The Consumer Credit Directive (CCD) is in force since 2008. A recent Commission evaluation finds that the CCD has been partially effective in ensuring high standards of consumer protection and fostering the development of a single market for credit in the context of a regulatory landscape showing significant fragmentation across the EU-28. The CCD has some shortcomings: a certain number of important obstacles are due to the application, implementation and enforcement of the Directive as well as wider market developments not foreseen at the time it was drawn up in 2008. The EESC opinion will focus on the revision of the CCD.
Τμήμα «Ενιαία αγορά, παραγωγή και κατανάλωση» (INT) - Related Opinions
The General Product Safety Directive provides the EU legal framework for the safety of non-food consumer products.
The Directive is nearly 20 years old and as such does not reflect any more the developments in products and markets. It does not explicitly address the fact that new technologies can impact product safety. There is a need to include clear provisions in the EU product safety legislation to explicitly address safety risks linked to products incorporating new technologies, such as connected products and AI. Furthermore, while the Directive applies to consumer products regardless if they are sold offline or online, e-commerce poses new challenges to the safety of consumers that need to be tackled.
The legislative proposal follows the adoption of the White Paper in June 2020 and an extensive consultation process with stakeholders. It aims at closing the regulatory gap in the Single Market, whereby subsidies granted by non-EU governments currently go largely unchecked, while subsidies granted by Member States are subject to close scrutiny. The new tool is designed to effectively tackle foreign subsidies that cause distortions and harm the level playing field in the Single Market in any market situation. It is also a key element to deliver on the updated EU Industrial Strategy also adopted today, by promoting a fair and competitive Single Market thereby setting the right conditions for the European industry to thrive.
This Guidance sets out the Commission’s views on how platforms and other relevant stakeholders should step up their measures to address gaps and shortcomings in the Code and create a more transparent, safe and trustworthy online environment
The evaluation of the eIDAS Regulation revealed that the current Regulation falls short of addressing these new market demands. The Commission is proposing a European Digital Identity framework based on the revision of the current one, at least 80% of citizens should be able to use a digital ID solution to access key public services by 2030. Furthermore, the security and control offered by the European Digital Identity framework will offer everyone the means to control who has access to their digital twin and to which data exactly. This will also require a high level of security with respect to all aspects of digital identity provisioning, including the issuing of a European Digital Identity Wallet, and the infrastructure for the collection, storage and disclosure of digital identity data.
The Commission proposal for a new regulation on machinery products is part of a wider 'Artificial intelligence (AI) package'.
Micro enterprises and SMEs (MSME) in all fields need good conditions to survive the health and economic crisis and unlock their potential so that they can grow and create jobs. This opinion will examine alternatives to address the administrative ("paper tax") burden on MSMEs, particularly in view of current transparency and disclosure measures to achieve the EU's social and environmental objectives.
The objective of the opinion will be to analyse how the digital revolution in the economy is transforming retail and wholesale, how it is forcing fundamental changes: new business models and channels are emerging, data is becoming core business, customers buy more online, new digital products are offered, new skills are needed, stores in towns must evolve and reinvent themselves to stay relevant.
Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) face challenges in the area of digitalisation and access to artificial intelligence, but this segment can take great advantage of the opportunities offered by artificial intelligence.
The main objective of the opinion is to propose concrete measures which can be easily implemented in order to avoid MSMEs being “left behind” from the transition to artificial intelligence. The main issues to be addressed are: the use of new technologies to offer innovative products and services and strengthen Europe’s capacity to invest in disruptive innovations; create closer links in the field of artificial intelligence (AI) between universities and public administration, on the one hand, and businesses, in particular SMEs and micro-enterprises, on the other; support the MSMEs in recruiting and ensuring skills development for their employees to cope with the technological changes brought about by AI; facilitate the access to EU funding.
The EESC adopted unanimously in September 2020 the opinion "SME strategy". Amongst its main conclusions were the plead to the Commission to draw up a "Next Generation SME Strategy". Unfortunately, in its 2021 Work Program, the European Commission chose to commit to an update of the Industrial, but not of the SME Strategy.