Avis juridique important
Council Resolution of 10 April 1984 on a Community policy on tourism
Official Journal C 115 , 30/04/1984 P. 0002 - 0027
Spanish special edition: Chapter 07 Volume 3 P. 0191
Portuguese special edition Chapter 07 Volume 3 P. 0191
COMMUNITY POLICY ON TOURISM Initial guidelines (84/C 115/02)
Aims of the communication
The Commission is sending a communication to the Council on tourism because it has observed the extraordinary expansion of tourist activity in the Community and the interrelationship between tourism and a large number of Community activities. It therefore felt it useful to emphasize the importance of tourism to the Community and consider how it relates to other Community activities. These two aims are elaborated in the study "The European Community and tourism" annexed to this communication.
The paper reveals the areas in which Community action is likely to stimulate the harmonious development of tourism within the Community and indicates to the Council which of the proposals now before it would, when adopted, promote the development of tourism in the Community or improve the conditions in which those involved in the tourist industry work.
Finally the Commission seeks to identify the priority areas in which action by the Community, either in addition to or as a means of coordinating what is done at national level, could help solve some of the problems of tourism in the Community.
The importance of tourism to the Community
Article 2 of the Treaty of Rome assigns to the European Community the task of promoting closer relations between the States which belong to it. Tourism can assist the Community to achieve this goal and, by bringing the peoples of Europe into contact, it buttresses the edifice of European integration.
Tourism is also an important economic activity in the spirit of Article 2 of the Treaty. It provides jobs for 4 million people in the Community and its indirect effect on employment is considerably greater. It contributes to balance of payments stability between the northern European countries and those of the south and assists in the development of the poorest regions of the Community. Special attention should therefore be paid to promoting its harmonious development throughout the Community.
A further measure of the importance of tourism to the Community is the large number of Community policies which, directly or indirectly, have a bearing on it. These range from the free movement of persons and the freedom to provide tourist services, through passenger transport to regional development and the protection of the environment. To give further stimulation to tourism within the Community, a "tourist dimension" should be given to these so that the needs of tourism are taken into account when decisions are taken and Community actions implemented. The following headings show the areas in which tourism can be taken into account.
Freedom of movement and the protection of tourists
A number of measures help to encourage tourism within the Community by making it easier for tourists to cross frontiers and stay in other Member States.
Easing of customs checks
With the abolition of customs duties within the European Community the number of checks has been reduced and it is therefore easier for all Community citizens, including tourists, to cross internal frontiers. However, since VAT rates differ between the Member States, random checks on the goods imported by travellers are carried out at frontiers. The system of "duty-free allowances" allows goods to be imported up to certain limits fixed by the Council. If these allowances were more generous, the risk of infringement would be lessened and customs checks could be correspondingly reduced. This would foster among the citizens of the Member States the sense of belonging to the Community. - The Commission therefore intends to propose to the Council in the near future that a mechanism should be introduced to ensure that the duty-free allowances are increased regularly.
- The Commission also proposed to the Council on 23 January 1980 a Community procedure on the provisioning of boats, aeroplanes and international trains (1) which would also be beneficial for tourism.
Reduction of police checks at frontiers
In addition to customs inspections, police checks are still carried out at frontiers within the Community despite the fact that in December 1974 the Heads of State or Government advocated a passport union entailing a uniform passport and the abolition of frontier checks. Although these checks are retained on the grounds of public order and public safety (terrorism, drug smuggling) it does seem possible to simplify them for all modes of transport. - The Commission has recently proposed to the Council a resolution on the simplification of checks on the citizens of the Member States who cross frontiers within the Community (2):
Social security for tourists
Persons insured under the social security legislation of one Member State of the Community are entitled to medical services in any Member State which they are visiting as tourists or holidaymakers. This puts tourism within the Community at a great advantage over that in non-member countries. But this fact is not widely known and travellers to another Member State do not always obtain the "Certificate of entitlement" from their sickness insurance organization and so lose the benefits of this facility. - The Commission will discuss with the relevant authorities in the Member States the introduction of simpler and more effective procedures.
- It will step up its information campaign to encourage all insured persons to make full use of their rights.
Tourist assistance and car insurance
Harmonizing the terms under which assistance is provided to tourists who have an accident during a journey within the Community and ensuring that the victims of car accidents enjoy equal protection in all Community countries are important to tourism. The Commission has proposed a number of measures in these fields: - on 13 January 1981, it sent to the Council a proposal for a Directive to introduce uniform conditions for tourist assistance throughout the Community (3),
- on 7 August 1980 it sent to the Council a proposal for a Directive on the harmonization of the legislation of the Member States concerning civil liability insurance for motor vehicles (4),
- on 8 January 1981 it recommended to the Member States accelerated settlement of claims under civil liability insurance (5).
The protection of tourists' interests
The protection of tourists' interest against any shortcomings in the services offered by travel agents, against the sometimes misleading advertisements about the accommodation offered and against safety hazards in the places where they are staying requires strengthening. (1) OJ No C 31, 8.2.1980. (2) OJ No C 197, 31.7.1982. (3) OJ No C 51, 10.3.1981. (4) OJ No C 214, 21.8.1980. (5) OJ No L 57, 4.3.1981. - The Commission intends to present to the Council a draft Directive on consumer protection in connection with inclusive holidays.
- It will study non-structural aspects of hotel safety.
- It will endeavour to standardize the presentation of information about hotels.
Working conditions for those engaged in tourism
The European Community has brought about a common market in tourist services by permitting freedom of establishment for economic operators and by enabling them to provide services in any Member State. It can further improve conditions for those working in tourism by taking action in the following areas.
The right of establishment and freedom to provide tourist services
These two rights, which are guaranteed by the EEC Treaty, are important to an international activity such as tourism. The principle of regarding other Community citizens as on the same footing as those of the host country is generally recognized. But the existence of varying national rules on the conditions of assents to a tourist profession may form a barrier to freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services. - In 1965 the Commission proposed to the Council a Directive on measures to encourage exercise of the right to freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services by self-employed workers, including certain transport auxiliaries and travel agents. The Council adopted this Directive on 19 June 1982 (1).
Vocational training and the mutual recognition of qualifications
The mobility of workers in the tourist industry, which is often essential to the exercise of their profession, frequently depends on the recognition of qualifications acquired or periods of study completed in other Member States. - The Commission is considering matters relating to this profession in the broader context of work on the mutual recognition of diplomas.
- Provided they are set up at the initiative of the Member States, common study programmes on tourism involving institutions of higher education in the Member States will be looked at favourably by the Commission.
Aid from the European Social Fund
The improvement of conditions of work in tourism, which is a labour-intensive industry beset with the problems of seasonality, requires particular attention. - The European Social Fund will consider favourably any schemes designed to improve job prospects and geographical and vocational mobility for those employed in tourism.
The concentration of school and industrial holidays in a short period of the year reduces the efficiency of industry, especially the tourist industry, and the effectiveness of regional development. It entails increased high-season prices and a degree of congestion which is uncomfortable for the tourists themselves. The Commission considers this matter as one of high priority. - It will study without delay the pattern of school and industrial holidays in the Member States and consider what can be done to extend the tourist season.
- In this connection it will pay particular attention to ways of encouraging social, cultural and farm tourism.
Tax matters connected with tourism
The VAT rates which apply to services provided by hotels and restaurants differ widely from one Member State to another. However the Community has not yet tackled the harmonization of VAT rates and could not do so for one sector in isolation. (1) OJ No L 213, 21.8.1982 ; Bulletin EC 6-1982, point 2.1.21. - It is therefore for the Member States to apply VAT rates which take account of the needs of their tourist industries and international competition in this sector.
- The Commission, for its part, will establish to what extent disparities in the taxation imposed by the Member States on tourism divert the flow of tourism.
Energy matters relating to tourism
The price of energy is of great concern to tourism : it affects the cost of transport and the cost of heating or air conditioning in hotels and other buildings for tourist purposes. - Measures proposed by the Commission in the context of its energy policy cannot but be of assistance to tourism (1).
- The Commission takes equally into account the tourist aspects of energy-saving demonstration projects and projects to exploit alternative energy sources for which Community aid is requested.
Transport and tourism
Since tourism involves mobility, transport is of prime importance. Economic integration has had a beneficial effect on communication within the Community.
This has been particularly true of road transport so attention should now be given to other modes of passenger transport and infrastructure of benefit to the Community in general. - The Commission intends to stimulate reflection of railway undertakings as to how they can make their passenger services more attractive.
- In the field of air transport, tourism has much to gain from the draft Directive sent by the Commission to the Council on 26 October 1981, which includes the aims of increased transparency and greater flexibility in tariffs for regular services between the Member States (2).
- This is also true of the Regulation proposed to the Council on 1 December 1980, which is designed to improve regular regional air services (3).
- More generally in the field of transport infrastructure, the Commission proposed in November 1979 that support should be given to investment projects of Community interest (4), this may also assist tourist traffic between the Member States.
Regional development and tourism
The promotion of tourism can help the development of poorer regions with tourist potential and here the Community can assist in two ways : by finance from the European Regional Development Fund and by finance from the EAGGF, Guidance Section.
Assistance from the European Regional Development Fund
The Community sees tourism as one of the economic sectors that could help in the development of the poorer regions. The ERDF therefore makes a contribution in this field both from its quota and its non-quota sections. Tourist projects submitted by the Member States must however form part of a development programme for the region in question. - The Commission gives consideration to operations to support the development of tourism, especially in rural areas, which can be financed by the ERDF.
