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					                                                                   11598/03 (Presse 215)
                                                                   (OR. fr)




                                     2524th Council meeting

                        - AGRICULTURE AND FISHERIES -

                                      Brussels, 22 July 2003




                                  President :         Mr Giovanni ALEMANNO
                                                      Minister for Agricultural and Forestry Policy of
                                                      the Italian Republic




                                         Internet: http://ue.eu.int/
                                    E-mail: press.office@consilium.eu.int


                    For further information call 32 2 285 95 89 – 32 2 285 63 19
11598/03 (Presse 215)                                                                                    1
                                                                                                   EN
                                                                                                                                                   22.VII.2003

                                                                   CONTENTS 1



PARTICIPANTS ................................................................................................................................ 4


ITEMS DEBATED

PRESIDENCY WORK PROGRAMME ............................................................................................. 6
FOOD HYGIENE ................................................................................................................................ 7
GUIDELINES ON COEXISTENCE OF CONVENTIONAL AND ORGANIC FARMING
AND GMO CROPS ............................................................................................................................. 8
"WESTERN WATERS" ...................................................................................................................... 9
MEASURES FOR THE RECOVERY OF COD AND NORTHERN HAKE STOCKS .................. 10
WTO NEGOTIATIONS ON AGRICULTURE ................................................................................ 11
EMPLOYMENT IN RURAL AREAS – Council conclusions ......................................................... 12
OTHER BUSINESS .......................................................................................................................... 15
–       BSE ........................................................................................................................................... 15
–       Conference on rural development............................................................................................. 15
–       Difficulties as a result of drought ............................................................................................. 16


ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE

FOOD SAFETY
–       Hormones* - Public deliberation .............................................................................................................................. I

–       Additives for use in animal nutrition* – Public deliberation ..................................................................................II

–       Genetically modified organisms – Public deliberation ...........................................................................................II

FISHERIES
–       Common fisheries policy – Council conclusions .................................................................................................. III



1
    ▪   Where declarations, conclusions or resolutions have been formally adopted by the Council, this is
        indicated in the heading for the item concerned and the text is placed between quotation marks.
    ▪   The documents whose references are given in the text are available on the Council's Internet site
        http://ue.eu.int.
    ▪   Acts adopted with statements for the Council minutes which may be released to the public are indicated by
        an asterisk; these statements are available on the above mentioned Council Internet site or may be
        obtained from the Press Office.



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                                                                                                                                                          22.VII.2003

ENVIRONMENT
–    Protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental purposes* ........................................................................ V

–    Traceability and Labelling of GMOs* – Public deliberation ................................................................................ VI

–    Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading* - Public deliberation ................................................................................. VII

–    Seveso II ............................................................................................................................................................. VIII

SOCIAL POLICY
–    Guidelines for the Employment Policies of the Member States ......................................................................... VIII

–    Implementation of Member States' Employment Policies ..................................................................................... IX

–    Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work* ........................................................... X

–    European Co-operative Society* ............................................................................................................................ X

HEALTH
–    Human Tissues and Cells* – Public deliberation.................................................................................................. XI

JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS
–    Freezing of property or evidence* ........................................................................................................................ XII

–    Combating corruption in the private sector* ...................................................................................................... XIII

–    Fight against corruption involving officials ....................................................................................................... XIII

CUSTOMS UNION
–    Customs cooperation* ........................................................................................................................................ XIV

INTERNAL MARKET
–    Measuring instruments – Public deliberation..................................................................................................... XIV

TRANSPORT
–    Port services .........................................................................................................................................................XV

–    Single hull oil tankers – Public deliberation ........................................................................................................XV

BUDGET
–    Draft budget for 2004 ...........................................................................................................................................XV




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                                                                                                22.VII.2003

PARTICIPANTS
The Governments of the Member States and the European Commission were represented as
follows:
Belgium :
                                              Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses, the Liberal
Ms Sabine LARUELLE                            Professions and the Self-Employed and Agriculture
                                              Flemish Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Development
Mr Ludo SANNEN                                Cooperation
Mr José HAPPART                               Minister for Agriculture and Rural Affairs (Walloon Region)

Denmark :
Ms Mariann FISCHER BOEL                       Minister for Food, Agriculture and Fisheries

Germany :
Ms Renate KÜNAST                              Federal Minister for Consumer Protection, Food and Agriculture

Greece :
Mr Georgios DRYS                              Minister for Agriculture

Spain :
Mr Miguel ARIAS CAÑETE                        Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

France :
Mr Hervé GAYMARD                              Minister for Agriculture, Food, Fisheries and Rural Affairs

Ireland :
Mr Joe WALSH                                  Minister for Agriculture
Mr Dermot AHERN                               Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources

Italy :
Mr Giovanni ALEMANNO                          Minister for Agricultural and Forestry Policy
Mr Cesare CURSI                               State Secretary for Health

Luxembourg :
Mr Fernand BODEN                              Minister for Agriculture, Viticulture and Rural Development

Netherlands :
Mr Henne J.J. SCHUWER                         Deputy Permanent Representative

Austria :
Mr Joseph PRÖLL                               Federal Minister for Agriculture, Forestry, the Environment and
                                              Water Management

Portugal :
Mr Armando SEVINATE PINTO                     Minister for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries
Mr Luís FRAZÃO GOMES                          State Secretary for Fisheries, attached to the Minister for
                                              Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries

Finland :
Mr Juha KORKEAOJA                             Minister for Agriculture and Forestry

Sweden :
Ms Ann-Christin NYKVIST                       Minister for Agriculture, Food and Fisheries

