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EU policies – Delivering for citizens: Protecting European consumers

28-06-2019

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of ...

Consumer protection rules have been improving the rights of consumers in the European Union since the 1970s. While the level of protection is today considered to be among the highest in the world, consumers in the EU are still faced with a number of issues. According to the latest available data, in 2016 one in five consumers said that they had had a reason to complain in the last 12 months, a level which has remained largely unchanged since 2008. Since 2014, efforts have been made in a number of areas, including stronger cross-border cooperation between national authorities in charge of consumer protection and market surveillance. Notably, the Commission proposed a 'new deal for consumers' in April 2018, to enable representative legal actions for the protection of the collective interests of consumers and to modernise EU consumer protection rules. Sector-specific efforts included: eliminating roaming charges across the EU in 2017; legislation aimed at facilitating consumer participation in the digital single market; reforms on the rules on privacy and data protection; enhancing the rights of energy consumers and passengers; and efforts to address the 'dual quality' of branded food products. The EU budget for consumer protection is relatively small, because although rules in this field are made at the EU level, their implementation and enforcement are carried out by the Member States. The consumer programme has a budget of €188 million for the 2013-2020 period, or roughly €0.05 per citizen per year. This may change in the new multiannual financial framework, as consumer protection becomes part of a wider single market programme, which is expected to create synergies between its various components. Future policies could focus on longer product lifetime, labelling and quality requirements for non-agricultural and industrial products, fairer food labelling and retail financial services. This is an update of an earlier briefing issued in advance of the 2019 European elections.

CO2 standards for new cars and vans

28-05-2019

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on reducing CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (vans). The proposed measures and targets are aligned with the 2030 climate and energy framework and with the energy union strategy, which envisages a reduction in transport emissions and energy consumption. The Commission sets new targets for the EU fleetwide average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars and vans. Average CO2 emissions from new ...

In November 2017, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a regulation on reducing CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and light commercial vehicles (vans). The proposed measures and targets are aligned with the 2030 climate and energy framework and with the energy union strategy, which envisages a reduction in transport emissions and energy consumption. The Commission sets new targets for the EU fleetwide average CO2 emissions of new passenger cars and vans. Average CO2 emissions from new passenger cars and vans registered in the EU would have to be 15 % lower in 2025, and 30 % lower in 2030, compared to their respective limits in 2021. The proposal includes a dedicated incentive mechanism for zero- and low-emission vehicles, in order to accelerate their market uptake. Interinstitutional trilogue negotiations concluded in December with an agreement setting a 37.5 % CO2 reduction target for new cars by 2030, and a 31 % target for new vans. Parliament approved the agreed text on 27 March 2019. The regulation was published in the Official Journal on 25 April 2019. It entered into force on 15 May 2019 and will apply from 1 January 2020. Fourth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

General safety of vehicles and protection of vulnerable road users

11-04-2019

As part of the third 'Europe on the move' package of measures, on 27 May 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. The regulation is part of the EU's efforts to halve the number of fatal and serious injuries in road crashes between 2020 and 2030. It would introduce a number of advanced vehicle safety features ...

As part of the third 'Europe on the move' package of measures, on 27 May 2018, the European Commission presented a proposal for a regulation on type-approval requirements for motor vehicles and their trailers, as regards their general safety and the protection of vehicle occupants and vulnerable road users. The regulation is part of the EU's efforts to halve the number of fatal and serious injuries in road crashes between 2020 and 2030. It would introduce a number of advanced vehicle safety features that passenger cars, vans, buses and trucks would have to have as standard equipment in order to be sold on the internal market. It would replace three current type-approval regulations: the General Vehicle Safety Regulation, the Pedestrian Protection Regulation and the Hydrogen-Powered Motor Vehicles Regulation. In March 2019, the European Parliament and the Council reached a provisional agreement on the proposal, that clarifies exact requirements for different safety features and brings forward the deadlines for their mandatory instalment in vehicles. Parliament is expected to vote on it during the April II plenary session.

Review of the Clean Vehicles Directive

10-04-2019

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). The committee adopted its report on 10 October 2018. The Parliament then voted on the report during the October II 2018 plenary session. A trilogue agreement was reached on 11 February 2019. The Parliament is expected to vote on the agreed text during the April II session. Third edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

New EU rules on labelling of tyres

21-03-2019

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The proposed regulation would increase consumer awareness of the tyre label and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display ...

On 17 May 2018, the European Commission adopted a proposal for a new regulation on the labelling of tyres for the purposes of fuel efficiency, safety, and noise reduction. This would replace the 2009 Tyre Labelling Regulation (TLR), while maintaining and reinforcing most of its key provisions. The proposed regulation would increase consumer awareness of the tyre label and improve market surveillance and enforcement of TLR provisions across the EU Member States. Suppliers would be obliged to display the tyre label in all forms of purchase, including where the tyre is not physically shown in the store and where it is sold online or on a long-distance basis. Whereas the tyre label is currently applicable to passenger and light-duty vehicles, in future it would also apply to heavy-duty vehicles. The new label would include visual information on tyre performance in snow or ice conditions, and could be adjusted by means of delegated acts to include information on mileage, abrasion or re-studded tyres. From 2020, all tyre labels would be included in the product registration database being set up as part of the revised EU framework for energy efficiency labelling. Whereas the Council finalised its position on 4 March 2019, the Parliament is expected to vote on its first-reading position, on the basis of the ITRE committee’s report, during the March II plenary session.

