To help mitigate the consequences of serious road accidents, the EU has committed to putting in place an emergency call system known as eCall. Based on in-vehicle communication technology, such an electronic safety system will automatically call emergency services in case of a serious crash. The eCall will dial 112 - the Europe's single emergency number and communicate the vehicle's location to emergency services, even if the driver is unconscious or unable to make a phone call. It is estimated that it could save up to 2500 lives a year.
To achieve that objective, on 13 June 2013 the Commission presented two legislative proposals aimed at ensuring that, from 1 October 2015, firstly, all new models of passenger cars and light duty vehicles would be fitted with 112 eCall and, secondly, the necessary infrastructure would be created for the proper receipt and handling of eCalls in emergency call response centres - ensuring the compatibility, interoperability and continuity of the EU-wide eCall service.
These proposals have been requested by the Parliament, in particular, in its resolution of 3 July 2012 on e-Call: a new 112 service for citizens (IMCO-TRAN report under Rule 51 by Olga Sehnalová and Dieter-Lebrecht Koch).
Out of the two proposals, the one concerning the deployment of the necessary infrastructure is discussed by the TRAN Committee, with Philippe De Backer (ADLE) as Rapporteur, while the IMCO Committee is the lead committee for the proposal concerning the in-vehicle equipment - the proposed regulation on type-approval requirements for the eCall in-vehicle system and amending Directive 2007/46/EC.
The proposal for a regulation provides for the mandatory introduction of an eCall in-vehicle system in new type-approved vehicles across the EU. Contrary to the current system where eCall is installed by manufacturers on a voluntary basis, the proposal provides for a mandatory fitting of eCall devices in vehicles, starting with new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles, by 1 October 2015. It therefore requires vehicle and equipment manufacturers to ensure that, in the event of a severe accident, an eCall to 112 is activated automatically. An eCall can also be triggered manually. Furthermore, the regulation provides for rules on privacy and data protection, as well as for the delegation of powers to the Commission in respect of detailed technical requirements.
The Parliament adopted its position at first reading on 26 February 2014. On 25 September, the IMCO Committee decided to open trilogue negotiations with the Council and the Commission with a view to reaching an early second reading agreement.
Rapporteur: Olga Sehnalová (S&D)
Shadow Rapporteurs: Carlos Coelho (EPP), Louis Ide (ECR), Ulla Tørnæs (ALDE), Dennis de Jong (GUE/NGL), Jan Philipp Albrecht (Greens/EFA), tbc (EFDD).
The internal market (also referred to as the Single Market [SM]) - an area of free movement for goods, people, services and capital - is at the heart of the European project. To bring this into being, IMCO has been extremely active to remove technical, regulatory, and legal barriers within the Union. The creation of the internal market encouraged EU Member States to liberalise the monopolistic public utility markets that had been protected until that point. By aligning their national laws, Member States set about harmonising rules and standards within the EU.
An effective consumer policy can change our citizens’ lives for the better. The IMCO Committee is working hard to ensure consumers can operate safely and with confidence when buying products and services in the EU, whether in their local shop or when shopping online across borders.
Many EU policies directly affect consumers. It is the case especially in such areas as product safety, internal market, trade, competition, financial services, transport, telecommunications, or energy. A stronger consumer dimension is needed across all policies. Confident, informed and empowered consumers are the motor of economic evolution: they are keys to the efficient functioning of markets, as they reward traders that operate fairly and respond best to consumers' needs.
Consumers should be offered a wider choice of high quality products and services at competitive prices. This is particularly essential in the current economic crisis in order to fight against growing inequalities and protect vulnerable consumers and low-income groups.
Key actions to empower EU consumers are related to enhancing consumer rights and redress mechanisms, providing accurate information, ensuring market transparency and guaranteeing safe and high quality products and services.
The internal market (also referred to as the Single Market; SM) - an area of free movement for goods, people, services and capital - is at the heart of the European project since its inception and has been further developed since 1993 by the consolidation of economic integration, the introduction of common currency and solidarity and cohesion policies. A well-functioning integrated European single market is a fundamental process to further European integration, social cohesion, economic growth and sustainable development within the Union aimed at creating ‘an ever closer union among the European people’ preventing its citizens and Member States from reengaging in conflict. Twenty years after the launch of the European Single Market (SM) a number of shortcomings prevail as highlighted by Mario Monti in 'A New Strategy for the Single Market' and by IMCO report on Delivering a single market to consumers and citizens. IMCO has been very active.
