Policy & Regulation

This section focuses on developments in the EU policy field that can affect company lawyers in their day-to-day work. Both small and large companies must deal with a growing body of regulations, many of which stem from the European Union.

EU legislation follows a complicated and often lengthy procedure that implicates many EU and Member State institutions as well as outside interests. The European Commission uses a roadmap to define the scope of a major new law or policy, an evaluation of an existing law or policy, or an overhaul thereof.

Roadmaps describe the issues that must be tackled and what objectives must be met. They explain why EU action is necessary, outline policy options and describe the main features of the consultation strategy. The Commission can also carry out an impact assessment, if the potential impact of a law or policy is large on the economy, environment or society. Interested stakeholders usually get the opportunity to provide the EU institutions with expertise prior to the adoption of new legislation.

Franco-German response hailed across Europe, critics worry about the extent and scope

The recovery package, hailed by many, could be seen as a landmark decision for the future of the European Union

Successive fixed-term work contracts contravene EU law even when entered into voluntarily

“The fact that a worker consented to the establishment of successive fixed-term employment relationships does not deprive him or her from the protection granted by the Framework Agreement on fixed-term work”

Geographical Indications: Piggy-backing prohibited

EU’s geographical indications system strengthened by recent ECJ rulings, now to include protection against “figurative signs”

Uber drivers considered as employees in France, court rules

The decision could be one of many that shifts how Uber and other gig economy service providers can operate in Europe

Brussels ponders reform of securities trading rules

The Commission is aiming to make certain adjustments to the investor protection rules

Vietnam free-trade agreement approved despite human rights concerns

EU Parliament green lights Vietnam free trade agreement, despite concerns from human rights groups

International workplace convention aims to protect employees against harassment and violence

EU aims to tackle workplace harassment in new proposal to ratify convention form International Labour Organization

EU directive strengthening consumer rights now in force

The move aims to considerably strengthen the position of consumers within the online universe.

EU’s new Whistle-blower Directive in force

A new EU Directive on the protection of whistle-blowers has entered into force. It mandates better protection of informants and aims to ensure that complaints are dealt with swiftly.

EU ministers reject ‘name-and-shame’ policy for tax-avoiding companies

The Member States are split in finding an amicable resolution in ensuring proper tax payments by such multinational companies

EU adopts new rules for cross-border conversions of limited liability companies

The EU is continuing its attempts in introducing a unified framework for company law

Foodstuffs from Israeli settlements must state their specific geographical origin, top EU court rules

ECJ insists on consumer protection and need for accurate labels of origin

Rolling, rolling, rolling?

Will we see a harmonisation of rules and regulations in the upcoming years?

Online platforms may be compelled by courts to remove defamatory content world-wide, ECJ rules

The ECJ ramps up judicial oversight over Facebook in latest defamation ruling

European court ruling defines Commission’s scope in forcing countries to recover illegal tax benefits

The decision may well influence the Commission’s strategy in competition law

Brexiting the European Commission?

Three years later and still not an end in sight.

G7: Macron leads peers into a semblance of harmony

Juggling climate, Iran and a couple of international wildcards, Macron pulls off a seemingly successful summit in Biarritz

cryptocurrency and bank notes together
Will Facebook’s cryptocurrency take off?

Concerns have been raised in Europe and America over Facebook’s ambitious plan to introduce a cryptocurrency

Federal v. State: Glyphosate and the First Amendment

The State of California toughens its stance over glyphosate while federal level prevaricates over First Amendment claims

G7 on the way amid rising political tensions

After the tumultuous summit of 2018, world leaders brace for high-stake discussions and unpredictable outcomes

Brexit: What next for Britain?

With a No-Deal Brexit looking ever more likely, quickly concluding deals with its main trading partners will become vital once the UK is outside the EU.

European flag in Frankfurt
Europe on the right track: support for the Union growing

Expect to see the upwards trend continuing

cover photo chinese emblems
Safeguarding business interests in the Chinese market

Within the center of trade talks with the superpower, intellectual property plays a major role

A huge opponent for the deal has been the European beef industry
European opposition to free-trade deals?

The EU-Mercosur free-trade agreement faces opposition in national parliaments of EU member states.

Questions about the safety of glyphosate are still lingering
Glyphosate and cancer: The jury is out

Thousands in the United States are suing Bayer over Monsanto’s controversial weed killer Roundup

The question remains who will get the top spot
Who will get the top job(s)?

Things are not as clear-cut as they were half a year ago, with a wide array of solutions possible

The case before the CJEU concerned whether national court orders to remove content can go beyond its own jurisdiction
Clamping down on hate speech

In parallel to an upcoming judgment by the CJEU, tech companies have been making strides in restricting hate speech on their respective platforms.

