Issue N˚51, 25 October 2010

Main EU developments over the last 6 months of interest to the hotel, restaurant and café sector

TOURISM
  New Commission Communication on tourism NET meeting with Commission Vice President Tajani p.4 p.5

HEALTH AND FOOD
          EP vote on food labelling: a positive step but still a long way ahead Food and kitchen waste on the menu of the EU institutions Better functioning of the food chain on the EP agenda Nutrition: Member States want action to reduce salt intake EU High level conference on nutrition, overweight and obesity New EU logo for organic food European Alcohol and Health Forum Eurobarometer on alcohol: little variation in level of consumption Commission consultation considers EU ban on tobacco vending machines Eurobarometer on tobacco: 30% of Europeans are smokers p.5 p.7 p.8 p.8 p.9 p.9 p.9 p.10 p.10 p.11

CONSUMER AFFAIRS
    Draft IMCO report on the Consumer Rights Directive: new requirements for hospitality contracts? Towards a new optional European contract law regime? Fire safety: the MBS methodology praised by European fire fighters Hospitality industry investigated in the Consumer Market Scoreboard p.11 p.13 p.14 p.14

Under the responsibility of Anna Maria Torres HOTREC Chief Executive

Boulevard Anspach 111, box 4 – 1000 Brussels Tel: +32 2 513 63 23 – Fax: 32 2 502 41 73 main@hotrec.org – www.hotrec.eu

COPYRIGHT
  ECJ confirms copyright fees for TV in hotel rooms Towards a Framework Directive on copyright management p.15 p.16

COMPETITION
  Prohibited horizontal agreements: hotels information exchanges in the spotlight! New guidelines on vertical restraints: few changes for the hospitality industry p.16 p.17

TAXATION
   VAT – latest developments in the Member States Towards a reform of the VAT and other tax regimes? Excise duties on alcoholic beverages – Report by the Commission p.18 p.19 p.19

SOCIAL DIALOGUE
 Extraordinary Liaison Forum and EFFAT-HOTREC Qualifications and Skills Passport p.20

SOCIAL AFFAIRS
    Working time – awaiting second-stage consultation of the social partners Maternity leave – vote in plenary Social protection of self-employed workers and assisting spouses - Directive Adopted New Commission proposal on seasonal workers p.21 p.21 p.23 p.23

STANDARDS
 European standardisation: HOTREC reply to Commission consultation p.24

ENTERPRISE POLICY
 European Parliament and Council agree on Late Payment Directive p.25

ENVIRONMENT
 Directive on Energy performance of buildings adopted p.26

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STATISTICS   Draft Regulation on Tourism statistics debated in Parliament and Council Recent statistical publications p.hotrec.27 HOTREC GENERAL ACTIVITIES  Next General Assembly p.eu/pages/news_publications/live_from_brussels/ 3 .26 p.27 The previous issues of Live from Brussels are available under the following link: http://www.

in view of the new EU competence provided by the Lisbon Treaty. The Council of the EU adopted on 12 October 2010 its Conclusions on the new political framework for tourism in Europe. as well as to the specific challenges linked to the particular characteristics of the European tourism sector such as the seasonality factor. 4 . It also advocates for the enforcement of the “better regulation” principle. and Maximising the potential of EU policies and financial instruments for the development of European tourism. as this is critical to ensure its competitiveness. climate change and the rapid development of information & communication technologies (ICT). The MEP in charge will be Carlo Fidanza (EPP. Italy). Promoting the continuous sustainable development of EU tourism. which will complement the competence of the Member States in this field. In its Response to the Commission. demographic change. and for the creation of a sufficient EU budget line. A total of 21 actions are announced in order to achieve the above-mentioned objectives. member of the Transport and Tourism Committee. The European Parliament will draft an own initiative report (non-binding) on the Commission Communication. HOTREC insists on the need to provide oxygen to the industry. the world´s No 1 tourist destination – a new political framework for tourism in Europe” (COM (2010) 352 final). The Tourism Forum to be held in Malta on 18-19 November 2010 (programme) will serve to present the Commission’s Action Plan. which will provide details on how the proposed actions will be implemented in the next years. HOTREC analyses in detail each of the 21 foreseen actions and offers the experience of its member associations and collaboration for the implementation of those actions. The Communication proposes a new policy framework for the development of European tourism. In addition. the European Commission issued its Communication entitled “Europe. Enhancing Europe's image as home to sustainable and high quality destinations. HOTREC welcomes the recent Commission Communication and is confident that it will mark the beginning of a true and efficient European policy for tourism. It also refers to the current economic and financial crisis that has had a considerable effect on demand for tourism services. The Commission text first refers to a number of challenges that European tourism is currently facing: increasing global competition. for a proper assessment by the EU institutions of the impact of every legislative proposal on tourism.TOURISM  New Commission Communication on Tourism On 30 June 2010. The Commission text further identifies the four pillars that will constitute the backbone of the new EU Tourism policy framework:     Improving the competitiveness of the tourism sector in Europe.

cafés. Germany) go in the “right direction”. Addressing tourism industry leaders. The proposals presented to me by NET will support the concrete implementation of many of the key actions of our Communication. Actually. Mr. his Cabinet and DG Enterprise will continue strengthening and will prepare thoroughly together with its member associations its contribution to the deployment of the new EU policy framework for the tourism industry. HEALTH AND FOOD  EP vote on food labelling: a positive step but still a long way ahead On 16 June 2010. In particular. HOTREC was very honoured to meet with Vice President Tajani and that its President could represent all NET members in this occasion. with the objective to modernise EU labelling rules (COM(2008) 40 final). HOTREC will make sure that the good relation established with the Vice-President. which includes meals prepared by restaurants. As already announced. etc. Antonio Tajani. which was very appreciated by all the parties participating in the meeting. Pedro Ortun (Director General) and Alan Vella (Administrator). acted as the highest representative of NET in this occasion. HOTREC’s President. Contrary to what was suggested in the Commission proposal. please. However. see also the NET Thank-you letter and press release. from the scope of the Regulation. details on the implementation of the actions contained in the Communication will be presented in the Malta Forum in the form of an Action Plan. Kent Nyström. The amendments adopted by the Parliament in first reading (Report by Renate Sommer. NET meeting with Commission Vice President Tajani On 27 September 2010 (European Tourism Day). HOTREC’s President will continue having this honour since he has been asked to speak at the Malta Forum on behalf of all NET members. Together we can make tourism in Europe more competitive. the Network of European Private Entrepreneurs in the Tourism Sector (NET) held a meeting with the European Commission’s Vice President in charge of tourism. MEPs consider that at least allergens 5 . “non-prepacked food” would be exempted from mandatory EU labelling requirements. To complete the information. a first meeting could deal with the complex issue of standardization. who was accompanied by Mattia Pellegrini (Member of his Cabinet). EPP. Vice President Tajani said: “Today's meeting with the NET alliance shows the contribution of tourism businesses and operators to the implementation of the European Commission Communication. The proposed legislation was issued in 2008. the European Parliament adopted a first-reading legislative Resolution (P7_TA(2010)0222) on the Commission proposal for a Regulation on food information to consumers. largely excluding “non-prepacked food”. more sustainable and more diversified.” Vice-President Tajani agreed to create a round table between the Commission´s services and the tourism stakeholders to exchange views on the follow-up to the Commission Communication. Mr. to present a Joint-Response to the Communication on Tourism containing the industry priorities for the future development of this important economic sector.

