The Proposed Constitution for Europe

Part III, Title III, Chapter II| Contents |Part III, Title III, Chapter IV

TITLE III: INTERNAL POLICIES AND ACTION

Chapter III: Policies in other specific areas

Section 1: Employment

Article III-97

The Union and the Member States shall, in accordance with this Section, work towards developing a coordinated strategy for employment and particularly for promoting a skilled, trained and adaptable workforce and labour markets responsive to economic change with a view to achieving the objectives defined in Article I-3.

Article III-98

  1. Member States, through their employment policies, shall contribute to the achievement of the objectives referred to in Article III-97 in a way consistent with the broad guidelines of the economic policies of the Member States and of the Union adopted pursuant to Article III-71(2).

  2. Member States, having regard to national practices related to the responsibilities of the social partners, shall regard promoting employment as a matter of common concern and shall coordinate their action in this respect within the Council of Ministers, in accordance with Article III-100.

Article III-99

  1. The Union shall contribute to a high level of employment by encouraging cooperation between Member States and by supporting and, if necessary, complementing their action. In doing so, the competences of the Member States shall be respected.

  2. The objective of a high level of employment shall be taken into consideration in the formulation and implementation of Union policies and activities.

Article III-100

  1. The European Council shall each year consider the employment situation in the Union and adopt conclusions thereon, on the basis of a joint annual report by the Council of Ministers and the Commission.

  2. On the basis of the conclusions of the European Council, the Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission, shall each year adopt guidelines which the Member States shall take into account in their employment policies. It shall act after consulting the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions, the Economic and Social Committee and the Employment Committee.

    These guidelines shall be consistent with the broad guidelines adopted pursuant to Article III-71(2).

  3. Each Member State shall provide the Council of Ministers and the Commission with an annual report on the principal steps taken to implement its employment policy in the light of the guidelines for employment as referred to in paragraph 2.

  4. The Council of Ministers, on the basis of the reports referred to in paragraph 3 and having received the views of the Employment Committee, shall each year carry out an examination of the implementation of the employment policies of the Member States in the light of the guidelines for employment. The Council of Ministers, on a recommendation from the Commission, may adopt recommendations which it shall address to Member States.

  5. On the basis of the results of that examination, the Council of Ministers and the Commission shall make a joint annual report to the European Council on the employment situation in the Union and on the implementation of the guidelines for employment.

Article III-101

European laws or framework laws may establish incentive measures designed to encourage cooperation between Member States and to support their action in the field of employment through initiatives aimed at developing exchanges of information and best practices, providing comparative analysis and advice as well as promoting innovative approaches and evaluating experiences, in particular by recourse to pilot projects. They shall be adopted after consultation with the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

Such European laws or framework laws shall not include harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States.

Article III-102

The Council of Ministers shall, by simple majority, adopt a European decision establishing an Employment Committee with advisory status to promote coordination between Member States on employment and labour market policies. It shall act after consulting the European Parliament.

The tasks of the Committee shall be:

(a) to monitor the employment situation and employment policies in the Member States and the Union;

(b) without prejudice to Article III-247, to formulate opinions at the request of either the Council of Ministers or the Commission or on its own initiative, and to contribute to the preparation of the Council of Ministers proceedings referred to in Article III-100.

In fulfilling its mandate, the Committee shall consult the social partners.

Each Member State and the Commission shall appoint two members of the Committee.

Section 2: Social Policy

article III-103

The Union and the Member States, having in mind fundamental social rights such as those set out in the European Social Charter signed at Turin on 18 October 1961 and in the 1989 Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers, shall have as their objectives the promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions, so as to make possible their harmonisation while the improvement is being maintained, proper social protection, dialogue between the social partners, the development of human resources with a view to lasting high employment and the combating of exclusion.

To this end the Union and the Member States shall act taking account of the diverse forms of national practices, in particular in the field of contractual relations, and the need to maintain the competitiveness of the Union economy.

They believe that such a development will ensue not only from the functioning of the internal market, which will favour the harmonisation of social systems, but also from the procedures provided for in the Constitution and from the approximation of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action.

