Central Europe: community of shared aspirations

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A new decade of the 21st century has begun. A decade marked by the uncertainty brought by the global pandemic and its consequences, but also a decade of hope. A decade of opportunities for civilization and for economic recovery, an opportunity to create a world that is better, fairer, greener, and one that respects the principles of sustainable development. As we look to the future, we look for the regions that will be the center of dynamic and positive change. I am certain that Central Europe will be one of those regions, both on a European and global scale.

Central Europe or Eastern Europe (both terms are used interchangeably) is a significant regional entity, a community of shared faith geographically, politically and economically, as well as in terms of ideas and culture. Regarding its location on the map, it is perceived as a region between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea or (although it is a simplification) between Germany and Russia. But above all, we form a common memory circle. We have had our share of similar historical experiences, particularly during the dramatic 20th century. We suffered two totalitarianisms, the brown ones and the red ones, which suppressed and oppressed us. But we also have great, glorious experiences from centuries ago. The fifteenth to seventeenth centuries, the so-called era of “the Europe of the Jagiellonian dynasty”, which would later be called the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, saw a voluntary political union flourish in a substantial part of its territory, a forerunner of today’s European Union , which meant the friendly home for many cultures and religious beliefs, always respectful of the rule of law, parliamentarism and democracy. We carry forward the lessons of those experiences – the good and the bad – as a universal warning, as well as an inspiration to work for the common good, the prosperity of the region and for a fully integrated Europe.

The description of Central Europe in terms of values is equally important. As part of Western civilization for over a thousand years, we share its ideological foundations. Milan Kundera suggestively called Central Europe as “a kidnapped West”, being part of that of Western civilization, but finding itself, against its will, under Soviet imperial and authoritarian domination, unable to manage it rationally. We must emphasize, however, that our commitment to those values that forged European culture is not without reflection. We are aware, perhaps better than others, of the high price that one must pay to defend those values. We are aware that one must cultivate and reconcile freedom and responsibility, rights and duties, individualism and solidarity, the spirit of criticism, innovation and modernization, in communion with the heritage and traditions that define our identity.

On the brink of historic change in 1989, Timothy Garton Ash wrote that the concept of Central Europe awakened the West from thinking in terms of the Cold War, challenged common notions and priorities, but also made there something new to offer in return. . This opinion seems validated today, when the participation of Central European countries in the EU and NATO is a crucial and solidified part of the European and Atlantic order, and when our region, with its solid economic growth, has played a significant role in leap as a civilization. Also today, the concept of Central Europe has a dynamic and positive content. If I set out to accurately define the face of Central Europe, including Poland as the largest country in the region, I would say the following: it is, at the same time, the community of shared successes and aspirations.

Central Europe is the perfect example of the formidable creative power that freedom can comprise. Freedom and its brothers – economic freedom, entrepreneurship, self-government – opened the space for the realization of bold ambitions and aspirations. Development accompanies the progress of freedom. The three decades that have elapsed since the fall of communism, the advances initiated by the Polish “Solidarity” movement, make up the story of great economic success, of social advances of a civilization that have hardly occurred in world history, in a such a short period of time. Poland and all of Central Europe are a fascinating testimony to the opportunities that freedom brings.

Likewise, we can serve as an inspiring example of how cooperation, joint initiatives and ventures bring positive results. Thanks to them Central Europe ceased to be, as it was in adverse times, just a peripheral area between the West and the East, between imperial powers, to become a structure with multiple ties, one that is aware of its interests and that has influence. in the course of European affairs. The emancipation of Central and Eastern Europe was a success; we are a crucial part of the political and civilizing processes.

Let me draw your attention to three important cooperation plans for Central Europe, which are not only regionally relevant, but crucial for the EU, the Atlantic and even the global dimension. The first of these is the Visegrad Group, a long-standing entity that brings together Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. Launched in 1991 as a platform for dialogue and coordination of efforts aimed at obtaining NATO and EU memberships, the Visegrad Group has proven useful regardless of the strategic objectives it achieved. Today it stands as one of the most important agents to activate regional cooperation in Central Europe and seek understanding of European affairs.

The second of the plans is made up of The Bucharest Nine, a structure of countries on the eastern flank of NATO: Poland, Romania, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Hungary, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. It was established in 2015 in Bucharest, where we signed a joint declaration stating that the Bucharest Nine countries joined forces to ensure, where necessary, a “robust, credible and sustainable allied military presence” in the region. On a large scale, the B9 is a response to the aggressive policies of Russia, to the border violations and of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine border, which constitutes a threat to the regional and Atlantic security; we will not be idle witnesses.

