Insights | EU Insight 10 December, 2021

10/12/2021

EU Insight 10 December, 2021

Brussels, 10 December 2021

 

MOBILE ROAMING WITH NO EXTRA FEES TO CONTINUE IN THE EU AT LEAST UNTIL 2032

The European Parliament and the EU Member States reached an agreement on the new Roaming Regulation, prolonging the existing system until 2032. This means that European citizens will continue to not be subject to additional charges for calls or data used while travelling within the EU. Additionally, the objective of the prolongation is to let consumers have access to the same quality of service that they enjoy at ‘home’, which should include improved access to emergency communications and cost caps to prevent high charges from calling service numbers from abroad. The new rules will enter into force on 1 July 2022.

 

EU TO STRENGTHEN PROTECTION AGAINST ECONOMIC COERCION

The Commission proposed a new tool that aims at countering the use of economic coercion by third countries. The aim is to strengthen the EU’s toolbox in this area, and to deter restrictions or threat of restrictions in trade or investment to bring about a change of EU. The new instrument is designed to install a dialogue with the relevant third country as a first step, and eventually apply countermeasures – such as tariffs, restricting imports on services or investments, or even limit the access to the EU’s internal market – in cases when there is no other way to address economic intimidation. The proposal will now undergo the ordinary legislative procedure.

 

MACRON PRESENTS THE FRENCH COUNCIL PRESIDENCY PRIORITIES

France’s President, Emmanuel Macron, presented the main priorities for the upcoming Council Presidency, which France will hold from 1 January 2022. Macron said that during its tenure, France will push for a reform of the Schengen area, focus on the debate around the EU fiscal rules, and seek to maintain the momentum to support the green and digital transitions. More broadly, France will also prioritise work on the areas of defence, youth and health, and will aim to conciliate its bold ambitions for the EU industries’ competitiveness with climate objectives. Macron’s ambition, however, will have to consider France’s upcoming national elections, which will take place in April 2022.

 

COMMISSION PROPOSES MEASUREMENTS TO REGULATE DIGITAL LABOUR PLATFORMS

The European Commission proposed a set of measures to regulate the working conditions in digital platform work and to support a more sustainable growth of such platforms in the EU. The new rules – enshrined in a Communication, a proposal for a Directive and Draft Guidelines – seek to regulate employment status, algorithmic management, and enforcement, transparency, and traceability of data. The Commission objective is to provide workers with legal certainty and enable them to fully benefit from the economic potential of the Single Market and a level playing field. Critics of the proposal, however, argue that the changes would negatively impact the gig economy and might lead to job losses. The proposal will now undergo the ordinary legislative procedure.

 

EU MINISTERS SUPPORT PROPOSALS FOR ADEQUATE MINIMUM AND TRANSPARENT WAGES

The Council agreed on its position on the Commission’s proposal for an EU law on adequate minimum wages in the EU and a draft law on pay transparency. In particular, EU Ministers agreed that countries should promote strengthening the capacity of social partners to engage in collective bargaining. Additionally, statutory minimum wages should be set and updated based on a set of stable and clear criteria. Regarding the latter, Member States agreed that employers need to use clear criteria when defining their employees pay and career progression, and companies with more than 250 employees need to provide annual statistics on the gap between males and females in their organisation.

 

COMING UP NEXT WEEK

  • 12-13 December: Agriculture and Fisheries Council. On the agenda: total catch limits and quotas for the EU’s main stocks for the year 2022
  • 13 December: Foreign Affairs Council. On the agenda: EU-Africa relations, exchange of views on Central Asia, discussion on Venezuela and the outcome of the elections, Russian military build-up, informal exchange with the deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister of Qatar, adoption of conclusions on the Common Security and Defence (CSDP) Policy Compact
  • 14 December: General Affairs Council. On the agenda: enlargement/stabilisation and association process, roadmap for the European Semester 2022, state of play regarding the rule of law in Poland and the values of the EU in Hungary
  • 14 December: College of Commissioners meeting. On the agenda: energy and climate, efficient and green mobility package, revision of the Schengen Borders Code, improving environmental protection through criminal law
  • 15 December: Eastern Partnership Summit. On the agenda: reaffirmation of joint commitments to foster stability and cooperation with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine
  • 16 December: Euro Summit
  • 16-17 December: European Council. On the agenda: COVID-19, crisis management and resilience, energy prices, security and defence, external aspects of migration, external relations with Belarus and Ukraine

 

Karl Isaksson, Managing Partner Brussels, Kreab

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Kreab • Tel: +32 2 737 6900 • karl.isaksson@kreab.comwww.kreab.com/brussels • Twitter: @KreabEU.

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