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Document 52000PC0111

Proposal for a european Parliament and Council regulation concerning action against anti-personnel landmines

/* COM/2000/0111 final - COD 2000/0062 */

OJ C 248E , 29.8.2000, p. 115–118 (ES, DA, DE, EL, EN, FR, IT, NL, PT, FI, SV)

52000PC0111

Proposal for a european Parliament and Council regulation concerning action against anti-personnel landmines /* COM/2000/0111 final - COD 2000/0062 */

Official Journal C 248 E , 29/08/2000 P. 0115 - 0118


Proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL REGULATION CONCERNING ACTION AGAINST ANTI-PERSONNEL LANDMINES

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM

ACTION AGAINST ANTI-PERSONNEL LANDMINES

Anti-Personnel Landmines create appalling casualties in many of the poorest parts of the world and are an obstacle to the implementation of a range of European Union programmes. In the period 1992-98, the European Union therefore committed over 180 Mio EURO to mine action world-wide to support demining programmes, assistance to mine victims, and research and development of related technology. This has been a major contribution to the global efforts of the international community but much remains to be done. The challenge for the international community is to overcome the landmine problem in the next 10-15 years. Based on its contribution to date, the EU is expected to be a major actor in this high-profile activity, but there is an urgent need to improve the coherence and consistency of demining activities and their co-ordination at Commission, EU and international levels, if its future contribution is to be fully effective.

The Current Situation: The Council and the European Parliament have stressed the need for additional efforts and resources to tackle the landmine problem. They called for enhanced policy planning and co-ordination between Commission, Member States and the international community, with a view to achieving greater coherence, transparency, and effectiveness in the actions of the Union. This will also contribute to synergies of Member States and Community actions, in particular in the field of technological developments, in line with the subsidiarity principle. Within the Commission responsibilities are divided among several services. Difficulties in management and field operations are compounded by the lack of any indicative long-term planning. The multitude of financial instruments currently used in support of mine action has attracted adverse criticism in terms of administrative and managerial practice. There is a strong case for enhanced co-ordination of activities, in particular in areas such as policy planning and the rationalisation of administrative procedures. Improved co-ordination, coherence, consistency and visibility of demining actions are supported by all the Commission services operationally engaged in mine action.

Reasons for a new Regulation Mine action is an integral part of many humanitarian aid, rehabilitation and reconstruction projects. Existing Commission budgetary procedures allow for mine action as an integrated element of such projects and will continue to do so. However, mine action is also a discrete and specialised activity with its own priorities, operational requirements, and distinct political imperatives, closely linked to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction. Therefore, a demining strategy which aims at improving the co-ordination, coherence, transparency, visibility, accountability, and effectiveness of the interventions is highly desirable on both political and operational grounds. Accordingly, there is clear scope for an enhanced horizontal, distinct budget line, operating to one set of rules and procedures as laid down in this new, specific Regulation. The Regulation targets at enhanced co-ordination and co-operation at Commission, EU and international levels, in response to the requirements of the Ottawa Treaty.

Content of the Draft Regulation The attached draft Regulation:

- sets out the scope and objectives of EC mine action world-wide;

- lays down the decision-making procedure, including for emergency action;

- proposes a financial amount for the budget 2000;

- specifies the measures against fraud;

- establishes a reporting process.

2000/ 0062 (COD)

Proposal for a EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND COUNCIL REGULATION

CONCERNING ACTION AGAINST ANTI-PERSONNEL LANDMINES

THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION,

Having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 179 thereof;

Having regard to the proposal from the Commission [1];

[1] OJ L .........

Acting in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 251 of the Treaty;

Whereas:

(1) The Community is concerned by the presence of anti-personnel land-mines and other unexploded devices in the areas of civil communities which are trying to recover from armed conflict;

(2) Anti-personnel landmines cause suffering and casualties, particularly in the poorest parts of the world, and constitute a serious obstacle to economic development, inhibit the return of refugees and displaced persons, and obstruct humanitarian aid operations, reconstruction and rehabilitation and the restoration of normal social conditions;

(3) The Community is committed to the goal of total elimination of anti-personnel landmines world-wide in the coming years;

(4) The Community and its Member States have provided the largest contribution to the wider international effort to overcome the tragedy of anti-personnel landmines;