The third cooperation plan is The Three Seas Initiative, which was started in 2015 by the President of Croatia Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and myself. The group includes countries located between the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Seas: Austria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia and Hungary. The objective is to make joint investments in infrastructure, transport, energy and new technologies, aimed at promoting the development of our countries and contributing to the cohesion of the European Union. When we look at a map of economic connections within the EU, we will see a significant advantage in horizontal flows through the West-East axis, over vertical flow through the North-South axis. This includes the flow of citizens, goods, services and capital, but also of infrastructure networks: highways, railways, stations, pipelines, power lines and communications. The Three Seas Initiative, a project that aims to drive the structural transformation of this part of Europe, is intended to fill in the missing elements of the “scaffold” that will help reinforce the integration of our region, as well as the entire EU. The fact that beyond capital within the EU, investors from the United States, China and other parts of the world have become involved with The Three Seas Initiative, ensures diversification of benefits and mutual interdependence.

This is the photograph of today and the vision for the future of Central Europe, as a community of shared activities, successes and ambitious aspirations. We have come a long and successful road – having been a region almost nonexistent in the minds of the major players on the world stage for a long time (“in Poland, that is to say nowhere”, as Alfred Jarry wrote in the 19th century ) – to become a region that stands out on the global spectrum as one of the most dynamic development zones and that aspires to become one of the centers of civilization. Central Europe – Doesn’t the name say it all? Feel invited to be part of this fascinating adventure.

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The text is published simultaneously by the Polish monthly magazine Wszystko Co Najważniejsze in association with the Warsaw Stock Exchange.

Author: Andrzej Duda

Source: El Nacional February 1, 2021

How European Union rules simplify international inheritances

A citizen’s guide : how EU rules simplify international inheritances

This guide is intended for anyone involved in or affected by a cross-border succession, particularly those planning their own succession and heirs. It is a practical guide that aims to answer the most commonly asked questions. The guide does not cover every possible scenario; you are thus advised to consult a professional in cross-border successions to discuss the details of your specific situation.

(PDF) Cross-border successions_A citizen guide

Source: European Union

Uber dealt blow after EU court classifies it as transport service

LUXEMBOURG (Reuters) – Uber Technologies Inc should be classified as a transport service and regulated like other taxi operators, the European Union’s top court said in a landmark ruling on Wednesday that could impact other online businesses in Europe.

Uber, which allows passengers to summon a ride through an app on their smartphones, has transformed the taxi industry since its launch in 2011 and now operates in more than 600 cities globally.

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“The service provided by Uber connecting individuals with non-professional drivers is covered by services in the field of transport,” the European Court of Justice (ECJ) said.

“Member states can, therefore, regulate the conditions for providing that service,” it said.

The case follows a complaint from a professional taxi drivers’ association in Barcelona that Uber’s activities in Spain amounted to misleading practices and unfair competition from Uber’s use of non-professional drivers – a service Uber calls UberPOP and which has since been suspended in Spain and other countries.

GIG ECONOMY

Uber has taken the fight to regulators and established taxi and cab companies, expanding from a Silicon Valley startup to a business with a valuation of $68 billion. The company is planning an initial public offering in 2019.

The European case had been widely watched as an indicator of how the burgeoning gig economy, which also features the likes of food-delivery company Deliveroo, would be regulated in Europe.

The ECJ said Uber “exercises decisive influence over the conditions under which the drivers provide their service” and that without the Uber mobile app “persons who wish to make an urban journey would not use the services provided by those drivers.”

The decision is unlikely to have an immediate impact on Uber’s operations in Europe, where it has cut back its use of unlicensed services such as UberPOP and adheres to local transportation laws.

“This ruling will not change things in most EU countries where we already operate under transportation law,” an Uber spokeswoman said in a statement.

“As our new CEO has said, it is appropriate to regulate services such as Uber and so we will continue the dialogue with cities across Europe. This is the approach we’ll take to ensure everyone can get a reliable ride at the tap of a button.”

Following changes in top leadership and a series of legal battles, Uber recently adopted a more conciliatory approach under its new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, who took the job in August.

In a tweet Wednesay, Khosrowshahi said that the ruling was “not a setback, since we’ve already changed our approach in the EU to follow transportation laws and work with professional drivers.”

