment of other servants of the European Communities laid down in Regulation (EEC, ECSC, Euratom) No 259/68(16) and the rules adopted jointly by the European Community institutions for the purpose of applying these Staff Regulations and Conditions of Employment shall apply to the staff of the Institute.

2.  The Management Board, in agreement with the Commission, shall adopt the necessary implementing measures, in accordance with the arrangements provided for in Article 110 of the Staff Regulations. The Management Board may adopt provisions to allow national experts from Member States to be employed on secondment at the Institute.

3.  The Institute shall exercise in respect of its staff the powers devolved to the appointing authority.

Article 14

Drawing up of the budget

1.  Estimates of all the revenue and expenditure of the Institute shall be prepared for each financial year, corresponding to the calendar year, and shall be shown in the budget of the Institute.

2.  The revenue and expenditure shown in the budget of the Institute shall be in balance.

3.  The revenue of the Institute shall, without prejudice to other resources, comprise:

   a) a subsidy from the Community, entered in the general budget of the European Union (Commission section);
   b) payments received for services rendered;
   c) any financial contributions from the organisations or third countries referred to in Article 8; and
   d) any voluntary contribution from the Member States.

4.  The expenditure of the Institute shall include staff remuneration, administrative and infrastructure costs and operating expenses.

5.  Each year the Management Board, on the basis of a draft drawn up by the Director, shall produce an estimate of revenue and expenditure for the Institute for the following financial year. This estimate, which shall include a draft establishment plan, shall be forwarded by the Management Board to the Commission by 31 March at the latest.

6.  The estimate shall be forwarded by the Commission to the budgetary authority together with the preliminary draft general budget of the European Union.

7.  On the basis of the estimate, the Commission shall enter in the preliminary draft general budget of the European Union the estimates it deems necessary for the establishment plan and the amount of the subsidy to be charged to the general budget, which it shall place before the budgetary authority in accordance with Article 272 of the Treaty.

8.  The budgetary authority shall authorise the appropriations for the subsidy to the Institute and shall adopt the establishment plan for the Institute.

9.  The budget of the Institute shall be adopted by the Management Board. It shall become final following final adoption of the general budget of the European Union. Where appropriate, it shall be adjusted accordingly.

10.  The Management Board shall, as soon as possible, notify the budgetary authority of its intention to implement any project which may have significant financial implications for the funding of its budget, in particular any projects relating to property such as the rental or purchase of buildings. It shall inform the Commission thereof.

Where a branch of the budgetary authority has notified its intention to deliver an opinion, it shall forward its opinion to the Management Board within a period of six weeks from the date of notification of the project.

Article 15

Implementation of the budget

1.  The Director shall implement the budget of the Institute.

2.  By 1 March at the latest following each financial year, the Institute's accounting officer shall communicate the provisional accounts to the Commission's accounting officer together with a report on the budgetary and financial management for that financial year. The Commission's accounting officer shall consolidate the provisional accounts of the institutions and decentralised bodies in accordance with Article 128 of Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002.

3.  By 31 March at the latest following each financial year, the Commission's accounting officer shall forward the Institute's provisional accounts to the Court of Auditors, together with the report mentioned in paragraph 2. The report shall also be forwarded to the European Parliament and the Council.

4.  On receipt of the Court of Auditors' observations on the Institute's provisional accounts, pursuant to Article 129 of the Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002, the Director shall draw up the Institute's final accounts under his or her own responsibility and forward them to the Management Board for an opinion.

5.  The Management Board shall deliver an opinion on the Institute's final accounts.

6.  By 1 July at the latest following each financial year, the Director shall forward the final accounts to the European Parliament, the Council, the Commission and the Court of Auditors, together with the Management Board's opinion.

7.  The final accounts shall be published.

8.  The Director shall send the Court of Auditors a reply to its observations by 30 September at the latest. He or she shall also send that reply to the Management Board.

9.  The Director shall submit to the European Parliament, at the latter's request, any information required for the smooth application of the discharge procedure for the financial year in question, as laid down in Article 146(3) of the Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002.

10.  By 30 April of year N + 2, the European Parliament, on a recommendation from the Council acting by a qualified majority, shall give a discharge to the Director in respect of the implementation of the budget for year N.

11.  The financial rules applicable to the Institute shall be adopted by the Management Board after the Commission has been consulted. They may not depart from Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2343/2002 unless specifically required for the Institute's operation and with the Commission's prior consent.

Article 16

Languages

1.  The provisions laid down in Regulation No 1 of 15 April 1958 determining the languages to be used in the European Economic Community(17) shall apply to the Institute.

2.  The translation services required for the functioning of the Institute shall, in principle, be provided by the Translation Centre for the Bodies of the European Union set up by Council Regulation (EC) No 2965/94(18).

Article 17

Privileges and immunities

The Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities shall apply to the Institute.

Article 18

Liability

1.  The contractual liability of the Institute shall be governed by the law applicable to the contract in question.

The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction pursuant to an arbitration clause contained in any contracts concluded by the Institute.

2.  In the case of non-contractual liability, the Institute shall, in accordance with the general principles common to the laws of the Member States, make good any damage caused by the Institute or its servants in the performance of their duties.

The Court of Justice shall have jurisdiction in disputes relating to compensation for any such damage.

Article 19

Participation of third countries

1.  The Institute shall be open to the participation of countries which have concluded agreements with the European Community by virtue of which they have adopted and apply Community legislation in the field covered by this Regulation.

2.  Arrangements shall be made under the relevant provisions of those agreements, specifying in particular the nature, extent and manner in which those countries are to participate in the Institute's work, including provisions relating to participation in the initiatives undertaken by the Institute, financial contributions and staff. As regards staff matters, those agreements shall, at all events, be in accordance with the Staff Regulations of officials of the European Communities and the Conditions of employment of other servants of the European Communities.

Article 20

Evaluation

1.  By …(19), the Institute shall commission an independent external evaluation of its achievements on the basis of terms of reference issued by the Management Board in agreement with the Commission. The evaluation shall assess the impact of the Institute on the promotion of gender equality and shall include an analysis of the synergy effects. It shall, in particular, address the possible need to modify or extend the tasks of the Institute, including the financial implications of any such modification or extension of the tasks. Such evaluation shall also examine the appropriateness of the management structure in carrying out the Institute's tasks. The evaluation shall take into account the views of the stakeholders, at both Community and national level.

2.  The Management Board, in agreement with the Commission, shall decide the timing of future evaluations, taking into account the results of the evaluation report mentioned in paragraph 1.

Article 21

Review clause

The Management Board shall examine the conclusions of the evaluation mentioned in Article 20 and issue to the Commission such recommendations as may be necessary regarding changes in the Institute, its working practices and remit. The Commission shall forward the evaluation report and the recommendations to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions and make them public. After examination of the evaluation report and the recommendations, the Commission may submit any proposals which it deems necessary concerning this Regulation.

Article 22

Administrative control

The operations of the Institute shall be subject to the supervision of the Ombudsman in accordance with the provisions of Article 195 of the Treaty.

Article 23

Start of the Institute's activities

The Institute shall be operational as soon as possible and in any event not later than …(20).

Article 24

Entry into force

This Regulation shall enter into force on the 20th 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 295 E, 5.12.2006, p. 57.
(2) Texts adopted, 14.3.2006, P6_TA(2006)0074.
(3) Not yet published in the OJ.
(4) Not yet published in the OJ.
(5) OJ C 24, 31.1.2006, p. 29.
(6) Opinion of the European Parliament of 14 March 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal), Council Common Position of 18 September 2006 (OJ C 295 E, 5.12.2006, p. 57) and Position of the European Parliament of 14 December 2006.
(7) European Commission Feasibility Study for a European Gender Institute (conducted by PLS Ramboll Management, DK, 2002).
(8) OJ C 102 E, 28.4.2004, p. 638.
(9) Council Regulation (EEC) No 1365/75 of 26 May 1975 on the creation of a European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (OJ L 139, 30.5.1975, p. 1). Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1111/2005 (OJ L 184, 15.7.2005, p. 1).
(10) Council Regulation (EC) No 2062/94 of 18 July 1994 establishing a European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (OJ L 216, 20.8.1994, p. 1). Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1112/2005 (OJ L 184, 15.7.2005, p. 5).
(11) Council Regulation (EEC) No 337/75 of 10 February 1975 establishing a European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (OJ L 39, 13.2.1975, p. 1). Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 2051/2004 (OJ L 355, 1.12.2004, p. 1).
(12) Member States meeting in the framework of the European Council in December 2003 requested the Commission to prepare a proposal for a human rights agency by extending the mandate of the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia.
(13) Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents (OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43).
(14) Regulation (EC) No 45/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2000 on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Community institutions and bodies and of the free movement of such data (OJ L 8, 12.1.2001, p. 1).
(15) OJ L 357, 31.12.2002, p. 72.
(16) OJ L 56, 4.3.1968, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 723/2004 (OJ L 124, 27.4.2004, p. 1).
(17) OJ 17, 6.10.1958, p. 385. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 920/2005 (OJ L 156, 18.6.2005, p. 3).
(18) Council Regulation (EC) No 2965/94 of 28 November 1994 setting up a Translation Centre for bodies of the European Union (OJ L 314, 7.12.1994, p. 1). Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 920/2005.
(19)* The end of the third year following the entry into force of this Regulation.
(20)* Twelve months after the entry into force of this Regulation.


Driving licenses ***II
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on driving licences (9010/1/2006 – C6-0312/2006 – 2003/0252(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0587A6-0414/2006

(Codecision procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Council common position (9010/1/2006 – C6-0312/2006),

–   having regard to its position at first reading(1) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2003)0621)(2),

–   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 (A6-0414/2006),

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 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2006/.../EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on driving licences (Recast)

P6_TC2-COD(2003)0252


(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 71 thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

Having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee(3),

After consulting the Committee of the Regions,

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4),

Whereas:

(1)  Council Directive 91/439/EEC of 29 July 1991 on driving licences(5) has been significantly amended on several occasions. Now that new amendments are being made to the said Directive, it is desirable, in order to clarify matters, that the provisions in question should be recast.

(2)  The rules on driving licences are essential elements of the common transport policy, contribute to improving road safety, and facilitate the free movement of persons taking up residence in a Member State other than the one issuing the licence. Given the importance of individual means of transport, possession of a driving licence duly recognised by a host Member State promotes free movement and freedom of establishment of persons. Despite the progress achieved with harmonising the rules on driving licences, significant differences have persisted between Member States in the rules on periodicity of licences renewal and on subcategories of vehicles, which needed to be harmonised more fully, in order to contribute to the implementation of Community policies.

(3)  The possibility of laying down national provisions with regard to the period of validity provided for in Directive 91/439/EEC leads to the co-existence of different rules in different Member States and over 110 different models of driving licences valid in the Member States. This creates problems of transparency for citizens, police forces and the administrations responsible for the administration of driving licences and leads to the falsification of documents which sometimes date back several decades.

(4)  In order to prevent the single European driving licence model from becoming an additional model to the 110 already in circulation, Member States should take all necessary measures to issue this single model to all licence holders.

(5)  This Directive should not prejudice existing entitlements to drive granted or acquired before its date of application.

(6)  Driving licences are mutually recognised. Member States should be able to apply the period of validity prescribed by this Directive to a licence without a limited administrative validity issued by another Member State and whose holder has resided on their territory for more than two years.

(7)  The introduction of a period of administrative validity for new driving licences should make it possible to apply at the time of periodic renewal the most recent counter-falsification measures and the medical examinations or other measures provided for by the Member States.

(8)  On road safety grounds, the minimum requirements for the issue of a driving licence should be laid down. Standards for driving tests and licensing need to be harmonised. To this end the knowledge, skills and behaviour connected with driving motor vehicles should be defined, the driving test should be based on these concepts and the minimum standards of physical and mental fitness for driving such vehicles should be redefined.

(9)  Proof of fulfilment of compliance with minimum standards of physical and mental fitness for driving by drivers of vehicles used for the transport of persons or goods should be provided when the driving licence is issued and periodically thereafter. Such regular control in accordance with national rules of compliance with minimum standards will contribute to the free movement of persons, avoid distortions of competition and better take into account the specific responsibility of drivers of such vehicles. Member States should be allowed to impose medical examinations as a guarantee of compliance with the minimum standards of physical and mental fitness for driving other motor vehicles. For reasons of transparency, such examinations should coincide with a renewal of driving licences and therefore be determined by the period of validity of the licence.

(10)  It is necessary to strengthen further the principle of progressive access to the categories of two-wheeled vehicles and to the categories of vehicles used for the transport of passengers and goods.

(11)  Nevertheless, Member States should be allowed to set a higher age limit for the driving of certain categories of vehicles in order to further promote road safety; Member States should in exceptional circumstances be allowed to set lower age limits in order to take account of national circumstances.

(12)  The definitions of the categories should reflect to a greater extent the technical characteristics of the vehicles concerned and the skills needed to drive a vehicle.

(13)  Introducing a category of driving licences for mopeds will, in particular, increase road safety as regards the youngest drivers who, according to the statistics, are the hardest hit by road accidents.

(14)  Specific provisions should be adopted to make it easier for physically disabled persons to drive vehicles.

(15)  For reasons connected with road safety, Member States should be able to apply their national provisions on the withdrawal, suspension, renewal and cancellation of driving licences to all licence holders having acquired normal residence in their territory.

(16)  The model driving licence as set out in Directive 91/439/EEC should be replaced by a single model in the form of a plastic card. At the same time, this model driving licence needs to be adapted on account of the introduction of a new category of driving licences for mopeds and of a new category of driving licences for motorcycles.

(17)  The introduction of an optional microchip in the new plastic card model driving licence should enable the Member States to further improve the level of anti-fraud protection. Member States should have flexibility to include national data on the chip provided that it does not interfere with commonly accessible data. The technical requirements for the microchip should be determined by the Commission, assisted by the committee on driving licences.

(18)  Minimum standards concerning access to the profession of examiner and examiner training requirements should be established in order to improve the knowledge and skills of examiners thereby ensuring a more objective evaluation of driving licence applicants and achieving greater harmonisation of driving tests.

(19)  The Commission should be allowed to undertake the adaptation of Annexes I to VI to scientific and technical progress.

(20)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Directive should 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).

(21)  In particular, the Commission should be empowered to establish the criteria necessary for the application of this Directive. Since those measures are of general scope and are designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, they should be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC.

(22)  Since the objectives of this Directive cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore, by reason of their scale and their 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 those objectives.

(23)  This Directive should not prejudice the obligations of the Member States relating to the deadlines for transposition into national law and application of the Directives listed in Annex VII, Part B,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DIRECTIVE:

Article 1

Model licence

1.  Member States shall introduce a national driving licence based on the Community model set out in Annex I, in accordance with the provisions of this Directive. The emblem on page 1 of the Community model driving licences shall contain the distinguishing sign of the Member State issuing the licence.

2.  Without prejudice to data protection rules, Member States may introduce a storage medium (microchip) as part of the driving licence, as soon as the requirements concerning the microchip referred to in Annex I, which are designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, by supplementing it, are laid down by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 9(2). These requirements shall provide for EC type-approval, which shall only be granted when the ability to resist attempts to tamper with or alter data is demonstrated.

3.  The microchip shall incorporate the harmonised driving licence data specified in Annex I.

After consulting the Commission, Member States may store additional data, provided that it does not in any way interfere with the implementation of this Directive.

In accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 9(2), the Commission may amend Annex I in order to guarantee future interoperability.

4.  With the agreement of the Commission, Member States may make to the model set out in Annex I such adjustments as are necessary for computer processing of the driving licence.

Article 2

Mutual recognition

1.  Driving licences issued by Member States shall be mutually recognised.

2.  When the holder of a valid national driving licence without the administrative validity period set out in Article 7(2) takes up normal residence in a Member State other than that which issued the driving licence, the host Member State may apply to the licence the administrative validity periods set out in that Article by renewing the driving licence, as from 2 years after the date on which the holder has taken up normal residence on its territory.

Article 3

Anti-forgery measures

1.  Member States shall take all necessary steps to avoid any risk of forgery of driving licences, including that of model driving licences issued before the entry into force of this Directive. They shall inform the Commission thereof.

2.  The material used for the driving licence, as set out in Annex I, shall be made secure against forgery in application of specifications designed to amend non-essential elements of this Directive, by supplementing it, which are to be laid down by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 9(2). Member States are free to introduce additional security features.

3.  Member States shall ensure that, by …(7), all driving licences issued or in circulation fulfil all the requirements of this Directive.

Article 4

Categories, definitions and minimum ages

1.  The driving licence provided for in Article 1 shall authorise the driving of power-driven vehicles in the categories defined hereafter. It may be issued from the minimum age indicated for each category. A "power-driven vehicle" means any self-propelled vehicle running on a road under its own power, other than a rail-borne vehicle.

2.   mopeds:

Category AM:

   Two-wheel vehicles or three-wheel vehicles with a maximum design speed of not more than 45 km/h, as defined in Article 1(2)(a) of Directive 2002/24/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 March 2002 relating to the type-approval of two or three-wheel motor vehicles(8) (excluding those with a maximum design speed under or equal to 25 km/h), and light quadricycles as defined in Article 1(3)(a) of Directive 2002/24/EC,
   the minimum age for category AM is fixed at 16 years;

3.   motorcycles with or without a sidecar and motor tricycles:

   "motorcycle" means two-wheel vehicles with or without a sidecar, as defined in Article 1(2)(b) of Directive 2002/24/EC,
   "motor tricycle" means vehicles with three symmetrically arranged wheels, as defined in Article 1(2)(c) of Directive 2002/24/EC;
   (a) Category A1:
   motorcycles with a cylinder capacity not exceeding 125 cubic centimetres, of a power not exceeding 11 kW and with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0,1 kW/kg,
   motor tricycles with a power not exceeding 15 kW,
   the minimum age for category A1 is fixed at 16 years;
  (b) Category A2:
   motorcycles of a power not exceeding 35 kW and with a power/weight ratio not exceeding 0,2 kW/kg and not derived from a vehicle of more than double its power,
   the minimum age for category A2 is fixed at 18 years;
  (c) Category A:
   i) motorcycles
   · The minimum age for category A is fixed at 20 years. However, access to the driving of motorcycles of this category shall be subject to a minimum of two years' experience on motorcycles under an A2 licence. This requirement as to previous experience may be waived if the candidate is at least 24 years old.
   ii) motor tricycles with a power exceeding 15 kW
   — · The minimum age for motor tricycles exceeding 15 kW is fixed at 21 years.

4.   motor vehicles:

   "motor vehicle" means any power-driven vehicle, which is normally used for carrying persons or goods by road or for drawing, on the road, vehicles used for the carriage of persons or goods. This term shall include trolleybuses, i.e. vehicles connected to an electric conductor and not rail-borne. It shall not include agricultural or forestry tractors,
   "Agricultural or forestry tractor" means any power-driven vehicle running on wheels or tracks, having at least two axles, the principal function of which lies in its tractive power, which is specially designed to pull, push, carry or operate certain tools, machines or trailers used in connection with agricultural or forestry operations, and the use of which for carrying persons or goods by road or drawing, on the road, vehicles used for the carriage of persons or goods is only a secondary function;
  (a) Category B1:
   quadricycles, as defined in Article 1(3)(b) of Directive 2002/24/EC,
   the minimum age for category B1 is fixed at 16 years,
   category B1 is optional; in Member States which do not introduce this category of driving licence, a driving licence for category B shall be required to drive such vehicles;
   (b) Category B:

motor vehicles with a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 3 500 kg and designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver; motor vehicles in this category may be combined with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass which does not exceed 750 kg.

Without prejudice to the provisions of type-approval rules for the vehicles concerned, motor vehicles in this category may be combined with a trailer with a maximum authorised mass exceeding 750 kg, provided that the maximum authorised mass of this combination does not exceed 4 250 kg. In case such a combination exceeds 3 500 kg, Member States shall, in accordance with the provisions of Annex V, require that this combination shall only be driven after:

   a training has been completed, or
   a test of skills and behaviour has been passed.

Member States may also require both such a training and the passing of a test of skills and behaviour.

Member States shall indicate the entitlement to drive such a combination on the driving licence by means of the relevant Community code.

The minimum age for category B is fixed at 18 years;

  (c) Category BE:
   without prejudice to the provisions of type-approval rules for the vehicles concerned, combination of vehicles consisting of a tractor vehicle in category B and a trailer or semi-trailer where the maximum authorised mass of the trailer or semi-trailer does not exceed 3 500 kg,
   the minimum age for category BE is fixed at 18 years;
  (d) Category C1:

motor vehicles other than those in categories D1 or D, the maximum authorised mass of which exceeds 3 500 kg, but does not exceed 7 500 kg, and which are designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver; motor vehicles in this category may be combined with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 750 kg;
  (e) Category C1E:
   without prejudice to the provisions of type-approval rules for the vehicles concerned, combinations of vehicles where the tractor vehicle is in category C1 and its trailer or semi-trailer has a maximum authorised mass of over 750 kg provided that the authorised mass of the combination does not exceed 12 000 kg,
   without prejudice to the provisions of type-approval rules for the vehicles concerned, combinations of vehicles where the tractor vehicle is in category B and its trailer or semi-trailer has an authorised mass of over 3 500 kg, provided that the authorised mass of the combination does not exceed 12 000 kg,
   the minimum age for categories C1 and C1E is fixed at the age of 18 years, without prejudice to the provisions for the driving of such vehicles in Directive 2003/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 July 2003 on the initial qualification and periodic training of drivers of certain road vehicles for the carriage of goods or passengers(9);
   (f) Category C:

motor vehicles other than those in categories D1 or D, whose maximum authorised mass is over 3 500 kg and which are designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than eight passengers in addition to the driver; motor vehicles in this category may be combined with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass which does not exceed 750 kg;

  (g) Category CE:
   without prejudice to the provisions of type-approval rules for the vehicles concerned, combinations of vehicles where the tractor vehicle is in category C and its trailer or semi-trailer has a maximum authorised mass of over 750 kg,
   the minimum age for categories C and CE is fixed at 21 years, without prejudice to the provisions for the driving of such vehicles in Directive 2003/59/EC;
  (h) Category D1:

motor vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of no more than 16 passengers in addition to the driver and with a maximum length not exceeding 8 m; motor vehicles in this category may be combined with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass not exceeding 750 kg;
  (i) Category D1E:
   without prejudice to the provisions of type-approval rules for the vehicles concerned, combinations of vehicles where the tractor vehicle is in category D1 and its trailer has a maximum authorised mass of over 750 kg,
   the minimum age for categories D1 and D1E is fixed at 21 years, without prejudice to the provisions for the driving of such vehicles in Directive 2003/59/EC;
  (j) Category D:

motor vehicles designed and constructed for the carriage of more than eight passengers in addition to the driver; motor vehicles which may be driven with a category D licence may be combined with a trailer having a maximum authorised mass which does not exceed 750 kg;
  (k) Category DE:
   without prejudice to the provisions of type-approval rules for the vehicles concerned, combinations of vehicles where the tractor vehicle is in category D and its trailer has a maximum authorised mass of over 750 kg,
   the minimum age for categories D and DE is fixed at 24 years, without prejudice to the provisions for the driving of such vehicles in Directive 2003/59/EC;

5.  With the agreement of the Commission, Member States may exclude from the application of this Article certain specific types of power-driven vehicle such as special vehicles for disabled persons.

Member States may exclude from the application of this Directive vehicles used by, or under the control of, the armed forces and civil defence.

6.  Member States may raise or lower the minimum age for issuing a driving licence:

   a) for category AM down to 14 years or up to 18 years;
   b) for category B1 up to 18 years;
   c) for category A1 up to 17 or 18 years,
   if there is a two years difference between the minimum age for category A1 and the minimum age for category A2, and
   there is a requirement of a minimum of two years experience on motorcycles of category A2 before access to the driving of motorcycles for category A can be granted, as referred to in Article 4(3)(c)(i);
   d) for categories B and BE down to 17 years.

Member States may lower the minimum age for category C to 18 years and for category D to 21 years with regard to:

   a) vehicles used by the fire service and vehicles used for maintaining public order;
   b) vehicles undergoing road tests for repair or maintenance purposes.

Driving licences issued to persons at a lower age than set out in paragraphs 2 to 4 in accordance with this paragraph shall only be valid on the territory of the issuing Member State until the licence holder has reached the minimum age limit set out in paragraphs 2 to 4.

Member States may recognise the validity on their territory of driving licences issued to drivers under the minimum ages set out in paragraphs 2 to 4.

Article 5

Conditions and restrictions

1.  Driving licences shall state the conditions under which the driver is authorised to drive.

2.  If, because of a physical disability, driving is authorised only for certain types of vehicle or for adapted vehicles, the test of skills and behaviour provided for in Article 7 shall be taken in such a vehicle.

Article 6

Staging and equivalences between categories

1.  The issue of driving licences shall be subject to the following conditions:

   a) licences for categories C1, C, D1 and D shall be issued only to drivers already entitled to drive vehicles in category B;
   b) licences for categories BE, C1E, CE, D1E and DE shall be issued only to drivers already entitled to drive vehicles in categories B, C1, C, D1 and D respectively.

2.  The validity of driving licences shall be determined as follows:

   a) licences granted for categories C1E, CE, D1E or DE shall be valid for combinations of vehicles in category BE;
   b) licences granted for category CE shall be valid for category DE as long as their holders are entitled to drive vehicles in category D;
   c) licences granted for category CE and DE shall be valid for combinations of vehicles in categories C1E and D1E respectively;
   d) licences granted for any category shall be valid for vehicles in category AM. However, for driving licences issued on its territory, a Member State may limit the equivalences for category AM to categories A1, A2 and A, if that Member State imposes a practical test as a condition for obtaining category AM;
   e) licences issued for category A2 shall also be valid for category A1;
   f) licences granted for categories A, B, C or D shall be valid for categories A1, A2, B1, C1, or D1 respectively.

3.  For driving on their territory, Member States may grant the following equivalences:

   a) motor tricycles under a licence for category B, for motor tricycles with a power exceeding 15 kW provided that the holder of the licence for category B is at least 21 years old;
   b) category A1 motorcycles under a licence for category B.

As this paragraph is only valid on their territories, Member States shall not indicate on the driving licence that a holder is entitled to drive these vehicles.

4.  Member States may, after consulting the Commission, authorise the driving on their territory of:

   a) vehicles of category D1 (with a maximum authorised mass of 3 500 kg, excluding any specialised equipment intended for the carriage of disabled passengers) by holders over 21 years old of a driving licence for category B which was obtained at least two years earlier provided that the vehicles are being used by non-commercial bodies for social purposes and that the driver provides his services on a voluntary basis;
   b) vehicles of a maximum authorised mass exceeding 3 500 kg by holders over 21 years old of a driving licence for category B which was obtained at least two years before, provided that the main purpose of the vehicles is to be used only when stationary as an instructional or recreational area, and that they are being used by non-commercial bodies for social purposes and that vehicles have been modified so that they may not be used either for the transport of more than nine persons or for the transport of any goods other than those strictly necessary for their purposes.

Article 7

Issue, validity and renewal

1.  Driving licences shall be issued only to those applicants:

   a) who have passed a test of skills and behaviour and a theoretical test and who meet medical standards, in accordance with the provisions of Annexes II and III;
   b) who have passed a theory test only as regards category AM; Member States may require applicants to pass a test of skills and behaviour and a medical examination for this category.

For tricycles and quadricycles within this category, Member States may impose a distinctive test of skills and behaviour. For the differentiation of vehicles in category AM, a national code may be inserted on the driving licence;

   c) who have, as regards category A2 or category A, on the condition of having acquired a minimum of 2 years' experience on a motorcycle in category A1 or in category A2 respectively, passed a test of skills and behaviour only, or completed a training pursuant to Annex VI;
   d) who have completed a training or passed a test of skills and behaviour, or completed a training and passed a test of skills and behaviour pursuant to Annex V as regards category B for driving a vehicle combination as defined in the second subparagraph of Article 4(4)(b);
   e) who have their normal residence in the territory of the Member State issuing the licence, or can produce evidence that they have been studying there for at least six months.

2. (a)  As from …(10), licences issued by Member States for categories AM, A1, A2, A, B, B1 and BE shall have an administrative validity of 10 years.

A Member State may choose to issue such licences with an administrative validity of up to 15 years;

(b)  As from …*, licences issued by Member States for categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1, D1E shall have an administrative validity of 5 years;

(c)  The renewal of a driving licence may trigger a new administrative validity period for another category or categories the licence holder is entitled to drive, insofar as this is in conformity with the conditions laid down in this Directive;

(d)  The presence of a microchip pursuant to Article 1 shall not be a prerequisite for the validity of a driving licence. The loss or unreadability of the microchip, or any other damage thereto, shall not affect the validity of the document.

3.  The renewal of driving licences when their administrative validity expires shall be subject to:

   a) continuing compliance with the minimum standards of physical and mental fitness for driving set out in Annex III for driving licences in categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1, D1E; and
   b) normal residence in the territory of the Member State issuing the licence, or evidence that applicants have been studying there for at least six months.

Member States may, when renewing driving licences in categories AM, A, A1, A2, B, B1 and BE, require an examination applying the minimum standards of physical and mental fitness for driving set out in Annex III.

Member States may limit the period of administrative validity set out in paragraph 2 of driving licences issued to novice drivers for any category in order to apply specific measures to such drivers, aiming at improving road safety.

Member States may limit the period of administrative validity of the first licence issued to novice drivers for categories C and D to 3 years in order to be able to apply specific measures to such drivers, so as to improve their road safety.

Member States may limit the period of administrative validity set out in paragraph 2 of individual driving licences for any category in case it is found necessary to apply an increased frequency of medical checks or other specific measures such as restrictions for traffic offenders.

Member States may reduce the period of administrative validity set out in paragraph 2 of driving licences of holders residing on their territory having reached the age of 50 years in order to apply an increased frequency of medical checks or other specific measures such as refresher courses. This reduced period of administrative validity can only be applied upon renewing the driving licence.

