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Unfair terms in Swiss franc loans: Overview of European Court of Justice case law

04-03-2021

In the first decade of the 21st century, loans denominated in or indexed to foreign currencies, in particular the Swiss franc, became very popular in a number of EU Member States, including Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia, and also in two non-EU countries, Montenegro and Serbia. For a certain period, in some Member States these loans became the most popular type of loan issued to consumers. By pegging loans to a stable foreign currency, banks could lend more money ...

In the first decade of the 21st century, loans denominated in or indexed to foreign currencies, in particular the Swiss franc, became very popular in a number of EU Member States, including Greece, Croatia, Hungary, Austria, Poland, Romania, and Slovenia, and also in two non-EU countries, Montenegro and Serbia. For a certain period, in some Member States these loans became the most popular type of loan issued to consumers. By pegging loans to a stable foreign currency, banks could lend more money to the same consumer by virtue of interest rates being lower than those for the same type of loan expressed in the national currency. However, when, as a result of the global economic crisis, the rate of exchange between the Swiss franc and these national currencies (zlotys, forints, kunas, etc.) soared, consumers found themselves trapped. Often, they had to repay as much as twice the value of the loan taken, and could not escape the unfavourable contract by simply selling the property they had bought, as this would cover only a fraction of their debt. While certain Member States implemented mechanisms aimed at protecting consumers and bringing the situation under control, the case law of the European Court of Justice (ECJ), based on dynamic interpretation of the Unfair Terms Directive (93/13), has proved to be a significant factor in securing effective consumer protection. This briefing explains the legal significance of the relevant ECJ judgments, against the backdrop of the Swiss franc loan situation in Europe.

Responsible private funding of litigation

04-03-2021

A responsible TPLF regulatory framework should aim at lowering costs, simplifying unnecessary procedures, increasing the predictability of costs, and delivering efficient services at costs that are proportionate to the amounts in dispute. We explored additional effective safeguards and a number of policy options regarding the contractual, ethical and procedural aspects of TPLF. We then estimated the European added value (EAV) for two alternatives, namely a moderate and a strong regulatory approach ...

A responsible TPLF regulatory framework should aim at lowering costs, simplifying unnecessary procedures, increasing the predictability of costs, and delivering efficient services at costs that are proportionate to the amounts in dispute. We explored additional effective safeguards and a number of policy options regarding the contractual, ethical and procedural aspects of TPLF. We then estimated the European added value (EAV) for two alternatives, namely a moderate and a strong regulatory approach scenario using a standard benefits-costs analytical conceptual framework.

Update the Unfair Contract Terms directive for digital services

09-02-2021

This study analyses common terms in contracts of digital service providers, indicating when they could significantly distort the balance between the parties’ rights and obligations to the detriment of consumers and should, therefore, fall within the scope of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive. Further, the study discusses the particularities of the assessment of online transparency of terms of digital service providers and sanctions they could face if they breach the current consumer protection ...

This study analyses common terms in contracts of digital service providers, indicating when they could significantly distort the balance between the parties’ rights and obligations to the detriment of consumers and should, therefore, fall within the scope of the Unfair Contract Terms Directive. Further, the study discusses the particularities of the assessment of online transparency of terms of digital service providers and sanctions they could face if they breach the current consumer protection framework. Recommendations are made to improve the effectiveness of this framework by: introducing a black and grey list of unfair terms, strengthening current sanctions, and introducing new obligations for digital service providers.

Externí autor

Marco LOOS, Joasia LUZAK

Digital automation and the future of work

29-01-2021

This report addresses the nature, scope and possible effects of digital automation. It reviews relevant literature and situates modern debates on technological change in historical context. It also offers some policy options that, if implemented, would help to harness technology for positive economic and social ends. The report recognises that technological change can affect not just the volume of work but also its quality. It identifies threats to job quality and an unequal distribution of the risks ...

