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Author
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Date

Completing the Digital Single Market for European Consumers and Citizens: Tackling Geo-blocking in the EU - 10th Meeting of the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market

20-09-2017

This report summarizes the discussion during the 10th Meeting of the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market. It summarizes the exchange of views between MEPs, independent academic experts and the European Commission on the topic of geo-blocking in the Digital Single Market. The proceedings were prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

This report summarizes the discussion during the 10th Meeting of the IMCO Working Group on the Digital Single Market. It summarizes the exchange of views between MEPs, independent academic experts and the European Commission on the topic of geo-blocking in the Digital Single Market. The proceedings were prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

External author

Ms. Chloe Grondin

Economic effects of reform in professional services

15-09-2017

This briefing is based on: World Bank Regular Economic Report; van der Marel, E., J. Kren and M. Iootty (2016) "Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity?", World Bank Policy Research Paper Series, No. 7919: http://bit.ly/2dtb45p; van der Marel, E. (2017) “Reforming Services: What Policies Warrant Attention?”, ECIPE Five Freedoms Policy Brief, No. 1/2017: http://bit.ly/2uhzI3W. It was prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer ...

This briefing is based on: World Bank Regular Economic Report; van der Marel, E., J. Kren and M. Iootty (2016) "Services in the European Union: What Kinds of Regulatory Policies Enhance Productivity?", World Bank Policy Research Paper Series, No. 7919: http://bit.ly/2dtb45p; van der Marel, E. (2017) “Reforming Services: What Policies Warrant Attention?”, ECIPE Five Freedoms Policy Brief, No. 1/2017: http://bit.ly/2uhzI3W. It was prepared by Policy Department A for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee.

External author

Dr Erik Van Der Marel

The new Restrictiveness Indicator for Professional Services: an assessment

15-09-2017

This document was prepared by Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy, at the request of the Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs. After setting out the background of recent EU initiatives in the realm of services, in particular professional services, it explains in considerable detail the new Restrictiveness Indicator for Professional Services developed by the European Commission, followed by a careful assessment based on seven queries. It shows that, technically, this ...

This document was prepared by Policy Department A: Economic and Scientific Policy, at the request of the Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Affairs. After setting out the background of recent EU initiatives in the realm of services, in particular professional services, it explains in considerable detail the new Restrictiveness Indicator for Professional Services developed by the European Commission, followed by a careful assessment based on seven queries. It shows that, technically, this indicator is an improvement over similar work done by the OECD but that the empirical results are not radically different from those of the OECD in four such professions. The study cautions that the use of the new indicator has to be combined with assessments of proportionality, and that more attention should be paid to barriers to free movement.

External author

Prof. Dr Jacques Pelkmans

Online Platforms: How to Adapt Regulatory Framework to the Digital Age?

08-09-2017

• Platforms, understood as a method of organising digital markets that allows two groups of users (suppliers and customers) to meet, are one of the pillars of the digital market. They facilitate its development, providing adequate solutions to the needs of the sharing, collaborative, data, and P2P economies. • Platforms that often operate as marketplaces have a triangle structure where users must first conclude a contract with the platform to be subsequently able to conclude contracts between themselves ...

• Platforms, understood as a method of organising digital markets that allows two groups of users (suppliers and customers) to meet, are one of the pillars of the digital market. They facilitate its development, providing adequate solutions to the needs of the sharing, collaborative, data, and P2P economies. • Platforms that often operate as marketplaces have a triangle structure where users must first conclude a contract with the platform to be subsequently able to conclude contracts between themselves. The status of platform user is very often difficult to define, as platforms allow a rapid development of the pursued activities, which pushes the users outside the realm of consumer. These two characteristics make platforms difficult to fit with the EU market and consumer regulations.

External author

Dr. Aneta Wiewiórowska-Domagalskat

Legal Implications of Brexit: Customs Union, Internal Market Acquis for Goods and Services, Consumer Protection Law, Public Procurement

09-08-2017

This in-depth analysis addresses the implications of several scenarios of the UK withdrawing from the EU in relation to the EU Customs Union, the Internal Market law for Goods and Services, and on Consumer Protection law, identifying the main cross-cutting challenges that have to be addressed irrespective of the policy choices that will be made in due course. The analysis takes the fully-fledged EU membership as a point of departure and compares this baseline scenario to a membership of the UK in ...