4.  Without prejudice to national criminal and police laws, Member States may, after consulting the Commission, apply to the issuing of driving licences the provisions of their national rules relating to conditions other than those referred to in this Directive.

5. (a)  No person may hold more than one driving licence;

(b)  A Member State shall refuse to issue a licence where it establishes that the applicant already holds a driving licence;

(c)  Member States shall take the necessary measures pursuant to point (b). The necessary measures as regards the issue, replacement, renewal or exchange of a driving licence shall be to verify with other Member States where there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the applicant is already the holder of another driving licence;

(d)  In order to facilitate the checks pursuant to point (b), Member States shall use the EU driving licence network once it is operational.

Without prejudice to Article 2, a Member State issuing a licence shall apply due diligence to ensure that a person fulfils the requirements set out in paragraph 1 of this Article and shall apply its national provisions on the cancellation or withdrawal of the right to drive if it is established that a licence has been issued without the requirements having been met.

Article 8

Adaptation to scientific and technical progress

The amendments necessary to adapt Annexes I to VI to scientific and technical progress shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 9(2).

Article 9

Committee

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the committee on driving licences.

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.

Article 10

Examiners

From the entry into force of this Directive, driving examiners shall meet the minimum standards set out in Annex IV.

Driving examiners already working in that capacity before …(11) shall be subject only to the requirements concerning quality assurance and regular periodic training measures.

Article 11

Various provisions concerning the exchange, the withdrawal, the replacement and the recognition of driving licences

1.  Where the holder of a valid national driving licence issued by a Member State has taken up normal residence in another Member State, he may request that his driving licence be exchanged for an equivalent licence. It shall be for the Member State effecting the exchange to check for which category the licence submitted is in fact still valid.

2.  Subject to observance of the principle of territoriality of criminal and police laws, the Member State of normal residence may apply its national provisions on the restriction, suspension, withdrawal or cancellation of the right to drive to the holder of a driving licence issued by another Member State and, if necessary, exchange the licence for that purpose.

3.  The Member State effecting the exchange shall return the old licence to the authorities of the Member State which issued it and give the reasons for doing so.

4.  A Member State shall refuse to issue a driving licence to an applicant whose driving licence is restricted, suspended or withdrawn in another Member State.

A Member State shall refuse to recognise the validity of any driving licence issued by another Member State to a person whose driving licence is restricted, suspended or withdrawn in the former State's territory.

A Member State may also refuse to issue a driving licence to an applicant whose licence is cancelled in another Member State.

5.  A replacement for a driving licence which has, for example, been lost or stolen may only be obtained from the competent authorities of the Member State in which the holder has his normal residence; those authorities shall provide the replacement on the basis of the information in their possession or, where appropriate, proof from the competent authorities of the Member State which issued the original licence.

6.  Where a Member State exchanges a driving licence issued by a third country for a Community model driving licence, such exchange shall be recorded on the Community model driving licence as shall any subsequent renewal or replacement.

Such an exchange may occur only if the licence issued by the third country has been surrendered to the competent authorities of the Member State making the exchange. If the holder of this licence transfers his normal residence to another Member State, the latter need not apply the principle of mutual recognition set out in Article 2.

Article 12

Normal residence

For the purpose of this Directive, "normal residence" means the place where a person usually lives, that is for at least 185 days in each calendar year, because of personal and occupational ties, or, in the case of a person with no occupational ties, because of personal ties which show close links between that person and the place where he is living.

However, the normal residence of a person whose occupational ties are in a different place from his personal ties and who consequently lives in turn in different places situated in two or more Member States shall be regarded as being the place of his personal ties, provided that such person returns there regularly. This last condition need not be met where the person is living in a Member State in order to carry out a task of a definite duration. Attendance at a university or school shall not imply transfer of normal residence.

Article 13

Equivalences between non-Community model licences

1.  With the agreement of the Commission, Member States shall establish equivalences between entitlements obtained before the implementation of this Directive and the categories defined in Article 4.

After consulting the Commission, Member States may make to their national legislation such adjustments as are necessary for the purpose of implementing the provisions of Article 11(4), (5) and (6).

2.  Any entitlement to drive granted before …(12) shall not be removed or in any way qualified by the provisions of this Directive.

Article 14

Review

The Commission shall report on the implementation of this Directive, including its impact on road safety, not earlier than …(13)*.

Article 15

Mutual Assistance

Member States shall assist one another in the implementation of this Directive and shall exchange information on the licences they have issued, exchanged, replaced, renewed or revoked. They shall use the EU driving licence network set up for these purposes, once this network is operational.

Article 16

Transposition

1.  Member States shall adopt and publish, not later than …(14)**, the laws, regulations and administrative provisions necessary to comply with Article 1(1), Article 3, Article 4(1), (2), (3) and (4)(b) to (k), Article 6(1), (2)(a), (c), (d) and (e), Article 7(1)(b), (c) and (d), (2), (3) and (5), Article 8, Article 10, Article 13, Article 14, Article 15, and Annexes I, point 2, II, point 5.2 concerning categories A1, A2 and A, IV, V and VI. They shall forthwith communicate to the Commission the text of those provisions.

2.  They shall apply those provisions as from …(15).

3.  When Member States adopt those provisions, they shall contain a reference to this Directive or shall be accompanied by such reference on the occasion of their official publication. They shall also contain an indication that references made, in the laws, regulations or administrative provisions in force, to the repealed Directive shall be construed as being made to this Directive. The methods of making such reference, and its wording, shall be laid down by Member States.

4.  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.

Article 17

Repeal

Directive 91/439/EEC shall be repealed with effect from …*, without prejudice to the obligations of the Member States with regard to the deadlines indicated in Annex VII, Part B for transposing that Directive into national law.

Article 2(4) of Directive 91/439/EEC shall be repealed on …(16)*.

References made to the repealed Directive shall be construed as being made to this Directive and should be read in accordance with the correlation table in Annex VIII.

Article 18

Entry into force

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

Article 2(1), Article 5, Article 6(2)(b), Article 7(1)(a), Article 9, Article 11(1), (3), (4), (5) and (6), Article 12, and Annexes I, II and III shall apply from …(17).

Article 19

Addressees

This Directive is addressed to the Member States.

Done at,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

ANNEX I

PROVISIONS CONCERNING THE COMMUNITY MODEL DRIVING LICENCE

1.  The physical characteristics of the card of the Community model driving licence shall be in accordance with ISO 7810 and ISO 7816-1.

The card shall be made of polycarbonate.

Methods for testing the characteristics of driving licences for the purpose of confirming their compliance with the international standards shall be in accordance with ISO 10373.

2.  Physical security of driving licences

The threats to the physical security of driving licences are:

   production of false cards: creating a new object which bears great resemblance to the document, either by making it from scratch or by copying an original document,
   material alteration: changing a property of an original document, e.g. modifying some of the data printed on the document.

The overall security lies in the system in its entirety, consisting of the application process, the transmission of data, the card body material, the printing technique, a minimum set of different security features and the personalisation process.

(a)  The material used for driving licences shall be made secure against forgery by using the following techniques (mandatory security features):

   card bodies shall be UV dull,
   a security background pattern designed to be resistant to counterfeit by scanning, printing or copying, using rainbow printing with multicolour security inks and positive and negative guilloche printing. The pattern shall not be composed of the primary colours (CMYK), shall contain complex pattern designs in a minimum of two special colours and shall include micro lettering,
   optical variable elements providing adequate protection against copying and tampering of the photograph,
   laser engraving,
   in the area of the photograph the security design background and photograph should overlap on at least its border (weakening pattern).

(b)  In addition, the material used for driving licences shall be made secure against forgery by using at least three of the following techniques (additional security features):

   colour-shifting inks*,
   termochromic ink*,
   custom holograms*,
   variable laser images*,
   ultraviolet fluorescent ink, visible and transparent,
   iridescent printing,
   digital watermark in the background,
   infrared or phosphorescent pigments,
   tactile characters, symbols or patterns*.

(c)  Member States are free to introduce additional security features. As a basis, the techniques indicated with an asterisk are to be preferred as they enable the law enforcement officers to check the validity of the card without any special means.

3.  The licence shall have two sides.

Page 1 shall contain:

   a) the words "Driving Licence" printed in large type in the language or languages of the Member State issuing the licence;
   b) the name of the Member State issuing the licence (optional);
   c) the distinguishing sign of the Member State issuing the licence, printed in negative in a blue rectangle and encircled by twelve yellow stars; the distinguishing signs shall be as follows:

B:

Belgium

CZ:

Czech Republic

DK:

Denmark

D:

Germany

EST:

Estonia

GR:

Greece

E:

Spain

F:

France

IRL:

Ireland

I:

Italy

CY:

Cyprus

LV:

Latvia

LT:

Lithuania

L:

Luxembourg

H:

Hungary

M:

Malta

NL:

The Netherlands

A:

Austria

PL:

Poland

P:

Portugal

SLO:

Slovenia

SK:

Slovakia

FIN:

Finland

S:

Sweden

UK:

The United Kingdom;
  d) information specific to the licence issued, numbered as follows:
   1. surname of the holder;
   2. other name(s) of the holder;
   3. date and place of birth;

4.   (a) date of issue of the licence;

   b) date of expiry of the licence or a dash if the licence is valid indefinitely under the provision of Article 7(2)(c);
   c) the name of the issuing authority (may be printed on page 2);
   d) a different number from the one under heading 5, for administrative purposes (optional);
   5. number of the licence;
   6. photograph of the holder;
   7. signature of the holder;
   8. permanent place of residence, or postal address (optional);
   9. category of vehicle(s) the holder is entitled to drive (national categories shall be printed in a different type from harmonised categories);
   e) the words "European Communities model" in the language(s) of the Member State issuing the licence and the words "Driving Licence" in the other languages of the Community, printed in pink to form the background of the licence:

Permiso de Conducción

Řidičský průkaz

Kørekort

Führerschein

Juhiluba

Άδεια Οδήγησης

Driving Licence

Permis de conduire

Ceadúnas Tiomána

Patente di guida

Vadītāja apliecība

Vairuotojo pažymėjimas

Vezetői engedély

Liċenzja tas-Sewqan

Rijbewijs

Prawo Jazdy

Carta de Condução

Vodičský preukaz

Vozniško dovoljenje

Ajokortti

Körkort;

  (f) Colour references:
   blue: Pantone Reflex Blue,
   yellow: Pantone Yellow.

Page 2 shall contain:

   a) 9. category of vehicle(s) the holder is entitled to drive (national categories shall be printed in a different type from harmonised categories);
   10. date of first issue of each category (this date must be repeated on the new licence in the event of subsequent replacement or exchange);
   11. date of expiry of each category;
   12. additional information/restriction(s), in code form, facing the (sub)category affected.

The codes shall be as follows:

– codes 01 to 99:

harmonised Community codes

DRIVER (Medical reasons)

01.  Sight correction and/or protection

01.01  Glasses

01.02  Contact lense(s)

01.03  Protective glass

01.04  Opaque lense

01.05  Eye cover

01.06  Glasses or contact lenses

02.  Hearing aid/communication aid

02.01  Hearing aid for one ear

02.02  Hearing aid for two ears

03.  Prosthesis/orthosis for the limbs

03.01  Upper limb prosthesis/orthosis

03.02  Lower limb prosthesis/orthosis

05.  Limited use (subcode use obligatory, driving subject to restrictions for medical reasons)

05.01  Limited to day time journeys (for example: one hour after sunrise and one hour before sunset)

05.02  Limited to journeys within a radius of … km from holder's place of residence or only inside city/region

05.03  Driving without passengers

05.04  Limited to journeys with a speed not greater than … km/h

05.05  Driving authorised solely when accompanied by a holder of a driving licence

05.06  Without trailer

05.07  No driving on motorways

05.08  No alcohol

VEHICLE ADAPTATIONS

10.  Modified transmission

10.01  Manual transmission

10.02  Automatic transmission

10.03  Electronically operated transmission

10.04  Adjusted gear-shift lever

10.05  Without secondary gearbox

15.  Modified clutch

15.01  Adjusted gear-shift lever

15.02  Manual clutch

15.03  Automatic clutch

15.04  Partitioning in front of/fold away/detached clutch pedal

20.  Modified braking systems

20.01  Adjusted brake pedal

20.02  Enlarged brake pedal

20.03  Brake pedal suitable for use by left foot

20.04  Brake pedal by sole

20.05  Tilted brake pedal

20.06  Manual (adapted) service brake

20.07  Maximum use of reinforced service brake

20.08  Maximum use of emergency brake integrated in the service brake

20.09  Adjusted parking brake

20.10  Electrically operated parking brake

20.  11 (Adjusted) foot operated parking brake

20.12  Partitioning in front of/fold away/detached brake pedal

20.13  Brake operated by knee

20.14  Electrically operated service brake

25.  Modified accelerator systems

25.01  Adjusted accelerator pedal

25.02  Accelerator pedal by sole

25.03  Tilted accelerator pedal

25.04  Manual accelerator

25.05  Accelerator at knee

25.06  Servo accelerator (electronic, pneumatic, etc.)

25.07  Accelerator pedal on the left of brake pedal

25.08  Accelerator pedal on the left

25.09  Partitioning in front of/fold away/detached accelerator pedal

30.  Modified combined braking and accelerator systems

30.01  Parallel pedals

30.02  Pedals at (or almost at) the same level

30.03  Accelerator and brake with sliding

30.04  Accelerator and brake with sliding and orthesis

30.05  Fold away/detached accelerator and brake pedals

30.06  Raised floor

30.07  Partitioning on the side of the brake pedal

30.08  Partitioning for prosthesis on the side of the brake pedal

30.09  Partitioning in front of the accelerator and brake pedals

30.10  Heel/leg support

30.11  Electrically operated accelerator and brake

35.  Modified control layouts

(Lights switches, windscreen wiper/washer, horn, direction indicators, etc.)

35.01  Control devices operable without negative influence on the steering and handling

35.02  Control devices operable without releasing the steering wheel and accessories (knob, fork, etc.)

35.03  Control devices operable without releasing the steering wheel and accessories (knob, fork, etc.) with the left hand

35.04  Control devices operable without releasing the steering wheel and accessories (knob, fork, etc.) with the right hand

35.05  Control devices operable without releasing the steering wheel and accessories (knob, fork, etc.) and the combined accelerator and braking mechanismss

40.  Modified steering

40.01  Standard assisted steering

40.02  Reinforced assisted steering

40.03  Steering with backup system

40.04  Lengthened steering column

40.05  Adjusted steering wheel (Larger and/or thicker steering wheel section, reduced diameter steering wheel, etc.)

40.06  Tilted steering wheel

40.07  Vertical steering wheel

40.08  Horizontal steering wheel

40.09  Foot operated driving

40.10  Alternative adjusted steering (joy-stick, etc.)

40.11  Knob on the steering wheel

40.12  Hand orthesis on the steering wheel

40.13  With orthesis tenodese

42.  Modified rearview mirror(s)

42.01  External (left or) right-side rear-view mirror

42.02  External rear-view mirror set on the wing

42.03  Additional inside rear-view mirror permitting view of traffic

42.04  Panoramic inside rear-view mirror

42.05  Blind spot rear-view mirror

42.06  Electrically operated outside rear-view mirror(s)

43.  Modified driver seat

43.01  Driver seat at a good viewing height and in normal distance from the steering wheel and the pedal

43.02  Driver seat adjusted to body shape

43.03  Driver seat with lateral support for good sitting stability

43.04  Driver seat with armrest

43.05  Lengthening of sliding driver's seat

43.06  Seat-belt adjustment

43.07  Harness-type seat-belt

44.  Modifications to motorcycles (subcode use obligatory)

44.01  Single operated brake

44.  02 (Adjusted) hand operated brake (front wheel)

44.  03 (Adjusted) foot operated brake (back wheel)

44.  04 (Adjusted) accelerator handle

44.  05 (Adjusted) manual transmission and manual clutch

44.  06 (Adjusted) rear-view mirror(s)

44.  07 (Adjusted) commands (direction indicators, braking light, …)

44.08  Seat height allowing the driver, in sitting position, to have two feet on the road at the same time

45.  Motorcycle with side-car only

50.  Restricted to a specific vehicle/chassis number (vehicle identification number, VIN)

51.  Restricted to a specific vehicle/registration plate (vehicle registration number, VRN)

ADMINISTRATIVE MATTERS

70.  Exchange of licence No … issued by … (EU/UN distinguishing sign in the case of a third country; e.g: 70.0123456789.NL)

71.  Duplicate of licence No … (EU/UN distinguishing sign in the case of a third country; e.g: 71.987654321.HR)

72.  Restricted to category A vehicles having a maximum cylinder capacity of 125 cc and maximum power of 11 KW (A1)

73.  Restricted to category B vehicles of the motor tricycle or quadricycle type (B1)

74.  Restricted to category C vehicles the maximum authorised mass of which does not exceed 7 500 kg (C1)

75.  Restricted to category D vehicles with not more than 16 seats, excluding the driver's seat (D1)

76.  Restricted to category C vehicles the maximum authorised mass of which does not exceed 7 500 kg (C1), attached to a trailer the maximum authorised mass of which exceeds 750 kg, provided that the maximum authorised mass of the vehicle train thus formed does not exceed 12 000 kg, and that the maximum authorised mass of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the drawing vehicle (C1E)

77.  Restricted to category D vehicles with not more than 16 passenger seats, excluding the driver's seat (D1), attached to a trailer the maximum authorised mass of which exceeds 750 kg provided that (a) the maximum authorised mass of the vehicle train thus formed does not exceed 12 000 kg and the maximum authorised mass of the trailer does not exceed the unladen mass of the drawing vehicle and (b) the trailer is not used to carry passengers (D1E)

78.  Restricted to vehicles with automatic transmission

   79. (…) Restricted to vehicles which comply with the specifications indicated in brackets, in the context of the application of Article 10(1) of Directive 91/439/EEC
   90. 01: to the left
   90. 02: to the right
   90. 03: left
   90. 04: right
   90. 05: hand
   90. 06: foot
   90. 07: usable

95.  Driver holding CPC meeting the obligation of professional aptitude provided for by Directive 2003/59/EC until … [e.g.: 95.01.01.2012]

96.  Driver having completed training or having passed a test of skills and behaviour in accordance with the provisions of Annex V.

– codes 100 and above:

national codes valid only for driving in the territory of the Member State which issued the licence.

Where a code applies to all categories for which the licence is issued, it may be printed under headings 9, 10 and 11;

   13. in implementation of section 4(a) of this Annex, a space reserved for the possible entry by the host Member State of information essential for administering the licence;
   14. a space reserved for the possible entry by the Member State which issues the licence of information essential for administering the licence or related to road safety (optional). If the information relates to one of the headings defined in this Annex, it should be preceded by the number of the heading in question.

With the specific written agreement of the holder, information which is not related to the administration of the driving licence or road safety may also be added in this space; such addition shall not alter in any way the use of the model as a driving licence;

   b) an explanation of the numbered items which appear on pages 1 and 2 of the licence (at least items 1, 2, 3, 4 (a), 4 (b), 4 (c), 5, 10, 11 and 12).

If a Member State wishes to make the entries in a national language other than one of the following languages: Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish or Swedish, it shall draw up a bilingual version of the licence using one of the aforementioned languages, without prejudice to the other provisions of this Annex;

   c) a space shall be reserved on the Community model licence to allow for the possible introduction of a microchip or similar computer device.

4.  Special provisions

(a)  Where the holder of a driving licence issued by a Member State in accordance with this Annex has his normal place of residence in another Member State, that Member State may enter in the licence such information as is essential for administering it, provided that it also enters this type of information in the licences which it issues and provided that there remains enough space for the purpose.

(b)  After consulting the Commission, Member States may add colours or markings, such as bar codes and national symbols, without prejudice to the other provisions of this Annex.

In the context of mutual recognition of licences, the bar code may not contain information other than what can already be read on the driving licence or which is essential to the process of issuing the licence.

COMMUNITY MODEL DRIVING LICENCE

Page 1 DRIVING LICENCE ………………………. [MEMBER STATE]

20061214-P6_TA(2006)0587_EN-p0000001

Page 2 1. Name 2. First name 3. Date and place of birth 4a. Date of issue of driving licence 4b. Official date of expiry 4c. Issued by 5. Serial number of licence 8. Place of residence 9(18). Category 10. Date of issue, by category 11. Date of expiry, by category 12. Restrictions

20061214-P6_TA(2006)0587_EN-p0000002

SPECIMEN MODEL LICENCE

BELGIAN LICENCE (for information)

20061214-P6_TA(2006)0587_EN-p0000003

20061214-P6_TA(2006)0587_EN-p0000004

ANNEX II

I.MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS FOR DRIVING TESTS

Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that applicants for driving licences possess the knowledge and skills and exhibit the behaviour required for driving a motor vehicle. The tests introduced to this effect must consist of:

   a theory test, and then
   a test of skills and behaviour.

The conditions under which these tests shall be conducted are set out below.

A.  THEORY TEST

1.  Form

The form chosen shall be such as to make sure that the applicant has the required knowledge of the subjects listed on points 2, 3 and 4.

Any applicant for a licence in one category who has passed a theory test for a licence in a different category may be exempt from the common provisions of points 2, 3 and 4.

2.  Content of the theory test concerning all vehicle categories

2.1.  Questions must be asked on each of the points listed below, the content and form of the questions being left to the discretion of each Member State:

2.1.1.  Road traffic regulations:

   in particular as regards road signs, markings and signals, rights of way and speed limits;

2.1.2.  The driver:

   importance of alertness and of attitude to other road users,
   perception, judgement and decision-taking, especially reaction time, as well as changes in driving behaviour due to the influence of alcohol, drugs and medicinal products, state of mind and fatigue;

2.1.3.  The road:

   the most important principles concerning the observance of a safe distance between vehicles, braking distances and road holding under various weather and road conditions,
   driving risk factors related to various road conditions, in particular as they change with the weather and the time of day or night,
   characteristics of various types of road and the related statutory requirements;

2.1.4.  Other road users:

   specific risk factors related to the lack of experience of other road users and the most vulnerable categories of users such as children, pedestrians, cyclists and people whose mobility is reduced,
   risks involved in the movement and driving of various types of vehicles and of the different fields of view of their drivers;

2.1.5.  General rules and regulations and other matters:

   rules concerning the administrative documents required for the use of vehicles,
   general rules specifying how the driver must behave in the event of an accident (setting warning devices and raising the alarm) and the measures which he can take to assist road accident victims where necessary,
   safety factors relating to the vehicle, the load and persons carried;

2.1.6.  Precautions necessary when alighting from the vehicle;

2.1.7.  Mechanical aspects with a bearing on road safety; applicants must be able to detect the most common faults, in particular in the steering, suspension and braking systems, tyres, lights and direction indicators, reflectors, rear-view mirrors, windscreen and wipers, the exhaust system, seat-belts and the audible warning device;

2.1.8.  Vehicle safety equipment and, in particular, the use of seat-belts, head restraints and child safety equipment;

2.1.9.  Rules regarding vehicle use in relation to the environment (appropriate use of audible warning devices, moderate fuel consumption, limitation of pollutant emissions, etc.).

3.  Specific provisions concerning categories A1, A2 and A

3.1.  Compulsory check of general knowledge on:

   3.1.1. Use of protective outfit such as gloves, boots, clothes and safety helmet;
   3.1.2. Visibility of motorcycle riders for other road users;
   3.1.3. Risk factors related to various road conditions as laid down above with additional attention to slippery parts such as drain covers, road markings such as lines and arrows, tram rails;
   3.1.4. Mechanical aspects with a bearing on road safety as laid down above with additional attention to the emergency stop switch, the oil levels and the chain.

4.  Specific provisions concerning categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 and D1E

4.1.  Compulsory check of general knowledge on:

   4.1.1. Rules on driving hours and rest periods as defined by Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 of 20 December 1985 on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport(19); use of the recording equipment as defined by Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 of 20 December 1985 on recording equipment in road transport(20);
   4.1.2. Rules concerning the type of transport concerned: goods or passengers;
   4.1.3. Vehicle and transport documents required for the national and international carriage of goods and passengers;
   4.1.4. How to behave in the event of an accident; knowledge of measures to be taken after an accident or similar occurrence, including emergency action such as evacuation of passengers and basic knowledge of first aid;
   4.1.5. The precautions to be taken during the removal and replacement of wheels;
   4.1.6. Rules on vehicle weights and dimensions; rules on speed limiters;
   4.1.7. Obstruction of the field of view caused by the characteristics of their vehicles;
   4.1.8. Reading a road map, route planning, including the use of electronic navigation systems (optional);
   4.1.9. Safety factors relating to vehicle loading: controlling the load (stowing and fastening), difficulties with different kinds of load (e.g. liquids, hanging loads, …), loading and unloading goods and the use of loading equipment (categories C, CE, C1, C1E only);
   4.1.10. The driver's responsibility in respect to the carriage of passengers; comfort and safety of passengers; transport of children; necessary checks before driving away; all sorts of buses should be part of the theory test (public service buses and coaches, buses with special dimensions, …) (categories D, DE, D1, D1E only).

4.2.  Compulsory check of general knowledge on the following additional provisions concerning categories C, CE, D and DE:

   4.2.1. The principles of the construction and functioning of: internal combustion engines, fluids (e.g. engine oil, coolant, washer fluid), the fuel system, the electrical system, the ignition system, the transmission system (clutch, gearbox, etc.);
   4.2.2. Lubrication and antifreeze protection;
   4.2.3. The principles of the construction, the fitting, correct use and care of tyres;
   4.2.4. The principles of the types, operation, main parts, connection, use and day-to-day maintenance of brake fittings and speed governors, and use of anti-lock brakes;
   4.2.5. The principles of the types, operation, main parts, connection, use and day-to-day maintenance of coupling systems (categories CE, DE only);
   4.2.6. Methods of locating causes of breakdowns;
   4.2.7. Preventive maintenance of vehicles and necessary running repairs;
   4.2.8. The driver's responsibility in respect of the receipt, carriage and delivery of goods in accordance with the agreed conditions (categories C, CE only).

B.  TEST OF SKILLS AND BEHAVIOUR

5.  The vehicle and its equipment

5.1.  The driving of a vehicle with manual transmission shall be subject to the passing of a skills and behaviour test taken on a vehicle with manual transmission.

If an applicant takes the test of skills and behaviour on a vehicle with automatic transmission this shall be recorded on any licence issued on the basis of such a test. Licences with this indication shall be used only for driving vehicles with automatic transmission.

"Vehicle with automatic transmission" means a vehicle in which the gear ratio between the engine and the wheels can be varied by use only of the accelerator or the brakes.

5.2.  The vehicles used in tests of skills and behaviour shall comply with the minimum criteria given below. Member States may make provisions for more stringent criteria or add others.

Category A1:

Category A1 motorcycle without sidecar, with a cubic capacity of at least 120 cm3, and capable of a speed of at least 90 km/h;

Category A2:

Motorcycle without sidecar, with a cylinder capacity of at least 400 cm3, and an engine power of at least 25 kW;

Category A

Motorcycle without sidecar, with a cylinder capacity of at least 600 cm3, and an engine power of at least 40 kW;

Category B:

A four-wheeled category B vehicle capable of a speed of at least 100 km/h;

Category BE:

A combination, made up of a category B test vehicle and a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of at least 1 000 kg, capable of a speed of at least 100 km/h, which does not fall within category B; the cargo compartment of the trailer shall consist of a closed box body which is at least as wide and as high as the motor vehicle; the closed box body may also be slightly less wide than the motor vehicle provided that the view to the rear is only possible by use of the external rear-view mirrors of the motor vehicle; the trailer shall be presented with a minimum of 800 kg real total mass;

Category B1:

A motor-powered quadricycle capable of a speed of at least 60 km/h;

Category C:

A category C vehicle with a maximum authorised mass of at least 12 000 kg, a length of at least 8 m, a width of at least 2,40 m and capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h; fitted with anti-lock brakes, equipped with a gearbox having at least eight forward ratios and recording equipment as defined by Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85; the cargo compartment shall consist of a closed box body which is at least as wide and as high as the cab; the vehicle shall be presented with a minimum of 10 000 kg real total mass;

Category CE:

either an articulated vehicle or a combination of a category C test vehicle and a trailer of at least 7,5 m in length; both the articulated vehicle and the combination shall have a maximum authorised mass of at least 20 000 kg, a length of at least 14 m and a width of at least 2,40 m, shall be capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h, fitted with anti-lock brakes, equipped with a gearbox having at least eight forward ratios and with recording equipment as defined by Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85; the cargo compartment shall consist of a closed box body which is at least as wide and as high as the cab; both the articulated vehicle and the combination shall be presented with a minimum of 15 000 kg real total mass;

Category C1:

A subcategory C1 vehicle with a maximum authorised mass of at least 4 000 kg, with a length of at least 5 m and capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h; fitted with anti-lock brakes and equipped with recording equipment as defined by Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85; the cargo compartment shall consist of a closed box body which is at least as wide and as high as the cab;

Category C1E:

A combination made up of a subcategory C1 test vehicle and a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of at least 1 250 kg; this combination shall be at least 8 m in length and capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h; the cargo compartment of the trailer shall consist of a closed box body which is at least as wide and as high as the cab; the closed box body may also be slightly less wide than the cab provided that the view to the rear is only possible by use of the external rear-view mirrors of the motor vehicle; the trailer shall be presented with a minimum of 800 kg real total mass;

Category D:

A category D vehicle with a length of at least 10 m, a width of at least 2,40 m and capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h; fitted with anti-lock brakes and equipped with recording equipment as defined by Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85;

Category DE:

A combination made up of a category D test vehicle and a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of at least 1 250 kg, a width of at least 2,40 m and capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h; the cargo compartment of the trailer shall consist of a closed box body which is at least 2 m wide and 2 m high; the trailer shall be presented with a minimum of 800 kg real total mass;

Category D1:

A subcategory D1 vehicle with a maximum authorised mass of at least 4 000 kg, with a length of at least 5 m and capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h; fitted with anti-lock brakes and equipped with recording equipment as defined by Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85;

Category D1E:

A combination made up of a subcategory D1 test vehicle and a trailer with a maximum authorised mass of at least 1 250 kg and capable of a speed of at least 80 km/h; the cargo compartment of the trailer shall consist of a closed box body which is at least 2 m wide and 2 m high; the trailer shall be presented with a minimum of 800 kg real total mass;

Testing vehicles for categories BE, C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 and D1E which are not in conformity with the minimum criteria given above but which were in use on or before the moment of entry into force of this Directive, may still be used for a period not exceeding ten years after that date. The requirements related to the load to be carried by these vehicles, may be implemented by Member States up to ten years from the moment of entry into force of Commission Directive 2000/56/EC(21).