where the experts of the national governments continue the examination of the text under the aegis of the EU Belgian Presidency. However.information (not labelling) should always be made available to consumers. As regards the issue of “non-prepacked food”. In addition. it must be indicated in a clearly visible manner in the sales area or on menus that:   customers can obtain information regarding allergenic substances directly during the sales talk and/or by means of material displayed on the premises. etc. HOTREC remains of the opinion that “non-prepacked” food should be completely excluded from the scope of the legislation rather than exempted from mandatory EU labelling requirements. In the Council. etc. requirements applicable to alcoholic beverages. throughout its review of the Commission 6 . even for nonprepacked food: “in this case. which employ less than ten people. cafés. would simply be unworkable for the vast majority of hospitality establishments. as it largely takes into account the concerns voiced by the hospitality sector. As the Council position is not expected to coincide with the one of the Parliament. quantity. responsibilities of food operators. The structure and content of the proposal clearly show that it was conceived to apply to packaged food and not to meals served by restaurants. The requirements applicable to prepacked food are in practice unworkable for “non-prepacked food”. At the same time. list of ingredients. including in relation to potential allergens. Compliance with the Regulation. with the exception of allergens information. In addition.) and to regulate how the information should be made available to consumers. The opinion of the Parliament was transmitted to the Council. unless they reduced the menu offer. HOTREC welcomes the Parliament first reading.) shall not be mandatory. nutrition declaration. since the Regulation needs to be adopted jointly by the Parliament and the Council of the EU. The EP vote is an important but not conclusive step in the EU legislative procedure. quantity. HOTREC will continue its dialogue with EU policy makers and hopes that also the Council will take into account the concerns of the hospitality sector. etc. as proposed by the Commission.g. nutrition declaration. Member States have not yet found an agreement on some key issues (e. the provision of information in relation to meals prepared and served locally should not be regulated at EU level. MEPs have rightly acknowledged that restaurants. country of origin labelling) and it is not clear whether a common position will be reached under the Belgian Presidency or if negotiations will carry on under the Hungarian Presidency (January – July 2011). as it has no impact on the functioning of the internal market and cross-border trade. the legislative proposal (once amended by the Council) will most probably return to the Parliament for a second reading in 2011. etc. caterers. Member States could always decide to require the provision of elements other than allergens and adopt rules on how the information will be given to consumers. the current position in the Council is that the indication of the particulars listed in Article 9 and 10 (name. catering services. used readymade and pre-labelled food instead of fresh products. MEPs take the view that Member States should be allowed to adopt national measures to require the display of additional information (ingredients. should not be subject to the same labelling requirements as large food processing companies. the possibility of cross-contamination cannot be excluded”. A one-size-fits-all solution at EU level is certainly not appropriate because it does not take into account the specificities of the different sectors.

unless impossible for economic or environmental reasons. as defined in Directive 2008/98/EC on waste (Waste Framework Directive). HOTREC counts on the collaboration of its member associations to contact their national MEPs and governments. In this mission. contrary to the Commission. Therefore. Art. 22):  Increasing bio-waste prevention. considering practical constraints and local conditions. restaurants. the Communication acknowledges that a wide margin of discretion should be allowed to Member States in choosing the best options for them to implement existing EU rules. The document explains the steps considered necessary by the Commission for improving the management of bio-waste.  Food and kitchen waste on the menu of the EU institutions On 18 May 2010. This situation is deemed unsatisfactory and the Commission considers that more should be done to “reap the full benefits of proper bio-waste management”.on the EU average .  Promoting separate collection. According to MEPs. HOTREC will continue to follow the issue as new rules and targets for separate collection and recycling of bio-waste (including food and kitchen waste) could have an impact on hospitality businesses.  Introduce binding targets to increase the recycling of bio-waste. takes the view that new EU legislation is needed. caterers and retail premises. The Parliament. […]”. compiling all existing rules in a single piece of legislation. 7 . However. The issue is of interest for the hospitality industry because bio-waste.e. The European Parliament has also addressed the issue of “bio-waste” management with the adoption of a non-legislative Resolution on 6 July 2010 (P7_TA(2010)264). the Commission is of the opinion that improved management of bio-waste can be achieved with a better enforcement and application of the existing EU legislative framework. national efforts should focus on the full implementation of the Landfill Directive (Directive 1999/31/EC). 11 and Art. rather than with new EU legislation. It is essential that the implementation at national level of existing EU legislation makes use of the flexibility offered by the legal instruments (directives) and take into account the specificities of the sectors concerned. includes: “… food and kitchen waste from households. in order to:  Establish a mandatory separate collection system in all Member States. outlining possible actions at EU and national levels. The objective of better management of bio-waste should be achieved without creating disproportionate burdens for businesses. re-use and recycling of bio-waste. taking into account local conditions and needs. the European Commission (DG Environment) adopted a Communication on “Future steps in bio-waste management in the EU” (COM(2010) 235 final). a specific directive for bio-waste would offer greater clarity and legal certainty. the Parliament urges the Commission to draw up a specific proposal by 2010. In parallel. Therefore.40% of bio-waste is still landfilled. At the same time. the priority should be the implementation by Member States of the relevant provisions of the Waste Framework Directive (i. at this stage. The Communication notes that . which requires a progressive reduction in the landfilling of municipal biodegradable waste.proposal.

expresses the opinion of the Parliament on the Communication “A Better Functioning of the Food Chain” issued by the European Commission in 2009 (see Live from Brussels N°49). However. Encourage food producers and providers “to achieve the highest possible reduction in salt content of foods and meals on the market”. because eating habits and lifestyles vary significantly with geography and cultures. the European Parliament voted a non-legislative Resolution on the functioning of the food chain in Europe (P7_TA(2010)0302). The issue of salt reduction is also on the agenda of the High Level Group on Nutrition and Physical Activity. the Council calls on Member States to strengthen or develop their nutrition policies to reduce the consumption of salt by the population. The text. HOTREC shares the concerns of the European and national authorities in relation to the issue of nutrition determining citizens’ health to a great extent. Member States are invited to:   Set targets and deadlines for achieving reduction in salt intake. which is based on an own-initiative report by MEP José Bové (Greens. France). In particular. Amongst others. competition. Considering that “there is strong scientific evidence that the current high consumption of salt throughout Europe is a major factor increasing blood pressure and thereby cardiovascular disease”. Health and Consumers Affairs) adopted conclusions on “Action to reduce population salt intake for better health”. The Resolution deals with issues such as: price transparency. The Commission and the Member States are invited to “urgently address the problem of unfair distribution of profits within the food chain” adopting measures to ensure adequate incomes for farmers and to make the food supply chain more efficient. HOTREC continues to follow with interest this issue and further developments at EU level. as the European hospitality industry is an important player in the food chain and a major “end-user” of food and agricultural products. The Commission is invited to:   Identify mechanisms and tools to encourage the food industry to “maintain progress on reducing the levels of salt in foods”.  Nutrition: Member States want action to reduce salt intake At their meeting of 8 June 2010. Analyse the action taken at EU and national level and report in 2012. sustainability and food quality. 8 . it is essential that policy interventions and solutions to encourage healthy diets be suggested at national level. taking into account the work of the WHO. Better functioning of the food chain on the EP agenda On 7 September 2010. The Ministers also called on the European Commission to continue its approach to tackle high salt consumption at EU level. abuse of buyer power and contracting. a group of Member States representatives coordinated by the Commission. MEPs call on the Commission to “assess possible modifications to rules on public procurement practices for catering services so as to enhance sustainable farming practices and animal welfare and develop seasonal and local food”. Social Policy. the Council of the EU (Ministers of Employment. taking into account gastronomic traditions and the specificities of the different sectors.