This in-depth analysis addresses the implications of several scenarios of the UK withdrawing from the EU in relation to the EU Customs Union, the Internal Market law for Goods and Services, and on Consumer Protection law, identifying the main cross-cutting challenges that have to be addressed irrespective of the policy choices that will be made in due course. The analysis takes the fully-fledged EU membership as a point of departure and compares this baseline scenario to a membership of the UK in the European Economic Area (EEA), the application of tailor-made arrangements, as well as the fall-back scenario, in which the mutual relationship is governed by WTO law. Following an analysis of the EU legal framework defining the withdrawal of a Member State from the EU the study develops an analytical framework that allows for the identification of the legal impact of different Brexit scenarios on policy fields falling within the ambit of the IMCO Committee. In this context, the general impact of the EEA model, the tailor-made model and the WTO model on key pieces of the currently existing acquis communautaire in these policy areas are highlighted.

External author

Fabian AMTENBRINK, Menelaos MARKAKIS and René REPASI Erasmus School of Law, Erasmus University Rotterdam / European Research Centre for Economic and Financial Governance (EURO-CEFG) Erasmus University Rotterdam

EU-Mapping 2017: Systematic overview on economic and financial legislation

14-07-2017

This study provides a graphic overview on core legislation in the area of economic and financial services. The presentation essentially covers the areas within the responsibility of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON); hence it starts with core ECON areas but also displays neighbouring areas of other Committees' competences which are closely connected to and impacting on ECON's work. It shows legislation in force, proposals and other relevant provisions on banking, securities markets ...

This study provides a graphic overview on core legislation in the area of economic and financial services. The presentation essentially covers the areas within the responsibility of the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee (ECON); hence it starts with core ECON areas but also displays neighbouring areas of other Committees' competences which are closely connected to and impacting on ECON's work. It shows legislation in force, proposals and other relevant provisions on banking, securities markets and investment firms, market infrastructure, insurance and occupational pensions, payment services, consumer protection in financial services, the European System of Financial Supervision, European Monetary Union, euro bills and coins and statistics, competition, taxation, commerce and company law, accounting and auditing. Moreover, it notes selected provisions that might become relevant in the upcoming Article 50 TEU negotiations. This document was provided by Policy Department A on request of the ECON Committee.

External author

Prof Katja LANGENBUCHER, Research Center SAFE and Goethe University Frankfurt Prof Tobias TRÖGER, Research Center SAFE and Goethe University Frankfurt Lara MILIONE, Research Center SAFE and Goethe University Frankfurt Andreas ROTH, Research Center SAFE and Goethe University Frankfurt

Liability in Subcontracting Chains: National Rules and the Need for a European Framework

10-07-2017

This study was commissioned upon request by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs, upon request of the Committee on Legal Affairs. It provides a comprehensive update on recent developments on a European and national level concerning liability in subcontracting chains and the protection of workers involved in subcontracting chains. A strong focus lies on the existing European legal framework and recent developments in that regard. By assessing ...

This study was commissioned upon request by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs, upon request of the Committee on Legal Affairs. It provides a comprehensive update on recent developments on a European and national level concerning liability in subcontracting chains and the protection of workers involved in subcontracting chains. A strong focus lies on the existing European legal framework and recent developments in that regard. By assessing the country reports and the findings on a European level, the study closes with “Policy Recommendations” and answers the question from its authors view, if the European Legislator should adopt (further) legislation.

External author

Alexander Heinen; Dr. Axel Müller; Bernd Kessler

EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)

06-07-2017

Neither of the founding treaties of the European Communities – the Treaty of Paris (1951) or the Treaty of Rome (1957) included any reference to fundamental rights. Nonetheless, in its case law the European Court of Justice started to treat such rights as unwritten 'general principles of Community law', thereby granting them the status of primary law. As for the source of these general principles of Community law, the Court referred to the common constitutional traditions of the Member States, and ...

