Riga, May 27 2015. – Under the Latvian Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Competitiveness Council (hereinafter - Council) will meet on May 28 to discuss the digital single market, including industrial aspects. The meeting will be chaired by Latvian Minister for Economic Affairs Dana Reizniece - Ozola.
At the Council Ministers will exchange views on the new Digital Single Market Strategy, which the European Commission published on May 6.
Also on the agenda is approving draft Council conclusions on industrial digital transformation, as prepared by the Latvian Presidency. Conclusions include the Council`s vision of what the Commission and member states need to do to enhance the benefits for EU industry and entrepreneurs from the broader application of digital technology.
During the meeting the Council will look to approve a political agreement on the new Package Travel Directive, which will significantly strengthen consumer protection in relation to tourism services. The new proposal will replace the current regulation, which has been in force since 1990, and will ensure the regulatory framework reflects the modern situation, particularly the purchasing of travel online by individual citizens. The new rules will benefit EU travellers and the tourism industry as a whole. There will be improved information for consumers, the promotion of equitable and predictable price changes, more flexible and more equitable contractual rights of withdrawal, stronger organisers responsibility when the consumer has a problem during their trip, and higher protection in emergency situations etc. Businesses will also benefit, firstly by being rid of outdated regulations, and secondly, through the creation of uniform and transparent rules in the EU, particularly taking into account the needs of SMEs.
The Council will also discuss the proposal for the creation of a new form of a single-member private limited liability company (SUP or Societas Unius Personae), by which all the Member States would apply the same rules. The aim of the proposal is to facilitate the establishment of merchants and subsidiary companies in the other Member States, allowing them to start new activities, including cross-border commerce. During the meeting ministers will be invited to adopt a Council position, which would initiate further negotiations with the European Parliament on the legislative proposal.
Finally, the Council will discuss the consumer product safety and market supervision package, in order to finalise the position of the Council ahead of negotiations with the European Parliament. One outstanding legislative issue remains to be resolved, namely the proposal to introduce compulsory origin labelling for certain non-food products.
More detailed information on Competitiveness Council meeting is available at: http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/meetings/compet/2015/05/28-29/.
Information for the Media:
Press conference following the Competitiveness Council meeting is scheduled for Thursday, May 28 at around 18.30 (19.30 Latvian time). Press conference and public deliberations of the Council can be followed by video streaming at: http://video.consilium.europa.eu .
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