The EPC Members’ Newsletter
Legislative update 77. Month - April 1999

1. ELECTRONIC COMMERCE
1.1 European Parliament adopts first reading
1.2 Council working group debates country or origin
1.3 Electronic signatures - Council of Ministers agrees common position
1.4 OECD publishes draft guidelines on consumer protection for consultation
1.5 Domain names - WIPO publishes final report on dispute settlement
1.6 Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue recommends consumer protection measures
1.7 Telecoms review - start-date delayed
1.8 Internet names and addresses - Berlin meeting aims to resolve structure of new regulatory body
1.9 Spamming - Virgin takes test case to UK courts
1.10 Telecoms Ministers discuss making internet access part of the universal service
1.11 Internet address registration - Network Solutions exposed to competition

2. CONVERGENCE
2.1 Telecoms Council supports separate regulation for content

3. INTERNET (CONTENT) REGULATION
3.1 Commission to host meeting on R&D; opportunities for electronic publishing
3.2 Safe use of the internet - Commission hosts disappointing meeting

4. COPYRIGHT
4.1 Copyright - Commission's revised proposal due soon
4.2 Council working group - adoption of common position delayed until end-99
4.3 Commission hold hearing on trademark exhaustion
4.4 Forum to discuss the future of copyright licensing
4.5 Australia proposes broad exemptions in new copyright bill

5. ADVERTISING
5.1 "Advertising Matters" - conference debates regulation in the EU
5.2 Commercial communications - expert group work programme agreed
5.3 Tobacco advertising - legal challenge continues
5.4 Independent study on marketing in schools supports self-regulation

6. AUDIOVISUAL AND GENERAL MEDIA POLICY
6.1 German Presidency seminar supports more media self-regulation
6.2 Parental control devices - Commission follow-up delayed
6.3 Commission announces study on the impact of advertising and teleshopping aimed at children
6.4 Commission to examine "must carry" rules for cable broadcasting
6.5 MEDIA II - proposals for follow-up programme delayed to 2000
6.6 European Parliament calls for greater protection of minors

7. TAXATION
7.1 European Parliament supports proposal on standard rate of VAT
7.2 Commission to examine VAT and e-commerce in UK tax havens

8. COMPETITION
8.1 Commission publishes White Paper on competition reform
8.2 Commissioner names companies involved in newsprint cartel
8.3 Commission sends reasoned opinion to Belgium against taxes on satellite dishes
8.4 Commission expected to classify loan guarantees as state aid
8.5 Council approves changes to rules on vertical restraints
8.6 Transparency Directive - Commission publishes amended proposal for consultation
8.7 European Commission revises standard form for complaints

9. FOREST-BASED INDUSTRIES
9.1 Proposal for shared responsibility in the paper sector criticised by Commission
9.2 Second Communication expected on environmental agreements
9.3 Recycling Forum - working groups hold second meeting
9.4 Recycling of paper - independent report opposes mandatory targets
9.5 Commission announces agenda for Helsinki conference
9.6 Publishing industries - revised report on competitiveness expected in May
9.7 Minimum recycled content for newsprint - initial findings of independent study

10. GENERAL
10.1 Data protection - US proposes revised 'safe harbour' principles
10.2 European Parliament agrees new committee structure
10.3 European Parliament endorses Romano Prodi as next Commission President
10.4 Information and consultation of workers - European Parliament votes to remove exemption for German Tendenschutz
10.5 European Commission approves funding of awareness actions in the information society field
10.6 Self-regulation and the press - proposal to form a European alliance
10.7 European Parliament calls on EU to promote electronic shopping
10.8 European Parliament calls for additional consumer protection in relation to media industries

Dates for your diary

May
- 18th-19th - INCORE meeting on self-rating systems, Brussels

June
- EPC MEETING: 7/8 June, 1999 Berlin
- 7th-8th - Imprimatur forum on copyright licensing on networks, London
- 10th - Press Complaints Commission, meeting of European self-regulatory bodies, London
- 10th-13th - European Parliamentary Elections
- 16th - EAT seminar on country of origin, Brussels

July
- 5th - Forest-based Industries into the 3rd Millennium, Helsinki


1 Electronic commerce

1.1 European Parliament adopts first reading
The European Parliament has endorsed the majority of the amendments put forward by the Legal Affairs Committee to the Commission's proposal. MEPs voted in support of an "opt-out" register for direct email and narrowed the scope of the derogation from country of origin control for consumer contracts. A number of amendments were adopted to the liability provisions but the Commission has indicated that none are acceptable on the grounds that they upset the balance between content and network providers. The Parliament's views will now be considered by the Council working group.