Assistance from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
The EAGGF, Guidance Section, can aid the development of tourist activities that complement agricultural activities. It can also help create the conditions required for the success of rural tourism, particularly in mountainous and other less-favoured regions. - The Commission gives consideration to projects for the development of rural tourism submitted by the Member States for EAGGF financing. (1) OJ No C 55, 3.3.1982. (2) OJ No C 78, 30.3.1982, Bulletin EC 10-1981, point 2.1.139. (3) Bull. EC 10-1980, point 2.1.87. (24) Supplement 8/79 - Bulletin EC
Safeguarding the European heritage and tourism
Nature and cultural heritage, particularly architecture, constitute Europe's tourist resources. Touristic interest of Europe is its variegated landscapes, historic sites and artistic monuments. The work undertaken to preserve this shared heritage therefore also has a more directly economic aspect.
Environmental protection and tourism
A large number of Community measures concerning sea and air pollution and noise are of benefit to the tourist industry, but in its turn tourism must take environmental requirements into account. - The draft action programme of the European Communities on the environment (1982 to 1986), adopted by the Commission on 28 October 1981 and sent to the Council explicitly mentions the fact that greater attention must be paid to environmental considerations in the development of tourist and other activities (1).
- The draft Directive concerning the assessment of the environmental effects of certain public and private projects, which was adopted by the Commission on 16 June 1980 and sent to the Council for a decision, also concerns tourist activities (2).
The architectural heritage and tourism
The architectural heritage is behind such international tourism and as such it is a valuable asset which brings considerable dividends to many areas of the Community. It therefore deserves to be preserved as a source of their wealth. - The Commission is preparing a communication to the Council on strengthening Community action in the cultural sector, part of which will deal with the Community's contribution to the preservation of its architectural heritage.
- The Commission intends to propose a programme of exchanges of young workers, which will also deal with the use of voluntary services for the preservation of the architectural heritage.
This study of the tourist aspects of various Community activities clearly shows that the Community must be active on two fronts : it must work actively for the development of tourism in the Member States and it must select a number of priorities.
Working actively for the development of tourism
The main responsibility for tourism lies with the Member States. The past 20 years have shown that both the public and the private sector of the economy in the Member States have succeeded in adapting themselves to a tourism whose expectations have grown in line with its numbers. While it is true that the existence of the Community has given them a favourable context which it could improve still further by adopting a number of common rules and by better coordination of its activities in the field of tourism, it should not go too far in seeking to coordinate national policies because each of these reflects the very different situations of the Member States. Nor should it try to solve problems that could better be dealt with at national or even regional level.
At Community level some of the work to further tourism also depends principally on initiatives by the Member States. It is up to them to present tourist projects which qualify for Community support from the Regional, Social or Agricultural Funds.
Other important operations in the field of tourism are the responsibility of the Council. Some of the Commission's proposals have been before the Council for a considerable time and their rapid adoption would encourage tourism within the Community and improve conditions for those working in the tourist industry.
Yet other operations are the concern of the Commission which will examine the options available and make appropriate proposals. It is the Commission which in the first instance is responsible for coordinating operations with the Community financial instruments available to stimulate tourism. The (1) OJ No C 305, 25.11.1981 ; Bulletin EC 11-1981, points 1.4.1 to 1.4.16. (2) OJ No C 169, 9.7.1980. Commission will ensure that national aids to tourism, as in every other area of economic activity, conform to the competition rules set out in the Treaty and ensure that the considerable liberalization of tourist movements within the Community which has been achieved is not jeopardized by protectionist measures stimulated by the economic recession from which all the Member States are suffering.
Selection of priorities
The Commission is ready to consider with the Member States a number of priority matters which would be better dealt with by concerted national and Community action. In its view these include the lengthening of the tourist season, the preservation of the architectural heritage in disadvantaged regions and the promotion of social, cultural and rural tourism. These issues are linked and can be reduced to the single question of how best to use the tourist installations and labour available, especially in rural areas, while encouraging the least privileged sections of the population to become tourists.
The Commission is going to discuss the question of staggering school and industrial holidays with the appropriate authorities. It is, however, convinced that in this case a normative solution is not sufficient. The habit of regarding one or two months of the year as the holiday season will have to be overcome and this means that the public must be offered new "products" and the poorer sections of society encouraged to take advantage of off-season prices.
The growth of tourism in recent years should not be allowed to hide the fact that large sections of society still have insufficient income to benefit from it. Special attention should therefore be paid to certain sections of society such as young workers and pensioners, who would, if encouraged, take holidays during the low season. They are the prime targets for the staggering of the tourist season, which will enable better use to be made of investments in tourism.
The same aim could be achieved by the encouragement of out-of-season tourism of a predominantly cultural nature which would therefore be less closely linked to the summer period than other types. Cultural circuits, perhaps extending over a number of Member States, could be encouraged by an appropriate pricing policy.
The search for more attractive prices can also lead to a new concept of holidays : farm tourism or rural tourism using the natural and cultural environment of the countryside, rural labour and the typical foods of the various regions. The encouragement of this type of tourism would furnish extra jobs for the rural labour force, assist the development of disadvantaged regions of the Community and enable their natural and cultural heritage to be preserved.
The Council is requested to approve these initial guidelines for a Community tourist policy. In the light of the discussion of them which will take place in both the Council and Parliament, the Commission will present concrete proposals on tourism to the Council.
THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY AND TOURISM
The importance of tourism to the Community
In the preamble to the Treaty of Rome the Member States express their determination to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe and Article 2 of the Treaty assigns to the European Community the task of promoting closer relations between the States which belong to it. Although this is not the Community's only task, it is certainly the most important and the one which is most basic to the very existence of the Community.
Tourism can assist the Community to achieve this goal. Indeed, the leisure aspect of tourism often pushes into the background the cultural and political aspects which are none the less real and of great importance.
Tourism enables the peoples of Europe to discover that, far from being a source of dissension, the cultural variety within their shared civilization can be a source of richness and interest. Since its
TABLE 1 Revenue from and expenditure on international tourism in the Member States
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establishment, the Council of Europe has been very concerned to encourage this process. The Community hopes that this aspect of the Council's work will flourish and that its own activities will help achieve this goal.
Once the preserve of a privileged few, during the 1960s and 1970s tourism acquired mass appeal, becoming an important source of jobs and a means of developing disadvantaged regions. It also became one of the major sectors of economic activity in the Community.
Table 1 illustrates the rapid expansion of international tourism in the Community countries during those decades - an expansion which makes it almost unique among economic activities. While the contribution of international tourism to revenue and expenditure in the Community as a whole grew more than tenfold during this period, the increase in certain countries was considerably higher.
Tourism within the Community accounts for more than 50 % of tourist expenditure and more than 60 % of tourist revenue and so plays an important part in redistributing wealth within the Community. As Table 1 shows, while revenue more or less matches expenditure in Denmark, Ireland and the United Kingdom, Germany and the Benelux countries are heavy net spenders and France. Greece and Italy show a substantial surplus. Since the countries of northern Europe generally have a positive trade balance, tourism contributes towards balance of payments stability, which is beneficial for the Community as a whole and helps it achieve its fundamental aim of balanced growth.
Table 2 shows the relative importance of tourism for the Member States' balances of payments. Although, taking all goods and services in the Nine together, tourism accounts for almost 4 % of credits and almost 5 % of debits, its share in the credits or debits of certain Member States is much greater. Tourism makes a major contribution to the payments balances of countries such as Greece, Italy, Ireland, and even France. The importance of this may be judged from the fact that in March 1982 the Tourism Committee of the OECD noted the growing resurgence of protectionist measures hindering the development of international tourism.
Around 10 years ago, national tourist organizations in the EEC set up a working party which periodically analyzes the economic importance of tourism in the Community. Its fourth report (1981) contained ample evidence of the growing importance of this sector of economic activity for each of the Member States and for the Community as a whole.
In 1979, nationals of the nine Member States spent more than 77 000 million ECU on tourism, a figure which represents more than 7 % of total private consumption. Revenue from tourism in the Community countries exceeded 72 000 million ECU or more than 4 % of Community GDP. If, however, the multiplier effect of tourist revenue spent in the Community and producing further revenue is taken into
TABLE 2 The share of tourism in the balances of payments of the Member States
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account, direct and indirect revenue from tourism could amount to more than 10 % of the Nine's GDP.
The same report noted that in 1979 more than 4 million people were directly employed full-time in tourism in the Community and that this figure was continually rising. Here too account must be taken of the multiplier effect of tourist revenue and it should also be remembered that, because of the lack of sufficiently detailed statistics, a number of jobs which depend on tourism appear in other sectors. Here we are in the realm of conjecture, but the national tourist organizations of the Ten have estimated that if all tourist activity were suddenly to cease, between 10 and 12 % of the Community's workforce would lose their jobs.
In any case, it cannot be denied that tourism is a labour-intensive industry and one which has not yet been hit by the unemployment which has affected other sectors in Europe - this means that it deserves special attention to keep it free from these problems. The most serious threat to tourism in a period of recession is the return of protectionism. As explained below, the European Community has taken a number of measures to make tourism within its boundaries easier and these have certainly contributed to its expansion over the last 20 years. It is now up to the Community to preserve what has been achieved and to encourage tourism still further both as a creator of jobs and as a factor of development.
