Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Apple Case: EU Commission withdraws legal action against Ireland after full recovery of illegal aid to Apple

Following the confirmation by Ireland that the full recovery of the illegal State aid granted to Apple has been finalised, the Commission has today decided to withdraw its Court action against Ireland. 
On 30 August 2016, the Commission adopted a State aid decision finding that Ireland had granted undue tax benefits of up to €13 billion to Apple. The Commission concluded that these tax benefits were illegal under EU State aid rules as they allowed Apple to pay substantially less tax on profits recorded in Ireland than other companies subject to same national taxation laws and ordered Ireland to recover the amount of taxes that should have been paid by Apple. 
The deadline for Ireland to implement the Commission's decision and recover the illegal State aid was 3 January 2017. In view of the delay in recovery, on 4 October 2017 the Commission referred Ireland to the European Court of Justice for failure to recover the illegal State aid granted to Apple. On 6 September 2018, Ireland co…

EU Commission presents a directory of European films to facilitate on-line access

Link - Source: EU Commission

Other available languages:

FRDEDAESNLITSVPTFIELCSET
HULTLVMTPLSKSLBGROHR

Brussels, 18 October 2018

On the occasion of the Marché international du film classique [International Classic Film Market] in Lyon, Mariya Gabriel, the Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society, will today present the prototype of a directory of European films, a key action of the Digital4Culture strategy which is also part of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018.

Launched with the assistance of the European Audiovisual Observatory, the new directory will help professionals, the public authorities and citizens to find information about European films and their availability on-line in video-on-demand (VOD) services throughout the European Union.

Commissioner Gabriel said: "It is up to us to ensure that European works enjoy the audience that they deserve. Digital transformation has the potential to reinforce the positive impact of culture, at economic and societal levels. The o…

EU-Mitgliedstaaten einigen sich auf niedrigere Mehrwertsteuer für E-Books

Link
02/10/2018

Quelle: Vertretung der EU in Berlin

Die Finanzminister der EU-Mitgliedstaaten haben heute (Dienstag) einen Durchbruch bei der Mehrwertsteuer erzielt. Unter anderem wurden die Mehrwertsteuersätze für elektronische Veröffentlichungen wie etwa E-Books, die derzeit in den meisten Mitgliedstaaten zum Normalsatz besteuert werden, an die günstigere Regelung für gedruckte Veröffentlichungen angepasst. Darüber hinaus einigte man sich auf neue Vorschriften zum Informationsaustausch und auf eine engere Zusammenarbeit zwischen nationalen Steuerbehörden und Strafverfolgungsbehörden. Betrug und Steuerhinterziehung in diesem Sektor dürften somit künftig schwieriger werden.

„Glaubt man den jüngsten Zahlen, so gehen den Mitgliedstaaten jährlich immer noch rund 150 Mrd. Euro an MwSt. verloren. Die heutigen Vereinbarungen sind ein wichtiger Schritt zur Lösung dieses Problems“, erklärte EU-Wirtschafts- und Finanzkommissar Pierre Moscovici.

Nach den geltenden Mehrwertsteuervorschriften (Richt…

The EU joins the Marrakesh Treaty on access to print works in formats adapted for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled

On 1 October 2018, the EU ratified the Marrakesh Treaty. The Treaty facilitates access to print works in formats adapted for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled. 
The act took place in a ceremony at the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva. It was carried out by Ambassador Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger of Austria, which currently holds the Presidency of the Council of the EU, and Claire Bury, Deputy Director-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technologies at the European Commission.
Read more

EU Parliament approves revised rules for audiovisual media (AVMSD) across Europe

Source: EU Commission
2 October 2018
The European Parliament plenary session approved today the revised Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD). Part of the Digital Single Market strategy, the new rules pave the way for a fairer regulatory environment for the entire audiovisual sector, including on-demand services and video sharing platforms.

They promote European audiovisual productions and guarantee the independence of audiovisual regulators, strengthen the protection of minors and reinforce the battle against hate speech in all audiovisual content.