1.2 Council working group debates country or origin
Discussions in recent Council working group meetings have focused on country of origin control and the ability of Member States to use consumer protection law to attempt to control the content of services originating in another Member State. The Commission is citing key EU case law to support its case for the free movement of information society services which comply with laws of the country of origin in the face of opposition from some Member States. Discussions also focus on the definitions contained in Article 2. In particular, Member States have questioned whether commercial communications are included in the definition of "information society services". The Council is not expected to agree a common position in June as planned by the German Presidency.

1.3 Electronic signatures - Council of Ministers agrees common position
The Council has reached a political agreement on the Commission's proposal for a legal framework to regulate the licensing and authentication of electronic signatures in the EU. Ministers agreed to introduce an additional annex to the proposal designed to provide additional safeguards for "security keys". The agreement represents a compromise between Member States, led by France, calling for stricter security measures and Member States fearing that such measures would discourage the take-up of electronic signature technology.

1.4 OECD publishes draft guidelines on consumer protection for consultation
The OECD's Business and Industry Advisory Committee (BIAC) has published draft guidelines on consumer protection in the context of electronic commerce. As industry feared, the draft text shows support for country of residence control. OECD Ministers are scheduled to adopt the final text in September. (Further details available on request).

1.5 Domain names - WIPO publishes final report on dispute settlement
WIPO has published its final recommendations to ICANN on trademark issues arising from internet domain names. WIPO calls for improved standard practices for registrars to ensure that accurate contact details are held for domain name holders. A dispute resolution system is proposed but limited only to cases of bad faith and abusive registration of trademarks as domain names. The administrative procedure would be quick, cost-effective and conducted as far as possible on-line, but plaintiffs would have the option of resorting to national courts. Sanctions would be limited to cancellation of domain names and allocation of costs. There would be no right to appeal. Owners of famous trademarks would be able to apply for an exclusion from its use as a domain name but the dispute resolution mechanism would also deal with claims against misleading domain names. The full report is available at http://wipo2.wipo.int

1.6 Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue recommends consumer protection measures for electronic trading
At the second meeting of the Transatlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD), the European consumer lobby, BEUC, and the Consumers' Union of the USA recommended improvements to consumer's privacy and limitations to the collection of data from children using the internet. Full text of recommendations are available on request or on the internet at: http://www.tacd.org

1.7 Telecoms review - start-date delayed
The resignation of the European Commission has delayed the beginning of this year's telecoms review. The review is expected to look at pricing as well as competition levels in, and access to, local markets. The Commission has also delayed adoption of the Directive on the legal separation of cable TV and telecoms networks until the new Commission enters office. (Text is available on request).

1.8 Internet names and addresses - Berlin meeting aims to resolve structure of new regulatory body
The governmental advisory board of the newly-created Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) will meet in Berlin in May to discuss outstanding differences over the structure of ICANN. The EU and the US have yet to agree on the regional structure of ICANN and applicable law. The advisory board meeting will be followed by an open meeting on similar issues. For further details see: http://www.icann.org/berlin/berlin-details.htm

1.9 Spamming - Virgin take test case to UK courts
Virgin net is to take action against one of its customers for sending large amounts of electronic mail over the internet, known as "spamming". This is the first case of its kind in the UK and is being supported by the Internet Service Provider's Association (ISPA). The European association, EuroISPA, had lobbied strongly for a clause in the electronic commerce Directive for an "opt-in" rather than "opt-out" register for direct email to minimise the impact of spamming. However, amendments were rejected by the European Parliament at its first reading (see above).

1.10 Telecoms Ministers discuss making internet access part of the universal service
At the latest Telecoms Council, French Minister, Christian Pierret, proposed that the next telecoms review should extend the universal service to include internet access. France was supported by Belgium, Spain and Luxembourg. The Spanish Communications Secretary pledged to bring forward legislative proposals to this effect. Ministers also discussed the need for further liberalisation of local telecoms networks to increase competition on local markets.

