The Commission has decided to extend for one last time the period of grace for the introduction of the digital tachograph until 31 December 2005. Although the final date for the introduction of the digital tachograph had been extended until 5 August 2005, an extra period of grace is needed. This decision is justified by the delays encountered by tachograph manufacturers in obtaining type approval for their equipment. It should also allow the Member States to take all the legislative, technical and administrative measures needed. Finally, the aim of the moratorium was to ensure that Member States do not impose penalties on drivers of foreign vehicles entering their respective territories without a digital tachograph. Since then, most Member States have adopted the necessary legal frameworks and application arrangements. The tachograph must be legally recognised and accepted by all Member States from 5 August 2005 onwards.

[#1]   What exactly is being proposed?
  • The moratorium has been extended for a second time until 5 August 2005.
  • This is the correct answer. The Member States will have to have recognised the digital tachograph in their legislation by 5 August 2005.
  • Only foreign vehicles are covered by the moratorium up to 31 December 2005.
  • Installation of the digital tachograph in vehicles has been postponed to 31 December 2005.

By today, all EU Member States should have transposed into their national legislation an EU Directive setting more ambitious recycling and recovery targets for packaging waste. This type of waste includes packaging made from paper, glass, metals, plastics and wood. The new Directive updates and strengthens an earlier Directive from 1994. It aims to further reduce the negative environmental impact of landfilling and incinerating packaging waste and the production of virgin materials. The new recycling targets are a further step on Europe's way towards a more sustainable society. They strengthen the recycling industry. They also enable consumers to actively participate in recycling schemes and to show their commitment to more responsible management of packaging waste.

[#2]   What can we deduce from the text as regards recycling?
  • Before 1994, Europe did not have any rules on the recycling of waste.
  • Consumers alone are responsible for recycling household waste.
  • All EU Member States have transposed the Directive into their national legislation.
  • This is the correct answer. The new Directive makes it possible for consumers to be more closely involved.

The European Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition of the Italian electricity company Edison by the French company EDF and the Dutch company AEM. Following an examination, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the common market. The Commission found that the proposed concentration did not raise any competition problems. However, it will continue to monitor the competitive dynamics of the Italian electricity markets, where prices are among the highest in Europe. Edison is the second-largest electricity producer in Italy. However, its position on the Italian electricity markets is quite small compared to that of the more established operator ENEL, which still controls a large part of the generation capacity and, most of the time, is in a position to set the electricity price on the Italian Power Exchange.

[#3]   What is the current situation on the energy market in Italy?
  • One electricity producer has a monopoly of electricity sales.
  • Italian prices are the highest in the European Union.
  • Italian electricity producers are too highly concentrated.
  • This is the correct answer. The price of electricity depends mainly on one producer.

The European Aviation Security Agency (EASA) was set up in September 2002 to promote a uniformly high level of safety and environmental protection in the field of civil aviation. The Community has powers in the areas of airworthiness and the environmental compatibility of aircraft products, parts and equipment. The EASA is putting in place a surveillance system to monitor the application of Community legislation, evaluate its impact and make any useful suggestions in this area. The EASA is involved in the certification of certain products for bodies, in third countries; the national administrations issue individual certificates and accreditation for most of the bodies on their national territory, on the basis of common rules under the control of the EASA.

[#4]   Which is one of the EASA's basic missions?
  • This is the correct answer. Monitoring the application of Community legislation in the field of air safety.
  • Ensuring the application of European air traffic legislation.
  • Coordinating the issuing of pilot licences in civil aviation.
  • Developing new navigation systems compatible with the safety standards.

Xplora is a new gateway to science education in Europe. Its aim is to stimulate science education to attract more young people. Teachers will find a wealth of information and resources for primary and secondary education. The section "Megalab" presents experiments and practical, innovative science projects. Studying the stars or plants, conducting experiments on wind energy or hydrogen cells, ... Thanks to Xplora, pupils can now take part in experiments that would not be feasible at school! Xplora also provides teachers, and experts from all comers of Europe with a forum where they can talk to each other on-line, find tools for setting up on-line communities and instructions on free software for science teaching.

[#5]   What is Xplora?
  • This is the correct answer. An internet portal designed to promote science learning in Europe.
  • A free software enabling pupils to conduct experiments outside school.
  • A scientific community bringing together European experts.
  • An information centre set up for young people wishing to obtain information on scientific careers.

