59

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Single market information tool (SMIT)

30-09-2020

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes ...

Competition and consumer protection in the single market are often undermined by price discrimination based on residency. While many market players do not cooperate with the Commission, for instance not disclosing their pricing structure, Member States often do not have the means or the tools to collect and deliver the required information to the Commission. The SMIT proposal would provide the Commission with powers such as to request business-related information (e.g. cost structure or product volumes sold), and to address market failures in a more efficient way. The SMIT, however, has raised some criticism in the Council and EP, inter alia, because of the Commission’s choice of the legal basis for the proposal. Parliament’s Legal Service stated in an opinion that the correct legal basis for the Commission proposal is Article 337 TFEU: a legal basis which gives no legislative role for the EP. On 12 July 2018, the IMCO committee adopted a report which would amend the proposal’s legal basis. The JURI committee subsequently adopted an opinion stating that the Commission proposal goes beyond the powers available under the proposed revised legal basis. The report was initially due to be voted in plenary in October 2018, but was taken off the agenda. As the parliamentary term has concluded, the report has now lapsed. The European Commission withdrew this legislative proposal on 29 September 2020. The procedure has thus ended.

Access to the occupation of road transport operator and to the international road haulage market

07-07-2020

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of ...

The regulations on admission to the occupation of road transport operator and on access to the international road transport market have been contributing to the functioning of EU road transport and fairer competition between resident and non-resident hauliers since December 2011. Despite the improvements they have brought to the sector, persistent shortcomings such as diverging national application of the rules and uneven enforcement called for a revision of both acts. On 31 May 2017, as part of a 'mobility package', the European Commission adopted a new proposal to address the main shortcomings affecting the sector, and improve its competitiveness and efficiency. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debates and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on this proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and the TRAN committee recommended on 8 June that Parliament approve it at second reading. The agreed text is thus due to be voted in plenary in July at second reading. If adopted, this would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Enforcement and special provisions for posted workers

07-07-2020

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The present proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings ...

The EU has established a range of social measures applicable to the road transport sector, which aim at improving drivers' working conditions, road safety and competition. To give real substance to these measures, compliance is key. The 2006 Enforcement Directive was therefore adopted to effectively implement the social provisions of the Driving Time Regulation. The present proposal, published in the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' initiative, seeks to remedy some shortcomings of the Enforcement Directive, such as non-uniform implementation. Additionally, it puts forward specific rules on the posting of workers in the road sector, to respond to concerns raised regarding the inadequacy of the Posting of Workers Directive, when applied to the road transport sector. The European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report in June 2018. After further debates and procedural developments, the Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council agreed a general approach in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four rounds of negotiations, Parliament and Council reached provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, subsequently approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and on 8 June the TRAN committee recommended Parliament approve it at second reading. The agreed text thus returns to plenary in July for a final vote at second reading. Its adoption would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Road transport: Driving, breaks, rest times and tachographs

07-07-2020

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the present proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation ...

The Driving Time and Tachograph Regulations were adopted to improve drivers' working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules, and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission's 2017 'Europe on the move' package, the present proposal aims to remedy the shortcomings of these regulations, on which a broad consensus has emerged: lack of clarity, non-uniform implementation, insufficient enforcement and a need for strengthened cooperation between Member States and authorities. In June 2018, Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) adopted its report. After further debate and procedural developments, Parliament adopted its first-reading position on 4 April 2019. The Council, on its side, reached a general approach on the proposal in December 2018, under the Austrian Presidency. After four negotiating rounds, the Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the proposal on 12 December 2019, which was approved by Coreper on 20 December. The Council formally adopted its first-reading position on 7 April 2020, and on 8 June the TRAN committee recommended approving it at second reading. The agreed text thus now returns to plenary for a vote at second reading in July. If adopted, this would put an end to three years of debate on a complex and controversial proposal. Sixth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Revision of the Eurovignette Directive

13-03-2020

The Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a directive amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (known as the Eurovignette Directive) in May 2017. The initiative is linked to two wider strategies, the energy union strategy, which inter alia envisaged a road transport package, including more efficient infrastructure pricing, and the Commission's strategy for low-emission mobility. The proposal was presented within the context ...

The Commission adopted a legislative proposal for a directive amending Directive 1999/62/EC on the charging of heavy goods vehicles for the use of certain infrastructures (known as the Eurovignette Directive) in May 2017. The initiative is linked to two wider strategies, the energy union strategy, which inter alia envisaged a road transport package, including more efficient infrastructure pricing, and the Commission's strategy for low-emission mobility. The proposal was presented within the context of the Commission's 'Europe on the move' package that seeks to modernise mobility and transport and includes several legislative proposals. The objective of the Eurovignette proposal, which substantially amends the existing legislation by extending the scope of vehicles covered, is to make progress in the application of the 'polluter pays' and 'user pays' principles. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Review of the Clean Vehicles Directive

30-08-2019

In November 2017, the European Commission proposed a revision of Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (the Clean Vehicles Directive), after an evaluation showed that the directive had yielded limited results. The proposed directive aims to promote clean mobility solutions in public procurement tenders and thereby raise the demand for, and the further deployment of, clean vehicles. The proposal provides a definition for clean light-duty vehicles ...