Common rules for the internal electricity market

14-03-2019

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a recast directive on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package entitled ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’. The proposed directive would oblige Member States to ensure a more competitive, customer-centred, flexible and non-discriminatory EU electricity market with market-based supply prices. It would strengthen existing customer rights, introduce new ones and provide a framework ...

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal for a recast directive on the internal market for electricity, as part of a comprehensive legislative package entitled ‘Clean Energy for all Europeans’. The proposed directive would oblige Member States to ensure a more competitive, customer-centred, flexible and non-discriminatory EU electricity market with market-based supply prices. It would strengthen existing customer rights, introduce new ones and provide a framework for energy communities. Member States would have to monitor and address energy poverty. The proposal clarifies the tasks of distribution system operators and emphasises the obligation of neighbouring national regulators to cooperate on issues of cross-border relevance. The Council adopted its general approach in December 2017. In the European Parliament, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) adopted its report in February 2018. A provisional trilogue agreement was reached on 17 December 2018. Parliament is expected to vote on this agreement during the March II 2019 plenary session. Third 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.

Member States Progress towards the EU 2020 Targets

21-02-2019

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit gives an overview of the member states progress towards the EU 2020 targets.

This note prepared by Economic Governance Support Unit gives an overview of the member states progress towards the EU 2020 targets.

Revised Energy Efficiency Directive

16-01-2019

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of the Clean Energy package. This aims to adapt and align EU energy legislation with the 2030 energy and climate goals, and contribute towards delivering the energy union strategy. The Commission initially proposed a 30 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, to be achieved by means of indicative national targets and the extension beyond 2020 of the energy savings obligation ...

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission presented a proposal for a revised Energy Efficiency Directive, as part of the Clean Energy package. This aims to adapt and align EU energy legislation with the 2030 energy and climate goals, and contribute towards delivering the energy union strategy. The Commission initially proposed a 30 % binding EU energy efficiency target for 2030, to be achieved by means of indicative national targets and the extension beyond 2020 of the energy savings obligation scheme, which currently requires utility companies to help their consumers use 1.5 % less energy each year. The Commission proposal also aims to make the rules on energy metering and billing clearer for consumers. Trilogue negotiations started in February 2018 and resulted in a provisional agreement among the EU Institutions on 19 June 2018. The final text was formally adopted by Parliament (13 November 2018) and Council (4 December 2018). It was published in the Official Journal on 21 December 2018 and entered into force three days later. Member States are required to transpose most of the revised directive by 25 June 2020, although the provisions on metering and billing can be transposed by 25 October 2020. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Governance of the energy union

16-01-2019

The Commission proposed a regulation on governance of the energy union, as part of its Clean Energy package (30 November 2016). The proposal aims to simplify the process of monitoring progress and help to implement the goals of Energy Union, in particular the 2030 EU targets on renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. National energy and climate plans are to be prepared for the 2021-2030 period, followed by progress reports. Both plans and reports will use binding templates, and ...

The Commission proposed a regulation on governance of the energy union, as part of its Clean Energy package (30 November 2016). The proposal aims to simplify the process of monitoring progress and help to implement the goals of Energy Union, in particular the 2030 EU targets on renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions. National energy and climate plans are to be prepared for the 2021-2030 period, followed by progress reports. Both plans and reports will use binding templates, and gain early input from the Commission. The proposed regulation envisages national and EU registries and inventories on greenhouse gas emissions for the post-2020 period, as a means to assess progress in meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. Trilogue negotiations started in February 2018 and concluded with a provisional agreement on 20 June 2018. The final text was formally adopted by Parliament (13 November 2018) and Council (4 December 2018). It was published in the Official Journal on 21 December 2018 and entered into force three days later. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Improving energy performance of buildings

19-07-2018

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission adopted a ‘clean energy’ package to help the EU meet its 2030 energy and climate goals, including a targeted revision of the 2010 Directive on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD). The Commission proposed to leave intact the main features of the existing EPBD, modernise and streamline some requirements, introduce binding obligations on electro-mobility requirements in buildings, introduce a ‘smartness indicator’ that assesses the technological capability ...

On 30 November 2016, the European Commission adopted a ‘clean energy’ package to help the EU meet its 2030 energy and climate goals, including a targeted revision of the 2010 Directive on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD). The Commission proposed to leave intact the main features of the existing EPBD, modernise and streamline some requirements, introduce binding obligations on electro-mobility requirements in buildings, introduce a ‘smartness indicator’ that assesses the technological capability of buildings in energy self-production and consumption, and set clearer requirements for national databases on energy performance certificates. The Council adopted a general approach in June 2017. In Parliament the ITRE committee adopted its report in October 2017. After three rounds of trilogue negotiations, a provisional agreement was reached on 19 December 2017. After formal adoption by Parliament and Council in spring 2018, the revised EPBD was signed into law on 30 May 2018 and entered into force on 9 July 2018. 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.

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