United Kingdom :
Ms Margaret BECKETT                           Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Mr Ben BRADSHAW                               Parliamentary Secretary, Privy Council Office

                                         *   *    *
Commission :
Mr Franz FISCHLER                             Member
Mr David BYRNE                                Member




11598/03 (Presse 215)                                                                                          4
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                                                                                               22.VII.2003

The Governments of the Acceding States were represented as follows:


Czech Republic :
Mr Miroslav TOMAN                             Deputy Minister for Agriculture
Mr Karel MACH                                 Deputy Minister for Agriculture

Estonia :
Mr Ants NOOT                                  Secretary-General, Ministry of Agriculture

Cyprus :
Mr Timmy EFTHYMIOU                            Minister for Agriculture

Latvia :
Mr Martins ROZE                               Minister for Agriculture

Lithuania :
Ms Dalia MINIATAITÉ                           Deputy Minister for Agriculture

Hungary :
Mr Tibor SZANYI                               State Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture

Malta:
Mr Pjilip VON BROCKDORFF                      Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Rural Affairs and the
                                              Environment

Poland :
Mr Wojciech OLEJNICZAK                        Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development


Slovakia :
Mr Marian RADOSOVSKY                          State Secretary, Ministry for Agriculture

Slovenia :
Mr Franc BUT                                  Minister for Agriculture




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                                                                                           22.VII.2003

ITEMS DEBATED


PRESIDENCY WORK PROGRAMME


The President of the Council, Minister Giovanni ALEMANNO, presented to the Council the Italian
Presidency's work programme (11668/03) 2.


He stressed on this occasion that it would fall to the Italian Presidency to finalise the CAP reform
following the political agreement reached on 26 June, inter alia by finalising the regulatory texts.
The Presidency also pointed out that the process of reform would continue in the olive oil, tobacco,
cotton and sugar sectors on the basis of in-depth studies of the impact of the planned measures on
the markets concerned.


With regard to external relations, the President of the Council recalled the Presidency's desire to
intensify cooperation between the European Union and developing countries, in particular through
the informal meeting of Agriculture Ministers (Taormina, 20-23.9.2003) on this subject.


Finally, the Presidency reminded those present that a Euro-Mediterranean Conference on fisheries
and agriculture was to be held (Venice, 25-27.11.2003), and would involve the non-member
countries of the Mediterranean basin.




2
      See: http//www.euitaly2003.it/EN/Temi/agricolturaPesca/ and
      http://www.euitaly2003.it/EN/Temi/agricolturaPesca/PrioritaPresidenza.htm

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                                                                                           22.VII.2003



FOOD HYGIENE


The Council reached political agreement on two legislative proposals in the "food hygiene"
package:


–     on the one hand, a proposal for a Regulation laying down specific rules for the organisation of
      official controls on products of animal origin intended for human consumption,
      and
–     on the other hand, a Directive repealing certain Directives concerning food hygiene and health
      conditions for the production and placing on the market of certain products of animal origin
      intended for human consumption, and amending Directives 89/662/EEC and 92/118/EEC and
      Decision 95/408/EC (11502/03 + ADD 1 + ADD 2 + ADD 3).


The Council agreed, however, not to adopt a common position on all the details of the package until
after the texts had been technically finalised at the beginning of September, so as to ensure that the
various components of the package were consistent, and then to forward them promptly to the
European Parliament.




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                                                                                         22.VII.2003

GUIDELINES ON COEXISTENCE OF CONVENTIONAL AND ORGANIC FARMING
AND GMO CROPS


The Council took note of the Commission's oral briefing regarding the guidelines it should adopt by
the end of July on the issue of coexistence of conventional and organic farming and GMO crops and
agreed to have an in-depth discussion on this issue at its next meeting.


A fair number of delegations did not wish to comment until they were in possession of the
Commission document.


One delegation said it would like to have some time for examination, following which, on the basis
of experiments conducted on targeted crops (maize, colza, beet), the desirability of whether or not
to have recourse to a Community legislative framework to determine the rules on coexistence would
be considered by the Council.


Some delegations took the floor to stress the need to avoid any distortion of competition within the
internal market, between Member States. These delegations were in favour of a Community
legislative framework.




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"WESTERN WATERS"


The Council took note of an interim report on the proposal for a Regulation on the management of
the fishing effort in Western waters. The Council agreed to reach an agreement on this proposal if
possible at its next meeting in September.


The Presidency pointed out that, since the beginning of July, bilateral talks had been held between
the Presidency, the Commission, and the delegations most concerned, in order to identify common
ground so that as early as September the Presidency could table a draft Presidency compromise
drawn up in agreement with the Commission.




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                                                                                          22.VII.2003

MEASURES FOR THE RECOVERY OF COD AND NORTHERN HAKE STOCKS


On the basis of a questionnaire from the Presidency, the Council held an exchange of views on the
two proposals relating to measures for the recovery of cod and Northern hake stocks. The Council
took note of the delegations' comments and instructed the Permanent Representatives Committee to
continue examining these proposals with a view to adopting them as soon as possible.


These two proposals replace an initial proposal made by the Commission in December 2001, the
objective of which was to bring about the recovery of stocks of both species which were threatened
to a large extent by over-fishing, according to scientific advice from the International Council for
the Exploration of the Sea (ICES). Interim measures had subsequently been taken with regard to
certain cod stocks during the reform of the CFP, in Annex XVII to Regulation (EC) No 2341/2002
on TACs and quotas.