This report addresses the nature, scope and possible effects of digital automation. It reviews relevant literature and situates modern debates on technological change in historical context. It also offers some policy options that, if implemented, would help to harness technology for positive economic and social ends. The report recognises that technological change can affect not just the volume of work but also its quality. It identifies threats to job quality and an unequal distribution of the risks and benefits associated with digital automation. In response, it recommends a number of policy options – ones that aim to go beyond the provision of skills and training and which seek a human-centred approach to digital transformations of work based on industrial democracy and social partnership. Overall, the report pushes for a new Digital Social Contract and a future of work that works for all

Externí autor

DG, EPRS_This study has been written by David Spencer, Matt Cole, Simon Joyce, Xanthe Whittaker and Mark Stuart of the Leeds University Business School, University of Leeds, UK, at the request of the Panel for the Future of Science and Technology (STOA) and managed by the Scientific Foresight Unit, within the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services (EPRS) of the Secretariat of the European Parliament.

I principi di uguaglianza e non discriminazione, una prospettiva di diritto comparato - Unione europea

27-01-2021

Il presente studio fa parte di un progetto più ampio il cui scopo è quello di analizzare, nella prospettiva del diritto comparato, i principi di eguaglianza e di non discriminazione. Queste pagine esaminano come tali principi si siano affermati nell’ordinamento giuridico dell’Unione europea. Ci si soffermerà in particolare sul riconoscimento di tali principi, sia nelle fonti di diritto primario (i trattati istitutivi) sia in quelle di diritto secondario (regolamenti e direttive), nonché attraverso ...

Il presente studio fa parte di un progetto più ampio il cui scopo è quello di analizzare, nella prospettiva del diritto comparato, i principi di eguaglianza e di non discriminazione. Queste pagine esaminano come tali principi si siano affermati nell’ordinamento giuridico dell’Unione europea. Ci si soffermerà in particolare sul riconoscimento di tali principi, sia nelle fonti di diritto primario (i trattati istitutivi) sia in quelle di diritto secondario (regolamenti e direttive), nonché attraverso la lettura e l’interpretazione evolutiva che di essi ha dato la giurisprudenza della Corte di Giustizia. Si evidenzierà inoltre come da un approccio sociale e prevalentemente giuslavoristico, tali principi abbiano assunto nel tempo un ruolo e una portata sempre più ampia, finendo per estendersi, quale parametro di legittimità, all’attività svolta dall’Unione in tutti i settori di competenza dell’Unione ed assurgere a diritti fondamentali, che trovano oggi esplicito accoglimento e consacrazione nel testo della Carta dei diritti fondamentali dell’Unione europea. Da ultimo si cercherà di mettere in luce quali sono i limiti e le eccezioni alla tutela di tali diritti, evidenziando gli ulteriori diritti ritenuti altrettanto meritevoli di tutela suscettibili di entrare in gioco richiedendo di essere adeguatamente (contro)bilanciati, come pure verrà evidenziato il rischio di eventuali distorsioni applicative idonee a generare forme di discriminazione “a rovescio”.

Externí autor

Prof. Dr. Vincenzo SALVATORE

Qualified majority voting in foreign and security policy: Pros and Cons

19-01-2021

In her first State of the Union speech, and in the section of the speech most applauded by the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for the use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in areas such as sanctions and human rights. The crises and security challenges accumulating in and around the European Union have added to the urgency of having a more effective and rapid decision-making process in areas pertaining to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP ...

