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Artificial Intelligence and Civil Liability

14-07-2020

This study – commissioned by the Policy Department C at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs – analyses the notion of AI-technologies and the applicable legal framework for civil liability. It demonstrates how technology regulation should be technology-specific, and presents a Risk Management Approach, where the party who is best capable of controlling and managing a technology-related risk is held strictly liable, as a single entry point for litigation. It then applies such approach to ...

This study – commissioned by the Policy Department C at the request of the Committee on Legal Affairs – analyses the notion of AI-technologies and the applicable legal framework for civil liability. It demonstrates how technology regulation should be technology-specific, and presents a Risk Management Approach, where the party who is best capable of controlling and managing a technology-related risk is held strictly liable, as a single entry point for litigation. It then applies such approach to four case-studies, to elaborate recommendations.

Autore esterno

Andrea BERTOLINI, Ph.D., LL.M. (Yale) Assistant Professor of Private Law, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa) Director of the Jean Monnet - European Centre of Excellence on the Regulation of Robotics and AI (EURA)

Promoting product longevity

16-03-2020

Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.

Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.

Autore esterno

J. Scott MARCUS et al.

Promoting product longevity

16-03-2020

Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.

Product longevity can play a useful role in achieving the Paris Agreement goals – material efficiency is an important contributor to energy efficiency and is also important in its own right. The product safety and compliance instruments available at European level can contribute to these efforts, if wisely applied.

Autore esterno

J. Scott MARCUS et al.

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.

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.

Strengthening the market surveillance of products

27-03-2018

An initial appraisal of the impact assessment suggests that methodological strengths outweigh the weaknesses in this overall convincing analysis. This impact assessment is underpinned by a substantial body of work and clearly shows expertise. Nonetheless, the impact assessment could have provided more information on the links with two pending legislative procedures. Its presentation could have further facilitated consideration of the choices made by the Commission.

An initial appraisal of the impact assessment suggests that methodological strengths outweigh the weaknesses in this overall convincing analysis. This impact assessment is underpinned by a substantial body of work and clearly shows expertise. Nonetheless, the impact assessment could have provided more information on the links with two pending legislative procedures. Its presentation could have further facilitated consideration of the choices made by the Commission.

European Commission guidelines on dual quality of branded food products

07-11-2017

On 26 September 2017, the European Commission published a notice laying out guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer protection law to issues of dual quality of food products. This legally non-binding notice follows tests in seven 'new' EU Member States that compared the composition and sensory qualities of branded products sold in those countries with some of the 'old' Member States. The tests showed that some of the products included less of the main ingredient, included ingredients ...

On 26 September 2017, the European Commission published a notice laying out guidelines on the application of EU food and consumer protection law to issues of dual quality of food products. This legally non-binding notice follows tests in seven 'new' EU Member States that compared the composition and sensory qualities of branded products sold in those countries with some of the 'old' Member States. The tests showed that some of the products included less of the main ingredient, included ingredients that were considered to be less healthy and of poorer quality, or had different taste, consistency, and other sensory characteristics. Manufacturers have questioned the reliability of the tests, claiming the differences were the result of adjusting their products to local tastes or using local ingredients and different places of manufacture. The Commission notice acknowledges that producers have a right to differentiate their products, but warns that consumers must not be misled. It clarifies the provisions of EU legislation which should enable the national authorities in Member States to act. It introduces the notion of a 'product of reference', against which consumer expectations are to be measured. Consumers need to be adequately informed if a product differs from their expectations, as when inadequate information leads them to buy a product they would not otherwise buy, such dual quality may be contrary to the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive. Members of the European Parliament have regularly spoken out against the practice of dual quality of food, with the European Parliament asking the Commission to verify the extent of the problem as early as 2013.

Dual quality of branded food products: Addressing a possible east-west divide

20-06-2017

Recent tests on branded food in three 'new' EU Member States have shown that the taste and composition of these products, sold under the same name and in the same packaging, sometimes differ from the 'same' products sold in neighbouring 'old' Member States. While the ingredients were generally properly labelled and the products were considered safe for consumption, some of those in 'new' Member States were considered to be of inferior quality and less healthy, and were also more expensive. Similar ...