Article III-104

  1. With a view to achieving the objectives of Article III-103, the Union shall support and complement the activities of the Member States in the following fields:

    (a) improvement in particular of the working environment to protect workers' health and safety;

    (b) working conditions;

    (c) social security and social protection of workers;

    (d) protection of workers where their employment contract is terminated;

    (e) the information and consultation of workers;

    (f) representation and collective defence of the interests of workers and employers, including co determination, subject to paragraph 6;

    (g) conditions of employment for third-country nationals legally residing in Union territory;

    (h) the integration of persons excluded from the labour market, without prejudice to Article III-183;

    (i) equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work;

    (j) the combating of social exclusion;

    (k) the modernisation of social protection systems without prejudice to point (c).

  2. To this end:

    (a) European laws or framework laws may establish measures designed to encourage cooperation between Member States through initiatives aimed at improving knowledge, developing exchanges of information and best practices, promoting innovative approaches and evaluating experiences, excluding any harmonisation of the laws and regulations of the Member States;

    (b) in the fields referred to in paragraph 1(a) to (i), European framework laws may establish minimum requirements for gradual implementation, having regard to the conditions and technical rules obtaining in each of the Member States. Such European framework laws shall avoid imposing administrative, financial and legal constraints in a way which would hold back the creation and development of small and medium sized undertakings.

    In all cases, such European laws or framework laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

  3. By way of derogation from paragraph 2, in the fields referred to in paragraph 1(c), (d), (f) and (g), European laws or framework laws shall be adopted by the Council of Ministers acting unanimously after consulting the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

    The Council of Ministers may, on a proposal from the Commission, adopt a European decision making the ordinary legislative procedure applicable to paragraph 1(d), (f) and (g). It shall act unanimously after consulting the European Parliament.

  4. A Member State may entrust the social partners, at their joint request, with the implementation of European framework laws adopted pursuant to paragraph 2.

    In this case, it shall ensure that, no later than the date on which a European framework law must be transposed, the social partners have introduced the necessary measures by agreement, the Member State concerned being required to take any necessary step enabling it at any time to be in a position to guarantee the results imposed by that framework law.

  5. The European laws and framework laws adopted pursuant to this Article:

    (a) shall not affect the right of Member States to define the fundamental principles of their social security systems and must not significantly affect the financial equilibrium thereof;

    (b) shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or introducing more stringent protective measures compatible with the Constitution.

  6. This Article shall not apply to pay, the right of association, the right to strike or the right to impose lock-outs.

Article III-105

  1. The Commission shall have the task of promoting the consultation of the social partners at Union level and shall adopt any relevant measure to facilitate their dialogue by ensuring balanced support for the parties.

  2. To this end, before submitting proposals in the social policy field, the Commission shall consult the social partners on the possible direction of Union action.

  3. If, after such consultation, the Commission considers Union action desirable, it shall consult the social partners on the content of the envisaged proposal. The social partners shall forward to the Commission an opinion or, where appropriate, a recommendation.

  4. On the occasion of such consultation, the social partners may inform the Commission of their wish to initiate the process provided for in Article III-106. The duration of the procedure shall not exceed nine months, unless the social partners concerned and the Commission decide jointly to extend it.

Article III-106

  1. Should the social partners so desire, the dialogue between them at Union level may lead to contractual relations, including agreements.

  2. Agreements concluded at Union level shall be implemented either in accordance with the procedures and practices specific to the social partners and the Member States or, in matters covered by Article III-104, at the joint request of the signatory parties, by European regulations or decisions adopted by the Council of Ministers on a proposal from the Commission. The European Parliament shall be informed.

    Where the agreement in question contains one or more provisions relating to one of the areas for which unanimity is required by virtue of Article III-104(3), the Council of Ministers shall act unanimously.

Article III-107

With a view to achieving the objectives of Article III-103 and without prejudice to the other provisions of the Constitution, the Commission shall encourage cooperation between the Member States and facilitate the coordination of their action in all social policy fields under this Section, particularly in matters relating to:

(a) employment;

(b) labour law and working conditions;

(c) basic and advanced vocational training;

(d) social security;

(e) prevention of occupational accidents and diseases;

(f) occupational hygiene;

(g) the right of association and collective bargaining between employers and workers.