6.  Skills and behaviour to be tested concerning categories A1, A2 and A

6.1.  Preparation and technical check of the vehicle with a bearing on road safety

Applicants must demonstrate that they are capable of preparing to ride safely by satisfying the following requirements:

   6.1.1. Adjust the protective outfit, such as gloves, boots, clothes and safety helmet;
   6.1.2. Perform a random check on the condition of the tyres, brakes, steering, emergency stop switch (if applicable), chain, oil levels, lights, reflectors, direction indicators and audible warning device.

6.2.  Special manoeuvres to be tested with a bearing on road safety

6.2.1.  Putting the motorcycle on and off its stand and moving it, without the aid of the engine, by walking alongside the vehicle;

   6.2.2. Parking the motorcycle on its stand;
   6.2.3. At least two manoeuvres to be executed at slow speed, including a slalom; this should allow competence to be assessed in handling of the clutch in combination with the brake, balance, vision direction and position on the motorcycle and the position of the feet on the foot rests;
   6.2.4. At least two manoeuvres to be executed at higher speed, of which one manoeuvre in second or third gear, at least 30 km/h and one manoeuvre avoiding an obstacle at a minimum speed of 50 km/h; this should allow competence to be assessed in the position on the motorcycle, vision direction, balance, steering technique and technique of changing gears;
   6.2.5. Braking: at least two braking exercises shall be executed, including an emergency brake at a minimum speed of 50 km/h; this should allow competence to be assessed in handling of the front and rear brake, vision direction and the position on the motorcycle.

The special manoeuvres mentioned under points 6.2.3 to 6.2.5 have to be implemented at the latest five years after entry into force of Directive 2000/56/EC.

6.3.  Behaviour in traffic

Applicants must perform all the following actions in normal traffic situations, in complete safety and taking all necessary precautions:

   6.3.1. Riding away: after parking, after a stop in traffic; exiting a driveway;
   6.3.2. Riding on straight roads; passing oncoming vehicles, including in confined spaces;
   6.3.3. Riding round bends;
   6.3.4. Crossroads: approaching and crossing of intersections and junctions;
   6.3.5. Changing direction: left and right turns; changing lanes;
   6.3.6. Approach/exit of motorways or similar (if available): joining from the acceleration lane; leaving on the deceleration lane;
   6.3.7. Overtaking/passing: overtaking other traffic (if possible); riding alongside obstacles, e.g. parked cars; being overtaken by other traffic (if appropriate);
   6.3.8. Special road features (if available): roundabouts; railway level crossings; tram/bus stops; pedestrian crossings; riding up-/downhill on long slopes;
   6.3.9. Taking the necessary precautions when getting off the vehicle.

7.  Skills and behaviour to be tested concerning categories B, B1 and BE

7.1.  Preparation and technical check of the vehicle with a bearing on road safety

Applicants must demonstrate that they are capable of preparing to drive safely by satisfying the following requirements:

   7.1.1. Adjusting the seat as necessary to obtain a correct seated position;
   7.1.2. Adjusting rear-view mirrors, seat belts and head restraints if available;
   7.1.3. Checking that the doors are closed;
   7.1.4. Performing a random check on the condition of the tyres, steering, brakes, fluids (e.g. engine oil, coolant, washer fluid), lights, reflectors, direction indicators and audible warning device;
   7.1.5. Checking the safety factors relating to vehicle loading: body, sheets, cargo doors, cabin locking, way of loading, securing load (category BE only);
   7.1.6. Checking the coupling mechanism and the brake and electrical connections (category BE only).

7.2.  Categories B and B1: special manoeuvres to be tested with a bearing on road safety

A selection of the following manoeuvres shall be tested (at least two manoeuvres for the four points, including one in reverse gear):

   7.2.1. Reversing in a straight line or reversing right or left round a corner while keeping within the correct traffic lane;
   7.2.2. Turning the vehicle to face the opposite way, using forward and reverse gears;
   7.2.3. Parking the vehicle and leaving a parking space (parallel, oblique or right-angle, forwards or in reverse, on the flat, uphill or downhill);
   7.2.4. Braking accurately to a stop; however, performing an emergency stop is optional.

7.3.  Category BE: special manoeuvres to be tested with a bearing on road safety

7.3.1.  Coupling and uncoupling, or uncoupling and re-coupling a trailer from its motor vehicle; the manoeuvre must involve the towing vehicle being parked alongside the trailer (i.e. not in one line);

   7.3.2. Reversing along a curve, the line of which shall be left to the discretion of the Member States;
   7.3.3. Parking safely for loading/unloading.

7.4.  Behaviour in traffic

Applicants must perform all the following actions in normal traffic situations, in complete safety and taking all necessary precautions:

   7.4.1. Driving away: after parking, after a stop in traffic; exiting a driveway;
   7.4.2. Driving on straight roads; passing oncoming vehicles, including in confined spaces;
   7.4.3. Driving round bends;
   7.4.4. Crossroads: approaching and crossing of intersections and junctions;
   7.4.5. Changing direction: left and right turns; changing lanes;
   7.4.6. Approach/exit of motorways or similar (if available): joining from the acceleration lane; leaving on the deceleration lane;
   7.4.7. Overtaking/passing: overtaking other traffic (if possible); driving alongside obstacles, e.g. parked cars; being overtaken by other traffic (if appropriate);
   7.4.8. Special road features (if available): roundabouts; railway level crossings; tram/bus stops; pedestrian crossings; driving up-/downhill on long slopes;
   7.4.9. Taking the necessary precautions when alighting from the vehicle.

8.  Skills and behaviour to be tested concerning categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 and D1E

8.1.  Preparation and technical check of the vehicle with a bearing on road safety

Applicants must demonstrate that they are capable of preparing to drive safely by satisfying the following requirements:

   8.1.1. Adjusting the seat as necessary to obtain a correct seated position;
   8.1.2. Adjusting rear-view mirrors, seat belts and head restraints if available;
   8.1.3. Random checks on the condition of the tyres, steering, brakes, lights, reflectors, direction indicators and audible warning device;
   8.1.4. Checking the power-assisted braking and steering systems; checking the condition of the wheels, wheelnuts, mudguards, windscreen, windows and wipers, fluids (e.g. engine oil, coolant, washer fluid); checking and using the instrument panel including the recording equipment as defined in Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85;
   8.1.5. Checking the air pressure, air tanks and the suspension;
   8.1.6. Checking the safety factors relating to vehicle loading: body, sheets, cargo doors, loading mechanism (if available), cabin locking (if available), way of loading, securing load (categories C, CE, C1, C1E only);
   8.1.7. Checking the coupling mechanism and the brake and electrical connections (categories CE, C1E, DE, D1E only);
   8.1.8. Being capable of taking special vehicle safety measures; controlling the body, service doors, emergency exits, first aid equipment, fire extinguishers and other safety equipment (categories D, DE, D1, D1E only);
   8.1.9. Reading a road map, route planning, including the use of electronic navigation systems (optional).

8.2.  Special manoeuvres to be tested with a bearing on road safety

   8.2.1. Coupling and uncoupling, or uncoupling and re-coupling a trailer from its motor vehicle; the manoeuvre must involve the towing vehicle being parked alongside the trailer (i.e. not in one line) (categories CE, C1E, DE, D1E only);
   8.2.2. Reversing along a curve, the line of which shall be left to the discretion of the Member States;
   8.2.3. Parking safely for loading/unloading at a loading ramp/platform or similar installation (categories C, CE, C1, C1E only);
   8.2.4. Parking to let passengers on or off the bus safely (categories D, DE, D1, D1E only).

8.3.  Behaviour in traffic

Applicants must perform all the following actions in normal traffic situations, in complete safety and taking all necessary precautions:

   8.3.1. Driving away: after parking, after a stop in traffic; exiting a driveway;
   8.3.2. Driving on straight roads; passing oncoming vehicles, including in confined spaces;
   8.3.3. Driving round bends;
   8.3.4. Crossroads: approaching and crossing of intersections and junctions;
   8.3.5. Changing direction: left and right turns; changing lanes;
   8.3.6. Approach/exit of motorways or similar (if available): joining from the acceleration lane; leaving on the deceleration lane;
   8.3.7. Overtaking/passing: overtaking other traffic (if possible); driving alongside obstacles, e.g. parked cars; being overtaken by other traffic (if appropriate);
   8.3.8. Special road features (if available): roundabouts; railway level crossings; tram/bus stops; pedestrian crossings; driving up-/downhill on long slopes;
   8.3.9. Taking the necessary precautions when alighting from the vehicle.

9.  Marking of the test of skills and behaviour

9.1.  For each of the abovementioned driving situations, the assessment must reflect the degree of ease with which the applicant handles the vehicle controls and his demonstrated capacity to drive in traffic in complete safety. The examiner must feel safe throughout the test. Driving errors or dangerous conduct immediately endangering the safety of the test vehicle, its passengers or other road users shall be penalised by failing the test, whether or not the examiner or accompanying person has to intervene. Nonetheless, the examiner shall be free to decide whether or not the skills and behaviour test should be completed.

Driving examiners must be trained to assess correctly the applicants' ability to drive safely. The work of driving examiners must be monitored and supervised, by a body authorised by the Member State, to ensure correct and consistent application of fault assessment in accordance with the standards laid down in this Annex.

9.2.  During their assessment, driving examiners shall pay special attention to whether an applicant is showing a defensive and social driving behaviour. This should reflect the overall style of driving and the driving examiner should take this into account in the overall picture of the applicant. It includes adapted and determined (safe) driving, taking into account road and weather conditions, taking into account other traffic, taking into account the interests of other road users (particularly the more vulnerable) and anticipation.

9.3.  The driving examiner will furthermore assess whether the applicant is:

   9.3.1. Controlling the vehicle; taking into account: proper use of safety belts, rear-view mirrors, head restraints; seat; proper use of lights and other equipment; proper use of clutch, gearbox, accelerator, braking systems (including third braking system, if available), steering; controlling the vehicle under different circumstances, at different speeds; steadiness on the road; the weight and dimensions and characteristics of the vehicle; the weight and type of load (categories BE, C, CE, C1, C1E, DE, D1E only); the comfort of the passengers (categories D, DE, D1, D1E only) (no fast acceleration, smoothly driving and no hard braking);
   9.3.2. Driving economically and in an environmentally friendly way, taking into account the revolutions per minute, changing gears, braking and accelerating (categories BE, C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1, D1E only);
   9.3.3. Observation: all-round observation; proper use of mirrors; far, middle, near distance vision;
   9.3.4. Priority/giving way: priority at crossroads, intersections and junctions; giving way at other occasions (e.g. changing direction, changing lanes, special manoeuvres);
   9.3.5. Correct position on the road: proper position on the road, in lanes, on roundabouts, round bends, suitable for the type and the characteristics of the vehicle; pre-positioning;
   9.3.6. Keeping distance: keeping adequate distance to the front and the side; keeping adequate distance from other road users;
   9.3.7. Speed: not exceeding the maximum allowed speed; adapting speed to weather/traffic conditions and where appropriate up to national speed limits; driving at such a speed that stopping within distance of the visible and free road is possible; adapting speed to general speed of same kind of road users;
   9.3.8. Traffic lights, road signs and other indications: acting correctly at traffic lights; obeying instructions from traffic controllers; acting correctly at road signs (prohibitions or commands); take appropriate action at road markings;
   9.3.9. Signalling: give signals where necessary, correctly and properly timed; indicating directions correctly; taking appropriate action with regard to all signals made by other road users;
   9.3.10. Braking and stopping: decelerating in time, braking or stopping according to circumstances; anticipation; using the various braking systems (only for categories C, CE, D, DE); using speed reduction systems other than the brakes (only for categories C, CE, D, DE).

10.  Length of the test

The length of the test and the distance travelled must be sufficient to assess the skills and behaviour laid down in paragraph B of this Annex. In no circumstances should the time spent driving on the road be less than 25 minutes for categories A, A1, A2, B, B1 and BE and 45 minutes for the other categories. This does not include the reception of the applicant, the preparation of the vehicle, the technical check of the vehicle with a bearing on road safety, the special manoeuvres and the announcement of the outcome of the practical test.

11.  Location of the test

The part of the test to assess the special manoeuvres may be conducted on a special testing ground. Wherever practicable, the part of the test to assess behaviour in traffic should be conducted on roads outside built-up areas, expressways and motorways (or similar), as well as on all kinds of urban streets (residential areas, 30 and 50 km/h areas, urban expressways) which should represent the various types of difficulty likely to be encountered by drivers. It is also desirable for the test to take place in various traffic density conditions. The time spent driving on the road should be used in an optimal way to assess the applicant in all the various traffic areas that can be encountered, with a special emphasis on changing between these areas.

II.  KNOWLEDGE, SKILL AND BEHAVIOUR FOR DRIVING A POWER-DRIVEN VEHICLE

Drivers of all power-driven vehicles must at any moment have the knowledge, skills and behaviour described under points 1 to 9, with a view to be able to:

   Recognise traffic dangers and assess their seriousness,
   Have sufficient command of their vehicle not to create dangerous situations and to react appropriately should such situations occur,
   Comply with road traffic regulations, and in particular those intended to prevent road accidents and to maintain the flow of traffic,
   Detect any major technical faults in their vehicles, in particular those posing a safety hazard, and have them remedied in an appropriate fashion,
   Take account of all the factors affecting driving behaviour (e.g. alcohol, fatigue, poor eyesight, etc.) so as to retain full use of the faculties needed to drive safely,
   Help ensure the safety of all road users, and in particular of the weakest and most exposed by showing due respect for others.

Member States may implement the appropriate measures to ensure that drivers who have lost the knowledge, skills and behaviour as described under points 1 to 9 can recover this knowledge and these skills and will continue to exhibit such behaviour required for driving a motor vehicle.

ANNEX III

MINIMUM STANDARDS OF PHYSICAL AND MENTAL FITNESS FOR DRIVING A POWER-DRIVEN VEHICLE

DEFINITIONS

1.  For the purpose of this Annex, drivers are classified in two groups:

  1.1. Group 1:

drivers of vehicles of categories A, A1, A2, AM, B, B1 and BE.
drivers of vehicles of categories C, CE, C1, C1E, D, DE, D1 and D1E.
   1.2. Group 2:

1.3.  National legislation may provide for the provisions set out in this Annex for Group 2 drivers to apply to drivers of Category B vehicles using their driving licence for professional purposes (taxis, ambulances, etc.).

2.  Similarly, applicants for a first driving licence or for the renewal of a driving licence are classified in the group to which they will belong once the licence has been issued or renewed.

MEDICAL EXAMINATIONS

3.  Group 1:

Applicants shall be required to undergo a medical examination if it becomes apparent, when the necessary formalities are being completed or during the tests which they have to undergo prior to obtaining a driving licence, that they have one or more of the medical disabilities mentioned in this Annex.

4.  Group 2:

Applicants shall undergo medical examinations before a driving licence is first issued to them and thereafter drivers shall be checked in accordance with the national system in place in the Member State of normal residence whenever their driving licence is renewed.

5.  The standards set by Member States for the issue or any subsequent renewal of driving licences may be stricter than those set out in this Annex.

SIGHT

6.  All applicants for a driving licence shall undergo an appropriate investigation to ensure that they have adequate visual acuity for driving power-driven vehicles. Where there is reason to doubt that the applicant's vision is adequate, he shall be examined by a competent medical authority. At this examination attention shall be paid the following in particular: visual acuity, field of vision, twilight vision and progressive eye diseases.

For the purpose of this Annex, intra-ocular lenses shall not be considered corrective lenses.

Group 1:

6.1.  Applicants for a driving licence or for the renewal of such a licence shall have a binocular visual acuity, with corrective lenses if necessary, of at least 0,5 when using both eyes together. Driving licences shall not be issued or renewed if, during the medical examination, it is shown that the horizontal field of vision is less than 120°, apart from exceptional cases duly justified by a favourable medical opinion and a positive practical test, or that the person concerned suffers from any other eye condition that would compromise safe driving. When a progressive eye disease is detected or declared, driving licences may be issued or renewed subject to the applicant undergoing regular examination by a competent medical authority.

6.2.  Applicants for a driving licence, or for the renewal of such a licence, who have total functional loss of vision in one eye or who use only one eye (e.g. in the case of diplopia) must have a visual acuity of at least 0,6, with corrective lenses if necessary. The competent medical authority must certify that this condition of monocular vision has existed sufficiently long to allow adaptation and that the field of vision in this eye is normal.

Group 2:

6.3.  Applicants for a driving licence or for the renewal of such a licence must have a visual acuity, with corrective lenses if necessary, of at least 0,8 in the better eye and at least 0,5 in the worse eye. If corrective lenses are used to attain the values of 0,8 and 0,5, the uncorrected acuity in each eye must reach 0,05, or else the minimum acuity (0,8 and 0,5) must be achieved either by correction by means of glasses with a power not exceeding plus or minus 8 dioptres or with the aid of contact lenses (uncorrected vision = 0,05). The correction must be well tolerated. Driving licences shall not be issued to or renewed for applications or drivers without a normal binocular field of vision or suffering from diplopia.

HEARING

7.  Driving licences may be issued to or renewed for applicants or drivers in Group 2 subject to the opinion of the competent medical authorities; particular account will be taken in medical examinations of the scope for compensation.

PERSONS WITH A LOCOMOTOR DISABILITY

8.  Driving licences shall not be issued to or renewed for applicants or drivers suffering from complaints or abnormalities of the locomotor system which make it dangerous to drive a power-driven vehicle.

Group 1:

8.1.  Driving licences subject to certain restrictions, if necessary, may be issued to physically disabled applicants or drivers following the issuing of an opinion by a competent medical authority. This opinion must be based on a medical assessment of the complaint or abnormality in question and, where necessary, on a practical test. It must also indicate what type of modification to the vehicle is required and whether the driver needs to be fitted with an orthopaedic device, insofar as the test of skills and behaviour demonstrates that with such a device driving would not to be dangerous.

8.2.  Driving licences may be issued to or renewed for any applicant suffering from a progressive complaint on condition that the disabled person is regularly examined to check that the person is still capable of driving the vehicle completely safely.

Where the disability is static, driving licences may be issued or renewed without the applicant being subject to regular medical examination.

Group 2:

8.3.  The competent medical authority shall give due consideration to the additional risks and dangers involved in the driving of vehicles covered by the definition of this group.

CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES

9.  Any disease capable of exposing an applicant for a first licence or a driver applying for renewal to a sudden failure of the cardiovascular system such that there is a sudden impairment of the cerebral functions constitutes a danger to road safety.

Group 1:

9.1.  Driving licences will not to be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers with serious arrhythmia.

9.2.  Driving licences may be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers wearing a pacemaker subject to authorised medical opinion and regular medical check-ups.

9.3.  The question of whether to issue or renew a licence for applicants or drivers suffering from abnormal arterial blood pressure shall be assessed with reference to the other results of the examination, any associated complications and the danger they might constitute for road safety.

9.4.  Generally speaking, a driving licence shall not be issued to or renewed for applicants or drivers suffering from angina during rest or emotion. The issuing or renewal of a driving licence to any applicant or driver having suffered myocardial infarction shall be subject to authorised medical opinion and, if necessary, regular medical check-ups.

Group 2:

9.5.  The competent medical authority shall give due consideration to the additional risks and dangers involved in the driving of vehicles covered by the definition of this group.

DIABETES MELLITUS

10.  Driving licences may be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers suffering from diabetes mellitus, subject to authorised medical opinion and regular medical check-ups appropriate to each case.

Group 2:

10.1.  Only in very exceptional cases may driving licences be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers in this group suffering from diabetes mellitus and requiring insulin treatment, and then only where duly justified by authorised medical opinion and subject to regular medical check-ups.

NEUROLOGICAL DISEASES

11.  Driving licences shall not be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers suffering from a serious neurological disease, unless the application is supported by authorised medical opinion.

Neurological disturbances associated with diseases or surgical intervention affecting the central or peripheral nervous system, which lead to sensory or motor deficiencies and affect balance and coordination, must accordingly be taken into account in relation to their functional effects and the risks of progression. In such cases, the issue or renewal of the licence may be subject to periodic assessment in the event of risk of deterioration.

12.  Epileptic seizures or other sudden disturbances of the state of consciousness constitute a serious danger to road safety if they occur in a person driving a power-driven vehicle.

Group 1:

12.1.  A licence may be issued or renewed subject to an examination by a competent medical authority and to regular medical check-ups. The authority shall decide on the state of the epilepsy or other disturbances of consciousness, its clinical form and progress (no seizure in the last two years, for example), the treatment received and the results thereof.

Group 2:

12.2.  Driving licences shall not be issued to or renewed for applicants or drivers suffering or liable to suffer from epileptic seizures or other sudden disturbances of the state of consciousness.

MENTAL DISORDERS

Group 1:

13.1.  Driving licences shall not be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers who suffer from:

   severe mental disturbance, whether congenital or due to disease, trauma or neurosurgical operations,
   severe mental retardation,
   severe behavioural problems due to ageing; or personality defects leading to seriously impaired judgment, behaviour or adaptability,
  

unless their application is supported by authorised medical opinion and, if necessary, subject to regular medical check-ups.

Group 2:

13.2.  The competent medical authority shall give due consideration to the additional risks and dangers involved in the driving of vehicles covered by the definition of this group.

ALCOHOL

14.  Alcohol consumption constitutes a major danger to road safety. In view of the scale of the problem, the medical profession must be very vigilant.

Group 1:

14.1.  Driving licences shall not be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers who are dependent on alcohol or unable to refrain from drinking and driving.

After a proven period of abstinence and subject to authorised medical opinion and regular medical check-ups, driving licences may be issued to, or renewed for, applicant or drivers who have in the past been dependent on alcohol.

Group 2:

14.2.  The competent medical authority shall give due consideration to the additional risks and dangers involved in the driving of vehicles covered by the definition of this group.

DRUGS AND MEDICINAL PRODUCTS

15.  Abuse:

Driving licences shall not be issued to or renewed for applicants or drivers who are dependent on psychotropic substances or who are not dependent on such substances but regularly abuse them, whatever category of licence is requested.

Regular use:

Group 1:

15.1.  Driving licences shall not be issued to, or renewed for, applicants or drivers who regularly use psychotropic substances, in whatever form, which can hamper the ability to drive safely where the quantities absorbed are such as to have an adverse effect on driving. This shall apply to all other medicinal products or combinations of medicinal products which affect the ability to drive.

Group 2:

15.2.  The competent medical authority shall give due consideration to the additional risks and dangers involved in the driving of vehicles covered by the definitions of this group.

RENAL DISORDERS

Group 1:

16.1.  Driving licences may be issued or renewed for applicants and drivers suffering from serious renal insufficiency subject to authorised medical opinion and regular medical check-ups.

Group 2:

16.2.  Save in exceptional cases duly justified by authorised medical opinion, and subject to regular medical check-ups, driving licences shall not be issued to or renewed for applicants or drivers suffering from serious and irreversible renal deficiency.

MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS

Group 1:

17.1.  Subject to authorised medical opinion and, if necessary, regular medical check-ups, driving licences may be issued to or renewed for applications or drivers who have had an organ transplant or an artificial implant which affects the ability to drive.

Group 2:

17.2.  The competent medical authority shall give due consideration to the additional risks and dangers involved in the driving of vehicles covered by the definition of this group.

18.  As a general rule, where applicants or drivers suffer from any disorder which is not mentioned in the preceding paragraph but is liable to be, or to result in, a functional incapacity affecting safety at the wheel, driving licences shall not be issued or renewed unless the application is supported by authorised medical opinion and, if necessary, subject to regular medical check-ups.

ANNEX IV

Minimum standards for persons who conduct practical driving tests

1.  Competences required by a driving examiner

1.1.  A person authorised to conduct practical assessments in a motor vehicle of the driving performance of a candidate must have knowledge, skills and understanding related to the topics listed in points 1.2 to 1.6.

1.2.  The competences of an examiner must be relevant to assessing the performance of a candidate seeking the category of driving licence entitlement for which the driving test is being undertaken.

1.3.  Knowledge and understanding of driving and assessment:

   theory of driving behaviour,
   hazard perception and accident avoidance,
   the syllabus underpinning driving test standards,
   the requirements of the driving test,
   relevant road and traffic legislation, including relevant EU and national legislation and interpretative guidelines,
   assessment theory and techniques,
   defensive driving.

1.4.  Assessment skills:

   ability to observe accurately, monitor, and evaluate overall candidate performance, in particular:
   correct and comprehensive recognition of dangerous situations,
   accurate determination of cause and likely effect of such situations,
   achievement of competence and recognition of errors,
   uniformity and consistency in assessment,
   assimilate information quickly and extract key points,
   look ahead, identify potential problems, and develop strategies to deal with them,
   provide timely and constructive feedback.

1.5.  Personal driving skills:

A person authorised to conduct a practical test for a category of driving licence must be able to drive to a consistently high standard that type of motor vehicle.

1.6.  Quality of service:

   establish and communicate what the candidate can expect during the test,
   communicate clearly, choosing content, style and language to suit the audience and context and deal with enquiries from candidates,
   provide clear feedback about the test result,
   treat candidates with respect and indiscriminately.

1.7.  Knowledge about vehicle technique and physics:

   knowledge about vehicle technique such as steering, tyres, brakes, lights, specially for motorcycles and heavy vehicles,
   loading safety,
   knowledge about vehicle physics such as speed, friction, dynamics, energy.

1.8.  Driving in a fuel efficient and environmentally friendly way.

2.  General conditions

2.1.  A category B driving examiner:

   a) must have held a category B licence for at least 3 years;
   b) must be at least 23 years old;
   c) must have successfully completed the initial qualification provided for in point 3 of this Annex and subsequently followed the quality assurance and the periodic training arrangements as provided for in point 4 of this Annex;
   d) must have terminated a vocational education that leads at least to a completion of level 3 as defined by Council Decision 85/368/EEC of 16 July 1985 on the comparability of vocational training qualifications between the Member States of the European Community(22);
   e) may not be active as a commercial driving instructor in a driving school simultaneously.

2.2.  A driving examiner for the other categories:

   a) must hold a driving licence in the category concerned or possess equivalent knowledge through adequate professional qualification;
   b) must have successfully completed the initial qualification provided for in point 3 of this Annex and subsequently followed the quality assurance and the periodic training arrangements as provided for in point 4 of this Annex;
  c) must have been a qualified category B driving examiner for at least 3 years; this period may be waived provided that the examiner in question can provide evidence of:
   at least 5 years of driving in the category concerned, or,
   a theoretical and practical assessment of driving ability of a standard higher than that needed to obtain a driving licence thus making that requirement unnecessary,
   d) must have completed a vocational education that leads at least to a termination of the level 3 as defined by Decision 85/368/EEC;
   e) may not be active as a commercial driving instructor in a driving school simultaneously.

2.3.  Equivalences

2.3.1.  Member States may authorise an examiner to conduct driving tests for categories AM, A1, A2 and A upon passing the initial qualification prescribed in point 3 for one of these categories.

2.3.2.  Member States may authorise an examiner to conduct driving tests for categories C1, C, D1 and D upon passing the initial qualification prescribed in point 3 for one of these categories.

2.3.3.  Member States may authorise an examiner to conduct driving tests for categories BE, C1E, CE, D1E and DE upon passing the initial qualification prescribed in point 3 for one of these categories.

3.  Initial qualification

3.1.  Initial training

3.1.1.  Before a person may be authorised to conduct driving tests, that person must satisfactorily complete such training programme as a Member State may specify in order to have the competences set out in point 1.

3.1.2.  Member States must determine whether the content of any particular training programme will relate to authorisation to conduct driving tests for one driving licence category, or more than one.

3.2.  Examinations

3.2.1.  Before a person may be authorised to conduct driving tests, that person must demonstrate a satisfactory standard of knowledge, understanding, skills and aptitude in respect of the subjects listed in point 1.

3.2.2.  Member States shall operate an examination process that assesses, in a pedagogically appropriate manner, the competences of the person as defined under point 1, in particular point 1.4. The examination process must include both a theoretical element and a practical element. Computer-based assessment may be used where appropriate. The details concerning the nature and duration of any tests and assessments within the examination shall be at the discretion of the individual Member States.

3.2.3.  Member States must determine whether the content of any particular examination will relate to authorisation to conduct driving tests for one driving licence category, or more than one.

4.  Quality assurance and periodic training

4.1.  Quality assurance

4.1.1.  Member States shall have in place quality assurance arrangements to provide for the maintenance of standards of driving examiners.

4.1.2.  Quality assurance arrangements should involve the supervision of examiners at work, their further training and re-accreditation, their continuing professional development, and by periodic review of the outcomes of the driving tests that they have conducted.

4.1.3.  Member States must provide that each examiner is subject to yearly supervision making use of quality assurance arrangements listed in point 4.1.2. Moreover, the Member States must provide that each examiner is observed conducting tests once every 5 years, for a minimum period cumulatively of at least half a day, allowing the observation of several tests. When issues are identified corrective action should be put in place. The person undertaking the supervision must be a person authorised by the Member State for that purpose.

4.1.4  Member States may provide that where an examiner is authorised to conduct driving tests in more than one category, satisfying the supervision requirement in relation to tests for one category satisfies the requirement for more than one category.