Recent tests on branded food in three 'new' EU Member States have shown that the taste and composition of these products, sold under the same name and in the same packaging, sometimes differ from the 'same' products sold in neighbouring 'old' Member States. While the ingredients were generally properly labelled and the products were considered safe for consumption, some of those in 'new' Member States were considered to be of inferior quality and less healthy, and were also more expensive. Similar claims have previously been made concerning cosmetics and laundry detergents. Companies are known to change the composition of their branded products to adjust to local taste, local ingredients, divergent purchasing power, etc. EU legislation does not consider this to be misleading, as long as the products are safe, properly labelled and not falsely advertised as being identical to those sold in another Member State. At the same time, trademark law, while protecting the right of the trademark owner to communicate the origin and quality of products by using a mark, does not offer the consumer a legally enforceable guarantee. In 2013 the European Parliament asked the Commission to look into the matter, and in 2017 a group of MEPs issued a major interpellation asking the Commission to make proposals to amend EU legislation in connection with the 'dual quality' of products. The Commission has so far been reluctant to take this path, preferring to address the issue in the High-Level Forum for a better functioning food supply chain.

La politica dei consumatori: principi e strumenti

01-06-2017

Da una ricerca svolta per conto del Parlamento europeo è emerso che una politica di tutela dei consumatori efficace è essenziale ai fini dell'efficienza e del buon funzionamento del mercato europeo[1]. Un'accresciuta trasparenza e transazioni più informate, risultanti dalla corretta progettazione e attuazione della politica dei consumatori, si traducono non solo in soluzioni migliori per i consumatori ma anche in una maggiore efficienza del mercato[2]. Una tutela dei consumatori efficace è pertanto ...

Da una ricerca svolta per conto del Parlamento europeo è emerso che una politica di tutela dei consumatori efficace è essenziale ai fini dell'efficienza e del buon funzionamento del mercato europeo[1]. Un'accresciuta trasparenza e transazioni più informate, risultanti dalla corretta progettazione e attuazione della politica dei consumatori, si traducono non solo in soluzioni migliori per i consumatori ma anche in una maggiore efficienza del mercato[2]. Una tutela dei consumatori efficace è pertanto un elemento essenziale di un mercato ben funzionante. Essa mira a garantire i diritti dei consumatori nei confronti dei commercianti, nonché a fornire una maggiore protezione per i consumatori vulnerabili. La crisi finanziaria ha dimostrato che le norme a tutela dei consumatori hanno il potenziale di rendere i mercati più equi e di migliorare la qualità della concorrenza. Conferire maggiori poteri ai consumatori e proteggere efficacemente la loro sicurezza e i loro interessi economici sono diventati obiettivi essenziali della politica europea.

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices

10-05-2017

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices cover a wide array of products. The EU legal framework for such devices was harmonised in the 1990s. The European Commission presented a pair of proposals for regulations in September 2012. Following Parliament's first readings in April 2014, the Council agreed its positions in October 2015. At the conclusion of the trilogues, agreement was reached on 25 May 2016. This was endorsed by the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee on 15 June ...

Medical devices and in vitro diagnostic medical devices cover a wide array of products. The EU legal framework for such devices was harmonised in the 1990s. The European Commission presented a pair of proposals for regulations in September 2012. Following Parliament's first readings in April 2014, the Council agreed its positions in October 2015. At the conclusion of the trilogues, agreement was reached on 25 May 2016. This was endorsed by the Council's Permanent Representatives Committee on 15 June and confirmed by Parliament's ENVI Committee on the same day. Both draft texts were adopted by the Council on 7 March 2017, and Parliament's second-reading vote on 5 April completed the adoption procedure. The regulation on medical devices will become fully applicable in May 2020, and that on in vitro diagnostic medical devices in May 2022.

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