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O-000083/2015 (B8-0754/2015)

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Πέμπτη 8 Οκτωβρίου 2015 - Στρασβούργο Αναθεωρημένη έκδοση

3. Eφαρμογή του άρθρου 20 παράγραφος 2 της οδηγίας για τις υπηρεσίες και του άρθρου 8 παράγραφος 3 της οδηγίας για τα δικαιώματα των καταναλωτών (συζήτηση)
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  Președintele. – Următorul punct de pe ordinea de zi este dezbaterea privind întrebarea cu solicitare de răspuns oral referitoare la punerea în aplicare a articolului 20 alineatul (2) din Directiva privind serviciile și a articolului 8 alineatul (3) din Directiva privind drepturile consumatorilor, adresată Comisiei de Evelyne Gebhardt, în numele Grupului S&D și de Andreas Schwab, în numele Grupului PPE (O-000083/20152015/2881(RSP) – B8-0754/2015).

 
  
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  Evelyne Gebhardt, Verfasserin. Herr Präsident! Vielen Dank, dass wir diese Frage hier heute stellen können. Wir stellen immer wieder fest, dass Bürger und Bürgerinnen im Internet einkaufen möchten und dies aus unterschiedlichsten Gründen nicht tun können – weil sie eine falsche IPAdresse haben, die falsche Kreditkarte haben, die falsche Nationalität haben, im falschen Land leben –, und deswegen diesen Einkauf nicht tätigen können.

Das Recht in der Europäischen Union ist eigentlich klar: Diskriminierung wegen der Staatsangehörigkeit ist nicht erlaubt, ist nicht in Ordnung. Deswegen ist es ein Unding, dass dieser große Binnenmarkt den wir haben, der für die Unternehmen einen sehr großen Gewinn bringt, dieser große Bienenmarkt für die Menschen, für die Verbraucher und die Verbraucherinnen heute immer noch nicht so existiert und viele Hindernisse entstehen. Deswegen ist es auch ganz wichtig, dass wir auch hier dagegen vorgehen.

In ihrer Mitteilung zur Strategie für einen digitalen Binnenmarkt für Europa hat die Europäische Kommission gesagt, sie wolle sich „für 2016 mit ungerechtfertigtem Geoblocking im Bereich des Online-Handels befassen, gegebenenfalls auch im Wege einer gezielten Änderung des Rechtsrahmens für den elektronischen Geschäftsverkehr“. Mich würde jetzt sehr interessieren: Was meinen Sie denn mit dieser Änderung? Welcher Art soll diese Änderung sein? Was bezwecken Sie damit? Außerdem interessiert mich auch sehr: Wie gedenken Sie als Europäische Kommission dafür zu sorgen, dass Artikel 20 Absatz 2 der Dienstleistungsrichtlinie und Artikel 8 Absatz 3 der Verbraucherschutzrichtlinie endlich auch verwirklicht werden? Rechte, die schon längst in Kraft sind, aber für die Bürger und Bürgerinnen immer noch nicht fassbar sind. Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie Sie uns dazu antworten werden.

 
  
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  Andreas Schwab, Verfasser. Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, meine Damen und Herren, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die heutige mündliche Anfrage an die Kommission gibt uns die Möglichkeit, nochmals deutlich zu machen, was wir in der Dienstleistungsrichtlinie einerseits und in der Verbraucherrechterichtlinie andererseits als Gesetzgeber klargestellt haben. Benachteiligungen oder unterschiedliche Behandlungen von Verbraucherinnen oder Verbrauchern aufgrund ihrer Nationalität oder ihres Standortes sind nur dann zulässig, wenn es dafür zwingende rechtliche Gründe gibt. Im Europäischen Parlament arbeiten wir stark und engagiert daran, dass die rechtlichen Voraussetzungen dafür geschaffen werden und künftig keine unterschiedliche Behandlung mehr zulässig ist.