The aim of the recovery plans is to allow an annual renewal of 10% of the quantity of mature hake
in the sea and of 30% in the case of cod. They cover the fishing areas of Kattegat, the North Sea
including Skagerrak and the Eastern Channel, the West of Scotland and the Irish Sea. The areas
covered by this proposal in the case of hake are Kattegat, the North Sea including Skagerrak, the
West of Scotland, the Channel, the Irish Sea, the Celtic Sea, West of Ireland and the Bay of Biscay.
Furthermore, the two proposals contain a clause aiming to limit fishing effort based on kW-days
and the equivalent number of days spent absent from port. Finally, provision is also made for
monitoring, inspection and surveillance measures.




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                                                                                         22.VII.2003

WTO NEGOTIATIONS ON AGRICULTURE


The Council took note of progress in the negotiations on agriculture within the World Trade
Organisation (WTO), in the light of the recent reform of the CAP, as set out by Commissioner
Fischler. In addition, the Council agreed that is was desirable for:


–     the Community to intensify the information campaigns vis-à-vis trading partners with regard
      to reform of the CAP, including through joint presentations by the Presidency and the
      Commission,


–     the President of the Council and Commissioner Fischler, initially and for that purpose, to
      forward a letter to the Director-General of the WTO containing detailed information on
      reform of the CAP,


–     an informal contact network to be set up in Cancún, on the occasion of the fifth WTO
      Ministerial Conference (10-14 September 2003), with a view to providing for ongoing
      coordination on agricultural issues between the Member States and the Commission, and to
      enabling information to be circulated, without prejudice to the coordinating functions of the
      Article 133 Committee and the GAERC.




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                                                                                         22.VII.2003

EMPLOYMENT IN RURAL AREAS – Council conclusions


The Council adopted the following conclusions (11486/03) on employment in rural areas under the
European Employment Strategy:

                                  "Employment in rural areas
                           under the European Employment Strategy

Whereas:

At its meeting in Lisbon in 2000, under the European employment strategy (EES) launched at its
meeting in Luxembourg in 1997, the European Council set the goal of full employment and, as a
medium-term target, an employment rate of 70% by 2010, as pointed out in the working paper
submitted by the Greek Presidency on 7 May 2003.

Environmental protection, animal welfare, agricultural product quality improvement, countryside
conservation and protection of the cultural heritage, of biodiversity and of rural tradition and
culture, aspects seen by Europe's citizens as being looked after by the farming population, require
custodianship of the land, which can only be ensured by maintaining a suitable level of
employment.

Rural life has its own particular special features, with considerable differences being observable
across the Union in the organisation and structure of the population and of rural society. Such
differences are particularly marked in the structure of rural employment, which varies significantly
from one Member State to another as to numbers of people employed, employment intensity,
workers' average age and relative percentages of employed and self-employed workers.
Categorisation of rural areas could be a useful tool in establishing a comparable basis for the
collection of statistics and framing specific rural policies.

The ageing of the farming population is observable, to varying degrees, throughout the Union and
poses one of the main problems faced by rural areas.

Maintaining employment in rural areas depends on economic activity and, in large part, both on
having young people set up there and on creating conditions conducive to the presence of women
on the land and, hence, on measures to support those two groups of workers.




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The impending enlargement of the European Union poses a particular challenge for farming, in
view of the increase in agricultural area and in numbers working in agriculture as well as the
considerable disparity in earnings and productivity, partly for historical reasons, between farmers in
the new and in the present Member States.

The partial switch from product to producer support under the revised common agricultural policy
makes it necessary to rethink, in a fresh light, policy to support activities connected with the
maintenance and protection of rural areas; there is a need here to support agricultural employment
but also to step up measures designed to open up new employment opportunities alongside farming.

Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/99 on support for rural development includes provision for
support for, on the one hand, investment in agricultural holdings, the installation of young farmers
and vocational training, and on the other, diversification of agricultural and related activities, in
order to develop multiple activities or alternative sources of income, as well as incentives for tourist
and craft businesses.

Among operations financed by the Structural Funds, the adoption of the Leader initiative saw the
introduction of a new approach to rural development policy, allowing for real participation by local
communities in the planning and promotion of an integrated development strategy,

the Council:

requests the Commission to make allowance for the primary sector's special features in pursuing the
employment objectives set by the European Council at its meeting in Lisbon in 2000, as reaffirmed
at its meetings in Stockholm in 2001 and Barcelona in 2002;

intends to encourage exchange of information on individual experience of planning and promoting
integrated development strategies;

calls on the Commission to carry out an in-depth assessment, inter alia for the purposes of
submitting a report, of employment prospects in rural areas further to reform of the common
agricultural policy and the Union's enlargement process, with particular reference to youth
employment and the employment of women, and to initiate discussion on the creation of
appropriate statistical tools for rural areas;

highlights the need to implement measures providing support for young farmers setting up in rural
areas, in particular by improving infrastructure there and by introducing and disseminating new
technology, to help them start up and facilitate generation change;




11598/03 (Presse 215)                                                                                13
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                                                                                         22.VII.2003


calls on the Commission to follow up the Agriculture Council conclusions of 27 May 2002 on
incorporating the gender perspective, in order to consolidate the economic and social cohesion
processes under way, by means of increasing involvement of women in rural development
activities;

calls on the Commission to examine alternatives to farming and flexible forms of employment in
rural areas, in order to stem the rural exodus and strengthen the economic and social fabric of such
areas, as part of a multifunctional approach already accepted by Member States and by the
Commission itself;

calls on the Commission to consider more flexible management methods and financial
arrangements for the LEADER instrument, which has an important part to play in the definition of
local development and job-creation strategies in rural areas."