To this end, the Commission shall act in close contact with Member States by making studies, delivering opinions and arranging consultations both on problems arising at national level and on those of concern to international organisations, in particular initiatives aiming at the establishment of guidelines and indicators, the organisation of exchange of best practice, and the preparation of the necessary elements for periodic monitoring and evaluation. The European Parliament shall be kept fully informed.

Before delivering the opinions provided for in this Article, the Commission shall consult the Economic and Social Committee.

Article III-108

Each Member State shall ensure that the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value is applied.

For the purpose of this Article, "pay" means the ordinary basic or minimum wage or salary and any other consideration, whether in cash or in kind, which the worker receives directly or indirectly, in respect of his employment, from his employer.

Equal pay without discrimination based on sex means:

(a) that pay for the same work at piece rates shall be calculated on the basis of the same unit of measurement;

(b) that pay for work at time rates shall be the same for the same job.

European laws or framework laws shall establish measures to ensure the application of the principle of equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment and occupation, including the principle of equal pay for equal work or work of equal value. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee.

With a view to ensuring full equality in practice between men and women in working life, the principle of equal treatment shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or adopting measures providing for specific advantages in order to make it easier for the under represented sex to pursue a vocational activity or to prevent or compensate for disadvantages in professional careers.

Article III-109

Member States shall endeavour to maintain the existing equivalence between paid holiday schemes.

Article III-110

The Commission shall draw up a report each year on progress in achieving the objectives of Article III-103, including the demographic situation in the Union. It shall forward the report to the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the Economic and Social Committee.

Article III-111

The Council of Ministers shall, by a simple majority, adopt a European decision establishing a Social Protection Committee with advisory status to promote cooperation on social protection policies between Member States and with the Commission. The Council of Ministers shall act after consulting the European Parliament.

The tasks of the Committee shall be:

(a) to monitor the social situation and the development of social protection policies in the Member States and the Union;

(b) to promote exchanges of information, experience and good practice between Member States and with the Commission;

(c) without prejudice to Article III-247, to prepare reports, formulate opinions or undertake other work within its fields of competence, at the request of either the Council of Ministers or the Commission or on its own initiative.

In fulfilling its mandate, the Committee shall establish appropriate contacts with the social partners.

Each Member State and the Commission shall appoint two members of the Committee.

Article III-112

The Commission shall include a separate chapter on social developments within the Union in its annual report to the European Parliament.

The European Parliament may invite the Commission to draw up reports on any particular problems concerning social conditions.

Subsection 1: The European Social Fund

Article III-113

In order to improve employment opportunities for workers in the internal market and to contribute thereby to raising the standard of living, a European Social Fund is hereby established; it shall aim to render the employment of workers easier and to increase their geographical and occupational mobility within the Union, and to facilitate their adaptation to industrial changes and to changes in production systems, in particular through vocational training and retraining.

Article III-114

The Commission shall administer the Fund.

It shall be assisted in this task by a Committee presided over by a Member of the Commission and composed of representatives of Member States, trade unions and employers' organisations.

Article III-115

Implementing measures relating to the European Social Fund shall be enacted in European laws. Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

Economic, social and territorial cohesion

Article III-116

In order to promote its overall harmonious development, the Union shall develop and pursue its action leading to the strengthening of its economic, social and territorial cohesion.

In particular, the Union shall aim at reducing disparities between the levels of development of the various regions and the backwardness of the least favoured regions or islands, including rural areas.

Article III-117

Member States shall conduct their economic policies and shall coordinate them in such a way as, in addition, to attain the objectives set out in Article III-116. The formulation and implementation of the Union's policies and action and the implementation of the internal market shall take into account those objectives and shall contribute to their achievement. the Union shall also support the achievement of these objectives by the action it takes through the Structural Funds (European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance Section; European Social Fund; European Regional Development Fund), the European Investment Bank and the other existing financial instruments.

The Commission shall submit a report to the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee every three years on the progress made towards achieving economic, social and territorial cohesion and on the manner in which the various means provided for in this Article have contributed to it. This report shall, if necessary, be accompanied by appropriate proposals.