Es ist uns bewusst, dass wir dafür natürlich auch eine Reihe von Vereinheitlichungen brauchen, damit Unternehmen einerseits und Verbraucherinnen und Verbraucher andererseits tatsächlich auch ein einheitliches Regelungsumfeld vorfinden. Was wir aber bei einigen Anbietern gesehen haben – ich erwähne hier den Fall Disneyland aus dem Sommer – ist, dass obwohl die Bedingungen in diesen Bereichen vereinheitlicht sind, dennoch gewissermaßen missbräuchlich versucht wird, unterschiedliche Preismodelle in Europa durchzusetzen. Und das ist schlicht inakzeptabel.

Ich fordere die Europäische Kommission auf, hier mit der gesamten Maßgabe der Möglichkeiten, die ihr zur Verfügung stehen, tätig zu werden. Ich sage das besonders deshalb, weil wir natürlich wissen, wie schwer es ist, einheitliche Bedingungen hinzubekommen. Wir haben auch immer wieder die Debatte darüber, wie viel Einheitlichkeit wir uns erlauben können. Es gibt viele Mitgliedstaaten, die keine Harmonisierung bestimmter Bereiche der rechtlichen Bedingungen haben wollen. Aber wenn selbst bei den Bedingungen, wo wir Vereinheitlichung hinbekommen haben, am Ende der Bürger, der Verbraucher, die Verbraucherin den Eindruck bekommt, dass Unternehmen gewissermaßen den Gutteil des Binnenmarktes für sich abschnappen können, dann stößt das auf unseren entschiedenen Widerstand.

Herr Kommissar, ich bitte Sie, eine klare Aussage dazu zu treffen, was Sie in diesen Fällen unternehmen wollen.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). Gospodine predsjedniče, oprostite što upadam za vrijeme sjednice, ali imamo problem s hrvatskim prijevodom, jednostavno nemamo hrvatskog prijevoda. Sad ga nismo imali na njemačkom, prije ga nismo imali na engleskom, pa budite ljubazni, ja mogu neke jezike razumjeti, ali ipak ne mogu sve pa bih vas zamolio da pokušate vidjeti da li možemo dobiti prijevode.

 
  
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  Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission. Mr President, on behalf of my colleague Commissioner Elżbieta Bieńkowska, I am here to discuss this issue. The issue raised by the honourable Members touches at the heart of what EU citizens can expect of the single market. When shopping cross-border, our consumers are still being discriminated against on the basis of their nationality or place of residence. This is not acceptable.

We keep on receiving complaints from citizens against alleged discriminatory practices, through various channels. First, direct complaints; second, complaints to European Consumer Centres; third, information requests to Your Europe Advice; and, fourth and most importantly, parliamentary questions. As democratically elected representatives, you act as a major interface between citizens and EU institutions. I cannot encourage you strongly enough to keep on sending us feedback from your constituents.

With the rise of the internet, e-commerce is getting increasingly important, but many questions also concern transactions taking place on commercial premises. Online geo-blocking is one of the most visible and the most often described types of discrimination, with consumers being barred from completing transactions, or being redirected to another website offering the same service but at a higher price.

Discrimination also takes place on a daily basis for millions of Europeans travelling abroad as tourists, buying a second home in another country, or just crossing the border. This must stop – and action has been announced in the digital single market strategy. The need for action will be expanded on in the internal market strategy for goods and services, to be adopted at the end of the month. On 24 September 2015, the Commission also launched a public consultation. The consultation will help the Commission prepare a legislative initiative in 2016.

We all know examples of discriminatory practices. Last year, we initiated an action with the main car rental companies in Europe, after noticing very substantial price differences for exactly the same service, just depending on the place of residence of the customer. This year, you will have heard of press reports concerning a major amusement park in France, for which some special offers were limited to French residents. We also have examples of people being denied access to car-sharing with a non-national driving licence, or for the need to have a national registration number to buy a service.

The current legal framework has not created enough certainty for businesses and consumers. It has not enabled national authorities to enforce the non-discrimination obligation in daily practice. This is what we are planning to address.