(5) This Regulation is a direct response to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Land Mines and Their Destruction (Ottawa Convention),

(6) Therefore, financial aid should, as a priority, benefit those third countries which are committed to the fight against anti-personnel landmines and are parties to the Ottawa Convention;

(7) Such an approach should not prevent Community response to humanitarian emergencies wherever they occur;

(8) Community mine action is often an integral part of humanitarian aid, rehabilitation, reconstruction or development projects, whilst being a discrete and specialised activity responding to distinct priorities, operational requirements and political imperatives;

(9) As part of such projects, as well as in the case of framework programmes for the research and development of mine action technology, new and existing actions will continue to be funded from specific budget lines, supported, complemented and co-ordinated under this Regulation where appropriate;

(10) This Regulation is designed to provide the basis for a coherent and efficient approach for the Community mine action, through advancing an integrating strategy, in close co-ordination between the Commission, the Member States and the international community at all stages of mine actions;

(11) It is necessary to ensure that these actions are coherent with the European Union's foreign policy as a whole, including the Common Foreign and Security Policy;

(12) Since the measures necessary for the implementation of this Regulation are management measures within the meaning of 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, [2] they should be adopted by use of the management procedure provided for in Article 4 of that Decision;

[2] OJ L 194, 17.7.1999, p. 23

(13) The anti-personnel landmine problem, by its life-threatening nature and its global extent, requires efficient, flexible and, where necessary, rapid decision-making procedures for the financing of Community actions;

(14) A financial reference amount, within the meaning of point 2 of the Declaration by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 6 March 1995, is included in this Regulation without thereby affecting the powers of the budgetary authority as they are defined by the Treaty;

(15) The Community should ensure maximum transparency in the implementation of the financial assistance and stringent controls in the use of appropriations;

(16) The protection of the Communities' financial interests as well as the fight against fraud and irregularities constitute an inherent part of this Regulation,

HAS ADOPTED THIS REGULATION:

Article 1

1. The purpose of this Regulation is to lay down the procedures for the implementation of Community operations while advancing a consistent and coherent humanitarian de-mining strategy at Community and international levels, responding to the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and their Destruction (hereinafter referred to as the "Ottawa Convention").

2. The operations referred to in this Regulation shall be implemented in the territory of third countries or shall be directly related to situations arising in third countries, particularly in those most vulnerable amongst them, and as a priority in developing countries.

Article 2

1. The principal objectives of the Community mine action shall be:

(a) to support the elaboration, monitoring and implementation of a civilian de-mining strategy;

(b) to assist afflicted countries in the implementation of their obligations under the Ottawa Convention;

(c) to create and sustain national structures and local capabilities within the afflicted countries to carry out mine actions with maximum effectiveness;

(d) to respond to humanitarian emergency, prevent casualties and assist the rehabilitation of mine victims;

(e) to support the in-country trial and introduction into operational use of appropriate mine action equipment and techniques.

2. The operations financed under this Regulation may comprise all activities related to mine action, including:

(a) mine awareness education;

(b) training of specialist personnel;

(c) survey and marking of suspected areas;

(d) detection and identification of landmines;

(e) de-mining (mine clearance to humanitarian standards) and landmine destruction;

(f) victim assistance and rehabilitation;

(g) information management, including geographical information systems;

(h) other activities, which contribute to the reduction of the human, economic, and environmental impact of anti-personnel landmines, and other hazardous debris of war.

3. In the context of paragraph 2, priority shall be given to actions addressing immediate and unforeseeable requirements generated by outbreaks of fighting, migration of large groups of people towards mine-afflicted areas, or comparable situations such as urgent assistance in the implementation of peace agreements. Priority will also be given to actions in the most seriously mine-afflicted countries, where anti-personnel landmines and other unexploded ordnance cause many civilian casualties or where the presence or suspected presence of these devices is a major obstacle to the restoration of economic and social activity or to development and thus require a specific long-term commitment that emergency humanitarian or reconstruction aid are unable to provide.