Freedom of movement and the protection of tourists
The importance of tourism to the Community derives from its political and cultural effects and its economic econsequences for the balance of payments, employment and regional development. The Community encourages or could encourage tourism by certain actions or initiatives : by easing frontier crossings, extending social security provisions to nationals of the Member States, harmonizing car insurance and tourist assistance and protecting the interests of tourists in the Community.
Crossing frontiers within the Community
Before the Treaty of Rome establishing the EEC came into force, frontiers constituted real barriers to the movement of travellers from one country to another. There were careful customs and police checks, large quantities of paper and long queues at customs posts. None of these factors encouraged foreign travel.
There is no doubt that since 1958 the situation has improved considerably. Customs duties between the Member States have gone, as has paperwork, at least for travellers who are not transporting goods. Nevertheless, customs and police checks are still carried out at frontiers and, 25 years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, we must now ask ourselves whether the present situation is acceptable or whether it does not constitute in some respects an obstacle to the further development of the tourist industry.
Since 1969 there has been a system of duty-free allowances based on a series of Directives (1). These permit the tourist, like any other traveller, to import, in addition to his personal belongings, goods acquired in another Member State up to a limit fixed by the Council of Ministers. It is because of this limit that some frontier formalities still have to exist.
There is a close link between the limits on duty-free allowances and the lightness of frontier checks. Community law does, admittedly, say that travellers are entitled to indicate tacitly or by a simple statement that they have no more than their allowances and the consequence is that in all the Member States only random checks are performed. There is, however, no doubt that these checks could be more flexible and less frequent if the allowances were more generous and the risk of infringement consequently reduced.
For all these reasons and so that the existence of the Community can be brought home to the Community citizen through the advantages of a common market, it is vital that the Council should adopt the Commission's proposals for raising the limits on these allowances. This is made all the more urgent by the daily erosion of their real value by inflation and currency depreciation ; one of the most important freedoms of the Community citizen is being increasingly whittled away.
There are no major problems concerning the personal effects that tourists bring with them. A draft Directive on the abolition of all formalities concerning means of transport (cars, caravans and pleasure boats) is before the Council. The present situation is that most Member States no longer impose any formalities although a caravan imported for a long period can still create difficulties. The definition of a traveller's personal effects changes as time goes by : it is now not uncommon to find a television set in a caravan or a video recorder in a traveller's luggage. In such cases, problems are usually resolved by the adjustment of administrative practices as a result of representations by the appropriate bodies (e.g. automobile clubs) to the authorities.
The implementation of a further Community measure, the draft Directive on Community arrangements for the provisioning of boats, aeroplanes and international trains, would also encourage tourism.
Identity checks on travellers crossing a frontier within the Community are usually carried out on a random basis. Crossings at road frontier posts have been considerably eased by the abolition of checks on the international motor vehicle insurance certificate (green card), in accordance with the Council Directive of 24 April 1972 (2). The life of drivers in the countries they visit will also be made easier by the introduction of the Community driving licence in accordance with the Council Directive of 4 December 1980 (3).
Travellers using other means of transport are, however, still subject to more rigorous police checks.
Despite the many appeals addressed to governments by both the European Parliament and the Commission those crossing frontiers by train, bus and coach and by air are still subject to systematic checks (disembarkation cards).
The main argument advanced by the Member States in support of their maintenance of police checks within the Community is the defence of public order and public safety (the fight against terrorism and drug smuggling). It is, however, difficult for Community citizens to understand why the severity of checks should depend on the means of transport used. The Commission has just proposed to the Council a resolution seeking to simplify police controls at all frontiers within the Community and for all modes of transport.
It should be noted that when the Heads of State or Government met in Paris in December 1974 they advocated a passport union comprising three basic elements : a uniform passport, the abolition of checks on individuals at internal frontiers and equal treatment of the nationals of the Member States by non-member countries. A first step towards a passport union was taken with the Council resolution on the introduction of a uniform passport with Member States will endeavour to start issuing no later than 1 January 1985. This will have considerable political and psychological impact since the uniform passport will be the first document for all citizens of the Member States which bears the name of the European Community.
Although some progress has been made, it can be said in conclusion that customs and police checks still constitute a barrier to tourism within the Community. The adoption, by the Council on 29 June 1982 of the Commission's proposal to raise the tax-free allowances from 180 to 210 EUA shows a certain improvement. The Commission intends to propose in the near future a mechanism for regular adjustment.
Since frontier posts still remain, they should also have tourist information offices close by, which could provide information on hotels and local places of tourist interest - this would at least give a welcoming aspect to the Community's internal frontier areas.
In the longer term, much would be gained if a passport union among the Member States of the Community was created. If this were done, passport checks could be confined to the Community's external frontiers - a model has been provided since 1960 by the Benelux countries' convention.
Social security for tourists
The Council regulations on social security for employed and self-employed migrant workers and pensioners and members of their families (4) apply to tourists and holidaymakers who are nationals of the Member States. For the purposes of these regulations, tourists (including holidaymakers and those visiting relatives) are regarded as migrant workers and are entitled to medical services if they are so entitled under the legislation of the Member State in which they are insured. This right is evidenced by a "Certificate of entitlement" (form E 111) issued by their sickness insurance organization before their departure - this is then presented if necessary to a sickness insurance body in another Member State. It is therefore important for travellers to obtain this document before leaving their own country.
The regulations provide that insured persons may receive urgent medical treatment - consultations with general practitioners or specialists, medicines, dental treatment, hospital treatment, etc. - in accordance with the regulations and practices of the Member State providing the services and any cash benefits (sickness and maternity allowances, etc.) to which they may be entitled. Hence, provided they have the form E 111, tourists who fall sick or have an accident in another Community country should not experience any problems. This puts tourism within the Community at a great advantage over that in non-member countries.
Nevertheless, experience has shown that many tourists either do not know or do not understand the administrative rules governing the application of Community regulations, while information on private insurance schemes is often more readily available. The Commission has the existing arrangements under review with the competent authorities in the Member States with a view to introducing new, simpler and more effective procedures. The Commission will also intensify its information campaign on the subject.
Car insurance and tourist assistance
One result of the recent growth in tourism has been the setting up of firms specializing in insurance cover for various types of accidents which may occur during a journey. Automobile clubs have also broadened their scope from breakdown services to include other forms of assistance. This may take the form of services in kind (breakdown services, repatriation in case of accident, etc.), for which the supplying body uses only its own staff and equipment, or it may be actual insurance cover. The draft Directive on tourist assistance which the Commission sent to the Council on 13 January 1981 is intended to make the activities of such insurers subject to the inspection measures which the Council Directive of 24 July 1973 (coordination of indemnity insurance) lays down for insurance companies and so to introduce uniform conditions for tourist assistance throughout the Community.
With the aim of reducing certain variations between the Member States concerning compulsory civil liability insurance for motor vehicles and in order to ensure that victims of accidents enjoy equal protection throughout the Community, the Commission sent to the Council on 7 August 1980 a draft Directive on the harmonization of the legislation of the Member States concerning civil liability insurance for motor vehicles.
Finally a Commission recommendation of 8 January 1981 (5) on accelerated settlement of claims under insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles was intended to facilitate, in case of accident, the communication to insurers covering against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles of police reports and other documents necessary for the payment of compensation.
The protection of tourists' interests
As part of its consumer information and protection policy, the Commission has carried out a number of studies on tourism and, in particular, the services offered to tourists by travel agents and tour
operators. Its first study covered the International Convention on Travel Contracts, which was drawn up in 1970 but which is applied in the Community only by Belgium and Ireland. This convention suffers from a number of shortcomings and as a result the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law, which produced it, proposed its revision in 1980.
The Commission has also had two reports prepared by experts, one in 1979 by A. Borst on the responsibility of tour operators and travel agents and one in 1981 by SOFRES on the European market for inclusive tours. The SOFRES report showed that a appreciable percentage of customers were dissatisfied, to some extent because of the travel agent's failure to respect the terms of the contract and also because of misleading descriptions in the tour operators brochures concerning such matters as price increases after reservation, changes in the services offered (e.g. change of hotel or flight departure time), unsatisfactory accommodation, cancellation penalties and failure to indicate clearly the responsibilities of the various suppliers.
Following these studies, the Commission intends to present to the Council a draft outline on the protection of consumers in connection with inclusive holidays. This Directive would set out a number of basic principles for the Member States to implement.
The European Parliament has expressed its concern about hotel safety on a number of occasions. To remedy some of the deficiencies of national rules, it has asked for a Community Directive to be prepared dealing mainly with the posting of instructions, the provision of fire extinguishers and the marking of emergency exists. In December 1981 the Consumers Consultative Committee issued an opinion emphasizing the need for Community action in this area. It asked the Commission to consider the problem and, as a first step, draw up a code of practice.
The Commission therefore intends to have studies carried out and to make proposals on the nonstructural aspects of safety such as in hotels, for example, the training of staff in fire prevention and fire fighting techniques, periodic inspections by qualified staff.
Finally, in the interests of travellers in the Community, misleading advertising must be combated and the indication outside hotels of prices and other standard items of information - using symbols wherever possible - should be made normal practice.