The initiative was developed in the context of the European Alcohol and Health Forum. Portugal and Slovenia) will present an evaluation of their nutrition policies. the so-called “Euro-Leaf”. The logo stays optional for non-packed and imported organic products. Members of the Forum 9 . RAYPRO (Resource on Alcohol and Youth Projects) is an online-database which gathers information on existing projects to reduce alcohol-related harm among children and young people. Another change is the introduction of EU rules for organic aquaculture for the first time. overweight and obesity The EU Belgian Presidency is organising in cooperation with the European Commission (DG Health and Consumers) a High Level Conference on “monitoring and evaluation” of the EU and Member States strategies on nutrition. public authorities. Further details and the new logo and EU organic legislation can be found on the EU Organic Farming website. The objective of the initiative is to exchange views on current experiences in the field and to lay the groundwork for a future policy. The Forum brings together European associations (and their members) that are willing to take self-binding and verifiable actions (so-called “commitments”) to reduce alcohol-related harm. The RAYPRO database is open to contributions from all organisations and agencies working on “alcohol and young people”.) across Europe. regional or national logos can continue to appear alongside the EU label. will now be obligatory on pre-packaged organic food products that have been produced in any of the EU Member States and meet the requirements laid down by Regulation 834/2007 on organic production and labelling of organic products. The objective of the initiative is to promote the exchange of good practice among interested parties (industry. (Catering operations are not subject to Regulation 834/2007). education of young people. The projects included in the online database are grouped according to five themes: under-age drinking. Some Member States (Belgium. NGOs. entered into force on 1 July 2010. Germany. HOTREC will attend the Conference and report back to its national associations on the outcome. drink-driving. etc. France. overweight and obesity. Operators have a two-year transition period to comply with the new labelling rules. Further details on the Conference are available on the website of the EU Belgian Presidency. Foods may be marked as “organic” if at least 95% of their agricultural ingredients are organic. including the requirement to display the new EU organic logo. promotion of responsible selling and serving of alcohol and protection of young people from the consequences of alcohol abuse by others. the Commission and World Health Organization will respectively report on the implementation of EU nutrition strategy and the WHO second Action Plan on food and nutrition policies. The logo. In addition. the European Commission (DG Health and Consumers) launched the RAYPRO website. Private.  New EU logo for organic food New EU rules on organic food labelling.  European Alcohol and Health Forum In October 2010. The Conference will take place in Brussels on 8-9 December 2010. EU High level conference on nutrition.

The objective of the initiative is to gather the views of all interested parties on the need to revise the current Directive as well as on some “policy options” proposed by the Commission for the revision of the legislation. while 43% say public authorities have to intervene. the Finnish Hospitality Association and the Swedish Hotel and Restaurant Association. a clear majority supports public policy and measures to reduce alcohol-related harm such as: an 18 year age limit for selling and serving alcoholic beverages across the EU (89%). Most EU citizens drink moderately but there is a wide variation in the frequency and level of alcohol consumption from country to country. retailers. Awareness of risk and harm. Details on the commitments by HOTREC and its members can be found on the HOTREC website. At the same time. 53% of the respondents think that individuals are responsible enough to protect themselves from alcohol-related harm.include representatives of economic operators (alcohol producers. media. advertising agencies. Most Europeans are aware that alcohol can have harmful effects on their health. However. together with the British Beer and Pub Association. The consultative document is divided into six sections. The next plenary meeting of the Alcohol Forum will take place on 18 November 2010. lower blood alcohol limit for young drivers (73%).  Eurobarometer on alcohol: little variation in level of consumption On 21 April 2010. Responsible drinking is in the best interest of producers. presentation and sale of tobacco products. The first five sections include questions on the need of stricter requirements for the manufacturing and packaging of tobacco products 10 . a ban across Europe on alcohol advertising targeting young people (77%). retailers. etc. support for public policies on alcohol. in particular by young people. The enquiry was carried out in October 2009 at the request of the Directorate General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO). The main findings of the Eurobarometer are:    Since the last survey in 2006. the European Commission (DG Health and Consumers) launched a public consultation on the possible revision of Directive 2001/37/EC on the manufacture. consumers. there is little variation in the level of alcohol consumption. HOTREC is a member of the European Alcohol and Health Forum since 2008. hospitality establishments and individuals who have a responsibility to themselves and others not to abuse alcohol. the European Commission published the results of a Eurobarometer survey on “EU citizens’ attitudes towards alcohol”. followed by an Open Forum session (open to non-members and the media) on 19 November 2010. frequency and amount). medical professions and health NGOs. Commission consultation considers EU ban on tobacco vending machines  On 24 September 2010. hospitality. HOTREC and its National Associations share the concern of public authorities in relation to the abuse of alcohol. the majority do not know the legal blood alcohol limit for driving in their country.). The following issues were examined:   Patterns of alcohol consumption across Europe (level. warnings for pregnant women (89%) and drivers (79%) on bottles.

The survey. HOTREC continues to be of the opinion that the matter is best tackled at national level. consisting of national legislation supported by EU programs and campaigns. Nonetheless it considers that when cross-border sale is not involved. Amongst others. Detailed information on the consultation and all related documents can be found on the website of DG SANCO. plain packaging and regulation of tobacco ingredients). However. The aim of this Directive is to 11 . In this respect. the Commission released in October 2008 a proposal for a Directive on consumer rights (COM(2008) 614/3 final). HOTREC notes that an EU ban on tobacco vending machines could have an impact on the hospitality sector in those Member States where these devices may still be available in hospitality venues. John Dalli. the new study does not enquiry the attitudes of people towards smoking bans and restrictions in hospitality venues. EU Commissioner for Health and Consumers.g. where local conditions and specificities can be better taken into account. CONSUMER AFFAIRS  Draft IMCO report on the Consumer Rights Directive: new requirements for hospitality contracts? As explained in Live from Brussels N°44. covering themes such as:    Frequency and amount of tobacco use. the Eurobarometer reports that “there appears to be a greater incidence of people smoking inside bars as opposed to eating establishments”. enquiries the behaviour and attitudes of Europeans towards tobacco. mandatory pictorial warnings on tobacco packages. As regards the issue of smoking in public and workplaces. contrary to the last Eurobarometer on tobacco (March 2009). the survey finds that around 30% of Europeans are current smokers. HOTREC supports activities to promote health and preventing smoking-related diseases. Measures to reduce tobacco use. Mr. vending machines and display in retail outlets) should be decided at national level.  Eurobarometer on tobacco: 30% of Europeans are smokers On 27 May 2010. As regards public places. Section 6 deals with the issue of “Access to tobacco products”. Exposure to passive smoking in private and public places.(e. one of the “policy options” proposed by DG SANCO suggests the possibility to extend the scope of the Directive in order to ban tobacco vending machines in all Member States as well as the display of tobacco products in retail stores (“policy option 3”). has so far proven to be effective in developing rules best tailored to the needs and attitudes of society vis-à-vis smoking in the different EU Member States. rules regarding “access to tobacco products” (e. carried out in October 2009. HOTREC considers that the current policy. in accordance with the subsidiarity principle. The survey also shows that most EU citizens would be in favour of a wide range of tobacco control measures.g. presented the results of the latest Eurobarometer on tobacco. while 25% of non-smokers are exposed to tobacco smoke at home and 25% of people are exposed to tobacco smoke at work.