Neither of the founding treaties of the European Communities – the Treaty of Paris (1951) or the Treaty of Rome (1957) included any reference to fundamental rights. Nonetheless, in its case law the European Court of Justice started to treat such rights as unwritten 'general principles of Community law', thereby granting them the status of primary law. As for the source of these general principles of Community law, the Court referred to the common constitutional traditions of the Member States, and to international treaties to which at least a majority of Member States were party, in particular the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) of 1950. When the European Union was formally established by the Treaty of Maastricht (1992), this case law of the Court of Justice on the dual sources of fundamental rights in the EU was codified in the new Treaty on European Union in its Article F(2). The entry into force of the Charter of Fundamental Rights as a binding legal act in 2009 did not, however, deprive the ECHR of its role in the EU legal system as a source of fundamental rights in the form of general principles. The Treaty of Lisbon provided for a duty of the EU to accede to the ECHR. However, when the negotiated agreement was put to the Court of Justice for opinion, it ruled (in December 2015) that the agreement did not provide for sufficient protection of the EU's specific legal arrangements and the Court's exclusive jurisdiction. For the time being, no new accession agreement has been drafted, but both the Parliament and the Commission underline the need for EU accession. Scholars remain divided, some considering that accession would bring added value, whilst others express the view that accession would actually do more harm than good to EU citizens.

Preliminary reference procedure

06-07-2017

The preliminary reference procedure, provided for in Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), is an institutionalised mechanism of dialogue between the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and national courts. This dialogue serves three principal purposes. First of all, to provide national courts with assistance on questions regarding the interpretation of EU law. Secondly, to contribute to a uniform application of EU law across the Union. Thirdly, to create ...

The preliminary reference procedure, provided for in Article 267 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), is an institutionalised mechanism of dialogue between the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) and national courts. This dialogue serves three principal purposes. First of all, to provide national courts with assistance on questions regarding the interpretation of EU law. Secondly, to contribute to a uniform application of EU law across the Union. Thirdly, to create an additional mechanism – on top of the action for annulment of an EU act (set out in Article 263 TFEU) – for an ex post verification of the conformity of acts of the EU institutions with primary EU law (the Treaties and general principles of EU law). The scope of the preliminary reference procedure covers the entire body of EU law with the exclusion of acts under common foreign and security policy and certain limitations in the area of judicial and police cooperation in criminal matters. EU law does not have a doctrine of binding precedent such as that entertained in common law countries. Therefore, a judgment of the CJEU in a preliminary reference procedure is, strictly speaking, binding only on the national court that submitted the question, as well as on other courts in the same domestic procedure. Nonetheless, CJEU judgments interpreting EU law enjoy an authority similar to those of national supreme courts in civil law countries – national courts interpreting EU law should take them into account. Furthermore, if the CJEU decides that an act of the EU institutions is illegal, no national court may find to the contrary and consider that act legal. The decision whether to submit a preliminary reference to the CJEU rests with the national court concerned. However, if it is a court of last instance and a question of interpretation of EU law or the validity of an act of the EU institutions is necessary to decide a question before it, that court must submit a question. If it refrains from doing so, the Member State concerned may be held liable for a breach of EU law. This briefing is one in a series aimed at explaining the activities of the CJEU.

Common minimum standards of civil proceedings

27-06-2017

Since 2015, Member States must accept most civil judgments from other EU countries without reviewing their content (abolition of exequatur). This has raised concerns about the need for ensuring that civil proceedings across the EU conform to common minimum standards. The European Parliament is due to vote in July on a report requesting the Commission table a proposal for a directive on such standards, which might be a first step towards a European Code of Civil Procedure.

Since 2015, Member States must accept most civil judgments from other EU countries without reviewing their content (abolition of exequatur). This has raised concerns about the need for ensuring that civil proceedings across the EU conform to common minimum standards. The European Parliament is due to vote in July on a report requesting the Commission table a proposal for a directive on such standards, which might be a first step towards a European Code of Civil Procedure.

Upcoming events

25-09-2017
Policy Hub | EU policy on the ICC and combating extreme nationalism
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EPRS
25-09-2017
Hearing on LGBTI Rights outside the EU and implementation of EU Guidelines
Hearing -
DROI
25-09-2017
Hearing: Evaluating drug policies and state of play in the EU legislation
Hearing -
LIBE

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