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Application of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive: Overview of the Commission's May 2016 guidance document

18-01-2017

Consumers may find it difficult to identify potentially harmful or unfair practices when entering into a transactional relationship with traders. Similarly, businesses and enforcement authorities may sometimes have problems applying and interpreting EU legislation in relation to commercial practices. While it is the Court of Justice that has competence to interpret EU legislation, the European Commission published legally non-binding guidance on the implementation/application of the Directive on ...

Consumers may find it difficult to identify potentially harmful or unfair practices when entering into a transactional relationship with traders. Similarly, businesses and enforcement authorities may sometimes have problems applying and interpreting EU legislation in relation to commercial practices. While it is the Court of Justice that has competence to interpret EU legislation, the European Commission published legally non-binding guidance on the implementation/application of the Directive on Unfair Commercial Practices in May 2016, which aims to clarify some of the issues that have arisen since the adoption of the directive.

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons

12-01-2017

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some ...

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, as well as to include some previously excluded actors (collectors and brokers) and blank-firing weapons within the scope of the Directive. Stakeholders commented particularly on the proposed ban on some semi-automatic firearms and the obligation for collectors to deactivate firearms. After several rounds of trilogue negotiations, the Council and Parliament reached agreement on the proposal in December. The text is now to be submitted for a vote in plenary at first reading. "A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html"

A European agenda for the collaborative economy

04-11-2016

The 'collaborative economy' – also known as the 'sharing economy' – enables people to share goods and services by using internet platforms and information and communications technology applications. Due to its rapid growth, the collaborative economy has recently raised regulatory issues in various sectors across the European Union (EU). It is argued that this new model of economic activity, with its focus on consuming more efficiently, brings consumers lower prices and broader choice and enables ...

The 'collaborative economy' – also known as the 'sharing economy' – enables people to share goods and services by using internet platforms and information and communications technology applications. Due to its rapid growth, the collaborative economy has recently raised regulatory issues in various sectors across the European Union (EU). It is argued that this new model of economic activity, with its focus on consuming more efficiently, brings consumers lower prices and broader choice and enables them to capitalise on their property and skills to generate extra income. A counter-argument stresses that this is causing market imbalances and unfair competition in relation to traditional market players, because of non-regulated issues related to labour standards and rights, consumer protection, taxation, liability, quality of services and user safety. To avoid a fragmented approach across the EU and growing uncertainty regarding applicable rules while trying to prevent a potential stifling of innovation, the European Commission published its guidance on the matter on 2 June 2016. 'A European agenda for the collaborative economy' is to serve as policy orientation for Member States to help ensure balanced development of the EU collaborative economy. In the European Parliament, the Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee will draft an own initiative report on the agenda.

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons

06-09-2016

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some ...

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, as well as to include some previously excluded actors (collectors and brokers) and blank-firing weapons within the scope of the Directive. Stakeholders commented particularly on the proposed ban on some semi-automatic firearms and the obligation for collectors to deactivate firearms. On 10 June 2016, the Council adopted its general approach on the file. On 13 July the Parliament’s IMCO Committee voted on amendments to the proposal; a mandate to open trilogue negotiations with the Council was voted on 5 September. This updates a previous edition, of May 2016: PE 583.780. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

Cableway installations: Proposal for a new regulation

31-05-2016

Around 17 500 cableway installations currently exist in western Europe and the Alps, representing 60% of the global total. European industry has generally held a dominant position in the global cableway installations market, with the ski industry remaining the primary market for cableway technology. The new regulation covering the European Economic Area is to replace Directive 2000/9/EC relating to cableway installations designed to carry persons. Its aim is to simplify the current rules, align them ...

Around 17 500 cableway installations currently exist in western Europe and the Alps, representing 60% of the global total. European industry has generally held a dominant position in the global cableway installations market, with the ski industry remaining the primary market for cableway technology. The new regulation covering the European Economic Area is to replace Directive 2000/9/EC relating to cableway installations designed to carry persons. Its aim is to simplify the current rules, align them with the European Union New Legislative Framework, and address some problems experienced in implementing the Directive 2000/9/EC. Given its predominantly technical nature, the new regulation was developed with input from experts via targeted consultations. Commission's impact assessment revealed a broad consensus among Member States, manufacturers, notified bodies and stakeholders regarding the need to simplify and clarify the current rules. Following approval by both Parliament and Council, Regulation 2016/424 was published in the Official Journal of the European Union, entering into force on 20 April 2016. This updates the previous version, of January 2016: PE 573.895.