The IMCO Committee has considered the Commission's proposals for a modernisation of the EU public procurement rules (rapporteur: Marc Tarabella, S&D). This included the revision of Directive 2004/18/EC ("Classic Directive") on procurement by public authorities, and of Directive 2004/17/EC on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors ("Utilities Directive"), as well as a new instrument for the award of concessions contracts. This was further complemented by the adoption of a Directive on electronic invoices in public procurement ("e-invoincing"), and an international procurement instrument ('IPI') on access to and from third country procurement markets, conducted jointly by IMCO and INTA.
Public procurement is the process used by government institutions, public sector organisations and certain undertakings in the utilities sectors to buy supplies, services and public works. Such expenditure is a significant and influential component of the economy. The reform aimed to make the existing rules more flexible and easier to apply, to enable a greater strategic use of public purchasing power (to achieve green, social and innovation-related objectives) and to increase the use of new procurement techniques and tools such as joint buying and e-procurement. The basic challenges had already been debated in two IMCO own initiative reports (rapporteur: Heide Rühle, Greens), adopted in plenary in 2010 and 2011, in response to the Commission's Green Paper consultation.
The parliamentary works were completed within the record period of 2 years: The European Commission presented its proposal, issued in December 2011, and the Impact Assessment to the IMCO Members on 9 January 2012, followed by a first exchange of views on 29 February 2012. The negotiations were successfully concluded at first reading with the confirmation of the agreement by COREPER I in July 2013 and IMCO endorsement on 5 September 2013. The full modernisation package was adopted by Parliament in a plenary vote on 15 January 2014, and by Council on 11 February 2014. Amendments had been considered on 18 September and 5 November 2012, and compromise amendments on 28 November 2012. On 18 December 2012 and 24 January 2013, IMCO adopted its reports on, respectively, the classic and the utilities proposals (Classic Directive: 23 votes in favour, 8 against and 7 abstentions; Utilities Directive: 25 votes in favour, 5 against and 8 abstentions). Informal trilogue negotiations with the Council then lasted from February until July 2013.
The package was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on 28 March 2014, and has entered into force on 17 April 2014.
Rapporteur: Marc Tarabella (S&D)
Shadow rapporteurs: Frank Engel (EPP), Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE), Heide Rühle (Greens), Malcolm Harbour / Edvard Kožušník (ECR), Dennis de Jong (GUE), Matteo Salvini (EFD).
Der IMCO-Ausschuss ist für die legislative Kontrolle und Prüfung der EU-Vorschriften über den freien Waren-und Dienstleistungsverkehr, die Freizügigkeit von Fachkräften, die Zollpolitik und die Normung sowie für den Schutz der wirtschaftlichen Interessen der Verbraucher zuständig. Zu den Aufgaben der Ausschussmitglieder gehören der Abbau von Handelsschranken und die Vereinfachung der Rechtsvorschriften, um die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit innerhalb des Binnenmarkts zu fördern; die gleichzeitige Wahrung der Interessen der Verbraucher in einer Vielfalt von Bereichen zählt ebenfalls dazu.
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Ein gut geführter Binnenmarkt ist der Schlüssel zu Wohlstand, Innovation und einer größeren Wettbewerbsfähigkeit, die den Unternehmen und den Verbrauchern zugute kommen. Uns stehen viele Herausforderungen und Möglichkeiten bevor, insbesondere im Hinblick auf die Entfaltung des Potentials des digitalen Binnenmarkts und des Binnenmarkts für Dienstleistungen.
Zu unseren Zielen gehören die Gewährleistung der Produktsicherheit und der Schutz der Verbraucherrechte; außerdem sind wir bestrebt, die Verbraucher über Produkte/Dienstleistungen zu informieren, wettbewerbswidrigem Verhalten entgegenzuwirken und Verwaltungslasten abzubauen.
Der Ausschuss arbeitet mit allen EU-Mitgliedstaaten zusammen, um sicherzustellen, dass die Vorschriften zum Binnenmarkt praktikabel sind, richtig umgesetzt werden und rechtzeitig in Kraft treten.
Es ist mir eine Ehre, den Vorsitz in diesem wichtigen Ausschuss zu führen und mit Mitgliedern des gesamten politischen Spektrums zusammenzuarbeiten, um für die Verbraucher, Unternehmen und anderen Organisationen innerhalb des gesamten Binnenmarkts wirkliche Vorteile zu schaffen.