Union Member States (union + member_states)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Kinds of Union Member States

  • european union member states

  • Selected Abstracts

    Services of General Interest in EC Law: Matching Values to Regulatory Technique in the Public and Privatised Sectors

    EUROPEAN LAW JOURNAL, Issue 4 2000
    Colin Scott
    All the European Union Member States have long traditions of state activity in providing key services (such as the utilities, health and education) to their citizens and underpinning both such direct provision and provision of services by non-state actors with certain administrative or legal guarantees. In European Community doctrines they are referred to as ,services of general interest' within which is a narrower class of ,services of general economic interest'. The diverse national public service traditions have been challenged both by the requirements of the single market and by other pressures such as fiscal crisis and broader public sector reform. This article examines the means by which services to which special principles should be applied can be identified and focuses on the range of sometimes contradictory values denoted by the term ,services of general interest', examining the range of regime types (based on hierarchical, competition-based and community forms) by which those values might be pursued. The concluding section suggests that the matching of values to techniques should not be made according to the importance of the values to be pursued, but rather by reference to which techniques are likely to be effective given the configuration of interests and capacities and existing culture within the target domain. [source]

    European Nature Conservation and Restoration Policy,Problems and Perspectives

    Jozef Keulartz
    Abstract The implementation of Natura 2000 has met with considerable resistance from farmers, fishermen, foresters, and other local residents in most European Union Member States. In response to the rural protest, the majority of governments have gradually abandoned their centralist, top-down approach and increasingly switched over to methods of participatory and interactive policy-making. However, this "democratisation" of European nature conservation policy is not without its problems and pitfalls. The inclusion of an ever-growing group of stakeholders with different and often diverging interests, ideas, views, and values will more often than not lead to conflicts over the future of nature and the landscape. The causes and consequences of these conflicts need to be examined to improve the policy process. [source]

    Innovation and Peripherality: An Empirical Comparative Study of SMEs in Six European Union Member Countries

    ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY, Issue 1 2008
    Andrew Copus
    Abstract This article examines the rates of innovative activity of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in central areas and equally developed but less accessible areas in six European Union member states. The probability of innovating is well predicted by the observable characteristics of firms, entrepreneurial characteristics, and business networks. More accessible areas consistently present higher rates of innovative activity than do their peripheral counterparts. The difference in the rates of peripheral and central areas is decomposed into observable and non-observable factors. The entire innovation gap is attributed to nonobservable factors that constitute a combination of behavior and environment. Innovation policy for SMEs should aim to meet businesses' specific needs (firm-specific factors) and to sustain and improve the innovative environment. [source]

    Competences for Learning to Learn and Active Citizenship: different currencies or two sides of the same coin?

    In the context of the European Union Framework of Key Competences and the need to develop indicators for European Union member states to measure progress made towards the ,knowledge economy' and ,greater social cohesion' both the learning to learn and the active citizenship competences have been highlighted. However, what have yet to be discussed are the links and the overlaps between these two competences. Based on the development of research projects on these two fields, this article will compare the two sets of competences, both qualitatively and quantitatively. It will describe how the values and dispositions that motivate and inform active citizenship and learning to learn are related to each other, both empirically and theoretically. Both these competences are tools for empowering individuals and giving them the motivation and autonomy to control their own lives beyond the social circumstances in which they find themselves. In the case of active citizenship, the ability to be able to participate in society and voice their concerns, ensure their rights and the rights of others. In the case of learning to learn to be able to participate in work and everyday life by being empowered to learn and update the constantly changing competences required to successfully manage your life plans. When measuring both these competences then certain values relating positively towards democracy and human rights are common in their development. [source]

    Explaining the differences in income-related health inequalities across European countries