The new Directive additionally promotes European works by guaranteeing a 30% share of European works in on-demand catalogues and keeps the country-of-origin principle as the cornerstone of EU audiovisual regulation, with more clarity on which Member State's rules apply in each case.

Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, and Commissioner Mariya Gabriel, responsible for Digital Economy and Society w…

EU Commission study reveals problems with advertising and marketing practices on social media

Source: EU Commission
Study can be found online here.

The European Commission today published a study that identifies unfair and manipulative advertising and marketing practices on social media. 
Evidence collected shows that consumers are often not aware about the way social media providers target them for marketing purposes. For example, one third of the participants surveyed were unaware of the commercial nature of native advertising, i.e. paid ads in an online publication which resemble the publication's editorial content. Conversely, consumers usually are able to quickly recognise a typical magazine advertisement. 
Likewise, two thirds of consumers are misled by a common practice on Facebook, which consists of showing “likes” from their friends next to other products than those that they had actually “liked”. Practices forbidden under the EU Unfair Commercial Practices Blacklist such as false offers and false prize winning competitions were also found to be commonplace. 
Věra …

S&D/SPD-Hintergrund zu Neuen Video-Regeln für TV und Internet - Verordnung: Abstimmung am Dienstag,, 3. Oktober 2018

Quelle: SPD im EU-Parlament: www.spd-europa.de/
Verordnung: Abstimmung am Dienstag, 03.10.2018, 12 Uhr bis 14 Uhr; Pressekonferenz, Mittwoch 10 Uhr bis 10.30 Uhr, im Pressezentrum (LOWN-1/201)
Petra KAMMEREVERT MdEP, Vorsitzende des Kulturausschusses im Europäischen
Hintergrund: Die Richtlinie für Audiovisuelle Mediendienste gab bisher Grundregeln für Fernsehinhalte und Videoabrufdienste, zum Beispiel Netflix, vor. Durch eine umfassende Reform werden die Regeln für Bild und Ton an die Herausforderungen des digitalen Zeitalters angepasst und sollen in Zukunft für Bewegtbilder insgesamt, also auch online, auf Social Media Plattformen wie Facebook oder Videoplattformdiensten wie Youtube, gelten.
Am Dienstag, 3. Oktober 2018, wird das Plenum in Straßburg über den finalen Text abstimmen, der nach langwierigen Trilog-Verhandlungen einen Kompromiss präsentiert. Folgende Veränderungen werden demnach in knapp zwei Jahren eingeführt sein: Die Richtlinie führt einen erweiterten Anwendungsbereich ei…

New EPRA Report: Too Few Women in Audiovisual Media - EU Commission

Source: EU Commission

18 September 2018
Today, the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA) presented its report on the representation of women in the audiovisual media industry to European Commissioner for Digital Economy and Society Mariya Gabriel, confirming that women are currently underrepresented on-screen and in the audiovisual media industry more widely.

The report explores the on-screen representation and portrayal of women, the stereotypes of female characters in advertising as well as women's off-screen representation. It is based on the responses to a survey of 31 audiovisual regulators primarily from within the EU, including some members of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA). 
The report shows that there is a willingness among many regulators to address the issue of gender representation in the sector and stresses the potential role of media regulatory authorities in supporting this trend. Commissioner for Digital Economy and…

The EU's ambiguous position towards Facebook

Image
Despite its criticism, the EU Commission does business with Facebook as the following EU Commission answer to MEPs demonstrate:
EU Commission Answer - Commission spending on online advertising on Facebook - P-002713/2018Commission response
20 July 2018
P-002713/2018

Answer given by President Juncker on behalf of the European Commission

The Commission considers that Facebook, like other social media, offers a cost-effective means of reaching substantial parts of the EU population(1).

Like many other international organisations and public bodies, the Commission has boosted Facebook posts on Commission pages around key communication moments, notably for the roll-out(2) of corporate communication campaigns.