The new face of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Commission will be the Estonian Maive Rute, appointed spokeswoman on 13 June 2005. She will defend the interests of a sector representing 25 million businesses and 75 million jobs. "Supporting the [...] SMEs, boosting their energy and creativity are the key to achieving more growth and jobs in the EU," Mrs Rute said. The Commission's main concern is: how can we help SMEs to employ more people? Community actions have been launched to promote the sector and simplify its administrative environment. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan and the European Charter for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises contribute to this positive impetus.

[#6]   What action has been taken by the Commission to help SMEs?
  • It has prevented the relocation of SMEs.
  • This is the correct answer. It has simplified the administrative constraints on SMEs.
  • It has set up a fund to facilitate the conversion of SMEs in difficulty.
  • It has reduced the burden of employers' social contributions on SMEs.

The new face of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Commission will be the Estonian Maive Rute, appointed spokeswoman on 13 June 2005. She will defend the interests of a sector representing 25 million businesses and 75 million jobs. "Supporting the [...] SMEs, boosting their energy and creativity are the key to achieving more growth and jobs in the EU," Mrs Rute said. The Commission's main concern is: how can we help SMEs to employ more people? Community actions have been launched to promote the sector and simplify its administrative environment. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan and the European Charter for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises contribute to this positive impetus.

[#7]   What does the Commission want to do?
  • Give financial assistance to the most creative SMEs.
  • Double the number of SMEs so as to develop employment in European countries.
  • This is the correct answer. Increase the employment rate in SMEs.
  • Promote the development of those SMEs employing the most persons.

The European Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition by TPV of the activities of the Dutch company Philips Monitors in the sale of flat screens for computer monitors and televisions to original equipment manufacturers. The activities acquired by TPV will be managed by a new company under the exclusive control of TPV. The transaction does not have any harmful effects on competition in the European Economic Area as regards computer monitors for original equipment manufacturers. Although the combined market share of TPV and Philips Monitors is greater than that of their competitors, after the merger the two companies will continue to face strong competition from Samsung, LGE and BenQ in particular. Therefore, it cannot be expected that the new entity would be able to act independently of its customers and competitors, while switching suppliers on the market appears to be feasible within the short term.

[#8]   Why has the European Community authorised the proposal?
  • It enables Samsung's monopoly on the market to be broken.
  • It was necessary to step up competition on the computer monitor market.
  • This is the correct answer. It does not infringe the competition rules in the European Economic Area.
  • It enables TPV to be prevented from acting independently of its customers and competitors.

The European Aviation Security Agency (EASA) was set up in September 2002 to promote a uniformly high level of safety and environmental protection in the field of civil aviation. The Community has powers in the areas of airworthiness and the environmental compatibility of aircraft products, parts and equipment. The EASA is putting in place a surveillance system to monitor the application of Community legislation, evaluate its impact and make any useful suggestions in this area. The EASA is involved in the certification of certain products for bodies, in third countries; the national administrations issue individual certificates and accreditation for most of the bodies on their national territory, on the basis of common rules under the control of the EASA.

[#9]   In which field does the Community have powers?
  • This is the correct answer. In monitoring the compatibility of aircraft equipment with the environmental standards.
  • In granting approval to the national bodies in European countries.
  • In issuing individual certificates to bodies in third countries.
  • In drafting Community environmental standards.

After serious accidents in Romania and Spain, the European Union decided that a specific Directive was needed to regulate the management and storage of mining waste. Old installations, where the sites are now closed, represent a real danger. Where necessary, rehabilitation work should be carried out within four years at the waste producers' expense. This point is particularly important for the new central European Member States, where many mining companies have long neglected safety standards. In future, every time a mining site starts up, a financial guarantee will have to be lodged and regularly adjusted to ensure that requirements are met during and after use of the site, for the rehabilitation, not just of the site itself, but also all the land directly affected.

[#10]   Why is a Directive necessary?
  • More and more sites are closing their doors.
  • Accidents are becoming more and more frequent and more and more serious.
  • Most European mining sites represent a major hazard.
  • This is the correct answer. A number of accidents have highlighted the hazards involved in the management and storage of mining waste.

