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The EU Toy Safety Directive

29-04-2021

The Toy Safety Directive (TSD) aims to ensure a high level of health and safety with respect to toys for children under 14 years of age and to guarantee the free movement of toys in the EU by means of provisions for manufacturers, importers, distributors of toys sold in the EU and national market surveillance authorities. More than 10 years after its adoption in 2009, the European Commission is considering a revision of the directive in the context of the chemicals strategy for sustainability. Although ...

The Toy Safety Directive (TSD) aims to ensure a high level of health and safety with respect to toys for children under 14 years of age and to guarantee the free movement of toys in the EU by means of provisions for manufacturers, importers, distributors of toys sold in the EU and national market surveillance authorities. More than 10 years after its adoption in 2009, the European Commission is considering a revision of the directive in the context of the chemicals strategy for sustainability. Although the exact scope of this revision has still to be decided, the European Commission highlighted areas for further improvement in a recent evaluation of the directive. The Commission's evaluation focused on: a general lack of monitoring data to assess the TSD's effectiveness; limit values for some chemical substances; and the question of whether limit values should apply not only to toys for children under 36 months, but also to children of all ages. In addition, the evaluation looked into the issue of market surveillance and enforcement, where resources appear be missing and discussed the difficulties for manufacturers to comply with the 'small parts requirement' for toys intended for children under 36 months. This briefing has been produced by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS) to assist the European Parliament's Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection in its work on the implementation report on the Toy Safety Directive. The briefing aims to provide a succinct overview of publicly available material on the implementation, application and effectiveness to date of the Toy Safety Directive, drawing on input from EU institutions and bodies and from external organisations.

Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

21-04-2021

In the EU, Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 governs rails passengers' rights and obligations, and provides for all passengers a harmonised level of information, assistance and compensation. In September 2017, the European Commission adopted a new proposal, which aims to strike a better balance between strengthening passengers' rights and reducing the burden on rail companies. The European Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during its April plenary session on the agreed text resulting from ...

In the EU, Regulation (EC) No 1371/2007 governs rails passengers' rights and obligations, and provides for all passengers a harmonised level of information, assistance and compensation. In September 2017, the European Commission adopted a new proposal, which aims to strike a better balance between strengthening passengers' rights and reducing the burden on rail companies. The European Parliament is expected to vote at second reading during its April plenary session on the agreed text resulting from interinstitutional negotiations.

Rail passengers' rights and obligations in the EU

09-04-2021

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September ...

In 2007, the EU established a set of basic rights for rail passengers, which became applicable at the end of 2009. These rights provide for all passengers, including those with reduced mobility, a harmonised minimum level of protection, information and assistance. Reports have concluded that the implementation of these rights, although relatively smooth, is not done uniformly across the EU. Moreover, other shortcomings have prevented these rights from being used to their full potential. In September 2017, the European Commission presented a new proposal to address these issues and to strike a new balance between keeping rail operators competitive and providing adequate passenger protection. The European Parliament adopted its first-reading position on this proposal on 15 November 2018. For its part, the Council adopted its general approach on 2 December 2019, under the Finnish Presidency. Interinstitutional negotiations began at the end of January 2020, and on 1 October 2020, under the Germany Presidency, Council and Parliament reached a provisional agreement on the text. On 16 March 2021, the European Parliament's Committee on Transport and Tourism voted in favour of the agreed text as adopted by the Council. After more than three years of debate, the Parliament is expected to vote at second reading on this rather controversial proposal during its April 2021 plenary session.

EU-UK private-sector data flows after Brexit: Settling on adequacy

09-04-2021

EU-UK data flows – the lifelines of our shared digital trade – have come under pressure following the UK's withdrawal from the EU. To take regulatory and business decisions, a clear understanding of the state of play and future prospects for EU-UK transfers of personal data is indispensable. This EPRS in-depth analysis reviews and assesses trade dealings, adequacy challenges and transfer instruments under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

EU-UK data flows – the lifelines of our shared digital trade – have come under pressure following the UK's withdrawal from the EU. To take regulatory and business decisions, a clear understanding of the state of play and future prospects for EU-UK transfers of personal data is indispensable. This EPRS in-depth analysis reviews and assesses trade dealings, adequacy challenges and transfer instruments under the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

First appraisal of the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement by Policy Department A

30-03-2021

“Agreements concluded by the Union are binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States.” (Article 216(2) TFEU). According to the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), International law takes precedence over (secondary) EU law: “It should also be pointed out that, by virtue of Article 216(2) TFEU, where international agreements are concluded by the European Union they are binding upon its institutions and, consequently, they prevail over acts of the European ...

“Agreements concluded by the Union are binding upon the institutions of the Union and on its Member States.” (Article 216(2) TFEU). According to the Case-law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), International law takes precedence over (secondary) EU law: “It should also be pointed out that, by virtue of Article 216(2) TFEU, where international agreements are concluded by the European Union they are binding upon its institutions and, consequently, they prevail over acts of the European Union (see, to this effect, Case C‑61/94 Commission v Germany [1996] ECR I‑3989, paragraph 52; Case C‑311/04 Algemene Scheeps Agentuur Dordrecht [2006] ECR I‑609, paragraph 25; Case C‑308/06 Intertanko and Others [2008] ECR I‑4057, paragraph 42; and Joined Cases C‑402/05 P and C‑415/05 P Kadi and Al Barakaat International Foundation v Council and Commission [2008] ECR I‑6351, paragraph 307)” . Arguably, acts adopted by bodies established by the EU-UK TCA could also enjoy primacy: “7 It follows [...] that decisions of the EEC-Turkey Association Council are measures adopted by a body provided for by the Agreement and empowered by the Contracting Parties to adopt such measures. 18 In so far as they implement the objectives set by the Agreement, such decisions are directly connected with the Agreement and, as a result of the second sentence of Article 22(1) thereof, have the effect of binding the Contracting Parties. 19 By virtue of the Agreement, the Contracting Parties agreed to be bound by such decisions and if those parties were to withdraw from that commitment, that would constitute a breach of the Agreement itself.