Examples of these campaigns include the Investment Plan for Europe(3) and the 60th anniversary of the EU. The outreach on the Investment Plan for Europe, for example, has contributed to very positive results so far by showing citizens the tangible benefits of EU funding and EU supported inv…

EU Parliament publishes In-depth analysis on potential tool and policy actions to combat fake news

Source: EP  - Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection

The paper on "Technology as Enabler of Fake News and a Potential Tool to Combat It" investigates the role of technology in the circulation of the so-called fake news. The paper on "The legal framework to address “fake news”: possible policy actions at the EU level" argues that the current policy initiatives adopted by the European Commission are meaningful, but still incomplete. These documents were prepared for Policy Department A at the request of the IMCO Committee.

Further information
In-depth analysis: Technology as Enabler of Fake News and a Potential Tool to Combat ItIn-depth analysis: The legal framework to address “fake news”: possible policy actions at the EU levelSource : © European Union, 2018 - EP

VISIT WEBSITE

EU Commission clears acquisition of Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Business by Blackstone

Source: EU Commission - Link The European Commission has approved, under the EU Merger Regulation, the acquisition of sole control over Thomson Reuters Financial and Risk Business (“Thomson Reuters F&R”) by the Blackstone Group, both of the US.  Thomson Reuters F&R is a data and financial technology business that provides information and data analytics, enables financial transactions and connects communities of trading, investment, financial, corporate, strategy, treasure and risk professionals. Blackstone is a global asset manager and provider of financial advisory services.  Blackstone, through its portfolio company Ipreo, and Thomson Reuters F&R both provide financial information products to financial market professionals, including real-time and non-real-time data services. The transaction gives rise to a number of horizontal and vertical overlaps between the companies' activities.  Following its market investigation, the Commission concluded that the proposed transact…

Good news for journalists: We won't be replaced by robots

Image
I've just checked on this BBC website, which professions and functions are threatened to be replaced by robots. The good news is: Journalists are not an endangered species:




EU Commission working group presents draft code of practice on online disinformation

The working group of the multi-stakeholder forum on online disinformation has delivered a draft Code of Practice to tackle online disinformation. The working group is composed of online platforms, leading social networks, advertisers and the advertising industry. A final code of practice is expected in September.

Source - EU Commission: VISIT WEBSITE

The draft Code of Practice and its annex map out the Commission's objectives outlined in the Communication "Tackling online Disinformation", and should lead to a measurable reduction of online disinformation by addressing the following five main areas:
Improving the scrutiny of ad placements to demonetize purveyors of disinformation;Ensuring transparency of political advertising and issue-based advertising to enable users to identify promoted content;Ensuring the integrity of platforms' services including by identifying and closing fake accounts and using appropriate mechanisms to signal bot-driven interactions;Making it ea…

EU-Gerichtshof: Mündliche Verhandlung in der Rechtssache C-516/17 Spiegel Online - Umfang des urheberrechtlichen Zitatrechts der Presse

3. Juli 2018 - 11.00 Uhr 
Ein Bundestagsabgeordneter hat die Spiegel Online GmbH vor deutschen Gerichten auf Unterlassung und Schadensersatz verklagt, nachdem diese in einem Pressebericht auf ihrem Internetportal Links zu ein von ihm verfassten Manuskript, in dem er sich zum Sexualstrafrecht geäußert hatte, sowie dem 1988 als Buchbeitrag erschienen Text gesetzt hatte. In dem Pressebericht vertrat die Autorin die Ansicht, der Bundestagsabgeordnete habe die Öffentlichkeit jahrelang hinters Licht geführt. Die Originaldokumente belegten, dass das Manuskript nahezu identisch mit dem Buchbeitrag und die zentrale Aussage des Bundestagsabgeordneten keineswegs im Sinn verfälscht worden sei. Der Bundestagsabgeordnete sieht in der Veröffentlichung der Texte eine Verletzung seines Urheberrechts. Der Bundesgerichtshof hat dem EuGH in diesem Zusammenhang eine Reihe von Fragen zum Umfang des urheberrechtlichen Zitatrechts vorgelegt (siehe auch Pressemitteilung des BGH Nr. 124/17). Heute findet die mü…

EU Parliament publishes its briefing on the EU's Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)

Source: Briefing - The Audiovisual Media Services Directive - 14-06-2018

On 6 June 2018, European Parliament negotiators and the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council agreed on an updated EU Audiovisual Media Services Directive, based on the proposal presented by the Commission on 25 May 2016. The overarching goal of the proposal is to bring about a balance between competitiveness and consumer protection. It therefore aims to introduce flexibility when restrictions only applicable to TV are no longer justified, promote European films, protect minors and tackle hate speech more efficiently. The proposal also reflects a new approach to online platforms. Following the informal agreement, the text is expected to be put to the vote in plenary in autumn 2018. Fifth edition. The ‘EU Legislation in Progress’ briefings are updated at key stages throughout the legislative procedure.

