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 The EPC Members' Newsletter

 
Legislative up-date - 63 Month - July 1997

In this issue we cover:

  • Calls for reduced rates for VAT on cultural products including multimedia
  • Outcome of Ministerial conference on Global Information networks
  • Tobacco Advertising - a priority for EU Luxembourg presidency
  • MEPs consider the impact of new technologies on the press

 
 
 

TABLE OF CONTENTS



1 VAT

1.1 Council - low Culture tax rates?

1.2 Commission - VAT proposal
 
 

2 PRESS, NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE AND BOOK POLICY

2.1 Council - book pricing

2.2 EP - media ownership and impact of new

technologies on the press

2.3 Council + Parliament - agreement on Ariane

programme
 
 

3 INTERNET (CONTENT) REGULATION

3.1 Council - protection of minors and human dignity
 
 

4 INTERNET AND CONVERGENCE

4.1 Commission - proposal on protection of conditional

access services

4.2 Council + Parliament - conciliation procedure due for

ISDN data protection

4.3 EP - vocal telephony directive
 
 

5 INFORMATION SOCIETY

5.1 Council - regulatory transparency mechanism

5.2 Global Information Networks conference

5.3 Commission/USA meeting

5.4 Group of experts

5.5 Commission - Communication on social dimension of

information society
 
 

6 COPYRIGHT

6.1 EP - report on copyright delayed

6.2 EP - IP a focus of report on Action Plan for Single

Market

6.3 Council - formal authorisation of signing of WIPO

Treaty
 
 

7 ADVERTISING POLICY

7.1 EP - commercial communications

7.2 Council - tobacco advertising

7.3 ECJ - cross-border TV advertising

7.4 Council + EP - comparative advertising directive
 
 

8 AUDIOVISUAL POLICY

8.1 Council - audiovisual guarantee fund

8.2 Council - public broadcasting

8.3 Commission - implementation of broadcasting

directive
 
 

9 GENERAL

9.1 Council - Presidency priorities

  1. Commission - database on unfair contract terms
9.3 Parliament - postal services directive

9.4 Council - UK to implement social legislation
 
 
 
 

1 VAT

    1. Council - taxes on culture?
The 30 June Council held an open debate on the future of European cultural action, following previous discussions at informal ministerial meetings. The Council agreed on a decision (to be formally adopted at a forthcoming Council session), based on an Italian initiative which called for an integrated Community programme on Culture. Such an initiative could pave the way for EU harmonisation of reduced VAT rates on "cultural goods" including press and multi-media products. French Minister for Culture, Catherine Trautman stated that she hoped the Commission would conduct "a study on taxation of cultural goods and services, addressing the issue of conditions for competition and competitiveness of the European art market as well as the issue of VAT applicable to records, sound-recording cassettes and multi-media products". The French Government has already tried lowering VAT on multi-media products in line with press but were told by the Commission that their actions would have been against Community law. 1.2 Commission - VAT proposal The Commission proposed on 15 July, that the Directive on the Common System of VAT be amended so as to give the Commission wider implementing powers for VAT. The Proposal recommends that the VAT Committee be upgraded from its current advisory role to a regulatory one so that the Commission can ensure uniform application of VAT legislation throughout the EU. Currently there are a large number of cases of differing interpretations of EU VAT legislation at M-S level. The net result is often double taxation of private individuals or additional costs for business. The Commission hopes that its Proposal will lead to smoother functioning of the Internal Market, lower costs to businesses and greater success for national administrations in combating fraud.
  1. PRESS, NEWSPAPER, MAGAZINE AND BOOK POLICY
    1. Council - book pricing
The 30 June Culture/Audiovisual Council adopted a decision inviting the Commission to present a study on the cross-border systems for book prices. The Commission study would establish under what conditions regulations or agreements on fixed book prices might be maintained in linguistic areas that involve several Member States. Some Member States have harmonised book prices in linguistically homogenous areas which sometimes cover several countries, which could create competition problems. An informal Council meeting had previously revealed divergence between Commissioner Van Miert and Member States on the application of competition rules. The Federation of European Publishers (FEP) welcomed the decision.
 