Autor extern

Andreas Huber at Al.

Digital services act

03-03-2021

The rules governing the provision of digital services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive ...

The rules governing the provision of digital services in the EU have remained largely unchanged since the adoption of the e-Commerce Directive in 2000, while digital technologies and business models continue to evolve rapidly and new societal challenges are emerging, such as the spread of counterfeit goods, hate speech and disinformation online. Against this backdrop, in December 2020, the European Commission tabled a new legislative proposal on a digital services act to amend the e-Commerce Directive and set higher standards of transparency and accountability to govern the way platform service providers moderate content, on advertising and on algorithmic processes. Parliament has already voiced strong support for revision of the EU rules applicable to online actors. EU lawmakers will now assess whether the Commission's proposal is an appropriate response to the challenges identified and will work towards defining Parliament's own position on the proposal, which is the first step in the EU's interinstitutional legislative process.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market (At A Glance - Study In Focus)

01-03-2021

This At A Glance summarises the key findings of the original study, which assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality ...

This At A Glance summarises the key findings of the original study, which assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Autor extern

J. Scott MARCUS et al.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Internal Market

26-02-2021

This study assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Internal ...

This study assesses the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Internal Market and consumer protection, including the impact of measures introduced at national and EU level to mitigate the consequences of the pandemic. What further measures should be considered in order to reinforce the resilience of the EU's Internal Market in the face of future crises? This document was provided by the Policy Department for Economic, Scientific and Quality of Life Policies at the request of the committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO).

Autor extern

J. Scott MARCUS et al.

The future of crop protection in Europe

16-02-2021

The overall objective of the future of crop protection project is to present an overview of crop protection options for European farmers to enable them to work sustainably while securing food production, preserving biodiversity and supporting farmers' incomes. The policy options proposed are based on an assessment of current and emerging crop protection practices and their impact on the common agricultural policy (CAP) objectives. This overview shows that several crop protection practices are under ...

The overall objective of the future of crop protection project is to present an overview of crop protection options for European farmers to enable them to work sustainably while securing food production, preserving biodiversity and supporting farmers' incomes. The policy options proposed are based on an assessment of current and emerging crop protection practices and their impact on the common agricultural policy (CAP) objectives. This overview shows that several crop protection practices are under continuous development and have potential to improve future crop protection in Europe. The likelihood that policy options can be implemented successfully depends upon the extent to which they are consistent with the interests of stakeholder groups. These include farmers, suppliers, supply chain partners, consumers and NGOs defending societal interests. Furthermore, it is important that crop protection policy options are embedded in a systems perspective. This should include related areas, such as phytosanitary policy, the entire crop production system, the supply chain, and international trade relationships – which need to be in harmony with the crop protection policy. For each of these crop protection practices, different policy options are proposed, together with an impact assessment.

Autor extern

DG, EPRS_This study has been written by Johan Bremmer, Marleen Riemens and Machiel Reinders of Wageningen University & Research 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.

New consumer agenda

03-02-2021

Consumer expenditure accounted for 52.6 % of European Union gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. Meanwhile, in the same year, one in five consumers said they had had at least one reason to complain about a purchase the previous year – a number largely unchanged for a decade. Increasingly, consumers do their shopping online. One in six people bought at least one item online in 2019. Yet while online shopping is now ubiquitous, European rules have lagged behind. On 13 November 2020, the European Commission ...

Consumer expenditure accounted for 52.6 % of European Union gross domestic product (GDP) in 2019. Meanwhile, in the same year, one in five consumers said they had had at least one reason to complain about a purchase the previous year – a number largely unchanged for a decade. Increasingly, consumers do their shopping online. One in six people bought at least one item online in 2019. Yet while online shopping is now ubiquitous, European rules have lagged behind. On 13 November 2020, the European Commission published a new consumer agenda – its strategy for consumer policy for the 2020-2025 period. The strategy aims to address five long-term priorities: the green transition, digital transformation, redress and the enforcement of consumer rights, the specific needs of certain consumer groups, and international cooperation. In addition, it proposes measures to address immediate challenges that have emerged during the pandemic. Over the next five-year period, the Commission plans to empower consumers for the green transition: giving them information on the sustainability of products; establishing a right to repair; and laying down rules regarding green claims. It plans to tackle problematic practices on online marketplaces, fix the gaps in rules on product safety, especially for products sold online, and improve enforcement of existing rules. At the same time, it plans to improve protection of vulnerable groups, especially people who do not have access to the internet, and children. It plans to revise the rules for retail banking and improve financial advice services in Member States. Although the European Parliament has not adopted a resolution on the consumer agenda per se, it has adopted several legislative and non-legislative resolutions on topics covered by the agenda, including the sustainable single market, product safety, the future digital services act and artificial intelligence. Various stakeholders have expressed their views on the new consumer agenda, both during the public consultation before it was published, and following its publication.

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