Source : © European Union, 2018 - EP

VISIT WEBSITE

Audiovisual media services: EU agreement on a directive to protect minors, boost competitiveness and promote European content

Source: EU Council Link On 13 June EU ambassadors confirmed an agreementreached on 6 June 2018 between the Bulgarian Presidency of the Council and the European Parliament representatives on modernising the existing rules on the provision ofaudiovisual media services in Europe. Good policy-making involves ensuring that our rules are up to date and reflect modern technology. As a result of this agreement on audiovisual media services we will be better equipped to protect consumers and children, fight the spread of hate speech and safeguard media pluralism and independence. Boil Banov, minister for culture of the Republic of Bulgaria and president of the CouncilThe proposal for a revision of the directive on the provision of audiovisual media services in the light of changing market realities (AVMSD) was presented by the Commission in 2016after a thorough evaluation of the previous 2010 AVMSD. This evaluation highlighted the need to ensure a level playing field between the traditional broadca…

EU Commission Q&A on Modernisation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD)

Source: EU Commission +++ 

Brussels, 7 June 2018 +++  QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS +++  Modernisation of the Audiovisual Media Services Directive +++  Why was the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD) revised? The media landscape has shifted dramatically in less than a decade. Instead of sitting in front of the family TV, millions of Europeans, especially young people, watch content online, on demand and on different mobile devices. Children are watching less traditional TV: the average daily viewing time for young Europeans was 2 hours in 2014 i.e. about half as much as the average viewer (source).Global internet video share in consumer internet traffic is expected to increase from 64% in 2014 to 80% by 2019 (source).Taking these new developments into account, as well as the Commission proposal to review the Audiovisual Media Services Directive (AVMSD), the European Parliament and the Council reached yesterday a political agreement on the revised rules. This paves the way to creating a reg…

EU member states agree their position on new copyright rules for the digital environment

25/05/2018 | 17:52

Link to Source: Council of the EU

The EU Council's permanent representatives committee (Coreper) - representing the member states - today agreed its position on a draft directive aimed at adapting EU copyright rules to the digital environment.

The common position will serve as a mandate for the presidency of the Council to start negotiations with the European Parliament, once the latter has agreed its own position.

"All kinds of content are today easily made available online. The dissemination of creative content through the internet encourages cultural diversity. However, this has to be balanced against an appropriate level of protection and fair remuneration for those creating the content." - Boil Banov, Minister of culture of Bulgaria
The main objective of the directive is to modernise the European copyright framework and adapt it to the requirements of the digital age. By contributing to the harmonisation of practises across member states, it will…

Tackling online disinformation: EU Commission proposes an EU-wide Code of Practice

Source: EU Commission: Link
Other available languages:  FRDEDAESNLITSVPTFIELCSET HULTLVMTPLSKSLBGROHR

Brussels, 26 April 2018

Today, the Commission is proposing measures to tackle disinformation online, including an EU-wide Code of Practice on Disinformation, support for an independent network of fact-checkers, and a series of actions to stimulate quality journalism and promote media literacy.

The recent Facebook/Cambridge Analytica revelations demonstrated exactly how personal data can be exploited in electoral contexts, and are a timely reminder that more is needed to secure resilient democratic processes. Today the European Commission is taking steps forward in the fight against disinformation to ensure the protection of European values and security.

Vice-President for the Digital Single Market Andrus Ansip said: "Disinformation is not new as an instrument of political influence. New technologies, especially digital, have expanded its reach via the online environment to undermine o…