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Re-use of public sector information

01-04-2019

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On ...

The mid-term review of the digital single market strategy in 2017 identified the data economy as one of the top three priority areas for action in the second half of the strategy's implementation, and announced a legislative proposal to improve access to and the re-use of publicly funded data. These data, which include geographical, land registry, statistical and legal information, are needed by re-users in the digital economy, and are increasingly employed by public administrations themselves. On 25 April 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a revision of the directive on the re-use of public sector information, which was presented as part of a package of measures aiming to facilitate the creation of a common data space in the EU. The directive addresses a number of issues, and presents ways to boost the potential of public sector information, including the provision of real-time access to dynamic data, the supply of high-value public data for re-use, the prevention of new forms of exclusive arrangement, and action to limit the use of exceptions to the principle of charging the marginal cost. Within the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report on 2 December 2018. An agreement was reached with the Council in trilogue on 22 January 2019, and this was approved by the ITRE committee on 19 February. The agreed text is expected to be voted by Parliament in plenary during April 2019.

Implementing measures under the Benchmarks Regulation

11-07-2018

This briefing focuses on the implementing 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 (BMR). Items for discussion at the monthly scrutiny session could include the forthcoming Regulatory Technical Standards under BMR, including rules on input data and the authorisation/registration of an administrator, as well as other outstanding issues, such as Regulated Data Benchmarks ...

This briefing focuses on the implementing 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 (BMR). Items for discussion at the monthly scrutiny session could include the forthcoming Regulatory Technical Standards under BMR, including rules on input data and the authorisation/registration of an administrator, as well as other outstanding issues, such as Regulated Data Benchmarks.

Stronger administrative cooperation in the VAT field

02-07-2018

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the European budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is vulnerable to fraud. Moreover, businesses doing cross-border trade face much higher compliance costs than those only trading domestically. The administrative burden for national tax administrations is also excessive ...

Value added tax (VAT) is an important source of revenue for both national governments and the European budget and, from an economic point of view, a very efficient consumption tax. However, the rules governing intra-Community trade are 25 years old and the current common EU VAT system is vulnerable to fraud. Moreover, businesses doing cross-border trade face much higher compliance costs than those only trading domestically. The administrative burden for national tax administrations is also excessive. The reform of the system is planned in several consecutive steps and will take some years. In the meantime, the present proposal will change the VAT Administrative Cooperation Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 904/2010). It introduces the concept of the 'certified taxable person' in the VAT Information Exchange System and addresses three types of cross-border fraud: carousel fraud, used car fraud and VAT-free import fraud.

Introduction of a lifespan guarantee in the proposed online sales and digital content directives

26-10-2017

This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) as part of the Parliament’s general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular in undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this study is to conduct an ex-ante impact assessment of proposed substantial amendments from the IMCO and JURI ...

This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) as part of the Parliament’s general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular in undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this study is to conduct an ex-ante impact assessment of proposed substantial amendments from the IMCO and JURI Committees which would introduce a commercial lifespan guarantee. The impacts of these amendments have been analysed through the development of specific policy options. Two non-legislative options, implying that none of the amendments are implemented, are first assessed: an Option zero and a soft law approach (Option 1). Three distinct legislative options are also defined, by integrating specific aspects of the amendments: Option 2 (Subjective duration of lifespan), Option 3 (Normal duration of lifespan) and Option 4 (Binding technical standards for the determination of the lifespan) For each legislative option, two sub-options are developed by considering liability solely on the manufacturer (2a, 3a and 4a), or joint liability with the trader (2b, 3b and 4b). The key findings of the impact assessment reveal that the preferred options are Options 2 and 4. The former is certainly less ambitious than the latter and would result in less benefit overall, but it would also involve less cost and, contrary to Option 4, could be implemented within a relatively short period of time.

Išorės autorius

EPRS, DG

Protecting and empowering EU consumers

14-02-2017

Wide-ranging consumer protection: The European system has developed over 30 years, with direct benefits for consumers in various areas of their daily lives. High standards and more choice: EU rules impose the highest safety requirements in the world, not least for toys. Lower prices: Mobile phone roaming costs have decreased by 92 % since 2007 and will be abolished in June 2017. All European travellers will then 'roam like at home'. More safety: Thanks to EU road safety laws, Europe has the lowest ...

Wide-ranging consumer protection: The European system has developed over 30 years, with direct benefits for consumers in various areas of their daily lives. High standards and more choice: EU rules impose the highest safety requirements in the world, not least for toys. Lower prices: Mobile phone roaming costs have decreased by 92 % since 2007 and will be abolished in June 2017. All European travellers will then 'roam like at home'. More safety: Thanks to EU road safety laws, Europe has the lowest accident fatality rate in the world – deaths fell by 43 % between 2001 and 2010 and again by 17 % from 2010 to 2015.

Overview of the internal energy market design legislation

23-01-2017

The new proposals build on previous legislation and continue to gradually implement an internal energy market. In particular, they look to incorporate recent changes, such as the rapid increase in renewables and technological advances relating to the digitalisation of services. They also attempt to clarify previous legislation such as in the case of storage for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for example. As with the recent proposals on security of gas supply, the Commission looks to incorporate ...