11598/03 (Presse 215)                                                                              14
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                                                                                           22.VII.2003


OTHER BUSINESS


–     BSE


The Council took note of the written information from the Commission (11635/03) concerning the
latest developments with regard to bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and other
transmissible spongiform encephalopathies (TSEs). The tests carried out (4,1 million BSE tests in
the first half of 2003 and 591 cases detected) show that BSE has declined appreciably in the
Member States. As regards the ban on feed based on animal products, a recent Regulation
(No 1234/03) ends the transitional nature of this measure. Two new TSE tests have been approved
for monitoring the disease. Finally, in the United Kingdom, the Food Standards Agency Board has
recommended replacing the rule excluding from the food chain animals older than 30 months by
BSE testing of cattle, which could then be readmitted to the food chain on that condition and in two
successive stages.


–     Conference on rural development


The Council took note of the information provided by Commissioner Fischler on the Conference on
the future of the development of rural areas in the Union of 25, to be organised by the Commission
in Salzburg on 13 and 14 November 2003.


The objective of the Conference on the future of the rural development, organised as a follow-up to
the Cork Conference (Ireland 1996), is to continue and intensify the debate on European policy
trends in favour of the rural environment in the Union of 25. It is also an opportunity to share
experience of policies applied in this field and to study the major trends for the next generation of
programmes in the period 2007-2013.


The Austrian and German delegations fully endorsed the Commission's initiative.




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                                                                                            22.VII.2003

–     Difficulties as a result of drought


The Council took note of the information supplied by the French, German, Austrian and Italian
delegations on the difficulties for agriculture linked to drought and their respective requests to the
Commission for assistance, together with Commissioner Fischler's replies.


The Hungarian, Latvian, Polish and Slovak delegations also expressed their concerns on this matter,
stressing the adverse effects of drought on agriculture in their countries over the past few years.




11598/03 (Presse 215)                                                                                    16
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                                                                                        22.VII.2003

ITEMS APPROVED WITHOUT DEBATE


FOOD SAFETY

Hormones* - Public deliberation
(10812/03 + 11592/03 + ADD 1 + 14502/03)

The Council approved the European Parliament's amendments at second reading concerning the
proposal for a Directive amending Council Directive 96/22/EC concerning the prohibition on the
use in stockfarming of certain substances having a hormonal or thyrostatic action and of
beta-antagonists. In accordance with the co-decision procedure, the act was thus deemed adopted at
second reading, with the United Kingdom delegation abstaining and the Spanish and Portuguese
delegations voting against.

The Council adopted a common position on this proposal on 20 February 2003, before forwarding it
to the European Parliament for second reading. Three amendments to the common position were
adopted by the Parliament. Those amendments were accepted by the Permanent Representatives
Committee on 16 July 2003.

In 1999, the Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health (SCVMPH)
decided that oestradiol 17 β, used to stimulate growth, should be considered as wholly carcinogenic.
The original proposal aimed once and for all to prohibit oestradiol 17 β and its derivatives in farm
animals, and provisionally to prohibit five other hormones, and also to make it possible for the
Standing Veterinary Committee to amend the Annexes. The proposal would allow the Community
better to safeguard consumer health and to comply with the obligations imposed by the World
Trade Organisation. The Commission presented an amended proposal on 9 March 2001. The
compromise worked out with the Parliament imposes the ban but allows the hormone to be used for
therapeutic purposes or with a view to a zootechnical treatment, as long as it is not likely to
constitute a risk to public health. The adopted amendments make it possible for the use of this
hormone on breeding animals gradually to disappear over a period of three years from the entry into
force of the Directive.




11598/03 (Presse 215)                                                                              I
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                                                                                           22.VII.2003


Additives for use in animal nutrition* – Public deliberation
(10740/03 + 11533/03 + ADD 1 + 15776/03)

The Council approved the European Parliament's amendments at second reading concerning the
proposal for a Regulation on additives for use in animal nutrition. In accordance with the
codecision procedure, the act was thus deemed adopted by a qualified majority, with the Austrian
delegation voting against. Statements by the German, Austrian, Danish and Swedish delegations
are attached to the proposal for a Regulation.

In 1999 the Scientific Steering Committee declared that "regarding the use of antimicrobials as
growth promoting agents, the use of agents from classes which are or may be used in human or
veterinary medicine (i.e. where there is a risk of selecting for cross-resistance to drugs used to treat
bacterial infections) should be phased out as soon as possible and ultimately abolished". The
Commission's original proposal aimed to eliminate from the Community register established by the
Regulation antibiotics used as growth promoting agents with effect from 1 January 2006, used as
feed additives, including some substances with coccidiostatic and histomonostatic effects. It
provides for a more transparent authorisation procedure concerning additives, under the aegis of the
European Food Safety Authority.

The Council adopted a common position on this proposal on 17 March 2003, before forwarding it to
the European Parliament for a second reading. Nine amendments to the common position were
adopted by the Parliament. Those amendments were accepted by the Permanent Representatives
Committee on 11 June 2003. The compromise achieved with Parliament includes the phasing out
of coccidiostats and histomonostats by 31 December 2012, and requires the Commission to present
the Parliament and Council with a report by 1 January 2008 on coccidiostats accompanied where
appropriate by legislative proposals.