1.11 Internet address registration - Network Solutions exposed to competition
As part of the reform of internet administration and regulation, five companies have been licensed to compete with the US monopoly Network Solutions Inc. and offer internet address registration services. The new competitors (AOL, Oleane IS, Melbourne IT, Register.com and Council of Registrars) will share the registration of domain names .com, .net and .org.

2 Convergence

2.1 Telecoms Council supports separate regulation for content
The Telecoms Council has adopted conclusions on the Commission's Communication on converging technologies calling for separate regulation of infrastructure and content. Ministers also called for content regulation to be closely linked to the characteristics of each service. Ministers and only based on current regulatory structures "where necessary". The conclusions also stressed the importance of high quality content for the future competitiveness of European media industries. These conclusions, together with those of the Culture Council will be considered by the Commission as part of the planned telecoms review.

3 Internet (content) regulation

3.1 Commission to host meeting on R&D; opportunities for electronic publishing
The European Commission will host a workshop on 20 May on research and development relating to electronic publishing. The meeting will bring together researchers and industry practitioners to discuss recent developments in the sector and research opportunities under the EU's 5th framework programme. Details available at http://inf2.pira.co.uk/angenda11.htm

3.2 Safe use of the internet - Commission hosts disappointing meeting
A recent meeting on the implementation of the Community Action Plan to promote the safe use of the internet yielded poor results for DGXIII. The meeting was intended to promote co-operation between contractors carrying out preliminary actions on content rating, filtering and information hotlines with industry experts and potential contractors for other aspects of the 4-year action plan. A second meeting is expected to be scheduled. Details of the first meeting available at: http://www.echo.lu/iap/infoday.htm

4 Copyright

4.1 Copyright - Commission's revised proposal due soon
The Commission is due to adopt the modified proposal on copyright by written procedure by mid-May. The text we have seen unofficially does not include the hard-fought for amendment from the European Parliament which gave rightsholders the right to authorise temporary copies. Instead the modified proposal allows temporary copies as an exemption from the right of reproduction. EPC and other rightsholder organisations will be lobbying the Council to achieve wording as adopted by the Parliament.

4.2 Council working group - adoption of common position delayed until end-99
The Germany Presidency has officially stated that the Council will not be able to reach agreement on a common position at the Internal Market Council in June as planned. Instead, the task will fall to the Finnish Presidency which begin in July. The working group is continuing its discussions on exceptions but no agreement has been reached on possible additions to the list of whether it should be exhaustive.

The UK's Department of Trade and Industry will host a meeting on 13 May with rightsholders and telcos and internet service providers. In the same way as the recent meeting organised by DGIII, the DTI aims to focus on outstanding differences of opinion and possible solutions.

4.3 Commission holds hearing on trademark exhaustion
The European Commission hosted a meeting of interested parties on 28 April to discuss the results of a recent report which analysed the current EU regime based on "Community exhaustion" and assessed the possibility of changing this to a system of "international exhaustion". Supporters of the current system argued that change would risk devaluing trademarks, damage innovation and decrease investment, as well as the danger of increasing counterfeiting through parallel imports.

4.4 Forum to discuss the future of copyright licensing
The European Commission will sponsor a forum on 7-8 June in London to discuss licensing regimes for digital networks. This event is organised by Imprimatur, the successor company to an EU-funded research project in this area. The results of the Forum are expected to form the basis of an on-line licensing regime applicable to all content types and pave the way for the future development of licensing on networks. For further details see: http://imprimatur.net/imprimatur

4.5 Australia proposes liability clause in new copyright bill
Australia's Department of Communications and the Arts, together with the Attorney General, has released draft legislation for consultation amending the current Copyright Act. The proposals would allow copyright material to be used without permission for certain recognised purposes and includes exemption from liability for copyright infringement by service providers and network/carriers.

The text can be consulted on the internet at http://law.gov.au

5 Advertising

5.1 "Advertising Matters" - conference debates regulation in the EU
Jointly sponsored by the International Chamber of Commerce and UNICE (European employers' confederation), the conference on 27 April brought together industry representatives and political personalities to discuss key issues in the European debate. Mr. Francisco Pinto Balsem‹o, spoke on behalf of the EPC on the subject of "Control - them or us?". Among the issues discussed were advertising to children, progress on the legal challenge to the tobacco advertising ban and the question of mutual recognition and country of origin control. (Mr. Balsem‹o's speech is available on request).

