583

result(s)

Word(s)
Publication type
Author
Keyword
Date

Contracts for online and other distance sales of goods

20-02-2017

The Commission proposal for a directive on contracts for online and other distance sales of goods, part of the digital single market strategy, would partly replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive. The Parliament's rapporteur believes this would create a fragmented legal framework, and that there is a need to introduce uniform rules for both online and face-to-face consumer sales. Unlike the existing Consumer Sales Directive, the proposed Online Sale of Goods Directive would provide for maximum ...

The Commission proposal for a directive on contracts for online and other distance sales of goods, part of the digital single market strategy, would partly replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive. The Parliament's rapporteur believes this would create a fragmented legal framework, and that there is a need to introduce uniform rules for both online and face-to-face consumer sales. Unlike the existing Consumer Sales Directive, the proposed Online Sale of Goods Directive would provide for maximum harmonisation, thereby prohibiting Member States from introducing a higher level of consumer protection within the scope of the directive. The rapporteur agrees with this approach and suggests moving to maximum harmonisation for both online and offline consumer sales. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous versions of this briefing, please see: PE 577.962, 15 February 2016.

Understanding equivalence and the single passport in financial services: Third-country access to the single market

09-02-2017

Alongside closer integration of the single market in financial services on the one hand and the more general globalisation of the sector on the other, the issue of access for third-country institutions has become increasingly important – not least recently in relation to the question of access to the continent for City of London-based financial services firms in the context of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit). Companies established in any European Economic Area (EEA ...

Alongside closer integration of the single market in financial services on the one hand and the more general globalisation of the sector on the other, the issue of access for third-country institutions has become increasingly important – not least recently in relation to the question of access to the continent for City of London-based financial services firms in the context of the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union (Brexit). Companies established in any European Economic Area (EEA) Member State have access to the single market for financial services under single passport rights. This means that they can establish branches in other EEA countries or provide financial services across the EEA without the need for further authorisation. The debate on access for third countries has intensified since the 2008 financial crisis, resulting in an increasing number of legal acts in recent years containing 'equivalence provisions'. These allow third countries to ask for an assessment of equivalence of their regulatory system with that of the European Union. Equivalence, if granted, offers in most cases a much more piecemeal access to the single market than passport rights. Quite often, equivalence concerns more technical matters and does not significantly alter third-country access terms. Only in some instances can access under equivalence be considered 'passport-like', and in the most significant cases, this concerns legislation which is not yet in force.

European Commission follow-up to European Parliament requests

02-02-2017

In addition to its well-known role as a co-legislator, the European Parliament also supervises and scrutinises the work of the European Commission. The Parliament can therefore ask the Commission to take action to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaties and to contribute to the improved functioning of the European Union and its legislation. Such requests usually take the form of resolutions. This Rolling Check-List covers the resolutions adopted by Parliament on the basis of own-initiative reports ...

In addition to its well-known role as a co-legislator, the European Parliament also supervises and scrutinises the work of the European Commission. The Parliament can therefore ask the Commission to take action to fulfil its role as guardian of the Treaties and to contribute to the improved functioning of the European Union and its legislation. Such requests usually take the form of resolutions. This Rolling Check-List covers the resolutions adopted by Parliament on the basis of own-initiative reports and legislative own-initiative reports during the current eighth legislative term up to December 2015, and the actions taken by the Commission as a result up to 31 October 2016. In total, the report covers 97 resolutions across almost all parliamentary committees. It provides a detailed overview of the Parliament's requests, and tracks the Commission's response and any further action taken. It thus offers a comprehensive scrutiny and reference tool, providing easy access to the follow-up given by the Commission to the Parliament's requests.

Consumer Protection Cooperation

31-01-2017

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 aims to reach a general approach in February 2017, when the Parliament’s IMCO committee is also expected to consider amendments to the draft report, presented by the rapporteur on 30 November 2016. Second edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Reforming e-Communications Services: a Critical Assessment

31-01-2017

This report analyses the proposed reform of the e-communications regulatory framework presented by the European Commission in September 2016. While many of the proposed changes appear meaningful, the report argues that overall the proposal does not entirely reflect the lessons learned from the past two decades of e-communications regulation in Europe, and ends up being at once too conservative (i.e. incremental with respect to legacy rules); fragile, since its effectiveness crucially depends on governance ...

This report analyses the proposed reform of the e-communications regulatory framework presented by the European Commission in September 2016. While many of the proposed changes appear meaningful, the report argues that overall the proposal does not entirely reflect the lessons learned from the past two decades of e-communications regulation in Europe, and ends up being at once too conservative (i.e. incremental with respect to legacy rules); fragile, since its effectiveness crucially depends on governance reform; and “retro”, since it does not incorporate principles of flexible, adaptive regulation in its overarching framework. The report argues that the merits of a lighter, ex post approach to e-communications were not sufficiently gauged by the European Commission in its impact assessment. The report was prepared at the request of Policy Department A and the IMCO Committee.

External author

Andrea Renda

Gender Equal Access to Goods and Services Directive 2004/113/EC

24-01-2017

Directive 2004/113/EC is part of EU anti-discrimination law and sets a frame of minimum rules for ensuring gender equality in the access to and supply of goods and services. The present assessment critically describes the genesis and implementation of this Directive across EU Member States, in particular after the European Court of Justice ‘Test-Achats’ case of March 2011, which enforced gender equality in the insurance sector. The notion of ‘indirect discrimination’ requires increased awareness ...