He said Uber will “keep talking with EU governments to enable affordable transportation services for millions more Europeans.”

Khosrowshahi in October met with regulators in London, where Uber is in the middle of a legal battle over its right to operate in its most important European market.

Bernardine Adkins, head of EU, trade and competition law at Gowling WLG, said the ruling provided “vital clarity to its (Uber‘s) position within the marketplace.”

“Uber’s control over its drivers, its ability to set prices and the fact its electronic service is inseparable from its ultimate consumer experience means it is more than simply a platform connecting drivers to passengers.”

TAXI LOBBY CHEERS

IRU, the world road transport organisation, which includes taxi associations, cheered the ruling as finally offering a level playing field for providers of the same service.

“In the area of mobility, the taxi and for-hire sector was one of the first to embrace innovation and new technologies,” said Oleg Kamberski, head of passenger transport at IRU.

“Finding a solution that allows both traditional and new transport service providers to compete in a fair way while meeting the service quality standards became necessary.”

EU law protects online services from undue restrictions and national governments must notify the European Commission of any measures regulating them so it can ensure they are not discriminatory or disproportionate.

Transport, however, is excluded from this.

The tech industry said the ruling would impact the next generation of startups more than Uber itself.

“We regret the judgment effectively threatens the application of harmonized EU rules to online intermediaries,” said Jakob Kucharczyk, vice president of competition and EU regulatory policy at the Computer and Communications Industry Association.

“The purpose of those rules is to make sure online innovators can achieve greater scalability and competitiveness in the EU, unfettered from undue national restrictions,” he added.

“This is a blow to the EU’s ambition of building an integrated digital single market.”

Reporting by Julia Fioretti; Additional reporting by Heather Somerville in San Francisco.; Editing by David Evans and Lisa Shumaker

Court of Justice of the European Union PRESS RELEASE No 136/17 Luxembourg, 20 December 2017

The Future of Food and Farming – for a flexible, fair and sustainable Common Agricultural Policy

Simpler rules and a more flexible approach will ensure the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) delivers real results in supporting farmers and leads the sustainable development of EU agriculture.

These are the cornerstone ideas of the Communication adopted today by the European Commission on “The Future of Food and Farming”, outlining the ways to ensure that the oldest EU common policy remains future-proof.

Allowing Member States greater responsibilities to choose how and where to invest their CAP funding in order to meet ambitious common goals on environment, climate change and sustainability is the flagship initiative.

Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President in charge of Jobs, Growth, Investment and Competitiveness said: “The Common Agricultural Policy has been on our plate since 1962. While we have to make sure it keeps delivering for example healthy and tasty food for consumers and jobs and growth to rural areas, the CAP also has to evolve along with other policies. Our proposal is an important step to modernise and simplify the CAP, following the results of the broad consultation with stakeholders. The new delivery model introduced by the Commission will provide greater subsidiarity to Member States and calls them to establish CAP Strategic Plans, which will cover their actions under pillar I and pillar II, enabling simplification, better coherence and monitoring of results.”

Phil Hogan, Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development said: “Today’s Communication ensures that the Common Agricultural Policy will deliver on new and emerging objectives such as fostering a smart and resilient agricultural sector, bolstering environmental care and climate action and strengthening the social-economic fabric of rural areas. It also marks a significant step change in the implementation of the CAP. Instead of the current system, a new implementation system will be introduced, giving MS/regions a much greater degree of subsidiarity.”

While keeping the current two pillar structure, the simpler, more flexible approach will set out the detailed actions to reach these objectives agreed at the EU level. Each EU country would then develop their own strategic plan – approved by the Commission – setting out how they intend to meet the objectives. Rather than on compliance, the attention will be paid more on monitoring progress and ensure funding is focused on concrete results. Moving from a one-size-fits-all to a tailor-made approach means the policy and its real-life implications will be closer to those who implement it on the ground.

Support for farmers will continue through the system of direct payments. The Communication does neither pre-empt the outcome of the debate on the future of the EU finances, nor the content of its proposal for the next Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF). Without being exhaustive, it explores some possibilities to ensure a fair and better targeted support of farmers’ income.

Climate change and pressures on natural resources will continue affecting farming and food production. The future CAP should reflect higher ambition as regards resource efficiency, environmental care and climate action.