Contractual freedom is an important principle, which must be preserved, but we must also tackle the voluntary segmentation of the single market by companies, and we must safeguard the rights of consumers. The interests of SMEs must also be protected. We want to encourage companies and consumers to use the single market, not force them to do so if it would be too burdensome or uncertain for them.

My colleagues Elżbieta Bieńkowska and Günther Öttinger will be more than happy to discuss those challenges further in order to find solutions that open up the single market for companies and consumers alike.

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová, za skupinu S&D. Pane předsedající, diskriminace spotřebitelů na základě jejich národnosti či místa bydliště je bohužel stále každodenní realitou vnitřního trhu Evropské unie. Je proto zcela nezbytné upřesnit právní rámec zákazu diskriminace v oblasti služeb i zboží.

Zásadní je vyjasnění tzv. objektivních kritérií. Musí dojít k jednoznačnému vymezení podmínek, které jsou v mimořádných případech akceptovatelné pro omezení přístupu ke zboží a službám. Důležité je také posílit spolupráci dozorových orgánů, aby mohly důsledně a koordinovaně věnovat pozornost všem možným formám diskriminace a plně využít pravomocí sítě pro spolupráci v oblasti ochrany spotřebitele.

Mějme ale na paměti, že odstranění tzv. geoblockingu je nejen jednou z největších výzev při vytváření digitálního vnitřního trhu, ale spotřebitelé čelí diskriminaci i v off-line prostředí. Předcházejme proto rozdílům mezi pravidly platnými pro nákupy off-line a online, což by bylo v rozporu s myšlenkou vnitřního trhu.

Vyzývám proto Komisi, aby zohlednila tyto připomínky v plánované revizi nařízení o spolupráci v oblasti ochrany spotřebitele.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová, on behalf of the ALDE Group. Mr President, I am glad the Commission is fighting on this issue. The ALDE Group is looking forward to addressing this in a geo-blocking regulation complementing the services and e-commerce directives.

Consumers across Europe face two huge barriers when trying to shop across borders: either they are denied delivery completely or delivery costs are so high that there can be no justifiable reason for them other than to prevent sales. If goods and content cannot cross borders, Europeans will not shop across borders. They will forever be locked within their national markets and subject to higher prices due to a lack of full and honest competition.

Commissioner, when combined with different prices based on location, there can be no doubt that this is a case of discrimination by companies, based if not on nationality then on place of residence – discrimination if not because I am Czech then because I live in Prague. Some small businesses have said that it is not discrimination, but that they simply cannot handle the problems associated with language and returns. Maybe they are right and we need to do more on those problems, as is provided for in the strategy. But, Commissioner, on what grounds can a giant company justify this denial of service?

Normally I am against overregulating businesses. I honestly believe that most businesses want to do right by their customers and thereby attract more customers, but this is clearly a case where we must act to stop this illegal price discrimination and segmenting of the market. This is pure price discrimination and it should not be acceptable in the digital single market.

 
  
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  Patrick O’Flynn, on behalf of the EFDD Group. Mr President, it is all very well for the Commission to highlight the problem of geo-blocking and to pose as a consumer champion, but arguably the Commission itself deserves to be ranked as the Geo-blocker in Chief. Over-regulation by the Commission has made it much more difficult than it need be for SMEs to sell abroad. The recent VAT Mini One-Stop Shop (VAT MOSS) measure is a case in point: SMEs have to pay this tax on e-commerce sales in every single member country that they sell to, and the result has been a mass withdrawal of micro-businesses from export markets and a consequent narrowing of consumer choice.

Far too often, the Commission, as well as the EU in general, becomes the problem rather than the solution. I do not doubt that it wishes to do good; I do ask that it opens its eyes to the harm it is doing in practice to the prosperity of what is fast becoming the world’s economically least dynamic continent.

