Joint Research Centre - European Commission

JOINT RESEARCH CENTRE
The European Commission's in-house science service
European Commission

Implementation of Union law

The JRC runs a number of bureaus, offices or laboratories that serve as reference centres in the context of the implementation of Union law.

 

Protecting the environment: European IPPC Bureau

Civil protection: Major Accident Hazards Bureau

Combating fraud: European Office for Wine, Alcohol and Spirit Drinks

Transport Safety: European Co-ordination Centre for Aviation Incident Reporting Systems

Protecting the environment: European IPPC Bureau

Industrial production processes account for a considerable share of the overall pollution in Europe (for pollutants such as greenhouse gases, acidifying substances, wastewater emissions and waste). The EU has a set of common rules for licensing and controlling industrial installations in the IPPC Directive of 1996.

In essence, this Directive is about preventing, and when this is not possible minimising, pollution from various industrial sources throughout the European Union, and achieving integrated control of their emissions, consumption of energy, water and raw materials. About 50,000 installations in the EU are concerned and their operators have to obtain an authorisation (environmental permit).

The European Integrated Pollution Prevention and Control (IPPC) Bureau, located in the Institute for Prospective Technological Studies (IPTS), provides a major contribution to the implementation of this Directive by establishing Best Available Techniques reference documents (BREF). These serve as a reference for EU Member States authorities to ensure that permits for the industrial processes concerned include emission limit values based on best available techniques that have been determined by working groups encompassing experts from industry and national administrations.

More information at: http://eippcb.jrc.es/

Civil protection: Major Accident Hazards Bureau

The overall mission of the Major Accident Hazards Bureau (MAHB), run by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), is to assist other services of the Commission, and in particular the Environment Directorate-General, in the successful implementation of European Union policy on the control of major hazards and the prevention and mitigation of major accidents. To fulfil this mission, MAHB carries out scientific and technical activities related to the day to day implementation of relevant Community legislation. Since 1982, when the original Seveso Directive came into force, there have been Union provisions for the control of major industrial hazards.

More information at: http://mahb.jrc.it/

Combating fraud: European Office for Wine, Alcohol and Spirit Drinks

The European Office for Wine, Alcohol and Spirit Drinks (BEVABS) at the JRC's Institute for Health and Consumer Protection (IHCP) aims to ensure correct implementation of EU wine quality legislation and was set up to combat major frauds in this area. This is currently being extended to a horizontal Public Security and Antifraud activity and to the development of advanced analytical methods to verify the origin and authenticity of various commodities.

The JRC plays a crucial role by managing the European Wine Databank on authentic European wines and by co-ordinating the network of official Member States laboratories involved in the databank. As the Reference Laboratory for these measurements, BEVABS has also a specific role for quality control, validation of the data and arbitration of disputes (Regulation (EC) no 2729/2000).

Further to the enlargement of the Union, this regulation has been amended recently by Regulation (EC) no 2120/2004 extending the EU Wine Databank to 6 wine producing New Member States. BEVABS is now involved in the transfer of know-how to the laboratories and control bodies of these New Member States.

Transport Safety: European Co-ordination Centre for Aviation Incident Reporting Systems

The mission of the European Co-ordination Centre for Aviation Incident Reporting Systems (ECCAIRS), hosted by the Institute for the Protection and Security of the Citizen (IPSC), is to “assist national and European transport authorities and accident investigation bodies in collecting, sharing and analyzing their safety information in order to improve public transport safety”.

Accidents can occur every day, everywhere and involving anybody. What one might not realize is that practically all accidents have been preceded by similar, but non-fatal, incidents that followed a just slightly different scenario. If we understand these precursors we can make a quantum leap forward towards preventing similar accidents from happening.

Directive 2003/42/EC on Occurrence Reporting in Civil Aviation obliges Member States to collect and exchange the information about these incidents since July 2005. Analysts in the Member States as well as in the European Institutions will have a multitude of information available that will help them in their tasks on accident prevention.

Following the example given in the aviation domain, in the next years ECCAIRS will be applied in a similar way in other public transport sectors.

More information at: http://eccairs-www.jrc.it/Start.asp