Other proposals include:

  • Encouraging the use of modern technologies to support farmers on the ground and provide greater market transparency and certainty
  • Greater attention to encourage young people to take up farming, to be coordinated with Member States’ own powers in such areas as land taxation, planning and skills development
  • Address citizens’ concerns regarding sustainable agricultural production, including health, nutrition, food waste and animal welfare
  • Seek coherent action among its policies in line with its global dimension, notably on trade, migration and sustainable development
  • Creating an EU-level platform on risk management on how best to help farmers cope with the uncertainty of climate, market volatility and other risks

The relevant legislative proposals giving effect to the goals outlined in the Communication will be tabled by the Commission before the summer 2018, following the MFF proposal.

Background

On 2 February 2017, the European Commission launched a consultation on the future of the common agricultural policy (CAP) in order to better understand where the current policy could be simplified and modernised. During the three month consultation period, the European Commission received more than 320 000 replies, mostly from individuals. The consultation found that most respondents wanted to keep a strong common agricultural policy at European Union level but that it needed to be simpler and more flexible, and more focused on meeting the key challenges of ensuring a fair standard of living for farmers, preserving the environment and tackling climate change.

Communication

Source: European Commission

The British market is looking for differentiated, authentic and quality experiences in Galician tourism offer

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The trade mission promoted by the Galician Tourism Cluster to the World Travel Market in London concludes with more than 25 meetings with tour operators in the British market

Tour operators specializing in luxury tourism, caravans, active tourism, many of which are looking for a specialized and packaged offer, private tours and different experiences in which the predominant interest in heritage, nature, gastronomy and, of course, the Camino de Santiago. This is the profile of the 30 Galician businessmen who have travelled in the trade mission that the Galician Tourism Cluster has organized for the fourth consecutive year and hand in hand with Galician Tourism to the World Travel Market, one of the most important events for the tourism sector internationally and that today concludes in London.

In total, more than 25 professional meetings have been scheduled, in addition to the ones developed by the businessmen who have traveled to the fair and have maintained contacts with representatives of OTA’s and tour operators who seek to deepen the Galician offer with tourist packages aimed at cultural and nature tourism, open new tours or deepen contacts initiated in previous editions of the fair.

Slow Travel
Many of the professionals who have approached the meeting space that the Galician Tourism Cluster has managed at the Galician stand have also been interested in slow travel and sports tourism (surfing, skiing, mountain biking, diving, hiking, trekking…), without forgetting the cultural experiences. These professional meetings have also served as a first contact for those who want to start working with Galicia looking for authentic destinations that can offer different experiences and quality linked to Green Spain and sustainable tourism, which has been very present in this edition of the fair.

To a large extent, we have continued to work on the contacts initiated in previous editions, strengthening relations, opening new ways of collaboration and expanding tourism products,”explained the president of the Galician Tourism Cluster, Francisco González, who stressed the importance of working with a mature market such as the British, which seeks a specialized tourism and quality. The British market is the sixth international market for Galicia and has experienced this summer a growth of 3% in the number of overnight stays compared to the same period in 2016.

[Source: Galician Tourism Cluster]

CONXEMAR 2017-XIX International Frozen Seafood Exhibition

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UPCOMING EXHIBITION

DATES AND OPENING HOURS: Tuesday 3rd and Wednesday 4th October 2017 from 10:00 to 18:00 h., and Thursday October 2017 from 10:00 to 16:00.
EDITION: Nineteenth Edition
VENUE: IFEVI – Avenida do Aeroporto, 772, 36318 Vigo (Pontevedra). España
SCOPE: International
CHARACTER: Professional
SECTORS: Wholesalers, Importers, Exporters, Transformers, Manufacturers, Distributors, Refrigeration Equipment, Machinery, Auxiliary Industry (cooling, packaging, plastics, etc.)

WHY ATTEND CONXEMAR?

As a reference in Europe, the International Frozen Seafood Exhibition (CONXEMAR) serves as the meeting point for the entire processing sector: wholesalers, Importers, Exporters, Transformers, Manufacturers, Distributors, Cold storages, Machinery, Auxiliary Industry (cooling, packaging, plastics, etc.)

The exhibition is consolidated as one of the two most important ones in the world, with a current exhibition area of 31,500 m².

More information at Conxemar

EU consumers show growing demand for cross-border online shopping

The 2017 edition of the Consumer Conditions Scoreboard shows that more and more EU consumers are shopping online and that their trust in e-commerce has increased, in particular in buying online from other EU countries.

