669

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Publication type
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Date

Single digital gateway

10-10-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The initiative seeks to reduce as much as possible the additional administrative burden that EU citizens and businesses face when they expand their activities to other Member States. To achieve this, the IA explains that the single ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The initiative seeks to reduce as much as possible the additional administrative burden that EU citizens and businesses face when they expand their activities to other Member States. To achieve this, the IA explains that the single digital gateway should provide access to the national rules, requirements and procedures that citizens and businesses from other Member States need to know about and comply with. To assist the user with this journey, the gateway should cover three layers, namely information, procedures and assistance services. The REFIT Platform Government Group confirmed the significance of a 'user journey approach' (IA, p. 5). The proposal on the single digital gateway is one of the initiatives falling under the Commission's 2015 single market strategy. The proposal also forms part of the 'compliance package', which, alongside the single digital gateway, sets out a single market information tool and the SOLVIT action plan. In addition, the REFIT Platform (consisting of business stakeholders and Member State representatives) published an opinion in June 2016 recommending the establishment of a single entry point with clear information and coordinated services for businesses in each Member State to assist companies operating in the single market, and the definition of minimum common quality criteria for content.

Understanding non-tariff barriers in the single market

09-10-2017

Despite the achievements of single market integration, many non-tariff barriers (NTBs) persist, preventing realisation of its full economic potential. These arise from laws, technical regulations and practices, and create obstacles for trade. NTBs can be of a general character, such as problems with the implementation and enforcement of EU law at the national level, missing or differing e-government solutions, or complex VAT requirements in intra-EU trade. NTBs can also be sector-specific and concern ...

Despite the achievements of single market integration, many non-tariff barriers (NTBs) persist, preventing realisation of its full economic potential. These arise from laws, technical regulations and practices, and create obstacles for trade. NTBs can be of a general character, such as problems with the implementation and enforcement of EU law at the national level, missing or differing e-government solutions, or complex VAT requirements in intra-EU trade. NTBs can also be sector-specific and concern only specific markets for goods, services or retail. Accordingly, the EU is tackling NTBs with a mix of general and sectoral initiatives, often cutting across various policy areas. The Juncker Commission, now at the mid-term of its mandate, made deepening the single market one of its main priorities. The Commission's single market and digital single market strategies address many NTBs. However, greater Member State involvement, stronger monitoring, and increased political emphasis on the single market are likely to be needed to remove the barriers and deepen single market integration. NTBs are also increasingly mentioned in the context of debates on the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union. The impacts of Brexit on the single market and NTBs are as yet unclear, but early analysis points to the likelihood of legal uncertainty and the need to address a multitude of often challenging issues.

Contracts for supply of digital content

09-10-2017

The digital content directive was proposed by the European Commission as part of a legislative package, alongside the online sales directive, to facilitate the development of the internal market for such content. The Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal on 8 June 2017. This seeks to clarify the relationship between the proposed contract law rules and the personal data protection regime – an issue which has been hotly debated. Furthermore, it strengthens the position of consumers with ...

The digital content directive was proposed by the European Commission as part of a legislative package, alongside the online sales directive, to facilitate the development of the internal market for such content. The Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal on 8 June 2017. This seeks to clarify the relationship between the proposed contract law rules and the personal data protection regime – an issue which has been hotly debated. Furthermore, it strengthens the position of consumers with regard to conformity and remedies. As for the Parliament, a draft report was published in November 2016 by the two co-rapporteurs, who proposed to expand the directive's scope to include digital content supplied against data that consumers provide passively, while also strengthening the position of consumers as regards criteria of conformity. Objective criteria would become the default rule, with a possibility to depart from them only if the consumer's attention were explicitly drawn to the shortcomings of the digital content. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous editions of this briefing, please see: PE 599.310 (March 2017).

Single Market Information Tool

05-10-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The creation of a deeper and fairer single market is one of the ten main priorities of the Juncker Commission. To this end, the Commission proposed a new single market strategy in 2015. One of the key areas of the single market strategy ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The creation of a deeper and fairer single market is one of the ten main priorities of the Juncker Commission. To this end, the Commission proposed a new single market strategy in 2015. One of the key areas of the single market strategy’s targeted actions is dedicated to a smart enforcement strategy and the culture of compliance and is entitled ‘Ensuring practical delivery’. Within this area, the strategy announced, among other actions, ‘a regulatory initiative on a market information tool for the Single Market, enabling the Commission to collect information from selected market players’ (Single Market Strategy, p.16). It is this 'Single Market Information Tool' (SMIT) that is the subject of the Commission proposal. Two other initiatives were proposed by the Commission alongside the SMIT on 2 May 2017 as part of the compliance package: a regulation establishing a single digital gateway and an action plan on the reinforcement of the SOLVIT tool .

Consumer Protection Cooperation

03-10-2017

The Commission estimates that the detriment to consumers caused by non-compliance with basic EU consumer rules in certain cross-border online markets and also by inefficient cross-border enforcement amounts to €770 million per year. To remedy this, the Commission has presented a legislative proposal to review the existing rules on consumer protection cooperation between enforcement authorities as part of its e-commerce package in May 2016. The aim is to clarify the rules and to give more powers to ...