Genetically modified organisms – Public deliberation
(10811/03 + 11284/03)

The Council approved the European Parliament's amendments at second reading concerning the
proposal for a Regulation on genetically modified food and feed. In accordance with the codecision
procedure the act was thus deemed adopted by a qualified majority, with the United Kingdom,
Luxembourg, Austrian and Danish delegations voting against.

The aim of the Commission's proposal was to provide the necessary basis for ensuring a high level
of protection of human life and health, animal health, environment and consumers' interests in
relation to genetically modified food and feed, whilst ensuring the effective functioning of the
internal market.




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                                                                                        22.VII.2003

The proposal defines centralised Community procedures for the assessment, authorisation and
supervision of genetically modified food and feed, including requirements as regards the labelling
of such products.

The Council adopted a common position on this proposal on 17 March 2003, before forwarding it to
the European Parliament for a second reading. The Parliament adopted nine amendments to the
common position. Those amendments were accepted by the Permanent Representatives Committee
on 11 July 2003. The compromise achieved with the Parliament requires the Member States to take
appropriate measures to avoid the unintended presence of GMOs in products, and that on the basis
of experience at national level, the Commission should set guidelines regarding the co-existence of
genetically modified, convention and organic seeds.


FISHERIES

Common fisheries policy – Council conclusions

The Council adopted without debate conclusions relating to the Commission communication
"Towards uniform and effective implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy":

"The Council

1.   Welcomes the Commission Communication to the Council and the European Parliament
     towards uniform and effective implementation of the Common Fisheries Policy.

2.   Recalls that the Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, as adopted by the Council in
     December 2002, strengthens the legal framework for a Community control and enforcement
     system whereby Member States remain responsible for its compliance.

3.   Requests the Commission to proceed urgently with the consolidation of the control and
     enforcement rules in a single Regulation to avoid misinterpretation and misapplication of
     these rules.

4.   Emphasises the importance of achieving an effective and uniform implementation of the
     Common Fisheries Policy as well as an enhanced uniformity of inspection and enforcement
     throughout the Community.




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                                                                                           22.VII.2003


5.   Welcomes the Commission Action Plan for co-operation in enforcement, to be implemented
     in a manner that respects the sovereignty of Member States, which will help to enhance a
     European culture of control and enforcement by facilitating the integration of national control
     strategies into a Community control strategy and in the light of these objectives, urges the
     Commission and the Member States to discuss and agree upon the relevant elements of the
     Action Plan as soon as possible.

6.   Notes the intention of the Commission to carry out a feasibility study with a view to
     presenting a proposal to set up a Joint Inspection Structure (JIS) on the basis, inter alia, of a
     Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA) at the Community level with a view to
     ensuring the co-ordinated deployment of national means of inspection and surveillance.
     Furthermore, it requests the Commission to also explore alternative models for better
     Community co-operation and transparency in the area of control and enforcement.

7.   In this context, agrees that a prerequisite for setting up the JIS and the CFCA is to examine all
     relevant questions related to national and Community inspection and surveillance activities,
     including resource implications, information exchange and legal aspects.

8.   Welcomes the intention of the Commission, in close co-ordination with the Member States, to
     undertake as soon as possible the feasibility study with a view to exploring the necessity and
     feasibility of setting up a possible organisational structure for Community inspection and
     surveillance. This feasibility study should be as broad as possible encompassing inter alia the
     following questions:

          the need for a Joint Inspection Structure, in particular for a Common Fisheries Control
           Agency;
          scope and structure;
          legal implications: jurisdiction and law applicable;
          delimitation of competence, obligations, responsibilities and tasks;
          co-operation with third countries;
          cost-effectiveness study compared with better use of national means;
          measures to improve transparency of the inspection process and information exchange;
          practical implications for Community and national budgets: material, financial and
           human resources.

9.   Invites the Commission, after examining the reports on the feasibility study and the
     Commission's exploration of alternative models, to discuss with Member States which further
     steps to take and to present, as appropriate, relevant proposals taking into account these
     discussions, in particular concerning the JIS and CFCA."




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ENVIRONMENT

Protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental purposes*
(11208/03 + 11260/03 ADD 1)

The Council adopted a Decision concerning the conclusion of the Protocol of Amendment to the
European Convention for the protection of vertebrate animals used for experimental and other
scientific purposes. This Decision authorises the President of the Council to designate the person or
persons empowered to sign the Protocol of Amendment to the Convention on behalf of the
Community (i.e. the Commission).

This Protocol aims to set out a simplified procedure to amend the technical Appendices to the
Convention, to enable it to reflect the latest scientific and technical developments and results in the
research within the fields covered.

The Convention, which was opened for signature at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg on
18 March 1986, entered into force in the territory of the Community on 1 November 1998. It
includes general provisions designed to safeguard animals intended to be used for experimental and
scientific purposes from suffering pain and distress. The Convention also has the long-term
objective of replacing such use in cases where it is possible to do so, in particular by seeking
alternative measures and encouraging the use of these alternative measures.

For more detailed information on this Decision, please consult 11208/03 on the public register of
Council documents (http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search
in the register; simple/advanced search).

The Commission has made a statement stressing the need for the Member States to deposit their act
of ratification of the Protocol of Amendment to the Convention by April 2004. To have access to
the full text of the statement, please consult 11260/03 ADD 1 on the public register of Council
documents (http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the
register; simple/advanced search).

In this field, the Council also adopted a Decision authorising the Commission to negotiate, on
behalf of the Community, amendments to Appendix A (accommodation and care guidelines) to the
Convention. The Commission will conduct these negotiations en consultation with a special
committee designated by the Council, and in accordance with the Community legislation on the
matter.




