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Updating the Blocking Regulation: The EU's answer to US extraterritorial sanctions

07-06-2018

On 8 May 2018, President Trump announced the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the E3/EU+3 – France, Germany, the UK and the EU plus China, Russia and the USA – in 2015. He also announced that the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the implementation of the JCPOA. These sanctions have extraterritorial effect, essentially making it illegal for EU companies and financial institutions ...

On 8 May 2018, President Trump announced the unilateral US withdrawal from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the landmark nuclear agreement signed by Iran and the E3/EU+3 – France, Germany, the UK and the EU plus China, Russia and the USA – in 2015. He also announced that the US would re-impose sanctions on Iran that had been lifted as part of the implementation of the JCPOA. These sanctions have extraterritorial effect, essentially making it illegal for EU companies and financial institutions to engage in a wide range of economic and commercial activities with Iran. Companies that disregard the US secondary sanctions face major fines and/or criminal charges in the US, or even exclusion from the US market. US sanctions will be reinstated after a 90- or 180-day wind-down period, to allow companies to make the necessary arrangements. Following the signing of the JCPOA in 2015, European companies have entered into important commercial and investment agreements with Iranian counterparts, worth billions of euros. Many of these companies also have important commercial ties with the US. Faced with the prospect of penalties in the US, several EU companies have already announced that they are ending their dealings with Iran, unless a way can be found to exempt or shield them from US secondary sanctions. In response, the Commission adopted a delegated act on 6 June 2018 to update the annex to the 'Blocking Regulation', which was adopted in 1996 to protect EU businesses against the effects of the extraterritorial application of legislation adopted by a third country. The Blocking Regulation forbids EU persons from complying with extraterritorial sanctions, allows companies to recover damages arising from such sanctions, and nullifies the effect in the EU of any foreign court judgment based on them. The effectiveness of the regulation as a mechanism to offset US sanctions has been questioned, however its adoption sends an important political message. Parliament now has two months to object to the delegated act, but may signal earlier that it will not do so, thus allowing the measure to come into force earlier than the end of the two-month period.

Research for REGI Committee - The economic, social and territorial situation of Slovenia

15-03-2018

This briefing was prepared to provide information for the visit to Slovenia on 3 - 5 April 2018 by a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development.

This briefing was prepared to provide information for the visit to Slovenia on 3 - 5 April 2018 by a delegation of the European Parliament’s Committee on Regional Development.

Tax Challenges in the Digital Economy

29-06-2016

This paper analyses direct and indirect tax challenges in the digital economy in light of the conclusions of the OECD’s BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Project. While assessing the recent reforms in the area of taxation within the EU and third countries, it revisits the question of whether or not specific measures are needed for the digital sector. Taking into account the recent scandals involving big digital companies and their aggressive tax planning practices in the EU, the specificities ...

This paper analyses direct and indirect tax challenges in the digital economy in light of the conclusions of the OECD’s BEPS (Base Erosion and Profit Shifting) Project. While assessing the recent reforms in the area of taxation within the EU and third countries, it revisits the question of whether or not specific measures are needed for the digital sector. Taking into account the recent scandals involving big digital companies and their aggressive tax planning practices in the EU, the specificities of the digital sector and the legal landscape in the 28 Member States, the paper makes policy recommendations for further tax reforms in order to tackle tax avoidance and harmful competition.

EU copyright reform: Revisiting the principle of territoriality

28-09-2015

Copyright protection is territorial since rights are normally acquired and enforced on a country-by-country basis, and exceptions and limitations to copyright protection vary from one Member State to another. However, the new digital environment increasingly characterised by the use of the internet to deliver content across borders has an impact on both users and the creative industries, and represents a challenge to the implementation of coherent copyright legislation throughout the EU. The European ...