Working conditions for those engaged in tourism
The European Community has not simply encouraged tourism through the free movement of persons within its frontiers ; it has established a common market in tourist services by introducing freedom of establishment for economic operators and by enabling them to provide services in any Member State. It can still do much to improve conditions for those working in tourism by harmonizing training levels, imposing the mutual recognition of qualifications and by supporting vocational training programmes through the European Social Fund. Furthermore, it can, in conjunction with the Member States, seek solutions to the problems of staggering holidays, taxation and energy questions relating to tourism.
The right of establishment and freedom to provide tourist services
The right of nationals of one Member State to establish themselves on the territory of another and to work there are basic features of the European Economic Community. They allow the self-employed to have access to and practise their profession and the right to set up and manage firms and companies subject to the conditions laid down by national legislation for the citizens of that country (Articles 52 and 59 of the EEC Treaty).
Other Community citizens are now generally accepted as being on the same footing as citizens of the host country, especially as far as the tourist sector is concerned, and no special measures are required. Two judgments by the Court of Justice (Reyners and Van Binsbergen, both in 1974) asserted the direct applicability of the Treaty provisions concerning the right of establishment and the freedom to provide services. Consequently, every citizen of a Member State has a personal right guaranteed by the Treaty to establish himself and carry out independent activities in any Member State on the same conditions as a national of the host country. Any Community citizen who suffers discrimination can assert his rights in the national courts, where Community rules will prevail over any opposing national provision.
Some Member States do, nevertheless, make access to a profession subject to rules of varying degrees of severity concerning guarantees of good repute or practical or theoretical knowledge as demonstrated by diploms, certificates or other qualifications. The variations between national rules may form a barrier to freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services.
A number of Community directives on various sectors of activity have been adopted to overcome these obstacles. Two of these in particular concern tourism. The first is the Council Directive of 15 October 1968 concerning self-employed activities in restaurants, taverns, rooming houses and similar establishments and camps (6) and the second is the Council Directive of 16 June 1975 which includes within its scope couriers and interpreter-guides (7). In such cases, the host country must accept the proof of professional ability and good repute that is considered sufficient in the country of origin of the person concerned. On the other hand, certain activities in the tourism sector, such as tourist guides, are not covered by any such directives. In order to do this type of work a migrant must possess the qualifications required by the legislation of the host country.
The Council has also adopted, on 19 June, a Directive, transmitted in 1965, on measures to encourage exercise of the right to freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services by self-employed workers, including certain transport auxiliaries and travel agents (8).
It should be remembered that a large part of a travel agent's work is based on trust : suppliers give him credit by honouring the transport, accommodation and meal vouchers which he issues to his clients and for which he does not pay until a month or two later and his clients pay in advance and have to take on trust the value of the services which he will provide. This is why most Community countries protect the public by making recognition as a travel agent subject to rules of varying severity. The differences between the systems in the various countries are a handicap to travel agents and a source of errors, misunderstandings and confusion for the public. The adoption of this Directive can thus be considered as a positive matter.
Vocational training and the mutual recognition of qualifications
It is obvious that the mobility of skilled workers in the tourist industry, whether in the hotel and restaurant sector, the organization and management of travel and tourism or any other activity directly or indirectly connected with tourism, relies on the recognition of qualifications acquired or periods of study completed in other Member States.
Although specialized vocational training courses in the traditional hotel and restaurant sectors exist in all the Member States, higher education or training courses covering the organization and management of tourism are less common.
Levels of training for employment in the hotel and restaurant sector are being evaluated in collaboration with the European Centre for Vocational Training. Work on other sectors has shown that all the Member States have broadly similar requirements as regards the practical professional requirements for the jobs considered. Hence the knowledge and skills which a worker requires to perform a job for which he has been trained or in which he has experience will also be broadly similar.
It therefore follows that the results of training received, as attested by various certificates in each of the Member States, must allow workers in all the Member States to satisfy the same agreed professional requirements. This is particularly important in the case of the tourist industry, whose workforce has a relatively high degree of international mobility. The question of the mutual recognition of qualifications is being considered in the broader context of the Commission's work on the recognition of diplomas as a legal condition of access to a profession and of diplomas giving access to a higher level of education (academic recognition) or attesting professional qualifications without constituting a legal requirement.
The resolution of the Council and of the Ministers of Education meeting within the Council of 9 February 1976 provides for the implementation of common study programmes between institutions of higher education in the various Member States. So far only two programmes concerning tourism have been assisted, one involving Germany and the United Kingdom and the other involving France, Germany and Italy.
Requests from institutions of higher education wishing to establish common study programmes on tourism and those from teachers, researchers and administrators in higher education who wish to make short-term study visits to another Member State will continue to be examined on their merits. The Commission will consider the possibility of giving special emphasis to this sector in the next few years.
Aid from the European Social Fund
Aid from the Social Fund on a co-financing basis is available to tourism and those employed in the tourist industry to improve job prospects and geographical and vocational mobility. The main type of aid involves vocational training and retraining of those who are employed or who find a job in any part of the tourist industry. A number of studies dealing with the development of tourist activities are also financed.
So far, most aid from the Social Fund to tourism has been concentrated on vocational training for both traditional and administrative jobs in the hotel and restaurant sector. Fund aid has also been requested at an increasing rate to co-finance training projects concerning leisure activities in mountain areas (winter sports, mountaineering, etc.). Rural tourism can also receive aid from the Fund to train agricultural workers or people who have left agriculture in various aspects of tourism as alternative employment or as a way of increasing farm workers' incomes.
The guidelines for the management of the European Social Fund from 1982 to 1984 give special priority to new experimental programmes which combine employment and training. Exceptionally, these may extend over three years instead of the normal one-year period laid down by ESF Regulations. Tourism is an area suited to training/work experience schemes.
The Fund can also assist projects for the training of craftsmen (often agricultural workers or their wives) who produce craftwork, souvenirs, etc. for the tourist industry. This can help check the depopulation of rural areas. The training of restorers and preservers of monuments and historic buildings, works of art, etc. is also eligible for assistance from the Social Fund.
The current level of unemployment in the Community and the labour-intensive nature of the tourist industry mean that the Social Fund, whose main purpose is to improve job opportunities, will look favourably on any moves which promote stable employment in this area.
The concentration of school and industrial holidays in a short period of the year means that the transport and tourist infrastructure is overloaded during that time and underused for the rest of the year. This works against the interests of regional development, stable employment and an efficient tourist industry and leads to increased prices in the high season and a degree of congestion which is uncomfortable for the tourists themselves.
This is a direct result of the custom in almost all the Member States of concentrating school and higher education holidays in July and August and the practice of commerce and industry, which prefer to make maximum savings by closing down completely during the same period. The Education Committee set up by the 1976 Resolution of the Council and of the Ministers of Education of the Member States held an initial discussion of this subject in January 1978. Although the general problems were identified and a number of solutions proposed, the problem has not been looked at again since.
In response to a number of written parliamentary questions, the Commission has jointly financed two preliminary studies : one on the future of the European tourist industry from 1980 to 1990 and the other on staggered holidays. The Commission now intends to look at the pattern of school holidays in the Member States in relation to holiday periods and periods of total shutdown in industrial and commercial firms and to look at the various options which would lead to staggered holidays.
The problem of staggering holidays at Community level cannot be considered until the results of this study are available. Community action is particularly appropriate since staggering, which is earnestly desired by those working in the tourist industry and by tourists themselves, must be implemented simultaneously by a number of countries if it is to succeed without causing competition problems.
Tax matters connected with tourism
Tourism is affected by the Sixth Council Directive on the harmonization of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes of 17 May 1977 (9), which in particular excludes the possibility of exempting from VAT the provision of accommodation - as defined in the legislation of the Member States - by hotels or similar establishments including holiday camps and camp sites. Article 26 of the Sicth Directive deals with the specific problems of travel agents by making the taxable base the agent's margin with the result that VAT constitutes only a small proportion of the total cost.
It should be noted that tax harmonization in the Community does not go beyond what is required for the creation and operation of the common market - that is, it deals with the indirect tax base but not with rates of taxation. On 27 March 1980 the Commission, in its report to the Council on the prospects for further harmonization of tax systems in the Community, stated that it was extremely difficult to remove inequalities affecting the structure of the tax system, the overall tax burden and the distribution of revenue between different taxes.
TABLE 3 VAT rates in the Member States of the Community (excluding Greece) at 1 January 1982
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Table 3 shows the large number of different VAT rates applied to services provided by hotels and restaurants in the Community, excluding Greece which has not yet introduced a value-added tax system.
Although the Commission is aware of the problems posed by this variety of tax rates on hotels and restaurants in the Community, for the reasons given above it does not intend to propose sectoral measures which would have an impact on national tax receipts unless these are essential for the achievement of a common policy adopted by the Council or to deal with particularly serious problems.
Nevertheless it would be useful if the Commission could examine to what extent disparities in the taxation imposed by the Member States through VAT on hotels and restaurants and excise duties on fuel divert the flow of tourism.
Energy matters relating to tourism
Energy matters affect tourism in two ways ; the price of fuel has a very large impact on the cost of transport and the cost of heating and/or air conditioning in hotels and other buildings for tourist purposes forms a considerable proportion of their costs.
The 1973 oil crisis amply demonstrated the dangers which a shortage of fuel and a sharp rise in its price could cause to the economy in general and to transport and tourism in particular. Fortunately, this crisis came at the beginning of the slack season (the end of October) and at a time when tourism was booming. The second oil price shock in 1979 and one rise in energy prices after another have increased transport and tourism costs still further to levels at which further increases will cause very serious damage.