European laws or framework laws may establish any specific measure outside the Funds, without prejudice to measures adopted within the framework of the Union's other policies. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

Article III-118

The European Regional Development Fund is intended to help to redress the main regional imbalances in the Union through participation in the development and structural adjustment of regions whose development is lagging behind and in the conversion of declining industrial regions.

Article III-119

Without prejudice to Article III-120, European laws shall define the tasks, priority objectives and the organisation of the Structural Funds - which may involve grouping the Funds -, the general rules applicable to them and the provisions necessary to ensure their effectiveness and the coordination of the Funds with one another and with the other existing financial instruments.

A Cohesion Fund set up by a European law shall provide a financial contribution to projects in the fields of environment and trans European networks in the area of transport infrastructure.

In all cases, such European laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee. The Council of Ministers shall act unanimously until 1 January 2007.

Article III-120

Implementing measures relating to the European Regional Development Fund shall be enacted in European laws. Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

With regard to the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund, Guidance Section, and the European Social Fund, Articles III-127 and III-115 respectively shall apply.

Section 4: Agriculture and fisheries

Article III-121

The Union shall define and implement a common agriculture and fisheries policy.

"Agricultural products" means the products of the soil, of stockfarming and of fisheries and products of first-stage processing directly related to these products. References to the common agricultural policy or to agriculture, and the use of the term "agricultural", shall be understood as also referring to fisheries, having regard to the specific characteristics of this sector.

Article III-122

  1. The internal market shall extend to agriculture and trade in agricultural products.

  2. Save as otherwise provided in Articles III-123 to III-128, the rules laid down for the establishment of the internal market shall apply to agricultural products.

  3. The products listed in Annex I * shall be subject to Articles III-123 to III-128.

  4. The operation and development of the internal market for agricultural products must be accompanied by the establishment of a common agricultural policy.

Article III-123

  1. The objectives of the common agricultural policy shall be:

    (a) to increase agricultural productivity by promoting technical progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour;

    (b) thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture;

    (c) to stabilise markets;

    (d) to assure the availability of supplies;

    (e) to ensure that supplies reach consumers at reasonable prices.

  2. In working out the common agricultural policy and the special methods for its application, account shall be taken of:

    (a) the particular nature of agricultural activity, which results from the social structure of agriculture and from structural and natural disparities between the various agricultural regions;

    (b) the need to effect the appropriate adjustments by degrees;

    (c) the fact that in the Member States agriculture constitutes a sector closely linked with the economy as a whole.

Article III-124

  1. In order to attain the objectives set out in Article III-123, a common organisation of agricultural markets shall be established.

    This organisation shall take one of the following forms, depending on the product concerned:

    (a) common rules on competition;

    (b) compulsory coordination of the various national market organisations;

    (c) a European market organisation.

  2. The common organisation established in accordance with paragraph 1 may include all measures required to attain the objectives set out in Article III-123, in particular regulation of prices, aids for the production and marketing of the various products, storage and carryover arrangements and common machinery for stabilising imports or exports.

    The common organisation shall be limited to pursuit of the objectives set out in Article III-123 and shall exclude any discrimination between producers or consumers within the Union.

    Any common price policy shall be based on common criteria and uniform methods of calculation.

  3. In order to enable the common organisation referred to in paragraph 1 to attain its objectives, one or more agricultural guidance and guarantee funds may be set up.

Article III-125

To enable the objectives set out in Article III-123 to be attained, provision may be made within the framework of the common agricultural policy for measures such as:

(a) an effective coordination of efforts in the spheres of vocational training, of research and of the dissemination of agricultural knowledge; this may include joint financing of projects or institutions;

(b) joint measures to promote consumption of certain products.

Article III-126

  1. The Section relating to rules on competition shall apply to production of and trade in agricultural products only to the extent determined by European laws or framework laws in accordance with Article III-127(2), having regard to the objectives set out in Article III-123.

  2. The Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission, may adopt a European regulation or decision authorising the granting of aid:

    (a) for the protection of enterprises handicapped by structural or natural conditions;

    (b) within the framework of economic development programmes.

