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Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

06-05-2019

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between ...

The food supply chain ensures that food and drink products are delivered to the public. It affects all consumers in the EU. The final price paid by the consumer is impacted by the number of participants in the food supply chain. While the single market has brought benefits to operators in the supply chain through more market opportunities and a larger customer base, it has also brought challenges. Structural changes have occurred, leading to different levels of bargaining power and imbalances between actors in the chain. The abuse of such differences may lead to unfair trading practices. To strengthen the position of smaller operators (farmers) in the food supply chain, in April 2018 the European Commission proposed a new directive on unfair trading practices. Trilogue discussions began in October 2018 after a successful vote in plenary. The final agreed text was adopted by both Parliament and Council at first reading, and signed on 17 April. Member States must now incorporate its provisions into national law, and apply them by 1 November 2021.

Monetary policy with transitory vs. permanently low growth

29-11-2018

The recent economic slowdown in the euro area depends on supply-side and demand-side factors with different conse-quences on potential output. On the one hand, it may grow at a low pace for a long time; on the other hand, it may soon grow a bit faster. The ECB strategy has to adapt to these different possible outcomes. Anyway, we argue that the ECB has rooms for manoeuvre whatever the trend in output. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and ...

The recent economic slowdown in the euro area depends on supply-side and demand-side factors with different conse-quences on potential output. On the one hand, it may grow at a low pace for a long time; on the other hand, it may soon grow a bit faster. The ECB strategy has to adapt to these different possible outcomes. Anyway, we argue that the ECB has rooms for manoeuvre whatever the trend in output. This document was provided by Policy Department A at the request of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs.

Външен автор

Christophe BLOT, Jérôme CREEL and Paul HUBERT

Unfair trading practices in the food supply chain

05-07-2018

The Commission proposal aims to strengthen the resilience of weaker operators in the food supply chain and improve its functioning. The supporting impact assessment appears to be substantially constrained by the limited evidence base. The data on the scale of the problem seems limited and precise quantifications of costs and benefits of the option packages was not feasible. The stakeholder consultation activities, on the other hand, have largely followed the requirements of the Better Regulation ...

The Commission proposal aims to strengthen the resilience of weaker operators in the food supply chain and improve its functioning. The supporting impact assessment appears to be substantially constrained by the limited evidence base. The data on the scale of the problem seems limited and precise quantifications of costs and benefits of the option packages was not feasible. The stakeholder consultation activities, on the other hand, have largely followed the requirements of the Better Regulation Guidelines.

Contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services

19-02-2018

On 21 November 2017, the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Committee (IMCO) and Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted their joint report on the European Commission's proposal for a directive regulating the private-law aspects of contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services in the internal market. The Council of the EU agreed on a general approach in June 2017. Trilogue meetings began on 5 December 2017 and are still on-going. The main changes proposed by the ...

On 21 November 2017, the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Committee (IMCO) and Legal Affairs Committee (JURI) adopted their joint report on the European Commission's proposal for a directive regulating the private-law aspects of contracts for the supply of digital content and digital services in the internal market. The Council of the EU agreed on a general approach in June 2017. Trilogue meetings began on 5 December 2017 and are still on-going. The main changes proposed by the joint report of the two Parliament committees are concerned with the duration of legal guarantees for digital content and services, liability for hidden defects and the short-term right to reject defective digital content. An issue which is still being discussed is the relationship between the directive and EU public law rules on the protection of personal data. Fourth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous editions of this briefing, please see: PE 608.748 (October 2017).

Towards new rules on sales and digital content: Analysis of the key issues

22-03-2017

In 2015, the Commission presented two proposals for directives: on the online sale of goods to consumers, and on the supply of digital content to consumers. The two proposals need to be analysed in the context of the existing Consumer Sales Directive from 1999, which is currently under revision as part of the REFIT exercise. If the two proposals enter into force, consumer sales transactions will be regulated by three instruments: with regard to tangible goods sold face to face – by the Consumer Sales ...

In 2015, the Commission presented two proposals for directives: on the online sale of goods to consumers, and on the supply of digital content to consumers. The two proposals need to be analysed in the context of the existing Consumer Sales Directive from 1999, which is currently under revision as part of the REFIT exercise. If the two proposals enter into force, consumer sales transactions will be regulated by three instruments: with regard to tangible goods sold face to face – by the Consumer Sales Directive, with regard to tangible goods sold at a distance – the Online Sales Directive, and with regard to the sale of digital content – the Digital Content Directive. Not surprisingly, the three texts have much in common as regards their structure and subject matter. They all deal with such issues as conformity (lack of defects), the consumer's remedies in cases of defects, the time limit for bringing such remedies and the burden of proof. They also have two other systemic issues in common: the choice between minimum and maximum harmonisation, on the one hand, and between mandatory and default rules, on the other. The existing Consumer Rights Directive is a minimum harmonisation instrument, and allows Member States to grant consumers a higher level of protection, especially when it comes to the period of seller's liability or the freedom of choice of remedies to be pursued in the event of defects. Similarly, the absence of any EU legislation specifically addressing contracts regarding the sale or rental of digital content or the provision of digital services means that Member States have been free to protect consumers to the extent they see fit. Since the two proposals are framed as maximum harmonisation instruments, the question of the exact extent of consumer rights and the way they should be exercised is crucial.