The new proposals build on previous legislation and continue to gradually implement an internal energy market. In particular, they look to incorporate recent changes, such as the rapid increase in renewables and technological advances relating to the digitalisation of services. They also attempt to clarify previous legislation such as in the case of storage for Transmission System Operators (TSOs) for example. As with the recent proposals on security of gas supply, the Commission looks to incorporate a regional approach as the default option for assessing needs and mitigating risks. The Commission's evaluation, as well as the review of the implementation process, have shown that, while progress has been made, challenges to create a properly functioning internal market remain. The challenges identified by the evaluation, such as price controls, insufficient cross-border trade, uncoordinated national interventions and issues around regulatory independence, are addressed by the current proposals. However, it is also clear from the evaluation that progress towards a well-functioning and competitive energy market has not been consistent across the EU. Where progress has been made, the effects have been positive, although the evaluation does not look at examples of best practice to assess the best way forward. The EU- wide oversight of national regulators and TSOs is seen as positive, but question marks remain in terms of whether the suggested changes will be sufficient. Several reviews on the topic have noted that the Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER) lack sufficient powers to be effective and it is unclear whether the current proposals will properly address this issue. The public consultations also pointed to the dual role of the European Network for Transmission System Operators for electricity (ENTSO-E), as both a lobby organisation and a representative of public interest,  as potentially problematic. The creation of a European Distribution System Operator (DSO) could possibly duplicate this issue. The evaluation does not include any assessment around infrastructure legislation or the EU's role in this area; however, it notes that the incentives for private investments have been insufficient so far. It is hoped that the proposed moves to a more flexible and price-driven market should improve investment conditions. As reforms in this area have been ongoing since the 1990s, it will be particularly important to continue to monitor progress and to what extent the new proposals increase competition and a well-functioning, price-led market. In terms of the Parliament's demands, many of its requests are reflected in the proposals, such as calls for more regional cooperation, for example. They do not, however, include a review of the gas market or interconnectivity objectives differentiated by regions; nor do they look to address to any great extent the issue of external import. In the case of the ACER, Parliament had asked for a substantial increase in resources. While the proposals strengthen the agency's position, the Commission decided not to propose making the ACER into a pan-European regulator, with the increase in budget and staff that such a move would have entailed.

Why China's public procurement is an EU issue

01-12-2016

China's public procurement market is huge, but largely untapped by EU companies, since access to it is restricted by laws, regulations and policies favouring domestic over foreign goods and services. Although China's public procurement policy is inconsistent with the WTO's General Procurement Agreement (GPA), the EU cannot legally challenge it, as long as China is not party to the GPA.

China's public procurement market is huge, but largely untapped by EU companies, since access to it is restricted by laws, regulations and policies favouring domestic over foreign goods and services. Although China's public procurement policy is inconsistent with the WTO's General Procurement Agreement (GPA), the EU cannot legally challenge it, as long as China is not party to the GPA.

Fourth Railway Package – Market-Opening for Domestic Passenger Transport Services by Rail: Initial Appraisal of the Commission's Impact Assessment

15-05-2013

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying the following proposals: i) Commission Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 concerning the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail (COM (2013) 28), and ii) a proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2012/34/EU ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying the following proposals: i) Commission Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 concerning the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail (COM (2013) 28), and ii) a proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2012/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 November 2012 establishing a Single European Railway Area, as regards the opening of the market for domestic passenger transport services by rail and the governance of the railway infrastructure (COM (2013) 29).

Trade and Economic Relations with China - 2013

23-04-2013

China was able to resist to the global economic downturn in 2012, continuing its unprecedented growth at a pace only slightly lower than that registered in before the crisis. China adopted stimulus measures to sustain its economy during the recession, but these also faced some setbacks. While Inflation has been kept at bay, the risk of a real estate bubble and of a general overheating of the economy remains a matter of concern for the new government, in place only since March 2013. Despite some liberalisations ...

China was able to resist to the global economic downturn in 2012, continuing its unprecedented growth at a pace only slightly lower than that registered in before the crisis. China adopted stimulus measures to sustain its economy during the recession, but these also faced some setbacks. While Inflation has been kept at bay, the risk of a real estate bubble and of a general overheating of the economy remains a matter of concern for the new government, in place only since March 2013. Despite some liberalisations, Beijing's command of many sectors of the economy remains strong, and access to its domestic markets not always easy for foreign operators. The EU's trade and economic relations with China are generally good, and the number of disputes remains within reasonable ceilings. However, the EU is dissatisfied with China's reluctance to fully implement its WTO commitments and, more generally, with protectionist measures that affect EU interests. For its part, Beijing is still dissatisfied with the EU's refusal to grant the country 'market economy' status and has criticised the opening of a major anti-dumping and countervailing duty case on solar panels. Negotiations for an EU-China partnership and cooperation agreement, initiated in 2007, have still not been concluded. In September 2012, China and the EU agreed to open negotiations for a bilateral investment agreement; these should begin in the coming months.

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