For retailers, however, the Scoreboard shows that many are still reluctant to expand their online activities and continue to have concerns about selling online to consumers in other EU countries. Such concerns are mainly linked to a higher risk of fraud and non-payment in cross-border sales, different tax regulations, differences in national contract law and in consumer protection rules.

While consumer conditions have improved overall since the last Scoreboard, the levels of trust, knowledge and protection still vary greatly between EU Member States.

Commissioner Jourová said: “My priority has been to improve trust of the people and smaller retailers in the Digital Single Market. Consumers are now more confident when they shop online. And we’ve equipped them with a quick procedure to get their money back if something goes wrong, even when buying from another country. The challenge now is to encourage more businesses to respond to this growing demand.”

More trust in e-commerce but barriers remain, including for retailers

The Scoreboard shows that consumer trust in e-commerce has dramatically increased. In ten years the share of Europeans buying online has almost doubled (from 29.7% in 2007 to 55% in 2017). Since the last Scoreboard consumers’ levels of trust have increased by 12 percentage points for purchases from retailers located in the same country and by 21 percentage points for purchases from other EU Member States.

Although there has been much progress, the Scoreboard shows that consumers are still facing obstacles when trying to buy from online retailers based in another EU country. For example, 13% of respondents reported a payment being refused and 10% were refused delivery of products to their country.

As for retailers, only 4 out of 10 of those currently selling online said that they are considering selling both domestically and across borders in the coming year. Many still have concerns about selling online in other countries, namely because of a higher risk of fraud, differences in national tax regulations or national contract law rules, or differences in consumer rules.

This is why the Commission has made a proposal for modern digital contract rules to harmonise contract rules for online sales of goods, and to promote access to digital content and online sales across the EU.

Awareness of consumer rights improving, but still low and uneven levels across the EU

Compared to the previous edition of the Scoreboard, consumers are more aware of their rights. On average, 13% of consumers are aware of their key rights (an increase of 3.6 percentage points since 2014).

However, consumer conditions are generally better in northern and western EU countries than eastern and southern ones. 94.5% of Finns complain when they encounter a problem, for example, whereas only 55.6% of Bulgarians do so. Exposure to unfair commercial practices, such as the use of aggressive marketing techniques, also varies greatly: 40.9% of Croatians are affected, in comparison to 3.4% of Austrians.

To tackle these issues, the Commission is working on a proposal to update consumer rules. The aim is to make sure that every European consumer is aware of their rights and that these rights are correctly enforced throughout the EU.

Retailers’ insufficient knowledge of consumer rights

The 2017 Scoreboard shows that retailers’ knowledge of consumer rules hasn’t improved since the previous edition. Only 53.5 % of their answers to questions on basic consumer rights were correct. Again the level of knowledge varies between countries, with only 36.2% of Croatian retailers knowing these rights compared to 62.3% of retailers in Germany.

Room for improvement with the speed of handling complaints

While consumers are finding fewer reasons to complain, the ones who have done so are more satisfied with how their complaints are handled.

However, almost one third of consumers decided not to complain, as they considered the sums involved were too small (34.6%) or that the procedure would have taken too long (32.5%).

This is why the Commission has improved the Small Claims procedure (since 14/07/2017), which now allows consumers to benefit from a fast-track online procedure for claims up to €5,000. The Commission is also encouraging out-of-court settlements with the Online Dispute Resolution (ODR) platform, which offers easy online access to alternative dispute entities for online transactions.

Background

The Consumer Scoreboards provide an overview of how the Single Market works for EU consumers. Published since 2008, they aim to ensure better monitoring of consumer rights and provide evidence to inform policy.

There are two types of Scoreboard, which are published in alternate years and based on large scale surveys:

  • The Consumer Conditions Scoreboard, which monitors national conditions for consumers in three areas: 1. knowledge and trust, 2. compliance and enforcement, 3. complaints and dispute resolution. It also examines progress in the integration of the EU retail market and in e-commerce.
  • The Consumer Markets Scoreboard, which tracks the performance of over 40 consumer markets on the basis of key indicators such as trusting that sellers comply with consumer protection rules, the comparability of offers, the choice available in the market, the extent to which consumer expectations are met, and the detriment caused by problems that consumers encounter. Other indicators, such as switching and prices, are also monitored and analysed (2016 edition).