5.2 Commercial communications - expert group work programme agreed
The group of national experts examining national regulations on commercial communications has announced its work programme for the rest of 1999. The group is expected to adopt its opinion on discounts in May and will devote its next meeting in June to discussion of premiums. Discussions on premiums will continue at the September and it is hoped that an opinion can be adopted by end-1999. Talks are scheduled to begin on the advertising of lotteries in December, with sponsorship on the agenda for early-2000. The Commission also hopes that the dedicated website will be in operation shortly, where it plans to publish the group's first opinion.

5.3 Tobacco advertising - legal challenge continues
The written procedure for the German government's challenge in the European Court of Justice is almost complete. The European Parliament and Council legal services have until 10 May to submit their comments on the German governments response to the statements of defence. The ParliamentÕs Legal Affairs Committee has not supported the directive against the complainants but the President of the Parliament may seek to over-rule this position. The next stage is that the judge reporter will begin his analysis of the submitted texts and make a recommendation to the Court to begin oral hearings. These are expected in the Autumn. Meanwhile, the four cases pending in the Court of First Instance have been delayed while third parties submit comments in support of the plaintiffs.

5.4 Independent study on marketing in schools supports self-regulation
An independent study carried out for DGXXIV of the Commission has concluded that self-regulation would be an appropriate means of regulating any potential negative effects arising from marketing activities in schools. The study examined types of marketing (sponsorship, promotions, educational material), intended audiences (pupils, teachers, governors) and sources of marketing (public authorities, private companies, and others). DGXXIV has yet to take any initiatives on the basis of this study, which has not been made public. (Available on request, in French only).

6 Audiovisual and general media policy

6.1 German Presidency seminar supports more self-regulation
Delegates at the seminar on Saarbrucken on 19-21 April recommended the wider use of self-regulation as a means of regulating media in the digital age. In particular, self-regulation should be used in areas which have traditionally been subject to heavy state regulation - e.g.: audiovisual policy. Following interventions from industry representatives, clear definitions were also agreed for "self-regulation" and "co-regulation". Conclusions available on request or on the internet at: http://www.eu-seminar.de

6.2 Parental control devices - Commission follow-up delayed
The European Commission has published the full results of the study carried out by Oxford University on the feasibility and desirability of parental control of television broadcasts. A full analysis of the study will now be undertaken by DGX but recommendations for further action are not expected before end-1999. The study can be consulted on the internet at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg10/avpolicy/key_doc/parentalcontrol/index.html

6.3 Commission announces study on the impact of advertising and teleshopping aimed at children
The European Commission has formally published a notice regarding the planned study on the impact of television advertising and teleshopping on children. The study has been commissioned by DGX. The contract is expected to be awarded by the Summer.

6.4 Commission to examine "must carry" rules for cable broadcasting
Officials in DGXV currently dealing with the electronic commerce Directive will shortly begin work on the second part of the VPRT complaint concerning Kinderkanaal and Phoenix channels. This part of the investigation will look at whether thematic channels can benefit from "must carry" status. DGXV has requested comments from interested parties and responses to its questionnaire (available on request).

6.5 MEDIA II - proposals for follow-up programme delayed to 2000
Work on proposals for the next phase of the MEDIA programme has been delayed by the resignation of the European Commission. Formal proposals are not now expected before the end of the year. Proposals for "European film days" and an alternative scheme to the guarantee fund are also delayed.

6.6 European Parliament calls for greater protection of minors
In its opinion on the Commission's Action Plan for consumer protection, the European Parliament called for greater protection of minors in audiovisual and new services. These amendments were tabled by members of the Culture Committee and adopted by the full Parliament at its plenary session in May. Text available on request.

7 Taxation

7.1 European Parliament supports proposal on standard rate of VAT
The European Parliament has endorsed without amendment the Commission's proposal for a standard rate of VAT. The proposal recommends maintaining the minimum standard rate at 15% and introducing a maximum rate of 25%. Work continues in Council working group but there is no consensus among Member States on a maximum standard rate.

7.2 Commission to examine VAT and e-commerce in UK tax havens
The UK government is under scrutiny by the European Commission regarding its interpretation of the 6th VAT Directive in relation to the taxation of electronically-traded products. A number of on-line traders have located their servers in tax havens, such as the Channel Islands, in order to benefit from the zero-rate VAT. The UK has interpreted the EU Directive to mean that the applicable VAT rate is the prevailing rate in the country of sale, which has been interpreted as the country where the server is located. DGXXI is looking into this issue in relation to its on-going consultation on VAT and e-commerce. A second discussion paper expected in May will include this issue among the areas for comment.