The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has not changed over since 2016, rather it has deepened
Preparing for the unknown

The Brexit saga has raised more questions than it has answered

Airbus-Boeing Dispute Nearing An End

The bitter altercation has already been ongoing for the past 15 years

The implementation of 5G will have far-reaching effects across the World
5G and political developments

The technology could have far-reaching effects across the World, leading politicians to race to the top

The ECJ requires a daily recording system for all member states
Companies in EU must record employees’ working hours

The decision obliges Member States to make daily recordings of employees’ working times mandatory

Orthodox monk wins right to practice as a lawyer in Greece

The ruling strengthens the right of qualified lawyers to practice in other EU countries, without having special requirements imposed upon them.

The decision was made by the court despite the vocal opposition
European Court clears CETA arbitration tribunals

Despite the vocal opposition, the arbitration system complies with EU law

UK competition authority wants changes to Big Four

The Competition and Markets’ Authority has called for legislation to overhaul the auditing business, namely concerning the Big Four.

The European Commission has proposed multiple instruments to introduce collective redress in the EU
EU wants to allow class-action suits – under certain terms

The landscape for collective redress rules across Europe varies a great deal and efforts to harmonise it might entail negative consequences

Banning China’s Huawei?

Whether to allow Chinese vendors participate in the procurement process for implementing 5G network systems across Europe has divided European countries

Memes and gifs under the revised Article 13 will be exempted
Europe’s disputed copyright law: An overview

With 348 voting in favour, 274 voting against and 36 abstaining, the much-discussed EU Copyright Directive has finally been approved by the European Parliament.

There is some controversy around the idea to redefine the concept of 'worker' at the European level
Plans for new EU labour authority are controversial

Efforts by the EU to advance labour rights for workers has been met with varied responses – largely due to the effort it requires from companies and the diverse set of rules varying in Member States

The EU Cybersecurity Act has been adopted by a large majority, establishing a certification scheme across Europe
EU Cybersecurity Act clears final parliamentary hurdle

The adoption establishes the first EU-wide certification scheme to ensure that cybersecurity standards are met.

The merger would have distorted competition in the Single Market
Siemens-Alstom merger: Where competition law and politics clash

The merger has raised some questions with regards to the modernity of the European antitrust rules.

The decision might have far-reaching consequences for Facebook's operations in Europe
German antitrust regulator lashes out at Facebook

The order by the Federal Cartel Office might have far-reaching effects in how Facebook manages its operations in Europe

Brussels has become the epicentre of lobbying in Europe
Battle over access and transparency intensifying

With lobbying in Europe being focused in Brussels, there are increasing calls for the organisation and activities thereof to be more clear. How does it work exactly?

The Commission has put forth a number of proposals in order to enable European companies
Reining in the tech giants?

The EU has a tough task at hand in order to create a fertile ground for European tech companies to flourish and compete on a global scale.

The year 2019 will be a defining year for the EU
EU policy and legal developments in 2019

With the European Parliament elections on the horizon, 2019 will be full of challenges to overcome for the European Union.

Representatives of the EU and Singapore signing the free trade agreement
EU-Singapore trade deal nearing finishing line

The free-trade agreement between the EU and Singapore is expected to come into force later in 2019. Many trade barriers will be eliminated and EU rigorous standards and requirements will thus expand to South-East Asia.

EU representatives and Japanese PM reaching an agreement on the EU-Japan Trade deal
EU, Japan agreement creates world’s largest free-trade area
13 December 2018 International Trade Landmark agreement between EU, Japan creates world’s largest free-trade area…
DST would target companies such as Facebook and Google
The European digital services tax: Now or never?
26 November 2018 European Union The digital services tax: Now or never? The December meeting…
Brexit: A major headache for company lawyers
Brexit A major headache for company lawyers While the mood in the UK seems to…
Iran sanctions: Companies caught in transatlantic diplomatic spat
17 October 2018 Trade dispute Iran sanctions: Companies caught in transatlantic diplomatic spat President Donald…
Europe must undergo profound reform to succeed in the digital, globalized age
24 September 2018 Future of the EU Europe must undergo profound reform to succeed in…
The EU data protection regulation: effects and fallout
24 September 2018 EU data protection rules The EU data protection regulation: effects and fallout…
What does the future hold for intra-EU investment protection?
24 September 2018 Investment protection What does the future hold for intra-EU investment protection? – Termination…
Why the EU digital tax is a sensitive issue
24 September 2018 EU taxation plans Why the EU digital tax is a sensitive issue…

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In-House Legal is the information portal of the European Association of Company Lawyers (ECLA) and provides news and background analysis on developments affecting the work of company lawyers across Europe.

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