Article III-127

  1. The Commission shall submit proposals for working out and implementing the common agricultural policy, including the replacement of the national organisations by one of the forms of common organisation provided for in Article III-124(1), and for implementing the measures referred to in this Section.

    These proposals shall take account of the interdependence of the agricultural matters mentioned in this Section.

  2. European laws or framework laws shall establish the common organisation of the market provided for in Article III-124(1) and the other provisions necessary for the achievement of the objectives of the common agricultural policy and the common fisheries policy. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee.

  3. The Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission, shall adopt the European regulations or decisions on fixing prices, levies, aid and quantitative limitations and on the fixing and allocation of fishing opportunities.

  4. In accordance with paragraph 2, the national market organisations may be replaced by the common organisation provided for in Article III-124(1) if:

    (a) the common organisation offers Member States which are opposed to this measure and which have an organisation of their own for the production in question equivalent safeguards for the employment and standard of living of the producers concerned, account being taken of the adjustments that will be possible and the specialisation that will be needed with the passage of time;

    (b) such an organisation ensures conditions for trade within the Union similar to those existing in a national market.

  5. If a common organisation for certain raw materials is established before a common organisation exists for the corresponding processed products, such raw materials as are used for processed products intended for export to third countries may be imported from outside the Union.

Article III-128

Where in a Member State a product is subject to a national market organisation or to internal rules having equivalent effect which affect the competitive position of similar production in another Member State, a countervailing charge shall be applied by Member States to imports of this product coming from the Member State where such organisation or rules exist, unless that State applies a countervailing charge on export.

The Commission shall adopt European regulations or decisions fixing the amount of these charges at the level required to redress the balance; it may also authorise other measures, the conditions and details of which it shall determine.

Section 5: Environment

rticle III-129

  1. Union policy on the environment shall contribute to pursuit of the following objectives:

    a) preserving, protecting and improving the quality of the environment;

    b) protecting human health;

    c) prudent and rational utilisation of natural resources;

    d) promoting measures at international level to deal with regional or worldwide environmental problems.

  2. Union policy on the environment shall aim at a high level of protection taking into account the diversity of situations in the various regions of the Union. It shall be based on the precautionary principle and on the principles that preventive action should be taken, that environmental damage should as a priority be rectified at source and that the polluter should pay.

    In this context, harmonisation measures answering environmental protection requirements shall include, where appropriate, a safeguard clause allowing Member States to take provisional steps, for non economic environmental reasons, subject to a procedure of inspection by the Union.

  3. In preparing its policy on the environment, the Union shall take account of:

    a) available scientific and technical data;

    b) environmental conditions in the various regions of the Union;

    c) the potential benefits and costs of action or lack of action;

    d) the economic and social development of the Union as a whole and the balanced development of its regions.

  4. Within their respective spheres of competence, the Union and the Member States shall cooperate with third countries and with the competent international organisations. The arrangements for the Union's cooperation may be the subject of agreements between the Union and the third parties concerned, which shall be negotiated and concluded in accordance with Article III-272.

    The previous subparagraph shall be without prejudice to Member States' competence to negotiate in international bodies and to conclude international agreements.

Article III-130

  1. European laws or framework laws shall establish what action is to be taken in order to achieve the objectives referred to in Article III-129. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

  2. By way of derogation from paragraph 1 and without prejudice to Article III-65, the Council of Ministers shall unanimously adopt European laws or framework laws establishing:

    a) measures primarily of a fiscal nature;

    b) measures affecting:

    i) town and country planning;

    ii) quantitative management of water resources or affecting, directly or indirectly, the availability of those resources;

    iii) land use, with the exception of waste management;

    c) measures significantly affecting a Member State's choice between different energy sources and the general structure of its energy supply.

    The Council of Ministers may unanimously adopt a European decision making the ordinary legislative procedure applicable to the matters referred to in the first subparagraph of this paragraph.

    In all cases, the Council of Ministers shall act after consulting the European Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

  3. General action programmes which set out priority objectives to be attained shall be enacted by European laws. Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

    The measures necessary for the implementation of these programmes shall be adopted under the terms of paragraph 1 or paragraph 2, according to the case.

