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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.

Plenary round-up – Strasbourg, March I 2019

15-03-2019

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the ...

Highlights of the March I plenary session included debates on Brexit, preparation of the European Council meeting of 21-22 March 2019, and the latest debate on the Future of Europe, with Peter Pellegrini, Slovakia's Prime Minister. Parliament also held debates on a proposed European human rights violations sanctions regime; the situation in Venezuela and Nicaragua; opening EU-US trade negotiations; climate change; gender balance in nominations to EU economic and monetary affairs bodies; and on the urgency to establish an EU blacklist of third countries with weak regimes on anti-money-laundering and countering terrorist financing. Finally, Parliament adopted first-reading positions on three further proposed funding programmes for the 2021-2027 period. A number of Brexit-preparedness measures were also adopted.

Unlautere Handelspraktiken in der Lebensmittelversorgungskette

06-03-2019

Die Kommission hat einen Vorschlag für eine Richtlinie über unlautere Handelspraktiken angenommen, um die Stellung kleinerer Betriebe (Landwirte) in der Lebensmittelversorgungskette zu stärken. Das Parlament und der Rat haben eine Vereinbarung über den Vorschlag ausgehandelt, über die das Parlament auf der März-I-Plenartagung in erster Lesung abstimmen soll.

Die Kommission hat einen Vorschlag für eine Richtlinie über unlautere Handelspraktiken angenommen, um die Stellung kleinerer Betriebe (Landwirte) in der Lebensmittelversorgungskette zu stärken. Das Parlament und der Rat haben eine Vereinbarung über den Vorschlag ausgehandelt, über die das Parlament auf der März-I-Plenartagung in erster Lesung abstimmen soll.

Empowering national competition authorities (NCAs)

18-02-2019

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In March 2017, the Commission proposed a new directive to ensure that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making tools, could impose deterrent fines, and have well-designed leniency programmes and enough resources ...

Since 2003, national competition authorities (NCAs) have boosted the enforcement of EU competition and antitrust rules significantly. However, each year losses of €181-320 billion accrue because of undiscovered cartels, which increase prices by between 17 % and 30 % on average. In March 2017, the Commission proposed a new directive to ensure that all NCAs have effective investigation and decision-making tools, could impose deterrent fines, and have well-designed leniency programmes and enough resources to enforce EU competition rules independently. On 30 May 2018, Parliament and Council reached an agreement on the proposal in trilogue. It increases the independence, resources and powers of NCAs and envisages more harmonisation of the national leniency programmes and reduced burdens on undertakings. Parliament adopted the text on 14 November 2018, the final act was signed on 11 December 2018. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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.

Modernisierung der handelspolitischen Schutzinstrumente

23-05-2018

Das Dumping und die Subventionierung von Einfuhren durch Drittländer sind unlautere Handelspraktiken, die dem Einfuhrland schwer schaden können. Gemäß WTO-Recht kann derlei Schäden entgegengewirkt werden, indem spezifische Zölle eingeführt werden, sogenannte handelspolitische Schutzinstrumente (TDI). Die TDI der EU sollen sich auch künftig dazu eignen, neue Herausforderungen im internationalen Handel – beispielsweise Verzerrungen der Rohstoffmärkte in den Ausfuhrländern – zu bewältigen. Deshalb hat ...

Das Dumping und die Subventionierung von Einfuhren durch Drittländer sind unlautere Handelspraktiken, die dem Einfuhrland schwer schaden können. Gemäß WTO-Recht kann derlei Schäden entgegengewirkt werden, indem spezifische Zölle eingeführt werden, sogenannte handelspolitische Schutzinstrumente (TDI). Die TDI der EU sollen sich auch künftig dazu eignen, neue Herausforderungen im internationalen Handel – beispielsweise Verzerrungen der Rohstoffmärkte in den Ausfuhrländern – zu bewältigen. Deshalb hat die Kommission vorgeschlagen, die Antidumpingverordnung und die Antisubventionsverordnung zu modernisieren. Das Europäische Parlament soll in der Mai-II-Plenartagung über die in den Trilogverhandlungen erzielte frühzeitige Einigung in zweiter Lesung abstimmen.

EYE event - Trade for all: Please fasten your seat belt

16-05-2018

Long-term economic trends have transformed the world trading scene and, as underlined by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address, new challenges make it essential to strengthen the European trade agenda. In line with the 'trade for all' strategy, EU trade policy follows four main objectives: concluding balanced trade agreements, implementing the agreements in force effectively, tackling unfair trade practices and promoting a sustainable approach to ...

