361

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Publication type
Author
Keyword
Date

Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)

23-06-2017

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) as part of its wider telecoms package. The new proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a single fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to ...

On 14 September 2016, the European Commission proposed an updated regulation on the Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communications (BEREC) as part of its wider telecoms package. The new proposal aims at transforming BEREC into a single fully fledged agency. The Commission proposes allocating new tasks to BEREC and granting it legally binding powers. New tasks include providing guidelines for national regulatory authorities (NRAs) on geographical surveys, developing common approaches to meet end-user interests, but also developing common approaches to deliver peer-reviewed opinions on draft national measures (e.g. radio spectrum assignments) and on cross-border disputes. Stakeholders have been divided over the Commission’s review as regards the effectiveness and powers of BEREC. While the role of NRAs is widely acknowledged, some stakeholders stressed that the institutional set-up at EU and BEREC levels should be adjusted (e.g. a clearer division of powers, accountability issues, transparency in decision-making). Second edition The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Motor vehicles: new approval and market surveillance rules

21-06-2017

The automotive industry is a major player in the European economy, accounting for 6.4% of gross domestic product and 2.3 million jobs in the European Union (EU). However, it has been facing difficulties as a result of the economic crisis. In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the European Union, in particular as regards standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In 2016, as part of preparations ...

The automotive industry is a major player in the European economy, accounting for 6.4% of gross domestic product and 2.3 million jobs in the European Union (EU). However, it has been facing difficulties as a result of the economic crisis. In September 2015, the Volkswagen (VW) case highlighted weaknesses in the implementation of type-approval rules for motor vehicles in the European Union, in particular as regards standards on emissions of air pollutants and carbon dioxide. In 2016, as part of preparations from previous years but also in response to the VW case, the European Commission proposed strengthening the type-approval system for motor vehicles. Its goal is to ensure effective enforcement of rules (including through market surveillance), to strengthen the quality and independence of technical tests and to introduce EU oversight on the type-approval process. Fifth edition. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Dual quality of branded food products: Addressing a possible east-west divide

20-06-2017

Recent tests on branded food in three 'new' EU Member States have shown that the taste and composition of these products, sold under the same name and in the same packaging, sometimes differ from the 'same' products sold in neighbouring 'old' Member States. While the ingredients were generally properly labelled and the products were considered safe for consumption, some of those in 'new' Member States were considered to be of inferior quality and less healthy, and were also more expensive. Similar ...

Recent tests on branded food in three 'new' EU Member States have shown that the taste and composition of these products, sold under the same name and in the same packaging, sometimes differ from the 'same' products sold in neighbouring 'old' Member States. While the ingredients were generally properly labelled and the products were considered safe for consumption, some of those in 'new' Member States were considered to be of inferior quality and less healthy, and were also more expensive. Similar claims have previously been made concerning cosmetics and laundry detergents. Companies are known to change the composition of their branded products to adjust to local taste, local ingredients, divergent purchasing power, etc. EU legislation does not consider this to be misleading, as long as the products are safe, properly labelled and not falsely advertised as being identical to those sold in another Member State. At the same time, trademark law, while protecting the right of the trademark owner to communicate the origin and quality of products by using a mark, does not offer the consumer a legally enforceable guarantee. In 2013 the European Parliament asked the Commission to look into the matter, and in 2017 a group of MEPs issued a major interpellation asking the Commission to make proposals to amend EU legislation in connection with the 'dual quality' of products. The Commission has so far been reluctant to take this path, preferring to address the issue in the High-Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain.

EU abolishes mobile roaming charges

14-06-2017

Almost all EU residents own a mobile phone for their personal or professional use. When they travel to another EU country and use it to call, text or go online, they used to have to pay additional costs (roaming charges). This situation, which made travel within the EU more complicated and expensive for consumers and businesses, has come to an end: the latest EU Roaming Regulation abolished the extra costs on 15 June 2017. Since then, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) has become a reality for all Europeans ...

Almost all EU residents own a mobile phone for their personal or professional use. When they travel to another EU country and use it to call, text or go online, they used to have to pay additional costs (roaming charges). This situation, which made travel within the EU more complicated and expensive for consumers and businesses, has come to an end: the latest EU Roaming Regulation abolished the extra costs on 15 June 2017. Since then, 'roam like at home' (RLAH) has become a reality for all Europeans. The new roaming-free zone covers not only the EU, but the whole of the European Economic Area (EEA), which includes the EU and three European Free Trade Association (EFTA) countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

Level-2 measures under the Benchmarks Regulation

06-06-2017

This briefing has been drawn up to support ECON’s work on the scrutiny of delegated acts, in particular for the discussion of 8 June 2017 on Level-2 measures under Regulation (EU) No 2016/1011 on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds.

This briefing has been drawn up to support ECON’s work on the scrutiny of delegated acts, in particular for the discussion of 8 June 2017 on Level-2 measures under Regulation (EU) No 2016/1011 on indices used as benchmarks in financial instruments and financial contracts or to measure the performance of investment funds.

Chemicals

01-06-2017

EU chemicals legislation aims to protect human health and the environment and to prevent barriers to trade. It consists of rules governing the marketing and use of particular categories of chemical products, a set of harmonised restrictions on the placing on the market and use of specific hazardous substances and preparations, and rules governing major accidents and exports of dangerous substances. The most important achievement at EU level is the REACH regulation, which regulates the registration ...