Links between Pharmaceutical R&D Models and Access to Affordable Medicines

14-10-2016

Each patient in the European Union has a right of access to care. National governments face the challenge to balance resources against healthcare demand to ensure that populations enjoy equitable access to effective, affordable and sustainable healthcare. This study describes the main challenges with regard to access to affordable medicines, including Research & Development, pricing and reimbursement of medicines and the influence of the economic crisis. Potential policy options to tackle these challenges ...

Each patient in the European Union has a right of access to care. National governments face the challenge to balance resources against healthcare demand to ensure that populations enjoy equitable access to effective, affordable and sustainable healthcare. This study describes the main challenges with regard to access to affordable medicines, including Research & Development, pricing and reimbursement of medicines and the influence of the economic crisis. Potential policy options to tackle these challenges are presented, drawing on best practices and a review of specific measures implemented in different European countries. This document was provided by Policy Department A for the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

Външен автор

Brian GODMAN, Wija OORTWIJN, Chiara DE WAURE, Ilaria MOSCA, Anna PUGGINA, Maria Lucia SPECCHIA, Paolo CAMPANELLA and Jeroen VAN DER TUIN

Contracts for supply of digital content: A legal analysis of the Commission's proposal for a new directive

23-05-2016

The proposed directive on supply of digital content contains rules on the contractual aspects of the relationship between suppliers and consumers of digital content. The scope ratione materiae of the directive includes not only the supply of digital content to consumers in the strict sense, i.e. the supply of software, digital music, e-books, films and images, but also digital services, in particular rental of on-line computer programs, cloud computing and social media platforms. However, sale of ...

The proposed directive on supply of digital content contains rules on the contractual aspects of the relationship between suppliers and consumers of digital content. The scope ratione materiae of the directive includes not only the supply of digital content to consumers in the strict sense, i.e. the supply of software, digital music, e-books, films and images, but also digital services, in particular rental of on-line computer programs, cloud computing and social media platforms. However, sale of digital content embedded in tangible goods is excluded from its scope. The scope ratione personae extends only to consumer contracts. The directive extends only to contracts concluded for consideration, which can also take the form of digital data, including personal data, provided by the consumer. Regarding criteria for evaluating the conformity of the digital content, the directive ostensibly gives precedence to the contract, before any objective measure of conformity. Subsidiary criteria for evaluating conformity include objective fitness for purpose, international technical standards, as well as public statements. The proposal takes over from the existing acquis the idea of a hierarchy of remedies, meaning that in the case of non-conformity, consumers are barred from terminating or claiming a price reduction, but must first ask the trader to bring the digital content to conformity. However, in case of non-supply, consumers have the right to terminate immediately. They also enjoy the right to terminate regardless of conformity, in cases where the trader modifies the digital content, as well as in long-term contracts. The proposal contains detailed rules on the consequences of termination, in particular with regard to the further use of the consumer's personal data by the trader, and the further use of digital content by the consumer.

Contracts for the supply of digital content and for the online and other distance sales of goods: Initial Appraisal of a European Commission Impact Assessment

17-02-2016

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above two Commission proposals (the proposals), submitted on 9 December 2015 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. In 2011 the Commission published a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Common European Sales Law (CESL). The European Parliament adopted its first reading ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above two Commission proposals (the proposals), submitted on 9 December 2015 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. In 2011 the Commission published a proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on a Common European Sales Law (CESL). The European Parliament adopted its first reading legislative resolution on the proposal in February 2014, proposing substantial amendments. It did not receive Council's backing, however. In its Work Programme for 2015, the Commission stated that it would be modifying the CESL proposal and the two proposals under examination are the result of that process. The 2015 Work Programme had announced that the Commission was preparing a strategy to identify and tackle the major challenges towards a digital single market, undertaking, amongst other things, to simplify the rules for consumers making online and digital purchases and to facilitate e-commerce. Please click here for the full publication in PDF format

Unfair Trading Practices in the Business-to-Business Food Supply Chain

14-08-2015

Unfair trade practices imposed by the stronger party to a contract can have a profound impact on the functioning of the market, increasing costs and reducing revenues of the parties that experience them. This background paper reviews unfair trade practices that can appear on any side of the B2B (Business-to-Business ) transaction, in any sector of the market. Recently unfair trading practices have been of particular interest to the EU in relation to food supply chains. Briefing concludes that any ...

Unfair trade practices imposed by the stronger party to a contract can have a profound impact on the functioning of the market, increasing costs and reducing revenues of the parties that experience them. This background paper reviews unfair trade practices that can appear on any side of the B2B (Business-to-Business ) transaction, in any sector of the market. Recently unfair trading practices have been of particular interest to the EU in relation to food supply chains. Briefing concludes that any consideration concerning possible future action in the area of unfair trading practices must consider a number of issues such as: whether or not legislative action is needed, and if so, what scope and form should it take. However, the key element of any action is to ensure its subsequent effective enforcement.

Deployment of Alternative Fuels Infrastructure: Initial Appraisal of the Commission's Impact Assessment

14-06-2013

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. According to the Commission, the development of the market for alternative fuels has been held back by three major and interdependent factors: technological immaturity; lack of consumer acceptance; and missing fuel infrastructure. The current proposal focuses on 'deployment of ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's Impact Assessment accompanying the proposal for a Directive on the deployment of alternative fuels infrastructure. According to the Commission, the development of the market for alternative fuels has been held back by three major and interdependent factors: technological immaturity; lack of consumer acceptance; and missing fuel infrastructure. The current proposal focuses on 'deployment of appropriate infrastructure for alternative fuels, assessing whether supporting action is needed and what the merits of different options are'.

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