 

2.2 EP - media ownership and impact of new technologies on the press
 
 

Katerina Daskalaki (Union for Europe, Greek) presented her Draft Report on the Impact of New Technologies upon the Press in Europe to Parliament's Culture Committee on 22 July. She recommends that a Commission Communication should be prepared on the problems faced by the press, particularly regarding competition from new communications services, together with a collated list of Commission actions which assist electronic media and the multimedia which impact on the press; electronic editions by traditional publishers should be encouraged by the Commission; journalists should be provided with training and their intellectual property and their social/labour rights should be upheld; the Commission and Member States should examine the possibility of harmonising rules on VAT applicable to newspapers and periodicals and assess the possibility of imposing the lowest possible rate and of common rules on reducing postal, telecommunications and freight charge for the press; Press distribution systems should be monitored to ensure equal access;
 
 

On media ownership the Draft Report states that the Commission should ensure that EU institutions and interested parties are notified of the Commission's "follow up it intends to give to the Directive on media ownership in the internal market and, above all, to ensure that its actions and proposals are based on the principle of protecting pluralism, avoiding concentration and promoting the unhindered operation of the market concerned in the EU". The explanatory statement to the report discusses media ownership in detail.
 
 

During the debate in the Culture Committee, Frode Kristoffersen (PPE, Denmark) stated that he was opposed to interfering with editor's rights. Carole Tongue (PSE, UK) stressed the importance of the zero VAT rate for newspapers and asked the Commission to come forward with proposals in this area "if all sides agree", particularly in relation to IP rights and media concentration. De Coene (PSE, Belgium) stated that he was opposed to subsidies to the media, following an explanation from the Chairman on the audiovisual guarantee fund.

The deadline for amendments to the draft report is 9 September, the report will be adopted by the Culture Committee on 23/24 September, in time for the Plenary Session of October.

2.3 Council + Parliament - agreement on Ariane programme to encourage reading The Conciliation Committee's compromise on the Ariane Programme to encourage reading was agreed by the EP on 17 July. The Parliament and Council had disagreed over the programme's budget. The programme focuses on support for translation, assistance for co-operation projects carried out as partnerships, further training for professional, promotion of literary translations and the Arisetéon Prizes (European literary prize and European translation prize). 3. INTERNET (CONTENT) REGULATION

3.1 Council - protection of minors and human dignity

The Council's exchange of views during the 30 June Culture/Audiovisual Council endorsed the Commission's conclusions following the consultation process, as well as the recommendations for follow-up. The Audiovisual Council Working Group is due to continue discussion of the conclusions at its next meeting on 18 September. A Communication stating the Commission's future intentions will be adopted in Autumn. The EP is due to adopt a Resolution at Plenary Session in November (although MEPs have called for earlier adoption), based on the Report which was recently prepared by Phillip Whitehead and which was adopted by the EP Committee on Culture in June. 4. INTERNET AND CONVERGENCE

4.1 Commission - proposal on protection of conditional access services

The Commission has followed up its recent Communication on Electronic Commerce with proposed legislation on piracy and payment systems. Consultation on the Green Paper on encrypted services has been followed by the adoption of a proposal on the Legal Protection of Services based on, or consisting of, Conditional Access, defined as "all television and radio broadcasting (terrestrial, satellite or wire) and all on-line Information Society services which are provided on a conditional access basis i.e. at a distance involving prior authorisation for remuneration of the service provider." The proposal, following the co-decision procedure, also:
    • obliges Member States to ban manufacture, imports, sale, promotion, holding, installation, maintenance and replacement of illegal devices such as decoders and smart cards. Penalties are to be implemented;
    • allows service providers to institute legal proceedings to claim damages and to seek injunctions by contacting national authorities of Member States.
The Commission appears confident that agreement on the proposal will be obtained swiftly in the Council and Parliament. Commissioner Monti declared that "the proposal will allow the electronics trade and the information society to show their worth in the single market". The Commission also aims to achieve an international agreement to prevent piracy by third countries.

In the framework of their Communication on Electronic Commerce, the Commission has also adopted a recommendation on electronic payment systems, which aims to fix minimum rules for the relation between the card issuer and card holder and adopted a Recommendation on marketing of Financial Services.