In her first State of the Union speech, and in the section of the speech most applauded by the European Parliament, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called for the use of qualified majority voting (QMV) in areas such as sanctions and human rights. The crises and security challenges accumulating in and around the European Union have added to the urgency of having a more effective and rapid decision-making process in areas pertaining to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP). The core encumbrance against unanimous EU agreement on foreign policy is argued to be the absence of a common strategic culture among EU Member States. The Lisbon Treaty's architects have equipped the EU Treaties with 'passerelle clauses' – provisions usually aimed at modifying the decision-making of the Council of the EU. The passerelle clause for CFSP is Article 31(3) of the Treaty on European Union, which empowers the European Council to, by unanimous agreement, allow the Council of the EU to take decisions by QMV in some areas of the CFSP. Another option is an emergency brake – cancelling a vote for vital reasons of national policy – while constructive abstention is an option which allows a Member State to abstain from a unanimous vote without blocking it. Since 2016, the EU has witnessed growing momentum to shape its identity as a security provider and peace promoter. From 2020 and until 2022, it is undertaking a strategic reflection process taking the form of a 'strategic compass', whereby the threats, challenges and objectives for the Union in security and defence will be better defined. It is in this context that the debate about QMV in foreign and security policy has resurfaced and continues to be the subject of policy discussions. Nevertheless, recent efforts to innovate in the EU’s methods for adopting sanctions in the field of human rights abuses (the European Magnitsky Act) have been unsuccessful in their attempt to move from unanimity to qualified majority voting.

What if artificial intelligence in medical imaging could accelerate Covid-19 treatment?

21-12-2020

Thermal imaging cameras are currently being installed in office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and airports as a means of detecting people with fever-like symptoms. Given that these cameras are not necessarily designed to operate as medical devices, there are questions about their suitability in the context of the current pandemic. This note provides an overview of the use of thermal imaging empowered with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, its suitability in the context of ...

Thermal imaging cameras are currently being installed in office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and airports as a means of detecting people with fever-like symptoms. Given that these cameras are not necessarily designed to operate as medical devices, there are questions about their suitability in the context of the current pandemic. This note provides an overview of the use of thermal imaging empowered with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, its suitability in the context of the current pandemic and the core technical limitations of this technology. The main legal responses and ethical concerns related to the use of AI in the context of thermal imaging at entry points to identify and triage people who may have elevated temperatures are also examined.

What if blockchain could guarantee ethical AI?

21-12-2020

As artificial intelligence (AI) companies and other organisations are seeking ways to comply with ethical principles and requirements, blockchain, under specific circumstances, could be seen as a means to safeguard that AI is deployed in an ethically sound manner.

As artificial intelligence (AI) companies and other organisations are seeking ways to comply with ethical principles and requirements, blockchain, under specific circumstances, could be seen as a means to safeguard that AI is deployed in an ethically sound manner.

What if AI could improve thermal imaging, to help fight coronavirus?

21-12-2020

Thermal imaging cameras are currently being installed in office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and airports as a means of detecting people with fever-like symptoms. Given that these cameras are not necessarily designed to operate as medical devices, there are questions about their suitability in the context of the current pandemic. This note provides an overview of the use of thermal imaging empowered with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, its suitability in the context of ...

Thermal imaging cameras are currently being installed in office buildings, hospitals, shopping malls, schools and airports as a means of detecting people with fever-like symptoms. Given that these cameras are not necessarily designed to operate as medical devices, there are questions about their suitability in the context of the current pandemic. This note provides an overview of the use of thermal imaging empowered with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, its suitability in the context of the current pandemic and the core technical limitations of this technology. The main legal responses and ethical concerns related to the use of AI in the context of thermal imaging at entry points to identify and triage people who may have elevated temperatures are also examined.

What if AI-powered passenger locator forms could help stop the spread of Covid-19?

21-12-2020

As decisions about who should get tested in an airport are important from public health and privacy perspectives, contact tracing and targeted testing based on AI-powered PLFs should be subject to thorough validation and accountability requirements so as to gain public trust and acceptance.

As decisions about who should get tested in an airport are important from public health and privacy perspectives, contact tracing and targeted testing based on AI-powered PLFs should be subject to thorough validation and accountability requirements so as to gain public trust and acceptance.

Chystané akce

15-03-2021
EPRS online Book Talk with Vivien Schmidt: Legitimacy and power in the EU
Další akce -
EPRS
16-03-2021
EPRS online policy roundtable: Inside the New European Bauhaus
Další akce -
EPRS
16-03-2021
Public Hearing on Defence planning and procurement in the EU - a joint approach
Slyšení -
SEDE

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