  4. Without prejudice to certain measures adopted by the Union, the Member States shall finance and implement the environment policy.

  5. Without prejudice to the principle that the polluter should pay, if a measure based on paragraph 1 involves costs deemed disproportionate for the public authorities of a Member State, such measure shall provide in appropriate form for:

    a) temporary derogations, and/or

    b) financial support from the Cohesion Fund.

Article III-131

The protective provisions adopted pursuant to Article III-130 shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or introducing more stringent protective provisions. Such provisions must be compatible with the Constitution. They shall be notified to the Commission.

Section 6: Consumer protection

Article III-132

  1. In order to promote the interests of consumers and to ensure a high level of consumer protection, the Union shall contribute to protecting the health, safety and economic interests of consumers, as well as to promoting their right to information, education and to organise themselves in order to safeguard their interests.

  2. The Union shall contribute to the attainment of the objectives referred to in paragraph 1 through:

    a) measures adopted pursuant to Article III-65 in the context of the completion of the internal market;

    b) measures which support, supplement and monitor the policy pursued by the Member States.

  3. The measures referred to in paragraph 2(b) shall be enacted by European laws or framework laws. Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee.

  4. Acts adopted pursuant to paragraph 3 shall not prevent any Member State from maintaining or introducing more stringent protective provisions. Such provisions must be compatible with the Constitution. They shall be notified to the Commission.

Section 7: Transport

Article III-133

The objectives of the Constitution shall, in matters governed by this Title, be pursued within the framework of a common transport policy.

Article III-134

European laws or framework laws shall implement Article III-133, taking into account the distinctive features of transport. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

Such European laws or framework laws shall contain:

(a) common rules applicable to international transport to or from the territory of a Member State or passing across the territory of one or more Member States;

(b) the conditions under which non-resident carriers may operate transport services within a Member State;

(c) measures to improve transport safety;

(d) any other appropriate measure.

Article III-135

Until the European laws or framework laws referred to in the first paragraph of Article III-134 have been adopted, no Member State may, unless the Council of Ministers has unanimously adopted a European decision granting a derogation, make the various provisions governing the subject on 1 January 1958 or, for acceding States, the date of their accession less favourable in their direct or indirect effect on carriers of other Member States as compared with carriers who are nationals of that State.

Article III-136

Aids shall be compatible with the Constitution if they meet the needs of coordination of transport or if they represent reimbursement for the discharge of certain obligations inherent in the concept of a public service.

Article III-137

Any measures adopted within the framework of the Constitution in respect of transport rates and conditions shall take account of the economic circumstances of carriers.

Article III-138

  1. In the case of transport within the Union, discrimination which takes the form of carriers charging different rates and imposing different conditions for the carriage of the same goods over the same transport links on grounds of the Member State of origin or of destination of the goods in question shall be prohibited.

  2. Paragraph 1 shall not prevent the adoption of other European laws or framework laws pursuant to the first paragraph of Article III-134.

  3. The Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission, shall adopt European regulations or decisions for implementing paragraph 1. It shall act after consulting the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.

    The Council of Ministers may in particular adopt the European regulations and decisions needed to enable the institutions to secure compliance with the rule laid down in paragraph 1 and to ensure that users benefit from it to the full.

  4. The Commission, acting on its own initiative or on application by a Member State, shall investigate any cases of discrimination falling within paragraph 1 and, after consulting any Member State concerned, adopt the necessary European decisions within the framework of the European regulations and decisions referred to in paragraph 3.

Article III-139

  1. The imposition by a Member State, in respect of transport operations carried out within the Union, of rates and conditions involving any element of support or protection in the interest of one or more particular undertakings or industries shall be prohibited, unless authorised by a European decision of the Commission.

  2. The Commission, acting on its own initiative or on application by a Member State, shall examine the rates and conditions referred to in paragraph 1, taking account in particular of the requirements of an appropriate regional economic policy, the needs of underdeveloped areas and the problems of areas seriously affected by political circumstances on the one hand, and of the effects of such rates and conditions on competition between the different modes of transport on the other.