 
  
 

Procedura „catch the eye”

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). Domnule președinte, încep prin a-i felicita pe autorii întrebării cu solicitare de răspuns oral. Fac parte din Comisia IMCO și de multe ori în cadrul comisiei discutăm acest aspect: nu este suficient să avem o directivă a serviciilor, dacă nu avem o monitorizare exactă a ceea ce se întâmplă în piață. Pentru că, într-adevăr, vrem un cadru unitar și, așa cum spunea colega mea, Eveline, de foarte multe ori îți vine să te muți în altă țară ca să faci o achiziție online. Discriminarea nu vizează doar prețul, așa cum spunea cealaltă colegă a mea, ci și timpul de livrare și foarte multe alte lucruri legate de calitate.

Cred că este important ca Comisia să ia act de această întrebare, dar am aștepta și un răspuns concret: ce se poate face pentru a avea, într-adevăr, o îmbunătățire a calității aplicării în mod unitar în țările membre a Directivei serviciilor și, mai ales, ce se poate face să nu mai apară această discriminare? Cred că trebuie acționat și preventiv, să nu pățim ca în cazul Volkswagen, să descoperim când lucrurile sunt prea grave.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). Κύριε Πρόεδρε, συζητούμε για τα δικαιώματα των καταναλωτών και πώς τα κράτη μέλη θα πρέπει να φροντίσουν, ώστε να μη γίνονται διακρίσεις λόγω ιθαγένειας και τόπου κατοικίας του παραλήπτη. Αρχικά, τα κράτη μέλη οφείλουν να επιβλέπουν τη σωστή εφαρμογή της υπάρχουσας νομοθεσίας όσον αφορά τις διαδικτυακές υπηρεσίες. Συχνά, ορισμένοι καταναλωτές προερχόμενοι από μικρά κράτη μέλη, έρχονται αντιμέτωποι με αρκετές δυσκολίες κατά τη διαδικασία παραλαβής των αντικειμένων που επιθυμούν, ενώ σε ορισμένες περιπτώσεις, οι διαδικτυακοί πάροχοι αρνούνται να παραδώσουν τα αντικείμενα στους καταναλωτές.

Είναι επομένως αναγκαίο, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να βάλει τέλος στον αδικαιολόγητο αποκλεισμό των καταναλωτών από την αγορά οποιωνδήποτε αγαθών ή υπηρεσιών, εφόσον αυτή η κίνηση παραβιάζει τα βασικά τους δικαιώματα. Επιπλέον, στα πλαίσια του ηλεκτρονικού εμπορίου, θα πρέπει να σταματήσει η επιπλέον επιβάρυνση του καταναλωτή για το κόστος μεταφοράς, σε περίπτωση που δεν έχει ενημερωθεί εκ των προτέρων γι' αυτό. Τέλος, θα πρέπει να ληφθούν άμεσα μέτρα από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, ώστε να υπάρξει μια στοχευμένη αλλαγή στον τρόπο διεξαγωγής του ηλεκτρονικού εμπορίου, χωρίς να καταπατώνται τα δικαιώματα των καταναλωτών.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). Gospodine predsjedniče, geoblokiranje je jedna od najperfidnijih diskriminacija s kojima se suočavamo u današnje vrijeme jedinstvenog tržišta i jedna je od najvećih prepreka koje nove tehnologije nude u stvaranju jedinstvenog digitalnog tržišta. Europska unija je nastala upravo na jedinstvenosti tržišta i željom za jedinstvenim tržištem, a danas se suočavamo s tim da nam tehnologije sprečavaju daljnji razvoj.

Zato, a i zbog osobnih iskustava koje sam imao i iskustava koje su imali moje kolegice i kolege, želim zaista pozvati Komisiju da pokuša učiniti što je moguće više i što je moguće prije kako bi se taj perfidni način trženja na tržištu raznim proizvodima i uslugama spriječio i kako bi Europa zaista mogla razviti jedinstveno digitalno tržište.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). Signor Presidente, onorevoli deputati, la creazione di reti di telecomunicazioni e di servizi digitali in grado di superare i confini nazionali è essenziale al fine di sostenere la strategia del mercato unico digitale in Europa.

