1. Introduction - European Commission (2023)

1. BACKGROUND

The possibility of introducing security scanners on the listof eligible screening methods and technologies for screeningpersons was first proposed to the Council and the EuropeanParliament on 5 September 2008 on the basis of the positive voteof the Member States' aviation security experts.

On 23 October 2008, the European Parliament adopted aresolution on the impact of aviation security measures andsecurity scanners on human rights, privacy, personal dignity anddata protection, requesting a more in-depth assessment of thesituation, opposing the Commission's proposal. The Commissionagreed to review these matters further and withdrew securityscanners from its original legislative proposal. The draftlegislation became Commission Regulation (EC) No 272/2009 toapply as of 29 April 2010.

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The Commission consulted with all parties concerned and issueda first analysis on the use of security scanners: theCommunication to the European Parliament and the Council on theuse of security scanners at EU airports of 15 June 2010.Following this Communication an in-depth impact assessment wascarried out by the Commission. It concluded that securityscanners are an effective method for the screening of passengersand should be authorised for use at EU airports under certainoperational conditions and detection performance standards. Thereport also identified the need to avoid any risks to humanhealth and to ensure the protection of fundamentalrights.

Consequently, the Commission proposed to add security scannersto the list of the methods for the screening of passengers andlinked their use to a number of conditions. On 10 and 11November 2011 the Commission adopted this legislation. Therelevant elements of the package are contained in Regulations1141/2011 and 1147/2011. In particular, under the newlegislation security scanners are not mandatory for MemberStates and/or airports and can only be used at EU airports inaccordance with minimum conditions such as: security scannersshall not store, retain, copy, print or retrieve images; anyunauthorised access and use of the image is prohibited and shallbe prevented; the human reviewer analysing the image shall be ina separate location and the image shall not be linked to thescreened person and others. Passengers must be informed aboutthe conditions under which the security scanner control takesplace. In addition, passengers are given the right to opt out ofa control with scanners and be subject to an alternative methodof screening.

In order to safeguard citizens' health and safety, at thisstage, the Commission has allowed Member States and/or airportsto deploy only security scanners which do not use ionisingradiation.

The methods currently allowed for passenger screening are laiddown in point 1 of part A of the Annex to Commission Regulation(EC) No 272/2009 and are as follows:

  1. Hand search;
  2. Walk-through metal detection (WTMD) equipment;
  3. Hand-held metal detection (HHMD) equipment;
  4. Explosive detection dogs;
  5. Explosive trace detection (ETD); and
  6. Security scanners which do not use ionisingradiation.

Commission Regulation (EU) No 185/2010 of 4 March 2010 laysdown detailed measures for the implementation of the commonbasic standards on aviation security. Point 4.1.1.2 of the Annexdetermines that passengers can be screened by a hand search orby a walk-through metal detector. Additional requirements oncombining different methods in order to achieve effectivedetection are included in EU security restrictedlegislation.

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In the EU, some countries tested security scanners and havenow introduced security scanners under the new rules. In thecurrent international context, security scanners are beingdeployed at airports worldwide, especially in the USA whereseveral hundred security scanners are currently in use. Russiahas been using security scanners at airports since 2008 and willcontinue to deploy them more widely in the future. Othercountries are either planning (e.g. Canada, Australia) orexamining the possibility of introducing security scanners (e.g.Japan).

Four main security scanner technologies for passengerscreening are currently on the market but this does not precludeother technologies from appearing:

Security Scanner Technologies

Body scanning security technologyType of energy used and level ofexposure
Passivemillimetre-waveNoradiation emitted
Activemillimetre-waveNon-ionisingradiation (24-30 GHzrange), 60 to 640 μW/m2
X-ray backscatterIonising X-rayradiation between 0.02 and0.1 μSv per screening
X-ray transmission imagingIonising X-rayradiation between 0.1-5 μSvper screening

While X-ray based security scanners are currently used in theUSA and as a trial in one UK airport, several Member States(e.g. Italy, France, Germany and Austria) prohibit the use ofionising radiation fornon-medical purposes.