Copyright protection is territorial since rights are normally acquired and enforced on a country-by-country basis, and exceptions and limitations to copyright protection vary from one Member State to another. However, the new digital environment increasingly characterised by the use of the internet to deliver content across borders has an impact on both users and the creative industries, and represents a challenge to the implementation of coherent copyright legislation throughout the EU. The European Commission has announced it will put forward plans for reform before the end of 2015. Parliament adopted a resolution in July 2015 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights to steer the debate on the forthcoming reform. A key issue for policy-makers to address is how to mitigate the hindrance to the internal market caused by territorial protection of copyright. Several approaches have been discussed in this respect. One approach is to foster cross-border online access and the portability of content across borders and to prohibit some specific territorial restrictions (for instance, the unjustified practice of geo-blocking). Clarifying copyright rules applicable to online transmissions on the model of the Satellite and Cable Directive has also been proposed. Further harmonising throughout the EU the exceptions and limitations which allow the limited use of copyrighted works for certain purposes without the authorisation of the author or of other rights-holders has also been discussed. Finally, the introduction of a unified legal framework for EU copyright law has been proposed, and requires a comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of the cost and benefits involved.

Brussels IIa: Towards a Review

15-09-2015

The Brussels IIa Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility), which since 1 March 2005 has applied to all Member States except Denmark, is about to be reviewed. The European Parliament will be consulted in this process. This notes aims to clarify the scope of the regulation which relates to other international instruments. It applies ...

The Brussels IIa Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 2201/2003 of 27 November 2003 concerning jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in matrimonial matters and the matters of parental responsibility), which since 1 March 2005 has applied to all Member States except Denmark, is about to be reviewed. The European Parliament will be consulted in this process. This notes aims to clarify the scope of the regulation which relates to other international instruments. It applies to family disuptes with a cross-border dimension, for instance when the family breaks up, and in particular in relation to children. The note includes a selected bibliography.

Contract law and the Digital Single Market: Towards a new EU online consumer sales law?

15-09-2015

In its Digital Single Market Strategy, unveiled in May 2015, the Commission has promised to come up with a revised proposal for a Common European Sales Law by the end of the year. More indications have been given the Commission in an Inception Impact Assessment, published in July 2015. The debate on the revamped proposal will have to address at least five crucial issues. Firstly, the legal form – whether the future online sales law will be a regulation or a directive? Secondly, if the legal form ...

In its Digital Single Market Strategy, unveiled in May 2015, the Commission has promised to come up with a revised proposal for a Common European Sales Law by the end of the year. More indications have been given the Commission in an Inception Impact Assessment, published in July 2015. The debate on the revamped proposal will have to address at least five crucial issues. Firstly, the legal form – whether the future online sales law will be a regulation or a directive? Secondly, if the legal form of a directive is chosen, whether total harmonisation or minimum harmonisation would be most appropriate, taking into account the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality? Thirdly, whether it would be sufficient for the instrument to regulate cross-border trade, or should it also extend to purely domestic online transactions? A fourth issue regards the 'country of origin principle' – should traders be allowed to rely on their domestic law when selling to consumers abroad? How would that fit with the current system of Rome I and Brussels Ia Regulations? Finally, the debate must focus on the content of the revamped proposal. Should it be copy-pasted from the original CESL, or perhaps tailor-made to online transactions specifically, where both consumers and traders have different interests and expectations than in offline transactions?

Legal Implications of the Nord Stream Project

01-04-2008

Údar seachtarach

Robert Lee, Tamara Egede, Lori Frater and Steven Vaughan Centre for Business Relationships, Accountability, Sustainability and Society (BRASS) Cardiff University Cardiff CF10 3 AX Wales United Kingdom

Imeachtaí atá ar na bacáin

05-11-2019
The Art and Craft of Political Speech-writing: A conversation with Eric Schnure
Imeacht eile -
EPRS
06-11-2019
Where next for the global and European economies? The 2019 IMF Economic Outlook
Imeacht eile -
EPRS
06-11-2019
EPRS Annual Lecture: Clash of Cultures: Transnational governance in post-war Europe
Imeacht eile -
EPRS

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