Occorre tener conto del valore primario della difesa dei consumatori, i quali meritano un sistema il più elevato possibile di protezione sia delle transazioni sia della fruibilità del bene acquistato, senza geoblocchi. Per una legislazione europea protettiva e che esalti la crescita sono quindi imperativi categorici la trasparenza dei processi di acquisto online, un'applicazione uniforme del quadro legislativo e le pari condizioni della resa del servizio. Non possono quindi essere trascurati i segnali che provengono dall'ultima sentenza della Corte di giustizia del 6ottobre 2015 che, nel dichiarare invalido il cosiddetto regime di "approdo sicuro", ha messo in chiaro che il flusso dei dati sensibili dei consumatori va tutelato e non utilizzato a loro discapito, come invece accade nei geoblocchi.

Mi auguro che la Commissione recepisca il decisum della Corte e gli scenari complessi che offre, operando il giusto contemperamento tra l'obiettivo di sostenere la strategia per il mercato unico digitale e tutelare i consumatori nella loro libera fruizione di contenuti e servizi online.

 
  
 

(Încheierea procedurii „catch the eye”)

 
  
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  Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission. Mr President, I want to thank the honourable Members again for their questions and comments on this very important issue of consumer protection and discrimination. This is an issue on which we can all agree that the current situation is not acceptable, when we look at the potential we are promising to our citizens and consumers in the internal market.

In the current situation, we are supposed to have access to online and cross-border purchases, yet we cannot be fully guaranteed that because the offer is not available to another country, or because we cannot be sure of getting fair treatment compared to another consumer. The internal market is about offering everyone the chance to access – everywhere on EU territory – the services he or she needs, even from another EU country. I want to be clear: freedoms always have to be balanced against one another and there is not any which is more important than the other. So we need to balance contractual freedom with the right of consumers not to be unfairly discriminated against because of their place of residence. But we also need to recognise that there is no ‘obligation to sell’ or to unify prices throughout the single market.

Where this balance lies will depend on the outcome of the consultation and the discussions with the stakeholders and Member States. Article 20 of the Services Directive lays down the basic principles which Member States should implement and apply. If a Member State is in breach of these principles, the Commission can initiate action against the Member State.

It appears that many Member States have not taken sufficient action to put this principle of non-discrimination into practice. Buying online has aggravated the current problems and a more comprehensive, effective and consumer-friendly solution is necessary. Legislative proposals will be made by the Commission as a follow-up to the Digital Single Market Strategy and the forthcoming Internal Market Strategy.

 
  
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  Președintele. – Dezbaterea a fost închisă.

Declaraţii scrise (articolul 162)

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), por escrito. Aplaudo a apresentação da Estratégia para o Mercado Único Digital por parte da Comissão Europeia no seguimento das prioridades avançadas pela Comissão Juncker que responde aos desafios da era digital. O Mercado Único Digital deve assegurar a livre circulação de mercadorias, pessoas, serviços e capitais, devendo os cidadãos e as empresas beneficiar de um acesso sem descontinuidades a atividades em linha e desenvolver essas atividades em condições de concorrência leal e com um elevado nível de proteção dos consumidores e dos seus dados pessoais, independentemente da sua nacionalidade ou local de residência. Não obstante estes princípios estarem já consagrados no artigo 20.º, n.º 2 da Diretiva dos Serviços, complementado pelo artigo 8.º, n.º 3 da Diretiva relativa aos Direitos do Consumidor, os consumidores europeus deparam-se, nos dias de hoje, com grandes problemas nas compras em linha por motivos territoriais, seja pela negação de entrega noutro Estado—Membro, pela discriminação de preços ou pelo bloqueio geográfico da morada de IP. Há que aproveitar esta oportunidade para acabar com estas limitações injustificadas, recolocando o consumidor no centro do Mercado Digital, adaptando as regras existentes às nossas realidades societais e mudando o paradigma de justificação da exceção para a garantia dos benefícios do Mercado Interno aos consumidores.

 
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