The protection of workers and the general public from ionisingradiation isregulated under Directive 96/29/EURATOM. Article 6 of thisDirective specifies the basic principles of radiationprotection, among them that "Member States shall ensure thatall new classes or types of practice resulting in exposureto ionising radiation are justified in advance of beingfirst adopted or first approved by their economic, social orother benefits in relation to the health detriment they maycause." According to the Directive, the uses of X-raysecurity scanners are notified to the National CompetentAuthorities (Art. 3) and an authorization shall be required bythe Member States (Art. 4). The Directive also sets cumulativedose limits for workers (Art.9) and for members of the public(Art. 13).

As indicated in the recently adopted legislation on securityscanners, the Commission would like to receive information onthe impact on human health of the technologies available on themarket and in particular on the X-ray based security scannertechnologies.

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2. TERMS OF REFERENCE

The SCENIHR is asked:

1. To assess the potential health effects related to the useof all types of security scanners used for passenger screeningwhich emit ionisingradiation.

2. If any effects are identified under 1, to quantify therisks and, if feasible, to estimate the additional number ofcases of diseases that are expected to occur in Europe due tothe use of this technology at EU airports, differentiatingbetween the general public and exposed workers as indicatedbelow.

In its assessment, the SCENIHR is asked to consider inparticular the risk for populations that are regularly exposedto such technologies (e.g. frequent flyers (to be defined), aircrew, security workers operating the scanners and other airportstaff) and potentially vulnerable groups (e.g. pregnant women,children).

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The SCENIHR should compare the relative risk of such securityscanners using X-ray based technologies to other securityscanner technologies on the market.

As health protection against ionisingradiation falls underthe provisions of the Euratom Treaty, the SCENIHR is asked toconsult in its assessment the Group of Scientific Expertsreferred to in Article 31 of the Euratom Treaty (Art. 31 GoE),advising the Commission on radiation protection matters.

3. SCIENTIFIC RATIONALE

3.1 Introduction and scope

To assess the potential harm, considering the link betweenradiation exposureand health risks, we need to estimate the amount of exposure ofthe various exposed groups due to the use of security scannersfor passenger screening. As specified in the Terms of Reference(section 2.), this opinion considers only the use of securityscanners using X-ray technology at EU airports and deals onlywith radiation detriment. Justification of practices usingionising radiation as required by radiation protectionlegislation is beyond the remit of this opinion.

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Ionising radiation isubiquitous and everyone is continuously exposed to it. AllEuropeans receive on average 1 mSv annually from backgroundradiation from naturally occurring radionuclides in the groundand within the body. Another component of natural radiation iscosmic radiation from space. In addition, we are exposed toindoor radon throughinhalation to a widely varying extent (range 0.1-10 mSv). Thepredominant man-made sources of radiation are medical,diagnostic and therapeutic applications with a wide range ofdoses resulting in a contribution of between approximately 20and 50% of the collective dose to the population in the EU. Thecollective dose is computed from the product of the irradiatedpopulation and the average effective dose per person. Theaverage effective dose per person due to diagnostic medicalexposures has been estimated as 0.3-0.4 mSv in the UK and1.8-2.5 mSv in Germany, while the average effective dose perperson due to natural sources varies within Europe (as describedabove) with a median of about 2 mSv. The population averagedoses from therapeutic applications have not been determinedbecause they only affect a small number of people, even if thesepeople receive very high doses. (REF SPIE paper)