4.1.5  The work of driving examination must be monitored and supervised by a body authorised by the Member State, to ensure correct and consistent application of assessment.

4.2.  Periodic training.

4.2.1.  Member States shall provide that, in order to remain authorised, driving examiners, irrespective of the number of categories for which they are accredited, undertake:

   a minimum regular periodic training of four days in total per period of two years in order to:
   maintain and refresh the necessary knowledge and examining skills,
   to develop new competences that have become essential for the exercise of their profession,
   ensure that an examiner continues to conduct tests to a fair and uniform standard,
   a minimum periodic training of at least five days in total per period of five years,
   in order to develop and maintain the necessary practical driving skills.

4.2.2.  Member States shall take the appropriate measures for ensuring that specific training is given promptly to those examiners that have found to be seriously malfunctioning by the quality assurance system in place.

4.2.3.  The nature of periodic training may take the form of briefing, classroom training, conventional or electronic-based learning, and it may be undertaken on an individual or group basis. It may include such re-accreditation of standards as Member States consider appropriate.

4.2.4.  Member States may provide that where an examiner is authorised to conduct driving tests in more than one category, satisfying the periodic training requirement in relation to tests for one category satisfies the requirement for more than one category, provided the condition set out in point 4.2.5 is satisfied.

4.2.5.  Where an examiner has not conducted tests for a category within a 24-month period, the examiner shall undertake a suitable reassessment before being allowed to carry out driving tests relating to that category. That re-assessment may be undertaken as part of the requirement set out in point 4.2.1.

5.  Acquired rights.

5.1.  Member States may allow persons authorised to conduct driving tests immediately before these provisions come into force to continue to conduct driving tests, notwithstanding that they were not authorised in accordance with the general conditions in point 2 or the initial qualification process set out in point 3.

5.2.  Such examiners are nonetheless subject to the regular supervision and quality assurance arrangements set out in point 4.

ANNEX V

Minimum requirements for driver training and testing for combinations as defined in the second subparagraph of Article 4(4)(b)

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to:

   approve and supervise the training provided for in Article 7(1)(d) or,
   organise the test of skills and behaviour provided for in Article 7(1)(d).

2.1.  Duration of driver training

   at least 7 hours.

3.  Content of driver training

The driver training shall cover the knowledge, skills and behaviour as described in points 2 and 7 of Annex II. Particular attention shall be paid to:

   vehicle movement dynamics, safety criteria, tractor vehicle and trailer (coupling mechanism), correct loading and safety fittings;

A practical component shall include the following exercises: acceleration, deceleration, reversing, braking, stopping distance, lane-changing, braking/evasive action, trailer swing, uncoupling from and re-coupling a trailer to its motor vehicle, parking;

   Each training participant has to perform the practical component and shall demonstrate its skills and behaviour on public roads,
   Vehicle combinations used for the training shall fall within the category of driving licence participants have applied for.

4.  Duration and contents of the test of skills and behaviour

The length of the test and the distance travelled must be sufficient to assess the skills and behaviour laid down in point 3.

ANNEX VI

Minimum requirements for driver training and testing for motorcycles within category A (progressive access)

1.  Member States shall take the necessary measures to:

   approve and supervise the training provided for in Article 7(1)(c) or,
   organise the test of skills and behaviour provided for in Article 7(1)(c).

2.  Duration of driver training

   at least 7 hours.

3.  Content of driver training

–  The driver training shall contain all aspects covered in point 6 of Annex II.

   Each participant has to perform the practical components of the training and shall demonstrate its skills and behaviour on public roads.
   Motorcycles used for the training shall fall within the category of driving licence participants have applied for.

4.  Duration and contents of the test of skills and behaviour

The length of the test and the distance travelled must be sufficient to assess the skills and behaviour laid down in point 3 of this Annex.

ANNEX VII

Part A

Repealed Directive as successively amended

(referred to in Article 17)

Council Directive 91/439/EEC(23)

(OJ L 237, 24.8.1991, p. 1)

Council Directive 94/72/EC

(OJ L 337, 24.12.1994, p. 86)

Council Directive 96/47/EC

(OJ L 235, 17.9.1996, p. 1)

Council Directive 97/26/EC

(OJ L 150, 7.6.1997, p. 41)

Commission Directive 2000/56/EC

(OJ L 237, 21.9.2000, p. 45)

Directive 2003/59/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council, only Article 10, paragraph 2

(OJ L 226, 10.9.2003, p. 4)

Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council, only Annex II, point 24

(OJ L 284, 31.10.2003, p. 1)

Part B

Deadlines for transposition into national law and for application

(referred to in Article 17)

Directive

Deadline for transposition

Date of application

Directive 91/439/EEC

1st July 1994

1st July 1996

Directive 94/72/EC

-

1st January1995

Decision 96/427/EC

-

16 July 1996

Directive 96/47/EC

1st July 1996

1st July 1996

Directive 97/26/EC

1st January 1998

1st January 1998

Directive 2000/56/EC

30 September 2003

30 September 2003, 30 September 2008 (Annex II, point 6.2.5) and 30 September 2013 (Annex II point 5.2)

Directive 2003/59/EC

10 September 2006

10 September 2008 (passenger transport) and 10 September 2009 (goods transport)

ANNEX VIII

Correlation Table

Directive 91/439/EEC

This Directive

Article 1(1), 1st sentence

Article 1(1) 1st sentence

Article 1(1), 2nd sentence

-

Article 1(2)

Article 1(2)

Article 2(1)

-

Article 2(2)

Article 1(3)

-

Article 2(1)

Article 1(1), 2nd sentence

Article 2(2)

Article 3(1)

Article 3(2)

Article 3(3)

Article 2(3)

-

Article 2(4)

-

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, introductory words

Article 4(1), 1st sentence

-

Article 4(2), 1st indent

-

Article 4(2), 2nd indent

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 1st indent

Article 4(3), 1st indent

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 2nd indent

Article 4(4)(b), 1st subparagraph

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 3rd indent

Article 4(4)(b), 2nd subparagraph

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 4th indent

Article 4(4)(c)

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 5th indent

Article 4(4)(f)

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 6th indent

Article 4(4)(g)

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 7th indent

Article 4(4)(j)

Article 3(1), 1st subparagraph, 8th indent

Article 4(4)(k)

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, introductory words

-

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 1st indent

Article 4(3)(a)

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 2nd indent

Article 4(4)(a)

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 3rd indent

Article 4(4)(d)

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 4th indent

Article 4(4)(e)

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 5th indent

Article 4(4)(h)

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 6th indent, introductory words

Article 4(4)(i)

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 6th indent, 1st sub-indent

-

Article 3(2), 1st subparagraph, 6th indent, 2nd sub-indent

-

Article 3(3), introductory words

-

Article 3(3), 1st indent

Article 4(1), 3rd sentence

-

Article 3(3), 2nd indent, 1st subparagraph

Article 4(3), 2nd indent

Article 3(3), 2nd indent, 2nd subparagraph

-

Article 3(3), 3rd indent

Article 4(3), 1st indent

Article 3(3), 4th indent

Article 4(4), 1st indent

Article 3(3), 5th indent

Article 4(4), 2nd indent

-

Article 4(3)

Article 3(4)

-

Article 3(5)

-

Article 3(6)

Article 4(5), 1st sentence

-

Article 4(5), 2nd sentence

Article 4

Article 5

Article 5(1)

Article 6(1)

Article 5(1)(a)

Article 6(1)(a)

Article 5(1)(b)

Article 6(1)(b)

Article 5(2), introductory words

Article 6(2), introductory words

Article 5(2)(a)

Article 6(2)(a)

Article 5(2)(b)

Article 6(2)(b)

-

Article 6(2)(c)

-

Article 6(2)(d)

-

Article 6(2)(e)

-

Article 6(2)(f)

Article 5(3)

-

Article 5(4)

Article 6(4)

Article 6(1), introductory words

Article 4(1), 2nd sentence

Article 6(1)(a), 1st indent

Article 4(3)(a), 3rd indent

Article 6(1)(a), 2nd indent

Article 4(4)(a), 2nd indent

Article 6(1)(b), 1st indent

Article 4(3)(b), 2nd indent

Article 4(3)(c), 2nd indent

Article 6(1)(b), 2nd indent 1st alternative

Article 4(4)(b), 5th subparagraph

Article 6(1)(b), 2nd indent 2nd alternative

Article 4(4)(c), 2nd indent

Article 6(1)(b), 3rd indent 1st and 2nd alternative

Article 4(4)(g), 2nd indent

Article 6(1)(b), 3rd indent 3rd and 4th alternative

Article 4(4)(e), 3rd indent

-

Article 6(1)(c), 1st indent 1st and 2nd alternative

Article 4(4)(k), 2nd indent

Article 6(1)(c), 1st indent 3rd and 4th alternative

Article 4(4)(i), 2nd indent

-

Article 6(2)

Article 4(6), 1st subparagraph

-

Article 4(6), 2nd subparagraph

Article 6(3)

Article 4(6), 3rd and 4th subparagraphs

Article 7(1), introductory words

Article 7(1), introductory words

Article 7(1)(a)

Article 7(1)(a)

-

Article 7(1)(b)

-

Article 7(1)(c)

-

Article 7(1)(d)

Article 7(1)(b)

Article 7(1)(e)

Article 7(2)

-

Article 7(3)

-

-

Article 7(2)

-

Article 7(3)

Article 7(4)

Article 7(4)

Article 7(5)

Article 7(5)(a)

-

Article 7(5)(b)

-

Article 7(5)(c)

-

Article 7(5)(d)

Article 7 a(1)

-

Article 7 a(2)

Article 8

Article 7 b

Article 9

-

Article 10

Article 8

Article 11

Article 9

Article 12

Article 10

Article 13(1)

-

Article 13(2)

Article 11

Article 14

Article 12(1)

-

Article 12(2)

-

Article 12(3)

Article 15

-

Article 16

Article 13

Article 17, 1st subparagraph

-

Article 17, 2nd subparagraph

-

Article 18

Article 14

Article 19

Annex I

-

Annex Ia

Annex I

Annex II

Annex II

Annex III

Annex III

-

Annex IV

-

Annex V

-

Annex VI

(1) OJ C 304 E, 1.12.2005, p. 138.
(2) Not yet published in OJ.
(3) OJ C 112, 30.4.2004, p. 34.
(4) Opinion of the European Parliament of 23 February 2005 (OJ C 304 E, 1.12.2005, p. 202), Council Common Position of 18 September 2006 (OJ C 295 E, 5.12.2006, p. 1) and Position of the European Parliament of 14 December 2006 (not yet published in the Official Journal).
(5) OJ L 237, 24.8.1991, p. 1. Directive as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1882/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 284, 31.10.2003, p. 1).
(6) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).
(7)* 26 years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(8)1 OJ L 124, 9.5.2002, p. 1. Directive as last amended by Commission Directive 2005/30/EC (OJ L 106, 27.4.2005, p. 17).
(9) OJ L 226, 10.9.2003, p. 4. Directive as amended by Council Directive 2004/66/EC (OJ L 168, 1.5.2004, p. 35).
(10)* Six years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(11)* Six years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(12)* Six years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(13)** Eleven years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(14)*** Four years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(15)* Six years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(16)** Date of entry into force of this Directive.
(17)* Two years after the date of entry into force of this Directive.
(18) Note: a pictogram and a line for category AM will be added. Note: the term "A2" will be added to the section on motorcycle categories.
(19) OJ L 370, 31.12.1985, p. 1. Regulation as repealed by Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 102, 11.4.2006, p. 1).
(20) OJ L 370, 31.12.1985, p. 8. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 561/2006.
(21) OJ L 237, 21.9.2000, p. 45.
(22) OJ L 199, 31.7.1985, p. 56.
(23) Directive 91/439/EEC was also amended by the following act which has not been repealed: 1994 Act of accession.


Amendment of Rule 81 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, Implementing provisions
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European Parliament decision on amendment of Rule 81 of Parliament's Rules of Procedure, Implementing provisions (2006/2211(REG))
P6_TA(2006)0588A6-0415/2006

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its position of 6 July 2006 on the draft Council Decision amending Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission, and, in particular, paragraph 2 thereof(1),

–   having regard to the Council Decision 2006/512/EC of 17 July 2006 amending Decision 1999/468/EC laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(2),

–   having regard to the letter of its President of 20 July 2006,

–   having regard to Rules 201 and 202 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A6-0415/2006);

Whereas

A.   negotiations between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have led to the conclusion of an interinstitutional agreement taking the form of a joint statement welcoming the draft for a new procedure to be introduced into Decision 1999/468/EC,

B.   the new procedure, known as the 'regulatory procedure with scrutiny', entitles the European Parliament and the Council to scrutinise 'quasi-legislative' measures implementing an instrument adopted by codecision on an equal footing and to reject such measures,

C.   decision 2006/512/EC is accompanied by this joint statement, a statement by the Commission recorded in the minutes of the Council and statements by the Commission concerning the implementation and application of the new procedure,

D.   it is appropriate to modify Rule 81 of the Rules of Procedure so as to enable Parliament to make use of the rights under the new procedure under the best possible conditions,

1.  Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;

2.  Decides that the amendment will enter into force on 1 January 2007;

3.  Instructs its President to ensure through arrangements with the other institutions at the administrative level, that drafts of measures are not transmitted to Parliament shortly before a recess of Parliament;

4.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and Commission, for information.

Present text   Amendments
Amendments 1 and 2
Rule 81
Implementing provisions
Implementing measures
1.  When the Commission forwards a draft implementing measure to Parliament, the President shall refer the document in question to the committee responsible for the act from which the implementing provisions derive.
1.  When the Commission forwards a draft of implementing measures to Parliament, the President shall refer the draft of measures to the committee responsible for the act from which the implementing measures derive. When enhanced cooperation between committees has taken place with regard to the basic act, the committee responsible shall invite the other committee to communicate its views orally or by letter.
2.   On a proposal from the committee responsible, Parliament may, within one month - or three months for financial services measures - of the date of receipt of the draft implementing measure, adopt a resolution objecting to the draft measure, in particular if it exceeds the implementing powers provided for in the basic instrument. Where there is no part-session before the deadline expires, or in cases where urgent action is required, the right of response shall be deemed to have been delegated to the committee responsible. This shall take the form of a letter from the committee chairman to the Member of the Commission responsible, and shall be brought to the attention of all Members of Parliament. If Parliament objects to the measure, the President shall request the Commission to withdraw or amend the measure or submit a proposal under the appropriate legislative procedure.
2.   The chairman of the committee responsible shall set a deadline for Members to propose that the committee objects to the draft of measures. Where the committee considers it to be appropriate, it may decide to appoint a rapporteur from among its members or permanent substitutes. If the committee objects to the draft of measures, it shall table a motion for a resolution opposing the adoption of the draft of measures which may also indicate the changes that ought to be brought to the draft of measures.
If, within the applicable deadline from the date of receipt of the draft of measures, Parliament adopts such a resolution the President shall request the Commission to withdraw or amend the draft of measures or submit a proposal under the appropriate legislative procedure.
3.  Where there is no part-session before the deadline expires, the right of response shall be deemed to have been delegated to the committee responsible. This response shall take the form of a letter from the committee chairman to the Member of the Commission responsible, and shall be brought to the attention of all Members of Parliament.
4.  If the implementing measures envisaged by the Commission fall under the Regulatory Procedure with Scrutiny, paragraph 3 shall not apply and paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be supplemented as follows:
(a) the time for scrutiny starts to run when the draft of measures has been submitted to Parliament in all official languages;
(b)  Parliament may oppose the adoption of the draft of measures, justifying its opposition by indicating that the draft of measures exceeds the implementing powers provided for in the basic instrument, is not compatible with the aim or the content of the basic instrument or does not respect the principles of subsidiarity or proportionality;
(c)  Parliament may oppose the adoption of the draft of measures acting by a majority of its component members.
(d)  If the draft of measures is based on paragraph 5 or 6 of Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC, which provides for curtailed time-limits for the opposition of Parliament, a motion for resolution opposing the adoption of the draft of measures may be tabled by the chairman of the committee responsible if the committee has not been able to meet in the time available.

(1) P6_TA(2006)0310.
(2) OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11.


Amendment of the Rules of Procedure (Quaestors, committee bureaux)
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European Parliament decision on amendment of Rules 15 and 182(1) of Parliament's Rules of Procedure – Election of Quaestors and committee bureaux (2006/2287(REG))
P6_TA(2006)0589A6-0464/2006

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the proposal for amendment of its Rules of Procedure (B6-0628/2006),

–   having regard to Rules 201 and 202 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A6-0464/2006),

1.  Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;

2.  Decides that the amendments will enter into force on 1 January 2007;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and Commission, for information.

Present text   Amendments
Amendment 1
Rule 15, subparagraph 2 a (new)
For the period from January 2007 to July 2009 the Parliament shall elect six Quaestors.
Amendment 2
Rule 182, paragraph 1, subparagraph 1 a (new)
For the period from January 2007 to July 2009 the committee bureaux shall include four vice-chairmen.

External Borders Fund ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the External Borders Fund for the period 2007-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" (COM(2005)0123 – C6-0125/2005 – 2005/0047(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0590A6-0427/2006

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0123)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 62(2) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0125/2005),

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Budgets (A6-0427/2006),

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 Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Decision No ... /2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing the External Borders Fund for the period 2007 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0047


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 62(2) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

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

Having regard to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions(3),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4),

Whereas:

(1)  While each Member State contributes to a high and uniform level of control on persons and surveillance of the external borders of the Member States of the European Union within the framework of common rules, some Member States face a heavier burden than others.

(2)  The difference in the burden is explained by the differing situations prevailing in Member States as regards the geography of their external borders, the number of authorised and operative border crossing points, the level of migratory pressure, both legal and illegal, the risks and threats encountered and finally the workload of the national services regarding the examination of visas applications and the issuing of visas.

(3)  Burden-sharing between Member States and the European Union in the management of external borders is one of the five components of the common policy for the management of the external borders, as proposed by the Commission in its Communication of 7 May 2002 "Towards integrated management of the external borders of the Member States of the European Union" and endorsed by the Council in its "Plan for the management of the external borders of the Member States of the European Union" of 14 June 2002.

(4)  While Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 of 26 October 2004 establishing a European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union(5) constitutes an important step towards the progressive development of the operational dimension of the European common-integrated-border management system, the implementation of effective and common standards for control and surveillance of the external borders calls for a Community financial solidarity mechanism in order to support the Member States who bear, for the benefit of the Community, a lasting and heavy financial burden.

(5)  The common corpus of legislation, as defined, in particular, by Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 establishing a Community Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders (the Schengen Borders Code)(6) , provides for border checks to help combat illegal immigration and trafficking in human beings and to prevent any threat to the Member States' internal security while, at the same time, providing for border checks to be carried out in such a way as to fully respect human dignity.

(6)  The External Borders Fund (hereinafter referred to as "the Fund") should express solidarity through financial assistance to those Member States that apply the Schengen provisions on external borders.

(7)  Such financial assistance should be structured in such a way as to form a bridge with past financial contributions from the European Union to Member States which at the time of entry into force of this Decision do not yet apply all provisions of the Schengen acquis, without, however, constituting a mere continuation of the actions funded previously from other sources covered by the general budget of the European Union. In such cases, the Fund should assist those Member States preparing for full participation as soon as possible, in accordance with the Hague Programme of 4 and 5 November 2004.

(8)  Moreover, the Fund should take into account specific situations, such as the transit by land of third-country nationals who must necessarily cross the territory of one or more Member States in order to travel between two parts of their own country which are not geographically contiguous, not only in the own interests of the Member State(s) concerned but also of all Member States which have abolished checks at their internal borders. In such cases, the actions to be financed should be exhaustively defined and the allocation of resources should be determined on the basis of a factual assessment of the needs in relation to those actions.

(9)  In order to ensure uniform and high-quality external border control and flexible cross-border traffic, the Fund should contribute to the development of a European common-integrated-border management system which includes all the measures relating to policy, legislation, systematic cooperation, the distribution of the burden, personnel, equipment and technology taken at different levels by the competent authorities of the Member States, acting in cooperation and, where necessary, together with other actors, utilising, inter alia, the four-tier border security model and integrated risk analysis of the European Union.

(10)  In accordance with Protocol No 5 to the 2003 Act of Accession(7) on the transit of persons by land between the region of Kaliningrad and other parts of the Russian Federation, the Fund should bear any additional cost incurred in implementing the specific provision of the acquis covering such transit.

(11)  As a complement to the operational cooperation developed under the aegis of the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union established by Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004 (hereinafter referred to as "the Agency") and in addition to the allocation of funds to the Member States, the Fund should also introduce the possibility of a Community response to weaknesses at strategic border points by co-financing specific actions to address those weaknesses, on the basis of a specific amount set aside each year for such actions.

(12)  The Fund should include support for national measures and cooperation between Member States in the area of visa policy and other pre-frontier activities that take place prior to external border controls. The efficient management of activities organised by the consular services of the Member States in third countries is in the interest of the common visa policy as part of a multi-layered system aimed at facilitating legitimate travel and tackling illegal immigration into the European Union, and constitutes an integral part of the European common-integrated-border management system.

(13)  In the light of the scope and the purpose of the Fund, it should not, in any event, support actions with respect to areas and centres for holding persons in third countries.

(14)  Objective criteria should be established to allocate the available annual resources to the Member States. These criteria should be broken down according to the type of border, taking into account the flow and the levels of threat at the external borders of the Member States.

(15)  The application of these criteria should be reviewed in 2010 to enable any new circumstances, including in particular those resulting from changes in the external borders themselves, to be taken into account.

(16)  In view of the mission of the Agency to assist Member States in implementing the operational aspects of external border management and in order to develop complementarity between its mission and the responsibilities of the Member States for the control and surveillance of external borders, the Agency should be consulted by the Commission on draft multiannual programmes submitted by the Member States and on the strategic guidelines prepared by the Commission.

(17)  Moreover, the Commission may request the Agency to provide input into the assessment by the Commission of the impact of the Fund on the development of policy and legislation on external border control, the synergies between the Fund and the tasks of the Agency, as well as the appropriateness of the criteria for allocating the funds between the Member States in the light of the objectives pursued by the European Union in this area.

(18)  This Decision is designed to form part of a coherent framework which also includes Decision No ..../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(8)(9), Decision No ..../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the European Return Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(10)*, and Council Decision ..../2007/EC of ... establishing the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals for the period 2007 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(11)*, which aims to address the issue of fairly sharing responsibilities between Member States as concerns the financial burden arising from the introduction of integrated management of the European Union's external borders and from the implementation of common policies on asylum and immigration, as developed in accordance with Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty.

(19)  Participation in this Fund by a Member State should not coincide with its participation in a future temporary instrument designed to help beneficiary Member States to finance actions at new external borders of the European Union for the implementation of the Schengen acquis and external border control.

(20)  The actions supported under this Fund should be in synergy with the actions supported by the Community instruments on external assistance and take place within the framework of the European Union's external relations policy, in particular the strategy for the external dimensions of the area of freedom, security and justice.

(21)  The support provided by the Fund would be more efficient and better targeted if co-financing of eligible actions were based on strategic multiannual programming, drawn up by each Member State in dialogue with the Commission.

(22)  On the basis of strategic guidelines adopted by the Commission, each Member State should prepare a multiannual programming document taking into account its specific situation and needs and setting out its development strategy that should constitute the framework for preparing the implementation of the actions to be listed in annual programmes.

(23)  In accordance with the implementation methods referred to in Article 53(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom), No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(12) (hereinafter referred to as "the Financial Regulation"), the conditions allowing the Commission to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the general budget of the European Union should be specified and the obligations for the cooperation of the Member States clarified. Applying those conditions would enable the Commission to satisfy itself that Member States are using the Fund in a lawful and correct manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of Articles 27 and 48(2) of the Financial Regulation.

(24)  Member States should adopt adequate measures to guarantee the proper functioning of the management and control system and the quality of implementation. To this end, it is necessary to establish the general principles and necessary functions which all programmes should fulfil.

(25)  Since the Fund may support national measures of a Member State to implement provisions of the Schengen acquis ranging from external border control to visa policy at different levels and locations, more than one authority in any given Member State might be involved. Therefore, Member States should be allowed to designate several certifying and audit authorities or delegated authorities as long as there is a clear allocation of functions for each of these authorities.

(26)  In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, Member States should have the primary responsibility for the implementation and control of the interventions of the Fund.

(27)  The obligations on the Member States as regards management and control systems, the certification of expenditure, and the prevention, detection and correction of irregularities and infringements of Community law should be specified in order to guarantee the efficient and correct implementation of their multiannual and annual programmes. In particular, as far as management and control are concerned, it is necessary to establish the arrangements by which Member States ensure that the relevant systems are in place and function satisfactorily.

(28)  Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in this field should be encouraged.

(29)  The effectiveness and impact of actions supported by the Fund also depend on their evaluation and the dissemination of their results. The responsibilities of the Member States and the Commission in this regard, and arrangements to ensure the reliability of evaluation and the quality of the related information, should be formalised.

(30)  Actions should be evaluated with a view to a mid-term review and impact assessment, and the evaluation process should be incorporated into project monitoring arrangements.

(31)  Bearing in mind the importance of visibility of Community funding, the Commission should provide guidance to facilitate the proper acknowledgement of the support received by any authority, non-governmental organisation, international organisation or other entity receiving a grant under this Fund, taking into account the practice with respect to other instruments under shared management, such as the Structural Funds.

(32)  This Decision establishes a financial envelope for the entire duration of the programme, which constitutes the prime reference for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure, according to point 37 of the Interinstitutional agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(13).

(33)  Since the objective of this Decision, namely to support the establishment of a European common-integrated-border management system, which covers, inter alia, the management of activities organised by consular and other services of the Member States in third countries as regards the flows of third-country nationals into the territory of the Member States, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore by reason of the scale and effects of the action 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 Decision does not go beyond what is necessary to achieve this objective.

(34)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should 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(14).

(35)  Since the measure of this Decision relating to the adoption of strategic guidelines is of general scope and are designed to amend non-essential elements of this Decision, inter alia by deleting some of those elements or by supplementing this Decision by the addition of new non-essential elements, it should be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC. On grounds of efficiency, the normal time-limits for the regulatory procedure with scrutiny should be curtailed for the adoption of the strategic guidelines.

(36)  In order to ensure the timely implementation of the Fund, certain provisions of this Decision should apply as from 1 January 2007.

(37)  As regards Iceland and Norway, this Decision constitutes a development of the Schengen acquis which falls within the areas referred to in Article 1, Points A and B of Council Decision 1999/437/EC of 17 May 1999 on certain arrangements for the application of the Agreement concluded by the Council of the European Union and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway concerning the association of those two States with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis(15).

(38)  An arrangement should be made to allow representatives of Iceland and Norway to be associated with the work of committees assisting the Commission in the exercise of its implementing powers. Such an arrangement has been contemplated in the Agreement in the form of Exchanges of Letters between the Council of the European Union and the Republic of Iceland and the Kingdom of Norway concerning committees which assist the European Commission in the exercise of its executive powers(16), annexed to the Agreement referred to in Recital 37.

(39)  As regards Switzerland, this Decision constitutes a development of provisions of the Schengen acquis within the meaning of the Agreement signed by the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the association of the Swiss Confederation with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis which falls within the area referred to in Article 1(A) of Decision 1999/437/EC read in conjunction with Article 4(1) of Council Decision 2004/860/EC(17) on the signing, on behalf of the European Community, and on the provisional application of certain provisions of the Agreement.

(40)  An arrangement should be made to allow representatives of Switzerland to be associated with the work of committees assisting the Commission in the exercise of its implementing powers. Such an arrangement has been contemplated in the Exchange of Letters between the Council of the European Union and Switzerland, annexed to the Agreement referred to in Recital 39.

(41)  In order to determine the supplementary rules necessary for the implementation of this instrument, an agreement should be concluded between the Community and Iceland, Norway and Switzerland.

(42)  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Decision and is not bound by it or subject to its application. Given that this Decision builds upon the Schengen acquis under the provisions of Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark shall, in accordance with Article 5 of the said Protocol, decide within a period of six months after the date of adoption of this Decision whether it will implement it in its national law.

(43)  This Decision constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in which the United Kingdom does not take part, in accordance with Council Decision 2000/365/EC of 29 May 2000 concerning the request of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to take part in some of the provisions of the Schengen acquis(18) and subsequent Council Decision 2004/926/EC of 22 December 2004 on the putting into effect of parts of the Schengen acquis by the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland(19). The United Kingdom is therefore not taking part in its adoption and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(44)  This Decision constitutes a development of the provisions of the Schengen acquis in which Ireland does not take part, in accordance with Council Decision 2002/192/EC of 28 February 2002 concerning Ireland's request to take part in some of the provisions of the Schengen acquis(20). Ireland is therefore not taking part in its adoption and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(45)  In accordance with the second indent of paragraph 2 of Article 67 of the Treaty, Council Decision 2004/927/EC of 22 December 2004 providing for certain areas covered by Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty establishing the European Community to be governed by the procedure laid down in Article 251 of that Treaty(21) rendered the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty applicable in the areas covered by Articles 62(1), (2)(a) and (3) and 63(2)(b) and (3)(b) of the Treaty,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

CHAPTER I

SUBJECT MATTER, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

This Decision establishes for the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 the External Borders Fund (hereinafter referred to as "the Fund"), as part of a coherent framework which also includes Decision No ../2007/EC(22), Decision No .../2007/EC(23)*, and Decision .../2007/EC(24)**, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the area of freedom, security and justice and the application of the principle of solidarity between the Member States.

This Decision defines the objectives to which the Fund contributes, its implementation, the available financial resources and the distribution criteria for the allocation of the available financial resources.

It establishes the Fund's management rules, including financial rules, as well as monitoring and control mechanisms, based on the sharing of responsibilities between the Commission and the Member States.