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[Source: European Commission – Press release]

Ten years of Spanish-Arab economic relations

New stations for the Haramain High Speed Rail project
New stations for the Haramain High Speed Rail project

On the occasion of the programme of activities celebrating its 10th anniversaryCasa Árabe organised a business workshop under the title, ‘Ten Years of Spanish-Arab Economic Relations: Past and Future’, based on a survey of Spanish-Arab trade in the past decade.

Speakers included Balbino Prieto, Honorary President of the Spanish Investors and Exporters Club; Alfredo Bonet, International Director of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce; Manuel Alabart, Vice President of Técnicas ReunidasMaría Helena Antolin, Vice President of Grupo Antolin; and Carlos Espinosa de los Monteros, High Commissioner for Marca España, among others.

Trade on the rise

At the workshop, leading figures in diplomatic and commercial relations with the Arab world shared analyses and information. Together, they offered a closer look at relationships between Spanish-speaking and Arab countries, underscoring the strengthening of political and economic ties over the past few years.

‘Spanish exports to Arab countries have grown twice as fast as exports to the rest of world. Also, there has been significant growth in investment on both sides,’ said Pedro Villena, Director-General of Casa Árabe.

According to Juan Canals, Chairman of the Committee for the Mediterranean and the Middle East at the Spanish Confederation of Employers’ Organizations (CEOE), highlighted the growing relevance of Arab countries to Spanish trade, adding that the trade flow to the Arab world had increased by 73% in the past five years.

Morocco, second largest non-EU market

Isaac Martín-Barbero, Chairman and CEO at INECO, pointed out that the Arab world is growing fast in terms of infrastructure and investment. The medium- and long-term projects being carried out, he added, have opened up large markets for goods and solutions in which Spanish companies are global leaders.

As many as 40 major projects have been carried out in the past few years, including the Mecca-Medina high-speed rail and the expansion of Abu Dhabi and Fujairah International Airports.

[Source: Marca España July 19, 2017]

The European Parliament recommends measures to combat programmed obsolescence

 

  • MEPs want tangible goods and software to be easier to repair/update
  • They advocate tackling built-in obsolescence and making spare parts affordable
  • 77% of EU consumers would prefer to repair goods, rather than buy new ones

The EU Commission, member states and producers should take measures to ensure consumers can enjoy durable, high-quality products that can be repaired and upgraded.

Parliament wants to promote a longer product lifespan, in particular by tackling programmed obsolescence for tangible goods and for software.

Its recommendations include:

  • robust, easily repairable and good quality products: “minimum resistance criteria” to be established for each product category from the design stage,
  • if a repair takes longer than a month, the guarantee should be extended to match the repair time,
  • member states should give incentives to produce durable and repairable products, boosting repairs and second-hand sales – this could help to create jobs and reduce waste,
  • consumers should have the option of going to an independent repairer: technical, safety or software solutions which prevent repairs from being performed, other than by approved firms or bodies, should be discouraged,
  • essential components, such as batteries and LEDs, should not be fixed into products, unless for safety reasons,
  • spare parts which are indispensable for the proper and safe functioning of the goods should be made available “at a price commensurate with the nature and life-time of the product”,
  • an EU-wide definition of “planned obsolescence” and a system that could test and detect the “built-in obsolescence” should be introduced, as well as “appropriate dissuasive measures for producers”.

An EU label to inform consumers better

Parliament asks the Commission to consider a “voluntary European label” covering, in particular, the product’s durability, eco-design features, upgradeability in line with technical progress and reparability.

MEPs also propose creating a “usage meter” for the most relevant consumer products, in particular large electrical appliances, to ensure better information for consumers.

The resolution was approved by 662 votes to 32, with two abstentions.

Resolution of 4 July 2017 on a longer lifetime for products: benefits for consumers and companies. (2016/2272(INI))

Quote

Pascal Durand (Greens/EFA, FR), rapporteur, said: “We must reinstate the reparability of all products put on the market. We have to make sure that batteries are no longer glued into a product, but are screwed in so that we do not have to throw away a phone when the battery breaks down. We need to make sure that consumers are aware of how long the products last and how they can be repaired”.

Quick facts

According to a 2014 Eurobarometer survey, 77% of EU consumers would rather repair their goods than buy new ones, but ultimately have to replace or discard them because they are discouraged by the cost of repairs and the level of service provided.

“We have to make sure that batteries are no longer glued into a product, but are screwed in so that we do not have to throw away a phone when the battery breaks down”

Pascal Durand (Greens/EFA, FR)