At exposure levels above hundreds of mSv, adverse healtheffects of ionisingradiation have been wellestablished. The current model for estimating risk of low doseionising radiation (commonly defined as approximately 100 mSv)is based on linear extrapolation from experimental andepidemiological data obtained at higher doses. The assumptionsconcerning the shape of the dose-response curve [Query? – JudyBurns] are crucial for the assessment. A monotonic linearpattern (linear, no-threshold model) is commonly used, which isassumed to represent a prudent choice, because at very low dosesand dose rates the effects become indistinguishable from thebackground. X-radiation is a form of sparsely ionising radiationcalled low Linear Energy Transfer (LET) radiation. Presentestimates of the long-term health effects of radiation exposure,such as cancer risk, aredescribed in the International Commission for RadiationProtection (ICRP) publication 103 and are based largely on theaverage exposure to a population. Based on the recommendationsof the ICRP (ICRP 1998), radiation cancer risks relative to thebaseline are judged to be small at low doses up to a few mSv.Cancer risks at effective doses of the order of 1 µSv, such asthose encountered in passenger security-scanners using X-rays,are unknown. It is unlikely that epidemiological studies orexperimental studies with the present methodologies could, atsuch low doses, have a sample size large enough to providesufficient statistical precision and power to distinguish theincrement for determining risk estimates. At doses below 50 mSv,epidemiological studies have so far been unable to provideinformation on the shape of the dose-response curve for cancerrisk although some guidance can be obtained from experimentalstudies at doses above 1 mGy. However, for risk assessmentpurposes, the ICRP assumes a linear dose-response relationship,with no lower threshold below which radiation would have nodetrimental effect.

FAQs

What is European Union introduction? ›

The EU is a unique economic and political partnership between 27 European countries. It was first created in 1958 as the European Economic Community (EEC) by Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

What are the 4 main responsibilities of the European Commission? ›

The Commission has five main tasks:
  • Legislative initiative. The European Commission is the sole holder of the right of legislative initiative within the EU. ...
  • Enforcing European legislation. ...
  • Executive power. ...
  • Managing the budget. ...
  • Publishing advice and recommendations.

Why is the European Commission the most important? ›

The Commission helps to shape the EU's overall strategy, proposes new EU laws and policies, monitors their implementation and manages the EU budget. It also plays a significant role in supporting international development and delivering aid.

What is the European Commission simple? ›

The European Commission is the executive of the European Union. This means that it is responsible for initiating laws, enforcing the laws of the EU and managing the EU's policies. It is made up of 27 commissioners (one from each member state) and is based in Brussels.

What is Europe short answer? ›

Europe is often described as a “peninsula of peninsulas.” A peninsula is a piece of land surrounded by water on three sides. Europe is a peninsula of the Eurasian supercontinent and is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, and the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian seas to the south.

What is the European Union short answer? ›

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic partnership that represents a unique form of cooperation among sovereign countries.

What are 3 main values of the EU? ›

The European Union is founded on the following values:
  • Human dignity. Human dignity is inviolable. ...
  • Freedom. Freedom of movement gives citizens the right to move and reside freely within the Union. ...
  • Democracy. The functioning of the EU is founded on representative democracy. ...
  • Equality. ...
  • Rule of law. ...
  • Human rights.

What is the role of European Commission give examples? ›

Through Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union the commission has several responsibilities: to develop medium-term strategies; to draft legislation and arbitrate in the legislative process; to represent the EU in trade negotiations; to make rules and regulations, for example in competition policy; to draw up the ...

What are the main aims of the EU? ›

The aims and values of the EU

To offer EU citizens freedom, security and justice, without internal borders, while also controlling external borders. To work towards the sustainable development of Europe, promoting equality and social justice. To establish an economic union, with the euro as its currency.

Where is the European Commission? ›

Headquarters. The departments and executive agencies of the Commission are based in Brussels and Luxembourg. Weekly meetings of the Commissioners take place in the Brussels headquarters and in Strasbourg.

Why is European important? ›

The EU has delivered over half a century of peace, stability and prosperity. It also plays an important role in diplomacy and works to promote these same benefits – as well as democracy, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law – across the globe.

What is the role of a Commission? ›

The primary responsibility of Commissions is to advise and make recommendations to the Town Council. It is the Council's role to absorb the advice and recommendations offered by numerous sources and to make decisions to the best of its ability.

