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BUSINESSEUROPE, EUROCHAMBRES and EUROCOMMERCE have been consistently stressing the importance of the services sector to the EU economy, businesses and consumers alike. Economic activity in Europe remains disproportionately hit by Covid-19, and the service sector will be crucial to accelerating Europe’s recovery.
The overall post-2019 contribution to the EU economy from services is estimated at €389bn or 2.28% of EU GDP, and a further €284bn of gains would be possible under full implementation of the Services Directive*. The growing trend for EU industry to offer substantial services alongside their products and use services as input also provides a major opportunity to both service providers and industry: services generate 27% of the value added in EU manufacturing compared to 20% in the US; yet our productivity in services is only around half that of the US level**. It is therefore clear that significant growth potential remains untapped as long as there is no free movement of services in the EU.
The European Commission’s Long-term Action Plan for Implementation and Enforcement of Single Market Rules partly acknowledged the current situation with the measures on services it foresees. However, a difficult political debate caused a set-back to the agenda on services as the Commission was forced to withdraw the remainder of the 2017 Services Package.Read more
EuroCommerce has issued a joint letter (co-signed by Independent Retail Europe) which was sent to Commissioner Sefcovics on dealing with regulatory burdens in the retail and wholesale sector during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Together with 11 trade associations, EuroCommerce states its concern about the European Data Protection Board’s latest guidelines on consent. In light of recent decisions of the French Conseil d’Etat on cookies – highlighting that the GDPR does not ban cookie walls – the signatories call on the EDPB to uphold the flexibility of the GDPR and not to recommend more stringent norms.
More details can be found in the letter.Read more
The European Banking Authority’s (EBA) statement on consumer and payment issues in light of COVID19 of 25 March1 included relaxation of some aspects of Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), and a willingness to consider other measures in respect of their Opinion.
In this context, Ecommerce Europe, EuroCommerce and Independent Retail Europe call on the EBA and the European Commission to seriously consider such additional measures and especially the granting of an extension of the current deadline for the migration to Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) of 31 December 2020.Read more