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                                                                                          22.VII.2003


Traceability and Labelling of GMOs* – Public deliberation
(10815/03 + 112622/03 ADD 1)

The Council adopted a Regulation, with the Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and the Danish
delegations voting against, concerning the traceability and labelling of genetically modified
organisms (GMOs) and of food and feed products produced from GMOs, following its approval of
the European Parliament's second reading amendments to the Council's common position.

The common position, thus amended, stresses the importance of giving consumers the possibility to
make an informed choice of product, by means of full and reliable information on GMOs and
products, food and feed produced therefrom.

Moreover, it calls for a Commission report to be submitted to the Council and the Parliament on the
outcome of the Regulation's implementation in the Member States, for the standardisation of
procedures that allow the holding of information on GMOs, for the publication of the Commission's
technical guidance on sampling and testing, as well as for the setting up of a Central Register at
Community level containing all available information and reference material for at least those
GMOs authorised in the Community.

The Regulation modifies certain aspects of Directive 2001/18/EC on the deliberate release into the
environment of GMOs. It aims to establish a framework for the traceability of products consisting
of or containing GMOs, and food and feed derived from GMOs, with the objective of facilitating
accurate labelling, monitoring of the effects on the environment and, where appropriate, on human
health. It is aimed also at facilitating the implementation of appropriate risk management measures
including, if necessary, withdrawal of products from the market.

It covers the overall chain of production and the commercial transactions that take place among
different operators as regards traceability and labelling of GMOs. It should be seen as an important
element of the overall Union's legislative package on GMOs, which also comprises the Regulation
on genetically modified (GM) food and feed, and the current discussion on the coexistence of
GM-seeds with traditional and organic forms of agriculture.

It is recalled that, the Council (Agriculture) adopted its common position on 17-18 March 2003 and
reached political agreement on 9 December 2002. For further details, please consult press releases
7425/03 and 15101/02, respectively, on the Council's Newsroom (http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/;
link: Council).

The United Kingdom and the Netherlands delegations have made a public statement on the
Regulation's provisions. For further details on their statement, please consult 11262/03 ADD 1
REV 1 on the Council's public document register
(http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the register;
simple / advanced search).




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                                                                                                     EN
                                                                                         22.VII.2003


Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading* - Public deliberation
(10819/03 + 11263/03 ADD 1)


The Council adopted a Directive establishing a scheme for greenhouse emission allowance trading
within the Community, following its approval of the European Parliament's amendments, at second
reading, to the Council's common position.

The Directive aims to create an instrument of environmental protection to reduce emissions of
greenhouse gases in a cost-effective manner, in order to allow the Union to meet its obligations
under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto
Protocol 3.

While seeking an overall reduction in greenhouse emissions, it also aims to ensure the proper
functioning of the Internal Market and prevent any distortions of competition which might result
from the establishment of separate national trading schemes. The first phase of the proposed
scheme covers the period between 2005 and 2007, it precedes the Kyoto Protocol's first
commitment period from 2008 to 2012, which corresponds to the second phase of the Community
scheme.

It is closely linked to the draft Decision on a monitoring mechanism for greenhouse gas emissions
in the Community (for further details of the proposed Decision see press releases 6677/03 and
10273/03) and the soon to be presented Commission's proposal on Joint Implementation and Clean
Development Mechanisms.

Member States are expected to implement the provisions necessary to comply with the Directive by
31 December 2003 at the latest.

It is recalled that the Council and the Parliament reached agreement on this legal act at the
beginning of July 2003. For further details of the content of the agreement, please consult press
release 11025/03 on the Council's Newsroom (http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/; link: Council).

The United Kingdom delegation has made a public statement on the transposition of the provisions
of the Directive into national law. That statement was supported by the Belgian, French and
Austrian delegations. The Italian delegation has made a statement on the same subject. For further
details, please consult 11263/03 ADD 1 REV 1 on the Council's public document register
(http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the register;
simple / advanced search).




3
     For the full text of the Protocol, please consult the following website:
     http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/convkp/kpeng.html

11598/03 (Presse 215)                                                                               VII
                                                                                                EN
                                                                                         22.VII.2003


Seveso II


The Council was unable to accept all of the amendments made by the European Parliament to its
common position on a proposal for a Directive on the control of major-accident hazards involving
dangerous substances (so-called "Seveso II" Directive). In accordance with the codecision
procedure, a first meeting of the Conciliation Committee is expected to be convened on
9 September 2003.

The proposal aims at the prevention of major accidents involving dangerous substances and at the
limitation of their consequences for people and the environment throughout the Community. It
introduces an obligation for individual operators to put into effect Safety Management Systems,
including a detailed risk assessment using possible accident scenarios, and an obligation to provide
information to the public on industrial risks and on the behaviour to adopt in the event of an
accident.

It is recalled that, the Council (Agriculture and Fisheries) adopted its common position on
20 February 2003.

For further details of the proposal, please consult press releases 12976/02 (political agreement) and
6160/03 (adoption of common position) on the Council's Newsroom (http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/;
link: Council).




SOCIAL POLICY


Guidelines for the Employment Policies of the Member States
(10576/03)

The Council adopted a Decision on Guidelines for the Employment Policies of the Member States.
It is recalled that it reached political agreement on the Decision on 13 June 2003 (Environment
Council) and agreed on a general approach at its meeting on 2-3 June 2003. For further details,
please consult press releases 10273/03 and 9688/03, respectively (http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/; link:
Council).