4.2 Council + EP - conciliation procedure due for ISDN data protection
 
  The Conciliation Procedure on ISDN Data Protection will commence on 24 September. The Commission Proposal sought to include digital networks within the scope of data protection rules established under the general Data Protection Directive of 1995. The element of harmonisation being proposed for ISDN Data Protection is aimed at avoiding conflicting developments which could jeopardise the Internal Market for telecommunications services and terminal equipment. Harmonisation as envisaged in the draft Directive would cover areas such as:
  • security of services and networks;
  • confidentiality of calls;
  • traffic and invoicing information;
  • displaying identities of people making and receiving calls and restricting this possibility;
  • automotive transfer of calls;
  • information appearing in subscribers' directories;
  • unsolicited calls for direct commercial prospecting purposes.
Two EP amendments are particularly problematic for the Council,
  • exemptions from the need for the confidentiality of calls (Am 7): several M-S believe that the reference in the amendment to Art 14 (1) of the Treaty (which aims to safeguard areas such as state security, defence, public security etc.) may limit the scope of exemptions;
  • categories of information which can be processed in order to produce invoices for subscribers (Am 6): many M-S are concerned at the lack of flexibility in terms of being able to update the list in the light of technological developments and changes in services.
4.3 EP - vocal telephony directive Following the adoption of the Common Position on 9 June, the EP's EMAC Committee has had a discussion on the proposal ‘Adapting the Application of Open Network Provision to a Competitive Environment' (Rapporteur: Mel Read, PSE, UK). The Commission is attempting to apply a consistent approach to all telecoms-related Directives. Deadline for amendments to the report is 22 August. Adoption of report 3 September. 5 INFORMATION SOCIETY
 
 

5.1 Council - Proposal for regulatory transparency mechanism
 
 

The Internal Market Council Working Group met on 18 July and discussed the Commission's draft Directive on a regulatory transparency mechanism. Although there is wide support for the objectives of the Proposal at Member State level, there is little consensus on how the objectives should best be satisfied. Examples of reservations include that the definitions need to be tightened (UK and France); the audiovisual sector could be damaged by the Proposal (France); the stand-still periods set are too long for a fast-changing environment like information services and should therefore not exceed three months; the mechanism itself could be a possible barrier to free trade particularly with long stand-still periods (Denmark, Sweden and the Netherlands); a Directive specifically tailored for services should be proposed rather than the existing one which seeks to increase the scope of current Directive 83/189 to cover services as well as goods (Denmark).
 
 

As the EP has only recently adopted its First Reading Resolution on the Proposal, the Council has still some time to reach a Common Position. However, the Luxembourg Presidency is keen to get far greater consensus after the summer recess. The next meeting of the Internal Market Council Working Group is scheduled for 30 September.

5.2 Global Information Networks conference On July 6-8, Ministers and industry representatives met in Bonn for the EU Global Information Networks Conference organised by the German Government with the Commission. Although the USA attended as an observer it made its presence felt by presenting a framework on electronic commerce calling for a "free-trade zone" on the Internet. During the Conference, Commissioner Monti stressed that: the EU would have to adopt regulatory measures to avoid hindering the development of electronic commerce, as well as guaranteeing consumer confidence; entrepreneurial activity must be encouraged; international agreements were needed regarding protection of privacy and of data, as well as intellectual property.

The delegates were plunged into controversy when EU Ministers - backed by industry - called on the US to lift their ban on export of encryption systems. The US government responded with calls on the EC to drop draconian data protection rules which could inhibit trans border data flows described "as the single largest barrier to creating a free market in electronic commerce". Industry lobbying concentrated mainly on the question of liability - the responsibility of the various operators and content providers.

The conference was reminded that before the end of this year the Commission will adopt regulatory initiatives relating to copyright and electronic selling. The Ministerial Declaration from the Conference pointed to the "key role" of the private sector, calling on public authorities to take an "active role" in developing global information networks by providing a clear regulatory framework and by stimulating new services. A separate Declaration by industry called for "regulations to be as light and flexible as possible" and called for no "discriminatory tax" to be introduced.

5.3 Commission/USA meeting On 8 July the USA met with the European Commission and called for free trade on diffusion of products and services as well as on products involved in the establishment of information networks. Mr Ira Magaziner of the USA delegation stated that it would be a "bureaucratic nightmare" to evaluate and apply tariffs in electronic trade. The North Americans, like the European Commission, favour "fiscal neutrality" being ensured. The Commission had previously welcomed President Clinton's proposals on 1 July for a global Internet free-trade zone although Commissioner Leon Brittan's spokesman stated that Clinton's concept needed clarification. Clinton had announced that he wanted the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to begin work on the free-trade zone within one year. The Commission's recent Communication on Electronic Commerce, has previously called for regulatory framework to be in place before 2000., contrasting with the North American urgency for the end of 1997. Commission - Green Paper on Convergence. 5.4 Group of Experts - Report on information society On 1 July, the final report of the High Level Group of Experts on the Information Society (set up in 1995) was published. The report contains over thirty suggestions for policy development including economic matters, from employment policy and regional cohesion, to social aspects, such as quality of life, social cohesion, health and democracy. Development of a high-quality multimedia industry is also discussed. 5.5 Commission - Communication on social dimension of information society The Commission has adopted a Communication on the social and labour market dimension of the information society ‘People first - the next steps'. This is the follow-up to the 1996 Green paper on living and working in the information society. 6 COPYRIGHT

