Presentation of the Impact assessment on Trade secrets
DG MARKT presented the proposal for a Directive on the protection of trade secrets against unlawful acquisition, use and disclosure, and the accompanying impact assessment. The proposal seeks to improve the protection of trade secret holders in the single market, which is currently fragmented by varied and uneven national legal regimes, by harmonising Member States' civil laws. This includes notably clarifying the basic concepts related to the definition and unlawful acquisition of trade secrets, and providing the necessary safeguards for the protection of interests of other parties, for example for avoiding abusive litigation and for guaranteeing confidentiality during litigation.
Members stressed the merits of the Commission's proposal, especially for SMEs and micro enterprises, and set out some areas for improvement that could be addressed, such as introducing explicit language on the principle of minimum harmonisation. They also underlined the need to balance the protection of trade secrets with the protection of whistle-blowers and workers working in R&D intensive industries; the importance of ensuring confidentiality during litigation; as well as the need to extend the prescription period.
Single Market Governance within the European Semester 2015
IMCO considered this draft report builds on the previous two IMCO reports on this subject and also on a substantial expertise coming from the studies that have been recently commissioned by IMCO. The draft report focuses on three main areas. Firstly, it reiterates the need for a Single Market pillar of the European Semester process while calling for a specific analytical tool that would measure the Single Market integration and provide evidence-based input to the country-specific recommendations. Secondly, the report looks into the untapped potential of the Single Market in key growth areas focussing on the Digital Single Market, free movement of goods, services, public procurement and the consumer acquis. And finally, it elaborates on the instruments for the assessment of Single Market integration and governance tools, calling in particular for improved monitoring and evaluation of the regulatory and economic performance of the Single Market.
Policy Department prepared briefings to summarize the commitments Commissioners-designate made in their written answers to questionnaires and during their hearings before the Committee on Internal Market and Consumer protection.
Workshop: Building blocks of the Ubiquitous Digital Single Market – 13.11.14 at 15.00
The first two panels of the workshop focused on the possibilities to complete the Digital Single Market by 2015 and different aspects that need to be looked at in such a completion process. The third panel looked more closely at current legislative package on Connected Continent and a proposal of directive on measures to ensure a high common level of network and information security across the Union.
Experts discussed with Members such topical issues as net neutrality, cyber security, cross sectoral approach to the DSM and the Digital Agenda.
1. coordination at Union level of national legislation in the sphere of the internal market and for the customs union, in particular:
(a) the free movement of goods including the harmonisation of technical standards,
(b) the right of establishment,
(c) freedom to provide services except in the financial and postal sectors;
2. the functioning of the Single Market, including measures aimed at the identification and removal of potential obstacles to the implementation of the Single Market, including the Digital Single Market;
3. the promotion and protection of the economic interests of consumers, except for public health and food safety issues;
4. policy and legislation regarding the enforcement of Single Market rules and consumer rights.
The IMCO Committee is responsible for legislative oversight and scrutiny for EU rules on the free movement of goods and services, free movement of professionals, customs policy, standardisation and the economic interests of consumers. The committee members work to reduce barriers to economic trade and simplify legislation to enhance competitiveness across the Single Market (SM), while taking care for consumer interests in a wide range of sectors.
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A well-run SM is key to unlocking prosperity, innovation and greater competitiveness which benefits businesses and consumers. We have many challenges and opportunities ahead, especially unlocking the potential of the Digital Single Market and the single market in services.
Our mission is to ensure safe products, safeguard consumer rights, keep consumers informed about products/services, crack down on anti-competitive behaviour and reduce administrative burdens.
The committee works with all EU Member States to ensure that SM rules are practicable and that they are properly implemented and enforced on time.
It is a privilege to Chair this important Committee, and to work with members from across the political spectrum to bring real benefits to consumers, businesses and other organisations across the SM.