8 Competition

8.1 Commission publishes White Paper on competition reform

Having warned that publication would be delayed due to the current political crisis, the European Commission has unexpectedly adopted its White Paper on competition reform. The White Paper proposes the abolition of the current notification system for mergers under Article 85 & 86 of the Treaty. Instead, most cases of restrictive practices and abuse of dominant position will be dealt with by national competition authorities under the guidance of the Commission. The Commission's aim is to reduce the burden on its staff so that they can focus on infringements and cases with an EU dimension. The White Paper is available on the internet at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg04/entente/other.htm

8.2 Commissioner names companies involved in newsprint cartel
Acting Commissioner Mario Monti has made public the list of companies implicated in the Commission's investigation in to allegations of price-fixing of newsprint in the EU market. The companies involved now have 2 months to respond to the Commission's recent letter setting out the charges made against them. Formal hearings are expected follow, in which the companies will present their case to the Commission. (Full list available on request).

8.3 Commission sends reasoned opinion to Belgium against taxes on satellite dishes
The European Commission has moved to the next stage of infringement proceeding against Belgium concerning taxes levied on satellite dishes. The Commission claims that the taxes imposed by certain communes across the country acts as a disincentive to receiving satellite broadcasts and is therefore discriminatory. Belgium must respond within two months. (Further details available on request).

8.4 Commission expected to classify loan guarantees as state aid
Draft guidelines under consideration within the Commission support the view that loan guarantees constitute a state aid and should therefore be notified under EU competition rules. Formal adoption of the guidelines has been delayed following the political crisis in the Commission. They are expected to be considered by the new Commission in the Autumn.

8.5 Council approves changes to rules on vertical restraints
The Council of Ministers has reached agreement on two pieces of enabling legislation which will pave the way for reform of EU rules on vertical agreements. The Commission is now expected to table a proposal for a new block exemption in the Autumn. The agreement will be formally adopted at a later Council. (Further details available on request).

8.6 Transparency Directive - Commission publishes amended proposal for consultation
The Commission has formally launched its consultation on the draft Commission Directive on financial transparency between Member States and public undertakings. The proposal aims to extend the original 1980 Directive by improving the transparency of accounts and obliging public undertakings to separate accounts between public and commercial services. The Commission has indicated that the revised Directive will apply to public service broadcasters. The consultation will last 2 months. (A copy of the text is available on request).

8.7 European Commission revises standard form for complaints
The Commission has revised its 1989 model form for the submission of complaints of infringements to EU law by Member States to its services. The new form aims to ensure that complaints are provided with comprehensive and accurate information. More information is available on the internet at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/sg/lexcomm

9 Forest-based industries

9.1 Proposal for shared responsibility in the paper sector criticised by Commission
Representatives of industries in the paper chain have met with Commission officials to discuss the proposal on paper recovery drafted by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI). All industry associations raised legal questions relating to liability and the legal status of a voluntary agreement. Officials from DGXI (environment) called in to question the validity of the proposal's environmental aims and called for more detailed proposals on enforcement. Officials confirmed that if an agreement was reached and endorsed by the Commission, it would undertake not to propose any overlapping legislation in the same filed. Industry representatives will meet with the Deputy Director General of DGXI in May to discuss some of the issues raised.

9.2 Second Communication expected on environmental agreements
DGXI of the Commission has announced that it plans to publish a follow-up to its 1996 Communication on environmental agreements to suggest improvements to the legal framework and the introduction of a clear negotiation procedure. This is likely to have an impact on on-going talks with the Commission on a recycling agreement for the paper industry (see above).

9.3 Recycling Forum - working groups hold second meeting
At the second meeting of the working group on statistics and diagnostics, the Commission presented its draft tender for a study to examine the economic costs to industry of EU environmental legislation. The study will be launched by early June. Discussions focused on the recycling profile of various industries and the assessment of the economic costs and benefits of recycling used materials. (A full report is available on request). The group looking at regulation again focused on the possibility of EU-wide rules on recycling of newsprint and other products. Comments have been requested in writing. Further details available on request.