6.1 EP - Report on copyright delayed

Roberto Barzanti's MEPs' (PSE, I) report on the Commission's Green Paper on authors' rights and neighbouring rights in the information society will be discussed in September in the Legal Affairs Committee. 6.2 EP - IPR a focus of report on Action Plan for Single Market On 8 July, EMAC held an initial exchange of views on the Commission's recently-adopted Action Plan for the Internal Market. The Rapporteur (Karl von Wogau, EPP, Germany) said that the EP should welcome the Commission's Action Plan. Intellectual property was one of several issues on which he urged the committee to focus particular attention. Donnelly (PES, UK), the Socialist co-ordinator, referred to the need to boost demand across Europe as a means of increasing employment, a priority which had been stressed at the EU Summit in Amsterdam. 6.3 Council - formal authorisation of signing of WIPO Treaty On 7 July the Council formally adopted an authorisation for the signing on behalf of the EC of the World Intellectual Property Organisation (WIPO) Treaty on copyright and the performance and production of phonograms. This Treaty complements the Berne Convention on the protection of artistic and literary works and adapts it to the new digital environment. WIPO will start work on a database Treaty in the Autumn. 7. ADVERTISING POLICY

7.1 EP - Green Paper on commercial communications

On 15 July, the EP adopted Jessica Larive's report on the green Paper on Commercial Communications. EPC and allies mounted a concerted and successful lobby against the many amendments, favouring control of advertising in the country of reception rather than country of origin, as well as calls for specific measures on certain types of commercial communications and restriction on self-regulation. In line with EPC calls for country of origin control, MEPs supported the Rapporteur and adopted amendments which re-emphasised the country of origin principle and called on the Commission to consider the question of applying the principles and procedures raised in the green paper to specific sectors. 7.2 Council - tobacco advertising The draft Directive on tobacco advertising will be given priority by the Luxembourg Presidency. It was discussed briefly at the Health Council Working Group of 7 July when the UK Government endorsed the Commission Proposal in general, without committing itself to an all embracing EU ban. This is partly due to the fact that the UK wishes to draft new national law on tobacco advertising and sponsorship before giving full support to the EU-wide proposal and because it continues to have reservations about aspects of articles on definitions, indirect use of trade marks and sales outlets. Furthermore, Germany, Greece and the Netherlands remain the most solidly opposed. Austria continues to have reservations about supporting the draft Directive, as does Denmark (particularly in relation to the issue of magazines containing tobacco advertising entering the EU from third countries). Sweden would have to amend its constitution if the Directive was implemented in its present form, although apparently the Swedish position is now more favourable to the draft Directive than previously. The proposal was not discussed at the Working Group of 22 July.

Meanwhile, at a UK Summit designed to address measures to reduce smoking which included advertising and sponsorship, Commissioner Flynn re-emphasised his support for the Commission proposal and discussed the measures listed in the Commission's Communication on measures to cut tobacco consumption. The Environment Committee will start work in September on a report by Valverde Lopez MEP (EPP, Spain).

7.3 ECJ - cross-border TV advertising On 9 July, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) issued a Preliminary Ruling on the De Agostini case, concerning a possible ban on De Agostini marketing the magazine "Everything about Dinosaurs" via television advertisements in Sweden. The advertisements had contravened Swedish law in that they had been designed to attract the attention of children under the age of 12. In its ruling the ECJ stated that:- the Broadcasting Directive precluded the application to television broadcasts from other Member States of a domestic broadcasting law which bans advertising to children under 12 years of age. The toy industry have therefore secured a re-statement of the country of origin principle and have the means to destroy the Swedish ban.

