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Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

12-07-2021

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September ...

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these issues and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on this proposal on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the text. On 29 April 2021, the European Parliament voted in favour of the agreed text as adopted by the Council. The new rules were published in the Official Journal of the EU on 17 May 2021. They will apply in principle to all international and domestic rail journeys and services in the EU from 7 June 2023. However, Member States may exempt domestic rail services for a limited time. Seventh edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Mercado único, competitividad de las empresas y estadísticas europeas 2021-2027

21-04-2021

En 2018, en el contexto del nuevo marco financiero plurianual (MFP) para 2021-2027, la Comisión presentó una propuesta de programa destinado a mejorar el funcionamiento del mercado único, estimular la competitividad de las empresas, en particular de las pequeñas y medianas empresas (pymes) y garantizar la producción de estadísticas de alta calidad en todos los ámbitos políticos de la Unión. Tras un acuerdo temprano en segunda lectura alcanzado el 8 de diciembre de 2020, se espera que el Parlamento ...

En 2018, en el contexto del nuevo marco financiero plurianual (MFP) para 2021-2027, la Comisión presentó una propuesta de programa destinado a mejorar el funcionamiento del mercado único, estimular la competitividad de las empresas, en particular de las pequeñas y medianas empresas (pymes) y garantizar la producción de estadísticas de alta calidad en todos los ámbitos políticos de la Unión. Tras un acuerdo temprano en segunda lectura alcanzado el 8 de diciembre de 2020, se espera que el Parlamento apruebe formalmente el texto en segunda lectura en abril, concluyendo así el procedimiento legislativo.

Digital Services Act

30-03-2021

The IA underpinning the proposal for a Digital services act contains a lot of valuable information and is based on solid sources and broad consultations. However, the analysis could have been more coherent in its problem definition and more specific regarding the practical implementation of the assessed three broad option packages in addition to the status quo. It could have been also more transparent, precise and complete regarding the data and methods used for the analysis, and regarding the quantitative ...

The IA underpinning the proposal for a Digital services act contains a lot of valuable information and is based on solid sources and broad consultations. However, the analysis could have been more coherent in its problem definition and more specific regarding the practical implementation of the assessed three broad option packages in addition to the status quo. It could have been also more transparent, precise and complete regarding the data and methods used for the analysis, and regarding the quantitative estimates (namely in relation to SMEs). Some important information, for instance on liability rules or other elements of digital services, would have been useful in the main text instead of the annexes.

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.

Updating the Crypto Assets Regulation and establishing a pilot regime for distributed ledger technology

03-03-2021

The markets in crypto assets (MiCA) proposal intends to adapt to the latest technological trends in the FinTech sector. The briefing analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the MiCA and DLT proposals. The IA is quite technical and difficult to read for a non-expert. The policy options were compared against the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and coherence, but not against proportionality, which is required by the better regulation guidelines. The preferred ...

The markets in crypto assets (MiCA) proposal intends to adapt to the latest technological trends in the FinTech sector. The briefing analyses the strengths and weaknesses of the impact assessment (IA) accompanying the MiCA and DLT proposals. The IA is quite technical and difficult to read for a non-expert. The policy options were compared against the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency and coherence, but not against proportionality, which is required by the better regulation guidelines. The preferred option is a mix of various options, and one of the preferred options is transferred into another, new legislative proposal, i.e., on the DLT. The IA foresees cost reduction for business due to the use of DLT, which saves costs compared to the traditional trading activities, with new entrants facing one-off costs similar to multilateral trading facilities (MTFs).

Digital services act

03-03-2021

The rules governing the provision of digital services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive ...

The rules governing the provision of digital services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive and set higher standards of transparency and accountability to govern the way platform service providers moderate content, on advertising and on algorithmic processes. Parliament has already voiced strong support for revision of the EU rules applicable to online actors. EU lawmakers will now assess whether the Commission's proposal is an appropriate response to the challenges identified and will work towards defining Parliament's own position on the proposal, which is the first step in the EU's interinstitutional legislative process.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market (At A Glance - Study In Focus)

01-03-2021

This At A Glance summarises the key findings of the original study, which assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality ...

This At A Glance summarises the key findings of the original study, which assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Autor externo

J. Scott MARCUS et al.

Roaming Regulation: EU Digital Single Market policy

15-02-2021

The Roaming Regulation established the ‘Roam-Like-At-Home’ (RLAH) rule that mandated the end of retail roaming charges as of 15 June 2017 in the EU. The Regulation will be in force until 30 June 2022. In 2021, the European Commission would review the Regulation, assessing its effects and the need to prolong it. The analysis of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) shows that a regulatory intervention is still necessary to ensure the EU citizens can continue to benefit ...

The Roaming Regulation established the ‘Roam-Like-At-Home’ (RLAH) rule that mandated the end of retail roaming charges as of 15 June 2017 in the EU. The Regulation will be in force until 30 June 2022. In 2021, the European Commission would review the Regulation, assessing its effects and the need to prolong it. The analysis of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) shows that a regulatory intervention is still necessary to ensure the EU citizens can continue to benefit of the RLAH rule.

Recalls of sesame seed products due to pesticide residues

03-02-2021

In September 2020, Belgium initiated a notification in the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) concerning residues of an unauthorised substance called ethylene oxide (EO) in various lots of sesame seeds from India. This triggered a chain of enforced testing and controls, leading to withdrawals and recalls of significant amounts of products in many EU Member States, including products such as hummus, bread, and sauces containing sesame. Both conventional and organic products are concerned ...

In September 2020, Belgium initiated a notification in the EU Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed (RASFF) concerning residues of an unauthorised substance called ethylene oxide (EO) in various lots of sesame seeds from India. This triggered a chain of enforced testing and controls, leading to withdrawals and recalls of significant amounts of products in many EU Member States, including products such as hummus, bread, and sauces containing sesame. Both conventional and organic products are concerned. A possible explanation according to scientists could be that ethylene oxide has been used for fumigating sesame seeds, to eradicate contamination with salmonella.

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