171

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The rights of LGBTI people in the European Union

20-11-2020

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people persists throughout the EU and takes various forms, including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, ...

The prohibition of discrimination and the protection of human rights are important elements of the EU legal order. Nevertheless, discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people persists throughout the EU and takes various forms, including verbal abuse and physical violence. Sexual orientation is now recognised in EU law as grounds of discrimination. However, the scope of the provisions dealing with this issue is limited and does not cover social protection, healthcare, education or access to goods and services, leaving LGBTI people particularly vulnerable in these areas. Moreover, EU competence does not extend to recognition of marital or family status. In this area, national regulations vary, with some Member States offering same-sex couples the right to marry, others allowing alternative forms of registration, and yet others not providing any legal status for same-sex couples. Same-sex couples may or may not have the right to adopt children and to access assisted reproduction. These divergent legal statuses have implications, for instance, for partners from two Member States with different standards who want to formalise/legalise their relationship, or for same-sex couples and their families wishing to move to another Member State. Combating discrimination has become part of EU internal and external policies, and is the subject of numerous resolutions of the European Parliament. However, action in this area remains problematic when it touches on issues pertaining to areas traditionally the preserve of Member States, such as marital status and family law. This is a further updated version of a briefing originally drafted by Piotr Bakowski. The previous edition was published in May 2019.

Fair minimum wages in the EU - Pre-legislative synthesis of national, regional and local positions on the European Commission's initiative

26-10-2020

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multilevel governance. Based on EPRS analysis ...

This briefing forms part of an EPRS series offering syntheses of the pre-legislative state of play and consultation on key European Commission priorities during the current five-year term. It summarises the state of affairs in the relevant policy field, examines how existing policy is working on the ground, and, where possible, identifies best practice and ideas for the future on the part of governmental organisations at all levels of European system of multilevel governance. Based on EPRS analysis, partner organisations at European, national, regional and local levels point to the following main considerations that they consider should shape discussion of the forthcoming initiative on fair minimum wages for workers in the EU: • There are fears regarding the implications of the EU initiative for the respective national systems, with the various stakeholders suggesting a cautious approach as part of what could prove to be a long-term discussion. A complex differentiated approach with several safeguards, adapted to the respective systems in place, would appear to be key to avoiding an initiative with only minimal ambitions. • A broad consensus is observed regarding the need to reinforce the social partners; strengthening social dialogue and promoting collective bargaining should be used as an opportunity to explore ambitious measures in this area. • The unresolved debate on the effects of higher minimum wages on the economy and employment situation underlines the need for detailed and regular analysis, including by means of greater use of impact assessment tools. This would be valuable in order to prevent negative consequences and demonstrate the added value of EU action. • Some specific (complementary) instruments deserve to be considered, such as the country-specific recommendations of the European Semester and public procurement procedures.

Batteries Directive

01-10-2020

The EU should create a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry. The EU needs, therefore, a regulatory framework fit for purpose. However, this briefing shows that the design and implementation of the Batteries Directive, which is the main legal act regulating batteries and accumulators at EU level, suffer from deficiencies that makes it impossible for this piece of EU law to adequately respond to new policy challenges. Some of the most pertinent shortcomings of the directive relate ...

The EU should create a competitive and sustainable battery manufacturing industry. The EU needs, therefore, a regulatory framework fit for purpose. However, this briefing shows that the design and implementation of the Batteries Directive, which is the main legal act regulating batteries and accumulators at EU level, suffer from deficiencies that makes it impossible for this piece of EU law to adequately respond to new policy challenges. Some of the most pertinent shortcomings of the directive relate to its incapacity to incorporate technical innovation, problems with certain definitions, the performance of Member States as regards the collection of waste batteries, as well as the insufficient recovery of materials from used batteries. Therefore, the Commission has scheduled a revision of the legal framework.

European framework on ethical aspects of artificial intelligence, robotics and related technologies

28-09-2020

The EU can become a global standard-setter in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics. Common EU legislative action on ethical aspects of AI could boost the internal market and establish an important strategic advantage. While numerous public and private actors around the globe have produced ethical guidelines in this field, there is currently no comprehensive legal framework. The EU can profit from the absence of a competing global governance model and gain full 'first mover' advantages. ...

The EU can become a global standard-setter in the area of artificial intelligence (AI) ethics. Common EU legislative action on ethical aspects of AI could boost the internal market and establish an important strategic advantage. While numerous public and private actors around the globe have produced ethical guidelines in this field, there is currently no comprehensive legal framework. The EU can profit from the absence of a competing global governance model and gain full 'first mover' advantages. Building on the EU's economic and regulatory powers, common EU legislative action has great potential to provide European industry with a competitive edge. Furthermore, EU action can facilitate the adoption of EU standards globally and ensure that the development, uptake and diffusion of AI is based on the values, principles and rights protected in the EU. Those benefits cannot be achieved by actions of individual Member States. Thus, the success and benefits of EU action are contingent on the ability of the EU to take timely, common legislative action and to back this action up with strong democratic oversight, accountability and enforcement. The analyses of this European added value assessment suggest that a common EU framework on ethics has the potential to bring the European Union €294.9 billion in additional GDP and 4.6 million additional jobs by 2030.

Artificial intelligence: From ethics to policy

24-06-2020

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will revolutionise public services. However, the power for positive change that AI provides simultaneously has a potential for negative impacts on society. AI ethics work to uncover the variety of ethical issues resulting from the design, development, and deployment of AI. The question at the centre of all current work in AI ethics is: 'How can we move from AI ethics to specific policy and legislation for governing ...

