Other news - March 2011
The financial crisis has shown the damage that irresponsible lending and borrowing practices can have on consumers and lenders, as well as the financial system and the economy at large. The draft set of rules presented today by the European Commission is designed to ensure a high standard of pre-contractual information and improved lending practices across Europe, while promoting a dynamic, competitive and more integrated Single Market for mortgage credit.
On-line gambling is a fast developing business in Europe. National legal frameworks vary enormously across the EU, with different rules applying to licensing, related on-line services, payments, public interest objectives, and the fight against fraud. In order to ensure legal certainty and effective protection of EU citizens in this fast-growing cross-border service activity, the Commission has launched a consultation to evaluate how possibly differing models can co-exist within the Single Market. Contributions can be submitted until 31 July 2011.
Internal Market Scoreboard: Member States' efforts to make the Single Market a reality start to bear fruits
Despite challenging times, Member States continue to perform well in writing Internal Market rules into national law. "Even some countries that have been worst hit by the crisis did not resort to protectionism, but have continued to uphold Single Market rules. This underlines a sustained and even reinforced awareness that Europe needs a Single Market that works: it is and will remain our source of sustainable growth."
On the occasion of the World Consumer Rights Day, "Consumers International" - a global federation of consumer groups is campaigning today for fairer financial services. The European Commission fully supports this objective. Internal Market Commissioner Michel Barnier and Consumer and Health Commissioner John Dalli are acting on all fronts to give EU consumers a fairer deal in financial services.
Today's Competitiveness Council gave its green light to launch an enhanced cooperation among Member States for the creation of a unitary patent title. The Council also exchanged views on the 'Single Market Act' and the results of the public debate launched by the Commission during the last four months.
The European Commission welcomes the delivery today of the opinion of the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) on the compatibility of the envisaged agreement on the European and EU Patent Court with the EU Treaties. Now that the opinion is available, the Commission will analyse it very carefully with a view to identifying appropriate solutions.
Commissioner Barnier met with Sigbjørn Johnsen, Norwegian Finance Minister and Trond Giske, Minister of Trade and Industry. He also met with Norwegian Parliamentarians and attended a Single Market workshop with social partners.
The fifteen nominations for the European Inventor Award 2011 cover a vast span of pioneering technological solutions. Europe's most prestigious innovation prize will be awarded in five categories on 19 May in Budapest.
The financial crisis highlighted failings in the audit system. In this reportage from the conference on financial reporting and auditing organized by the European Commission in February, Commissioner Barnier and other stakeholders express their views on the need to improve the functioning of the European audit market.