Control of the acquisition and possession of weapons

25-05-2016

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some ...

In the aftermath of the Paris terrorist attacks, in November 2015 the European Commission presented a package of measures aiming to tighten control on the acquisition and possession of firearms in the European Union, improve traceability of legally held firearms and enhance cooperation between Member States, as well as ensure that deactivated firearms are rendered inoperable. The proposal to amend the current 'Firearms Directive' (Directive 91/477/EEC) was part of this package. It aims to ban some semi-automatic firearms for civilian use, as well as to include some previously excluded actors (collectors and brokers) and blank-firing weapons within the scope of the Directive. Stakeholders commented particularly on the proposed ban on some semi-automatic firearms and the obligation for collectors to deactivate firearms. The Justice and Home Affairs Council held a debate on the file in March 2016. Parliament's Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) Committee is expected to adopt its report in June 2016. A more recent edition of this document is available. Find it by searching by the document title at this address: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/thinktank/en/home.html

The Single Market Strategy

23-05-2016

Following the Commission Communication 'Upgrading the Single Market: more opportunities for people and business', presented on 28 October 2015, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its own-initiative report on the Single Market Strategy on 21 April. The report is due to be discussed and voted in plenary in May.

Following the Commission Communication 'Upgrading the Single Market: more opportunities for people and business', presented on 28 October 2015, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its own-initiative report on the Single Market Strategy on 21 April. The report is due to be discussed and voted in plenary in May.

Planned obsolescence: Exploring the issue

02-05-2016

Although no overarching definition of planned obsolescence exists, the term 'planned obsolescence' (of products or technology) is described as the intentional production of goods and services with short economic lives, stimulating consumers to repeat purchases too frequently. The incandescent light bulb with an engineered shorter lifespan (the Phoebus cartel case) is one example from the past of proven planned obsolescence. Data suggest that the median lifespans of certain categories of product have ...

Although no overarching definition of planned obsolescence exists, the term 'planned obsolescence' (of products or technology) is described as the intentional production of goods and services with short economic lives, stimulating consumers to repeat purchases too frequently. The incandescent light bulb with an engineered shorter lifespan (the Phoebus cartel case) is one example from the past of proven planned obsolescence. Data suggest that the median lifespans of certain categories of product have been shortening, and consumer organisations have drawn attention to more recent suspected cases of planned obsolescence in connection with washing machines, inkjet cartridges, electronic devices, etc. One Member State – France – recently introduced a definition of planned obsolescence into its legislation, making it a punishable offence. No specific EU rules mention planned obsolescence, but the subject ties in with EU legislation on ecodesign, waste, use of natural resources, consumer information and the new package from the European Commission on the circular economy. The main consumer concerns and problematic strategies associated with the issue are: design features that do not allow repair, upgradability or interoperability with other devices; the unavailability of spare parts and high repair costs; and marketing strategies pushing consumers to buy new, fashionable products and replace existing ones very quickly. Various ways to curb the practice of planned obsolescence have been proposed, not least a shift towards a culture that values product durability and sustainability.

EYE 2016 – Sharing economy: They come in like a wrecking ball

28-04-2016

The sharing economy (also referred to as the collaborative economy, peer-to-peer economy or collaborative consumption), is based on the sharing of human and physical resources like creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services. For consumers, it stresses the shift from ownership towards accessibility. The sharing economy seems to be bringing about an alternative business model to the traditional corporate one. It is taking advantage of new technologies, by using ...

The sharing economy (also referred to as the collaborative economy, peer-to-peer economy or collaborative consumption), is based on the sharing of human and physical resources like creation, production, distribution, trade and consumption of goods and services. For consumers, it stresses the shift from ownership towards accessibility. The sharing economy seems to be bringing about an alternative business model to the traditional corporate one. It is taking advantage of new technologies, by using internet platforms as well as information and communications technology applications, and leveraging communities or crowds to rent, share, swap, barter, trade, or sell access to products or services. This note has been prepared for the European Youth Event, taking place in Strasbourg in May 2016. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

New EU-wide online dispute resolution platform

16-02-2016

A new web-based platform, which became available on 15 February 2016 in all EU languages, will provide an easy, fast and inexpensive way to assist in resolving disputes between online buyers and traders. The platform is managed by the European Commission. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

A new web-based platform, which became available on 15 February 2016 in all EU languages, will provide an easy, fast and inexpensive way to assist in resolving disputes between online buyers and traders. The platform is managed by the European Commission. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

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