There is little doubt that artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) will revolutionise public services. However, the power for positive change that AI provides simultaneously has a potential for negative impacts on society. AI ethics work to uncover the variety of ethical issues resulting from the design, development, and deployment of AI. The question at the centre of all current work in AI ethics is: 'How can we move from AI ethics to specific policy and legislation for governing AI?' Based on a framing of 'AI as a social experiment', this study arrives at policy options for public administrations and governmental organisations who are looking to deploy AI/ML solutions, as well as the private companies who are creating AI/ML solutions for use in the public arena. The reasons for targeting this application sector concern: the need for a high standard of transparency, respect for democratic values, and legitimacy. The policy options presented here chart a path towards accountability; procedures and decisions of an ethical nature are systematically logged prior to the deployment of an AI system. This logging is the first step in allowing ethics to play a crucial role in the implementation of AI for the public good.

Vanjski autor

DG, EPRS_This study has been written by Dr Aimee van Wynsberghe of Delft University of Technology and co-director of the Foundation for Responsible Robotics 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.

Common minimum standards of civil procedure: European Added Value Assessment

28-11-2019

The European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) estimates whether and to what extent adoption of EU minimum standards of civil procedure could generate European added value. The European added value is quantified as a percentage reduction of the total cost of civil procedure. The total cost of civil procedure is estimated based on data on the number of civil and commercial proceedings in the EU-28 and the cost of litigation in the Member States. Based on this analysis, the EAVA estimates that introducing ...

The European Added Value Assessment (EAVA) estimates whether and to what extent adoption of EU minimum standards of civil procedure could generate European added value. The European added value is quantified as a percentage reduction of the total cost of civil procedure. The total cost of civil procedure is estimated based on data on the number of civil and commercial proceedings in the EU-28 and the cost of litigation in the Member States. Based on this analysis, the EAVA estimates that introducing EU common minimum standards of civil procedure could reduce annual costs for citizens and businesses in the European Union by as much as €4.7 to 7.9 billion per annum. The European added value could be potentially generated through reduction of fragmentation, simplification and filling gaps in the current EU procedural rules. Furthermore, EU common minimum standards would contribute towards building mutual trust between judicial authorities of different Member States. Increasing trust has the potential to enhance legal certainty and stability for citizens and businesses, further reduce uncertainty and delay costs.

Regulating working conditions - EU employment law outlook and challenges

16-09-2019

The note highlights the main features of European labour and employment law, analyses the gaps in current competences and legislation and looks at the challenges for labour law in the future.

The note highlights the main features of European labour and employment law, analyses the gaps in current competences and legislation and looks at the challenges for labour law in the future.

Vanjski autor

Frank Hendrickx

Strengthening market surveillance of harmonised industrial products

29-07-2019

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, in 2017 the Commission proposed to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement ...

Harmonised products represent 69 % of the overall value of industrial products in the internal market. However, a significant part of these products does not comply with harmonised EU rules. This has negative effects on the health and safety of consumers, and on fair competition between businesses. To remedy the situation, in 2017 the Commission proposed to strengthen market surveillance rules for non-food products harmonised by EU legislation. Parliament and Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal in February 2019. The new regulation was signed on 20 June and published in the Official Journal on 25 June 2019, applying in full from July 2021. It aims to increase EU-level coordination of market surveillance and clarify the procedures for the mutual assistance mechanism. Non-EU manufacturers of products that could cause an elevated level of risk to public interest will have to designate an importer, an authorised representative or a fulfilment service provider established in the EU. Fifth edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Cross-border distribution of investment funds

29-07-2019

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission put forward two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning ...

Investment funds are products created to pool investors' capital and to invest it in a collective portfolio of securities. The characteristics of a range of different types of investment funds have been established in Union law, and most funds on the market are categorised as one of these types. The market in the EU is smaller than in the United States, despite there being far more funds in the EU. This is why the European Commission put forward two legislative proposals: one for a regulation aligning national requirements for marketing funds and regulatory fees and harmonising the process and requirements for the verification of marketing material by national competent authorities, and the other for a directive harmonising the conditions under which investment funds may exit a national market and allowing European asset managers to engage in pre-marketing activities. Parliament and Council approved the texts agreed in trilogue on 16 April and 14 June 2019 respectively. The final acts were published on 12 July 2019. The directive’s provisions shall apply from 2 August 2021, and the regulation’s from August 2019, with some exceptions. Third edition. The 'EU Legislation in Progress' briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Consumer sale of goods

15-07-2019

The European Commission proposed a new directive on the consumer sale of goods in 2015, with the aim to lay down rules on online and other distance sales of goods. This was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended proposal, which sought to replace entirely the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999, and regulate contracts concluded both online and offline. The new directive was agreed in January 2019 after trilogue negotiations between Parliament and Council, and then adopted by the ...

The European Commission proposed a new directive on the consumer sale of goods in 2015, with the aim to lay down rules on online and other distance sales of goods. This was replaced on 31 October 2017 by an amended proposal, which sought to replace entirely the existing Consumer Sales Directive dating from 1999, and regulate contracts concluded both online and offline. The new directive was agreed in January 2019 after trilogue negotiations between Parliament and Council, and then adopted by the two institutions in March and April respectively. Signed in May 2019, it will allow Member States to decide on a legal guarantee of longer than two years and extend the period during which it is presumed that the goods were faulty from the start. It entered into force on 11 June 2019 and Member States have to apply it from 1 January 2022. Fifth edition, based on a briefing originally drafted by Rafał Mańko. 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 635.594 (March 2019).

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