The Decision focuses on 10 result-oriented priorities for action in the Member States, to be
accompanied, whenever practicable, by targets:

1-   active and preventive measures for the unemployed and the inactive;
2-   job creation and entrepreneurship;
3-   address change and promote adaptability and mobility in the labour market;
4-   promote development of human capital and lifelong learning;




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                                                                                                 EN
                                                                                          22.VII.2003

5- increase labour supply and promote active ageing;
6- gender equality;
7- promote the integration of and combat the discrimination of people at a disadvantage in the
    labour market;
8- make work pay through incentives to enhance work attractiveness;
9- transform undeclared work into regular employment;
10- address regional employment disparities.

It also includes a chapter on good governance and partnership for the implementation of the
guidelines by the Member States (e.g. involvement of parliamentary bodies, the social partners and
other relevant actors).

They will serve as the basis for the 2003 National Employment Action Plans, which Member States
will be invited to submit to the Commission as soon as possible after 1 October 2003.

For further details of this Decision, please consult 10567/03 on the Council's public document
register (http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the
register; simple / advanced search).


Implementation of Member States' Employment Policies
(10568/03)

The Council adopted a Recommendation, on the basis of a Commission's proposal, providing
Member States with individualised guidance on how to implement the employment guidelines,
focusing on the most urgent and serious issues in each country.

The amount and type of recommendations vary from country to country. However, the
recommendations follow on closely from the set of ten priorities mentioned in the Council's
Decision on Guidelines for the Employment Policies of the Member States. The Commission has
been addressing such recommendations to the Member States since the year 2000.

It is recalled that the Council reached political agreement on the Recommendation at this meeting
on 2-3 June 2003. For further details, please consult press release 9688/03,
(http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/; link: Council).

For further details of this Recommendation, please consult 10568/03 on the Council's public
document register (http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in
the register; simple/advanced search).




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                                                                                                    EN
                                                                                            22.VII.2003


Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health Protection at Work*
(10624/03 + 11011/03 ADD 1)

The Council adopted a Decision setting up an Advisory Committee on Safety, Hygiene and Health
Protection at Work merging the current Advisory Committee and the Safety and Health
Commission for the Mining and Other Extractive Industries. The Decision is expected to enter into
force on 1 January 2004.

The Advisory Committee's aim is to assist the Commission in the preparation and implementation
of activities in the fields of safety and health at work and to facilitate co-operation between national
administrations, trade unions and employers' organisations. By creating a single advisory body, the
proposal streamlines the operation of the two existing committees, promoting in this way a more
efficient and responsive structure.

The Committee's task is expected to cover all public and private sectors of the economy, with the
exception of the protection of workers against the dangers arising from ionising radiation, which is
regulated by the Scientific and Technical Committee set up under the EURATOM Treaty.

For further details of this Decision, please consult 10624/03 available on the Council's public
document register (http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm ; links: search in
the register; simple / advanced search).

The German and the United Kingdom delegations have made a joint public statement on the
Decision's legal basis. For further details of the Decision, please consult 11011/03 ADD 1,
available on the Council's public document register
(http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the register;
simple / advanced search).



European Co-operative Society*
(10218/03 + 10245/03 + 11114/03 ADD 1 REV 2)

The Council adopted a:

- Regulation on the statute for a European co-operative society; and a
- Directive supplementing the statute for a European co-operative society with regard to the
  involvement of employees.

Both instruments are broadly based on those relating to the European Company, adopted in 2001,
with the changes required by the specific characteristics of Co-operative Societies. The aim is to
allow the creation of a new legal entity for the organisation of economic operations in two or more
Member States in the form of a co-operative society.




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The Regulation defines co-operatives as being primarily groups of persons or legal entities with
particular operating principles that are different from those of other economic agents. These
include the principles of democratic structure and control and the distribution of the net profit for
the financial year on an equitable basis. Moreover, "co-operatives have a share capital and their
members may be either individuals or enterprises. These members may consist wholly or partly of
customers, employees and suppliers. (…)".

In view of the substantial amendments incorporated into the texts since the European Parliament's
opinion was delivered, the Council decided at its meeting on 3 June 2002 to re-consult the
Parliament on both legal acts. Following the outcome of that re-consultation process, the Council
has now included in both texts a significant number of the Parliament's amendments.

For further details of the Regulation, please consult 10218/03, 10245/03 and
11114/03 ADD 1 REV 2, respectively, available on the Council's public document register
(http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the register;
simple / advanced search).



HEALTH


Human Tissues and Cells* – Public deliberation
(10133/03 + 11379/03 ADD 1)

The Council adopted its common position concerning a proposal for a Directive on setting quality
and safety standards for the donation, procurement, testing, processing, storage and distribution of
human tissues and cells. The common position will be forwarded to the European Parliament for a
second reading, in accordance with the codecision procedure.

The proposal is aimed at strengthening requirements concerning the suitability of donors and the
screening of donated substances, whilst establishing national accreditation and monitoring
structures and provisions for a register of accredited establishments and for a quality system for
tissues and cells-related establishments. This is seen as being particularly important in view of the
fact that the transplantation of tissues and cells is a strongly expanding field of medicine, offering
great opportunities for the treatment of yet incurable diseases.

It is recalled that the Council reached political agreement on this proposal at its meeting on
2-3 June 2003. For further details, please consult press release 9688/03 on the Council's Newsroom
(http://ue.eu.int/newsroom/; link: Council).




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                                                                                                     EN
                                                                                          22.VII.2003


For the text of the common position, please consult 10133/03 available on the Council's public
document register (http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in
the register; simple/advanced search).