Who is the current European Commission? ›

Ursula von der Leyen

Who are the main members of the European Commission? ›

  • High Representative/Vice-President In office. Josep Borrell Fontelles. ...
  • Commissioner In office. Thierry Breton. ...
  • Commissioner In office. Helena Dalli. ...
  • Executive Vice-President In office. Valdis Dombrovskis. ...
  • Commissioner In office. Elisa Ferreira. ...
  • Commissioner In office. Mariya Gabriel. ...
  • Commissioner In office. ...
  • Commissioner In office.

When was the European Commission created? ›

What is the full name of Europe? ›

The European Union (EU) is a supranational political and economic union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe.
...
European Union.
Czech:Evropská unie
Danish:Den Europæiske Union
Dutch:Europese Unie
Estonian:Euroopa Liit
Finnish:Euroopan unioni
19 more rows

What is the real name of Europe? ›

Europa, Europe comes from the Phoenician word EROB, meaning where the sun set (west of Phoenicia,west of Bosphorus, Sea of Marmora). Erebo: I go under. Ereba: The land where I go under. Acu (pronounciatian asu) the land where I (the sun) are coming up: Ereb, ereba= europa Asu = Asie, Asia.

Where is Europe called? ›

Europe is also considered a subcontinent of Eurasia and it is located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere.
...
Europe.
Show national borders Hide national borders Show all
Area10,180,000 km2 (3,930,000 sq mi) (6th)
Population density72.9/km2 (188/sq mi) (2nd)
15 more rows

How many countries are in EU? ›

The European Union ( EU ) is an economic and political union of 27 countries.

Who founded the EU? ›

European Union

Why was European Union formed? ›

The modern European Union, founded in 1992, has its origins in post–World War II attempts to integrate European economies and prevent future conflicts. It consists of seven major institutions and dozens of smaller bodies that make law, coordinate foreign affairs and trade, and manage a common budget.

What are the biggest issues in the EU? ›

European Union
  • Migrants, Refugees, and Asylum Seekers.
  • Discrimination and Intolerance.
  • Poverty and Inequality.
  • Rule of Law.
  • Climate Change Policy and Impacts.
  • Foreign Policy.

What is the most important benefit of being in the EU? ›

improved economic stability and growth. better integrated and therefore more efficient financial markets. greater influence in the global economy. a tangible sign of a European identity.

What are the most important EU countries? ›

Of the bigger member states, three are in a category of their own. The United Kingdom, France, and Germany are the only EU countries that are generally perceived as global players.

Who makes EU policy? ›

Policymaking in the EU typically takes place by 'ordinary legislative' procedure. This procedure involves the Commission, Parliament and Council, who aim to come to agreement on the final legislation.

What are the top 5 aims of the EU? ›

These are the five big things the EU has set out to do.
  1. Promote economic and social progress. ...
  2. Speak for the European Union on the international scene. ...
  3. Introduce European citizenship. ...
  4. Develop Europe as an area of freedom, security and justice. ...
  5. Maintain and build on established EU law.

What does the European Commission regulate? ›

The European Commission is responsible for planning, preparing and proposing new EU laws and policies. The work is guided by the annual Commission Work Programme. When proposing laws, the Commission is assessing their expected significant impacts.

WHO publishes European Commission? ›

The Publications Office of the European Union is the official provider of publishing services to all EU institutions, bodies, and agencies. As such, it is a central point of access to EU law, publications, open data, research results, procurement notices and other official information.

Who is the leader of the European Council? ›

Charles Michel, President of the European Council - Consilium.

How did European change the world? ›

As Europeans moved beyond exploration and into colonization of the Americas, they brought changes to virtually every aspect of the land and its people, from trade and hunting to warfare and personal property. European goods, ideas, and diseases shaped the changing continent.

How did Europeans impact the world? ›

The Europeans brought technologies, ideas, plants, and animals that were new to America and would transform peoples' lives: guns, iron tools, and weapons; Christianity and Roman law; sugarcane and wheat; horses and cattle. They also carried diseases against which the Indian peoples had no defenses.