This is why measures to limit the effects of a momentary oil shortage are important to tourism. These cover a variety of possibilities which the Commission has proposed after finding in recent years that the economy could be seriously affected by market difficulties, even if these amounted to no more than a slight short-term shortage, or even, in extreme cases, by a scare and a lack of information. In the future a sharp rise in prices must be avoided, and obviously its negative consequences on tourism, by taking appropriate steps as soon as the precursors of market tensions are observed. Concern to anticipate problems is the keystone of the energy strategy advocated by the Commission.
In 1981 the Commission sent to the Council two further communications on energy prices and the taxation of oil products which were intended to increase market transparency and go some way towards rationalizing the taxation of these products in line with energy policy goals.
The measures proposed in these two documents will have some impact on tourism since they should help promote stability and reduce uncertainty about pricing structures and the taxation of oil products.
It should also be noted that, on the basis of two regulations adopted by the Council in 1978, the Community gives financial aid amounting to between 25 % and 49 % of their total cost to projects to exploit alternative energy sources (10) and to demonstration projects in the field of energy saving (11). A number of these projects, such as the heating of hotels, leisure centres, community facilities and swimming pools have already received assistance. Notices inviting applications for financial assistance are published in the Official Journal of the European Communities. Any person, firm, institution or group in the territory of the Member States can submit an application for finance for a demonstration project in the field of energy-saving or the utilization of new sources of energy. Furthermore, any person or company in the Community may obtain and use, on non-discriminatory commercial terms, the results of projects financed by the Community which have proved successful in the rational utilization of conventional energy or the utilization of alternative sources of energy.
Transport and tourism
Since tourism is an activity in which mobility plays the key role, developments in transport are a matter of fundamental concern to the tourist. In this respect the Community has already done a great deal for tourism. Economic integration has had a marked effect on communications within the Community. Road, rail and air links are becoming better adapted to the needs of the continent and motorways no longer stop a few kilometres from the frontier and give rise to bottlenecks, as was formerly their wont. To be sure, much still remains to be done, as the Commission pointed out in its communication of November 1979 on the Community's role in the development of transport infrastructures, but we must not understate what has already been accomplished for the various modes of transport.
Passenger transport by road
Free access to the market for passenger transport by road is an objective of the transport policy of the Community. As long ago as July 1966. Regulation (EEC) No 117/66 on the introduction of common rules for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus provided that occasional coach and bus provided that occasional coach and bus services should be exempt from the requirement of authorization by any Member State except the one where the vehicle is registered. Since occasional services are pre-eminently tourist services. Regulation (EEC) No 117/66 has played a vital role in the development of tourism within the Community (12).
Regulation (EEC) No 517/72 of 28 February 1972 laid down common rules for regular and special regular services by coach and bus between Member States (13). It standardized the procedures for drawing up and issuing authorizations to operate such services, and provided the authorities with standard means of checking the development of the market and obtaining the information needed to assess applications for the operation of a service. In a Regulation of 20 December 1977 amending Regulation (EEC) No 517/72, the Council also simplified the administrative formalities governing regular services between port areas served by a regular sea transport service (14).
Also on 28 February 1972, in Regulation (EEC) No 516/72, the Council laid down common rules for shuttle services by coach and bus between Member States. This Regulation, too, is very important for the tourist industry, since shuttle services are those services that carry pre-arranged groups of passengers from the same place of departure to the same destination in repeated outward and return journeys (15).
Farther afield, the Agreement between the Community, Austria, Spain, Finland, Norway, Portugal, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey (ASOR) signed in May 1982 will have a positive effect on tourism between those countries with respect to occasional international services carrying passengers by coach or bus. That Agreement is designed to eliminate existing differences of administration, to facilitate and rationalize the organization of services and to simplify controls. By liberalizing the administrative systems, the Agreement will do much to further the development of tourism. It is the first measure in this field that goes beyond the geographical frontiers of the Community and lays down rules that are binding for non-member countries as well.
Railway passenger transport
The European railways networks are making a steady and intensive effort to improve their international passenger transport facilities by increasing commercial speed, improving passenger service and comfort, stepping up train frequencies and establishing direct connections. Innovations in the field of passenger transport include accompanied car trains and seasonal trains.
By comparison with pre-war years, the tourist market has broadened its scope to cater for the relatively modest means of the working-class holidaymaker - hence a remarkable upsurge in travel. Whether he is interested in individual, family or group travel facilities, the ordinary customer stands a good chance of finding something to meet his requirements in the railway tariff spectrum, e.g. the EURAIL formula for overseas customers, the 40 % reduction on the individual group ticket (BIGE system) or the flat-rate season ticket for pensioners and young people (Inter-Rail formula).
One of the aims of a Council resolution of 15 December 1981 is to promote high-speed international passenger services which will benefit tourism. The Commission, moreover, proposes to encourage further action by the railways to make their passenger services more attractive (closer collaboration with the travel agencies and the establishment of reception facilities in and around the stations).
Air transport and tourism
In its memorandum of 4 July 1979 on the European Communities' contribution to the development of air transport services, the Commission noted that the general level of tariffs among the regular airlines was too high, and that private passengers did not have enough alternatives. Although charter transport had gained a strong foothold in air travel within Europe and had brought about price competition between the charter companies, this had done nothing to stimulate competition between the companies providing scheduled flights in Europe. Those companies still geared their tariff policy primarily to business travel, an area in which tariffs were not necessarily a decisive factor, whereas a cut in prices would probably attract other passengers and fill the aircraft.
To improve air transport services in the Community and meet user requirements, the Commission recommended the establishment of an efficient European network which would not be hindered by national barriers and would offer the various categories the lowest possible fares. With this in view, the memorandum proposed changes in the tariff structue of regular services to provide more attractive fares for the tourist market and for inter-regional transport.
Two proposals directly affecting tourists are currently under consideration by the Council, namely the draft Directive of 26 October 1981 on tariffs for regular flights between member countries, and the draft Council Regulation of 27 November 1980 on the authorization of regular interregional air services for passengers, postal articles and freight between Member States. One aim of the draft Directive is to increase transparency in the setting of tariffs, make the procedure more flexible and give the airlines more latitude in this field. It is of interest to the tourist, who attaches importance to a more flexible and more individual service. The second proposal aims at improving air services to the regions and stimulating competition which will have considerable effect on tourist traffic.
The importance of transport infrastructure for tourist traffic is a point that scarcely needs emphasis : it is via the roads and motorways that the great majority of tourists reach their holiday destinations in the montains or by the sea. Hence they can be the means of relieving the pressure on some of the tourist centres and holiday resorts and give access to other places and regions in the Community.
A number of Community financial instruments are already contributing to the financing of transport infrastructures : the European Regional Development Fund, the New Community Instrument (NCI), the interest subsidies available to certain countries participating in the European Monetary System, and above all the European Investment Bank which alone has co-financed over 1 600 kilometres of motorway in the Community. Nevertheless, the special criteria governing the use of these instruments sometimes prevent their being used for the benefit of transport infrastructures, especially in the more developed regions of the Community, through which the great flood of Community tourist traffic passes.
It was for this reason that the Commission, in its communication of November 1979 on the development of transport infrastructures, suggested that an instrument should be introduced to deal specifically with transport infrastructures, i.e. to provide support tailored to the exact requirements of each project of Community interest adopted. This specific financial instrument is the cornerstone of the policy on transport infrastructures recommended by the Commission.
The short-term objectives of this policy are the determination of bottlenecks liable to hinder traffic between the member countries, the pinpointing of investment projects of interest to the Community, international links between important centres, links with the peripheral regions, links affected by the accession of new member countries and routes that pass across natural obstacles. Two of the priority projects examined by the Commission are a permanent link between France and the United Kingdom and a motorway linking Germany with Greece via Austria and Yugoslavia. The value of these objectives of the Community's transport infrastructure policy for tourist traffic within the Community is at once apparent.
Regional development and tourism
Conscious of the need to reduce the disparities between its regions and to assist its farmers in every way possible, the European Community sees the promotion of tourism as one means by which it can help the development of poorer regions with tourist potential and enable farmers to supplement their income by catering for tourists alongside their main activities. Hence the Community is participating financially in two types of schemes: - schemes aimed at the development of tourist activities in the less-favoured regions and zones of the Community with financing by the European Regional Development Fund;
- schemes to promote farm tourism, financed by the EAGGF Guidance resources. These schemes differ from those mentioned above in that they cover the whole Community but are concerned only with farm tourism.
Assistance from the European Regional Development Fund
In the context of its regional policy, the Community sees tourism as one of the economic sectors that could help in the development of the poorer regions. The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) (16) therefore makes a contribution in this field in its quota section, which operates according to a system of national quotas and enables the Community to increase the funding of regional development projects undertaken by the Member States. Applications for aid from the Fund are put forward by the national authorities, who have made an advance selection of eligible projects. It also contributes through its non-quota section, which, in association with the national authorities, funds specific Community regional development schemes, the broad lines of which have been defined by the Community in agreement with the Member States concerned.
