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    Length of video : 201'
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    Disclaimer : The interpretation of debates serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings. Only the original speech or the revised written translation is authentic.
    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    Length of video : 204'
    You may manually download this video in WMV (1.9Gb) format

    Disclaimer : The interpretation of debates serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings. Only the original speech or the revised written translation is authentic.
    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    Length of video : 140'
    You may manually download this video in WMV (1.3Gb) format

    Disclaimer : The interpretation of debates serves to facilitate communication and does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings. Only the original speech or the revised written translation is authentic.
    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    Package travel and assisted travel arrangements
    Four stakeholder representatives were invited at the hearing and the discussions focused on the below key aspects of the Commission's proposal. BEUC, ECTAA and DAV welcomed the increase in traveller's protection by bringing within the scope of the newly proposed Directive different forms of on-line and tailor-made packages and assisted travel arrangements. However, BEUC and DAV strongly warned that the subdivision between ‘package’, on the one hand, and ‘assisted travel arrangements’, on the other hand, with only very limited rights stemming from the second category, would be difficult for consumers to distinguish in practice, and easy to manipulate for businesses (BEUC). ECTAA would not oppose to extending the definition of ‘package’ even further, to create a level playing field for the various businesses involved. In contrast, ETTSA pleaded for narrowing down the definition of ‘package’ (and hence the scope of the Directive) and removing the provisions on ‘assisted travel arrangements’. The Commission commented that the organiser is in any case under the obligation to clarify what it is offering to the consumer: a package or an assisted travel arrangement.
     
    BEUC was calling for a right of withdrawal for distance (online) and doorstep selling as provided in the Consumer Rights Directive (CRD), whereas ECTAA was asking for reimbursement to be due only “without undue delay”, again as in the CRD, and not “within 14 days” as in the Commission proposal. Furthermore, according to ECTAA, cancellation by the consumer in case of unavoidable and extraordinary circumstances should be based on official travel advice, and repatriation costs should be borne by both parties to the contract. As regards insolvency protection, ETTSA argued in favour of making insolvency protection levels subject to ‘the real risk’ and hence to release the travel agents from this obligation. Both ECTAA and ETTSA insisted on improving access to national insolvency protection schemes and mutual recognition of such schemes, and moreover on addressing the problem of airline insolvency. BEUC called for a clarification of the substance of the obligation of insolvency protection. ECTAA supports the Commission’s proposal to make solely the organiser liable for the performance of the contract. Conversely, for BEUC, only joint liability between the organiser and the travel agent is acceptable, to avoid lowering the level of consumer protection in almost half of the Member States. While ECTAA is in favour of a targeted maximum harmonisation approach, BEUC calls for minimum harmonisation, or at most a mix of both approaches, to avoid that better national provisions would be affected. It moreover warns that some provisions of the proposal constitute a step back from the current Directive.
     
    Finally, all speakers urged Parliament not to rush this proposal through the legislative process, but to take time to consider the various options carefully.

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    AMENDMENTS 1 - 60 - Draft report on the application of Directive 2005/29/EC on unfair commercial practices
    Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    AMENDMENTS 14 - 93 - Draft opinion on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on certain rules governing actions for damages under national law for infringements of the competition law provisions of the Member States and of the European Union
    Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on simplifying the transfer of motor vehicles registered in another Member State within the Single Market
    Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
    Toine Manders

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    REPORT on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on consumer product safety and repealing Council Directive 87/357/EEC and Directive 2001/95/EC
    Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
    Christel Schaldemose

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    The study collates information on discrimination against consumers on grounds of place of residence or nationality in the Digital Single Market (DSM). Collected evidence indicates such practices as refusals to sell or discriminatory conditions depriving consumers of access to goods and services on DSM or obliging consumers to pay higher prices. The study assesses discrimination from the perspective of different areas of European law including Article 20 (2) of Services Directive, Private International Law, Competition Law and Intellectual Property Law, and provides for policy recommendations.

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    MEP Birgit Collin-Langen
    The IMCO Committee is currently considering the Commission's proposal on electronic invoicing ('e-invoicing') in public procurement. This complements the package for the modernisation of the EU public procurement rules, adopted by IMCO and scheduled for a vote in plenary in January 2014. Public procurement is the process used by government institutions, public sector organisations and certain undertakings in the utilities sectors to buy supplies, services and public works. Such expenditure is a significant and influential component of the economy.
     
    The procurement package strengthens the rules for electronic procurement, making its use mandatory at the latest 54 months after the entry into force of the revised instruments. Moving towards more efficient paperless procedures is expected to yield great benefits. However, the package does not cover the 'post-award' stage of invoicing, because it is not procurement-specific. The present initiative seeks to fill this gap, as e-invoicing in particular is expected to generate tangible financial savings for government and suppliers, and to promote digital business transactions throughout the EU. At the same time, great care needs to be taken to ensure there are no interoperability barriers to cross-border trade.
     
    The European Commission presented its proposal and the Impact Assessment to the IMCO Members on 30 September 2013. The first exchange of views has taken place on 4 November 2013. The consideration of amendments is expected in December 2013.
     