9.4 Recycling of paper - independent report opposes mandatory targets
An independent report commissioned by the Confederation of European Paper Industries (CEPI) recommends that the EU should not follow the US model and introduce mandatory recycling targets. The study concluded that EU Member States have achieved high levels of recycling without targets and based on voluntary agreements. Conclusions favoured the status quo, stating that the co-operation and networking practised in Europe until now had achieved good results. The study's authors also recommended that there should be no legislation minimum recycled content for one product only (e.g.: newsprint) because of the potential negative impact on the market for other recyclable materials.

9.5 Commission announces agenda for Helsinki conference
DGIII has published a provisional agenda for a conference on EU forest-based industries which will be hosted by the Finnish Presidency in Helsinki on 5 July and invited EPC Chairman, Mr. Francisco Balsemao to speak on behalf of the publishing sector. In addition, all federations are requested to nominate two CEOs from their membership to represent the industry, some of whom will be invited to speak on one of the themes of the Commission's planned Communication. Commissioner Bangemann will also participate in this event. (Further details available on request).

9.6 Publishing industries - revised report on competitiveness expected in May
Contractors undertaking a study for DGIII into the competitiveness of European publishing industries are due to submit a revised report in May after being instructed by the Commission to redraft certain chapters. The contractors are due to present their final report to publishing associations in June.

9.7 Minimum recycled content for newsprint - initial findings of independent study
Consultants in Germany studying the potential impact of measures to fix minimum recycled content for newsprint have presented the findings of research into the US system. Research revealed that both publishers and paper mills are opposed to current legislation due to inconsistencies and reporting obligations, and that the system barely covers its costs. Industry feels that the most effective way of increasing recycling is to stimulate demand for recyclates themselves. The second part of the study will focus on experiences in Europe.

10 General

10.1 Data protection - US proposes revised 'safe harbour' principles

The US Department of Commerce has published revised proposals on the protection of personal data exported from the EU in the light of recent negotiations with Commission officials. The revised principles seek to take account of EU concerns about rights of access to data, dispute resolution procedures and the effectiveness of sanctions. EU and US officials will meet again end-May with a view to resolving outstanding disagreements and reaching a final agreement in June. Consumer organisations in the EU and the US have already rejected this latest offer (see above section I). These proposals can be consulted on the internet at: http://www.ita.doc.gov/ecom

10.2 European Parliament agrees new committee structure
The European Parliament has voted to reduce the number of committees and their respective areas of responsibility. The single market responsibilities of the current Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee will transfer to a new Committee on Industry, External Trade, Energy and Research. This will include new technologies, telecoms, e-commerce and standardisation, as well all international aspects relating to the WTO and OECD. Audiovisual policy, however, will remain with the Culture Committee in spite of attempts to abolish the committee altogether and divide its work between the social affairs and industry committees. The legal protection of consumer rights will move from the Environment Committee to the Legal Affairs Committee. (Full details available on request).

10.3 European Parliament endorses Romano Prodi as next Commission President
The European Parliament gave its overwhelming support to the nomination of Romano Prodi as the next President of the European Commission. MEPs voted by 392 to 72 votes. Prodi is now in consultation with Member States on their preferred candidates to serve in the new Commission. The final list is expected to be announced at the Cologne Summit in June. After this, the new European Parliament committees are scheduled to hold hearings with the Commissioners-designate on their respective dossiers in early-September before the final approval vote at the September plenary session.

10.4 Information and consultation of workers - European Parliament votes to remove exemption for German Tendenschutz
At its first reading of draft Directive on information and consultation of employees, the European Parliament voted to apply the obligations on employers to consult with employees on decisions directly affecting their work to all sectors without exception. This amendment to the Commission's proposal would remove the exemption usually granted under the German law, Tendenschutz, for the media sector. Attention will now focus on the Council of Ministers which will consider whether to reinstate the Commission's original provision.

10.5 European Commission approves funding of awareness actions in the information society field
Following a call for tender in October 1998 for project to promote and protect consumer interests, the European Commission has awarded funds to 53 projects. Among them were projects organised by national consumer bodies related to consumer protection in electronic commerce, children and the internet and other areas of the information society. (Full details available on request).