Emails would not be considered as durable medium. The consumer sales and guarantees Directive (99/44/EC). and The doorstep selling Directive (85/577/EC). his business address.Mr. This heavy obligation would be a novelty for hospitality contracts concluded at distance. The draft Schwab report also confirms the general ban on pre-ticked opt-in boxes applying to payment in all consumer contracts and the idea of black and grey lists of contract terms that are respectively always considered unfair or presumed to be unfair. Upholds the existing exemption to the right of withdrawal and to the right to a written confirmation of information granted in relation to accommodation contracts sold at distance. Germany) . The possibility of having recourse to an amicable dispute settlement. catering or leisure 12 . Details on the complaint handling policy and the performance of the service. In particular. such information should be provided to the consumer in time for the conclusion of the distance contract and also be confirmed to the consumer on a durable medium in reasonable time after the conclusion of the contract. The draft report also includes obligations for hotel and restaurant contracts concluded at distance to provide to the consumer a list of mandatory pre-contractual information which would include among others:     The identity of the trader. including distance contracts and unfair contract terms. The Schwab draft report proposes. telephone and email. simplify and improve the coherence of the consumer contract regulatory framework through the incorporation into one set of rules of four existing Directives:     The unfair contract terms Directive (93/13/EEC).released in June 2010 his draft report for the IMCO (Internal Market and Consumer protection) Committee. The text is currently being discussed in both the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure (previously called co-decision procedure). HOTREC and its National Associations already welcomed the Commission proposal to maintain the exemptions to the right of withdrawal and to the confirmation of information on a durable medium in case of distance contracts for the provision of accommodation. The IMCO Committee will vote on the Schwab report on 9 December 2010. the draft report proposed that Member States should still be allowed to “adopt or maintain provisions identifying other contract terms as unfair” provided such provisions fulfil certain conditions. According to the draft report. etc. in particular.review. Andreas Schwab (EPP. to maintain the exemption on the right of withdrawal for hotel and restaurant contracts concluded at distance that is contained in the existing Distance Selling Directive. it:    Contains “black” and “grey” lists of unfair contract terms. Proposes to ban pre-ticked opt-in boxes in contracts. The prices inclusive of all taxes. In the European Parliament. The distance selling Directive (97/7/EC). This draft Directive intends to regulate all business-to-consumer contracts for sales of services and goods. However. the Rapporteur .

This initiative is extremely important as it may affect the contract law regime applied in the Member States. Option 4: Regulation setting-up an optional instrument of European Contract Law. The Green Paper identifies 7 options for a new instrument of European Contract Law:  Option 1: Publication of the work of the Expert Group on a Common Frame of Reference in the area of European Contract Law. parties would have the choice between the traditional contract law regime and this new European contract law regime. When entering into a contract. remedies.       In addition to these seven options. Such an instrument would not only cover contract law but also other types of obligations (e. tort law. therefore. content and effect. any initiative which aims to strengthen the single market and to affect the legal regime of cross-border contracts is of high relevance for HOTREC and its national hospitality associations.g. Option 6: Regulation establishing a European Contract Law. HOTREC therefore welcomes the Rapporteur’s proposal to keep the exemption to the right of withdrawal. both cross-border and domestic contracts and what should be the material scope of this instrument (definitions. hospitality businesses are engaged in cross-border contracts on a daily basis. As a key component of the tourism industry.services. possibly binding the EU institutions through an inter-institutional agreement. tort law). HOTREC will. 13 .  Towards a new optional European contract law regime? On 1 July 2010. The purpose of this Green Paper is to set out options on how to strengthen further the internal market by improving the quality and coherence of the European Contract Law in order to lift existing legal barriers to cross-border trade. such derogations are essential for hospitality establishments in Europe. right of withdrawal. Therefore. Given the specific nature of hotel room or catering contracts and the highly perishable nature of the services provided by the hospitality industry.). including rules regulating hospitality services contracts. etc. but regrets his proposition to scrap the exemption to the confirmation of information on a durable medium for accommodation and catering contracts. Option 5: Directive on European Contract Law. Option 2: An official “toolbox” for the legislator. Option 7: Regulation establishing a European Civil Code. Such a Recommendation could either encourage Member States to replace national contract laws by the recommended European instrument or could encourage Member States to incorporate this new instrument as an optional regime. Option 3: Commission Recommendation on European Contract Law. consider contributing to this consultation in order to ensure that the specificities and needs of the hospitality industry are fully taken into account. the Green Paper also examines whether such initiative should cover both business-to-consumer contracts and business-to-business contracts. the European Commission released a Green Paper entitled “Policy options for progress towards a European Contract law for consumers and businesses”. The result of the work of this Expert Group could be used by European and national legislators and by contractual parties. precontractual duties. This Green Paper is accompanied by a public consultation which is open until 31 January 2011.