    After consulting each Member State concerned, the Commission shall adopt the necessary European decisions.

  3. The prohibition provided for in paragraph 1 shall not apply to tariffs fixed to meet competition.

Article III-140

Charges or dues in respect of the crossing of frontiers which are charged by a carrier in addition to the transport rates shall not exceed a reasonable level after taking the costs actually incurred thereby into account.

Member States shall endeavour to reduce these costs.

The Commission may make recommendations to Member States for the application of this Article.

Article III-141

The provisions of this Section shall not form an obstacle to the application of measures taken in the Federal Republic of Germany to the extent that such measures are required in order to compensate for the economic disadvantages caused by the division of Germany to the economy of certain areas of the Federal Republic affected by that division.

Article III-142

An Advisory Committee consisting of experts designated by the governments of Member States shall be attached to the Commission. The Commission, whenever it considers it desirable, shall consult the Committee on transport matters.

Article III-143

  1. This Section shall apply to transport by rail, road and inland waterway.

  2. European laws or framework laws may lay down appropriate measures for sea and air transport. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

Section 8:Trans-european networks

Article III-144

  1. To help achieve the objectives referred to in Articles III-14 and III-116 and to enable citizens of the Union, economic operators and regional and local communities to derive full benefit from the setting up of an area without internal frontiers, the Union shall contribute to the establishment and development of trans-European networks in the areas of transport, telecommunications and energy infrastructures.

  2. Within the framework of a system of open and competitive markets, action by the Union shall aim at promoting the interconnection and interoperability of national networks as well as access to such networks. It shall take account in particular of the need to link island, landlocked and peripheral regions with the central regions of the Union.

Article III-145

  1. In order to achieve the objectives referred to in Article III-144, the Union:

    (a) shall establish a series of guidelines covering the objectives, priorities and broad lines of measures envisaged in the sphere of trans European networks; these guidelines shall identify projects of common interest;

    (b) shall implement any measures that may prove necessary to ensure the interoperability of the networks, in particular in the field of technical standardisation;

    (c) may support projects of common interest supported by Member States, which are identified in the framework of the guidelines referred to in point (a), particularly through feasibility studies, loan guarantees or interest-rate subsidies; the Union may also contribute, through the Cohesion Fund, to the financing of specific projects in Member States in the area of transport infrastructure.

    The Union's activities shall take into account the potential economic viability of the projects.

  2. The guidelines and other measures referred to in paragraph 1 shall be enacted by European laws or framework laws. Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

    Guidelines and projects of common interest which relate to the territory of a Member State shall require the agreement of the Member State concerned.

  3. Member States shall, in liaison with the Commission, coordinate among themselves the policies pursued at national level which may have a significant impact on the achievement of the objectives referred to in Article III-144. the Commission may, in close cooperation with the Member State, take any useful initiative to promote such coordination.

  4. The Union may cooperate with third countries to promote projects of mutual interest and to ensure the interoperability of networks.

Section 9: Research and technological development, and space

Article III-146

  1. The Union shall aim to strengthen the scientific and technological bases of Union industry and encourage it to become more competitive at international level, while promoting all the research activities deemed necessary by virtue of other Chapters of the Constitution.

  2. For this purpose, the Union shall, throughout the Union, encourage undertakings, including small and medium sized undertakings, research centres and universities in their research and technological development activities of high quality; it shall support their efforts to cooperate with one another, aiming, notably, at enabling researchers to cooperate freely across borders and undertakings to exploit the internal market potential, in particular through the opening up of national public contracts, the definition of common standards and the removal of legal and fiscal obstacles to that cooperation.

  3. All the Union's activities under the Constitution in the area of research and technological development, including demonstration projects, shall be decided on and implemented in accordance with this Section.

Article III-147

In pursuing these objectives, the Union shall carry out the following activities, complementing the activities carried out in the Member States:

(a) implementation of research, technological development and demonstration programmes, by promoting cooperation with and between undertakings, research centres and universities;

(b) promotion of cooperation in the field of the Union's research, technological development and demonstration with third countries and international organisations;

(c) dissemination and optimisation of the results of activities in the Union's research, technological development and demonstration;

(d) stimulation of the training and mobility of researchers in the Union.