Article 2

Definitions

For the purposes of this Decision:

   1) "external borders" means the Member States' land borders, including river and lake borders, sea borders and their airports, river ports, sea ports and lake ports to which the provisions of Community law on the crossing of external borders apply, whether these borders are temporary or not;
   2) "temporary external borders" means:
   a) the common border between a Member State fully implementing the Schengen acquis and a Member State bound to apply the Schengen acquis in full, in conformity with its Act of Accession, but for which the relevant Council Decision authorising it to fully apply that acquis has not entered into force;
   b) the common border between two Member States bound to apply the Schengen acquis in full, in conformity with their respective Acts of Accession, but for which the relevant Council Decision authorising them to fully apply that acquis has not yet entered into force;
   3) "border crossing point" means any crossing point authorised by the competent authorities for the crossing of external borders as notified in accordance with Article 34(2) of Regulation (EC) No 562/2006;

(4)  "Agency" means the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union as established by Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004.

Article 3

General Objectives of the Fund

1.  The Fund shall contribute to achieving the following objectives:

   a) efficient organisation of control, covering both checks and surveillance tasks relating to the external borders;
   b) efficient management by the Member States of the flows of persons at the external borders in order to ensure, on the one hand, a high level of protection at the external borders and, on the other, the smooth crossing of the external borders in conformity with the Schengen acquis and the principles of respectful treatment and dignity;
   c) uniform application by border guards of the provisions of Community law on the crossing of external borders, in particular Regulation (EC) No 562/2006;
   d) improvement of the management of activities organised by the consular and other services of the Member States in third countries as regards the flows of third-country nationals into the territory of the Member States and the cooperation between Member States in this regard.

2.  The Fund shall contribute to the financing of technical assistance at the initiative of the Member States or the Commission.

Article 4

Specific objectives

1.  As regards the objective laid down in Article 3(1)(a), the Fund shall support the following specific objectives:

   a) implementation of the recommendations, operational standards and best practices resulting from the operational cooperation between Member States in the field of border control;
   b) development and application of the measures necessary to improve surveillance systems between border crossing points;
   c) introduction of measures or development of effective systems enabling a methodical gathering of relevant information with respect to the evolving situation on the ground close to at and immediately beyond the external borders;
   d) ensuring adequate registration of the number of persons crossing at all types of external borders (land, air, sea);
   e) introduction or upgrading a system of collection of statistical and administrative data with respect to the categories of travellers, the number and nature of checks and surveillance measures at the different types of external borders, based on registration and other sources for data collection;
   f) setting up an effective, structural, strategic and operational coordination between all authorities operating at border crossing points;
   g) improvement of the capacity and the qualifications of border guards in executing their surveillance, advisory and control tasks;
   h) improvement of the information exchange at national level between the authorities responsible for external border management and between those authorities and other authorities responsible for migration, asylum and other related matters;
   i) promotion of quality management standards.

2.  As regards the objective laid down in Article 3(1)(b), the Fund shall support the following specific objectives:

   a) except with regard to temporary external borders, the development of new working methods, logistical measures and state-of-the-art technology to strengthen systematic controls of persons on entry and exit at border crossing points;
   b) promotion of the use of technology and specialised training for the staff responsible for its effective exploitation;
   c) promotion of the exchange of information concerning, and improvement of training in respect of forged or false travel documents, including the development and distribution of common tools and practices for the detection of such documents;
   d) promotion of efficient, real-time consultation of data at border crossing points through the use of large scale IT systems, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS) and the Visa Information System (VIS), and an effective exchange of information between all border crossing points along the external borders in real time;
   e) ensuring the optimal implementation at operational and technical level of the results of the risk analyses.

3.  As regards the objective laid down in Article 3(1)(c) the Fund shall support the following specific objectives:

   a) gradual establishment in each Member State of uniform education, training and qualifications of border guards, particularly by implementing the common core curriculum for training as developed by the Agency and by supplementing in a coherent way the activities of the Agency in this field;
   b) support to and increase of the exchange and secondment of border guards between Member States, complementary to the guidelines and activities of the Agency in this area;
   c) promotion of the use of compatible state-of-the-art technology along the external borders, whenever this is indispensable for the correct, effective or uniform use of the rules;
   d) promotion of the capacity of authorities to apply the same procedures and to take consistent, rapid and high quality decisions on the crossing of external borders, including on the issuance of visas;
   e) promotion of the use of the common Practical Handbook for Border Guards;
   f) building and upgrading of areas and centres for persons whose entry is refused and for persons who are intercepted after having crossed the border illegally or when approaching the external borders with a view to illegally entering the territory of the Member States;
   g) upgrading of the security at the premises of border crossing points to secure the safety of border guards and the protection of equipment, surveillance systems and means of transport.

4.  As regards the objective laid down in Article 3(1)(d), the Fund shall support the following specific objectives:

   a) reinforcement of the operational capacity of the network of the immigration liaison officers and promotion of a more effective cooperation through the network between the Member States' services;
   b) introduction of measures aimed at assisting Member States and carriers in carrying out the obligations imposed on them by virtue of Council Directive 2004/82/EC of 29 April 2004 on the obligation of carriers to communicate passenger data(25) and of Article 26 of the Convention of 19 June 1990 implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders ("the Schengen Convention")(26) in order to prevent illegal arrivals at the external borders;
   c) promotion of a more effective cooperation with carriers in the airports of the countries of departure, including uniform training of the carriers' staff on the travel documents;
   d) promotion of quality management, and good services and facilities in terms of infrastructure in the visa application process;
   e) promotion of cooperation between Member States in enhancing the capacity of consular services to examine visa applications;
   f) promotion of common investigative practices, uniform administrative procedures and decisions on visas by the consular services of a Member State located in different third countries;
   g) promotion of progress towards a systematic and regular cooperation between the consular and other services of different Member States, in particular in connection with the VIS, including pooling of resources and means for visa issuance, exchange of information, surveys and investigations concerning visa applications and the development of common visa application centres;
   h) promotion of national initiatives aiming at common investigative practices, uniform administrative procedures and decisions on visas by the consular services of different Member States;
   i) development of common consular offices.

Article 5

Eligible actions in the Member States

1.  The Fund shall support actions in the Member States relating to the specific objectives defined in Article 4 and in particular to the following:

   a) border crossing infrastructures and related buildings, such as border stations, helicopter landing places or lanes or booths for the queuing of vehicles or persons at border crossing points;
   b) infrastructures, buildings and systems required for surveillance between border crossing points and protection against illegal crossing of the external borders;
   c) operating equipment, such as sensors, video-surveillance, document examination instruments, detection tools and mobile or fixed terminals for consulting the SIS, the VIS, the European Image Archiving System (FADO) and other European and national systems;
   d) means of transport for the control of external borders, such as vehicles, vessels, helicopters, and light aircrafts, specially equipped with electronic equipment for the surveillance of the border and the detection of persons in means of transport;
   e) equipment for real time exchange of information between relevant authorities;
   (f) ICT systems;
   g) programmes for the secondment and exchange of staff such as border guards, immigration officers and consular officers;
   h) training and education of staff of relevant authorities, including language training;
   i) investments in the development, testing and instalment of state-of-the-art technology;
   j) studies and pilot projects implementing recommendations, operational standards and best practices, resulting from the operational cooperation between Member States in the field of border control;
   k) studies and pilot projects designed to stimulate innovation, facilitate exchanges of experience and good practice and improve the quality of the management of activities organised by the consular and other services of the Member States in third countries as regards the flows of third-country nationals into the territory of the Member States and the cooperation between Member States in this regard.

2.  The Fund shall not support actions with respect to temporary external borders when such actions amount to a structural investment incompatible with the objective of the lifting of controls on persons at these borders, in particular actions referred to in points (a) and (b) of paragraph 1.

Article 6

Special Transit Scheme

1.  The Fund shall provide support to compensate for foregone fees from transit visas and additional costs incurred in implementing the Facilitated Transit Document (FTD) and the Facilitated Rail Transit Document (FRTD) scheme in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 693/2003(27) and Council Regulation (EC) No 694/2003(28).

2.  For the purpose of paragraph 1, additional costs means costs which result directly from the specific requirements of implementing the operation of the special transit scheme and which are not generated as a result of the issuing of transit or other visas.

The following types of additional cost shall be eligible for financing:

   a) investment in infrastructures;
   b) training of staff implementing the special transit scheme;
   c) additional operational costs, including salaries of staff specifically implementing the special transit scheme.

3.  The foregone fees referred to in paragraph 1 shall be calculated on the basis of the level of fees for transit visas established in Annex 12 to the Common Consular Instructions on visas, within the financial framework set out in Article 14(9).

Article 7

Community actions

1.  At the Commission's initiative, up to 6 % of the Fund's available resources may be used to finance transnational actions or actions of interest to the Community as a whole (hereinafter referred to as "Community actions") concerning the following objectives:

   a) contributing to the enhancement of the activities organised by the consular and other services of the Member States in third countries as regards the flow of third-country nationals into the territory of the Member States and the cooperation between Member States in this regard, including the activities of air liaison officers and immigration liaison officers;
   b) promoting the progressive inclusion of customs, veterinary and phyto-sanitary controls in integrated border management activities in line with policy evolution in this field;
   c) providing of support services to Member States in duly substantiated emergency situations requiring urgent action at external borders.

2.  To be eligible for funding, Community actions listed under paragraph 1(a) and (b)shall in particular:

   a) further Community cooperation in implementing Community law and good practices;
   b) support the setting-up of transnational cooperation networks and pilot projects based on transnational partnerships between consular services from two or more Member States designed to stimulate innovation and facilitate the exchange of experience and good practice;
   c) support studies, dissemination and exchange of information on best practices and all other aspects of the general objective of contributing to enhancement of the activities organised by the consular services of the Member States in third countries and the cooperation between Member States in this field, including on the use of state-of-the-art technology;
   d) support projects and studies exploring the possibility of new forms of Community cooperation and Community law in this area, in particular common application centres;
   e) support the development and application by Member States of common statistical tools, methods and indicators for measuring policy developments in the field of visa policy and consular cooperation.

3.  The annual work programme laying down the priorities for Community actions shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 56(2).

CHAPTER II

PRINCIPLES OF ASSISTANCE

Article 8

Complementarity, consistency and compliance

1.  The Fund shall provide assistance which complements national, regional and local actions, integrating into them the priorities of the Community.

2.  The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that assistance from the Fund and the Member States is consistent with the activities, policies and priorities of the Community. This consistency shall be indicated in particular in the multiannual programme referred to in Article 21.

3.  Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with the provisions of the Treaty and of acts adopted thereunder.

Article 9

Programming

1.  The objectives of the Fund shall be pursued within the framework of the multiannual programming period from 2007 to 2013, subject to a mid-term review in accordance with Article 24. The multiannual programming system shall include the priorities and a process for management, decision making, auditing and certification.

2.  The multiannual programmes approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual programmes.

Article 10

Subsidiary and proportional intervention

1.  Implementation of multiannual and annual programmes referred to in Articles 21 and 23 shall be the responsibility of Member States at the appropriate territorial level, in accordance with the institutional system specific to each Member State. This responsibility shall be exercised in accordance with this Decision.

2.  In relation to audit provisions, the means employed by the Commission and the Member States shall vary according to the size of the Community contribution. The same principle shall apply to provisions on evaluation and to the reports on multiannual and annual programmes.

Article 11

Implementation methods

1.  The Community budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented in accordance with Article 53(1)(b) of the Financial Regulation, with the exception of the Community actions referred to in Article 7 and the technical assistance referred to in Article 17 of this Decision.

2.  The Commission shall exercise its responsibility for implementing the general budget of the European Union by:

   a) checking the existence and proper functioning of management and control systems in the Member States in accordance with the procedures described in Article 34;
   b) withholding or suspending payments, in full or in part, in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 43 and 44, if the national management and control systems fail, and applying any other financial correction required, in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 47 and 48.

3.  Countries associated with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis shall participate in the Fund in accordance with this Decision.

4.  Arrangements shall be concluded to specify the supplementary rules necessary for such participation, including provisions ensuring the protection of the Community's financial interests and the power of audit of the Court of Auditors.

Article 12

Partnership

1.  Each Member shall organise, in accordance with current national rules and practices, a partnership with the authorities and bodies which are involved in the implementation of the multiannual programme or which, according to the Member State concerned, are able to make a useful contribution to its development.

Such authorities and bodies may include the competent regional, local, urban and other public authorities, international organisations, in particular the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and bodies representing civil society, such as non-governmental organisations or social partners.

2.  Such partnership shall be conducted in full compliance with the respective institutional, legal and financial jurisdiction of each partner category.

CHAPTER III

FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

Article 13

Global resources

1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of this Decision from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013 shall be EUR 1 820 million.

2.  The annual appropriations shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the Financial Framework.

3.  The Commission shall make indicative annual breakdowns by Member States in accordance with the criteria established in Article 14.

Article 14

Annual distribution of resources for eligible actions in the Member States

1.  The available annual resources shall be broken down between the Member States as follows:

   a) 30 % for external land borders;
   b) 35 % for external maritime borders;
   c) 20 % for airports;
   d) 15 % for consular offices.

2.  The resources available under paragraph 1(a) shall be broken down between Member States as follows:

   a) 70 % for the length of their external borders, which will be calculated, on the basis of weighting factors for each specific section, determined in accordance with Article 15(3)(a); and
   b) 30 % for the workload at their external land borders, as determined in accordance with paragraph 7(a).

3.  The resources available under paragraph 1(b) shall be broken down between Member States as follows:

   a) 70 % for the length of their external borders, which will be calculated, on the basis of weighting factors for each specific section determined in accordance with Article 15(3)(b); and
   b) 30 % for the workload at their external maritime borders, as determined in accordance with paragraph 7(a).

4.  The resources available under paragraph 1(c) shall be broken down between Member States according to the workload at their airports, as determined in accordance with paragraph 7(b).

5.  The resources available under paragraph 1(d) shall be broken down between Member States as follows:

   a) 50 % for the number of consular offices of the Member States in the countries listed in Annex I of Council Regulation (EC) No 539/2001 of 15 March 2001 listing the third countries whose nationals must be in possession of visas when crossing the external borders and those whose nationals are exempt from that requirement(29); and
   b) 50 % for the workload as regards the management of visa policy at consular offices of Member States in the countries listed in Annex I to Regulation (EC) No 539/2001, as determined in accordance with paragraph 7(c) of this Article.

6.  For the purpose of the annual distribution of resources under paragraph 1 (a) and (b)

   a) the line between the areas referred to in Article 1 of Council Regulation (EC) 866/2004 of 29 April 2004 on a regime under Article 2 of Protocol No 10 of the Act of Accession(30), but not the maritime border north of that line, shall be taken into account even though it does not constitute an external land border for as long as the provisions of Article 1 of Protocol 10 of the 2003 Act of Accession remain applicable;
   b) "external maritime borders" shall mean the outer limit of the territorial sea of the Member States as defined according to Articles 4 to 16 of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. However, in cases where long range operations on a regular basis are required in order to prevent illegal migration/entry, this shall be the outer limit of high threat areas. This shall be determined by taking into account the operational data over the past two years as provided by the Member States in question. This definition of "external maritime borders" is used exclusively for the purpose of this Decision and all operations shall respect international law

7.  The workload shall be based on average figures over the previous two years for the following factors:

  a) at external land borders and external maritime borders:
   i) the number of persons crossing the external border at authorised border crossing points;
   ii) the number of third-country nationals refused entry at the external border;
   iii) the number of third-country nationals apprehended after having crossed the external border illegally, including the number of persons apprehended at sea;
   b) at airports:
   i) the number of persons crossing the external border at authorised border crossing points;
   ii) the number of third-country nationals refused entry at the external border;
   c) at consular offices:
  

the number of visa applications.

For 2007, the workload shall be based on the 2005 figures only.

8.  The weighting as referred to in paragraphs 2 and 3 shall be determined by the Agency in accordance with Article 15.

9.  With respect to the length of the external land borders as referred to in paragraph 2(a), the calculation of the annual distribution of resources shall not take into account temporary external borders. However, it shall take into account the temporary external borders between a Member State which acceded to the European Union by1 May 2004 and a Member State which acceded after 1 May 2004.

10.  The reference figures for the work-load referred to in paragraph 7 shall be the latest statistics produced by the Commission (Eurostat) on the basis of data provided by Member States in accordance with Community law.

Where Member States have not supplied the Commission (Eurostat) with the statistics concerned, they shall provide provisional data as soon as possible.

Before accepting these data as reference figures, the Commission (Eurostat) shall evaluate the quality, comparability and completeness of the statistical information in accordance with normal operational procedures. At the request of the Commission (Eurostat), Member States shall provide it with all the necessary information to do so.

11.  Where the reference figures are not available as statistics produced by the Commission (Eurostat) in accordance with Community law, Member States shall provide provisional data to the Commission by 1 November of each year for the estimate of the amount to be allocated to them for the following year in accordance with Article 23(2).

Before the Commission accepts these data as reference figures, the Commission (Eurostat) may evaluate the quality, comparability and completeness of the statistical information in accordance with normal operational procedures. At the request of the Commission (Eurostat), Member States shall provide it with all the necessary information to do so.

12.  The allocation of resources referred to in paragraph 1 shall not include the resources allocated for the purpose of Articles 6 and 19. The resources allocated for the purpose of Article 6 shall not exceed EUR 108 million for the period 2007 to 2013.

Article 15

Risk Analysis carried out by the Agency for the purpose of the annual distribution of resources

1.  For the determination of the weighting, as referred to in Article 14(8), the Agency shall provide the Commission, by 1 April of each year, with a specific report describing the difficulty in carrying out border surveillance and the situation at the external borders of the Member States, paying special attention to the particular proximity of the Member States to high risk areas of illegal immigration for the previous year taking also into account the number of persons having entered those Member States illegally and the size of those Member States.

2.  The report shall, in accordance with the Common Integrated Risk Analysis Model referred to in Article 4 of Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004, analyse the threats that affected security at external borders of the Member States in the previous year, taking into account the political, economic and social developments in the third countries concerned, in particular in neighbouring third countries, and shall set out possible future trends on migratory flows and unlawful activities at the external borders.

This risk analysis shall be based primarily on the following information gathered by the Agency, provided by Member States or obtained from the Commission (Eurostat):

   a) the number of third-country nationals refused entry at the external border;
   b) the number of third-country nationals apprehended when crossing or attempting to cross the external border illegally;
   c) the number of facilitators intercepted who have intentionally assisted the unauthorised entry of third-country nationals;
   d) the number of forged or false travel documents and the number of travel documents and visas issued on false grounds which have been detected at border crossing points in accordance with the Schengen Borders Code.

Where the reference figures have not been provided as statistics produced by the Commission (Eurostat) but by Member States, the Agency may request from those Member States the necessary information to evaluate the quality, comparability and completeness of the statistical information. The Agency may request the help of the Commission (Eurostat) in such an evaluation.

3.  Finally the report shall, in accordance with paragraphs 1 and 2, identify the current levels of threat at the external borders of each of the Member States and determine the following specific weighting-factors for each section of the external border of that particular Member State:

  a) external land border:
   i) factor 1 for normal threat
   ii) factor 1,5 for medium threat
   iii) factor 3 for high threat;
  b) external maritime border:
   i) factor 0 for minimum threat
   ii) factor 1 for normal threat
   iii) factor 3 for medium threat
   iv) factor 8 for high threat.

Article 16

Financing structure

1.  Financial contributions under the Fund shall take the form of grants.

2.  Actions supported by the Fund shall be co-financed by public or private sources, shall be of a non-profit nature and shall not be eligible for funding from other sources covered by the general budget of the European Union.

3.  Fund appropriations shall be complementary to public or equivalent expenditure allocated by Member States to the measures covered by this Decision.

4.  The Community contribution to supported projects, as regards actions implemented in the Member States under Article 4 shall not exceed 50 % of the total cost of a specific action.

This may be increased to 75 % for projects addressing specific priorities identified in the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 20.

The Community contribution shall be increased to 75 % in the Member States covered by the Cohesion Fund.

5.  Within the framework of the implementation of national programming as set out in Chapter IV, Member States shall select projects for financing on the basis of the following minimum criteria:

   a) the situation and requirements in the Member State concerned;
   b) the cost-effectiveness of the expenditure, inter alia in view of the number of persons concerned by the project;
   c) the experience, expertise, reliability and financial contribution of the organisation applying for funding and any partner organisation;
   d) the extent to which the project complements other actions funded by the general budget of the European Union or as part of national programmes.

6.  As a general rule, Community financial aid for actions supported by the Fund shall be granted for a period of no more than three years, subject to periodic progress reports.

Article 17

Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission

1.  At the initiative of and/or on behalf of the Commission, subject to a ceiling of EUR 500 000 of the Fund's annual allocation, the Fund may finance preparatory measures, monitoring, administrative and technical support measures, as well as evaluation, audit and inspection measures necessary for implementing this Decision.

2.  Those measures shall include:

   a) studies, evaluations, expert reports and statistics, including those of a general nature concerning the operation of the Fund;
   b) information measures for the Member States, the final beneficiaries and the general public, including awareness-raising campaigns and a common database of projects financed under the Fund;
   c) the installation, operation and interconnection of computerised systems for management, monitoring, inspection and evaluation;
   d) the design of a common framework for evaluation and monitoring as well as a systems of indicators, taking into account, where appropriate, national indicators;
   e) improvements in evaluation methods and the exchange of information on practices in this field;
   f) information and training measures for the authorities designated by Member States in accordance with Article 27, complementary to the efforts of the Member States to provide guidance to their authorities in accordance with Article 33(2).

Article 18

Technical assistance at the initiative of Member States

1.  At the initiative of a Member State for each annual programme, the Fund may finance preparatory measures, management, monitoring, evaluation, information and control measures, as well as measures for the reinforcement of the administrative capacity for the implementation of the Fund.

2.  The amount set aside for technical assistance under each annual programme may not exceed:

   a) for the period 2007 to 2010, 7 % of the total annual amount of co-financing allocated to that Member State plus EUR 30 000 and
   b) for the period 2011 to 2013, 4 % of the total annual amount of co-financing allocated to that Member State plus EUR 30 000.

Article 19

Specific actions

1.  The Commission shall establish each year a list of specific actions to be implemented by the Member States, where appropriate, in cooperation with the Agency, which contribute to the development of the European common-integrated-border management system by addressing weaknesses at strategic border points identified in the risk analysis referred to in Article 15.

2.  The annual work programme referred to in Article 7(3), shall set out a framework for the financing of these actions, including objectives and evaluation criteria.

3.  The list of selected actions shall be adopted according to the procedure referred to in Article 56(2).

4.  Financial assistance from the Fund for specific actions shall be limited to a period of six months and shall not exceed 80 % of the cost of each action.

5.  The available annual resources for these actions shall not exceed EUR 10 million. The resources remaining available after the selection referred to in paragraph 3 may be used to finance actions as defined in Article 7.

CHAPTER IV

PROGRAMMING

Article 20

Adoption of strategic guidelines

1.  The Commission shall adopt strategic guidelines setting out a framework for the intervention of the Fund, taking into account progress in the development and implementation of Community legislation in the area of external borders and visa policy as well as the indicative distribution of the financial resources of the Fund for the period of the multiannual programme.

2.  For the general objectives referred to in Article 3(1)(a), (b) and (c), those guidelines shall, in particular, give effect to the priorities of the Community with a view to the further gradual establishment of the European common-integrated-border management system for external borders and the strengthening of controls at and surveillance of the external borders of the Union.

3.  For the general objective referred to in Article 3(1)(d), those guidelines shall, in particular, give effect to the priorities of the Community with a view to the further development of the common visa policy as part of a multi-layered system aimed at facilitating legitimate travel and tackling illegal immigration through the enhancement of handling practices at local consular missions.

4.  The Commission shall adopt the strategic guidelines relating to the multiannual programming period by 31 July 2007 at the latest.

5.  The strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 56(3). The strategic guidelines, once adopted, shall be annexed this Decision.

Article 21

Preparation and approval of national multiannual programmes

1.  Each Member State shall propose, on the basis of the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 20, a draft multiannual programme which shall consist of the following elements:

   a) a description of the current situation in that Member State as regards the infrastructure, equipment, means of transport, ICT systems and arrangements for the training and education of staff at the service of the border authorities and of the consular authorities;
   b) an analysis of requirements in the Member State in question as regards infrastructure, equipment, means of transport, ICT systems and arrangements for the training and education of staff at the service of the border authorities and and of the consular authorities and an indication of the operational objectives designed to meet those requirements during the period covered by the multiannual programme;
   c) the presentation of an appropriate strategy to achieve those objectives and the priorities attached to their attainment, and a description of the actions envisaged to implement those priorities;
   d) an indication of whether that strategy is compatible with other regional, national and Community instruments;
   e) information on the priorities and their specific targets. Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of indicators, taking into account the proportionality principle. The indicators must make it possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline situation and the effectiveness of the targets implementing the priorities;
   f) a description of the approach chosen for the implementation of the partnership principle laid down in Article 12;
   g) a draft financing plan which sets out, for each priority and each annual programme, the Fund's proposed financial contribution and the overall amount of public or private co-financing;
   h) the provisions laid down to ensure that the multiannual programme is made public.

2.  Member States shall submit their draft multiannual programme to the Commission no later than four months after the Commission has provided the strategic guidelines.

3.  In order to approve the draft multiannual programme, the Commission shall examine:

   a) the draft multiannual programme's consistency with the objectives of the Fund and the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 20;
   b) the relevance of the actions envisaged in the draft multiannual programme in the light of the strategy which is proposed;
   c) the compliance of the management and control arrangements set up by the Member State for the implementation of the Fund's interventions with the provisions of this Decision;
   d) the draft multiannual programme's compliance with Community law and, in particular, with Community law aiming at ensuring the free movement of persons in conjunction with the directly related accompanying measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and immigration.

4.  Where the Commission considers that a draft multiannual programme is inconsistent with the strategic guidelines and/or does not comply with the provisions of this Decision setting out management and control systems or with Community law, it shall invite the Member State concerned to provide all necessary additional information and, where appropriate, to revise the draft multiannual programme accordingly.

5.  The Commission shall approve each multiannual programme within three months of its formal submission, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 56(2).

Article 22

Revision of multiannual programmes

1.  At the initiative of the Member State in question or the Commission, the multiannual programme shall be re-examined and, if necessary, revised for the rest of the programming period in order to take greater or different account of Community priorities. Multiannual programmes may be re-examined in the light of evaluations and/or following implementation difficulties.

2.  The Commission shall adopt a decision approving the revision of the multiannual programme as soon as possible after the formal submission of a request to that effect by the Member State concerned. The revision of the multiannual programme shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 56(2).

Article 23

Annual programmes

1.  The multiannual programmes approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual programmes.

2.  The Commission shall provide the Member States, by 1 July of each year, with an estimate of the amounts to be allocated to them for the following year from the total appropriations allocated under the annual budgetary procedure, calculated as provided for by Article 14.

3.  Member States shall submit to the Commission, by 1 November of each year, a draft annual programme for the following year, established in accordance with the multiannual programmeand consisting of the following elements:

   a) the general rules for selection of projects to be financed under the annual programme;
   b) a description of the actions to be supported under the annual programme;
   c) the proposed financial breakdown of the Fund's contribution between the programme's various actions and an indication of the amount requested to cover technical assistance under Article 18 for the purpose of implementing the annual programme.

4.  When examining the draft annual programme of a Member State, the Commission shall take account of the final amount of the appropriations allocated to the Fund under the budgetary procedure.

Within one month of the formal submission of the draft annual programme, the Commission shall inform the Member State concerned whether it can be approved. If the draft annual programme is inconsistent with the multiannual programme, the Commission shall invite that Member State to provide all necessary information and, where appropriate, to revise the draft annual programme accordingly.

The Commission shall adopt the financing decision approving the annual programme by 1 March of the year in question. The decision shall indicate the amount allocated to the Member State concerned and the period for which the expenditure is eligible.

5.  To take into account duly substantiated emergency situations which were not foreseen at the time of the approval of the annual programme and which require urgent action, a Member State may revise up to 10 % of the financial breakdown of the contribution from the Fund between the various actions listed in the annual programme or allocate up to 10 % of the breakdown to other actions in accordance with this Decision. The Member State concerned shall inform the Commission of the revised annual programme.

Article 24

Mid-term review of the multiannual programme

1.  The Commission shall review the strategic guidelines and, where necessary, adopt, by 31 March 2010, revised strategic guidelines for the period 2011 to 2013.

2.  If such revised strategic guidelines are adopted, each Member State shall re-examine its multiannual programme and, where appropriate, revise it.

3.  The rules laid down in Article 21 on the preparation and approval of national multiannual programmes shall apply mutatis mutandis to the preparation and approval of these revised multiannual programmes.

4.  The revised strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 56(3).

CHAPTER V

MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEMS

Article 25

Implementation

The Commission shall be responsible for implementing this Decision and shall adopt such implementing rules as may be necessary.

Article 26

General principles of management and control systems

The management and control systems of multiannual programmes set up by Member States shall provide for:

   a) the definition of the functions of the bodies concerned in management and control and the allocation of functions within each body;
   b) respect for the principle of separation of functions between and within such bodies;
   c) adequate resources for each body to carry out the functions which have been allocated to it throughout the period of implementation of actions cofinanced by the Fund;
   d) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of the expenditure declared under the annual programmes;
   e) reliable accounting, monitoring and financial reporting systems in computerised form;
   f) a system of reporting and monitoring where the responsible body entrusts the performance of tasks to another body;
   g) manuals of procedures in relation to the functions to be performed;
   h) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the system;
   i) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail;
   j) procedures for reporting and monitoring irregularities and for the recovery of amounts unduly paid.