What can we learn from Europe? ›

Let us have a look at what the world can learn from Europe.
  • Europe leads the way in energy efficiency. ...
  • Europe encourages cyclists. ...
  • Europeans know how to enjoy their food. ...
  • Europe provides free health care. ...
  • Europeans take longer holidays. ...
  • Europe leads the way in flood protection.

What are the 3 types of commission? ›

COMMISSIONS
  • COMMISSIONS. Straight | Graduated | Piecework | End of Page.
  • Straight Commission. Straight Commission is calculated to be the person's wage based solely on sales. ...
  • Graduated Commission. Graduated Commission is calculated into a person's pay in addition to his/her regular salary or wage. ...
  • Piecework Commission.

Where is commission used? ›

Commissions are usually used in sales positions as incentives to increase worker productivity or generate more sales, which can sometimes result in a higher income than a base salary depending on a person's motivation and ability.

What are the types of commission? ›

Nine types of sales commission structures
  • Base rate only commission. The base rate only plan pays sales representatives an hourly or flat salary. ...
  • Base salary plus commission. ...
  • Draw against a commission. ...
  • Gross margin commission. ...
  • Residual commission. ...
  • Revenue commission. ...
  • Straight commission. ...
  • Tiered commission.

How big is the European Commission? ›

The European Commission is led by its President and the 26 Commissioners, one per country. The Commission President is elected for a 5-year term by the European Parliament, following the European elections.

How old is the European Commission? ›

25 March 1957 – Treaties of Rome

They formalise this by signing two treaties, creating the European Economic Community (EEC), and the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom). These bodies come into being on 1 January 1958.

What is European Union and its functions? ›

The aims of the European Union within its borders are: promote peace, its values and the well-being of its citizens. offer freedom, security and justice without internal borders, while also taking appropriate measures at its external borders to regulate asylum and immigration and prevent and combat crime.

What is the European Union and why is it important? ›

The EU is the largest trade bloc in the world. It is the world's biggest exporter of manufactured goods and services, and the biggest import market for over 100 countries. Free trade among its members was one of the EU's founding principles. This is possible thanks to the single market.

What is European Union essay? ›

The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 member states that are located primarily in Europe. The European Union is a society in which people come together in order to keep peace and security within their nations. The Union was officially founded in 1935 by 5 countries.

When was the euro introduced? ›

After a decade of preparations, the euro was launched on 1 January 1999: for the first three years it was an 'invisible' currency, only used for accounting purposes and electronic payments. Coins and banknotes were launched on 1 January 2002, and in 12 EU countries the biggest cash changeover in history took place.

What are the benefits of the European Union? ›

General Advantages
  • Membership in a community of stability, democracy, security and prosperity;
  • Stimulus to GDP growth, more jobs, higher wages and pensions;
  • Growing internal market and domestic demand;
  • Free movement of labour, goods, services and capital;
  • Free access to 450 million consumers.

Who is part of European Union? ›

The EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

Who controls the European Union? ›

The European Council sets the EU's main political priorities and overall policy direction. It is chaired by a president who is elected every 2½ years. The European Council does not pass EU laws.

What is the full meaning of Europe? ›

Definition of Europe

noun. a continent in the western part of the landmass lying between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, separated from Asia by the Ural Mountains on the east and the Caucasus Mountains and the Black and Caspian Seas on the southeast. In British usage, Europe sometimes contrasts with England.

What's special about Europe? ›

Home to some of the world's most visited attractions and incredible feats of nature and humanity, Europe is one fascinating continent. From the smallest town in the world to the biggest church on earth, and from a knighted penguin to a country free of mosquitoes, there are hundreds of random and fun facts about Europe.

Who first used the euro? ›

The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union and one of the first countries to adopt the euro on 1 January 1999.

Who created money? ›

Before money was invented, people bartered for goods and services. It wasn't until about 5,000 years ago that the Mesopotamian people created the shekel, which is considered the first known form of currency.

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