In the period 1975 to 1981, the ERDF, under its quota section, jointly financed with the Member States 359 tourist projects in regions qualifying for regional aid ; the total investment was 481 million ECU. The ERDF was 69 million ECU broken down as follows: - in the case of projects relating to the creation, expansion or modernization of accommodation - whether hotels, hostels, motels, holiday villages or camping and caravan sites - the aid amounted to 10 million ECU. For projects of this kind, the ERDF can contribute up to 20 % of the investment costs as long as this does not exceed 50 % of the aid granted to each investor by the national authorities:
- in the case of infrastructure projects directly associated with tourism, the ERDF contributed 59 million ECU (*). It can provide up to 30 % of the amount contributed by the public authorities to assist this type of project. The rate is raised to 40 % in cases where the project is of special importance for the development of the region (50 % in the proposals for the revision of the ERDF). This category includes projects such as the following : transport infrastructure aimed at opening up the region to tourist traffic (e.g. on the railways, the provision of facilities for loading and unloading motorail trains, and in harbour areas, landing facilities to accommodate tourist craft) ; the layout of marinas, stretches of water and rivers for boating ; investments to provide sports and other recreational or cultural facilities for the entertainment of tourists.
For a project to be eligible for aid under the quota section of the ERDF, it must form part of the development programme for the region. The transition from single project financing to the financing of infrastructure investment programmes and systems of State aid as proposed in the revision of the ERDF should emphasize the integration of these projects within coherent sets of tourist investment programmes.
With regard to the non-quota section of the ERDF, measures aimed at the promotion of rural tourism were adopted by the Council in 1980 in the context of two specific Community projects. These measures relate first to the French regions of Aquitaine, Languedoc-Rousillon and Midi-PyrenÃ©es and the Mezzogiorno regions of Italy (17) and, second - though differing slightly with respect to the measures described below - some of the frontier areas of Ireland and Northern Ireland (18).
The aim of these specific contributions, which the Commission has suggested should be increased in the context of the revision of the ERDF, is to develop any local potential which is still underused. The Mediterranean regions, for instance, have important assets in their climate (sunshine), geography (sea and landscape) and culture (history and architecture). These advantages are put to little use owing to the inadequacy of accommodation in both quantity and quality and the lack of drive in promoting tourism, advertising tourist attractions and managing the accommodation capacities. In view of the advantages enjoyed by the coastal areas and the need for a more balanced development, the Community effort is directed to the promotion of rural tourism, in particular: - the building or conversion of smaller hotels and the provision of rural accommodation and camping or caravan sites. Unlike the EAGGF project considered below, this project can involve farmers, craftsmen and indeed any (*) Multipurpose projects not concerned solely with tourism such as the co-financing by the ERDF of the Breton motorway scheme are not included in this figure. occupational group. Where the investments are linked with agricultural activities, the aid may be as much as 50 % of the investment aid granted from public funds. In other cases there is an additional limit of 30 % of the investment cost;
- the setting-up and development of common services or bodies responsible for promotion and advertising, tourist activities and the coordinated management of accommodation capacities. In regions where the distribution of tourist traffic is heavily weighted in favour of the coastal areas, these bodies can be made responsible for projects aimed at restoring the balance. For instance, they can be given the task of organizing tours, holiday camps or country-life classes. For operations such as these. Community aid can be granted to cover part of the running costs of the common services or bodies. The aid is on a declining scale over three years, and can cover 70 % of the costs for the first year, though it must not exceed 55 % of the total costs over the three years;
- the setting-up of facilities and infrastructure directly related to the development of tourism, including recreational an cultural activities (aid 50 % of public expenditure);
- the development of transport undertakings to enable tourists staying on the coast to reach inland tourist areas more easily and to handle the outings associated with holiday camps and country-life classes. In the first year, Community aid may be as much as 50 % of the public contribution to the net operating costs of the transport services. It is spread over three years on a declining scale.
In the proposal it sent to the Council on 26 October 1981 for amending the ERDF Regulation the Commission set out certain provisions affecting tourism. In its quota section, the ERDF should concentrate on the regions seriously affected by structural underdevelopment : the Greek regions other than Athens and Thessaloniki, the Italian Mezzogiorno, Ireland, the assisted areas of the United Kingdom in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and the north-west of England, Greenland and the French overseas departments. For these regions, moreover, provision is made for the ERDF to operate more flexibly in the quota section by financing schemes designed to develop the inherent potential of the regions. Here explicit reference is made to rural tourism, and aid can be assigned to the operating costs of bodies concerned with its promotion and with the coordinated management of accommodation in much the same way as was outlined earlier in connection with the non-quota section ; it can cover 70 % of the costs for the first year, bus must not exceed 55 % of the total costs over the three years.
Other projects are being prepared. For instance, in its communication to the Council of 23 October 1981 on the Mediterranean programmes proposed in connection with the mandate of 30 May 1980, the Commission suggested as one possible scheme a more vigorous development of tourism, especially in rural areas. The current thoughts, which should result in formal proposals before the end of the year, are tending towards strengthening interest in developing those actions which improve accommodation capacities and tourist initiatives in rural areas.
Assistance from the European Agricultural Guidance and Guarantee Fund
The EAGGF, Guidance Section, can aid the development of tourist activities that complement agricultural activities within the framework of the agricultural structures policy and on the basis of the socio-structural directives, three of which were adopted in 1972 and one in 1975.
The three basic directives of 1972 are interdependent, their objective being to enable a large number of farms to achieve profitability by way of structural improvements. Directive 72/159/EEC relates to the modernization of farms (19). Directive 72/160/EEC lays down measures to encourage the cessation of farming and the reallocation of utilized agricultural area for the purposes of structural improvement (20) Lastly, Directive 72/161/EEC is concerned with socio-economic guidance and the acquisition of occupational skills by farmers (21).
Though Community aid in the context of Directive 72/159/EEC relates only to agricultural investment in respect of farms with a development plan, and excludes investment in the rural habitat, the Member States are authorized to aid investment in the habitat and thus to encourage investment directed to the development of rural tourism.
Directive 72/161/EEC, on the other hand, can make a real contribution to rural tourism. It requires Member States to launch schemes to encourage the vocational advancement and adaptation of farmers and farmworkers, both hired and family members.
Under this Directive, the Member State can obtain Community aid to organize training courses for farmers wishing to take up work in connection with tourism as a sideline.
Directive 75/268/EEC relates to mountainous and other less-favoured regions where particularly unattractive working conditions give rise to a mass exodus of the local inhabitants, resulting in the abandonment of farmland and the depopulation of the area. Under the Directive the less-favoured regions may be given a larger slice of investment aid and an annual indemnity proportionate to their permanent natural handicaps with a view to improving the economic situation of the inhabitants and keeping them in the area. By carrying on with their agricultural work, they can help to maintain the economic fabric of the region and protect the environment (22).
This Directive provides expressly for financial aid to develop farm tourism and the craft trades : in the less-favoured agricultural areas with tourist potential, investments carried out on a farm under a development plan with a view to tourism or craft trade activities can be encouraged up to an amount of 12 000 ECU with Community participation in the financing.
Along with these direct aids to farm tourism, there is the indirect effect of projects carried out in the context of the socio-structural directives. Persons who give up farming under the provisions of Directive 72/160/EEC can take up tourism work, and the land released by them can be used for parks, relaxation areas or sports and recreation grounds, thereby increasing the attraction of the rural areas for tourists. As mentioned above, Directive 72/159/EEC allows Member States to assist the development of a farm for the purpose of tourism in parallel with modernization subsidized by the EAGGF. Directive 75/268/EEC requires Members States to undertake investment in infrastructures and territorial improvements in the mountain regions and other less-favoured regions. This scheme, together with the indemnity payable to less-favoured farmers, is essential to maintain agricultural activity in these regions and to create suitable conditions for farm tourism.
Similarly, specific programmes directed at the Mediterranean regions and certain other less-favoured regions include measures for the development of rural infrastructure, thereby helping to create the right conditions for the economic development of the areas concerned and indirectly to promote tourism.
Aside from the indirect effects of the socio-structural directives and the common agricultural policy in general, the actual support given to farm tourism, as it appears in reports from the Member States, is very slight. It is true that the Commission has no exact information on the allocation of investment funds by the member countries. As we saw in the first part of this report, it is certain that some of them are making an effort of their own in connection with the rural habitat and farm tourism, whilst reserving Community financial aid for strictly agricultural investments, especially as the latter is subject to a time limit.
The fact remains, however, that as yet little use is being made by the Member States of the existing Community instruments to promote farm tourism. If we are to encourage the development of tourism in the countryside, it might be as well to draw the attention of the farmers concerned to the facilities offered, within the framework of the common agricultural policy, by Directives 75/268/EEC and 72/161/EEC. It should be borne in mind that the approach adopted by the Community in its policy on agricultural structure is to offer farmers solutions which can help them increase their incomes.
The development of tourism as a sideline for farmers can be assisted by various schemes depending on the particular circumstances in the region : publicity drives and information for the public on existing facilities for accommodation among the farmers ; feasibility studies on the restoration, improvement and conservation of the rural environment characteristic of different regions ; an analysis of the requirements and wishes of farm tourists to enable farmers to adjust their offer and modify their accommodation.
Lastly, it needs to be pointed out that, although the common agricultural policy, pursuing the prime objective of maintaining agriculture, creates the essential basic conditions for rural tourism to prosper, there is also a need for a general infrastructure (roads, electrification, water supplies, etc.) and for actual tourist facilities such as restaurants, recreational facilities, camping and caravan sites and the like. Hence the aids afforded by the EAGGF and the ERDF must be properly coordinated by the Member States and the Commission with a view to the development of tourism in promising areas.