Most participants to the conference welcomed the MBS methodology. On 4 June 2010. On 6 October 2010. HOTREC is therefore asking for the support of all its national associations in promoting this methodology. the best incentive would be the possibility for a hotelier to market to consumers the fact that he follows the MBS. Sweden. France. The European Commission. which will decide how to make the best use of it and how to disseminate it. Insufficient knowledge about the risk assessments obligation for employers (including hoteliers) arising from Directive 89/391/EEC. Nonetheless. they all regretted that incentives are missing to convince individual hoteliers to use the MBS. Denmark. In their opinion. who was represented at the meeting. 14 . Germany. Fire safety: the MBS methodology praised by European fire fighters As reported in Live from Brussels N°49. HOTREC is confident that the MBS methodology will start spreading across Europe. The MBS methodology is a practical and flexible tool bringing hotel fire safety into a set of hands-on advices. the MBS methodology constitutes a major breakthrough and a great success for HOTREC. it is looking forward to seeing how the MBS is implemented by the volunteering national associations and if there is a chance that this exercise will have a snow-ball effect on other national associations. Nevertheless.  Hospitality industry investigated in the Consumer Market Scoreboard Since January 2008. the European Commission has been using a new instrument called the Consumer Market Scoreboard to assess the outcome of important consumer markets (see Live from Brussels N°42). a forum which brings together many representatives of fire brigades in Europe. HOTREC was also invited to present the MBS methodology in the “Segur hotels” seminar which was co-organised by the Federation of the European Union Fire Officer Associations (F-E-U) and the Spanish association of professional fire-fighters. This methodology is made available to all HOTREC national associations and interested stakeholders. which any hotelier can easily understand and follow. F-E-U also presented the latest version of the “fire safety checklists” of their “safehotel” initiative. Building and Systems) Methodology”. HOTREC presented the MBS methodology to the European Fire Academy (EFA). HOTREC adopted in February 2010 the final version of its “Hotel Fire Safety MBS (Management. which is now based on the HOTREC MBS methodology. As the issue of fire safety in hotels in Europe was at a standstill for the last 25 years. some HOTREC national associations from eight European countries (Austria. Most representatives of the fire brigades who attended the meeting praised the MBS methodology as an appropriate tool to solve the real problems of fire safety in hotels:   Lack of understanding of the existing legislation. Switzerland and the UK) have announced their intention to make use of the MBS methodology in one way or another. As this success is being recognised by many professional European fire fighters. Portugal. So far. This achievement by HOTREC is a clear demonstration of the industry’s commitment to provide safe services to its guests. therefore making hotels safer and new legislation needless. clearly indicated that the MBS methodology is a good instrument.

the hotelier is making a communication to the public in the meaning of article 3-1 of the 2001/29/CE Directive. only consider “direct users” (i. and the hotelier consciously intervenes to give to this new public access to the protected works.Based on 3 pillars (sectoral consumer market investigations. HOTREC. As a service industry. the European Commission announced in a letter addressed to HOTREC on 15 July 2010 that the next edition of the scoreboard will assess. nonetheless. on 10 April 2009. benchmarking retail market integration and benchmarking the consumer environment). As the Greek Supreme Court thought that the ECJ’s ruling in the Rafael Case was not clear enough.e. the performance of the hospitality industry for consumers. Therefore. In this specific case. The case involved a Greek hotelier questioning whether a TV in a hotel room was sufficient to constitute a communication to the public in the meaning of article 3-1 of the 2001/29/EC Directive on Copyright in the information society. On 18 March 2010. The hotelier does so by providing TV sets which are able to access the broadcasts. Hotel clients constitute a new public. the Greek Supreme Court lodged with the ECJ (European Court of Justice) a reference for a preliminary ruling concerning the need to pay copyright fees for the use of TV in hotel rooms (case C-136/09). This decision was released through a court order. by installing TV sets in the hotel rooms and by connecting them to the central antenna of the hotel. consumers satisfaction and safety). the Court did not require a new 15 . among others. the consumer scoreboard will allow the Commission to identify underperforming markets (in terms of economic or social outcomes) which need to be given special attention and regulated further. the ECJ released a Court order in which it confirms its previous judgement in the Rafael case and unambiguously states that:    Authors. In this context. as it found that the Rafael case was sufficiently clear. Consequently. stresses that the resulting information and data should be processed in a practice-oriented manner for SMEs and that the method used to measure consumer “satisfaction” should be transparent. Using key indicators (complaints. instead of a normal court decision. The Commission also announced that it would like to establish a dialogue with HOTREC on the findings of this enquiry. the Court used this procedure. the European hospitality industry is highly interested in the result of this enquiry and is confident about the possible findings. The next edition of the Consumer Market Scoreboard is due to be published at the end of October or beginning of November 2010. it asked for clarifications on the matter. individuals receiving the TV/radio signal) in the private circles of their families. Court orders are used when the answer to the legal questions referred to the Court can obviously be found in the existing jurisprudence. exactly as in the previous Rafael case (C-306/05). COPYRIGHT  ECJ confirms copyright fees for TV in hotel rooms As referred to in Live from Brussels N°47. when allowing the broadcasting of their works. prices. its aim is to monitor the performances of a specific market from the consumer’s perspective. switching possibilities.

one priority identified by the Commission is to achieve a “digital single market” through the adoption of several measures at EU level. Such a focus was clear in the Commission public hearing on the governance of collecting societies organised in April 2010 and which HOTREC attended. therefore. and not in any manner to the less favourable “making available right” contained in article 3-2 and which is granted to neighbouring right holders. thus leaving aside the long standing problems faced by the hospitality industry when negotiating licenses with collecting societies for “offline” uses. The Commission’s announcement of a proposal for a framework Directive is.  Towards a Framework Directive on copyright management On 19 May 2010. which is currently working on the issue with other trade associations members of the Copyright Users Platform (CUP). under case C-136/09. the European Commission adopted a new Communication entitled “A Digital Agenda for Europe” (COM(2010) 245). the European Commission released on 4 May 2010 draft Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the Treaty to horizontal cooperation agreements. This framework Directive could possibly be followed by a Green Paper addressing the opportunities and challenges of online distribution of audio-visual works protected by copyright.opinion of the Advocate General. Such agreements may fall under the scope of Article 101 of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union prohibiting agreements/decisions/concerted practices between undertakings restricting competition. by the end of 2010. transparency and pan European licensing for online rights management. one of the key actions envisaged by the Commission is to issue. agreement between actual or potential competitors or agreement between two companies active in the same product market but not necessarily active in the same geographic market). The hospitality industry acknowledges the ECJ’s ruling but nonetheless stresses that it expressly refers to article 3-1 of the 2001/29/CE Directive. It would. Nevertheless. They are 16 . HOTREC. which deals with author’s rights to authorise or prohibit a communication to the public. The hospitality industry has been voicing for years concerns over the management of collecting societies and their licensing practices.e. As part of this review. as announced in the EU 2020 Strategy. The aim of this Directive would be to enhance the governance. The ECJ’s order is available on the ECJ’s website. considers that this aspect should also be covered by the upcoming Framework Directive. HOTREC. COMPETITION  Prohibited horizontal agreements: hotels information exchanges in the spotlight! The European Commission is currently reviewing the existing regime for the assessment of horizontal cooperation agreements (i. therefore. therefore. As part of this digital agenda. is disappointed by the likely restriction of the scope of this initiative to the problem faced by online distribution of work protected by copyright. To achieve this goal. an important development for the hospitality industry. concentrate on the inadequacies of the current territorial licensing practices with the development of legal online distribution of copyrighted works and creative content. a proposal for a framework Directive on collective rights management.