The Commission estimates that the detriment to consumers caused by non-compliance with basic EU consumer rules in certain cross-border online markets and also by inefficient cross-border enforcement amounts to €770 million per year. To remedy this, the Commission has presented a legislative proposal to review the existing rules on consumer protection cooperation between enforcement authorities as part of its e-commerce package in May 2016. The aim is to clarify the rules and to give more powers to national enforcement authorities, most importantly to enable them to address unlawful online practices and improve coordination among them. Stakeholders have, in general, welcomed the move to improve cooperation between enforcement authorities and the European Economic and Social Committee in its opinion of 19 October 2016 supported the proposal. The Maltese Council Presidency reached a general approach in February 2017, while the Parliament’s IMCO committee adopted its report in March 2017 and also gave its negotiating team a mandate to negotiate with the Council. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Introducing a European services e-card

03-10-2017

Cross-border provision of services in the EU is relatively common, and is undertaken by an increasing number of entities, especially in sectors such as construction and business. Despite this fact, many service-providers still face obstacles to benefitting from comparable business opportunities available to local persons and organisations. The proposed regulation and accompanying directive aim to tackle these remaining obstacles through the introduction of a European services e-card, meant to increase ...

Cross-border provision of services in the EU is relatively common, and is undertaken by an increasing number of entities, especially in sectors such as construction and business. Despite this fact, many service-providers still face obstacles to benefitting from comparable business opportunities available to local persons and organisations. The proposed regulation and accompanying directive aim to tackle these remaining obstacles through the introduction of a European services e-card, meant to increase and simplify cooperation between home and host Member States, as well as through the simplification of the procedures applicable to cross-border service-providers. The proposal drew a mixed response: stakeholders generally welcomed the Commission's efforts to remove existing barriers; however, they raised concerns about possible undesirable consequences that the new proposal might trigger, such as reduced control opportunities, and increases in bogus self-employment and social dumping. These views were shared by a number of national parliaments.

Policy Departments’ Monthly Highlights - October 2017

02-10-2017

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

The Monthly Highlights publication provides an overview, at a glance, of the on-going work of the policy departments, including a selection of the latest and forthcoming publications, and a list of future events.

European business statistics

27-09-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal submitted on 6 March 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE). The proposal aims to reduce the administrative burden for business, in particular SMEs, by eliminating the fragmentation of the European business statistics legislation and repealing 10 different legal acts in this field. This concerns ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal submitted on 6 March 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Industry, Research, and Energy (ITRE). The proposal aims to reduce the administrative burden for business, in particular SMEs, by eliminating the fragmentation of the European business statistics legislation and repealing 10 different legal acts in this field. This concerns information on the producer prices, turnover, employment, production output, as well as trade, investment flows and prices. The proposal is also considered by the Commission as a priority area in the context of the modernisation of EU law. According to the Commission, the harmonisation of business statistics at the European level is needed in order to implement wider priorities such as the 10 priorities of the Juncker Commission. In this regard, the Commission proposes to establish a common legal framework for the development, production, and dissemination of European business statistics.

The role of eGovernment in deepening the single market

22-09-2017

eGovernment, which involves deploying technology to deliver public services, increases administrative efficiency and reduces the administrative burden on the public and businesses. The EU has been actively promoting implementation of eGovernment practices, in particular in cross-border situations. Many studies point to significant savings for national authorities and reduced costs for businesses through further advancement of eGovernment in Europe. However, a low level of digitisation of public services ...

eGovernment, which involves deploying technology to deliver public services, increases administrative efficiency and reduces the administrative burden on the public and businesses. The EU has been actively promoting implementation of eGovernment practices, in particular in cross-border situations. Many studies point to significant savings for national authorities and reduced costs for businesses through further advancement of eGovernment in Europe. However, a low level of digitisation of public services and the lack of interoperability between eGovernment systems still present major electronic and procedural barriers to the free movement of goods, services and people in the single market. Other problems include insufficient access to information and low usability of the services offered. Many Member States are well advanced at national level, but the cross-border provision of e-services is still lagging behind. In order to address these issues, various policy initiatives have already been launched or are planned under the digital single market strategy and the eGovernment 2016-2020 action plan. A further boost should come from the current Estonian EU Council Presidency, which has made promotion of eGovernment one of its main priorities.

Understanding the EU customs union

20-09-2017

In December 2016, the European Commission adopted its long-term plan to strengthen the governance and management of the EU customs union. The customs union, in place since 1968, is a pillar of the single market, and vital to the free flow of goods and services. According to the Commission, a strong customs system helps foster competitive businesses, increases wealth, and also protects against terrorist, health, and environmental threats. The customs union operates under the legal framework of the ...

In December 2016, the European Commission adopted its long-term plan to strengthen the governance and management of the EU customs union. The customs union, in place since 1968, is a pillar of the single market, and vital to the free flow of goods and services. According to the Commission, a strong customs system helps foster competitive businesses, increases wealth, and also protects against terrorist, health, and environmental threats. The customs union operates under the legal framework of the Union Customs Code (UCC), in force since May 2016. However, while customs rules are the same across the EU, national customs authorities do not always apply them in a consistent manner. The Commission has therefore proposed structural and administrative changes, inter alia, on customs policy monitoring, formulation, and implementation. In addition, the Commission proposes to tackle administrative issues (e.g. application of EU law, competency building for custom officials, aligning new EU-wide IT systems dedicated to customs procedures), and border management coordination. The European Parliament is critical of the differences between customs systems at the national level, in particular regarding customs duties and customs clearance, since these create fragmentation, additional administrative burdens (in particular for small and medium-sized enterprises), and hamper e-commerce. The Parliament suggests, among other things, the creation of more uniform electronic customs requirements and risk-assessment programmes. Parliament has also called on the Commission to present an interim report evaluating EU customs policy by 2017, including a review of the problems, overlaps, gaps, and complaints filed with customs authorities, and customs infringements.

Upcoming events

18-10-2017
Book presentation: 'Communitati et Orbi' by Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt
Other event -
EPRS
18-10-2017
INTA Workshop on EU-GCC Trade relations - 18 October 2017
Workshop -
INTA
19-10-2017
Rational optimism: Should we fear the future?
Other event -
STOA

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