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Summaries of EU Legislation

A collection of summaries of EU legislation presenting the main aspects of European Union legislation. The summaries of European legislation are divided into 32 subject areas corresponding to the activities of the European Union.

Agriculture | Audiovisual and Media | Budget | Competition | Consumers | Customs | Culture | Development | Economic and Monetary Affairs | Education | Employment | Energy | Enlargement | Enterprise | Environment | External Trade | External Relations | Fight Against Fraud | Food Safety | Foreign and Security Policy | Human Rights | Humanitarian Aid | Information Society | Institutional Affairs | Internal Market | Justice, Freedom and Security | Maritime Affairs and Fisheries | Public Health | Regional Policy | Research | Taxation | Transport



Common system of VAT (the 'VAT Directive')
This Directive codifies the provisions implementing the common system of VAT, which applies to the production and distribution of goods and services bought and sold for consumption within the European Community.

The management of intellectual property by public research organisations
In order to promote the results of scientific research, the European Commission has adopted a Recommendation to improve intellectual property management and knowledge transfer by public research organisations (PROs). The Commission will thus contribute to the building of a knowledge society and establish a new milestone in the creation of the ‘fifth freedom’: the free circulation of knowledge.

Recognition and execution of confiscation orders in the EU
The EU is facilitating the direct execution of confiscation orders for the proceeds of crime by establishing simplified procedures for recognition among Member States and rules for dividing confiscated property between the Member State issuing the confiscation order and the one executing it.

Second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) - 1st pillar regulation
The SIS II Regulation lays down the technical aspects and the operation of the second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II), the conditions for issuing alerts on refusal of entry or stay for non-EU nationals, the processing of data relating to the alerts, and conditions of data access and protection. It constitutes the legislative basis for governing SIS II with respect to matters falling under Title IV of the EC Treaty (first pillar).

Schengen: legal instruments governing migration from SIS1+ to SIS II
The legal instruments governing migration from SIS 1+ to SIS II lay down the tasks and responsibilities of the European Commission and the Member States for preparing this migration, including further development and testing of SIS II.

Decision establishing Eurojust
In order to improve cooperation in the fight against crime, the Council set up Eurojust. This body of the EU is competent to act in investigations and prosecutions relating to serious crime concerning at least two Member States.

Access of vehicle registration services to SIS II
The second generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) will be a large-scale information system containing alerts on persons and objects in the EU.

European Police Office - Europol
The decision establishes the European Police Office (Europol) as a EU agency with responsibility for law-enforcement cooperation between Member States.

EU VAT anti-fraud strategy
In order to improve the VAT management system and to protect EU Member States against VAT fraud, the European Commission proposes a review, with particular regard to methods of control, registration, information and collection of revenue in the context of an increase in cross-border transactions.

Copyright and related rights in the EU: term of protection
This Directive aims to harmonise the term of protection for copyright and related rights in the EU. It sets the term of protection for copyright at 70 years and for related rights at 50 years.

EU Strategy for biofuels
The EU sets out seven strategic policy areas for the development of the production and use of biofuels by the Member States and developing countries.

Markets for agricultural products: Bananas
The European Union's common organisation of the market in bananas allows the EU market to receive satisfactory supplies of quality bananas at fair prices for producers and consumers and ensure a balance between the various sources of supply.

Legal framework for mobile TV
This communication presents examples of EU Member States’ regulatory best practice for mobile TV networks and services. It covers the authorisation models for such networks and services, as well as particular issues related to the different levels of the regulatory regime.

General rules: product safety
The general safety of products placed on the market is guaranteed by EU legislation, which ensures a consistent, high level of protection for the health and safety of consumers.

Unfair Commercial Practices
Unfair commercial practices by businesses in their relations with consumers will be prohibited throughout the EU. Unfair commercial practices comprise misleading and aggressive practices, and practices which use coercion as a means of selling.

Sixth Environment Action Programme
The EU defines the priorities and objectives of European environment policy up to 2010 and beyond and describes the measures to be taken to help implement its sustainable development strategy.

European System of national and regional accounts in the Community
The purpose of this Regulation is to make available comparable, up-to-date and reliable information on the structure and developments in the economic situation of the Member States of the EU and their regions.

Partnership with the Western Balkans
Within the framework of the stabilisation and association process with the countries of the Western Balkans, the European Union has set up partnerships with Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, including Kosovo, as defined by United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244 of 10 June 1999.

The Bologna process: making higher education systems in Europe converge
The Bologna process aims inter alia to make divergent higher education systems across the European Union converge towards a more transparent system by 2010, based on three cycles: Degree/Bachelor - Master - Doctorate.

Export of cultural goods
In order to ensure that EU exports of cultural goods are subject to uniform checks, this Regulation makes the presentation of an export licence compulsory for their export outside the customs territory of the European Community.

A comprehensive EU anti-corruption policy
The aim of the anti-corruption policy of the European Union is to reduce all forms of corruption, at every level, in all EU countries and institutions and even outside the EU.

Promotion of compliance with international humanitarian law: Guidelines
The European Union sets out guidelines with a view to promoting compliance with international humanitarian law in its relations with third countries.

Guidelines on national regional aid for 2007-2013
The purpose of EU national regional aid is to support investment and job creation and encourage firms to set up new establishments in Europe's most disadvantaged regions.

Right of EU citizens and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States
The European Union has adopted a Directive on the right of citizens of the Union to move and reside freely within the Member States, which brings together the piecemeal measures found in the complex body of legislation that has governed this matter to date.

EU Fundamental rights and citizenship (2007-2013)
This decision establishes the "Fundamental rights and citizenship" programme covering the period from 1 January 2007 to 31 December 2013. The programme forms part of the general programme "Fundamental rights and justice" and is intended to promote the development of a European society based on respect for fundamental rights, to strengthen civil society and encourage an open and transparent dialogue, as well as to fight racism and xenophobia and improve mutual understanding between the judicial and the administrative authorities and the legal professions.