The European Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition of the Italian electricity company Edison by the French company EDF and the Dutch company AEM. Following an examination, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the common market. The Commission found that the proposed concentration did not raise any competition problems. However, it will continue to monitor the competitive dynamics of the Italian electricity markets, where prices are among the highest in Europe. Edison is the second-largest electricity producer in Italy. However, its position on the Italian electricity markets is quite small compared to that of the more established operator ENEL, which still controls a large part of the generation capacity and, most of the time, is in a position to set the electricity price on the Italian Power Exchange.

[#11]   Which of the following is a consequence of the acquisition of Edison?
  • Energy prices in Italy will fall.
  • This is the correct answer. Edison will continue to produce electricity, but under foreign control.
  • ENEL will remain the only Italian electricity producer.
  • ENEL will lose its monopoly on the market to EDF and AEM.

The European Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition of the Italian electricity company Edison by the French company EDF and the Dutch company AEM. Following an examination, the Commission concluded that the transaction would not significantly impede effective competition in the common market. The Commission found that the proposed concentration did not raise any competition problems. However, it will continue to monitor the competitive dynamics of the Italian electricity markets, where prices are among the highest in Europe. Edison is the second-largest electricity producer in Italy. However, its position on the Italian electricity markets is quite small compared to that of the more established operator ENEL, which still controls a large part of the generation capacity and, most of the time, is in a position to set the electricity price on the Italian Power Exchange.

[#12]   Why did the Commission authorise the proposed acquisition?
  • To solve the problems of concentration facing Italy.
  • To enable the Italians to have a new electricity producer.
  • Because the Italian energy market is controlled by the state.
  • This is the correct answer. Because this acquisition does not affect open competition in Italy or Europe.

The Commission has decided to extend for one last time the period of grace for the introduction of the digital tachograph until 31 December 2005. Although the final date for the introduction of the digital tachograph had been extended until 5 August 2005, an extra period of grace is needed. This decision is justified by the delays encountered by tachograph manufacturers in obtaining type approval for their equipment. It should also allow the Member States to take all the legislative, technical and administrative measures needed. Finally, the aim of the moratorium was to ensure that Member States do not impose penalties on drivers of foreign vehicles entering their respective territories without a digital tachograph. Since then, most Member States have adopted the necessary legal frameworks and application arrangements. The tachograph must be legally recognised and accepted by all Member States from 5 August 2005 onwards.

[#13]   For what reason, among others, has the moratorium been extended?
  • Because there is a legal grey area regarding certain aspects of the use of the tachograph.
  • This is the correct answer. To enable the Member States to take the legal measures required for using the tachograph.
  • Because some manufacturers have specifically requested it.
  • To enable the feasibility of the proposed measures to be assessed.

By today, all EU Member States should have transposed into their national legislation an EU Directive setting more ambitious recycling and recovery targets for packaging waste. This type of waste includes packaging made from paper, glass, metals, plastics and wood. The new Directive updates and strengthens an earlier Directive from 1994. It aims to further reduce the negative environmental impact of landfilling and incinerating packaging waste and the production of virgin materials. The new recycling targets are a further step on Europe's way towards a more sustainable society. They strengthen the recycling industry. They also enable consumers to actively participate in recycling schemes and to show their commitment to more responsible management of packaging waste.

[#14]   Which of the following is a feature of the new Directive?
  • It bans landfilling and incinerating packaging waste.
  • It is a counter-measure to the waste-management model of 1994.
  • This is the correct answer. It proposes new steps to tackle the problem of waste recycling.
  • It gives a precise definition of sustainable development.

Xplora is a new gateway to science education in Europe. Its aim is to stimulate science education to attract more young people. Teachers will find a wealth of information and resources for primary and secondary education. The section "Megalab" presents experiments and practical, innovative science projects. Studying the stars or plants, conducting experiments on wind energy or hydrogen cells, ... Thanks to Xplora, pupils can now take part in experiments that would not be feasible at school! Xplora also provides teachers, and experts from all comers of Europe with a forum where they can talk to each other on-line, find tools for setting up on-line communities and instructions on free software for science teaching.

[#15]   Which statement is correct?
  • Xplora was set up to enable scientific research to be developed.
  • Xplora makes it possible to teach science only outside school.
  • Xplora provides science-teaching software free of charge.
  • This is the correct answer. Xplora provides a virtual meeting place where teachers can interact.

