Consumers increasingly want access to information regarding the origin of products. Buying local is en vogue, offering a sense of greater certainty as to the quality and safety of products, the hope of a lower carbon footprint and a way to support local communities. This trend, however legitimate, also provides an opportunity for States to promote their domestic production – a temptation which is only getting stronger with the current economic crisis and the need to rescue national economies. In this context, origin-labelling can be used as a tool to guide consumers towards local purchases. In this post, Vincent Delhomme shows how EU law currently prevents Member States from imposing wide ranging origin-labelling requirements on products and argues, should any reform take place, for preserving the overall spirit of this legal framework.Continue reading
The enforcement of consumer law has traditionally been based primarily on private enforcement, complemented by administrative enforcement. Because of longstanding issues of non-compliance with EU consumer rights, the Commission has introduced an ‘EU representative action’. In this tenth and final post in RENFORCE Blog’s special series on the enforcement of EU law, Esther van Schagen summarises the main features of the new Directive and explains some of the assumptions as to the effect of more enforcement which underlie the Directive and become visible in the impact assessment. Arguably, the Directive has overlooked opportunities that could have contributed to managing key barriers to bringing collective actions – the complexity, length and costs of collective redress – and which ought to be addressed in order to enhance cross-border enforcement.Continue reading
In the ninth post in RENFORCE Blog’s special series on enforcement, Gavin Robinson argues that the extreme volatility of electronic data calls for EU law to promote not only efficient and secure access thereto for criminal investigators, but also robust standards of digital forensics. Currently, it is national laws and criminal justice systems which achieve varying levels of forensic soundness for digital evidence. Drawing on a comparative, multidisciplinary research project and sharing insight from legal practice in Luxembourg, the post advocates a stronger emphasis on the development of common European rules on digital forensics – potentially within dedicated EU legislation on the admissibility of evidence.Continue reading
European law plays a major role in the enforcement of intellectual property rights. The innovative rules and practices developed by the EU in this area provide a wide range of enforcement tools and introduce a European system of enforcement principles. In this post, the sixth in RENFORCE Blog’s special series on the enforcement of EU law, Peter Blok explains that intellectual property law is therefore a rich source for the study and further development of European law enforcement in general and private law enforcement in particular.Continue reading
EU chemicals policy has been one of the most ambitious and detailed areas of the EU regulatory polity. In part five of RENFORCE Blog’s special series on the enforcement of EU law, Leander Stähler addresses a concrete challenge to enforcing these rules – the registration of chemicals – and highlights the potential of the Commission’s new strategy.Continue reading
Based on the member states’ responses to the rare but severe side effects of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, one might be tempted to believe that there is no common approach to enforcing European Union (EU) medicines policy. In this post, the fourth in a special RENFORCE Blog series on the enforcement of EU law, Laurens van Kreij takes a more nuanced look at medicines policy’s complexities, and explains why the national responses were able to diverge so strongly. He thinks the chances of rapid and major change are slim.Continue reading
In this second post in RENFORCE Blog’s special series on enforcement, Cedric Ryngaert highlights the Commission’s unsuccessful attempts to expand its limited enforcement powers over travel bans in the context of the recent adoption of the Global Human Rights Sanctions Regime. If centralized EU-level enforcement of travel bans is desirable, how might it be secured: through treaty change, or political pressure?Continue reading
Calls for EU law enforcement are a common and logical response to address recent challenges – and crises – across multiple policy sectors, but may face constraints of a legal, political and practical nature. According to Miroslava Scholten, these constraints are exactly where we all need to focus in order to ensure the resilience of the EU into the future. Today, on May 9, the Day of Europe, we make a start of a special blog post series by RENFORCE experts to put the need for more and better enforcement of EU law in the spotlight. Check our blog page out in the coming days!Continue reading
Ton van den Brink and Dorin-Ciprian Grumaz
EU legislation has long been the forgotten stepchild in EU law and the study thereof. Given the major transformations it has undergone and an ever more complex relation to national law, it is time to put EU legislation in the limelight, argue Ton van den Brink and Dorin-Ciprian Grumaz.Continue reading
This blogpost is part of a series of short commentaries on the European Commission’s proposals for a Digital Markets Act and a Digital Services Act, released on 15 December 2020. Stay tuned for more.
Competition law enforcement takes too long
The Commission has heavily fined large technology companies for breach of competition rules in recent years. However, it is common ground that the protection of competition in the digital sector is at risk. There are gaps in the existing rules, but one of the main difficulties is the fast-changing pace of digital markets which is at odds with the time it takes to complete case-by-case full-fledged investigations.
Cases that take years to decide risk being all for naught if the practices harm competition in an irreparable manner while the investigation is ongoing. However, streamlining investigations in the digital sector is not easy. Cases tend to raise new and complex issues and the authorities always need to gather solid evidence to prove that the rules have been breached and follow due process.Continue reading