The draft guidelines also contain a chapter on standardisation agreements which might be relevant for the hospitality industry. the example of luxury hotels which directly exchange information on current occupancy rates and revenues. New form of distribution. The new Regulation and guidelines on vertical restraints (which help determining whether sector-specific agreements. specific rules are introduced for online sales and possible restriction of competition in distribution agreements. as agreements to produce common quality standards may also constitute. alignment) of companies’ competitive behaviour”. are falling under the scope of the block exemption regulation) released by the Commission are very close to the previous Regulation 2790/1999 and accompanying guidelines. In particular they include a chapter on “exchange of information between competitors” (either directly. These draft guidelines were accompanied by a public consultation which was open until 25 June 2010. the European Commission adopted its new Block Exemption Regulation 330/2010 “on the application of Article 101(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to categories of vertical agreements and concerted practices”. such as franchising agreements or beer supply agreements. a violation of the EU competition rules. This novelty may have some impact on relationship between hotels and booking websites. This new Regulation replaces the previous Block Exemption Regulation 2790/1999 since 1 June 2010. which will help hospitality businesses understand better which information exchanges are lawful under EU competition rules. for a vertical agreement to be blockexempted. Such information exchange would constitute an unlawful horizontal agreement as it would have “restrictive effects on competition […] because knowing the competitor’s actual current prices would be likely to lead to coordination (i. 17 . should not only apply to the seller but also to the buyer. through a trade association. under certain conditions. The new Regulation foresees that the 30% market share threshold. The Commission was apparently considering that the previous rules were working well overall and should not be fundamentally modified. in particular due to the development of internet. The block exemption regulation on vertical restraints is of particular importance for the hospitality industry mainly for two types of agreements which fall under its scope: franchising contracts and beer supply contracts. few modifications were introduced in the new texts. a third party or by means of publishing) which uses as an illustration of prohibited cooperation agreements. They mostly intend to take into account two developments over the recent years:   Increased market power at the level of buyers (big retailers).  New guidelines on vertical restraints: few changes for the hospitality industry On 20 April 2010. HOTREC took note of the draft guidelines published by the European Commission.e. Nevertheless.meant to set out the principles used to assess the compatibility of “horizontal” cooperation agreements with the Treaties’ competition rules on the prohibition of concerted practices. In this case.

from 10 to 11%. also as from 1 July 2010. the standard VAT rate was increased from 22 to 23% and the reduced rates went up from 8 and 12 to 9 and 13% respectively. Similarly to Finland. following an increase in VAT rates in March. The number of 23 countries out of the 27 applying the reduced rate to accommodation services remains unchanged. applied to hotel and restaurant services. The islands of the Aegean Sea continue to benefit from a special reduction on these rates. 18 . as from 1 July 2010. which were the only ones allowed to apply a reduced VAT rate to restaurant services until 1 June 2009. HOTREC is pleased that now the majority of the EU Member States apply a reduced VAT rate to restaurant services. In Finland. Finland is the third country (after France and Belgium) joining those 11 Member States. which led to the adoption of the new Regulation and related guidelines. TAXATION  VAT – latest developments in the Member States Since the last issue of Live from Brussels. As the new Regulation and its related guidelines maintain the status quo in relation to the main types of vertical agreements used by the hospitality industry. would continue to be block-exempted until 31 May 2011. In Spain. the standard rate was increased from 20 to 21% and the reduced rates of 5 and 12% to 6 and 13% respectively. as from 1 July 2010. Vertical agreements already in force on 31 May 2010. However. the following changes in VAT rates for hospitality services were communicated to HOTREC.The new Regulation (and guidelines) entered into force on 1 June 2010 and will remain in force until 31 May 2022. In Portugal. the government increased the VAT reduced rate from 7 to 8% and the standard rate from 16 to 18%. and which were satisfying the conditions provided for in the previous Regulation 2790/1999. while restaurant services are subject to the higher reduced rate of currently 13%. from 21 to 23% and the reduced rate. HOTREC considered that the previous Regulation 2790/1999 and its related guidelines on vertical restraints had delivered an optimal level of performance for the hospitality industry and that they should not be fundamentally altered. instead of the standard rate. accommodation services benefit from the lower reduced rate of now 6%. as from 1 July 2010. In Greece. Hotel and restaurant services continue benefiting from the reduced rate. as from the same date the reduced VAT rate of 13% applies to restaurant services. 14 out of 27 EU Member States are applying a reduced VAT rate to restaurant services. Accommodation services still benefit from the lower reduced rate of currently 9%. HOTREC welcomes these two texts. as good news for the Finnish restaurant industry. the standard VAT rate was increased again as from 1 July 2010. Following the development in Finland. During the consultation process.

Monti mentions that “coordination of policies directed at raising standard VAT rates or limiting the application of reduced VAT rates may be beneficial” and finally recommends reforming “VAT rules in a single market-friendly way”. The study identified a lack of clarity in the classification system of the different products (based on the current Directive 92/83/EC) and a lack of harmonisation in excise duty rates (based on the current Directive 92/84/EC). Mario Monti. the Council postponed any decision. awaiting a comprehensive study from the Commission on the issue. was held. Taking the above into consideration the study proposes that (inter alia):   The minimum rates of excise duty be increased. the common consolidated corporate tax base. “analysing possible changes in the minimum rates and structures of excise duties on alcoholic beverages”. Monti suggested the setting up of a Tax Policy Group. A minimum rate on wine be introduced. This would be followed by a Commission Communication in 2011 setting out the priorities for the evolution of the VAT system. the study noted that the minimum rates of excise duties laid down by the Directive in 1992 have not increased and therefore lost around 44% in value. The Group will work on topics such as how taxation can contribute to a stronger Internal Market. a proposal by the Commission (COM(2006) 486) to increase the minimum level of excise duties was halted in the Council. Mr. taking account of the inflation since 1992. chaired by the Commissioner responsible for taxation and composed by personal representatives of the Finance Ministers of the Member States.e. On 29 September 2010. i. but also on corporate taxation. Algirdas Semeta. Towards a reform of the VAT and other tax regimes? On 10 May 2010. presented a report to the Commission on a new strategy towards a single market at the request of President José Manuel Barroso. In September 2007. In the study Mr. the Commissioner in charge for taxation.  Excise duties on alcoholic beverages – Report by the Commission As last reported on the issue of excise duties on alcoholic beverages (see Live from Brussels N°41). On 12 October 2010. prepared by London Economics. former Commissioner for Internal Market and Taxation. Furthermore. announced that a Green Paper will be published still in 2010 to launch a wide-scale debate on the evaluation of the current VAT regime. as proposed by the report of Mario Monti. following an opinion of the European Parliament saying that the proposal shall be withdrawn. HOTREC is watching these developments carefully as these discussions may lead to the long envisaged reform of the provisional VAT rules established in 1992 and also to a formal proposal for corporate taxation. According to the study some Member States apply 10 to 300 times higher excise duties on different types of alcoholic beverages than the countries applying the lowest rates. In June 2010. the Commission issued a study. the first meeting of the Tax Policy Group. to the growth and competitiveness of Europe’s economy and to a greener economy. 19 . It shall also serve as a forum for deeper discussions on not only a new VAT strategy.