    HEALTH ECONOMICS, Issue 7 2004
    Eddy van Doorslaer
    Abstract This paper provides new evidence on the sources of differences in the degree of income-related inequalities in self-assessed health in 13 European Union member states. It goes beyond earlier work by measuring health using an interval regression approach to compute concentration indices and by decomposing inequality into its determining factors. New and more comparable data were used, taken from the 1996 wave of the European Community Household Panel. Significant inequalities in health (utility) favouring the higher income groups emerge in all countries, but are particularly high in Portugal and , to a lesser extent , in the UK and in Denmark. By contrast, relatively low health inequality is observed in the Netherlands and Germany, and also in Italy, Belgium, Spain Austria and Ireland. There is a positive correlation with income inequality per se but the relationship is weaker than in previous research. Health inequality is not merely a reflection of income inequality. A decomposition analysis shows that the (partial) income elasticities of the explanatory variables are generally more important than their unequal distribution by income in explaining the cross-country differences in income-related health inequality. Especially the relative health and income position of non-working Europeans like the retired and disabled explains a great deal of ,excess inequality'. We also find a substantial contribution of regional health disparities to socio-economic inequalities, primarily in the Southern European countries. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. [source]

    The EU integration process and the convergence of social protection benefits at national level

    Jesús Alsasua
    The essential objective of this article is to measure and interpret the degree of convergence of social protection benefits in European Union member states as the process of European integration has progressed. In this sense, the article analyses the potential role of per capita income and of the socio-demographic characteristics of the population as explanatory variables for the levels of social protection provision in European countries. The empirical study focuses on the period from 1985 to 1999, and investigates whether differences in welfare provision levels decreased as European integration progressed, in line with the convergence in economic and socio-demographic variables between member states. [source]

    Public and Private Provision of Health Care

    Pedro Pita Barros
    One of the mechanisms that are implemented in the cost containment movement in the health care sectors in western countries is the definition, by the third-party payer, of a set of preferred providers. The insured patients have different access rules to such providers when ill. The rules specify the copayments patients must pay when using an out-of-plan care provider. This paper studies the competitive process among providers in terms of both prices and qualities. Competition is influenced by the status of providers as in-plan or out-of-plan care providers. Also, there is a moral hazard of provider choice related to the trade-off between freedom to choose and the need to hold down costs. It is possible to achieve the first-best allocation by an appropriate definition of the reimbursement scheme when decisions on prices and qualities are taken simultaneously (as in primary health care sectors). In contrast, some type of regulation is needed to achieve the optimal solution when decisions are sequential (as in specialized health care sectors). We also derive normative conclusions on how price controls should be implemented in some European Union member states. [source]

    A New Information Exchange System for Nursing Professionals to Enhance Patient Safety Across Europe

    Dr. Alessandro Stievano RN
    Abstract Purpose: Ensuring safe healthcare services is one of today's most challenging issues, especially in light of the increasing mobility of health professionals and patients. In the last few years, nursing research has contributed to the creation of a culture of safety that is an integral part of clinical care and a cornerstone of healthcare systems. Organizing Constructs: European institutions continue to discuss methods and tools that would best contribute to ensuring safe and high-quality care, as well as ensuring access to healthcare services. According to the European Commission between 8% and 12% of patients admitted to hospitals in the European Union member states suffer from adverse events while receiving care, although some of these events are part of the intrinsic risk linked to receiving care. However, most of these adverse events are caused by such avoidable healthcare errors as, for instance, diagnosis mistakes, inability to act on the results of tests, medication errors, failures of healthcare equipment and hospital infections. Nosocomial infections alone are estimated to affect 4.1 million inpatients, that is, about 1 of every 20 inpatients, causing avoidable suffering and mortality, as well as an enormous loss of financial resources (at least ,5.48 billion a year). Conclusions: The Internal Market Information (IMI) System, developed by the European Commission, aims at contributing to patient safety by means of a timely and updated exchange of information among nursing regulatory bodies on the good standing and scope of practice of their registrants. Through the IMI System, the European Federation of Nursing Regulators will improve its electronic database on nurses to allow national nursing regulatory bodies to exchange the information needed to recognize the nurses' educational and professional qualifications and competencies. This process both facilitates the mobility of professionals and ensures high-quality nursing practice in an even and consistent way across the European Union. Clinical Relevance: On a national basis, nursing regulatory bodies play an important role in ensuring patient safety through high standards of nursing education and competence, whereas on an international basis, patient safety can assured by a better exchange of information between national regulatory bodies on the good professional standing of nurses. [source]