Directive 2004/113/EC is part of EU anti-discrimination law and sets a frame of minimum rules for ensuring gender equality in the access to and supply of goods and services. The present assessment critically describes the genesis and implementation of this Directive across EU Member States, in particular after the European Court of Justice ‘Test-Achats’ case of March 2011, which enforced gender equality in the insurance sector. The notion of ‘indirect discrimination’ requires increased awareness of multiple factual and legal cause-effect relationships. This appears to be of particular importance in the health sector, where insufficient consideration of female conditions could result in severe adverse consequences. Indirect discrimination in access to goods and services cannot be curbed by applying this Directive alone, but by pursuing equality in all policy areas and notably by consequent application of all other anti-discrimination instruments. Furthermore, the assessment explores the need to adapt the implementation of the Directive to new areas, such as the rapidly developing collaborative economy. The assessment recommends strengthening equality bodies in the Member States and raising awareness of the rights stemming from this and related directives. It also suggests that the Commission entrust the European Equality Law Network with the provision of a thorough and comprehensive update of its 2009 report on the implementation of Directive 2004/113/EC, which could take into account the questionnaire elaborated in the final annex of this European implementation assessment.

The European Electronic Communications Code and the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication (BEREC)

23-01-2017

Overall, the IA presents a comprehensive and well-researched explanation of the evidence base of the legislative proposals. However, the nature of the proposals (one of them being a recast of four existing directives) has posed an obvious challenge in terms of keeping the report concise and readable. The IA clearly exceeds the length recommended in the better regulation guidelines. The report presents stakeholder views well, although the consultation itself focused more on the review process in general ...

Overall, the IA presents a comprehensive and well-researched explanation of the evidence base of the legislative proposals. However, the nature of the proposals (one of them being a recast of four existing directives) has posed an obvious challenge in terms of keeping the report concise and readable. The IA clearly exceeds the length recommended in the better regulation guidelines. The report presents stakeholder views well, although the consultation itself focused more on the review process in general than on the specific options for future policy. Finally, the overly general presentation of monitoring instruments represents a significant shortcoming of the report, especially given the importance of effective monitoring mechanisms in assessing the implementation of legislation.

Occupational pensions: Revision of the Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision Directive (IORP II)

23-01-2017

In 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision (‘IORP II’) of the existing Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive of 2003, which covers certain occupational pension savings. These are overwhelmingly in the United Kingdom (55.9% of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7%). The proposed revision aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity. Stakeholders generally welcomed ...

In 2014, the European Commission proposed a revision (‘IORP II’) of the existing Institutions for Occupational Retirement Provision (IORP) Directive of 2003, which covers certain occupational pension savings. These are overwhelmingly in the United Kingdom (55.9% of IORP assets) and the Netherlands (30.7%). The proposed revision aims to improve the governance, risk management, transparency and information provision of IORPs and help increase cross-border IORP activity. Stakeholders generally welcomed the focus of the proposal and the lack of new prudential rules, but felt the revision was overly detailed and prescriptive and did not respect national competences, nor reflect the variety of IORPs and their position as social (not just financial) entities. Following trilogue discussions, the compromise text was adopted at first reading in the European Parliament’s plenary on 24 November, an then adopted by the Council on 8 December. It came into effect on 12 January 2017 and Member States have two years from then to transpose it into national law. This briefing updates an earlier edition, from September 2016: PE 589.800.

Fostering social innovation in the European Union

17-01-2017

Strengthening the social dimensions of European Union policies, in general, and of the economic and monetary union, in particular is an increasingly important discourse across the Member States, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Social innovation, which is gaining increasing importance in the public, private and third (i.e. voluntary, non-profit) sectors, can greatly contribute to addressing the growing challenges, such as migration, poverty and global warming. The European Union particularly ...

Strengthening the social dimensions of European Union policies, in general, and of the economic and monetary union, in particular is an increasingly important discourse across the Member States, particularly since the 2008 financial crisis. Social innovation, which is gaining increasing importance in the public, private and third (i.e. voluntary, non-profit) sectors, can greatly contribute to addressing the growing challenges, such as migration, poverty and global warming. The European Union particularly promotes social innovation through employment and social policies as well as policies on the single market. The main initiatives explicitly target the governance and funding mechanism of social innovation, including its regulatory environment, powering public-sector innovation, the social economy, as well as providing policy guidance and fostering new policy practices. Due to the complexity of the concept and ecosystem of social innovation and its very diverse contexts in the Member States, European Union policies have varied impact: regulations can have controversial effects in terms of visibility of initiatives, and many organisations still cannot access sufficient funding. To make these initiatives more effective it is important to know more about the impact of social innovation, including its social and environmental value and the importance of these for the economy. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Animal Welfare in the European Union

16-01-2017

This study, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request of the Committee on Petitions, finds out that EU animal welfare policy and legislation has had much positive influence in the world, on the image of the EU as well as helping animals. However, most kinds of animals kept in the EU are not covered by legislation, including some of the worst animal welfare problems, so a general animal welfare law and specific laws on several species are needed ...

This study, commissioned by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs upon request of the Committee on Petitions, finds out that EU animal welfare policy and legislation has had much positive influence in the world, on the image of the EU as well as helping animals. However, most kinds of animals kept in the EU are not covered by legislation, including some of the worst animal welfare problems, so a general animal welfare law and specific laws on several species are needed. Animal sentience and welfare should be mentioned, using accurate scientific terminology, in many trade-related laws as well as in animal-specific laws.

External author

Donald M. BROOM (University of Cambridge, the UK)

Upcoming events

27-02-2017
The state and development of the biomass of fish stocks managed by the CFP
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PECH
28-02-2017
The Third Reform of the Common European Asylum System - Up for the Challenge
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LIBE
28-02-2017
Workshop on the consequences of Brexit
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IMCO

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