The ECJ also issued a Preliminary Ruling on the TV-Shop cases involving broadcasting in 1993 in Sweden of two ‘infomercials' for skin-care products and a detergent. The Swedish Consumer Ombudsman applied for an order restraining TV-Shop from making unsubstantiated claims about the healthy affects of skin-care products and inaccurate comparisons, and setting time limits for the collection of additional items. In this case the ECJ stated that: The Broadcasting Directive does not preclude a Member State from taking measures, pursuant to general legislation on protection against misleading advertising, against an advertiser in relation to television advertising broadcast from another Member State, provided that those measures do not prevent the re-transmission, as such, in its territory of television broadcasts coming from that other Member State. A Member State is not precluded from taking measures against an advertiser in relation to television advertising, provided that those provisions affect in the same way, the marketing of domestic products and of those from other M-S and that they are necessary for reasons of public importance and if the aims could not be met by means less restrictive of intra-Community trade The National Court must decide whether these conditions are met.
 
 

7.4 Portrayal of women in advertising
 
  On 23 July the EP's Women's Rights Committee adopted amendments to the draft Own-Initiative Report by Mrs Marlene Lenz (EPP, Germany). Mrs Lenz made preliminary comments emphasising that a balance must be struck between the importance of the advertising industry and the negative portrayal of women, reminding the committee that EU competence in this field is only to issue recommendations. Amendments adopted included:
  • References to use of advertising as an instrument in the fight against racism; inadequate Member State and European legislation on protecting the "demeaning portrayal of women"; Call for a fight against sexist stereotypes in the "contents, images and language of advertising"; Call to the advertising industry to encourage a change in values to "replace the discriminatory and degrading portrayal of women" (Am.24);
  • Mrs Larive's amendment (ELDR, NL) was adopted which called for self-regulatory procedures to be publicly available and encouraged advertisers to include in self-regulation minimum standards of non-discriminatory advertising. Reference to the principles of country of origin, mutual recognition and proportionality were deleted from Larive's amendment as the Chairman (Nel van Dijk, Greens, NL) pointed out that Committee members did not comprehend the meaning of those principles. Thomas Mann (EPP, Germany) pointed out that a reference to a code for self-regulation was not relevant;
  • Several adopted amendments referred to the necessity to reject images of women which denigrate their dignity or their equality with men, and to the importance of achieving a portrayal of the significance of women's role in society, at work, in the family and public life (Ams. 20,23, 24, 31);
  • Committee Members asked that the resolution be forwarded to advertising regulatory bodies and the federations of producers of advertising at EU level, as well as (normal procedure) to the Council, Commission and Member States (Am.32).
The Report is on the draft agenda for EP Plenary Session of 15-19 September. 7.4 Council and EP - comparative advertising directive The "lawyer linguists" have agreed a final version of the text to permit comparative advertising throughout the EU as adopted in conciliation by the EP and the Council. 8. AUDIOVISUAL POLICY

8.1 Council - audiovisual guarantee fund

The 30 June Council failed to resolve its deadlock on the Audiovisual Guarantee Fund and the proposal for an EU Fund of ECU 60 million to guarantee loans made by financial institutions to cinema producers.

The Proposal requires unanimity in Council and will be reconsidered under the Luxembourg Presidency (1 July - 31 December 2023). The fund will apparently be discussed in the Audiovisual Working Group scheduled for 18 September.

8.2 Council - public broadcasting The Association of Commercial Television (ACT) has stated that the Protocol on public service radio and television, which is annexed to the draft Amsterdam Treaty does not solve the audiovisual industry's problems. ACT advocates dialogue on the perspectives and future of the audiovisual sector in Europe. 8.3 Commission - implementation of broadcasting directive
 
