A coalition of pro-free market groups made up of Christian-Democrats (EPP), Conservatives (ECR) and Liberals (ALDE) succeeded to ensure the adoption by the European Parliament of a report backing the doctrine of the Juncker Commission which aims for less regulation. The report, which asks for an improved Single Market regulation, was adopted by EU MEPs by a small margin: 387 votes in favour, 293 against and 26 abstentions. Continue Reading
On Tuesday 19 January 2016, MEPs adopted a series of recommendations to boost the 16 Digital market initiatives launched by the Commission in May 2015. European Parliamentarians have pushed for a rapid adoption of the project.
The motion was approved by 551 to 88 with 39 abstentions on 678 presents. The majority in favor of the resolution included the Christian democrats, the Socialists, the Greens, the Liberals and the Conservatives. The radical left group abstained. The Eurosceptics and the Nationalists opposed the text. 90% of MEPs voted along political groups’ lines.
by Monika Golaszewska & Doru P. Frantescu
On Wednesday, October 28th, the Commission has launched a single market plan, which aims at unleashing its full potential and creating new opportunities in the global economy.
Commissioner for the internal Market, Elzbieta Bienkowska, has started her public diplomacy campaign by saying that she is very enthusiastic about the new opportunities for innovation and she “fell in love” with the single market while working on new strategies of its upgrading. “EU is the biggest market in the world, with 500 million consumers, but we have not realized its full potential” stressed Bienkowska. She sees the main problems in the barriers and protectionist measures, which hold back the entrepreneurs. The Commission has been working on a new approach to industrial competitiveness, to build an open and efficiently functioning product and service market. Continue Reading
Key references on net neutrality were eliminated from a European Parliament report voted on 27 October.
Net neutrality is the idea that data should be ferried from place to place as quickly as possible, regardless of what it is, is how most people assume the internet works.
However, some ISP would like to be able to decide to prioritise certain types of data over others by charging the producers of such data a fee to make sure their content gets delivered promptly. Continue Reading
Manfred Weber and Gianni Pittella are the leaders of the two biggest political factions in the European Parliament, the groups of the European People’s Party and of the Socialists and Democrats, respectively.
Many observers have argued that there are few differences between the views of these two, a situation which acts as a disincentive for the European citizens to come to vote, since they can’t see why an option is better than the other. Continue Reading
By Doru Frantescu, Director and co-founder of VoteWatch Europe
Last review: 19 June 2015.
This article discusses how the Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are likely to shape the new EU copyright laws. We show that the conflict within the society between those who consume and those who create digital content has been transposed in the European Parliament in the struggle between the political forces on the classical left-right axis. We predict that the “pro open content camp” will gain the upper hand and will push for a softening of the regime of copyright throughout the EU, such as the abolition of geo-blocking and territoriality principle. We map the MEPs’ positions by ideology and country and show that, while the ideology is the main predictor of an MEP’s vote, the country of origin also plays a role (e.g. the French Members of the Socialist group have a position more in favour of protection of cultural property than the rest of their group colleagues, while the British Labour are more in favour of free market and protection of property in general, compared to their continental colleagues).
– On 9 June, the report drafted by the Chair of the Legal Affair Committee Pavel Svoboda (EPP – PL) on Intellectual Property Rights Enforcement was voted during the EP plenary session in Strasburg and was approved (with 529 votes in favour and 143 against).
– On 17 June, the report drafted by the German Pirate Party’s Julia Reda proposing major changes to copyright laws in the EU has been adopted by the European Parliament’s Legal Affairs committee (JURI) after it spent several hours voting on 550 amendments. (23 votes in favour, 2 against). The report will now be voted on by the full European Parliament on July 9, where more amendments could be made. The final text will then be sent to the European Commission, which will use it as input for a legislative proposal on copyright reform, expected to appear by the end of the year.
In May, the European Commission put forward the long-awaited guidelines for a digital strategy. The Pandora’s Box is now open and the Commission will take on board reactions from various segments of the society and politicians.
While there is a large consensus that going digital is the way forward, some of the areas have raised a high level of controversy. Perhaps chief among these is the approach to copyright, on which the Commission has announced plans to follow up with legislation before the end of 2015. Intellectual property seems to be one of the most hotly debated areas and which lines up impressive lobby efforts on both sides of the reform. Continue Reading
By Doru Frantescu, Director and co-founder of VoteWatch Europe
On 10 June, the EP plenary will vote on a proposal to reshape the EU company law (the Cofferati report). This analysis weights the odds that some of the hottest items in the proposal have to make it through the EP’s decision body, such as the extra rewards for long-term shareholders, shareholders’ say on directors’ pay, comply or explain principle versus binding regulation, greater involvement of employees in management decisions and the country-by-country reporting of profits by multi-national companies. The analysis takes into account the votes in the leading EP committee (JURI), the voting records of the political forces in previous occasions and the new balance of power resulted from the 2014 European elections.
Many businesses and stakeholders are taken by surprise when they see what kind of EU law has actually come out of the EP. However, the analysis of the position of each key player and the overall balance of power can provide highly valuable insights, forecasting the way in which the EP will shape key pieces of legislation (expected to be) put forward by the Commission. This analysis will discuss what is likely to happen to some of the key proposals aimed at reshaping EU corporate governance legislation, which have been initiated by EU Executive (Commission) in April 2014. Continue Reading
60% of the MEPs voted in favour of a statement that backed the European Executive’s approach to withdraw from the legislative process those bills that are considered obsolete or that are suspected to add too much administrative burden on the institutions and businesses operating across the EU. This approach received the backing of the centre—right political families, Christian-democrats (EPP), conservatives (ECR), liberals and democrats (ALDE). The majority was formed also with the votes of British UKIP and most of the non-attached MEPs. Continue Reading
The Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE) of the European Parliament believes that a single market for electronic communications is a key tool for creating smart, sustainable and inclusive growth. According to specialised studies in e-commerce, EU citizens could save around 60 billion EUR a year as a result of lower prices in telecoms and 95 billion EUR as a result of having more choices. A single market for electronic communications would also increase consumer choices, quality of service and contribute to territorial and social cohesion, as well facilitate overall mobility across the EU. Continue Reading