that the social partners be consulted on all developments at Community level having social implications. A maximum rate of excise duty rates be introduced in order to better harmonise the rates at EU level. 3. As explained in Live from Brussels Nº 50. Italy. concrete impact and possible improvements of the sectoral social dialogue committees works and identifies possible improvements with a view to extending the scope and quality of the consultation and negotiation process. Martin Couchman emphasised the message on the need for funding to carry out the pilot phase of the project in four countries (Hungary. In his speech. HOTREC will watch the developments carefully as excise duties influence the final price of alcoholic beverages sold in hospitality establishments. HOTREC already replied to the draft outline on the future Communication on the European Sectoral Social Dialogue. HOTREC Chairman of the European Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee. Therefore. the European Commission organised an Extraordinary Liaison Forum to present and discuss the findings of the Commission Staff working document on the functioning and potential of European Sectoral Social Dialogue. HOTREC expects that the Commission agree to support financially the pilot phase of the EFFAT-HOTREC QSP project as the value of having a mobility scheme for the hospitality industry could be enormous. As reported in Live from Brussels Nº49. Only in this way will social partners be able to fully use the EU funding instruments. Negotiation and implementation of agreements. Discussion and consultation. SOCIAL DIALOGUE  Extraordinary Liaison Forum and EFFAT-HOTREC Qualifications and Skills Passport On 30 September 2010. and 4. amongst others. EFFAT Tourism Sector Secretary. took the floor to deliver a presentation on the EFFAT-HOTREC Qualification and Skills Passport for the hospitality sector. and Kerstin Howald. The document highlights the dynamics. in June 2009. HOTREC also pointed out in its reply that the Commission should simplify and facilitate the procedures to access the social dialogue budget heading. In its reply HOTREC stressed. Malta and Spain) where both the employers and trade unions had agreed to continue working in the project. Currently the QSP is ready to be piloted in the four countries mentioned above. On the “negotiation dimension”. 20 . each of which was devoted to one particular dimension of European sectoral social dialogue: 1. Joint actions/projects carried out by the social partners. The conference consisted of four working sessions. 2. At session 3 Martin Couchman. HOTREC pointed out that it does not have the mandate to negotiate social issues on behalf of its affiliate members. Contribution to the EU policy agenda. HOTREC and EFFAT need to secure additional funding from the Commission to carry out the next phase in these countries. the European Commission had agreed to support financially the first one-year phase of an EFFAT-HOTREC project to develop a Qualifications and Skills Passport (QSP) for the hospitality sector.

With regard to the second-phase consultation of the social partners on a possible revision of the Working Time Directive.SOCIAL AFFAIRS  Working time – awaiting second-phase consultation of the social partners As reported in Live from Brussels Nº50. the Commission was looking for the social partners´ views on whether action is needed at European level to review the current Directive and on the possible scope of such a revision. The consultation was extended until 7 June 2010.  Maternity leave –voted in the EP Plenary As reported in previous issues of Live from Brussels. In the description of the key issues. In this consultation. responses were not unanimous on whether EU action is needed in this area. HOTREC pointed out that no action is needed at European level in this area. In its reply to the first-stage consultation of the social partners. and Flexibility on the timing of minimum daily and weekly rests. This Communication launched the first-stage consultation of the European social partners. the Commission document referred to:     Working hours – opt-out. in accordance with article 154 (2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). as well as a study on the social and economic aspects that are pertinent to a comprehensive review of the Directive. According to the Commission the number of replies received both from cross-sectoral and sectoral organisations was quite large. on a possible revision of the Working Time Directive. HOTREC is of the opinion that over the years national legislation and collective agreements have developed to adapt the current European legislation to the different national/sectoral situations. Calculation of average weekly working hours. the European Commission adopted a Communication (COM(2010) 106) on “Reviewing the Working Time Directive”. on 24 March 2010. On-call time. However. amending Directive 92/85/EEC. amongst others. a Commission proposal (COM(2008) 637 final) for a Directive. as well as to the new developments in the “world of work”. As explained in the previous issues of Live from Brussels. The package includes. It is expected that this impact assessment will be presented in mid-November. A revision of the Directive would only disrupt these national/sectoral rules and create further uncertainties for the future. it will most probably be launched by mid November/beginning of December. in October 2008. on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of 21 . the Commission had also commissioned from an external consultancy an extensive impact assessment on the legal application of the Directive in the Member States. the European Commission issued a package of documents on work-life balance. HOTREC will follow the next developments in this area and will be pleased to contribute to the second-phase consultation of the social partners.

Members of the FEMM Committee debated the conclusions of the impact assessment.pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding. when family related leave is available at national level. Sweden and the United Kingdom. though this provision is not made mandatory. as the coordinators of the FEMM Committee announced in mid March that they had requested from an external company an assessment of the impact of prolonging maternity leave to 18 or 20 weeks with full pay and of introducing 2 weeks paid paternity leave. It introduces a new provision on “paid paternity leave” for a period of 2 weeks for workers whose life-partner has recently given birth. however. presented by Ramboll consultancy. HOTREC supports measures on work-life balance and protection of working women who are pregnant. The Commission suggests. the FEMM Committee adopted the report prepared by MEP Estrela (S& D. MPEs adopted amendments adding that. However. to extend the minimum period of maternity leave to 18 weeks (14 under the current Directive). MEPs voted by a large majority in favour of introducing both a 20 weeks maternity leave on full paid and a 2 weeks full paid paternity leave for workers whose life-partner has recently given birth. A first report on the proposal was referred back to the Committee on Women´s Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM) by the plenary session of the European Parliament in May 2009. the last four weeks of the 20 may be regarded as maternity leave and must be paid at least 75% of salary. Estonia. Nevertheless. amongst others. The impact assessment attempted to determine the economic and social costs and benefits of introducing 18 or 20 weeks fully paid maternity leave as well as of introducing 2 weeks fullypaid paternity leave in 10 Member States: Belgium. the plenary session of the European Parliament adopted its first reading legislative resolution on the Estrela report. HOTREC is of the opinion that an excessive regulation in this area will add financial costs and additional burdens on SMEs. France. On 23 February 2010. on 5 October 2010. Differing views about the costs and benefits of introducing 18 or 20 full paid maternity leave and 2 weeks full paid paternity leave were voiced by MEPs and invited experts. Portugal) on the Commission proposal. Spain. on 20 October 2010. Maternity allowance should be 100% of the full monthly salary. have recently given birth or are breastfeeding. Germany. Poland. The Members States will now analyse the parliament’s resolution within the Council of Ministers. The costs of the proposals vary widely among the Member States analysed because of the different rules on maternity and paternity leave schemes. 6 of which would have to be taken after the birth. Finally. Denmark. postponed. This legislative proposal is currently being dealt with by the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure. The report requests that maternity leave be extended from 14 to 20 weeks with full pay. Hungary. The vote in the plenary on the Estrela report initially scheduled for 24 March was. The compulsory extension of maternity leave to 20 weeks with full pay and the introduction of 2 weeks paid paternity leave would entail additional burdens in the majority of 22 .

