General Report on the Activities of the European Union 1997
608 Pages
English
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General Report on the Activities of the European Union 1997

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608 Pages
English

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EUROPEAN COMMISSION
GENERAL REPORT
ON THE ACTIVITIES OF
THE EUROPEAN UNION
I I I-/ European Commission
General Report
on the Activities of
the European Union
1997
Brussels · Luxembourg, 1998 A great deal of additional information on the European Union is available on
the Internet. It can be accessed through the Europa server (http://europa.eu.int).
Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication.
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1998
ISBN 92-828-2445-4
© European Communities, 1998
Reproduction is authorised provided the source is acknowledged.
Printed in Belgium The President and the Members of the European Commission to the President of
the European Parliament
Sir,
We have the honour to present the General Report on the Activities of the Euro­
pean Union for 1997, which the Commission is required to publish by Article 156
of the EC Treaty, Article 17 of the ECSC Treaty and Article 125 of the EAEC
Treaty.
In accordance with the procedure described in the Declaration on the system for
fixing Community farm prices contained in the Accession Documents of 22 January
1972, the Commission will shortly be sending Parliament the 1997 Report on the
Agricultural Situation in the European Union.
And, in accordance with an undertaking given to Parliament on 7 June 1971, the
Commission is preparing its twenty­seventh annual Report on Competition Policy.
Please accept, Sir, the expression of our highest consideration.
Brussels, 10 February 1998
Jacques SANTER Edith CRESSON TJ^/JL^rCTV^
President
Leon BRITTAN Ritt BJERREGAARD
Vice­president
Manuel MARÍN Monika WUU­'­MATHIES G&o^­tA. Ço^v . <ΛΛ^__3
Vice­president
Neil KINNOCK Martin BANGEMANN
Mario MONTI Karel VAN MIERT
Hans VAN DEN BROEK Franz FISCHLER —J · ^-jT<?CsVl<C<4~
João de Deus PINHEIRO A* Emma BONINO t Οΐ
Pádraig FLYNN Yves­Thibault de SILGUY
Marcelino OREJA Erkki LIIKANEN C^M WA AKoùuV
Anita GRADIN Christos PAPOUTSIS Årf&dfc NOTE
Legislative instruments in the field of co-decision are mentioned in the Report
followed by '{Table I)'. Instruments in the field of consultation and cooperation are d by '(Table ID'. International agreements are followed by '(Table III)'. No
footnotes are given for these instruments, which are listed in three separate tables
annexed to the Report. The relevant references (OJ, COM, Bull.) for all the stages
of the legislative procedure concerning each instrument, together with the appro­
priate point numbers in text, are given in the tables.
As a rule, no references are given in text for intermediate stages of procedures
which started before 1 January 1997 and were not completed at 31 December 1997.
These references also appear in the tables.
Standardised abbreviations for the designation of certain monetary units:
ATS Austrian schilling
BEF Belgian franc
DEM German mark
DKK Danish crown (krone)
ESP Spanish peseta
FIM Finnish markka
FRF French franc
GBP pound sterling
GRD Greek drachma
IEP Irish pound (punt)
ITL Italian lira
LUF Luxembourg franc
NLG Dutch guilder
PTE Portuguese escudo
SEK Swedish crown (krona)
USD United States dollar Contents
THE EUROPEAN UNION IN 1997 1
CHAPTER I — INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE 7
CHAPTER II — AGENDA 2000 15
CHAPTER III —UNION CITIZENSHIP 23
Section 1 — Freedom of movement and right of residence 2
Section 2 — Right to vote and stand as a candidate
Section 3 — Right to petition and right of access
to the Ombudsman 26
CHAPTER IV —HUMAN RIGHTS AND FUNDAMENTAL FREEDOMS 27
Section 1 — General
Section 2 — Racism and xenophobia9
Section 3 — Trafficking in human beings 30
Section 4— Bioethics and Community policies1
Section 5 — Outside the Union2
CHAPTER V —THE COMMUNITY ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AREA 35
Section 1 — Implementation of the White Paper on growth, competitiveness and
employment and of the initiative 'Action for employment in Europe:
A confidence pact' 3
Section 2 — Services of general interest9
GEN. REP. EU 1997 VI CONTENTS
Section 3 — Economic and monetary policy 40
Priority activities and objectives
Economic situation 4 policy coordination1
Preparations for the third stage of EMU3
Operation of the European Monetary System (EMS)6
European Monetary Institute (EMI)7
International monetary and financial matters8
Economic dialogue with the associated countries 4
Financial activities 49
Section — Statistical system 56
Activities and priority objectives
Policy aspects
Publications8
Section 5 — Employment and social policy
Priority activities and objectives
Implementation of the White Paper on social policy 60
Employment 6
Social protection and social security3
Freedom of movement for workers4
Labour law and industrial relations5
Health and safety at work
Social dialogue6
Implementation of the protocol on social policy 67
Measures to promote social integration9
Structural operations
European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions 70
International cooperation 71
Section 6 — Internal market2
Priority activities and objectives
Implementation of the action plan for the single market 73
Free movement of goods4
Free of persons8
Freedom to provide services9
GEN. REP. EU 1997 CONTENTS VII
Free movement of capital 81
Taxation
Company law3
Intellectual and industrial property4
Data protection
Public procurement5
Preparation for the integration of the countries of central Europe with associate
status into the internal market
Section 7 — Competition7
Priority activities and objectives 8
Competition rules applying to businesses
Public enterprises and national monopolies 94
State aid 9
International aspects
Section 8 — Industrial policy8
Priority activities and objectives
Industrial competitiveness
Individual sectors 100
Section 9 — Enterprise policy, distributive trades, tourism
and cooperatives
Priority activities and objectives
Policy to assist SMEs and the craft sector 108
Cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations 112
The distributive trades 113
Tourism
Section 10 — Research and technology5
Priority activities and objectives
Community RTD policy
Implementation of the fourth framework programme 119
Promotion of innovation 127
'Coal and steel' technical research
Section 11 —Education, vocational training and youth 128
Priority activities and objectives
GEN. REP. EU 1997 VIII CONTENTS
General aspects 128
Cooperation in the field of education 130
Vocational training policy2
Cooperation in the field of youth3 with non-member countries4
European Training Foundation Centre for the Development of Vocational Training (Cedefop) 135
European University Institute
Section 12 — Economic and social cohesion 137
Priority activities and objectives
Structural measures, regional policy
Innovative measures and other regional operations 150
Cohesion Fund 15
Section 13 — Measures for the most remote regions3
Section 14 — Trans-European networks4
Priority activities and objectives
General matters and financing 15
Transport5
Telematics and telecommunications7
Energy
Environment8
Section 15 — Energy 160
Priority activities and objectives
Community energy policy: strategic challenges
Security of supply and energy cooperation with third countries 161
Competitiveness and integration of energy markets3
Environmental protection and promotion
of sustainable development in the energy sector 164
Promotion of research and technological development5
Individual sectors 166
Euratom Supply Agency7
Sfate aid to the coal industry8
GEN. REP. EU 199