EU chemicals legislation aims to protect human health and the environment and to prevent barriers to trade. It consists of rules governing the marketing and use of particular categories of chemical products, a set of harmonised restrictions on the placing on the market and use of specific hazardous substances and preparations, and rules governing major accidents and exports of dangerous substances. The most important achievement at EU level is the REACH regulation, which regulates the registration, evaluation and authorisation of such substances and the restrictions applicable to them.

Consumer protection measures

01-06-2017

European measures for consumer protection aim to protect the health, safety and economic and legal interests of European consumers, wherever they live, travel or shop in the EU. EU provisions regulate both physical transactions and e-commerce, and contain rules of general applicability together with provisions targeting specific products, including drugs, genetically modified organisms, tobacco products, cosmetics, toys and explosives.

European measures for consumer protection aim to protect the health, safety and economic and legal interests of European consumers, wherever they live, travel or shop in the EU. EU provisions regulate both physical transactions and e-commerce, and contain rules of general applicability together with provisions targeting specific products, including drugs, genetically modified organisms, tobacco products, cosmetics, toys and explosives.

Workshop: Facilitating external trade via border management

24-05-2017

The subject of trade facilitation and border management lies at the heart of EU trade policy, which seeks to take advantage of global value chains for the benefit of workers, consumers and businesses. This demands that goods may flow smoothly across borders without jeopardising EU values and standards. Trade facilitation principles help reduce the cost of cross-border trade in goods while safeguarding regulatory control objectives. Good border management practice is integral to trade facilitation ...

The subject of trade facilitation and border management lies at the heart of EU trade policy, which seeks to take advantage of global value chains for the benefit of workers, consumers and businesses. This demands that goods may flow smoothly across borders without jeopardising EU values and standards. Trade facilitation principles help reduce the cost of cross-border trade in goods while safeguarding regulatory control objectives. Good border management practice is integral to trade facilitation. In this study many ideas and examples about how borders management can be improved are shown. The key is coordination, cooperation and integration within the respective border agencies (intra-agency), between the many border agencies (inter-agency) and international (with colleagues across the border and EU trade partners). Despite considerable policy interest, research is still in its infancy. There is much demand for further enquiry. This paper discusses relevant principles, ideas and concepts and concludes with a list of recommendations. This includes the recommendation to develop suitable EU institutions in aid of trade facilitation as well as for research.

External author

Andrew GRAINGER, Juha HINTSA

Contracts for the supply of digital content and personal data protection

15-05-2017

The proposed directive on the supply of digital content is intended to regulate the main contractual rights and duties of parties to contracts for the supply of digital content and services, and create a harmonised legal framework for digital content to benefit both consumers and businesses. It covers not only contracts where digital content or services are provided in exchange for money, but also those where the consumer provides personal or other data in lieu of money to gain access to digital ...

The proposed directive on the supply of digital content is intended to regulate the main contractual rights and duties of parties to contracts for the supply of digital content and services, and create a harmonised legal framework for digital content to benefit both consumers and businesses. It covers not only contracts where digital content or services are provided in exchange for money, but also those where the consumer provides personal or other data in lieu of money to gain access to digital content or services. The interplay between this proposed private law instrument and the existing public law rules on data protection (notably the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation) have been the subject of some debate. The European Data Protection Supervisor's recent opinion was critical of the proposal, arguing that, in the EU, personal data 'cannot be conceived as a mere economic asset' and cannot therefore be treated as the consumer's contractual counter-performance in lieu of money. The draft report prepared by the co-rapporteurs in Parliament includes those contracts in which consumers do not pay a price (but potentially provide data) within the scope of the proposal. It eliminates however the notion of personal data as a form of contractual 'counter-performance'. The co-legislators are now facing the challenging task of reconciling the fundamental rights approach with the requirements of economic reality, including the need to grant legal protection to consumers who provide their data in order to access digital content or services.

The Consequences of Brexit for the Customs Union and the Internal Market Acquis for Goods

15-05-2017

• The consequences of Brexit depend on the model which will be adopted for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. These models should be compared with a respect to a number of different parameters, which are not confined to substantive trade rules but include also questions of legal effect and dispute settlement. • There are very substantial differences between, on the one hand, the EU Membership and EEA models; and on the other the WTO/FTA models. Those differences are focused on the ...

• The consequences of Brexit depend on the model which will be adopted for the future relationship between the EU and the UK. These models should be compared with a respect to a number of different parameters, which are not confined to substantive trade rules but include also questions of legal effect and dispute settlement. • There are very substantial differences between, on the one hand, the EU Membership and EEA models; and on the other the WTO/FTA models. Those differences are focused on the approach to regulatory convergence and to the legal effects of the agreements and their enforcement.

External author

Prof. Dr Piet Eeckhout

Upcoming events

26-06-2017
Gender equality in the media sector in the EU
Hearing -
FEMM
26-06-2017
Antimicrobial Resistance - WORKSHOP POSTPONED, NEW DATE WILL BE ANNOUNCED.
Workshop -
ENVI
26-06-2017
Twelfth meeting of the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market
Other event -
IMCO

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