Safeguarding the European heritage and tourism
Nature and its cultural heritage constitute Europe's tourist resources. A comparatively small geographical area contains a vast variety of climates, landscapes, monuments and historic sites. These landscapes and these historic and artistic monuments are the magnet for millions of tourists every year. They are not simply our heritage but resources which must be husbanded for the future.
Environmental protection and tourism
Pollution and the destruction of the environment are two of the greatest barriers to tourism. Hence Community measures to protect the environment cannot but assist tourism. Since 1973, the Council of Ministers has adopted 63 legal instruments concerning water and air pollution, noise, waste, chemical products and the protection of nature. Although all these measures are designed to improve the environment for everybody, some are of particular concern to tourism. Examples are the directives on the quality of bathing water and water and air pollution, and noise.
The Council Directive of 8 December 1975, which lays down quality standards for running and still fresh waters and sea water where bathing is authorized or permitted (23) is particularly important for tourism. Since the main aim is that bathing water should not be polluted by sewage, the directive sets minimum standards for such water and provides for checks on bacteria which transmit infectious diseases. Besides bacteriological purity, other quality criteria, such as the appearance of the water and its acceptability to bathers, are of importance for tourism. The 1975 Directive deals with this aspect by providing for the control of substances giving taste, odour or an unpleasant colour to water such as phenols and hydrocarbons which infiltrate bathing water from chemical plants and oil refineries situated on coasts or near rivers and canals.
For these water quality standards to be achieved and maintained, pollution must be reduced and this is the aim of other Community directives. A Council Directive of 4 May 1976 on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the Community (24) seeks to check the deterioration of the quality of water by prohibiting or limiting the discharge of toxic substances on a "black list" or a "grey list". There are a number of other Community directives designed to reduce water pollution which are therefore of interest to tourism. The most important are that of 22 November 1973 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to detergents (25) and that of 20 February 1978 on the progressive reduction and eventual elimination of pollution of the sea by waste from the titanium dioxide industry (26).
Although a great deal of sea pollution is caused by waste from land-based sources, another important source is shipping. The pollution of the Breton coast early in 1978 by the wreck of the supertanker Amoco Cadiz is still fresh in everyone's mind and in an attempt to forestall such catastrophes the Council set up a Community action programme in June 1978 on the control and reduction of pollution caused by hydrocarbons discharged at sea (27).
Clearly pollution of the sea is not something that the Community can fight alone - it requires international action. Consequently the Community negotiated accession to the Bonn Agreement of 9 June 1969 for Cooperation in Dealing with Pollution of the North Sea by Oil and on 17 May 1980 signed the Athens Protocol for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution from land-based sources. This protocol, which forms an annex to the Barcelona Convention of 16 February 1976 for the protection of the Mediterranean Sea against pollution aims to clean up the whole sea gradually by limiting pollution and so is of vital importance to countries with Mediterranean coastlines.
Preventing the pollution of bathing waters is not the only area in which the Community's work on the environment is particularly relevant to tourism. There has been a whole series of directives on air pollution, a particularly acute problem in urban areas, which have imposed increasingly strict limits on exhaust emissions from motor vehicles and so helped keep the air in tourist regions breathable. The Directive of 15 July 1980 on air quality standards for sulphur dioxide (SO2) and suspended particulates (black smoke) (28) together with a resolution on transboundary air pollution by these pollutants (29) and the Directive of 29 June 1978 on the reduction of lead (a substance which is harmful to human health) in petrol (30) are particularly important in this context.
Turning finally to the fight against noise, which may also be damaging to tourism, a Council Directive of 6 February 1970, amended in the light of technical progress in 1973 and 1981, fixed permissible sound levels for various categories of motor vehicles (31) the Directive of 23 November 1978 dealt with the permissible sound level of motorcycles (32) and that of 20 December 1979 concerned noise emissions from aircraft (33).
Turning to the protection of flora and fauna, a Directive has been adopted on the protection of wild birds (34) and work on identifying and protecting their habitats is in progress.
Although Community measures on the protection of the environment are of assistance to tourism, tourism must also take environmental considerations into account. Besides combating pollution and nuisances. Community environment policy is also concerned with the wise management of natural resources as a foundation for economic development and the improvement of living conditions.
The draft action programme of the European Communities on the environment (1982 to 1986), approved by the Commission on 28 October 1981 and sent to the Council explicitly mentions the fact that greater attention must be paid to environmental considerations in the development of tourist and other activities.
The logical consequence is that both the actual work required and the effects of planned tourist activities as such in any future large-scale tourist development will first have to be considered from the point of view of their environmental impact. Similarly, a prior assessment of the impact of any large public or private project on the natural and man-made environment, and hence also on tourism, will have to be made. This assessment is provided for in the proposal for a Council Directive concerning the assessment of the environmental effects of certain public and private projects which was adopted by the Commission on 16 June 1980 and sent to the Council for a decision.
In this connection special stress must be laid on the effects of camping and caravaning. In the interests of the environment, the local inhabitants, other tourists and the campers and caravaners themselves, measures must be taken to limit camping and caravaning to approved sites and to stop such sites being opened in areas of natural beauty considered to be valuable parts of the national or Community heritage.
It is also obvious that any real attempt to take environmental considerations into account requires a "common language" both for use by those who have to make socio-economic development choices and to enable the public to take part in the decision-making process. This is why the Commission has adopted a methodological approach to the gradual implementation of a European information system on the state of the environment known as "ecological mapping" which will provide information at Community level using a standard presentation on five target areas : landscape and nature, land, air, water and natural hazards. This will, for example, permit the identification of areas which are particularly important or rare from a Community point of view and of ecological imbalances requiring action at European level.
Because of the delicate balance of their environments and the many pressures they suffer as a result of human activities, especially tourism, the Commission regards coastal and mountain areas as particularly important. The Community plans to deal with them in two main ways : by designing its sectoral policies (e.g. its agricultural and regional policies) to take account of the environmental factors peculiar to these areas and by preparing manuals or action guides to make available to all those concerned with the management of these regions the full range of knowledge and experience available in the Member States. As far as coastal regions are concerned. Community action is based on the European Coastal Charter which was prepared in cooperation with the Commission and adopted by the Conference of Peripheral Maritime Regions of the European Community ; Parliament has expressed its desire to see this programme implemented rapidly in all coastal areas. A practical example of what has been done for mountain areas is the manual for carrying out studies of the impact of tourist development on such areas which has been prepared in collaboration with the appropriate French administrative departments and a number of European institutes.
The architectural heritage and tourism
The cultural heritage, and particularly the architectural heritage, is the basis of much international tourism in Europe. Tourists from outside Europe come to see our civilization. Architecture makes an important contribution to the European cultural identity and so represents a vital element in international tourism in this part of the world. As such, it is a valuable asset which pays considerable dividends to many areas of the Community. If it were better known, as it deserves, it would be better appreciated and better preserved for future generations of Europeans both as a repository of their culture and a source of their wealth.
Unfortunately a large part of Europe's architectural heritage is now in a sorry state. Formerly town centres not only housed craftsmen, traders and the arts but were also high-class residential areas ; now they have been taken over by public and private offices and have lost both their natural social cohesion and their social and cultural life.
These testimonies of Europe's history, wherever they are accessible to the public, can be used to attract visitors to areas which would not otherwise be visited by many. They can also be used to accommodate tourists and holidaymakers and as workshops for craftsmen. Since the restoration and preservation of old buildings requires the skilled work and services of such people, an area of a village could be restored with the assistance of the craftsmen who live there and so attract tourists who would come to see the work done as well as the old buildings.
It should be emphasized that restoration and preservation work and related activities are some of the most labour-intensive ; the present persistent unemployment makes this particularly important. Restoration and adaptation for tourist purposes require the skills of a team of architects, town planners and tourist promotion specialists. As was pointed out in a study on the Communities and the preservation of the architectural heritage which the Commission financed, this will help create jobs in the areas where they are most needed.
All the Community authorities have recognized the importance of the preservation of the European cultural heritage. First of all the Heads of State or Government, meeting at the Hague Summit in December 1969 stated that they considered Europe to be an "exceptional seat" of culture which had to be preserved.
More explicitly, in its resolution of 17 May 1977 on the continuation and implementation of a European Community policy and action programme on the environment, the Council stated : "Our architectural and natural heritage is a "non-renewable" resource of the Community ... and the major physical manifestation of the cultural and historical identity of Europe". It noted that this heritage was threatened with deterioration and destruction and considered that the Community should take action (35).
The Commission is convinced that a preservation policy implies giving special attention to the training of restorers, the financing of work, the taxing of historic houses and the effects of air pollution on buildings.
The Commission report on the establishment of the European Foundation sent to the European Council on 17 November 1977 stated that one aim which the Foundation could be given was the promotion of the cultural aspect of tourism for the benefit of the European Community. In the Commission's view, this could be a way of securing public support for measures to preserve our artistic heritage. The report also emphasized the need to promote joint exhibitions in museums and cultural centres in the Community so that the citizens of Europe can distinguish their common links from amongst the wealth of their cultural diversity, links which despite the adversities and enmities of their history make them joint inheritors.