Article 27

Designation of authorities

1.  For the implementation of its multiannual programme and annual programmes the Member State shall designate the following:

   a) a responsible authority: a functional body of the Member State, national public authority or body designated by the Member State or a body which is governed by the private law of the Member State and which has a public service mission, which shall be responsible for the management of the multiannual programme and annual programmes supported by the Fund and shall handle all communication with the Commission;
   b) a certifying authority: a national public authority or body, or individual acting as such a body or authority, designated by the Member State to certify declarations of expenditure before they are sent to the Commission;
   c) an audit authority: a national public authority or body, provided that it is functionally independent of the responsible authority and the certifying authority, designated by the Member State and responsible for verifying the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   d) where appropriate, a delegated authority.

2.  The Member State shall lay down rules governing its relations with the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 and their relations with the Commission.

3.  Subject to Article 26(b), some or all of the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article may be located within the same body.

4.  The rules for implementing Articles 28 to 32 shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 56(2).

Article 28

Responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall meet the following minimum conditions. It shall:

   a) have legal personality, except where it is a functional body of the Member State;
   b) have the infrastructure required for easy communication with a wide range of users and with the responsible bodies in the other Member States and the Commission;
   c) work in an administrative context allowing it to carry out its tasks correctly and avoiding any conflict of interest;
   d) be in a position to apply Community fund management rules;
   e) have financial and management capacities proportionate to the volume of Community funds which it will be called upon to manage;
   f) have at its disposal personnel with appropriate professional qualifications for administrative work in an international environment.

2.  The Member State shall provide the responsible authority with adequate funding so that it can continue to carry out its tasks properly throughout the period 2007 to -2013.

3.  The Commission may assist the Member States in the training of staff, in particular as regards the correct application of Chapters V to IX.

Article 29

Tasks of the responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall be responsible for managing and implementing the multiannual programme in accordance with the principle of sound financial management.

It shall in particular:

   a) consult partners in accordance with Article 12;
   b) submit to the Commission proposals for multiannual and annual programmes to which Articles 21 and 23 refer;
   c) organise and advertise calls for tenders and proposals if appropriate;
   d) organise the selection of projects for co-financing under the Fund in accordance with the criteria set out in Article 16(5);
   e) receive payments made by the Commission, and make payments to the final beneficiaries;
   f) ensure consistency and complementarity between co-financing under the Fund and from other relevant national and Community financial instruments;
   g) monitor the delivery of the co-financed products and services and check that the expenditure declared for actions has actually been incurred and complies with Community and national rules;
   h) ensure that there is a system for recording and storing in computerised form accounting records of each action under the annual programmes and that the data on implementation necessary for financial management, monitoring, control and evaluation are collected;
   i) ensure that final beneficiaries and other bodies involved in the implementation of actions cofinanced by the Fund maintain either a separate accounting system or an adequate accounting code for all transactions relating to the action without prejudice to national accounting rules;
   j) ensure that the evaluations of the Fund referred to in Article 51 are carried out within the time limits laid down in Article 52(2) and meet the quality standards agreed between the Commission and the Member State;
   k) set up procedures to ensure that all documents regarding expenditure and audits required to ensure an adequate audit trail are held in accordance with the requirements referred to in Article 45;
   l) ensure that the audit authority receives, for the purposes of carrying out the audits defined in Article 32(1), all necessary information on the management procedures applied and the projects co-financed by the Fund;
   m) ensure that the certifying authority receives all necessary information on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure for the purpose of certification;
   n) draw up and submit to the Commission progress and final reports on the implementation of the annual programmes, declarations of expenditure certified by the certifying authority and requests for payment or, where appropriate, statements of reimbursement;
   o) carry out information and advisory activities and disseminate results of supported actions;
   p) cooperate with the Commission and the responsible authorities in the other Member States;
   q) verify the implementation by the final beneficiaries of the guidelines referred to in Article 35(6).

2.  The responsible authority's management activities for projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 18.

Article 30

Delegation of tasks by the responsible authority

1.  Where all or some of the responsible authority's tasks are delegated to a delegated authority, the responsible authority shall define the scope of the tasks delegated, and set out detailed procedures for the implementation of the delegated tasks, which shall comply with the conditions laid down in Article 28.

2.  These procedures shall include supplying the responsible authority with regular information on the effective performance of the delegated tasks and a description of the means employed.

Article 31

Certifying Authority

1.  The certifying authority shall:

  a) certify that:
   i) the declaration of expenditure is accurate, results from reliable accounting systems and is based on verifiable supporting documents;
   ii) the expenditure declared complies with applicable Community and national rules and has been incurred in respect of actions selected in accordance with the criteria applicable to the programme and complying with Community and national rules;
   b) ensure for the purposes of certification that it has received adequate information from the responsible authority on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure included in declarations of expenditure;
   c) take account for the purposes of certification of the results of all audits carried out by or under the responsibility of the audit authority;
   d) maintain accounting records in computerised form of expenditure declared to the Commission;
   e) verify the recovery of any Community financing found to have been unduly paid as a result of irregularities detected, together with interest where appropriate;
   f) keep an account of amounts recoverable and amounts recovered under the general budget of the European Union, where possible by deducting them from the next declaration of expenditure.

2.  The certifying authority's activities relating to projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 18, provided that the prerogatives of this authority as described in Article 27 are respected.

Article 32

Audit Authority

1.  The audit authority shall:

   a) ensure that audits are carried out to verify the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   b) ensure that audits are carried out on actions on the basis of an appropriate sample to verify expenditure declared; the sample shall represent at least 10 % of the total eligible expenditure for each annual programme;
   c) present to the Commission within six months of the approval of the multiannual programme an audit strategy covering the bodies which will perform the audits referred to under points (a) and (b), ensuring that the main beneficiaries of cofinancing by the Fund are audited and that audits are spread evenly throughout the programming period.

2.  Where the designated audit authority under this Decision is also the designated audit authority under Decisions No …/2007/EC, No …/2007/EC and…/2007/EC(31), or where common systems apply to two or more of these Funds, a single combined audit strategy may be submitted under paragraph 1(c).

3.  For each annual programme, the audit authority shall draft a report which shall comprise:

   a) an annual audit report setting out the findings of the audits carried out in accordance with the audit strategy in respect of the annual programme and reporting any shortcomings found in the systems for the management and control of the programme;
   b) an opinion, on the basis of the controls and audits that have been carried out under the responsibility of the audit authority, as to whether the functioning of the management and control system provides reasonable assurance that declarations of expenditure presented to the Commission are correct and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular;
   c) a declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment or statement of reimbursement of the final balance and the legality and regularity of the expenditure concerned.

4.  The audit authority shall ensure that the audit work takes account of internationally accepted audit standards.

5.  The audit relating to projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 18 provided that the prerogatives of the audit authority as described in Article 27 are respected.

CHAPTER VI

RESPONSIBILITIES AND CONTROLS

Article 33

Responsibilities of the Member States

1.  Member States shall be responsible for ensuring sound financial management of multiannual and annual programmes and the legality and regularity of underlying transactions.

2.  Member States shall ensure that responsible authorities and any delegated authority, certifying authorities, audit authorities and any other bodies concerned receive adequate guidance on setting up the management and control systems referred to in Articles 26 to 32 to ensure that Community financing is used efficiently and correctly.

3.  Member States shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities. They shall notify these to the Commission, and keep the Commission informed of the progress in the administrative and legal proceedings.

When amounts unduly paid to a final beneficiary cannot be recovered, the Member State concerned shall be responsible for reimbursing the amounts lost to the general budget of the European Union when it is established that the loss has been incurred as a result of its fault or negligence.

4.  Member States shall be primarily responsible for the financial control of actions and shall ensure that management and control systems and audits are implemented in such a way as to guarantee that Community funds are used properly and effectively. They shall provide the Commission with a description of these systems.

5.  The detailed rules for implementing paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 56(2).

Article 34

Management and control systems

1.  Before the Commission approves the multiannual programme, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 56(2) the Member States shall ensure that management and control systems have been set up in accordance with Articles 26 to 32. They shall be responsible for ensuring that the systems function effectively throughout the programming period.

2.  Member States shall submit to the Commission, together with their draft multiannual programme, a description of the organisation and procedures of the responsible authorities, delegated authorities and certifying authorities, and the internal audit systems operating in those authorities and bodies, the audit authority, and any other bodies carrying out audits under its responsibility.

3.  The Commission shall review the application of this provision in the context of the preparation of the report for the period 2007 to 2010 referred to in Article 52(3).

Article 35

Responsibilities of the Commission

1.  The Commission shall satisfy itself in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 34 that the Member States have set up management and control systems that comply with Articles 26 to 32, and on the basis of the annual audit reports and its own audits, that the systems function effectively during the programming period.

2.  Without prejudice to audits carried out by Member States, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot checks to verify the effective functioning of the management and control systems, which may include audits of actions included in the annual programmes, with a minimum of three working days' notice. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such audits.

3.  The Commission may require a Member State to carry out on-the-spot checks to verify the correct functioning of the systems or the correctness of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such checks.

4.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that appropriate information, publicity and follow-up are provided for actions supported by the Fund.

5.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that actions are consistent with, and complementary to, other relevant Community policies, instruments and initiatives.

6.  The Commission shall lay down guidelines to ensure the visibility of the funding granted under this Decision.

Article 36

Cooperation with the audit authorities of the Member States

1.  The Commission shall cooperate with the audit authorities to coordinate their respective audit plans and methods and shall immediately exchange the results of audits carried out of management and control systems in order to make the best possible use of control resources and to avoid unjustified duplication of work.

The Commission shall provide its comments on the audit strategy presented under Article 32 within not more than three months of its receipt.

2.  In determining its own audit strategy, the Commission shall identify those annual programmes which it considers satisfactory on the basis of its existing knowledge of the management and control systems.

For those programmes, the Commission may conclude that it can rely principally on the audit evidence provided by the Member States and that it will carry out its own on the spot checks only if there is evidence to suggest shortcomings in the systems.

CHAPTER VII

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Article 37

Eligibility – declarations of expenditure

1.  All declarations of expenditure shall include the amount of expenditure incurred by final beneficiaries in implementing the actions and the corresponding contribution from public or private funds.

2.  Expenditure shall correspond to the payments effected by the final beneficiaries. It shall be justified by receipted invoices or accounting documents of equivalent evidential value.

3.  Expenditure may be considered eligible for support from the Fund only if it is actually paid no earlier than 1 January of the year referred to in the financing decision approving the annual programme referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 23(4). The co-financed actions must not have been completed before the starting date for eligibility.

By way of exception, the period for which expenditure is eligible shall be fixed at three years for the expenditure implementing the actions supported under the 2007 annual programmes.

4.  The rules governing eligibility of expenditure within the framework of implemented actions co-financed by the Fund in the Member States under Article 4 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 56(2).

Article 38

Completeness of payment to final beneficiaries

Member States shall satisfy themselves that the responsible authority ensures that the final beneficiaries receive the total amount of the contribution from public funds as quickly as possible. No amounts shall be deducted or withheld, nor shall any further specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect be levied that would reduce these amounts for the final beneficiaries, provided that the final beneficiaries meet all the requirements regarding the eligibility of actions and expenses.

Article 39

Use of the euro

1.  Amounts set out in the draft multiannual and annual programmes of the Member States referred to in Articles 21 and 23 respectively, certified declarations of expenditure, requests for payments referred to in Article 29(1)(n), expenditure mentioned in the progress report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 41(4) and the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 53 shall be denominated in euros.

2.  Commission financing decisions approving the annual programmes of Member States referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 23(4), Commission commitments and Commission payments shall be denominated and carried out in euros.

3.  Member States which have not adopted the euro as their currency on the date of the request for payment shall convert into euros the amounts of expenditure incurred in national currency. This amount shall be converted into euros using the monthly accounting exchange rate of the Commission for the month during which the expenditure was entered in the accounts of the responsible authority of the programme concerned. This rate shall be published electronically by the Commission each month.

4.  When the euro becomes the currency of a Member State, the conversion procedure set out in paragraph 3 shall continue to apply to all expenditure recorded in the accounts by the certifying authority before the date of entry into force of the fixed conversion rate between the national currency and the euro.

Article 40

Commitments

Community budgetary commitments shall be made annually on the basis of the Commission financing decision approving the annual programme referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 23(4).

Article 41

Payments – Prefinancing

1.  Payments by the Commission of the contribution from the Fund shall be made in accordance with the budget commitments.

2.  Payments shall take the form of pre-financing and payment of the balance. They shall be made to the responsible authority designated by the Member State.

3.  A first pre-financing payment representing 50 % of the amount allocated in the financing decision approving the annual programme shall be made to the Member State within sixty days following the adoption of that decision.

4.  A second pre-financing payment shall be made no more than three months after the Commission has approved, within two months of the formal submission of a request for payment by a Member State, a progress report on the implementation of the annual programme and a certified declaration of expenditure drawn up in accordance with Article 31(1)(a), and Article 37 accounting for at least 60 % of the amount of the initial payment.

The amount of the second pre-financing payment made by the Commission shall not exceed 50 % of the total amount allocated by the financing decision approving the annual programme and, in any event, where a Member State has committed nationally an amount less than the amount indicated in the financing decision approving the annual programme, the balance of the amount of Community funds actually committed by the Member State for selected projects under the annual programme minus the first pre-financing payment.

5.  Any interest generated by pre-financing payments shall be posted to the annual programme concerned, being regarded as a resource for the Member State as national public contribution and shall be declared to the Commission at the time of the declaration of expenditure relating to the final report on the implementation of the annual programme concerned.

6.  The amounts paid as pre-financing shall be cleared from the accounts when the annual programme is closed.

Article 42

Payment of balance

1.  The Commission shall pay the balance provided it has received the following documents no later than nine months after the eligibility deadline for expenditure laid down in the financing decision approving the annual programme:

   a) a certified declaration of expenditure, duly drawn up in accordance with Article 31(1)(a) and Article 37, and a request for payment of the balance or statement of reimbursement;
   b) the final report on the implementation of the annual programme as set out in Article 53;
   c) the annual audit report, opinion and declaration provided for in Article 32(3).

The payment of the balance shall be subject to the acceptance of the final report on the implementation of the annual programme and of the declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment of the balance.

2.  If the responsible authority fails to provide the documents required in paragraph 1 by the due date and in an acceptable format, the Commission shall decommit any part of the budget commitment of the corresponding annual programme that has not been used for payment of the pre-financing.

3.  The automatic cancellation procedure defined in paragraph 2 shall be suspended, for the amount of the projects concerned, where legal proceedings or administrative appeals having suspensive effects are under way at Member State level when the documents defined in paragraph 1 are submitted. The Member State shall, in the final report submitted, give detailed information on such projects, and send reports on progress made with regard to these projects every six months. Within three months of the conclusion of the legal proceedings or administrative appeal procedure, the Member State shall present the documents required in paragraph 1 for the projects concerned.

4.  The nine-month period referred to in paragraph 1 shall cease to run if the Commission adopts a decision suspending payments of the co-financing for the relevant annual programme in accordance with Article 44. The period shall start to run again from the date when the Commission decision referred to in Article 44(3) has been notified to the Member State.

5.  Without prejudice to Article 43, the Commission shall, within six months of receiving the documents referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, inform the Member State of the amount of expenditure recognised by the Commission as chargeable to the Fund, and of any financial corrections deriving from the difference between declared expenditure and the expenditure recognised. The Member State shall have three months to present its comments.

6.  Within three months of receiving the Member State's comments, the Commission shall decide on the amount of expenditure recognised as chargeable to the Fund, and recover the balance arising from the difference between final recognised expenditure and the sums already paid to that Member State.

7.  Subject to available funding, the Commission shall pay the balance within no more than sixty days from the date on which it accepts the documents referred to in paragraph 1. The balance of the budgetary commitment shall be decommitted within six months following the payment.

Article 43

Withholding of payments

1.  The payment shall be withheld by the authorising officer by delegation within the meaning of the Financial Regulation for a maximum period of six months if:

   a) in a report of a national or Community audit body there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control systems;
   b) that officer has to carry out additional verifications following information coming to his notice which alerted him that expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected.

2.  The Member State and the responsible authority shall be informed immediately of the reasons for the payment being withheld. The payment shall be withheld until the necessary measures are taken by the Member State.

Article 44

Suspension of payments

1.  All or part of the pre-financing and payments of the balance may be suspended by the Commission when:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which affects the reliability of the procedure for certification of payments and for which corrective measures have not been taken; or
   b) expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected; or
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Articles 33 and 34.

2.  The Commission may decide to suspend pre-financing and payments of the balance after having given the Member State the opportunity to present its observations within a period of three months.

3.  The Commission shall end suspension of pre-financing and payments of the balance when it considers that the Member State has taken the necessary measures to enable the suspension to be lifted.

4.  If the necessary measures are not taken by the Member State, the Commission may adopt a decision to cancel all or part of the net amount or cancel the Community contribution to the annual programme in accordance with Article 48.

Article 45

Conservation of documents

Without prejudice to the rules governing State aid under Article 87 of the Treaty, the responsible authority shall ensure that all the supporting documents regarding expenditure and audits on the programmes concerned are kept available for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for a period of five years following the closure of the programmes in accordance with Article 42(1).

This period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal proceedings or at the duly substantiated request of the Commission.

The documents shall be kept either in the form of the originals or in versions certified to be in conformity with the originals on commonly accepted data carriers.

CHAPTER VIII

FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS

Article 46

Financial corrections by Member States

1.  Member States shall, in the first instance, bear the responsibility for investigating irregularities, acting upon evidence of any major change affecting the nature or the conditions for the implementation or control of programmes and making the required financial corrections.

2.  Member States shall make the financial corrections required in connection with the individual or systemic irregularities detected in actions or annual programmes.

Corrections made by Member States shall consist in cancelling, and if applicable, recovering all or part of the Community contribution. Where the amount is not repaid in the time allowed by the relevant Member State, default interest shall be due at the rate provided for in Article 49(2). Member States shall take into account the nature and gravity of the irregularities and the financial loss to the Fund.

3.  In the event of systemic irregularities the relevant Member State shall extend its enquiries to cover all operations liable to be affected.

4.  Member States shall include in the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 53 a list of cancellation procedures initiated for the annual programme concerned.

Article 47

Audit of accounts and financial corrections by the Commission

1.  Without prejudice to the powers of the Court of Auditors or the checks carried out by the Member States in accordance with national laws, regulations and administrative provisions, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot checks, including sample checks, on the actions financed by the Fund and on management and control systems with a minimum of three working days' notice. The Commission shall give notice to the Member State concerned with a view to obtaining all the assistance necessary. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such checks.

The Commission may require the Member State concerned to carry out an on-the-spot check to verify the accuracy of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such checks.

2.  If, after completing the necessary verifications, the Commission concludes that a Member State is not complying with its obligations under Article 33, it shall suspend the pre-financing or payment of the balance in accordance with Article 44.

Article 48

Criteria for the corrections

1.  The Commission may make financial corrections by cancelling all or part of the Community contribution to an annual programme where, after carrying out the necessary examination, it concludes that:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which has put at risk the Community contribution already paid to the programme;
   b) expenditure contained in a certified declaration of expenditure is irregular and has not been corrected by the Member State prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph;
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Article 33 prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph.

The Commission shall decide after having taken into account any comments made by the Member State.

2.  The Commission shall base its financial corrections on individual cases of irregularity identified, taking account of the systemic nature of the irregularity to determine whether a flat-rate or extrapolated correction should be applied. Where the irregularity relates to a declaration of expenditure for which a reasonable assurance had previously been given by the audit authority in accordance with Article 32(3)(b), there will be a presumption of a systemic problem giving rise to the application of a flat-rate or extrapolated correction, unless the Member State can provide proof within three months to rebut this presumption.

3.  The Commission shall, when deciding the amount of a correction, take account of the importance of the irregularity and the extent and financial implications of the deficiencies found in the annual programme concerned.

4.  Where the Commission bases its position on the facts established by auditors other than those of its own services, it shall draw its own conclusions regarding the financial consequences, after examining the measures taken by the Member State concerned under Article 34, the reports of notified irregularities and any replies from the Member State.

Article 49

Repayment

1.  Any repayment due to be made to the general budget of the European Union shall be effected before the due date indicated in the order for recovery drawn up in accordance with Article 72 of the Financial Regulation. This due date shall be the last day of the second month following the issuing of the order.

2.  Any delay in effecting repayment shall give rise to interest on account of late payment, starting on the due date and ending on the date of actual payment. The rate of such interest shall be the rate applied by the European Central Bank to its principal refinancing operations, as published in the C series of the Official Journal of the European Union, in force on the first calendar day of the month in which the due date falls, increased by three and a half percentage points.

Article 50

Obligations of Member States

A financial correction by the Commission shall not prejudice the Member State's obligation to pursue recoveries under Article 46.

CHAPTER IX

MONITORING, EVALUATION AND REPORTS

Article 51

Monitoring and evaluation

1.  The Commission shall carry out regular monitoring of the Fund in cooperation with the Member States.

2.  The Fund shall be evaluated by the Commission in partnership with the Member States to assess the relevance, effectiveness and impact of actions in the light of the objectives referred to in Article 3 in the context of the preparation for the reports set out in Article 52(3).

3.  The Commission shall also consider the complementarity between the actions implemented under the Fund and those pursued under other relevant Community policies, instruments and initiatives.

4.  As a part of the report for the period 2007 to 2010 referred to in Article 52(3)(c), the Commission shall assess the impact of the Fund on the development of the policy and legislation on external border control, assess the synergies between the Fund and the tasks of the Agency as well as the appropriateness of the criteria established to allocate the funds between the Member States in light of the objectives pursued by the European Union in this area.

Article 52

Reporting obligations

1.  In each Member State the responsible authority shall take the necessary measures to ensure project monitoring and evaluation.

To that end, the agreements and contracts it concludes with the organisations responsible for the implementation of the actions shall include clauses laying down an obligation to submit regular and detailed reports on the progress of implementation and completion of the assigned objectives, which shall be the basis for, respectively, the progress and final reports on the implementation of the annual programme.

2.  The Member States shall submit to the Commission:

   a) by 30 June 2010, an evaluation report on the implementation of actions co-financed by the Fund;
   b) by 30 June 2012 for the period 2007 to 2010 and by 30 June 2015 for the period 2011 to 2013 respectively, an evaluation report on the results and impact of actions co-financed by the Fund.

3.  The Commission shall submit to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions:

   a) by 30 June 2010, a report to review Articles 14 and 15, together with proposals for amendments if deemed necessary;
   b) by 31 December 2010, an intermediate report on the results achieved and on qualitative and quantitative aspects of implementation of the Fund, together with a proposal on the Fund's future development;
   c) by 31 December 2012 for the period 2007 to 2010 and 31 December 2015 for the period 2011 to 2013 respectively, an ex-post evaluation report.

Article 53

Final report on the implementation of the annual programme

1.  The final report on the implementation of the annual programme shall include the following information in order to obtain a clear view of the implementation of the programme:

   a) the financial and operational implementation of the annual programme;
   b) the progress made in implementing the multiannual programme and its priorities in relation to its specific, verifiable targets, with a quantification, wherever and whenever they lend themselves to quantification, of the indicators;
  c) the steps taken by the responsible authority to ensure the quality and effectiveness of implementation, in particular:
   i) monitoring and evaluation measures, including data collection arrangements;
   ii) a summary of any significant problems encountered in implementing the operational programme and any measures taken;
   iii) the use made of technical assistance;
   d) the measures taken to provide information on and make public the annual and multiannual programmes.

2.  The report shall be judged acceptable where it contains all the information listed in paragraph 1. The Commission shall reach a decision on the content of the report submitted by the responsible authority within two months of having received all the information referred to in paragraph 1, which shall be acknowledged to the Member States. If the Commission does not respond within the time limit laid down, the report shall be deemed to be accepted.

3.  The Commission shall communicate to the Agency the approved final reports on the implementation of the annual programme.

CHAPTER X

Transitional provisions

Article 54

Preparation of the multiannual programme

1.  By way of derogation from Article 20, Member States shall:

   a) as soon as possible after …(32) but no later than …(33)*, designate the national responsible authority referred to in Article 27(1)(a), as well as, where appropriate, the delegated authority;
   b) by 30 September 2007, submit a description of the management and control systems referred to in Article 34(2).

2.  By 1 July 2007, the Commission shall provide Member States with:

   a) an estimate of the amounts allocated to them for the financial year 2007;
   b) estimates of the amounts to be allocated to them for the financial years 2008 to 2013, on the basis of an extrapolation of the calculation for the estimate for the financial year 2007, bearing in mind the proposed annual appropriations for the years 2007 to 2013 as set out in the Financial Framework.

Article 55

The preparation of the 2007 and 2008 annual programmes

1.  By way of derogation from Article 23, the following time table shall apply for implementation in the financial year 2007 and 2008:

   a) by 1 July 2007, the Commission shall provide Member States with an estimate of the amounts allocated to them for the financial year 2007;
   b) by 1 December 2007, Member States shall present the draft annual programme for 2007 to the Commission;
   c) by 1 March 2008, Member States shall present the draft annual programme for 2008 to the Commission.

2.  As concerns the 2007 annual programme, expenditure actually disbursed between 1 January 2007 and the date on which the financing decision approving the annual programme of the Member State concerned is adopted may qualify for support from the Fund.

3.  To allow for the adoption in 2008 of financing decisions approving the annual programme for 2007, the Commission shall make the Community budgetary commitment for 2007 on the basis of the estimate of the amount to be allocated to the Member States, calculated as provided by Articles 14 and 15.

CHAPTER XI

Final provisions

Article 56

Committee

1.  The Commission shall be assisted by the common Committee "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows", established by this Decision .

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

The time-limits laid down in Article 5a(3)(c), (4)(b) and (4)(e) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be set at six weeks.

Article 57

Review

The European Parliament and the Council shall review this Decision on the basis of a proposal from the Commission by 30 June 2013.

Article 58

Entry into force and application

This Decision shall enter into force on the day following its publication in the OfficialJournal of the European Union.

This Decision shall apply from …(34), with the exception of Articles 14, 15, 20, 21, 23, 27, Article 33(2), Article 33(5), Article 34, Article 37(4) and Article 56 which shall apply from 1 January 2007.

Article 59

Addressees

This Decision is addressed to the Member States in accordance with the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Done at

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

(1) Not yet published in OJ.
(2) OJ C 88, 11.4.2006, p. 15.
(3) OJ C 115, 16.5.2006, p. 47.
(4) Position of the European Parliament of 14 December 2006.
(5) OJ L 349, 25.11.2004, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 105, 13.4.2006, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 236, 23.9.2003, p. 946.
(8) OJ...
(9)* OJ: please insert number, date and OJ reference of that Decision.
(10) OJ...
(11) OJ...
(12) OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1. Regulation as amended by Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 (OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1).
(13) OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.
(14) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23. Decision as amended by Decision 2006/512/EC (OJ L 200, 22.7.2006, p. 11).
(15) OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 31.
(16) OJ L 176, 10.7.1999, p. 53.
(17) OJ L 370, 17.12.2004, p. 78.
(18) OJ L 131, 1.6.2000, p. 43.
(19) OJ L 395, 31.12.2004, p. 70.
(20) OJ L 64, 7.3.2002, p. 20.
(21) OJ L 396, 31.12.2004, p. 45.
(22)* OJ: please insert the number of the first Decision referred to in recital 18 (European Refugee Fund).
(23)** OJ: please insert the number of the second Decision referred to in recital 18 (European Return Fund).
(24)*** OJ: please insert the number of the third Decision referred to in recital 18 (European Fund for the Integration of third-country Nationals).
(25) OJ L 261, 6.8.2004, p. 24.
(26) OJ L 239, 22.9.2000, p. 19. Convention as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 1987/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 381, 28.12.2006, p. 4).
(27) OJ L 99, 17.4.2003, p. 8.
(28) OJ L 99, 17.4.2003, p. 15.
(29) OJ L 81, 21.3.2001, p. 1. Regulation as last amended by Regulation (EC) No 851/2005 (OJ L 141, 4.6.2005, p. 3).
(30) OJ L 161, 30.4.2004, p. 128. Corrected version in OJ L 206, 9.6.2004, p. 51. Regulation as last amended by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1283/2005 (OJ L 203, 4.8.2005, p. 8).
(31)* OJ: please insert the numbers of the 3 Decisions referred to in recital 18.
(32)* Date of entry into force of this Decision.
(33)** 15 days after entry into force of this Decision.
(34)* Date of entry into force of this Decision.


European Return Fund ***I
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Resolution
Consolidated text
European Parliament legislative resolution on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the European Return Fund for the period 2008-2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows" (COM(2005)0123 – C6-0126/2005 – 2005/0049(COD))
P6_TA(2006)0591A6-0425/2006

(Codecision procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2005)0123)(1),

–   having regard to Article 251(2) and Article 63(3)(b) of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C6-0126/2005),

–   having regard to the opinion of the Committee on Legal Affairs on the proposed legal basis,

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

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, the Committee on Development and the Committee on Budgets (A6-0425/2006),

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 Commission.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 14 December 2006 with a view to the adoption of Decision No ... /2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on establishing the European Return Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 as part of the General Programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"

P6_TC1-COD(2005)0049


THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Articles 63(2)(b) and 63(3)(b) thereof,

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission,

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

Having regard to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions(3),

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty(4),

Whereas:

(1)  With a view to the progressive establishment of an area of freedom, security and justice, the Treaty provides both for the adoption of measures aimed at ensuring the free movement of persons, in conjunction with accompanying measures relating to external border controls, asylum and immigration, and for the adoption of measures relating to asylum, immigration and the safeguarding of the rights of third-country nationals.

(2)  The European Council, at its meeting in Tampere on 15 and 16 October 1999, reaffirmed its resolve to create an area of freedom, security and justice. For that purpose, a common European policy on asylum and migration should aim both at the fair treatment of third-country nationals and the better management of migration flows.

(3)  An effective Community return policy is a necessary complement to a credible legal immigration and asylum policy as well as an important component in the fight against illegal immigration. Considerable budgets are earmarked by Member States with a view to implementing return programmes and forced return operations. Common action of the European Union in this field, backed with appropriate financial means from the Community, could support Member States, underline the necessity of the return of illegal residents and contribute to enhanced solidarity among Member States.