In November 2017, the European Commission proposed a revision of Directive 2009/33/EC on the promotion of clean and energy-efficient road transport vehicles (the Clean Vehicles Directive), after an evaluation showed that the directive had yielded limited results. The proposed directive aims to promote clean mobility solutions in public procurement tenders and thereby raise the demand for, and the further deployment of, clean vehicles. The proposal provides a definition for clean light-duty vehicles based on a combined CO2 and air-pollutant emissions threshold; for heavy-duty vehicles, it gives a definition based on alternative fuels. The proposal is in line with the European Commission's energy union package, which plans action on the further decarbonisation of road transport in line with the 2030 climate and energy targets. The proposal was referred to the European Parliament's Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI). A trilogue agreement was reached on 11 February 2019. The Parliament adopted the text in the April II 2019 plenary session and the Council on 13 June. The Directive was published in the Official Journal on 12 July 2019. Member States must transpose it into national law by 2 August 2021. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Limits on exposure to carcinogens and mutagens at work: Third proposal

30-08-2019

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three ...

The European Commission has proposed to amend Directive 2004/37/EC by expanding its scope and by including and/or revising occupational exposure limit values for a number of cancer- or mutation-causing substances. The initiative is proceeding in steps. The first proposal of May 2016 covered 13 priority chemical agents, the second, of January 2017, a further seven. The current (third) proposal addresses an additional five. Broad discussions with scientists and the social partners fed into all three proposals. Reacting to the Commission's set of measures as a whole, trade unions have acknowledged the importance of further improving the existing framework. Actors on the employers' side have underlined the need to ensure that values are proportionate and feasible in terms of technical implementation. After adoption by the Parliament and Council, in March and May respectively, based on a text agreed in trilogue in January 2019, the final act was signed by the presidents of the co-legislators on 5 June 2019. Directive (EU) 2019/983 entered into force on 10 July 2019 and is to be transposed into national law within two years, by 11 July 2021. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP)

26-08-2019

Europe's population is ageing, due to people living longer and having fewer children, putting pressure on pension systems and leading to reforms to make public pensions more sustainable – and often less generous – in future. To support retirement incomes, the European Commission's 2012 pensions white paper called for more opportunities for citizens to save in safe and good-value complementary pensions. The aim of the proposed framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) was to encourage ...

Europe's population is ageing, due to people living longer and having fewer children, putting pressure on pension systems and leading to reforms to make public pensions more sustainable – and often less generous – in future. To support retirement incomes, the European Commission's 2012 pensions white paper called for more opportunities for citizens to save in safe and good-value complementary pensions. The aim of the proposed framework for a pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) was to encourage the development of personal (voluntary, individually funded) pensions in Europe, to support retirement saving and strengthen the single market for capital by making more funds available for investment. Generally the proposal was considered a welcome extra option to support retirement savings and investment. However differing national pension systems and tax treatments were noted as challenges, although the Commission also issued an accompanying tax recommendation. Following trilogue negotiations, an agreement was reached on the legislative proposal. It was subsequently approved by the Parliament on 4 April 2019 and by the Council on 14 June 2019. The final act was signed on 20 June 2019. Third edition of a briefing originally drafted by David Eatock. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

ENISA and a new cybersecurity act

05-07-2019

In September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with new initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. As part of these, the Commission tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA). Following the adoption of the Network Information Security Directive in 2016, ENISA is expected to play a broader role in the EU's cybersecurity landscape but is constrained by its current mandate and resources. The Commission ...

In September 2017, the Commission adopted a cybersecurity package with new initiatives to further improve EU cyber-resilience, deterrence and defence. As part of these, the Commission tabled a legislative proposal to strengthen the EU Agency for Network Information Security (ENISA). Following the adoption of the Network Information Security Directive in 2016, ENISA is expected to play a broader role in the EU's cybersecurity landscape but is constrained by its current mandate and resources. The Commission presented an ambitious reform proposal, including a permanent mandate for the agency, to ensure that ENISA can not only provide expert advice, as has been the case until now, but can also perform operational tasks. The proposal also envisaged the creation of the first voluntary EU cybersecurity certification framework for ICT products, where ENISA will also play an important role. Within the European Parliament, the Industry, Research and Energy Committee adopted its report on 10 July 2018. An agreement was reached with the Council during the fifth trilogue meeting, on 10 December 2018. The text was adopted by the European Parliament on 12 March and by the Council on 9 April 2019. The new regulation came into force on 27 June 2019. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. Please note this document has been designed for on-line viewing.

Regulating imports of cultural goods

28-06-2019

Until now, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there has been no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from non-EU countries entering the EU. By ensuring that these imports are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the new regulation aims to prevent the introduction, import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illegally removed from a third country, thereby protecting cultural heritage and combatting illegal trade, in particular where ...

Until now, with the exception of two specific measures for Iraq and Syria, there has been no EU legislation covering the import of cultural goods from non-EU countries entering the EU. By ensuring that these imports are subject to uniform controls along all EU external borders, the new regulation aims to prevent the introduction, import and storage in the EU of cultural goods illegally removed from a third country, thereby protecting cultural heritage and combatting illegal trade, in particular where it may serve as an income source for terrorist groups. Both Parliament and Council agreed positions on the Commission’ proposal in autumn 2018, and reached an agreement in trilogue negotiations in December that year. Adopted by both institutions in spring 2019, the new regulation lays down the conditions for the introduction, as well as the conditions and procedures for the import, of cultural goods from third countries. The regulation does not apply to cultural goods that have been created or discovered in the EU. To focus the measures established by the regulation on the goods considered most at risk of pillage in conflict areas and to avoid a disproportionate burden for licit trade, the new legislative act introduces age and value thresholds for certain goods categories. The regulation will apply at the latest six years after it comes into force, i.e. from June 2025. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

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