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Consumer sale of goods

12-03-2018

On 22 February 2018, the European Parliament's Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on the Commission proposal for a new directive on the consumer sale of goods. The Commission's original proposal, dating from 2015, was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended one which intends to replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999 entirely, instead of regulating only online and other distance contracts as had originally been planned. By ...

On 22 February 2018, the European Parliament's Committee for the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) adopted its report on the Commission proposal for a new directive on the consumer sale of goods. The Commission's original proposal, dating from 2015, was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended one which intends to replace the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999 entirely, instead of regulating only online and other distance contracts as had originally been planned. By contrast to the 1999 Consumer Sales Directive, the Commission's proposal would introduce a maximum-harmonisation approach, meaning that EU Member States could no longer introduce a higher level of consumer protection than set in the directive. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure. To view previous versions of this briefing, please see: PE 599.286 (February 2017).

The impact of new technologies on the labour market and the social economy

01-03-2018

This STOA study investigates the potential employment effects of new information and communication technologies, by examining the relationship between innovation, new technologies, employment and inequality. It reviews the existing literature and experiences of previous technological revolutions, and argues that the race between job creation through new products, and job destruction from process innovation, has been won in the past by the job-creating effects of innovation. It concludes that there ...

This STOA study investigates the potential employment effects of new information and communication technologies, by examining the relationship between innovation, new technologies, employment and inequality. It reviews the existing literature and experiences of previous technological revolutions, and argues that the race between job creation through new products, and job destruction from process innovation, has been won in the past by the job-creating effects of innovation. It concludes that there is an uneven distribution in the costs of digitalisation, because of the skills-biased nature of technological change - so the challenge of the future lies in coping with rising inequality from technological change. The study also proposes a set of policy options for dealing with the employment effects of digitalisation.

Parlamendiväline autor

EPRS, DG

Achieving a sovereign and trustworthy ICT industry in the EU

20-12-2017

This study attempts to identify and assess policy options for the EU to achieve cyber-resilience, and to develop capabilities, and industrial and technological resources for a trustworthy EU cyberspace, with a view also to promoting core values, such as online privacy protection. The findings could form the basis for an assessment of alternative measures to improve the resilience of the European ICT industry and the EU's strategic decision-making capacity, and enhance the resilience of critical information ...

This study attempts to identify and assess policy options for the EU to achieve cyber-resilience, and to develop capabilities, and industrial and technological resources for a trustworthy EU cyberspace, with a view also to promoting core values, such as online privacy protection. The findings could form the basis for an assessment of alternative measures to improve the resilience of the European ICT industry and the EU's strategic decision-making capacity, and enhance the resilience of critical information technology networks. The study further reviews the current state of reciprocity between search engine services and individual customers. The ultimate aim of this study is to develop concrete policy options to be considered by EU institutions and Member States – and potentially to be used as background by EP committees for their legislative and own-initiative reports.

Parlamendiväline autor

EPRS, DG

Disinformation, 'fake news' and the EU's response

20-11-2017

The impact of the online spread of mis- and disinformation – including false news posing as factual stories – became increasingly visible in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, and gained notoriety as a global challenge during the 2016 United States presidential election campaign. Ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU is now stepping up its efforts to tackle 'fake news'. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in April 2017: PE 599.384.

The impact of the online spread of mis- and disinformation – including false news posing as factual stories – became increasingly visible in the context of the crisis in Ukraine, and gained notoriety as a global challenge during the 2016 United States presidential election campaign. Ahead of the European elections in 2019, the EU is now stepping up its efforts to tackle 'fake news'. This is a further updated version of an 'at a glance' note published in April 2017: PE 599.384.

Current and Emerging Trends in Disruptive Technologies: Implications for the Present and Future of EU’s Trade Policy

20-09-2017

Digital technologies, taken as a broad generic category of technological inventions and applications, fall under a rare kind of ‘disruptive technologies’ that can radically change existing economic sectors, enable new modes of work, production and consumption and trigger broader societal transformations. To make apt policy decisions, there is a distinct need to understand what these technologies and their effects actually are and how they may develop over time. This study attends to this need in ...

