For the EESC it is essential that the Commission take further action to ensure that all e-retailers and consumers, and particularly individuals and SMEs in remote areas, can finally benefit from cross-border parcel delivery services that are accessible, high quality and affordable, fearing that the proposed measures not be enough and do little to encourage the cross-border parcel delivery services concerned to charge reasonable tariffs. Therefore the EESC regrets that the Commission is shelving any more stringent measures until the end of 2018, calling on the Commission to take the same approach it took to roaming charges in mobile communications.
ΕΝΙΑΙΑ ΑΓΟΡΑ - Related Opinions
Defining the sharing economy makes it possible to distinguish between genuine practices requiring special arrangements and those that are wrongly classified merely to get around applicable regulations. New business models need to comply with the applicable national and EU legislation, so the Commission must urgently define a clear and transparent legal framework and publish without further delay the long overdue 'European agenda for the collaborative economy'. This agenda should provide a clear definition of the complementary role that self- and co-regulation must play in the sharing economy.
In this opinion, the EESC wishes to focus most of its efforts on the transparency and inclusiveness of the European standardisation system (ESS) and proposes concrete measures, such as: to grant the Annex III organisations specific member/partner status, with particular rights and obligations; to introduce free access to “mirror committees” for SMEs and societal stakeholders; to create an ad hoc forum on the inclusiveness of the ESS responsible for organising an annual public hearing to assess progress made in this regard.
The EESC welcomes the Commission's initiative to address "cross-border portability" through a regulation, but considers it necessary for a subscriber's "Member State of residence" to be clearly defined. The vacatio legis period of six months would be for the EESC a reasonable period for the service providers concerned to adapt their delivery systems to the new situation.
In this Opinion on two proposals for directives (on supply of digital content and online sales), the Committee disagrees with the legal basis chosen by the Commission and proposes Article 169 TFEU instead; as a consequence, the Committee thinks that the measures adopted should be based on minimum harmonisation and would have preferred the use of a regulation instead of a directive.
With this opinion the EESC takes the opportunity to comment on how the European market for retail financial services can be further opened up. The EESC welcomes that the Commission is on track and has an ambitious programme for implementing the Action Plan on Building a Capital Markets Union, also endorsing that consumers should be given the opportunity, whenever possible, to compare different products, so they can make an informed choice.
As the recovery of Europe's economies remains sluggish and fragile and the level of investment remains low, it should be a matter of priority to deploy every possible means to achieve a robust and stable economy. The Committee therefore endorses the goals of the action plan i.e. to mobilise capital in Europe and channel it to all companies, infrastructure and long-term projects. The Committee has serious concerns, however, regarding the relevance and effectiveness of the capital markets union for SMEs. They must be able to choose the funding channels that suit them best. At the same time the EU's economic and financial stability should be one of the priorities of the capital markets union. There should thus be more simplification, transparency and comparability of financial instruments.
The EESC welcomes the proposals to establish a system of "simple, transparent and standardised" securitisation (STS securitisations), that should enable significant additional resources to be generated for bank funding. That is very important, for SMEs and households in particular. There should be clarity as to the risk involved and who bears that risk, taking account of the whole chain from the issuer to the investor. It is important now is that the mistakes of the past are not repeated. Small investors and consumers should not have access to securitisation due to the complexity and risk involved, the Committee calls for a formal prohibition to be explicitly included in the texts.