4. In order to ensure coherence, complementarity and synergy within regional co-operation programmes and in the context of humanitarian aid, rehabilitation, reconstruction and development projects, mine actions which can be financed within the framework of any of those programs or projects will continue to be financed from the budget line on which the principal action is financed. Where necessary, these activities may be complemented or supported by mine actions financed under this Regulation

Article 3

The operations financed under this Regulation shall mainly benefit countries which are parties to the Ottawa Convention. Exceptions may be made for humanitarian emergency, for assistance to mine victims, and for actions in direct support of vulnerable civil communities, such as refugees and displaced persons, or where the national administration is not functioning.

Article 4

1. Partners eligible for financial support under this Regulation may include regional and international organisations and agencies, non-governmental organisations, national, provincial and local governments departments and agencies, institutes, and public and private operators with appropriate specialised expertise and experience.

2. Participation in invitations to tender and the award of contracts shall be open on equal terms to natural and legal persons of the Member States and of the recipient country. In exceptional cases which are fully justified, participation may be extended to third countries.

Article 5

1. Community aid under this Regulation may be used to finance technical assistance, training, personnel or other services related to mine action; trials of equipment and techniques; logistical support, procurement, provision and storage of any equipment, supplies and works needed for the implementation of mine actions; studies and conferences and measures to strengthen international co-ordination of mine action; evaluation and monitoring missions; activities to raise public awareness; as well as the costs of highlighting the Community nature of the aid.

2. Community financing under this Regulation shall take the form of grants.

3. The operations covered by this Regulation shall be exempt from taxes, charges, duties and customs duties.

Article 6

1. The Commission shall be assisted by the relevant geographical committeecomposed of representatives of the Member States and chaired by the representative of the Commission.

2. Where reference is made to this paragraph, the management procedure laid down in article 4 of the Decision 1999/468/EC shall apply, in compliance with Article 7(3) and Article 8 thereof.

3. The period provided for in Article 4(3) of Decision 1999/468/EC shall be three months

Article 7

1. The Commission shall, on the basis of a reciprocal and regular exchange of information, including the exchange of information on the spot, ensure the effective co-ordination of the assistance efforts undertaken by the Community and individual Member States, in order to increase the coherence and complementarity of their programmes.

2. The Commission may seek opportunities for co-financing with other providers of funds, especially with Member States.

3. The Commission shall promote co-ordination and co-operation with other international contributors, in particular those which form part of the United Nations system.

4. The necessary measures shall be taken to give visibility to the contribution by the Community.

Article 8

1. The Commission shall appraise, decide, and administer operations covered by this Regulation in accordance with the budgetary and other procedures in force, and in particular those laid down in Articles 116 and 118 of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities.

2. Financing decisions exceeding 3 million euro shall be taken under the procedure laid down in Article 6(2), with the exception of emergency action set out in Article 9.

3. The Commission shall inform the Committees referred to in Article 6 succinctly of any financing decisions of less than 3 million euro in value. This information shall be made available not later than two months following the adoption of the financing decision.

4. The Commission may take decisions amending financing decisions adopted in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 6(2), where they do not entail any substantial amendments or additional commitments in excess of 20% of the initial commitment.

Article 9

1. The Commission shall decide on emergency action for any amount not in excess of 5 million euros.

2. Operations to meet immediate and unforeseeable requirements generated by sudden natural or man-made disasters, such as floods, famine, migration of large groups of people towards mine-afflicted areas, sudden peace settlements, or comparable situations, as well as urgent assistance in the implementation of peace agreements, shall be deemed to necessitate emergency action.

3. Where operations fulfil these conditions and are in excess of 3 million euro, the Commission, having adopted its decision, shall (a) inform the Member States in writing within two working days, (b) account for its decision at the next meeting of the Committee concerned , in particular giving the reasons for its use of the emergency procedure.

Article 10

1. Projects shall be prioritised and appraised in terms of their relevance and cost effectiveness and, where appropriate, integrated into the wider development or reconstruction framework of the country or region in question.

2. Wherever possible, the project should be clearly integrated within a national anti-personnel landmines programme co-ordinated by the beneficiary government or by an international institution mandated for that purpose. The aim should be for the project to be taken over, in due course, by the beneficiary government itself in order to enhance local capacity and the sustainability of the project.

