Plenary vote on European retail action plan for the benefit of all actors
On 11 December, Members will vote on the de Jong INI report in response to the Commission communication setting up a European Retail Action Plan and the accompanying consultation on unfair trading practices (UTPs). This report looks into the ways to improve competitiveness of the retail sector and to enhance its performance within the Single Market, while focusing on actions necessary to support small independent shops within local communities and to address UTPs, in particular through self-regulation.
Vote on the Accessibility of public sector bodies’ websites
On 28 November, IMCO adopted the draft report of Mr Chatzimarkakis on the proposal for a directive on the accessibility of public sector bodies' websites. The report was adopted with 30 votes in favour and 3 against, with all 30 compromise amendments going through. The report introduces substantial changes to the definitions of terms used in the directive; it seeks to extend the scope to all public sector bodies' websites and to websites belonging to other entities performing public tasks (as defined through a new annex). In line with the scope extension, the report foresees a set of staggered deadlines, distinguishing between new and existing content and with a further transitional period for live audio content. In addition, the report strengthens the monitoring, enforcement and reporting provisions. As a next step, the rapporteur will seek a mandate of the Committee to start negotiations with Council prior to the end of this legislature.
Single Telecommunications Market: public hearing on 27 November
The hearing was structured in two panels. Rapporteur Malcolm Harbour held an opening remark and gave a brief overview of the main elements of his draft Opinion on the proposed Regulation laying down measures for a European single market for electronic communications.
The first panel focused on the consumer protection provisions of the proposed Regulation and in particular on the Articles 21, 22 and 25 to 30. The panel was composed of Mr Pula Houghton (Director of consumer markets, Which?), Mr Kip Meek (Director Public Policy, EE) and Dr Margit Brandl (Global Head of Telecoms and Trade Policy, DigitalEurope). In general the speakers voiced concerns with regard to the instrument (Regulation) that had been chosen by the Commission. There were diverging views with regard to the level of detail of the information to be provided to the end-users and its usefulness, the limitation of contract lengths to maximum 24 months and the possibility for end-users to terminate a contract after 6 months.
The second panel focused on the issue of open internet and net neutrality, the Articles 23 and 24 of the proposed Regulation. Ms Nadia Trainar (Co-Chair of the Net Neutrality Expert Working Group of BEREC), Mr Jens-Henrik Jeppesen (Director European Affairs, CDT), Dr Andrea Renda (Senior Research Fellow, CEPS) and Mr Guillermo Beltrà (Senior Policy Officer, BEUC) intervened as speaker in the panel. The panellists welcomed the fact that the proposal contained provisions on net neutrality. There was a consensus that it was time for an approach at EU level. However, speakers had different views as on how traffic management should be organised, either based on general principles or on a limitative list of justifications, in order to avoid abuse and discrimination. The experts agreed that the definition of specialised services as contained in the proposal needed to be refined.
The Commission proposal seeks to establish a common EU-wide standard for e-invoices that all contracting authorities must accept, within 4 years from the entry into fore of the directive, even though they may continue to use other national standards and systems. This complements the public procurement modernisation package to be voted in plenary shortly, which will make e-procurement mandatory by 2018.
The Rapporteur Birgit Collin-Langen welcomed the proposal as a means to achieve greater interoperability and to boost the digital internal market. She stressed however several weaknesses, including, notably, the short and unclear time-table for transposition by MS and the proposed procedure for adoption of the standard. To address these points, the Rapporteur proposes including a test phase, publication of the standard by means of an implementing act and longer and differentiated implementation deadlines. Due to the extremely narrow time-table, the draft report sets out the main arguments, whilst further legal verification is on-going. Shadows from all Groups expressed their broad support. The Rapporteur of the Committee of the Regions, Ms C. Segersten Larsson, also supported the Rapporteur. Reporting on the CoR draft opinion and on the Swedish e-invoicing experience, she emphasised the need for sound preparation and realistic implementation time frames. Representatives of the Commission services acknowledged Parliament's concerns but underlined the need to act quickly.
An integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EU
60 amendments have been proposed to the draft report of Pablo Arias Echeverria which covers mainly the following issues:
- Ensure fair working conditions in the delivery sector;
- Development of trust marks specifically linked to the delivery chain;
- Guarantee transparency and information at all stages and to all players;
- Establish common quality indicators.
Some Members stressed the need to address properly the issue of working conditions while others mentioned that although they shared the view as regard the need for sound working conditions in this sector, it was not per se the topic of this report.
The Commission announced that a roadmap and an action plan should be adopted soon by the College and definitely before Christmas. Although certain Members expressed that legislative measures would help in this sector, the Commission stated that no legislative proposal will be proposed at this stage.
Next steps: Compromise amendments will be discussed on 27/28 November and vote will take place on 17 December.
Ühtne turg ning inimeste, kaupade ja teenuste vaba liikumine on üks Euroopa Liidu põhialustest. Need on taganud ELi kodanikele ja ettevõtjatele heaolu ja majanduskasvu, töökohad, liikuvuse ja valikuvabaduse.
Siseturu- ja tarbijakaitsekomisjon usub, et ühtse turu keskpunktis peavad olema kodanikud. Meie ülesanne on tagada, et inimesed saaksid end kõikjal ELis sisse seada, seal töötada, õppida või tegutseda ettevõtjana.
Tahame teha kõik, et kodanikud teaksid oma õigusi ja tunneksid end ELis turvaliselt ja kaitstult, kui nad poes kohapeal või piiriüleselt internetis kaupu ostavad.
Meie eesmärk on kehtestada ettevõtjatele selged eeskirjad, muuta väikeste ettevõtete elu lihtsamaks ning samal ajal suurendada tootjate, müüjate ja teenuseosutajate turuvõimalusi.
Siseturukomisjon algatas ühtse turu akti selleks, et anda uut hoogu ühtsele turule. Oleme endiselt valmis kõige kiiremas korras tegelema seda käsitlevate ettepanekutega. Vaid hästi toimiv Euroopa ühtne turg võib tagada meie heaolu ja konkurentsivõime maailmas ka järgnevatel aastakümnetel.