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 IMCO Committee is currently considering the Commission proposal.
The IMCO Committee is currently considering the Commission's proposal on electronic invoicing ('e-invoicing') in public procurement. This complements the package for the modernisation of the EU public procurement rules, adopted by IMCO and scheduled for a vote in plenary in January 2014. 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 procurement package strengthens the rules for electronic procurement, making its use mandatory at the latest 54 months after the entry into force of the revised instruments. Moving towards more efficient paperless procedures is expected to yield great benefits. However, the package does not cover the 'post-award' stage of invoicing, because it is not procurement-specific. The present initiative seeks to fill this gap, as e-invoicing in particular is expected to generate tangible financial savings for government and suppliers, and to promote digital business transactions throughout the EU. At the same time, great care needs to be taken to ensure there are no interoperability barriers to cross-border trade.
The European Commission presented its proposal and the Impact Assessment to the IMCO Members on 30 September 2013. The first exchange of views has taken place on 4 November 2013. The consideration of amendments is expected in December 2013.
Rapporteur: Birgit Collin-Langen (EPP)
Shadow rapporteurs: Marc Tarabella (S&D), Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE), Heide Rühle (Greens), Malcolm Harbour (ECR), - (GUE), Matteo Salvini (EFD)
The overall objective of the Commission's revised proposal is to enhance the functioning of the Internal Market and achieve a high level of consumer protection through the approximation of rules on packages and other combinations of travel services. The proposal seeks to establish a level playing field between operators, remove legal obstacles to cross-border trade and reduce compliance costs for businesses. At the same time, it aims to clarify which combinations of travel services are protected under EU package travel rules and replace unclear and outdated provisions. It contains mandatory rules for the protection of travellers, which Member States or traders may not derogate from to the detriment of consumers.
On 13 February 2013 the European Commission adopted a comprehensive package on Product Safety and Market Surveillance in order to improve safety of consumer products, in particular by strengthening product identification and traceability, and to simplify and improve the framework of market surveillance of products, particularly by eliminating currently existing overlaps and inconsistencies. The package, which is a key action of the Single Market Act II, consists of two legislative initiatives: a proposal for a new Regulation on Consumer Product Safety and a proposal for a single Regulation on Market Surveillance of Products, as well as complimentary non-legislative measures, in particular multi-annual plan for market surveillance setting out 20 actions to be implemented until 2015 to make progress in market surveillance.
Two legislative proposals and the accompanying impact assessment have been presented in IMCO Committee on 7 May 2013 and Members held a first exchange of view at the same day. The Committee is organizing a hearing on the subject entitled "Safe Products and a Fair Market: Challenges and Opportunities" on the 29 May 2013.
Rapporteur for the Regulation on Consumer Product Safety: Christel Schaldemose (S&D)
Shadow Rapporteurs: Raffaele Baldassarre (EPP), Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE), Heide Rühle (Greens/EFA), Ashley Fox (ECR).
Rapporteur for the Regulation on Market Surveillance of Products: Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP)
The European Commission has presented numerous initiatives over the past three years to promote the digital single market and to exploit the growth opportunities offered by the digital economy. Important progress has been made in this regard. However, it is also clear that the digital single market is far from complete. Business and consumers continue to face significant barriers that prevent them from reaping the full potential benefits it has to offer.
This is why the IMCO Committee has set up a working group on the Digital Single Market and on e-Commerce, which in 2013 will start its third round of meetings in order to identify key remaining barriers and priority areas, where further action is needed as a matter of urgency. The working group will gather input on the strategic direction that should be taken and will put this forward as a contribution to a possible Single Market Act III on the Digital Single Market. To ensure timely input, a series of meetings will be held throughout the first half of 2013, leading to the adoption of conclusions by IMCO in July 2013.
Working Group Coordinator: Pablo Arias Echeverría (EPP)
Honorary Members: Malcolm Harbour, Chair of IMCO (ECR), Louis Grech, Vice-Chair of IMCO (S&D), Sirpa Pietikäinen, Vice-Chair of IMCO (EPP)
Regular Members: Antonio Correia de Campos (S&D), Martin Lokkegaard (ALDE), Christian Engstrom (Greens), Emma McClarkin (ECR), Dennis De Jong (GUE), Matteo Salvini (EFD)
Le marché unique, et la libre circulation des personnes, des marchandises et des services qu'il instaure, est l'un des piliers majeurs de l'Union européenne. Il a apporté prospérité et croissance, création d'emplois, mobilité et liberté de choix aux entreprises et aux citoyens européens.
À la commission du marché intérieur et de la protection des consommateurs, nous estimons que les citoyens doivent être placés au cœur du marché unique. Il est de notre devoir de permettre à toute personne de s'établir partout où elle le souhaite dans l'Union européenne, pour y travailler, y étudier ou y créer son entreprise.
Nous voulons agir pour que les consommateurs connaissent leurs droits et se sentent en confiance et protégés lorsqu'ils effectuent leurs achats en Europe, que ce soit dans un magasin de proximité ou à l'étranger via Internet.
Nous nous efforçons de rédiger une législation commerciale claire et précise et de faciliter les démarches des petites entreprises qui œuvrent pour développer leurs débouchés en produisant et en vendant des produits ou en fournissant des services.
La commission du marché intérieur a pris l'initiative de l'adoption de l'Acte pour le marché unique dans le but de relancer ce dernier. Nous nous employons à mettre en œuvre aussi vite que possible les propositions qu'il contient. Seul un bon fonctionnement du marché européen unique peut garantir notre prospérité et notre compétitivité à l'échelle mondiale dans les décennies à venir.
Malcolm Harbour Président de la commission du marché intérieur et de la protection des consommateurs