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Author: EP think tank

Briefing – Road transport: Driving, breaks, rest times and tachographs – 11-10-2017

Road haulage is important for the EU transport economy: in 2015, it accounted for almost 50 % of freight transport. The EU has developed a range of social and market rules to contribute to the setting up of a fair, well-functioning, safe and socially sustainable road transport sector. The Driving Time and Tachograph regulations were adopted to improve drivers’ working conditions and road safety, as well as to enhance compliance with the rules and competition between road operators. In the context of the European Commission’s 2017 ‘Europe on the move’ package, the current proposal aims to remedy shortcomings of...

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Study – EU Gender Action Plan 2016-2020 at year one: European Implementation Assessment – 11-10-2017

The EU’s Gender Action Plan 2010-2016 (referred to as GAP II) is the Union’s framework for promoting gender equality and women and girls’ empowerment in external relations in third and partner countries, as well as in international fora and agendas. GAP II is significant, as it constitutes the manifestation of the principles related to gender parity outlined in the new European Consensus on Development. Its goals are also key to the successful achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Against this background, this European Implementation Assessment seeks to provide an initial assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of GAP...

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Briefing – Rules for EU institutions’ processing of personal data – 11-10-2017

In January 2017, the Commission tabled a proposal for a ‘regulation on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data by the Union institutions, bodies, offices and agencies and the free movement of such data’. The aim is to reform the existing Regulation No 45/2001 and to align it to the 2016 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). In the European Parliament, the rapporteur presented her draft report to the Civil Liberties Committee in June 2017, and the Committee is due to vote on it in October. In the Council meanwhile, a general approach was agreed...

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Briefing – Smart Single Market regulation in the area of professional services – 15-09-2017

• In the Communication on reform recommendations [COM(2017)8290 final], the European Commission has shown how the regulation of professional services is a significant policy issue for the Single Market. It also underlines the relevance of policy action in this area in the wider context of European labour markets and EU strategies and policies. • The policy objectives for the reform recommendations need to be articulated more clearly. This includes being clear that Member States need to balance the costs and benefits of regulatory reform. The reform process is not just about reducing the cost of regulation, it also recognises...

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Briefing – Single digital gateway – 10-10-2017

This note seeks to provide an initial analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the European Commission’s Impact Assessment (IA) accompanying the above proposal, submitted on 2 May 2017 and referred to Parliament’s Committee on Internal Market and Consumer Protection. The initiative seeks to reduce as much as possible the additional administrative burden that EU citizens and businesses face when they expand their activities to other Member States. To achieve this, the IA explains that the single digital gateway should provide access to the national rules, requirements and procedures that citizens and businesses from other Member States need to...

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Study – Research for TRAN Committee – Road Transport Hauliers in the EU: Social and Working Conditions (Update of the 2013 study) – 09-10-2017

The study updates the 2013 analysis of the social legislation and working conditions of professional drivers engaged in the road freight transport sector. It concentrates on the fundamental social issues that arise in this transport segment, including driving times and rest periods as well as practical aspects that impact directly on the quality of life of drivers, e.g. employment schemes and income levels. After an overall analysis of the legal framework, which includes the EU legislation relevant for the social dimension of road freight transport, the findings of a renewed stakeholder and driver consultation are reported. Source : ©...

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Briefing – Contracts for supply of digital content – 09-10-2017

The digital content directive was proposed by the European Commission as part of a legislative package, alongside the online sales directive, to facilitate the development of the internal market for such content. The Council agreed on a general approach on the proposal on 8 June 2017. This seeks to clarify the relationship between the proposed contract law rules and the personal data protection regime – an issue which has been hotly debated. Furthermore, it strengthens the position of consumers with regard to conformity and remedies. As for the Parliament, a draft report was published in November 2016 by the...

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Briefing – Understanding non-tariff barriers in the single market – 09-10-2017

Despite the achievements of single market integration, many non-tariff barriers (NTBs) persist, preventing realisation of its full economic potential. These arise from laws, technical regulations and practices, and create obstacles for trade. NTBs can be of a general character, such as problems with the implementation and enforcement of EU law at the national level, missing or differing e-government solutions, or complex VAT requirements in intra-EU trade. NTBs can also be sector-specific and concern only specific markets for goods, services or retail. Accordingly, the EU is tackling NTBs with a mix of general and sectoral initiatives, often cutting across various...

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