On 24 January 2013 the Internal Market Committee adopted its position on draft rules setting out minimum EU requirements for the award by public authorities of "concession" contracts to procure works or services from private suppliers. These contracts are typically high-value, complex and long-term. These Q&A deal with certain aspects of the committee text, on which informal negotiations are now under way with the Council headed by the Irish Presidency and the European Commission.
A provisional deal on updated watercraft rules to make them safer and greener was struck by MEPs and Irish EU presidency negotiators on Wednesday. It also scraps the misleading names of boat design categories in order to give consumers clearer information.
EU firms could save billions of euros thanks to draft EU rules that would enable them to re-use public data instead of producing them from scratch. These rules, approved by the Industry Committee today, would apply to public information such as maps, statistics and weather data. MEPs ensured that any fees will be low and that firms will find it cheap and easy to complain if access is denied.
A provisional deal updating the EU customs code to keep pace with IT development was struck by MEPs and Irish EU presidency negotiators on Tuesday. It paves the way for paper-free customs transactions, including fast-track processing for trusted companies.
All the safety improvements recommended following stress tests on the EU's nuclear reactors must be carried out urgently, say MEPs in a resolution adopted on Thursday. They also insist that nuclear plant operators must pay for these improvements and bear all the costs for which they are liable in the event of an accident.
A provisional deal on proposed legislation for the safety of offshore oil and gas operations was struck by MEPs and Council negotiators on Thursday. Before oil and gas firms could get a licence to drill, the directive would require them to submit major hazard reports and emergency response plans and prove their ability to remedy any environmental damage caused.
A deal with the Council to give customs officials at EU borders better tools to confiscate, store and destoy goods that infringe intellectual property rights was endorsed by Internal Market Committee MEPs on Thursday.
Public authorities choosing among bids to supply them with water, energy, postal or transport services must be free to take account of environmental or social needs, and not just the cost, said Internal Market MEPs voting on an update of EU public procurement rules on Thursday.
Public procurement "concession" contracts, which enable public authorities to transfer the economic risk of projects such as building roads bridges or sports arenas to the private sector, will be subject to uniform EU-wide rules voted by the Internal Market Committee on Thursday.
Professionals will find it easier to work in another EU country thanks to an electronic card detailing their qualifications and experience, said the Internal Market Committee on Wednesday, amending a new draft law on recognition of professional qualifications. MEPs also backed plans for an EU- wide alert system to prevent doctors or nurses who are barred from their profession in one EU country from exercising it in another.