  DG X will be following up implementation of the Broadcasting Directive and the following are key areas on which DG X will focus in the coming months:
  1. the establishment of a contact committee of Commission (DG X, DG XIII and DG IV) and M-S representatives: this was envisaged in the revised text of the Broadcasting Directive (see Art 23a). The Chairman will be Gregory Paulger of DG X. The role of the committee will be to:
    • facilitate effective implementation of the Directive at M-S level;
    • to deliver own-initiative opinions or opinions requested by the Commission;
    • to be the forum for an exchange of views on various issues including the methodology, the terms of reference and evaluation of tenders for the independent study which is to be undertaken on quotas
    • to discuss the outcome of regular consultations which the Commission holds with representatives of broadcasting organisations, producers, consumers, manufacturers, service providers, trade union and the creative community;
    • to facilitate the exchange of information between M-S and the Commission on the situation and development of regulatory activities regarding television broadcasting services;
    • to examine any developments arising in the sector on which an exchange of views would be useful.
  1. the contact committee will be closely involved with the work associated with the drawing up of the lists by M-S of those events which will be subject to the Directive's provisions on sports rights;
  2. on 10 July, there was an initial meeting between Gregory Paulger and those M-S representatives (there will probably be two or three from each M-S at each meeting) who are likely to play a key role within the committee. We understand that discussions focused on the structure and comitology of the new committee and its key responsibilities in the near future. The committee is due to meet again on 16 October and then again towards the end of December 1997;
  3. there are two important studies which DG X has pledged that it will conduct in relation to the Broadcasting Directive:
    • one is the so-called ‘V-Chip' study, whose terms of reference are likely to be wider than looking just at the ‘V-Chip'. This is partly because the ‘V-Chip' is widely regarded as unworkable, ineffective and outdated. The Canadians have, we understand, recently decided not to proceed with their own version of it. It is also partly because Art 22b in the Directive sets a wider reference than just the ‘V-Chip';
    • the other study will be on the effects on children of TV advertising. The Commission gave its undertaking to the EP - at the time of re-negotiation of the Directive - that it would proceed with a study on this issue (for easy reference, see copy of the answer given by Commissioner Oreja on 22 January 2024 to a question raised by Anita Pollack, PES, UK - available on request from EAT).
Responsibility for these studies has not apparently yet been allocated (partly due to the internal re-organisation of DG X) but that this is likely in September. It is important to note that the contact committee will be kept informed on a regular basis of the Commission's progress on these two studies, but, in contrast to the study on quotas, will not take an active role in establishing the methodology, terms of reference and evaluation of 9 GENERAL

9.1 Council - Presidency consumer priorities
 
 

The Luxembourg Presidency has listed as priority actions consumer dossiers on which it wants to see particular progress during its Presidency. These include the draft Directive on consumer protection in the indication of prices of products, the draft Directive on the sale of consumer goods and associated guarantees and the Commission Communication on enhancing consumer confidence in financial services.
 
9.2 Commission - database on unfair contract terms
 
  The European Commission has just made available to the public on its Europa server on the Internet, a new database called CLAB Europa. National courts, consumer organisations, enterprises, lawyers and European consumers will be able to find information on the contractual terms which have been deemed to be unfair in M-S. The base includes case law subsequent to the Directive of April 1993 on unfair terms in consumer contracts (which has now been transposed by all M-S except Spain) as well as law preceding the Directive based on existing national legislation and certain traditional legal principles.
 
 

9.3 Parliament - postal services directive
 
 

On July 14 in the EP Transport Committee reached agreement on Brian Simpson's ((PSE, UK) report on the Proposed Directive on Common Rules for the Development of Community Postal Services and the improvement of quality of service, which will have its 2nd Reading in Plenary Session on 15 September. Mr Simpson had tabled an amendment 6 to Article 13, refers to as "physical remail" the mailing from a central data-processing unit invoices and other computer-generated information to recipients across the EU, which as the data "originates" in one Mender State before being sent by e-mail to the processing center, Mr Simpson refers to as "non-physical remail". This practice deprives national postal services of revenues. The EP is likely now to drop this controversial amendment from its Resolution, to avoid opening the conciliation procedure and to allow for final adoption of the proposal before the end of this year. The Transport Committee will vote on the report on 3 September. Another amendment allowing the universal service provider to conclude individual agreements with customers on prices, even where a uniform tariff has been established, may also be dropped from the Resolution. The private sector had feared it could lead to predatory pricing by national postal monopolies, using cross-subsidization from reserved to non-reserved services to finance a price war.
 
 

Meanwhile the Postal Users Group, representing media, advertising and retail groups including the EPC has called on the Commission to scrutinise the latest terminal dues agreement which the PUG believes to be anti-competitive under EU competition policy.
 
 

9.4 Council - UK to implement social legislation

The UK agreed during the Amsterdam Summit that the Social Protocol attached to the current Treaty on European Union should be included in the Amsterdam Treaty (due to be signed on 2 October). The Commission is in the process of preparing draft directives which will reproduce the social Directives already in place, to allow the UK to incorporate the legislation into UK law within a maximum of 2 years. The UK has already lent support to the current proposal alleviating the burden of proof in sex discrimination cases.
 
 

For further information please contact:

General Enquiries:Angela Mills

Telephone: +44 (0)1865 310 732

Facsimile: +44 (0)1865 310 739

e-mail: angelamills.epc@btinternet.com

Press Enquiries: Heidi Lambert

Telephone/facsimile +32 2 735 3603