rafalmanko has written 21 posts for European Parliamentary Research Service Blog

Personal data protection package

6 language versions available in PDF format Datenschutzpaket Paquete sobre la protección de datos personales Protection des données à caractère personnel Pacchetto sulla protezione dei dati personali Pakiet dotyczący ochrony danych osobowych Personal data protection package The existing directive on personal data protection was enacted almost two decades ago, at the dawn of the digital … Continue reading

Common European Sales Law

6 language versions available in PDF format Gemeinsames Europäisches Kaufrecht Normativa común de compraventa europea Droit commun européen de la vente Diritto comune europeo della vendita Wspólne europejskie przepisy dotyczące sprzedaży Common European sales law The proposed Common European Sales Law (CESL) is intended to create a uniform set of contract rules available to traders … Continue reading

Trademark reform package

For more than 15 years there has been a dual system of trademark (TM) law in Europe: an EU-wide Community TM (CTM), and harmonised national TMs. The Commission proposal aims at more harmonisation and coordination, but does not address TM-related concerns over free expression. Background The current EU legal framework on TMs encompasses the TM … Continue reading

Private law, democracy, fairness

The famous political philosopher John Rawls (1921-2002) put forward a theory of justice according to which the ‘basic structure of society‘ (its political, legal and economic arrangements) has the key task of distributing benefits and burdens among members of that society. Whether a given society is fair, depends ultimately on its ‘basic structure‘. A controversial … Continue reading

Methods for unifying private law in the EU

Private law regulates rela­tionships between private individuals, for example between a consumer and a business. The EU may legislate in this area only where specifically authorised by the Treaties, for instance to harmonise national private-law rules posing obstacles to the functioning of the internal market, or to promote judicial cooperation in civil matters. The two … Continue reading

Reform of the EU Insolvency Regulation

The Commission’s proposal to amend the Insolvency Regulation addresses many of the issues identified as problematic in a 2011 resolution of Parliament, in particular group insolvency, but does not go as far as harmonising national rules. Background The Regulation on insolvency proceedings, applicable since 2002 to all Member States (MS) except for Denmark, lays down … Continue reading

Orders for payment in the EU: National procedures and the European Order for Payment

Every year, 1 million small businesses in the EU face problems with collecting cross-border debts, and as much as €600 million in cross-border claims are never satisfied. Domestic orders for payment are an effective tool for debt collection in the Member States. Although they exist in many Member States, they differ to a great extent, … Continue reading

Combating unfair commercial practices

Consumers in the Internal Market cannot always count on an honest stance from all enterprises. Prior to the adoption of the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive (‘UCPD’) in 2005, regulation to deal with such practices was partly at national level, and partly harmonised at EU level. The UCPD provides for full (maximum) harmonisation, which means that … Continue reading

Gender balance on company boards

Although the number of women on company boards is growing, they remain under-represented. Whether greater gender balance is needed and how that could be reached remains controversial. The Commission has proposed to set, at EU level, a minimum quota of women among non-executive board members. Background In EU companies, women represent only 16.6% of board … Continue reading

Selecting Europe’s judges: time for more democratic legitimacy?

On 4 November 2013, eminent European scholars and practitioners gathered at the College of Europe (CoE) in Bruges to discuss the process of appointment of judges to the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR). In his opening address, Jörg Monar (Rector of CoE) stressed the importance of legitimacy of appointments to the European courts … Continue reading

European small claims procedure: An opportunity for enhancing cross-border enforcement

Legislatures in some EU Member States (MS) have introduced special, simplified and accelerated tracks for small claims in legally uncomplicated cases. Those procedures vary both as regards the threshold and level of simplification. The Treaty of Amsterdam gave the EU powers to harmonise civil procedure. As part of that mandate, the EU has adopted a … Continue reading

EU jurisdiction rules applicable to employment

EU jurisdiction rules applicable to civil and commercial cases have recently been recast. However, the EP’s Committee on Legal Affairs suggests that further changes could be made in order to enhance employee protection. Background Within EU private international law the recast Brussels I Regulation (Brussels I) determines which court decides an employment dispute. The Rome … Continue reading

Unfair terms in contracts and EU law: Unfair Terms Directive and Common European Sales Law

‘Standard terms contracts’ are an inevitable part of everyday transactions for both businesses and consumers. Parties using such contracts may, however, rely on their advantageous position in order to impose unfair terms on the other contracting party. This has prompted national courts and legislatures to implement measures aimed at combating such terms. In order to … Continue reading

Using ‘scoreboards’ to assess justice systems

The European Commission published the first edition of the EU Justice Scoreboard in March 2013, a document assessing the quality of the justice systems in the Member States. The Commission’s initiative falls within a broader set of reports and indicators aimed at evaluating justice systems and the rule of law. Background Numerical indicators increasingly have … Continue reading

Towards a reform of EU law on package travel

The tourist sector is an important part of the EU’s economy, generating 10% of its GDP. The internet and the rise of low-cost airlines have changed both business approaches and consumer behaviour patterns. Instead of traditional pre-arranged packages, many tourists now either combine the different elements of their holidays themselves or purchase customised packages. The … Continue reading

Trademark law in the European Union: Current legal framework and proposals for reform

The traditional function of a trademark is to guarantee the origin of goods or services to a consumer. However, trademarks have recently started assuming new functions, including for communication and investment. The legal framework for trademarks in the EU is based on the coexistence of national trade-marks systems, harmonised by a Directive sin-ce 1988, and … Continue reading

New legal framework for financial statements

The current legal framework for financial statements was enacted three decades ago and has been heavily amended since. The Commission’s proposal for a new directive aims at consolidating and simplifying the law, reducing the administrative burden for small undertakings, as well as enhancing the transparency of payments made to govern­ments by the extractive industry. Background … Continue reading

The notion of ‘consumer’ in EU law

The notion of ‘consumer’ is a key concept de­limiting the application of consumer-pro­tection rules. However, not only is there no con­sis­tent and uniform definition in EU law, there are also divergences amongst the Member States. Background The notion of consumer stems from economics and sociology. Nevertheless, it has developed an autonomous meaning in the legal … Continue reading

Cross-border insolvency law in the EU

Insolvency law concerns the balancing of several potentially conflicting interests: those of the creditors of an insolvent company, its shareholders and its customers, as well as the general economic interest in avoiding the winding down of companies which are still potentially viable. Currently, insolvency law is not harmonised at EU level. However, the Insolvency Regulation … Continue reading

“Habitual residence” as connecting factor in EU civil justice measures

In the EU’s recent Succession Regulation, habitual residence is the key connecting factor for determining both which courts have jurisdiction and what law is applicable to a trans­natio­nal succession. Habitual residence is increa­singly being used as a connecting factor in EU legislation which includes “conflict of laws” rules. Conflict rules and their harmonisation In any … Continue reading

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