Long-term economic trends have transformed the world trading scene and, as underlined by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker in his 2017 State of the Union address, new challenges make it essential to strengthen the European trade agenda. In line with the 'trade for all' strategy, EU trade policy follows four main objectives: concluding balanced trade agreements, implementing the agreements in force effectively, tackling unfair trade practices and promoting a sustainable approach to trade.

International procurement instrument

30-11-2017

Over the years, the EU has opened up its public procurement markets to third countries to a large degree, yet many of these countries have not granted the EU a similar privilege. This situation has been difficult to address through multilateral or bilateral trade negotiations alone. With this in mind, the European Commission proposed the creation of an international procurement instrument in 2012. The aim of this instrument is twofold: to improve the conditions under which EU businesses can compete ...

Over the years, the EU has opened up its public procurement markets to third countries to a large degree, yet many of these countries have not granted the EU a similar privilege. This situation has been difficult to address through multilateral or bilateral trade negotiations alone. With this in mind, the European Commission proposed the creation of an international procurement instrument in 2012. The aim of this instrument is twofold: to improve the conditions under which EU businesses can compete for public contracts in third countries and to give the EU more leverage when negotiating its access to foreign public procurement markets. To overcome a legislative deadlock on the 2012 proposal, in 2016 the Commission submitted an amended version that would enable it to open investigations into alleged discrimination against EU parties in foreign public procurement markets. If such practices were to be confirmed, the Commission would enter into consultations with the third country concerned to obtain reciprocal concessions on its procurement market. As a last resort, the Commission would be able to impose a price penalty on tenders originating in the third country concerned, giving EU and non-targeted countries' tenders a competitive advantage on EU procurement markets.

Safeguarding competition in air transport

20-11-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, adopted on 8 June 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN). The proposal intends to repeal Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 in order to 'ensure a fair level playing field between European and third country air carriers’ (IA, p. 44), ‘with a view to maintain conditions conducive to a high level of connectivity ...

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission's impact assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, adopted on 8 June 2017 and referred to Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN). The proposal intends to repeal Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 in order to 'ensure a fair level playing field between European and third country air carriers’ (IA, p. 44), ‘with a view to maintain conditions conducive to a high level of connectivity' (explanatory memorandum, p. 8). According to the IA, 'Regulation (EC) No 868/2004 intended to protect EU air carriers against objectively defined practices considered as "unfair" and "discriminatory", namely subsidisation and unfair pricing practices causing injury to EU carriers in the supply of air services to and from third countries' (IA, p. 34). However, for the reasons comprehensively outlined in the IA (pp. 34-36), the regulation 'has never been applied, and some of its features make it very unlikely that it will ever be (concretely) applied' (explanatory memorandum, p. 3). The proposal is part of the 'Open and Connected Aviation' package, which includes three other initiatives. The European Parliament has called for the revision of this regulation in a number of its resolutions, as it had proved inadequate and ineffective. The Council, in its conclusions adopted on 20 December 2012, called for a more ambitious and robust EU external aviation policy, based on the principles of reciprocity and open and fair competition in a level playing field. It considered that this regulation had proved itself unable to adequately address the specific characteristics of the aviation services sector and supported the Commission's intention to analyse possible options for a more effective instrument to safeguard open and fair competition. It also encouraged the Commission and Member States to 'use their bilateral and multilateral relations to actively support the establishment of a level playing field favouring open and fair competition in international air transport' (Recital 24, p. 4).

The EU's beekeeping sector

24-10-2017

Every year, the EU's 600 000 beekeepers and their 16 million beehives produce 200 000 tonnes of honey. This is not however sufficient to cover demand on the EU market, and the shortfall is made up by imports, above all from China. Threats to bee health and market competition make the economic viability of apiculture a critical matter. EU policies aim therefore to address these issues and promote beekeeping, an activity that is of vital importance to the environment.

Every year, the EU's 600 000 beekeepers and their 16 million beehives produce 200 000 tonnes of honey. This is not however sufficient to cover demand on the EU market, and the shortfall is made up by imports, above all from China. Threats to bee health and market competition make the economic viability of apiculture a critical matter. EU policies aim therefore to address these issues and promote beekeeping, an activity that is of vital importance to the environment.

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