Digital technologies, taken as a broad generic category of technological inventions and applications, fall under a rare kind of ‘disruptive technologies’ that can radically change existing economic sectors, enable new modes of work, production and consumption and trigger broader societal transformations. To make apt policy decisions, there is a distinct need to understand what these technologies and their effects actually are and how they may develop over time. This study attends to this need in particular with regard to the implications of digital technologies for EU’s external trade policies. It accentuates the critical importance of data and cross-border data flows for the emergent digital economy and underscores the need to appropriately address them with a calibrated and more proactive positioning of the EU in international trade venues.

Online and other distance sales of goods

14-07-2017

This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection as part of the Parliament’s general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular in undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this ex-ante impact assessment is to evaluate two substantial amendments being proposed to the Commission proposal for ...

This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee for Internal Market and Consumer Protection as part of the Parliament’s general commitment to improving the quality of EU legislation, and in particular in undertaking to carry out impact assessments of its own substantial amendments when it considers it appropriate and necessary for the legislative process. The aim of this ex-ante impact assessment is to evaluate two substantial amendments being proposed to the Commission proposal for a directive on certain aspects concerning contracts for the online and other distance sales of goods. The amendments would extend the scope of the proposed directive to any sale contract concluded between the consumer and the seller, and would repeal the Consumer Sales Directive. The findings of the study indicate that the harmonisation of rules across Member States and sales channels would reduce the fragmentation of the legal framework and enhance the clarity and transparency of applicable rules to the benefit of both consumers and businesses. Most importantly, one single regime for online and face-to-face transactions could contribute to increased consumers’ and traders’ awareness and confidence in purchasing/selling online and offline, domestically and across borders. There would be a general increase in consumer protection throughout the EU, with the exception of some Member States where consumers’ rights would be weakened. This could, however, translate into increased costs for businesses in relation to remedies provided to consumers. The importance of having a single regime for online and offline sales has been strongly supported by all stakeholders consulted for this study. Nonetheless, consumer and business organisations have different views with regard to the aspects of consumer protection under examination. Finding a balance between the interests of consumers and businesses remains, thus, crucial.

What if technology helped society become more inclusive?

28-06-2017

There are already many ‘assistive technologies’ available, which can help people with disabilities participate more fully in society. More advanced assistive technologies are under development, but is technology the key to a more inclusive society?

There are already many ‘assistive technologies’ available, which can help people with disabilities participate more fully in society. More advanced assistive technologies are under development, but is technology the key to a more inclusive society?

What if your personal health tracker could save your life?

09-06-2017

Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone?

Through advances in technology, big data has become a major asset and can open up numerous opportunities in all areas, but how can we use this in the context of health care and ensure it benefits everyone?

Contracts for the supply of digital content and personal data protection

15-05-2017

The proposed directive on the supply of digital content is intended to regulate the main contractual rights and duties of parties to contracts for the supply of digital content and services, and create a harmonised legal framework for digital content to benefit both consumers and businesses. It covers not only contracts where digital content or services are provided in exchange for money, but also those where the consumer provides personal or other data in lieu of money to gain access to digital ...

The proposed directive on the supply of digital content is intended to regulate the main contractual rights and duties of parties to contracts for the supply of digital content and services, and create a harmonised legal framework for digital content to benefit both consumers and businesses. It covers not only contracts where digital content or services are provided in exchange for money, but also those where the consumer provides personal or other data in lieu of money to gain access to digital content or services. The interplay between this proposed private law instrument and the existing public law rules on data protection (notably the recently adopted General Data Protection Regulation) have been the subject of some debate. The European Data Protection Supervisor's recent opinion was critical of the proposal, arguing that, in the EU, personal data 'cannot be conceived as a mere economic asset' and cannot therefore be treated as the consumer's contractual counter-performance in lieu of money. The draft report prepared by the co-rapporteurs in Parliament includes those contracts in which consumers do not pay a price (but potentially provide data) within the scope of the proposal. It eliminates however the notion of personal data as a form of contractual 'counter-performance'. The co-legislators are now facing the challenging task of reconciling the fundamental rights approach with the requirements of economic reality, including the need to grant legal protection to consumers who provide their data in order to access digital content or services.

What if blockchain changed social values?

10-05-2017

Blockchain technology could shake up many aspects of our daily lives, from the currency we use to the purchases we make. But what is the impact on our social values, and what can policy-makers do about it?

Blockchain technology could shake up many aspects of our daily lives, from the currency we use to the purchases we make. But what is the impact on our social values, and what can policy-makers do about it?

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