(4)  On 28 February 2002, the Council adopted the Comprehensive Plan to combat illegal immigration and trafficking of human beings in the European Union(5) in which it stressed that re-admission and return policy constitutes an integral and vital component in the fight against illegal immigration and identified two elements on which a Community return policy should be based, namely common principles and common measures, within the framework of improving administrative cooperation between Member States.

(5)  The Council's Return Action Programme of 28 November 2002, based on the Commission's Communication of 14 October 2002 on a Community return policy on illegal residents, addresses the entire chain of action with respect to return management in Member States, covering both forced and voluntary return of third-country nationals as well as the central stages of return, including preparation and follow-up.

(6)  The European Council, at its meeting in Thessaloniki on 19 and 20 June 2003, called on the Commission to examine all aspects relating to a separate Community instrument on return in order to support, in particular the priorities as set out in the Return Action Programme.

(7)  The Council Conclusions on the priorities for the successful development of a common re-admission policy of 2 November 2004 emphasise that Community re-admission agreements make an important contribution to an effective joint migration management and play a valuable role in the fight against illegal immigration. They are an important element in the framework of the dialogue and cooperation between the European Union and the countries of origin, former residence and transit of illegal immigrants.

(8)  Following the Conclusions of 8 June 2004 in which the Council called on the budgetary authority to make preparatory actions available and invited the Commission to take into account its view on the development of integrated return plans in close cooperation with Member States, preparatory actions were initiated for the period 2005 and 2006.

(9)  The European Council, at its meeting in Brussels on 4 and 5 November 2004, called in "The Hague Programme" for launching the preparatory phase of a European Return Fund (hereinafter referred to as "the Fund") and the establishment of the Fund by 2007, taking into account the evaluation of the preparatory phase.

(10)  In November 2004 the Council took note of the Presidency's report on an analysis of reported best practices of return to specific countries. The report stated ample possibilities and a need for more practical cooperation between Member States in the practice of return. The report indicated possibilities for a more integrated approach, on both national and Community level, of return policy as well as general policies. Also, the report identified best practices by Member States regarding the voluntary or forced return of third-country nationals to their country of origin or transit, such as the promotion of Assisted Voluntary Return Programmes for sustainable return, return counselling, and the organisation of joint return operations, including charter flights.

(11)  It is necessary to endow the Community with an instrument designed to support and encourage the efforts made by the Member States to improve the management of return in all its dimensions, on the basis of the principle of integrated return management, and with a view to supporting a fair and effective implementation of common standards on return, as established under Community legislation on return.

(12)  No funding should be provided for in 2007 under this Decision, in order to be able to take into account the results of preparatory actions on return in 2005 and 2006, on the basis of a report by the Commission on the evaluation of the preparatory actions.

(13)  The common standards concerned are in particular Council Directive 2001/40/EC of 28 May 2001 on the mutual recognition of decisions on the expulsion of third-country nationals(6) and its corollary, Council Decision 2004/191/EC of 23 February 2004 setting out the criteria and practical arrangements for the compensation of the financial imbalances resulting from the application of Directive 2001/40/EC on the mutual recognition of decisions on expulsion of third-country nationals(7), and Council Decision 2004/573/EC of 29 April 2004 on the organisation of joint flights for removals from the territory of two or more Member States, of third-country nationals who are subjects of individual removal orders(8).

(14)  This concerns also future Community instruments, such as an instrument on common standards on procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals, which should create a level playing field in the European Union on return procedures and would therefore define conditions for and the margin within which Member States take return measures.

(15)  Member States should ensure that actions under the Fund respect the obligations derived from fundamental rights, laid down in particular in the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (the European Convention on Human Rights), the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 28 July 1951 as supplemented by the New York Protocol of 31 January 1967, and other relevant international instruments, such as the 1989 United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, where applicable.

(16)  Bearing in mind that collective expulsion is prohibited under Protocol 4 to the European Convention on Human Rights, only persons who are the subject of individual removal orders should be returned via joint return operations eligible for funding under this Decision.

(17)  In the light of the scope and the purpose of the Fund, it should not, in any event, support actions with respect to areas and centres for holding persons in third countries.

(18)  As stated in the Return Action Programme, approved by the Council on 28 November 2002, and constantly reaffirmed in the European Union instruments in this area, such as in particular the Council Conclusions on voluntary return of 2 November 2005, voluntary return is an important component of a balanced, effective and sustainable approach to the return.

(19)  Eligible actions within the scope of the integrated management of return should take account of the specific situation of vulnerable persons.

(20)  To enhance efficiency in return management at national level, the Fund should also cover actions relating to voluntary return of persons who are not under an obligation to leave the territory, such as applicants for asylum who have not yet received a negative decision, or persons enjoying a form of international protection within the meaning of Council Directive 2004/83/EC of 29 April 2004 on minimum standards for the qualification and status of third-country nationals or stateless persons as refugees or as persons who otherwise need international protection and the content of the protection granted(9), or persons enjoying temporary protection within the meaning of Council Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 on minimum standards for giving temporary protection in the event of a mass influx of displaced persons and on measures promoting a balance of efforts between Member States in receiving such persons and bearing the consequences thereof(10).

(21)  A primary objective of this Decision should be the promotion of integrated return management at national level. Member States are encouraged to implement return operations in the light of integrated return action plans, which analyse the situation in the Member State with respect to the targeted population, set targets with respect to the operations envisaged and, in cooperation with relevant stakeholders, such as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), offer return schemes focusing on effective and sustainable returns through various measures. Where appropriate, integrated return plans should be regularly assessed and adjusted.

(22)  To promote the voluntary return of persons, in particular persons who are under no obligation to leave the territory, provision should be made for incentives for such returnees, such as preferential treatment by providing enhanced return assistance. This kind of voluntary return is both in the interests of a dignified return of returnees, as well as of the authorities in terms of cost-effectiveness. Member States should be encouraged to give preference to voluntary return.

(23)  However, from a policy point of view, voluntary and enforced return are interlinked and have a mutually reinforcing effect and Member States should be encouraged in their return management to reinforce the complementarity of the two forms. There is an obvious need to carry out forced returns in order to safeguard the integrity of the immigration and asylum policy of the European Union and the immigration and asylum systems of the Member States. Thus the possibility of forced return is a prerequisite for ensuring that this policy is not undermined and for enforcing the rule of law, which itself is essential to the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice. This Decision should therefore support actions of Member States to facilitate enforced return.

(24)  Moreover, the major obstacles experienced by Member States in the field of return often occur in relation to forced returns. One important obstacle is uncertainty concerning the identity of the person concerned and/or his or her lack of the necessary travel documents. In order to overcome such problems, Member States should be encouraged to improve the cooperation with consular services of third countries and to increase the exchange of information and operational cooperation among themselves as regards the cooperation with such services.

(25)  It is also imperative for this Decision to support, in those Member States which consider it appropriate, specific measures for returnees in the country of return in order first to ensure effective return to their town or region of origin under good conditions and second to enhance their durable reintegration in their community. Such measures should not consist of assistance to the third country as such and should only be eligible for funding when and insofar as there is a necessary continuation with activities initiated and in the main carried out in the territory of the Member States under an integrated return plan.

(26)  Moreover, those measures should be in synergy with the actions supported by the Community instruments on external assistance, in particular the thematic programme on asylum and migration.

(27)  This Decision is designed to form part of a coherent framework which also includes Decision No .../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the European Refugee Fund for the period 2008 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(11)(12), Decision No .../2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of ... establishing the External Borders Fund for the period 2007 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(13)*, and Council Decision.../2007/EC of ... establishing the European Fund for the Integration of Third-country Nationals for the period 2007 to 2013 as part of the General programme "Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows"(14)*, which aims to address the issue of fairly sharing responsibilities between Member States as concerns the financial burden arising from the introduction of integrated management of the European Union's external borders and from the implementation of common policies on asylum and immigration, as developed in accordance with Title IV of Part 3 of the Treaty.

(28)  The European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, established in accordance with Council Regulation (EC) No 2007/2004(15) (hereinafter referred to as "the Agency"), has as one of its tasks to provide the necessary assistance for organising joint return operations by Member States and identify best practices on the acquisition of travel documents and the removal of third-country nationals illegally present in the territories of the Member States. Accordingly, the Agency should ensure that the conditions for an effective coordinated return effort between Member States are met, whilst leaving the implementation and organisation of the joint return operations to the competent national services. Therefore, the Agency should be able to use resources made available by Community actions in this Decision.

(29)  The support provided by the Fund would be more efficient and better targeted if co-financing of eligible actions were based on strategic multiannual programming, drawn up by each Member State in dialogue with the Commission.

(30)  On the basis of strategic guidelines adopted by the Commission, each Member State should prepare a multiannual programming document taking into account its specific situation and needs and setting out its development strategy that should constitute the framework for the implementation of the actions to be listed in the annual programmes.

(31)  In the context of shared management as referred to in Article 53(1)(b) of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities(16) (hereinafter referred to as "the Financial Regulation"), the conditions allowing the Commission to exercise its responsibilities for implementation of the general budget of the European Union should be specified and the obligations for the cooperation of the Member States clarified. Applying those conditions would enable the Commission to satisfy itself that Member States are using the Fund in a lawful and correct manner and in accordance with the principle of sound financial management within the meaning of Articles 27 and 48(2) of the Financial Regulation.

(32)  The Commission should establish the indicative breakdown of available commitment appropriations using an objective and transparent method.

(33)  Member States should adopt adequate measures to guarantee the proper functioning of the management and control system and the quality of implementation. To this end, it is necessary to establish general principles and necessary functions which all programmes should fulfil.

(34)  In accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, Member States should have the primary responsibility for the implementation and control of the interventions of the Fund.

(35)  The obligations on the Member States as regards management and control systems, the certification of expenditure, and the prevention, detection and correction of irregularities and infringements of Community law should be specified in order to guarantee the efficient and correct implementation of their multiannual and annual programmes. In particular, as far as management and control are concerned, it is necessary to establish the arrangements by which Member States ensure that the relevant systems are in place and function satisfactorily.

(36)  Without prejudice to the Commission's powers as regards financial control, cooperation between the Member States and the Commission in this field should be encouraged.

(37)  The effectiveness and impact of actions supported by the Fund also depend on their evaluation and the dissemination of their results. The responsibilities of the Member States and the Commission in this regard, and arrangements to ensure the reliability of evaluation and the quality of the related information, should be formalised.

(38)  Actions should be evaluated with a view to a mid-term review and impact assessment, and the evaluation process should be incorporated into project monitoring arrangements.

(39)  Bearing in mind the importance of visibility of Community funding, the Commission should provide guidance facilitating the proper acknowledgement of the support received by any authority, non-governmental organisation, international organisation or other entity receiving a grant under this Fund , taking into account the practice with respect to other instruments under shared management, such as the Structural Funds. (Old recital 38)

(40)  This Decision establishes a financial envelope for the entire duration of the programme, which constitutes the prime reference for the budgetary authority during the annual budgetary procedure, within the meaning of point 37 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management(17).

(41)  Since the objective of this Decision, namely to promote the return of illegally staying third-country nationals within the framework of common standards and the principle of integrated return management, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States and can therefore by reason of the scale and effects of the action 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 Decision does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve this objective.

(42)  The measures necessary for the implementation of this Decision should 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(18).

(43)  Since the measure of this Decision relating to the adoption of strategic guidelines is of general scope and is designed to amend non-essential elements of this Decision, inter alia by deleting some of those elements or by supplementing this Decision by the addition of new non-essential elements, it should be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny provided for in Article 5a of Decision 1999/468/EC. On grounds of efficiency, the normal time-limits for the regulatory procedure with scrutiny should be curtailed for the adoption of the strategic guidelines.

(44)  In accordance with Articles 1 and 2 of the Protocol on the position of Denmark, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty establishing the European Community, Denmark does not take part in the adoption of this Decision and is not bound by it or subject to its application.

(45)  In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, Ireland has notified, by letter of 6 September 2005, its wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(46)  In accordance with Article 3 of the Protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland, annexed to the Treaty on European Union and to the Treaty establishing the European Community, the United Kingdom has notified, by letter of 27 October 2005, its wish to take part in the adoption and application of this Decision.

(47)  In accordance with the second indent of paragraph 2 of Article 67 of the Treaty, Council Decision 2004/927/EC of 22 December 2004 providing for certain areas covered by Title IV of Part Three of the Treaty establishing the European Community to be governed by the procedure laid down in Article 251 of that Treaty(19) rendered the procedure referred to in Article 251 of the Treaty applicable in the areas covered by Article 62(1), (2)(a) and (3) and Articles 63(2)(b) and (3)(b) of the Treaty,

HAVE ADOPTED THIS DECISION:

CHAPTER I

SUBJECT MATTER, OBJECTIVES AND ACTIONS

Article 1

Subject matter and scope

This Decision establishes for the period from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 the European Return Fund (hereinafter referred to as "the Fund") as part of a coherent framework, which also includes Decision No .../2007/EC(20) , Decision No .../2007/EC(21)* and Decision .../2007/EC(22)**, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the area of freedom, security and justice and the application of the principle of solidarity between the Member States.

This Decision defines the objectives to which the Fund contributes, its implementation, the available financial resources and the distribution criteria for the allocation of the available financial resources.

It establishes the Fund's management rules, including financial rules, as well as monitoring and control mechanisms, based on the sharing of responsibilities between the Commission and the Member States.

Article 2

General objective of the Fund

1.  The general objective of the Fund shall be to support the efforts made by the Member States to improve the management of return in all its dimensions through the use of the concept of integrated management and by providing for joint actions to be implemented by Member States or national actions that pursue Community objectives under the principle of solidarity, taking account of Community legislation in this field and in full compliance with fundamental rights.

2.  The Fund shall contribute to the financing of technical assistance on the initiative of the Member States or the Commission.

Article 3

Specific objectives

1.  The Fund shall contribute to achieving the following specific objectives:

   a) the introduction and improvement of the organisation and implementation of integrated return management by Member States;
   b) the enhancement of the cooperation between Member States within the framework of integrated return management and its implementation;
   c) the promotion of an effective and uniform application of common standards on return in line with policy developments in this field.

2.  Integrated return management shall include, in particular, the development and implementation, by the competent authorities of the Member States, of integrated return plans which:

   a) are based on a comprehensive assessment of the situation in the Member State with respect to the targeted population or a targeted specific issue concerning return and the challenges with respect to the operations envisaged (such as those related to obtaining travel documents and other practical obstacles to return), taking into account, where appropriate, the relevant caseload. The comprehensive assessment shall be drawn up in cooperation with all relevant authorities and partners;
   b) aim to achieve a wide set of measures encouraging voluntary return schemes of third-country nationals, in particular for those who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and stay on its territories and, where necessary, implementing enforced return operations with respect to such persons, in full compliance with humanitarian principles and respect for their dignity;
   c) include a plan and/or time table and, where appropriate, provide for a periodic evaluation mechanism allowing for adjustment of the plan and assessment of the impact of the plan in practice; and
   d) include, where Member States consider it appropriate, measures to facilitate cooperation between the competent administrative, law enforcement and judicial bodies, where appropriate at different levels of government.

3.  Integrated Return Plans shall focus in particular on effective and sustainable returns through such actions as efficient information at pre-departure stage, travel arrangements, transit in the country of return for both voluntary and enforced return. As far as possible, incentives for voluntary returnees, such as return assistance, may be provided for in order to promote voluntary return.

Where Member States consider it appropriate, they may include the provision of reception and reintegration support.

Article 4

Eligible actions in the Member States

1.  Actions relating to the objective laid down in Article 3(1)(a), and in particular the following, shall be eligible for support from the Fund:

   a) the establishment or improvement of an effective, stable and lasting operational cooperation of Member States' authorities with consular authorities and immigration services of third countries, with a view to obtaining travel documents for the return of third-country nationals and ensuring speedy and successful removals;
   b) the promotion of ways and means to provide information on return as early as possible in asylum and immigration procedures and to encourage individually third-country nationals to make use of the possibility of voluntary return;
   c) the facilitation of voluntary returns of third-country nationals, in particular through assisted voluntary return programmes, with a view to ensuring the effectiveness and sustainability of returns;
   d) developing modes of cooperation between different levels of national, regional, local, urban and other public authorities enabling officials to swiftly gain information on return experiences and practices elsewhere and, when possible, to pool resources;
   e) the simplification and implementation of enforced returns of third-country nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and stay, with a view to enhancing the credibility and integrity of immigration policies and reducing the period of custody of persons waiting for forced removal.

2.  Actions relating to the objective laid down in Article 3(1)(b), and in particular the following, shall be eligible for support from the Fund:

   a) cooperation in the gathering and provision to potential returnees of information on the country of origin, former residence or transit;
   b) cooperation in developing effective, stable and lasting operational working relationships between Member States' authorities and consular authorities and immigration services of third countries, to facilitate consular assistance in obtaining travel documents for the return of third-country nationals and ensuring speedy and successful removals;
   c) design of joint integrated return plans and their implementation, including joint voluntary return programmes on specific countries or regions of origin, former residence or transit;
   d) studies on the current situation and possibilities for enhancing administrative cooperation among Member States in the field of return as well as on the role of international and non-governmental organisations to be played in this context;
   e) exchange of information and best practices, support and advice in dealing with the return of particularly vulnerable groups;
   f) organisation of seminars for practitioners on best practices, focusing on specific third countries and/or regions;
   g) joint measures enabling the reception of readmitted persons in countries of origin, former residence or transit;
   h) joint development of actions to ensure sustainable return of persons to the country of origin or former residence.

3.  Actions relating to the objective laid down in Article 3(1)(c), and in particular the following, shall be eligible for support from the Fund:

   a) enhancement of the capacity of competent authorities to take high quality return decisions as quickly as possible;
   b) enhancement of the capacity of competent administrative authorities to implement or enforce speedily removal decisions with full respect for human dignity and the relevant European security standards regarding such operations;
   c) enhancement of the capacity of judicial bodies to more quickly assess return decisions appealed;
   d) organisation of seminars and joint training for the staff of the competent national, regional, local, urban and other competent administrative, law enforcement and judicial bodies concerning legal and practical aspects of return operations;
   e) enhancement of the capacity of competent administrative authorities to effectively implement common arrangements on mutual recognition and joint return operations, including the recommendations, operational standards and best practices defined by the Agency in the area of return.

4.  Actions provided for by paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 shall, in particular, promote the implementation of the provisions of the relevant Community legislation in the field of the common European immigration and return policy.

Article 5

Eligible measures in the Member States

Actions supported may include the following measures:

   1) in all cases of return, information to third-country nationals on return in general, counselling to individuals on the possibilities for voluntary return, translation costs, procurement of indispensable travel documents, costs of necessary pre-return medical checks, costs of travel and food for returnees and escorts, including medical staff and interpreters, accommodation for escorts including medical staff and interpreters, costs of transport in the Member State and up to the country of return and cooperation with the authorities of the country of origin, former residence or transit;
   2) in all cases of return, specific assistance for vulnerable persons such as children, unaccompanied minors, disabled people, elderly people, pregnant women, single parents with minor children, and persons who have been subjected to torture, rape or other serious forms of psychological, physical or sexual violence;
   3) additionally, in the case of forced return of third-country nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and stay, costs for travel, food and temporary accommodation of returnees and their escorts from the participating Member State in the organising Member State prior the departure in case of joint return operations;
   4) additionally, in the case of voluntary return of third-country nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and stay, assistance to returnees in preparing the return, as well as essential expenses before return;
   5) additionally, in the case of voluntary return of third-country nationals who are not under an obligation to leave the territory of the Member States and in other cases, where considered appropriate by Member States, limited financial contribution for initial expenses after return, transport of the returnee's personal belongings, adequate temporary accommodation for the first days after arrival in the country of return in a reception centre or a hotel if necessary, training and employment assistance and limited start-up support for economic activities where appropriate;
   6) education and training of staff of the competent administrative, law enforcement and judicial bodies, secondments of these categories of staff from other Member States, in order to ensure an effective and uniform application of common standards on return and the respect of obligations under international instruments affecting the treatment of returnees, and enhance cooperation, as well as missions to assess the results of return policies in third countries;
   7) in the case of operational cooperation with consular authorities and immigration services of third countries with a view to obtaining travel documents and ensuring speedy removal procedures, cost of travel and accommodation in the Member States for the staff of the authorities and services responsible for the identification of third-country nationals and the verification of their travel documents;
   8) in the case of reintegration measures for third-country nationals who are not under an obligation to leave the territory of a Member State, cash incentives and other short term measures necessary to launch the progress of reintegration for the returnee's personal development such as training, placement and employment assistance, start-up support for economic activities and post-return assistance and counselling;
   9) in the case of reintegration measures for third-country nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and stay, where Member States consider it appropriate, cash incentives and other short term measures necessary to launch the progress of reintegration for the returnee's personal development such as training, placement and employment assistance, start-up support for economic activities and post-return assistance and counselling, as well as measures enabling Member States to offer appropriate arrangements for welcoming returnees in third countries upon their arrival.

Article 6

Community actions

1.  At the Commission's initiative, up to 7 % of the Fund's available resources may be used to finance transnational actions or actions of interest to the Community as a whole (hereinafter referred to as "Community actions") concerning return policy and measures applicable to the target groups as referred to in Article 7.

2.  To be eligible for funding, Community actions shall, in particular:

   a) further Community cooperation in implementing Community law and good practices;
   b) support the setting-up of transnational cooperation networks and pilot projects based on transnational partnerships between bodies located in two or more Member States designed to stimulate innovation, facilitate the exchange of experience and good practice and improve the quality of return policy;
   c) support transnational awareness-raising campaigns;
   d) support studies, dissemination and exchange of information on best practices and all other aspects of return policies, including on the use of state-of-the-art technology, in particular to encourage more comparative research relating to the impact of past and present return programmes;
   e) support pilot projects and studies exploring the possibility of new forms of Community cooperation and Community law in this area;
   f) support the development and application by Member States of common statistical tools, methods and indicators for measuring policy developments in the field of return, in particular with a view to the dissemination of statistics disaggregated according to voluntary and forced returns;
   g) support the development and regular updating, in cooperation with the Agency, of a common handbook on best practices in the field of return, including on escorts;
   h) provide Member States with support services in case of duly substantiated emergency situations requiring urgent action.

3.  The annual work programme laying down the priorities for Community actions shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 7

Target groups

1.  For the purposes of this Decision the target groups shall comprise:

   a) all third-country nationals who have not yet received a final negative decision in relation to their request for international protection in a Member State and who may choose to make use of voluntary return, provided they have not acquired a new nationality and have not left the territory of that Member State;
   b) all third-country nationals enjoying a form of international protection within the meaning of Directive 2004/83/EC, or temporary protection within the meaning of Directive 2001/55/EC in a Member State, and who choose to make use of voluntary return, provided they have not acquired a new nationality and have not left the territory of that Member State;
   c) all third-country nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and/or stay in a Member State and who, in accordance with the obligation to leave the territory of that Member State, make use of voluntary return;
   d) all other third-county nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and/or stay in a Member State.

2.  Third-country national means any person who is not a citizen of the Union within the meaning of Article 17(1) of the Treaty.

CHAPTER II

PRINCIPLES OF ASSISTANCE

Article 8

Complementarity, consistency and compliance

1.  The Fund shall provide assistance which complements national, regional and local actions, integrating into them the priorities of the Community.

2.  The Commission and the Member States shall ensure that assistance from the Fund and the Member States is consistent with the activities, policies and priorities of the Community. This consistency shall be indicated in particular in the multiannual programme referred to in Article 19.

3.  Operations financed by the Fund shall comply with the provisions of the Treaty and of acts adopted thereunder.

Article 9

Programming

1.  The objectives of the Fund shall be pursued within the framework of the multiannual programming period from 2008 to 2013, subject to a mid-term review in accordance with Article 22. The multiannual programming system shall include the priorities and a process for management, decision making, auditing and certification.

2.  The multiannual programmes approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual programmes.

Article 10

Subsidiary and proportional intervention

1.  Implementation of multiannual and annual programmes referred to in Articles 19 and 21 shall be the responsibility of Member States at the appropriate territorial level, in accordance with the institutional system specific to each Member State. This responsibility shall be exercised in accordance with this Decision.

2.  In relation to audit provisions, the means employed by the Commission and the Member States shall vary according to the size of the Community contribution. The same principle shall apply to provisions on evaluation and to the reports on multiannual and annual programmes.

Article 11

Implementation methods

1.  The Community budget allocated to the Fund shall be implemented in accordance with Article 53(1)(b) of the Financial Regulation, with the exception of the Community actions referred to in Article 6 and the technical assistance referred to in Article 16 of this Decision.

2.  The Commission shall exercise its responsibility for implementing the general budget of the European Union by:

   a) checking the existence and proper functioning of management and control systems in the Member States in accordance with the procedures described in Article 32;
   b) withholding or suspending payments, in full or in part, in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 41 and 42, if the national management and control systems fail, and applying any other financial correction required, in accordance with the procedures described in Articles 45 and 46.

Article 12

Partnership

1.  Each Member State shall organise, in accordance with current national rules and practices, a partnership with the authorities and bodies which are involved in the implementation of the multiannual programme or which, according to the Member State concerned, are able to make a useful contribution to its development.

Such authorities and bodies may include the competent regional, local, urban and other public authorities, international organisations, in particular UNHCR, and bodies representing civil society, such as non-governmental organisations or social partners.

2.  Such partnership shall be conducted in full compliance with the respective institutional, legal and financial jurisdiction of each partner category.

CHAPTER III

FINANCIAL FRAMEWORK

Article 13

Global resources

1.  The financial envelope for the implementation of this Decision from 1 January 2008 to 31 December 2013 shall be EUR 676 million.

2.  The annual appropriations for the Fund shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the Financial Framework.

3.  The Commission shall make indicative annual breakdowns by Member States in accordance with the criteria established in Article 14.

Article 14

Annual distribution of resources for eligible actions in the Member States

1.  Each Member State shall receive a fixed amount of EUR 300 000 from the Fund's annual allocation.

This amount shall be raised to EUR 500 000 per annum for the period 2008 to 2013 for those Member States which acceded to the European Union on 1 May 2004.

This amount shall be raised to EUR 500 000 per annum for those Member States which accede to the European Union during the period from 2007 to 2013 for the remaining part of the period 2008 to 2013 following the year of their accession.

2.  The remainder of the available annual resources shall be broken down between the Member States as follows:

   a) 50 % in proportion to the total number of third-country nationals who do not or no longer fulfil the conditions for entry and stay in the territory of the Member State and who are subject to a return decision under national and/or Community law, i.e. an administrative or judicial decision or act, stating or declaring the illegality of stay and imposing an obligation to return, over the previous three years;
   b) 50 % in proportion to the number of third-country nationals who have actually left the territory of the Member State following an administrative or judicial order to leave, whether undertaken voluntarily or under coercion over the previous three years.

3.  The third-country nationals referred to in paragraph 2 shall not include:

   a) third-country nationals who, being present in a transit zone of a Member State, were refused entry;
   b) third-country nationals who are to be returned by a Member State to another Member State, in particular pursuant to Council Regulation (EC) No 343/2003 of 18 February 2003 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an asylum application lodged in one of the Member States by a third country national(23).

4.  The reference figures shall be the latest statistics produced by the Commission (Eurostat) on the basis of data provided by Member States in accordance with Community law.

Where Member States have not supplied the Commission (Eurostat) with the statistics concerned, they shall provide provisional data as soon as possible.

Before accepting these data as reference figures, the Commission (Eurostat) shall evaluate the quality, comparability and completeness of the statistical information in accordance with normal operational procedures. At the request of the Commission (Eurostat), Member States shall provide it with all the necessary information to do so.

Article 15

Financing structure

1.  Financial contributions under the Fund shall take the form of grants.

2.  Actions supported by the Fund shall be co-financed by public or private sources, shall be of a non-profit nature and shall not be eligible for funding from other sources covered by the general budget of the European Union.

3.  Fund appropriations shall be complementary to public or equivalent expenditure allocated by Member States to the measures covered by this Decision.

4.  The Community contribution to supported projects, as regards actions implemented in the Member States under Article 3 shall not exceed 50 % of the total cost of a specific action.

This may be increased to 75 % for projects addressing specific priorities identified in the strategic guidelines as referred to in Article 18.

The Community contribution shall be increased to 75 % in the Member States covered by the Cohesion Fund.

5.  Within the framework of the implementation of national programming as set out in Chapter IV, Member States shall select projects for financing on the basis of the following minimum criteria:

   a) the situation and requirements in the Member State concerned;
   b) the cost-effectiveness of the expenditure, inter alia in view of the number of persons concerned by the project;
   c) the experience, expertise, reliability and financial contribution of the organisation applying for funding and any partner organisation;
   d) the extent to which the project complements other actions funded by the general budget of the European Union or as part of national programmes.

6.  As a general rule, Community financial aid for actions supported by the Fund shall be granted for a period of no more than three years, subject to periodic progress reports.

Article 16

Technical assistance at the initiative of the Commission

1.  At the initiative of and/or on behalf of the Commission, subject to a ceiling of EUR 500 000 of the Fund's annual allocation, the Fund may finance preparatory measures, monitoring, administrative and technical support measures, as well as evaluation, audit and inspection measures necessary for implementing this Decision.

2.  Those measures shall include:

   a) studies, evaluations, expert reports and statistics, including those of a general nature concerning the operation of the Fund;
   b) information measures for the Member States, the final beneficiaries and the general public, including awareness-raising campaigns and a common database of projects financed under the Fund;
   c) the installation, operation and interconnection of computerised systems for management, monitoring, inspection and evaluation;
   d) the design of a common framework for evaluation and monitoring as well as a systems of indicators, taking into account, where appropriate, national indicators;
   e) improvements in evaluation methods and the exchange of information on practices in this field;
   f) information and training measures for the authorities designated by Member States in accordance with Article 25, complementary to the efforts of the Member States to provide guidance to their authorities in accordance with Article 31(2).

