EUROPEAN UNION UPDATES

LEGAL UPDATES ON REGULATION AND COMPLIANCE IN THE EUROPEAN UNION 

You may follow the recent developments on the field of Regulation and Compliance in the European Union and the Member States. 

AUSTRIAN COURT'S DECISION ON "GREEN FLIGHTS" ADVERTISEMENTS

Austria's Association for Consumer Information (VKI) made a declaration about a decision from Austrian court regarding their complaint against Austrian Airlines’ misleading climate-related claims used on advertising campaign. VKI filed the complaint against Lufthansa subsidiary Austrian Airlines a year ago over a campaign that advertised flights between Vienna and Venice as carbon neutral, using sustainable aviation fuels. VKI argued it was technically impossible to have carbon neutral flights with current technologic developments. In its ruling, the Austrian court found that the flights were "actually operated entirely with kerosene or with sustainable aviation fuel added kerosene ". Following the decision, it was announced that Austrian Airlines will take the decision into account in their future advertising campaigns and will be more transparent about the use of sustainable aviation fuels.

25.09.2023

GERMANY SEEKS TO EXEMPT SME'S FROM GREEN REPORTING RULES

Germany is looking for a possible amendment to exempt small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from the European Union's green reporting rules. Berlin is asking Brussels to widen the definition of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) "in order to limit the bureaucratic burden on SMEs to what is required". They want to raise the minimum employee threshold for the definition of an SME from 250 to 500 employees. The German proposal is estimated to affect between 7,500 and 8,000 companies, releasing them from having to comply with recently adopted sustainability reporting rules. However, starting over the debate on one of the key elements of the EU's climate vision would both reduce the impact of the directive and also impact companies that have already begun to reorganize their operations in line with sustainability and reporting standards. Under the current rules, only listed SMEs are included in the scope of the regulation, and these companies are not under reporting obligations until 2026.

23.09.2023

EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT VOTED ON REVISED CONSUMER CREDIT DIRECTIVE

The extended scope of the newly adopted proposal subscribes to the principle of same activity, same risk, same rules, ensuring that all entities engaged in offering professional consumer finance services should be subject to relevant and proportionate registration and supervisory arrangement. In addressing new types of services such as Buy Now Pay Later and new market entrants such as fintechs, the legislators have solidified consumer protection with regards to financial services overall. With the revised legislation, application of a proportionate approach with regards to Credit Worthiness Assessments and the requirement that the assessments are set and they are “proportionate to the nature, duration, value, and risks of the credit for the consumer”.

23.09.2023

BERLIN GROUP PUBLISHES WORKING PAPER ON SMART CITIES

The International Working Group on Data Protection in Technology, also known as the "Berlin Group", organized with the leadership of the German Data Protection Authority, has published a Working Paper on the processing and protection of personal data in the context of Smart Cities. The Working Paper states that the comfort and convenience provided by smart cities should be achieved without compromising the general principles on the protection of personal data and privacy. The document also includes some of the recommendations prepared for smart city authorities in line with previous incidents and examples in smart city applications.

20.09.2023

EUROPEAN UNION REGULATION ON THE USAGE OF BATTERIES

The Regulation on the Use of Batteries prepared by the European Union regulates the future of batteries and products powered by them offered to consumers within the European Union. The Regulation sets out sustainability targets, recycling and safety requirements for batteries and these products. The regulaion sets out provisions on the lifetime of batteries offered to consumers, the use of lithium and nickel materials in such products, the recycling and disposal of the products after they have been used up, including the interchangeability of batteries in electronic products offered to the market by consumers, with targets for the years 2025, 2027 and 2030.

20.09.2023