Article III-148

  1. The Union and the Member States shall coordinate their research and technological development activities so as to ensure that national policies and the Union's policy are mutually consistent.

  2. In close cooperation with the Member States, the Commission may take any useful initiative to promote the coordination referred to in paragraph 1, in particular initiatives aiming at the establishment of guidelines and indicators, the organisation of exchange of best practice, and the preparation of the necessary elements for periodic monitoring and evaluation. The European Parliament shall be kept fully informed.

Article III-149

  1. A multiannual framework programme, setting out all the activities of the Union, shall be enacted by European laws. Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee.

    The framework programme shall:

    (a) establish the scientific and technological objectives to be achieved by the activities provided for in Article III-147 and fix the relevant priorities;

    (b) indicate the broad lines of such activities;

    (c) fix the maximum overall amount and the detailed rules for the Union's financial participation in the framework programme and the respective shares in each of the activities provided for.

  2. The framework programme shall be adapted or supplemented as the situation changes.

  3. The framework programme shall be implemented through specific programmes developed within each activity. Each specific programme shall define the detailed rules for implementing it, fix its duration and provide for the means deemed necessary. The sum of the amounts deemed necessary, fixed in the specific programmes, may not exceed the overall maximum amount fixed for the framework programme and each activity.

  4. The Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission, shall adopt the European regulations or decisions establishing the specific programmes. It shall act after consulting the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.

Article III-150

For the implementation of the multiannual framework programme, European laws or framework laws shall establish:

(a) the rules for the participation of undertakings, research centres and universities;

(b) the rules governing the dissemination of research results.

Such European laws or framework laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee.

Article III-151

In implementing the multiannual framework programme, European laws may establish supplementary programmes involving the participation of certain Member States only, which shall finance them subject to possible participation by the Union.

Such laws shall determine the rules applicable to supplementary programmes, particularly as regards the dissemination of knowledge and access by other Member States. They shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee and with the agreement of the Member States concerned.

Article III-152

In implementing the multiannual framework programme, European laws may make provision, in agreement with the Member States concerned, for participation in research and development programmes undertaken by several Member States, including participation in the structures created for the execution of those programmes.

Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Economic and Social Committee.

Article III-153

In implementing the multiannual framework programme the Union may make provision for cooperation in the Union's research, technological development and demonstration with third countries or international organisations.

The detailed arrangements for such cooperation may be the subject of agreements between the Union and the third parties concerned, which shall be negotiated and concluded in accordance with Article III-227.

Article III-154

The Council of Ministers, on a proposal from the Commission may adopt European regulations or decisions to set up joint undertakings or any other structure necessary for the efficient execution of the Union's research, technological development and demonstration programmes. It shall act after consulting the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee.

Article III-155

  1. To promote scientific and technical progress, industrial competitiveness and the implementation of its policies, the Union shall draw up a European space policy. To this end, it may promote joint initiatives, support research and technological development and coordinate the efforts needed for the exploration and exploitation of space.

  2. To contribute to attaining the objectives referred to in paragraph 1, European laws or framework laws shall establish the necessary measures, which may take the form of a European space programme.

Article III-156

At the beginning of each year the Commission shall send a report to the European Parliament and the Council of Ministers. The report shall include information on research and technological development activities and the dissemination of results during the previous year, and the work programme for the current year.

Section 10: Energy

Article III-157

  1. In establishing an internal market and with regard for the need to preserve and improve the environment, Union policy on energy shall aim to:

    (a) ensure the functioning of the energy market,

    (b) ensure security of energy supply in the Union, and

    (c) promote energy efficiency and saving and the development of new and renewable forms of energy.

  2. The measures necessary to achieve the objectives in paragraph 1 shall be enacted in European laws or framework laws. Such laws shall be adopted after consultation of the Committee of the Regions and the Economic and Social Committee.

    Such laws or framework laws shall not affect a Member State's choice between different energy sources and the general structure of its energy supply, without prejudice to Article III-130(2)(c).

Part III, Title III, Chapter II| Contents |Part III, Title III, Chapter IV

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