Article 17

Technical assistance at the initiative of Member States

1.  At the initiative of a Member State, for each annual programme, the Fund may finance preparatory measures, management, monitoring, evaluation, information and control measures, as well as measures for the reinforcement of the administrative capacity for the implementation of the Fund.

2.  The amount set aside for technical assistance under each annual programme may not exceed:

   a) for the period 2008 to 2010, 7 % of the total annual amount of cofinancing allocated to that Member State plus EUR 30 000; and
   b) for the period 2011 to 2013, 4 % of the total annual amount of cofinancing allocated to that Member State plus EUR 30 000.

CHAPTER IV

PROGRAMMING

Article 18

Adoption of strategic guidelines

1.  The Commission shall adopt strategic guidelines setting out a framework for the intervention of the Fund, taking into account progress in the development and implementation of Community legislation in the area of return and measures taken by the Community in the area of illegal immigration as well as the indicative distribution of the financial resources of the Fund for the period of the multiannual programme.

2.  For the objectives of the Fund referred to in Article 3(1)(a) and (b), those guidelines shall, in particular, give effect to the priorities of the Community with a view to promoting:

   a) the return of third-country nationals who are not in the possession of passports or other identity documents;
   b) the return of third-country nationals not covered under Community re-admission agreements or national bilateral re-admission agreements, with a view to strengthening the obligation of a State under international law to re-admit its own nationals;
   c) the return to a particular country of third-country nationals and stateless persons who have come from or have resided in that country but not as nationals of that country;
   d) the return of persons who are under no obligation to leave the territory of the Member States, such as applicants for asylum who have not yet received a negative decision and persons enjoying a form of international protection within the meaning of Directive 2004/83/EC or temporary protection within the meaning of Directive 2001/55/EC;
   e) the return of particularly vulnerable groups.

For the objective of the Fund referred to in Article 3(1)(c), those guidelines shall, in particular, give effect to the priorities of the Community to promote the knowledge of the common standards across the European Union and the integration of those standards into daily return management processes in the administrative authorities of the Member States.

3.  The Commission shall adopt the strategic guidelines relating to the multiannual programming period by 31 July 2007 at the latest.

4.  The strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 52(3). These strategic guidelines, once adopted, shall be annexed to this Decision.

Article 19

Preparation and approval of national multiannual programmes

1.  Each Member State shall propose, on the basis of the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 18, a draft multiannual programme which shall consist of the following elements:

   a) a description of the current situation in the Member State as regards the principle of integrated return management, the cooperation with consular authorities and immigration services of third countries, the measures and policies relating to voluntary return and enforced return, with disaggregated data, insofar as they are available, between voluntary and forced returns, the approach towards reintegration measures and sustainability of return, capacity building of competent administrative and judicial authorities and the cooperation with other Member States in relation to the above;
   b) an analysis of requirements in the Member State in question in terms of the cooperation with consular authorities and immigration services of third countries, the measures and policies relating to voluntary return and enforced return, the approach towards reintegration measures and sustainability of return, capacity building of competent administrative and judicial authorities and the cooperation with other Member States in relation to the above and an indication of the operational objectives designed to meet those requirements during the period covered by the multiannual programme;
   c) the presentation of an appropriate strategy to achieve those objectives and the priorities attached to their attainment, and a description of the actions envisaged to implement those priorities;
   d) an indication of whether that strategy is compatible with other regional, national and Community instruments;
   e) information on the priorities and their specific targets. Those targets shall be quantified using a limited number of indicators for taking into account the proportionality principle. The indicators must make it possible to measure the progress in relation to the baseline situation and the effectiveness of the targets implementing the priorities;
   f) a description of the approach chosen for the implementation of the partnership principle laid down in Article 12;
   g) a draft financing plan which sets out, for each priority and each annual programme, the Fund's proposed financial contribution and the overall amount of public or private cofinancing;
   h) the provisions laid down to ensure that the multiannual programme is made public.

2.  Member States shall submit their draft multiannual programme to the Commission no later than four months after the Commission has provided the strategic guidelines.

3.  In order to approve the draft multiannual programme, the Commission shall examine:

   a) the draft multiannual programme's consistency with the objectives of the Fund and the strategic guidelines referred to in Article 18;
   b) the relevance of the actions envisaged in the draft multiannual programme in the light of the strategy which is proposed;
   c) the compliance of the management and control arrangements set up by the Member State for the implementation of the Fund's interventions with the provisions of this Decision;
   d) the draft multiannual programme's compliance with Community law and, in particular, with Community law aiming at ensuring the free movement of persons in conjunction with the directly related accompanying measures with respect to external border controls, asylum and immigration.

4.  Where the Commission considers that a draft multiannual programme is inconsistent with the strategic guidelines and/or does not comply with the provisions of this Decision setting out management and control systems or with Community law, it shall invite the Member State concerned to provide all necessary additional information and, where appropriate, to revise the draft multiannual programme accordingly.

5.  The Commission shall approve each multiannual programme within three months of its formal submission, in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 20

Revision of multiannual programmes

1.  At the initiative of the Member State in question or the Commission, the multiannual programme shall be re-examined and, if necessary, revised for the rest of the programming period in order to take greater or different account of Community priorities. Multiannual programmes may be re-examined in the light of evaluations and/or following implementation difficulties.

2.  The Commission shall adopt a decision approving the revision of the multiannual programme as soon as possible after the formal submission of a request to that effect by the Member State concerned. The revision of the multiannual programme shall be carried out in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 21

Annual programmes

1.  The multiannual programme approved by the Commission shall be implemented by means of annual work programmes.

2.  The Commission shall provide the Member States, by 1 July of each year, with an estimate of the amounts to be allocated to them for the following year from the total appropriations allocated under the annual budgetary procedure, calculated as provided for by Article 14.

3.  Member States shall submit to the Commission by 1 November of each year, a draft annual programme for the following year, established in accordance with the multiannual programmeand consisting of the following elements:

   a) the general rules for selection of projects to be financed under the annual programme;
   b) a description of the actions to be supported under the annual programme;
   c) the proposed financial breakdown of the Fund's contribution between the programme's various actions; and an indication of the amount requested to cover technical assistance under Article 17 for the purpose of implementing the annual programme.

4.  By way of derogation from paragraph 3, Member States shall submit the draft annual programmes for 2008 to the Commission by 1 March 2008.

5.  When examining the draft annual programme of a Member State, the Commission shall take account of the final amount of the appropriations allocated to the Fund under the budgetary procedure.

Within one month of the formal submission of the draft annual programme, the Commission shall inform the Member State concerned whether it can be approved. If the draft annual programme is inconsistent with the multiannual programme, the Commission shall invite that Member State to provide all necessary information and, where appropriate, to revise the draft annual programme accordingly.

The Commission shall adopt the financing decision approving the annual programme by 1 March of the year in question. The decision shall indicate the amount allocated to the Member State concerned and the period for which the expenditure is eligible.

6.  To take into account duly substantiated emergency situations which were not foreseen at the time of the approval of the annual programme and which require urgent action, a Member State may revise up to 10 % of the financial breakdown of the contribution from the Fund between the various actions listed in the annual programme or allocate up to 10 % of the breakdown to other actions in accordance with this Decision. The Member State concerned shall inform the Commission of the revised annual programme.

Article 22

Mid-term review of the multiannual programme

1.  The Commission shall review the strategic guidelines and, where necessary, adopt, by 31 March 2010, revised strategic guidelines for the period 2011 to 2013.

2.  If such revised strategic guidelines are adopted, each Member State shall re-examine its multiannual programme and, where appropriate, revise it.

3.  The rules laid down in Article 19 on the preparation and approval of national multiannual programmes shall apply mutatis mutandis to the preparation and approval of these revised multiannual programmes.

4.  The revised strategic guidelines shall be adopted in accordance with the regulatory procedure with scrutiny referred to in Article 52(3).

CHAPTER V

MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEMS

Article 23

Implementation

The Commission shall be responsible for implementing this Decision and shall adopt such implementing rules as may be necessary.

Article 24

General principles of management and control systems

The management and control systems of multiannual programmes set up by Member States shall provide for:

   a) the definition of the functions of the bodies concerned in management and control and the allocation of functions within each body;
   b) respect for the principle of separation of functions between and within such bodies;
   c) adequate resources for each body to carry out the functions which have been allocated to it throughout the period of implementation of actions cofinanced by the Fund;
   d) procedures for ensuring the correctness and regularity of the expenditure declared under the annual programmes;
   e) reliable accounting, monitoring and financial reporting systems in computerised form;
   f) a system of reporting and monitoring where the responsible body entrusts the performance of tasks to another body;
   g) manuals of procedures in relation to the functions to be performed;
   h) arrangements for auditing the functioning of the system;
   i) systems and procedures to ensure an adequate audit trail;
   j) procedures for reporting and monitoring irregularities and for the recovery of amounts unduly paid.

Article 25

Designation of authorities

1.  For the implementation of its multiannual programme and annual programmes the Member State shall designate the following:

   a) a responsible authority: a functional body of the Member State, national public authority or body designated by the Member State or a body which is governed by the private law of the Member State and has a public service mission, which shall be responsible for the management of the multiannual programme and annual programmes supported by the Fund and shall handle all communication with the Commission;
   b) a certifying authority: a national public authority or body, or individual acting as such a body or authority, designated by the Member State to certify declarations of expenditure before they are sent to the Commission;
   c) an audit authority: a national public authority or body, provided that it is functionally independent of the responsible authority and the certifying authority, designated by the Member State and responsible for verifying the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   d) where appropriate, a delegated authority.

2.  The Member State shall lay down rules governing its relations with the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 and their relations with the Commission.

3.  Subject to Article 24 (b), some or all of the authorities referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article may be located within the same body.

4.  The rules for implementing Articles 26 to 30 shall be adopted by the Commission in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 26

Responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall meet the following minimum conditions. It shall:

   a) have legal personality, except where it is a functional body of the Member State;
   b) have the infrastructure required for easy communication with a wide range of users and with the responsible bodies in the other Member States and the Commission;
   c) work in an administrative context allowing it to carry out its tasks correctly and avoiding any conflict of interest;
   d) be in a position to apply Community fund management rules;
   e) have financial and management capacities proportionate to the volume of Community funds which it will be called upon to manage;
   f) have at its disposal personnel with appropriate professional qualifications for administrative work in an international environment.

2.  The Member State shall provide the responsible authority with adequate funding so that it can continue to carry out its tasks properly throughout the period 2008 to 2013.

3.  The Commission may assist the Member States in the training of staff, in particular as regards the correct application of Chapters V to IX.

Article 27

Tasks of the responsible authority

1.  The responsible authority shall be responsible for managing and implementing the multiannual programme in accordance with the principle of sound financial management.

It shall in particular:

   a) consult partners in accordance with Article 12;
   b) submit to the Commission proposals for multiannual and annual programmes to which Articles 19 and 21 refer;
   c) organise and advertise calls for tenders and proposals if appropriate;
   d) organise the selection of projects for cofinancing under the Fund in accordance with the criteria set out in Article 15(5);
   e) receive payments made by the Commission, and make payments to the final beneficiaries;
   f) ensure consistency and complementarity between cofinancing under the Fund and from other relevant national and Community financial instruments;
   g) monitor the delivery of the co-financed products and services and check that the expenditure declared for actions has actually been incurred and complies with Community and national rules;
   h) ensure that there is a system for recording and storing in computerised form accounting records of each action under the annual programmes and that the data on implementation necessary for financial management, monitoring, control and evaluation are collected;
   i) ensure that final beneficiaries and other bodies involved in the implementation of actions co-financed by the Fund maintain either a separate accounting system or an adequate accounting code for all transactions relating to the action without prejudice to national accounting rules;
   j) ensure that the evaluations of the Fund referred to in Article 49 are carried out within the time limits laid down Article 50(2) and meet the quality standards agreed between the Commission and the Member State;
   k) set up procedures to ensure that all documents regarding expenditure and audits required to ensure an adequate audit trail are held in accordance with the requirements referred to in Article 43;
   l) ensure that the audit authority receives for the purposes of carrying out the audits defined in Article 30(1) all necessary information on the management procedures applied and the projects co-financed by the Fund;
   m) ensure that the certifying authority receives all necessary information on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure for the purpose of certification;
   n) draw up and submit to the Commission progress and final reports on the implementation of the annual programmes, declarations of expenditure certified by the certifying authority and requests for payment or, where appropriate, statements of reimbursement;
   o) carry out information and advisory activities and disseminate results of supported actions;
   p) cooperate with the Commission and the responsible authorities in the other Member States;
   q) verify the implementation by the final beneficiaries of the guidelines referred to in Article 33(6).

2.  The responsible authority's management activities for projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 16.

Article 28

Delegation of tasks by the responsible authority

1.  Where all or some of the responsible authority's tasks are delegated to a delegated authority, the responsible authority shall define the scope of the tasks delegated, and set out detailed procedures for the implementation of the delegated tasks, which shall comply with the conditions laid down in Article 26.

2.  These procedures shall include supplying the responsible authority with regular information on the effective performance of the delegated tasks and a description of the means employed.

Article 29

Certifying authority

1.  The certifying authority shall:

  a) certify that:
   i) the declaration of expenditure is accurate, results from reliable accounting systems and is based on verifiable supporting documents,
   ii) the expenditure declared complies with applicable Community and national rules and has been incurred in respect of actions selected in accordance with the criteria applicable to the programme and complying with Community and national rules;
   b) ensure for the purposes of certification that it has received adequate information from the responsible authority on the procedures and verifications carried out in relation to expenditure included in declarations of expenditure;
   c) take account for the purposes of certification of the results of all audits carried out by or under the responsibility of the audit authority;
   d) maintain accounting records in computerised form of expenditure declared to the Commission;
   e) verify the recovery of any Community financing found to have been unduly paid as a result of irregularities detected, together with interest where appropriate,
   f) keep an account of amounts recoverable and amounts recovered under the general budget of the European Union, where possible by deducting them from the next declaration of expenditure.

2.  The certifying authority's activities relating to projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 17, provided that the prerogatives of this authority as described in Article 25 are respected.

Article 30

Audit authority

1.  The audit authority shall:

   a) ensure that audits are carried out to verify the effective functioning of the management and control system;
   b) ensure that audits are carried out of actions on the basis of an appropriate sample to verify expenditure declared; the sample shall represent at least 10 % of the total eligible expenditure for each annual programme;
   c) present to the Commission within six months of the approval of the multiannual programme an audit strategy covering the bodies which will perform the audits referred to under points (a) and (b), ensuring that the main beneficiaries of cofinancing by the Fund are audited and that audits are spread evenly throughout the programming period.

2.  Where the designated audit authority under this Decision is also the designated audit authority under Decisions No …/2007/EC, No …/2007/EC and …/2007/EC(24), or where common systems apply to two or more of these Funds, a single combined audit strategy may be submitted under paragraph 1(c).

3.  For each annual programme, the audit authority shall draft a report which shall comprise:

   a) an annual audit report setting out the findings of the audits carried out in accordance with the audit strategy in respect of the annual programme and reporting any shortcomings found in the systems for the management and control of the programme;
   b) an opinion, on the basis of the controls and audits that have been carried out under the responsibility of the audit authority, as to whether the functioning of the management and control system provides reasonable assurance that declarations of expenditure presented to the Commission are correct and that the underlying transactions are legal and regular;
   c) a declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment or statement of reimbursement of the final balance and the legality and regularity of the expenditure concerned.

4.  The audit authority shall ensure that the audit work takes account of internationally accepted audit standards.

5.  The audit relating to projects implemented in the Member States may be financed under the technical assistance arrangements referred to in Article 17, provided that the prerogatives of the audit authority as described in Article 24 are respected.

CHAPTER VI

RESPONSIBIILTIES AND CONTROLS

Article 31

Responsibilities of the Member States

1.  Member States shall be responsible for ensuring sound financial management of multiannual and annual programmes and the legality and regularity of underlying transactions.

2.  Member States shall ensure that responsible authorities and any delegated authority, certifying authorities, audit authorities and any other bodies concerned receive adequate guidance on setting up the management and control systems referred to in Articles 24 to 30 to ensure that Community financing is used efficiently and correctly.

3.  Member States shall prevent, detect and correct irregularities. They shall notify these to the Commission, and keep the Commission informed of the progress in the administrative and legal proceedings.

When amounts unduly paid to a final beneficiary cannot be recovered, the Member State concerned shall be responsible for reimbursing the amounts lost to the general budget of the European Union when it is established that the loss has been incurred as a result of its fault or negligence.

4.  Member States shall be primarily responsible for the financial control of actions and shall ensure that management and control systems and audits are implemented in such a way as to guarantee that Community funds are used properly and effectively. They shall provide the Commission with a description of these systems.

5.  The detailed rules for implementing paragraphs 1 to 4 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 32

Management and control systems

1.  Before the Commission approves the multiannual programme , in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2), the Member States shall ensure that management and control systems have been set up in accordance with Articles 24 to 30. They shall be responsible for ensuring that the systems function effectively throughout the programming period.

2.  Member States shall submit to the Commission, together with their draft multiannual programme, a description of the organisation and procedures of the responsible authorities, delegated authorities and certifying authorities, and the internal audit systems operating in those authorities and bodies, the audit authority, and any other bodies carrying out audits under its responsibility.

3.  The Commission shall review the application of this provision in the context of the preparation of the report for the period 2008 to 2010 referred to in Article 50(3).

Article 33

Responsibilities of the Commission

1.  The Commission shall satisfy itself in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 31 that Member States have set up management and control systems that comply with Articles 24 to 30, and on the basis of the annual audit reports and its own audits that the systems function effectively during the programming period.

2.  Without prejudice to audits carried out by Member States, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot checks to verify the effective functioning of the management and control systems, which may include audits of actions included in the annual programmes, with a minimum of three working days' notice. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such audits.

3.  The Commission may require a Member State to carry out on-the-spot checks to verify the correct functioning of the systems or the correctness of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such checks.

4.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that appropriate information, publicity and follow-up are provided for actions supported by the Fund.

5.  The Commission shall, in cooperation with the Member States, ensure that actions are consistent with, and complementary to, other relevant Community policies, instruments and initiatives.

6.  The Commission shall lay down guidelines to ensure the visibility of the funding granted under this Decision.

Article 34

Cooperation with the audit authorities of the Member States

1.  The Commission shall cooperate with the audit authorities to coordinate their respective audit plans and methods and shall immediately exchange the results of audits carried out of management and control systems in order to make the best possible use of control resources and to avoid unjustified duplication of work.

The Commission shall provide its comments on the audit strategy presented under Article 30 within not more than three months of its receipt.

2.  In determining its own audit strategy, the Commission shall identify those annual programmes which it considers satisfactory on the basis of its existing knowledge of the management and control systems.

For those programmes, the Commission may conclude that it can rely principally on the audit evidence provided by the Member States and that it will carry out its own on-the-spot checks only if there is evidence to suggest shortcomings in the systems.

CHAPTER VII

FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

Article 35

Eligibility – declarations of expenditure

1.  All declarations of expenditure shall include the amount of expenditure incurred by final beneficiaries in implementing the actions and the corresponding contribution from public or private funds.

2.  Expenditure shall correspond to the payments effected by the final beneficiaries. It shall be justified by receipted invoices or accounting documents of equivalent evidential value.

3.  Expenditure may be considered eligible for support from the Fund only if it is actually paid no earlier than 1 January of the year referred to in the financing decision approving the annual programme referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 21(5). The co-financed actions must not have been completed before the starting date for eligibility.

4.  The rules governing eligibility of expenditure within the framework of implemented actions co-financed by the Fund in the Member States under Article 3 shall be adopted in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 52(2).

Article 36

Completeness of payment to final beneficiaries

Member States shall satisfy themselves that the responsible authority ensures that the final beneficiaries receive the total amount of the contribution from public funds as quickly as possible. No amounts shall be deducted or withheld, nor shall any further specific charge or other charge with equivalent effect be levied that would reduce these amounts for the final beneficiaries, provided that the final beneficiaries meet all the requirements regarding the eligibility of actions and expenses.

Article 37

Use of the euro

1.  Amounts set out in the draft multiannual and annual programmes of the Member States referred to in Articles 19 and 21 respectively, certified declarations of expenditure, requests for payments referred to in Article 27(1)(n) and expenditure mentioned in the progress report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 39(4) and the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 51 shall be denominated in euros.

2.  Commission financing decisions approving the annual programmes of Member States referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 21(5), Commission commitments and Commission payments shall be denominated and carried out in euros.

3.  Member States which have not adopted the euro as their currency on the date of the request for payment shall convert into euros the amounts of expenditure incurred in national currency. This amount shall be converted into euros using the monthly accounting exchange rate of the Commission for the month during which the expenditure was entered in the accounts of the responsible authority of the programme concerned. This rate shall be published electronically by the Commission each month.

4.  When the euro becomes the currency of a Member State, the conversion procedure set out in paragraph 3 shall continue to apply to all expenditure recorded in the accounts by the certifying authority before the date of entry into force of the fixed conversion rate between the national currency and the euro.

Article 38

Commitments

Community budgetary commitments shall be made annually on the basis of the Commission financing decision approving the annual programme referred to in the third subparagraph of Article 21(5).

Article 39

Payments –- Prefinancing

1.  Payments by the Commission of the contribution from the Fund shall be made in accordance with the budget commitments.

2.  Payments shall take the form of pre-financing and payment of the balance. They shall be made to the responsible authority designated by the Member State.

3.  A first pre-financing payment representing 50 % of the amount allocated in the financing decision approving the annual programme shall be made to the Member State within sixty days following the adoption of that decision.

4.  A second pre-financing payment shall be made no more than three months after the Commission has approved, within two months of the formal submission of a request for payment by a Member State, a progress report on the implementation of the annual programme and a certified declaration of expenditure drawn up in accordance with Article 29(1)(a), and Article 35 accounting for at least 60 % of the amount of the initial payment. The amount of the second pre-financing payment made by the Commission shall not exceed 50 % of the total amount allocated by the financing decision approving the annual programme and, in any event, where a Member State has committed nationally an amount less than the amount indicated in the financing decision approving the annual programme, the balance of the amount of Community funds actually committed by the Member State for selected projects under the annual programme minus the first pre-financing payment.

5.  Any interest generated by pre-financing payments shall be posted to the annual programme concerned, being regarded as a resource for the Member State as national public contribution and shall be declared to the Commission at the time of the declaration of expenditure relating to the final report on the implementation of the annual programme concerned.

6.  The amounts paid as pre-financing shall be cleared from the accounts when the annual programme is closed.

Article 40

Payment of balance

1.  The Commission shall pay the balance provided it has received the following documents no later than nine months after the eligibility deadline for expenditure laid down in the financing decision approving the annual programme:

   a) a certified declaration of expenditure, duly drawn up in accordance with Article 29(1)(a) and Article 35, and a request for payment of the balance or statement of reimbursement;
   b) the final report on the implementation of the annual programme as set out in Article 51;
   c) the annual audit report, opinion and declaration provided for in Article 30(3).

The payment of the balance shall be subject to the acceptance of the final report on the implementation of the annual programme and of the declaration assessing the validity of the request for payment of the balance.

2.  If the responsible authority fails to provide the documents required in paragraph 1 by the due date and in an acceptable format, the Commission shall decommit any part of the budget commitment of the corresponding annual programme that has not been used for payment of the pre-financing.

3.  The automatic cancellation procedure defined in paragraph 2 shall be suspended, for the amount of the projects concerned, where legal proceedings or administrative appeals having suspensive effects are under way at Member State level when the documents defined in paragraph 1 are submitted. The Member State shall, in the final report submitted, give detailed information on such projects, and send reports on progress made with regard to these projects every six months. Within three months of the conclusion of the legal proceedings or administrative appeal procedure, the Member State shall present the documents required in paragraph 1 for the projects concerned.

4.  The nine-month period referred to in paragraph 1 shall cease to run if the Commission adopts a decision suspending payments of the co-financing for the relevant annual programme in accordance with Article 42. The period shall start to run again from the date when the Commission decision referred to in Article 40(3) has been notified to the Member State.

5.  Without prejudice to Article 41, the Commission shall, within six months of receiving the documents referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, inform the Member State of the amount of expenditure recognised by the Commission as chargeable to the Fund, and of any financial corrections deriving from the difference between declared expenditure and the expenditure recognised. The Member State shall have three months to present its comments.

6.  Within three months of receiving the Member State's comments, the Commission shall decide on the amount of expenditure recognised as chargeable to the Fund, and recover the balance arising from the difference between final recognised expenditure and the sums already paid to that Member State.

7.  Subject to available funding, the Commission shall pay the balance within no more than sixty days from the date on which it accepts the documents referred to in paragraph 1. The balance of the budgetary commitment shall be decommitted within six months following the payment.

Article 41

Withholding of payments

1.  The payment shall be withheld by the authorising officer by delegation within the meaning of the Financial Regulation for a maximum period of six months if:

   a) in a report of a national or Community audit body there is evidence to suggest a significant deficiency in the functioning of the management and control systems;
   b) that officer has to carry out additional verifications following information coming to his notice which alerted him that expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected.

2.  The Member State and the responsible authority shall be informed immediately of the reasons for the payment being withheld. The payment shall be withheld until the necessary measures are taken by the Member State.

Article 42

Suspension of payments

1.  All or part of the pre-financing and payments of the balance may be suspended by the Commission when:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which affects the reliability of the procedure for certification of payments and for which corrective measures have not been taken; or
   b) expenditure in a certified declaration of expenditure is linked to a serious irregularity which has not been corrected; or
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Articles 31 and 32.

2.  The Commission may decide to suspend pre-financing and payments of the balance after having given the Member State the opportunity to present its observations within a period of three months.

3.  The Commission shall end suspension of pre-financing and payments of the balance when it considers that the Member State has taken the necessary measures to enable the suspension to be lifted.

4.  If the necessary measures are not taken by the Member State, the Commission may adopt a decision to cancel all or part of the Community contribution to the annual programme in accordance with Article 46.

Article 43

Conservation of documents

Without prejudice to the rules governing State aid under Article 87 of the Treaty, the responsible authority shall ensure that all the supporting documents regarding expenditure and audits on the programmes concerned are kept available for the Commission and the Court of Auditors for a period of five years following the closure of the programmes in accordance with Article 40(1).

This period shall be interrupted either in the case of legal proceedings or at the duly substantiated request of the Commission.

The documents shall be kept either in the form of the originals or in versions certified to be in conformity with the originals on commonly accepted data carriers.

CHAPTER VIII

FINANCIAL CORRECTIONS

Article 44

Financial corrections by Member States

1.  Member States shall, in the first instance, bear the responsibility for investigating irregularities, acting upon evidence of any major change affecting the nature or the conditions for the implementation or control of programmes and making the required financial corrections.

2.  Member States shall make the financial corrections required in connection with the individual or systemic irregularities detected in actions or annual programmes.

Corrections made by Member States shall consist in cancelling, and if applicable, recovering all or part of the Community contribution. Where the amount is not repaid in the time allowed by the relevant Member State, default interest shall be due at the rate provided for in Article 47(2). Member States shall take into account the nature and gravity of the irregularities and the financial loss to the Fund.

3.  In the event of systemic irregularities the relevant Member State shall extend its enquiries to cover all operations liable to be affected.

4.  Member States shall include in the final report on the implementation of the annual programme referred to in Article 51 a list of cancellation procedures initiated for the annual programme concerned.

Article 45

Audit of accounts and financial corrections by the Commission

1.  Without prejudice to the powers of the Court of Auditors or the checks carried out by the Member States in accordance with national laws, regulations and administrative provisions, Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may carry out on-the-spot checks, including sample checks, on the actions financed by the Fund and on management and control systems with a minimum of three working days' notice. The Commission shall give notice to the Member State concerned with a view to obtaining all the assistance necessary. Officials or authorised representatives of the Member State concerned may take part in such checks.

The Commission may require the Member State concerned to carry out an on-the-spot check to verify the accuracy of one or more transactions. Commission officials or authorised Commission representatives may take part in such checks.

2.  If, after completing the necessary verifications, the Commission concludes that a Member State is not complying with its obligations under Article 31, it shall suspend the pre-financing or payment of the balance in accordance with Article 42.

Article 46

Criteria for the corrections

1.  The Commission may make financial corrections by cancelling all or part of the Community contribution to an annual programme where, after carrying out the necessary examination, it concludes that:

   a) there is a serious deficiency in the management and control system of the programme which has put at risk the Community contribution already paid to the programme;
   b) expenditure contained in a certified declaration of expenditure is irregular and has not been corrected by the Member State prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph;
   c) a Member State has not complied with its obligations under Article 31 prior to the opening of the correction procedure under this paragraph.

The Commission shall decide after having taken into account any comments made by the Member State.

2.  The Commission shall base its financial corrections on individual cases of irregularity identified, taking account of the systemic nature of the irregularity to determine whether a flat-rate or extrapolated correction should be applied. Where the irregularity relates to a declaration of expenditure for which a reasonable assurance had previously been given by the audit authority in accordance with Article 30(3)(b), there will be a presumption of a systemic problem giving rise to the application of a flat-rate or extrapolated correction, unless the Member State can provide proof within three months to rebut this presumption.

3.  The Commission shall, when deciding the amount of a correction, take account of the importance of the irregularity and the extent and financial implications of the deficiencies found in the annual programme concerned.

4.  Where the Commission bases its position on the facts established by auditors other than those of its own services, it shall draw its own conclusions regarding the financial consequences, after examining the measures taken by the Member State concerned under Article 32, the reports of notified irregularities and any replies from the Member State.

Article 47

Repayment

1.  Any repayment due to be made to the general budget of the European Union shall be effected before the due date indicated in the order for recovery drawn up in accordance with Article 72 of the Financial Regulation. This due date shall be the last day of the second month following the issuing of the orde