Article 11

All financing agreements or contracts concluded under this Regulation shall provide for the Commission and the Court of Auditors to conduct on-the-spot checks according to the usual procedures laid down by the Commission under the rules in force, and in particular those of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities. [3]

[3] OJ L 356, 31.12.1977, p.1

In addition, the Commission may carry out on-the-spot checks and inspections in conformity with Regulation No 2185/96 [4]. The measures taken by the Commission shall provide for adequate protection of the financial interests of the Community in conformity with Regulation 2988/95 [5].

[4] OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p.2

[5] OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p.1

Article 12

To facilitate multi-annual mine action co-ordination and programming, an APL Strategy Paper comprising horizontal guidelines and priorities for Community mine actions and the benchmarks for their achievement, shall regularly be presented to the Committees concerned, for discussion. It shall cover issues such as a multi-annual indicative programme and shall refer to existing mine action programmes at country and regional levels, to the contributions of other donors including Member States and to Community mine actions funded from other budget lines.

Article 13

1. The Commission shall regularly assess mine actions financed by the Community in order to establish whether the objectives of the operations have been achieved and to provide guidelines for improving the effectiveness of future operations.

2. The Commission shall regularly inform the European Parliament and the Council of the progress of its mine actions. It shall submit a report summarising Community mine action in the previous year to the European Parliament and to the Council by 30 April each year at the latest, and evaluate the implementation of this Regulation.

Article 14

Three years after entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall submit an overall assessment of the operations financed by the Community under this Regulation to the European Parliament and the Council, together with suggestions for the future of the regulation and, as necessary, proposals for amendments to it.

Article 15

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

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

Done at Brussels,

For the European Parliament For the Council

The President The President

FINANCIAL STATEMENT

1. Title of operation

Anti-Personnel Landmines

2. Budget heading involved

B7-661

3. Legal basis

The draft proposal for a new specific EP and Council Regulation for budget line B7-661, bringing together the various Community requirements for mine action, as attached.

The legal bases for mine action continue to be provided by Council regulation (EC) N° 1257/96 of 20 June 1996 concerning humanitarian aid (OJ L 163, 2.7.1996), Council regulation (EC) n° 2258/96 of 22 November 1996 concerning rehabilitation and reconstruction operations in developing countries, Council regulation (EC) No 1628/96 of 25 July 1996 concerning aid for Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, Council Regulation (EC) n° 443/97 of 3 March 1997 on operations to aid up-rooted people in Asian and Latin American developing countries, and the Joint Action of 1 October 1996 on anti-personnel landmines (OJ L 260, 12.10.96) concerning funds reserved for disarmament actions under the Common Foreign and Security Policy.

4. Description of operation

4.1 General objective

Anti-Personnel Landmines create appalling casualties in many of the poorest parts of the world and are an obstacle in the implementation of a range of Community programmes. In the period 1992-98, the Community therefore committed over 180 Mio Euro to mine action world-wide to support demining programmes, assistance to mine victims, and research and development of technology. This has been a major contribution to the global efforts of the international community but much remains to be done.

The aim now is to continue with programmes to help overcome the landmine problem in a finite timeframe, specifically over the next 10-15 years, and thereby facilitate the implementation of a range of other assistance programmes as well as contributing to the solution of a major humanitarian tragedy.

Overall, interventions of the Community should be at least at the same level of funding as in the past.

4.2 Period covered and arrangements for renewal

- Action : Anti-Personnel Landmines

- Period of application: 2000 - 2008.

In line with Article 12 of the Regulation, the Commission shall submit by June 2007 at the latest to the European Parliament and the Council an overall evaluation of operations financed by the Community under this Regulation, including assessments of relevance, cost effectiveness and impact. It is on this basis that the continuation of application of this Regulation will be decided upon.

5. Classification of Expenditure or revenue

5.1 Non-compulsory expenditure

5.2 Differentiated appropriations

5.3 No revenue involved

6. Type of expenditure or revenue

- 100% subsidy; possible co-financing of activities

- Subsidy for joint financing with other sources in the public and/or private sector

- Other

7. Financial Impact

The creation of a single, multi-annual budget line (B7 661) with increased funding will provide better focus for Community mine action. It is proposed that during the 2000-2006 period activities of the Community should be carried out at least at the same level of funding as in the past (180 MEURO in the period 1992-98), with an increased importance attached to mine action in response to the commitments of the Ottawa Convention. This could entail an increase of financial allocations under the budget line B7-661.