    Rapporteur: Birgit Collin-Langen (EPP)
     
    Shadow rapporteurs: Marc Tarabella (S&D), Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE), Heide Rühle (Greens), Malcolm Harbour (ECR), - (GUE), Matteo Salvini (EFD)
     

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    Pietikainen and Schaldemose - Product Safety and Market Surveillance
    On 13 February 2013 the European Commission adopted a comprehensive package on Product Safety and Market Surveillance in order to improve safety of consumer products, in particular by strengthening product identification and traceability, and to simplify and improve the framework of market surveillance of products, particularly by eliminating currently existing overlaps and inconsistencies. The package, which is a key action of the Single Market Act II, consists of two legislative initiatives: a proposal for a new Regulation on Consumer Product Safety and a proposal for a single Regulation on Market Surveillance of Products, as well as complimentary non-legislative measures, in particular multi-annual plan for market surveillance setting out 20 actions to be implemented until 2015 to make progress in market surveillance.
     
    Two legislative proposals and the accompanying impact assessment have been presented in IMCO Committee on 7 May 2013 and Members held a first exchange of view at the same day. The Committee is organizing a hearing on the subject entitled "Safe Products and a Fair Market: Challenges and Opportunities" on the 29 May 2013.
     
    Rapporteur for the Regulation on Consumer Product Safety: Christel Schaldemose (S&D)
     
    Shadow Rapporteurs: Raffaele Baldassarre (EPP), Jürgen Creutzmann (ALDE), Heide Rühle (Greens/EFA), Ashley Fox (ECR).
     
    Rapporteur for the Regulation on Market Surveillance of Products: Sirpa Pietikäinen (EPP)
     
    Shadow Rapporteurs: Christel Schaldemose (S&D), Cristian Silviu Buşoi (ALDE), Heide Rühle (Greens/EFA), Ashley Fox (ECR).

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    an integrated parcel delivery market for the growth of e-commerce in the EU
    60 amendments have been proposed to the draft report of Pablo Arias Echeverria which covers mainly the following issues:
    - Ensure fair working conditions in the delivery sector;
    - Development of trust marks specifically linked to the delivery chain;
    - Guarantee transparency and information at all stages and to all players;
    - Establish common quality indicators.
     
    Some Members stressed the need to address properly the issue of working conditions while others mentioned that although they shared the view as regard the need for sound working conditions in this sector, it was not per se the topic of this report.
     
    The Commission announced that a roadmap and an action plan should be adopted soon by the College and definitely before Christmas. Although certain Members expressed that legislative measures would help in this sector, the Commission stated that no legislative proposal will be proposed at this stage.
     
    Next steps: Compromise amendments will be discussed on 27/28 November and vote will take place on 17 December.
     

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    Electronic invoicing in public procurement
    The Commission proposal seeks to establish a common EU-wide standard for e-invoices that all contracting authorities must accept, within 4 years from the entry into fore of the directive, even though they may continue to use other national standards and systems. This complements the public procurement modernisation package to be voted in plenary shortly, which will make e-procurement mandatory by 2018.
     
    The Rapporteur Birgit Collin-Langen welcomed the proposal as a means to achieve greater interoperability and to boost the digital internal market. She stressed however several weaknesses, including, notably, the short and unclear time-table for transposition by MS and the proposed procedure for adoption of the standard. To address these points, the Rapporteur proposes including a test phase, publication of the standard by means of an implementing act and longer and differentiated implementation deadlines. Due to the extremely narrow time-table, the draft report sets out the main arguments, whilst further legal verification is on-going. Shadows from all Groups expressed their broad support. The Rapporteur of the Committee of the Regions, Ms C. Segersten Larsson, also supported the Rapporteur. Reporting on the CoR draft opinion and on the Swedish e-invoicing experience, she emphasised the need for sound preparation and realistic implementation time frames. Representatives of the Commission services acknowledged Parliament's concerns but underlined the need to act quickly.
     

    Further information
    Draft report
    Subject file

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    DRAFT OPINION on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on interchange fees for card-based payment transactions
    Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
    Adam Bielan

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    Hans-Peter Mayer
    The overall objective of the Commission's revised proposal is to enhance the functioning of the Internal Market and achieve a high level of consumer protection through the approximation of rules on packages and other combinations of travel services. The proposal seeks to establish a level playing field between operators, remove legal obstacles to cross-border trade and reduce compliance costs for businesses. At the same time, it aims to clarify which combinations of travel services are protected under EU package travel rules and replace unclear and outdated provisions. It contains mandatory rules for the protection of travellers, which Member States or traders may not derogate from to the detriment of consumers.
     
    Rapporteur: Hans-Peter Mayer (EPP)
     
    Shadow rapporteurs: Sergio Cofferati (S&D), Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (ALDE), Heide Rühle (Greens), Emma McClarkin (ECR), - (GUE), Matteo Salvini (EFD)

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    China
    Following an official invitation by the Economic and Financial Affairs Committee of the National People’s Congress, a nine MEPs delegation, led by its Chair Malcolm Harbour, visited Beijing and Hong Kong from 28 - 31 October. During that time, the IMCO delegation had the opportunity to meet with high level Chinese officials as well as with representatives of European companies established in China, consumer protection associations and academia to discuss notably product safety, consumer protection and public procurement. All meetings proved fruitful and constructive allowing for communication of concerns and a detailed exchange of information, thus contributing to the mutual comprehension of Union and Chinese policies in those areas which are of particular interest to IMCO. Especially with regards to product safety, interlocutors from both sides expressed a sincere will to continue exchanging information and updates in order to ensure strong consumer protection.  

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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    DRAFT REPORT on SOLVIT
    Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection
    Morten Løkkegaard

    Source : © European Union, 2013 - EP

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