High prices and the inconvenience of cross-border parcel delivery have been identified as being among the main obstacles to a bigger uptake of e-commerce among European consumers and retailers. Research shows that current cross-border parcel delivery prices charged by universal service providers can be almost five times higher than domestic parcel delivery prices. To remedy the situation, the European Commission presented a legislative proposal on cross-border parcel delivery services as part of its May 2016 e-commerce package. The proposal is set to increase the transparency of cross-border parcel delivery prices and improve regulatory oversight. In its general approach, the Council seeks to limit the transparency requirements proposed by the Commission. The Committee on Transport and Tourism (TRAN) report, on the other hand, suggests broadening the application of these requirements to go beyond just universal service providers. Trilogue negotiations started in November 2017, with the next round planned for December.
Rural actors face a race against time in their efforts to ensure that the European Union’s next long-term budget better addresses the challenges of villages and remote regions, the European Committee of the Regions warns in a set of recommendations that call on to do more to sustain rural regions.
The impact of the EU’s competition policy on local and regional authorities was the topic of an opinion adopted at the European Committee of the Regions’ (CoR) December plenary session. During a debate with the EU’s Commissioner for Competition, Margrethe Vestager, members of the CoR urged that rules allow local and regional authorities address social and economic challenges without being considered state aid.
Speech by Commissioner Vestager
Vote results and texts adopted will be added when available.
A summary of the adoption of the general approach is now available.
Update: the main results are now available.
The Council will be invited to agree on a general approach to establish a single digital gateway. Ministers will also take part in a debate on industrial policy with a view to adopting conclusions on a future EU strategy on this topic. In addition, the regular “Competitiveness check-up” part of the session will focus on industrial policy objectives. The Council will examine the way forward for the EU space programmes and will be invited to adopt conclusions on the mid-term review of the Copernicus programme. Finally, A set of draft conclusions titled “From the interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 towards the ninth framework programme” will be submitted to the Council for approval.
The European Commission has today unveiled new tools to make the EU’s Value Added Tax (VAT) system more fraud-proof and close loopholes which can lead to large-scale VAT fraud.
The Council has adopted a regulation to strengthen cooperation between EU national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws.
EU ambassadors confirmed today an agreement reached between the Estonian presidency and the European Parliament to ban unjustified geo-blocking in the internal market.
The Commission today presents measures to ensure that intellectual property rights are well protected, thereby encouraging European companies, in particular SMEs and start-ups, to invest in innovation and creativity.