The Parliament is particularly interested in measures to protect the European cultural heritage. In its resolution of 13 May 1974, it stated its concern about the impoverishment of this heritage and asked the Commission to propose measures to approximate national laws on its protection, on cooperation in the training of restorers and on the setting up of a fund to provide financial support for the most urgent restoration work. In another resolution passed on 18 January 1979, Parliament regretted that the Commission had not taken action on its request for the creation of a European Fund for monuments and sites and hoped that this task would be assumed by the European Investment Bank. It also attached special importance to the training of craftsmen able to restore monuments using traditional techniques.
Despite the shared concern of the Community institutions for the preservation of the architectural heritage, comparatively little has been done and then only on a small scale. Most action has taken the form of financial support for university centres specializing in preservation, and, while this support should be continued and increased in the future, it does not yet constitute a Community policy on the preservation of its historic buildings. Concerted action of the Community funds should be envisaged for the financing of restoration work, especially in the less developed regions of the Community.
Action by the European Investment Bank (EIB) could certainly help achieve this. In reply to a request from the Commission, the Bank stated in June 1980 that there was no reason why it should not contribute to certain projects for the preservation of the architectural heritage provided they satisfied three conditions : that they were genuine investments and not simply routine maintenance ; that they would increase general economic productivity ; and that they were found to be eligible under Article 130 of the Treaty of Rome - a condition which could be satisfied if the project was part of a programme to develop the tourist potential of a region.
Besides assistance from the EIB and the Regional Fund, the Social Fund could also assist in the preservation of the architectural heritage. It has already contributed to the training of restorers and those working on the preservation of historic or artistic monuments and buildings and could do so again in the future.
It should be remembered in this regard that Article 50 of the Treaty of Rome requires the Member States to encourage, within the framework of a joint programme, the exchange of young workers. No use was made of this Article for a considerable time and the second joint programme was not adopted by the Council until 1979 (36). This provides for short- and long-term exchanges and supplementary aid for language training for training periods of long duration. Young workers have expressed considerable interest in this programme and a growing number of participants are from the service sector, particularly tourism.
The whole question of developing a coordinated Community approach to exchanges involving young people, mainly those between 14 and 28, is currently being studied. This approach could not only include the development of exchange programmes for young workers but also consider how their voluntary services could best be used. It is quite likely that young unemployed workers in the construction and related industries could find in the restoration of monuments, towns and villages in the Community and inspiring activity which would afford them useful experience and create employment in the tourist sector through the attractions of restored cultural property. The Commission intends to send a communication containing appropriate proposals on this subject to the Council.
ANNEX Community provisions on tourism
(1) Directive 69/169/EEC on the harmonization of provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action relating to exemption from turnover tax and excise duty on imports in international travel ; OJ No L 366, 28.12.1978 ; OJ No L 133, 4.6.1969 ; OJ No L 206, 14.7.1982. (2) Council Directive 72/166/EEC of 24 April 1972 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles, and to the enforcement of the obligation to insure against such liability ; OJ No L 103, 2.5.1972. (3) First Council Directive 80/1263/EEC of 4 December 1980 on the introduction of a Community driving licence ; OJ No L 375, 31.12.1980. (4) Council Regulation (EEC) No 1390/81 of 12 May 1981 extending to self-employed persons and members of their families Regulation (EEC) No 1408/71 on the application of social security schemes to employed persons and their families moving within the Community ; OJ No L 143, 29.5.1981. (5) Commission recommendation 81/76/EEC of 8 January 1981 on accelerated settlement of claims under insurance against civil liability in respect of the use of motor vehicles ; OJ No L 57, 4.3.1981. (6) Council Directive 68/367/EEC of 15 October 1968 laying down detailed provision concerning transitional measures in respect of activities of self-employed persons in the personal services sector (ex ISIC Division 85) ; 1. Restaurants, cafes, taverns and other drinking and eating places (ISIC Group 852) 2. Hotels, rooming houses, camps and other lodging places (ISIC Group 853) ; OJ No L 260, 22.10.1968. (7) Council Directive 75/368/EEC of 16 June 1975 on measures to facilitate the effective exercise of freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services in respect of various activities (ex ISIC Divisions 01 to 85) and, in particular, transitional measures in respect of those activities ; OJ No L 167, 30.6.1975. (8) Directive on measures to encourage exercise of the right to freedom of establishment and freedom to provide services by self-employed workers ; OJ No L 213, 21.7.1982. (9) Sixth Council Directive 77/388/EEC of 17 May 1977 on the harmonization of the laws of the Member States relating to turnover taxes - Common system of value added tax : uniform basis of assessment ; OJ No L 145, 13.6.1977. (10) Council Regulation (EEC) No 1302/78 of 12 June 1978 on the granting of financial support for demonstration projects to exploit alternative energy sources ; OJ No L 158, 16.6.1978. (11) Council Regulation (EEC) No 1302/78 of 12 June 1978 on the granting of financial support for demonstration projects in the field of energy saving ; OJ No L 158, 16.6.1978. (12) Council Regulation (EEC) No 117/66 of 28 July 1966 on the introduction of common rules for the international carriage of passengers by coach and bus ; OJ No L 147, 9.8.1966. (13) Council Regulation (EEC) No 517/72 of 28 February 1972 on the introduction of common rules for regular and special regular services by coach and bus between Member States ; OJ No L 67, 20.3.1972. (14) Council Regulation (EEC) No 3022/77 of 20 December 1977 amending Regulation (EEC) No 517/72 of 28 February 1972 ; OJ No L 358 ; 31.12.1977. (15) Council Regulation (EEC) No 516/72 of 28 February 1972 on the introduction of common rules for shuttle services by coach and bus between Member States ; OJ No L 67, 20.3.1972. (16) Council Regulation (EEC) No 724/75 establishing a European Regional Development Fund ; OJ No L 73, 21.3.1975 ; amended by Council Regulation (EEC) No 214/79 of 6 February 1979 ; OJ No L 35, 9.2.1979. (17) Council Regulation (EEC) No 2615/80 of 7 October 1980 instituting a specific Community regional development measure contributing to the development of certain French and Italian regions in the context of Community enlargement ; OJ No L 271, 15.10.1980. (18) Council Regulation (EEC) No 2619/80 of 7 October 1980 instituting a specific Community regional development measure contributing to the improvement of the economic and social situation of the border areas of Ireland and Northern Ireland ; OJ No L 271, 15.10.1980. (19) Council Directive 72/159/EEC of 17 April 1972 on the modernization of farms ; OJ No L 96, 23.4.1972. (20) Council Directive 72/160/EEC of 17 April 1972 concerning measures to encourage the cessation of farming and the reallocation of utilized agricultural area for the purposes of structural improvement ; OJ No L 96, 23.4.1972. (21) Council Directive 72/161/EEC of 17 April 1972 concerning the provision of socio-economic guidance for and the acquisition of occupational skills by persons engaged in agriculture ; OJ No L 96, 23.4.1972. (22) Council Directive 75/268/EEC of 28 April 1975 on mountain and hill farming in certain less-favoured areas ; OJ No L 128, 19.5.1975. (23) Council Directive 76/160/EEC of 8 December 1975 concerning the quality of bathing water ; OJ No L 31, 5.2.1976. (24) Council Directive 76/464/EEC of 4 May 1976 on pollution caused by certain dangerous substances discharged into the aquatic environment of the Community ; OJ No L 129, 18.5.1976. (25) Council Directive 73/404/EEC of 22 November 1973 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to detergents ; OJ No L 347, 17.12.1973. (26) Council Directive 78/176/EEC of 20 February 1978 on waste from the titanium dioxide industry ; OJ No L 54, 25.2.1978. (27) Council resolution of 26 June 1978 setting up an action programme of the European Communities on the control and reduction of pollution caused by hydrocarbons discharged into the sea ; OJ No L 162, 8.7.1978. (28) Council Directive 80/779/EEC of 15 July 1980 on air quality limit values and guide values for sulphur dioxide and suspended particulates ; OJ No L 229, 30.8.1980. (29) Council resolution of 15 July 1980 on transboundary air pollution by sulphur dioxide and suspended particulates ; OJ No C 222, 30.8.1980. (30) Council Directive 78/611/EEC of 29 June 1978 on the approximation of laws of the Member States concerning the lead content of petrol ; OJ No L 197, 22.7.1978. (31) Council Directive 70/157/EEC of 6 February 1970 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the permissible sound level and the exhaust system of motor vehicles ; OJ No L 42, 23.2.1970 ; amended by Council Directive 77/212/EEC of 8 March 1977 ; OJ No L66, 12.3.1977 ; adapted by Commission Directive 73/350/EEC of 7 November 1973 ; OJ No L 321, 22.11.1973, and by Commission Directive 81/334/EEC of 13 April 1981 ; OJ No L 131, 18.5.1981. (32) Council Directive 78/1015/EEC of 23 November 1978 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States on the permissible sound level and exhaust system of motorcycles ; OJ No L 349, 13.12.1978. (33) Council Directive 80/51/EEC of 20 December 1979 on the limitation of noise emissions from subsonic aircraft ; OJ No L 18, 24.1.1980. (34) Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds ; OJ No L 103, 25.4.1979. (35) Resolution of the Council of the European Communities and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States meeting within the Council of 17 May 1977 on the continuation and implementation of a European Community policy and action programme on the environment ; OJ No C 139, 13.6.1977. (36) Second joint programme for the exchange of young workers ; OJ No L 185, 21.7.1979.