The Italian and the German delegations have made a public statement on the Directive's provisions.
For further details, please consult 11379/03 ADD 1 on the Council's public document register
(http://register.consilium.eu.int/utfregister/frames/introfsFR.htm; links: search in the register;
simple/advanced search).


JUSTICE AND HOME AFFAIRS

Freezing of property or evidence*
(7369/03 + 8258/03)

The Council adopted the Framework Decision on the execution in the European Union of orders
freezing property or evidence.

The purpose of the Framework Decision is to establish the rules under which a Member State shall
recognise and execute in its territory a freezing order issued by a judicial authority of another
Member State in the framework of criminal proceedings.

This Framework Decision respects fundamental rights and observes the principles recognised by
Article 6 of the Treaty and reflected by the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,
notably Chapter VI thereof. Nothing in this Framework Decision may be interpreted as prohibiting
refusal to freeze property for which a freezing order has been issued when there are reasons to
believe, on the basis of objective elements, that the freezing order is issued for the purpose of
prosecuting or punishing a person on account of his or her sex, race, religion, ethnic origin,
nationality, language, political opinions or sexual orientation, or that that person's position may be
prejudiced for any of these reasons.

This Framework Decision does not prevent any Member State from applying its constitutional rules
relating to due process, freedom of association, freedom of the press and freedom of expression in
other media.




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                                                                                                 EN
                                                                                           22.VII.2003


Combating corruption in the private sector*
(7370/03 + 8377/1/03 REV 1 ADD 1)

The Council adopted the Framework Decision on combating corruption in the private sector.

The aim of the Framework Decision is in particular to ensure that both active and passive corruption
in the private sector are criminal offences in all Member States, that legal persons may also be held
responsible for such offences, and that these offences incur effective, proportionate and dissuasive
penalties.

Member States attach particular importance to combating corruption in both the public and the
private sector, as they believe that in both those sectors it poses a threat to a law-abiding society,
distorts competition in relation to the purchase of goods or commercial services and impedes sound
economic development.

On 26 May 1997 the Council accordingly approved a Convention on the fight against corruption
involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member States of the
European Union. It also adopted on 22 December 1998 Joint Action 98/742/JHA on corruption in
the private sector. In connection with the adoption of that Joint Action, the Council issued a
statement to the effect that it agreed that the Joint Action represents a first step at European Union
level towards combating such corruption, and that additional measures in this area would be
implemented at a later stage in the light of the results of an assessment conducted in accordance
with that Joint Action.


Fight against corruption involving officials
(10725/03)

The Council adopted the Decision concerning the application to Gibraltar of the Convention on the
fight against corruption involving officials of the European Communities or officials of Member
States of the European Union.

It will be recalled that the Convention, drawn up by Council Act of 26 May 1997, made no
provision for its application to Gibraltar as it had been concluded prior to 1 June 2000, the date on
which the arrangements between Spain and the United Kingdom relating to Gibraltar authorities in
the context of EU and EC instruments and related treaties took effect.

The Convention places Member States under an obligation to take the necessary measures to ensure
that both active and passive corruption, as defined by the Convention, are criminal offences on their
territory.




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As for penalties, the Convention stipulates that each Member State shall take "the necessary
measures to ensure that the conduct referred to is punishable by effective, proportionate and
dissuasive criminal penalties, including, at least in serious cases, penalties involving deprivation of
liberty which can give rise to extradition".


CUSTOMS UNION

Customs cooperation*
(11033/03 + 11034/03 ADD 1 REV 1)


The Council adopted unanimously a Regulation aimed at combating traffic of goods infringing
intellectual property rights while respecting the freedom of legitimate trade. This Regulation
establishes the conditions and the measures to be taken by customs authorities against goods
suspected of infringing certain intellectual property rights and goods found to have infringed such
rights.


INTERNAL MARKET

Measuring instruments – Public deliberation
(9681/03)

The Council adopted unanimously its common position concerning the amended draft Directive on
measuring instruments. The common position will be sent to the European Parliament with a view
to finding agreement at second reading.

It is recalled that the Council reached political agreement on this draft Directive at its meeting of
19 May 2003. For further details, please you can consult the Press release 9413/03
(http://ue.eu.int/newsroom, link: Council)




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                                                                                           22.VII.2003



TRANSPORT


Port services

The Council decided not to adopt the draft Directive on access market to port services as amended
by the European Parliament at second reading and, therefore, it decided to convene the Conciliation
Committee in the framework of the codecision procedure. The official opening of the conciliation
procedure is scheduled for 9 September and the first meeting of the Conciliation Committee for
30 September.



Single hull oil tankers – Public deliberation
(3640/1/03 REV 1)

The Council approved the amendments contained in the European Parliament's opinion and
adopted, at first reading, a Regulation aimed at reducing risks of accidental oil pollution in
European waters by establishing a scheme for accelerating the phasing in of double hull or
equivalent design requirements for single hull oil tankers.

It is recalled that the Council reached a political agreement on this draft Regulation at its meeting
of 27 March 2003. Then, an agreement was reached between the Council and the
European Parliament on the amendments to the Commission's initial proposal.



BUDGET

Draft budget for 2004

Following the agreement reached at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 16 July 2003,
the Council, by written procedure of 18 July 2003, established the draft budget of the
European Union for 2004 (EU-15).

At the same time the Council also reached political agreement on a position for EU-25.

The Council also gave a mandate to the Presidency, assisted by the General Secretariat of the
Council, to finalise the relevant budget documents and forward them to the European Parliament.


                                    ________________________




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