7.1 Method of calculating total cost of operation (relation between individual and total costs)

The annual appropriation shall be authorised by the budgetary authority within the limits of the financial perspective.

7.2 Itemised breakdown of cost

Commitment appropriations MEURO (to 3rd decimal)

>TABLE POSITION>

7.3 Operational expenditure for studies, experts etc. included in part B of the budget

7.4 Schedule of commitment and payment appropriations

8. Fraud prevention measures

All financing agreements or contracts shall provide for the Commission and the Court of Auditors to conduct on-the-spot checks according to the usual procedures laid down by the Commission under the rules in force, and in particular those of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities. In addition, the Commission may carry out on-the-spot checks and inspections in conformity with Regulation No2185/96. The measures taken by the Commission in accordance with the procedure set out in article 5 shall provide for adequate protection of the financial interests of the European Community in conformity with Regulation 2988/95.

9. Elements of cost-effectiveness analysis

9.1 Specific and quantified objectives; target population

The principal objectives for Community mine action shall be to:

a. support the elaboration, monitoring and effective implementation of a coherent and consistent humanitarian demining strategy at Commission, EU and other international levels;

b. assist seriously-afflicted states in the implementation of their obligations under the Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-Personnel Mines and on their Destruction;

c. create and sustain national structures and local capabilities within the afflicted countries to carry out mine actions with maximum effectiveness;

d. in the context of immediate and unforeseeable requirements, respond to humanitarian emergency, prevent casualties and assist the rehabilitation of mine victims;

e. support the in-country trial and introduction into operational use of appropriate mine action equipment and techniques.

These objectives will be pursued through projects of common interest and in the most seriously mine afflicted countries in geographical regions, and may include the following:

- Projects of common interest (e.g. elaboration of APL Strategy Paper, support for the UN, GICHD, ICRC, Central Mine Action Policy Unit, in-country trial and introduction into operational use of mine action equipment and techniques, expert assistance).

- Africa (e.g. Angola, Mozambique, Somalia, Zimbabwe, SADC)

- Asia (e.g. Afghanistan, Cambodia, Laos,)

- New Independent States (e.g. Tajikistan)

- Middle East (e.g. northern Iraq)

- Europe (e.g. Bosnia Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo)

- Latin America (e.g. Nicaragua, El Salvador)

9.2 Grounds for the operation

The operations financed under this Regulation shall comprise all activities related to mine action including mine awareness education, survey and marking of suspected areas, detection and identification of landmines, training of specialist personnel, demining (i.e. mine clearance to humanitarian standards) and landmine destruction, as well as victim assistance and rehabilitation, information management (including geographical information systems), and other activities, which contribute to the reduction of the human, economic, and environmental impact of anti-personnel landmines, and other hazardous debris of war.

Projects are expected to be multi-annual. The duration of the projects will depend on their features and will not normally exceed three years.

9.3 Monitoring and evaluation of the operation

The Commission shall regularly assess mine actions financed by the Community in order to establish whether the objectives of the operations have been achieved and to provide guidelines for improving the effectiveness of future operations. The Commission shall inform the European Parliament and the Council of the progress of its mine actions. It shall submit a report summarising Community mine action in the previous year to the European Parliament and to the Council by 30 April each year at the latest.

10. Administrative expenditure (Section III, Part A of the budget)

Actual mobilisation of the necessary administrative resources will depend on Commission's annual decision on the allocation of resources, taking into account the number of staff and additional amounts authorised by the budgetary authority.

10.1 Effect on the number of posts

>TABLE POSITION>

The purpose of this regulation is to bring together existing actions to create a coherent EU Mine Action Policy. In the short term only a modest allocation of three posts (two permanent and one END) would be required. The permanent posts can be found via redeployment.

10.2 Overall financial impact of additional human resources

EURO

>TABLE POSITION>

The actual availability of additional human and administrative resources will depend on the Commission's decisions in the context of the annual allocation of resources, taking into account, in particular, the possibilities of internal redeployment and the additional resources approved by the budgetary authority.

10.3 Increase in other administrative expenditure as a result of the operation

The following table is illustrative, based on experience in 1998.

EURO

>TABLE POSITION>

The expenditure set out in the above table under heading A-7 (missions) will be covered by appropriations within the DG RELEX global envelope.

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