    On the Construction of the European Economic Sentiment Indicator,

    Sarah Gelper
    Abstract Economic sentiment surveys are carried out by all European Union member states and are often seen as early indicators for future economic developments. Based on these surveys, the European Commission constructs an aggregate European Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI). This paper compares the ESI with more sophisticated aggregation schemes based on statistical methods: dynamic factor analysis and partial least squares. The indicator based on partial least squares clearly outperforms the other two indicators in terms of comovement with economic activity. In terms of forecast ability, the ESI, constructed in a rather ad hoc way, can compete with the other indicators. [source]

    The European Union Constitution on Border Checks, Asylum, and Immigration

    Article first published online: 15 DEC 200
    The Treaty Establishing a Constitution for Europe was signed by the heads of government of the 25 European Union member states and three candidate states on 29 October 2004. The Treaty in effect is the proposed constitution, a long and elaborate document comprising 448 Articles (grouped into four Parts, with additional divisions into Titles, Chapters, and Sections, but numbered consecutively throughout) and 29 Protocols,annexes to the Treaty. Five articles and four protocols are concerned with issues of border control, immigration, and asylum policy. The articles are found in the chapter titled Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in Part III of the Treaty (The Policies and Functioning of the Union). These are reproduced below, along with one of the protocols (number 21). (Of the other protocols concerned with migration, one adds to the Treaty the provisions of the Schengen Acquis, the agreement among all EU members except the United Kingdom and Ireland, plus the non-EU states Norway and Iceland, to eliminate border controls at their common frontiers, and requires acceptance of the Acquis by any new member. Two other protocols set out reservations on the part of the UK and Ireland on border control and asylum matters,basically, an "opt-in" stance, allowing their participation in Treaty provisions on a case-by-case basis.) The constitution is highly detailed in scope but often vague in content, merely specifying topics on which policies will be developed or laws enacted. Thus the "common immigration policy" that is signaled in Article III-267 is yet to be shaped, and the Treaty offers few hints of what it may look like. A reluctance on the part of member states to cede sovereignty in the area of immigration is not limited to the British Isles. It is seen also in the retained right of all members to restrict non-EU labor migrants (Article III-267, Para. 5) and to conclude bilateral agreements on border crossing with non-EU states (Protocol 21). It is notable that the Treaty, while stressing that all nationals of member states are citizens of the Union with the right "to move and reside freely" within its territory, does not attempt to harmonize conditions or procedures under which migrants can acquire citizenship: indeed, it says nothing at all on the matter. (A "framework law," mentioned at various points in the text, is a law that prescribes the result to be achieved but leaves to each member state "the choice of form and methods.") Actual adoption of the constitution requires ratification by the governments of all EU members. If this demanding hurdle is passed (requiring parliamentary approval or, in some cases, a referendum), the constitution would come into force on 1 November 2006,or after the final ratification, if later. Under Article IV-443, if the treaty is ratified by four-fifths of members within the two years but is rejected by one or more states, "the matter shall be referred to the European Council",the quarterly summit meeting of heads of government. [source]

    German Interests in European Monetary Integration

    Karl Kaltenthaler
    This article explores the sources of the German govermnent's position on European monetary integration since the first attempt at monetary union. I argue that German policy on European monetary integration was, until after EMU, driven by German foreign policy elites' perception that integration could be used to achieve their primary geo-political goal, embedding Germany in European institutions to dismantle the security dilemma with its European neighbours, particularly with France. After the signing of the Maastricht Treaty, this situation was reversed, as domestic economic interests and state financial authorities have taken the lead in shaping Germany's policy on European monetary integration, with foreign policy elites playing a secondary role. Thus German policy has come to resemble more the policies of other European monetary union member states, in that domestic economic concerns have taken precedence over geo-political interests in the making of policy on European monetary integration. [source]