After serious accidents in Romania and Spain, the European Union decided that a specific Directive was needed to regulate the management and storage of mining waste. Old installations, where the sites are now closed, represent a real danger. Where necessary, rehabilitation work should be carried out within four years at the waste producers' expense. This point is particularly important for the new central European Member States, where many mining companies have long neglected safety standards. In future, every time a mining site starts up, a financial guarantee will have to be lodged and regularly adjusted to ensure that requirements are met during and after use of the site, for the rehabilitation, not just of the site itself, but also all the land directly affected.

[#16]   What will waste producers have to do in future?
  • Clean up the installations before opening a mining site.
  • Provide a financial guarantee for closure of the site.
  • Pay a fine where the Directive is not complied with.
  • This is the correct answer. Lodge a financial guarantee to be adapted during exploitation of the site.

The European Commission has authorised the proposed acquisition by TPV of the activities of the Dutch company Philips Monitors in the sale of flat screens for computer monitors and televisions to original equipment manufacturers. The activities acquired by TPV will be managed by a new company under the exclusive control of TPV. The transaction does not have any harmful effects on competition in the European Economic Area as regards computer monitors for original equipment manufacturers. Although the combined market share of TPV and Philips Monitors is greater than that of their competitors, after the merger the two companies will continue to face strong competition from Samsung, LGE and BenQ in particular. Therefore, it cannot be expected that the new entity would be able to act independently of its customers and competitors, while switching suppliers on the market appears to be feasible within the short term.

[#17]   What is the impact of the proposed acquisition?
  • TPV will only acquire control of the activities of Philips Monitors in the Netherlands.
  • TPV will now itself sell Philips computer monitors to retail customers.
  • Consumers will be able to benefit from a general fall in prices.
  • This is the correct answer. TPV will become market leader for flat screens for computer monitors and televisions.

The new face of European small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) at the Commission will be the Estonian Maive Rute, appointed spokeswoman on 13 June 2005. She will defend the interests of a sector representing 25 million businesses and 75 million jobs. "Supporting the [...] SMEs, boosting their energy and creativity are the key to achieving more growth and jobs in the EU," Mrs Rute said. The Commission's main concern is: how can we help SMEs to employ more people? Community actions have been launched to promote the sector and simplify its administrative environment. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan and the European Charter for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises contribute to this positive impetus.

[#18]   What can we deduce from the text?
  • This is the correct answer. On average, SMEs directly or indirectly employ three people.
  • SMEs are growing faster than other sectors.
  • The SME sector accounts for 1/3 of total employment in Europe.
  • SMEs are subject to a high level of tax pressure and administrative constraints.

After serious accidents in Romania and Spain, the European Union decided that a specific Directive was needed to regulate the management and storage of mining waste. Old installations, where the sites are now closed, represent a real danger. Where necessary, rehabilitation work should be carried out within four years at the waste producers' expense. This point is particularly important for the new central European Member States, where many mining companies have long neglected safety standards. In future, every time a mining site starts up, a financial guarantee will have to be lodged and regularly adjusted to ensure that requirements are met during and after use of the site, for the rehabilitation, not just of the site itself, but also all the land directly affected.

[#19]   What can we deduce from the text?
  • Spain has long neglected the safety standards for mining waste.
  • At present Europe does not have any rules on environmental management.
  • This is the correct answer. The risk of accidents is greater on some mining sites in central Europe.
  • The two-fold increase in the number of accidents over the last few years has prompted the European Union to legislate.

Xplora is a new gateway to science education in Europe. Its aim is to stimulate science education to attract more young people. Teachers will find a wealth of information and resources for primary and secondary education. The section "Megalab" presents experiments and practical, innovative science projects. Studying the stars or plants, conducting experiments on wind energy or hydrogen cells, ... Thanks to Xplora, pupils can now take part in experiments that would not be feasible at school! Xplora also provides teachers, and experts from all comers of Europe with a forum where they can talk to each other on-line, find tools for setting up on-line communities and instructions on free software for science teaching.

[#20]   Which of the following objectives is not being pursued by Xplora?
  • Facilitating access to scientific information.
  • Promoting interaction between experts and teachers.
  • Enabling experiments to be conducted outside school.
  • This is the correct answer. Replacing the classical methods of science learning.