10.6 Self-regulation and the press - proposal to form a European alliance
The UK's self-regulatory body for the press, The Press Complaints Commission, will host a meeting in London on 10 June of its European counterparts to discuss the potential benefits of forming an alliance of similar bodies throughout Europe. The proposal is to create a loose-knit grouping of independent press councils supporting the self-regulation of the press independent of the state. The meeting will also discuss current regulatory issues of interest to the press industry. Further details available at: http://www.pcc.org.uk

10.7 European Parliament calls on EU to promote electronic shopping
In its opinion on the White Paper on Commerce, the European Parliament called on the European Commission to promote the take-up of e-commerce technology by businesses (and particularly SMEs) and its use among citizens. (Report available on request).

10.8 European Parliament calls for additional consumer protection in relation to media industries
In its opinion on the Consumer Action Plan (1999-2001), the European Parliament has called for a global and horizontal approach to the protection of minors in all media, and for effective consumer protection measures in electronic commerce (access to redress, data protection, consultation and representation). The opinion also calls for the rigorous application of rules governing the duration and concentration of advertisements and teleshopping. MEPs expressed their support for a "middle-of-the-road" book-pricing policy. (Report available on request).

Documents available on request

European Commission
- Non-paper on taxation of electronic commerce: options for the EU VAT system
- Communication on the competitiveness of European enterprises in the face of globalisation
- White Paper on commerce
- Working party on the protection of individuals with regard to the processing of personal data - latest opinions on data protection on the internet
- Green paper on Public Sector Information in the Information Society
- Green paper on Piracy and Counterfeiting in the single market
- Draft Communication on competitiveness of e-commerce
- Communication on Convergence
- Evaluation report on the INFO 2000 programme
- revised proposal for a Directive on copyright and related rights
- draft Directive amending Directive 80/723/EEC on the transparency of financial relations between Member States and public undertakings

European Parliament
Draft Directive on electronic commerce (first reading - co-decision)
- first reading resolution (based on Oddy report)

Draft Directive on copyright (first reading - co-decision)
- first reading resolution (based on Barzanti report)

WIPO Treaties (consultation) - procedure suspended
- Legal Affairs Committee - draft report (Habsburg-Lothrigen) ¨ Culture Committee - adopted opinion (Kerr)

Draft Directive on a European framework for electronic signatures (first reading)
- first reading resolution (based on Ullmann report)

Draft Commission Directive to ensure that telecommunications networks and cable TV networks owned by a single operator are separate legal entities
- adopted resolution (based on Watson report)

Draft Directive on information and consultation of workers (first reading - co-operation procedure)
- first reading resolution (based on Ghilardotti report)

Consumer Action Plan 1999-2001
- adopted resolution (based on Whitehead report)

White Paper on Commerce
- adopted resolution (based on Garosci report)

Council
- Telecoms Council conclusions on convergence
- draft Culture Council conclusions on convergence (to be adopted 28 June)
- political agreement on a common position on the Draft Directive on electronic signatures
- political agreement on amended Regulation No 17/62/EEC & amendment Regulation No 19/68/EEC (vertical restraints)

EPC Documents
- latest statements from the Ad Hoc Alliance against unfair competition in the broadcasting and new services markets
- EPC final position paper on e-commerce
- Press releases on copyright
- Minutes of the EPC meeting held 28 April
- speech by Mr. Francisco Pinto Balsem‹o - "Control - them or us?", ICC/UNICE conference "Advertising matters", 27 April 2023

Others
German Presidency seminar on self-regulation
- conclusions

Marketing in schools - study by GMV Conseil (Paris)
- carried out for DGXXIV, European Commission

OECD
- draft guidelines on consumer protection and electronic commerce

WIPO
- draft database Treaty
- Consultation documents

WIPO
- audiovisual performers Treaty
- consultation documents

CEPI
- Towards a European Agreement on the Recovery of Paper and Board Products
- draft paper on producer responsibility

Media Group
- Interim report for study on the competitiveness of EU publishing industries

Bonn University study on advertising and children
- results of academic survey and statistical data

Council of Europe
- recommendation on measures to promote media pluralism - text formally adopted the Committee of Ministers (Jan. 99)
- draft Convention on the legal protection of services consisting of or based on conditional access

Association of Commercial Television (ACT)
- Position paper on public service broadcasting


For further information please contact:
General Enquiries: Angela Mills
Telephone: +44 (0)1865 310 732 
Facsimile: +44 (0)1865 310 739 
Press Enquiries: Heidi Lambert 
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