The proposal is to be dealt with by the European Parliament and the Council under the ordinary legislative procedure. the Directive establishes that it shall be deemed sufficient if it guarantees an income at least equivalent to: (a) the allowance which the person concerned would receive in the event of a break in her activities on grounds connected with her state of health. 23 . Directive 2019/41/EU of the European Parliament and the Council on the application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women engaged in a self-employed capacity and repealing Directive 86/613/EEC was adopted on 7 July 2010 under the ordinary legislative procedure. (c) or any other family related allowance established”. in accordance with national law.  Maternity benefits: The Member States shall take the necessary measures to ensure that female self-employed workers and female spouses and life partners may. that Member State shall take the necessary measures to ensure that spouses and life partners can benefit from a social protection in accordance with national law. according to which extra rules in the field of maternity protection might discourage employers from recruiting young women and could have a negative impact on employment possibilities for women. (b) or the average loss of income or profit in relation to a comparable preceding period subject to any ceiling laid down under national law. but is of the opinion that this issue should be dealt with at national level.  Social protection of self-employed workers and assisting spouses . HOTREC shares the opinion of BUSINESSEUROPE. the European Commission presented a proposal for a Directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals (TCN) for the purposes of seasonal employment (COM (2010) 379 final). Claude Moraes (S&D. be granted a sufficient maternity allowance enabling interruptions in their occupational activity owing to pregnancy or motherhood for at least 14 weeks. where the situation in relation to maternity and paternity leave varies greatly.  New Commission proposal on seasonal workers On 13 July 2010. With regard to the allowance. The Directive establishes. HOTREC supports measures to improve the social protection of self-employed workers and assisting spouses. Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) Committee will take the lead on the discussions on the proposal in the Parliament. The Civil Liberties. UK) has been appointed Rapporteur for this dossier.Directive adopted As part of the Commission proposal on work-life balance. It is up to the Member States to decide if this social protection is implemented on a mandatory or voluntary basis. HOTREC took note of the new Directive.the Member States. It is up to the Member States to decide whether the maternity allowance is granted on a mandatory or voluntary basis. amongst others:  Social protection: Where a system for social protection for self-employed workers exists in a Member State.

coming to an EU Member State for the purposes of employment in a sector of activity dependent on the passing of the seasons (typically in agriculture. 24 . Seasonal workers are “third-country nationals (non-EU citizens). the European Commission opened a public consultation on the review of the European standardisation system (see Live from Brussels N°50).The proposal aims at establishing a common procedure for entry and residence of third country seasonal workers in the EU. The proposal for a Directive establishes. amongst others. so as to prevent exploitation and protect the health and safety of non-EU seasonal workers etc. However. Amongst others. according to the proposal “their work is regulated in one or more fixed-term work contracts concluded directly between the third-country national and the employer established in a Member State”. horticulture and tourism). The consultation is part of the broad “reflection process” launched by the Commission in 2008 with the objective to review and improve the functioning of European standardisation. It also lays down the rules governing working conditions. In March 2010. Also. and  Employers shall provide evidence that the seasonal worker will have appropriate accommodation during his/her stay. STANDARDS  European standardisation: HOTREC reply to Commission consultation . as it remains the right of the Member States to determine the number of seasonal workers to be admitted to their country. the consultation addressed the following topics:  Use of standards to avoid the creation of “technical barriers to trade for products and services” in the EU internal market. HOTREC is of the opinion that seasonal workers should be welcomed in the EU to deal with shortages in certain sectors of activity like the tourism sector. The proposal for a Directive when adopted will not be binding in the following Member States: United Kingdom.  Actions to be taken to make the system more accessible. The issue is of interest for the European hospitality sector because standardisation is being used by the Commission to support and complement EU policies and legislation. that:  Seasonal workers will be issued a visa or residence permit allowing them to work for a maximum period of 6 months. Ireland and Denmark HOTREC will monitor the next developments in this area. HOTREC considers that the current economic climate is s not the appropriate moment to for the proposed legislation. Such strict limitation is devoted to ensure that workers are employed for work that is genuinely seasonal and not for regular work. The proposed legislation does not create a right to admission of TCN.  The “costs of standards” and of their “operational implementation”. efficient and adapted to new markets and “societal challenges”.

25 . The presentation of the “Standardisation Package” by the European Commission has been postponed and it is not expected before April 2011. simplification. In such a case. The existing Directive states that a payment is considered late when it is still due after the date specified in the contract or 30 days after the reception of the invoice or the provision of the good/service. is of the opinion that standardisation should remain market-driven and standards should only be developed if fully supported by the industry concerned as well as by the consumers. At the same time. HOTREC reiterated the views of the European hospitality sector with regard to the functioning of the European standardisation system and the development of formal standards in relation to hospitality services. MEPs express support for the inclusion of service standards in the legal framework of European standardisation. The views of HOTREC vis-à-vis services standardisation and the functioning of the system were also echoed by other organizations of the tourism industry.Based on the outcome of the consultative process. in order to ensure a decrease in the number of late payments in the EU. in order to provide a legal basis for the development of European standards mandated by the European Commission “in welldefined and carefully assessed areas in the services sector”. HOTREC has been calling for a review of the working procedures of standardisation bodies. In its reply to the consultation. after proper business impact assessments. both institutions finally sealed a deal in mid-September 2010 during an informal trialogue meeting. is not obvious as it is for goods. Over the last years. Heterogeneity is a main competitive feature for the industry and success is based on differentiation. The European Parliament has also given its opinion on the matter via a non-legislative Resolution (P7_TA(2010)0384) adopted on 21 October 2010 under the lead of the IMCO Committee (Internal Market and Consumer Protection). in particular hospitality services. which is not against standards “per se”. at all levels. Amongst others. the Commission is currently working on a “Standardisation Package”. interests for late payments can be claimed. ENTERPRISE POLICY  European Parliament and Council agree on Late Payment Directive As explained in Live from Brussels N°46. such as quality charters and labels drawn up by professional bodies […]”. which will include a legislative proposal to revise the existing legal framework and a Communication on the future standardisation policy. MEPs express support for “actions taken to ensure the quality of service provision. in their replies to the Commission consultation. After heavy negotiations between the Council of the EU and the European Parliament. the need for services standardisation. HOTREC. members of NET (Network of European Private entrepreneurs in the Tourism sector). in the direction of increased transparency. balanced representation of stakeholders and enhanced consultation. Moreover. the Commission released in April 2009 a proposal to amend the existing Directive 2000/35/EC on terms of payments.

the initial Commission proposal would be amended as follows:      The standard deadline for both public and private sectors to pay a bill for goods or services will be 30 days. HOTREC and its Member Associations welcome the agreement between the Council and the European Parliament. Public authorities are entitled to obtain under very specific circumstances. The tightening of the rules on late payment is a step in the right direction that will bring concrete benefits for hospitality establishments contracting with public authorities. in addition to the interests for late payments. The Council should now be able to formally adopt the final text before the end of 2010. Amongst others. Rules on grossly unfair contracts would be tightened. Statutory interest rate for late payment is the reference rate plus 8%. Creditors would be entitled to receive. essential that HOTREC’s member associations review the practical implications for establishments in their countries. the Directive 2010/31/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on the energy performance was adopted. the impact of the abolition of the threshold of 1000 m2 for existing buildings should be carefully assessed. STATISTICS  Draft Regulation on Tourism statistics debated in Parliament and Council As reported in Live from Brussels N°50. ENVIRONMENT  Directive on Energy Performance of buildings adopted On 19 May 2010.According to the agreement between the two institutions. This Directive will apply to hospitality establishments. therefore. The proposal suggests the replacement of the current Directive 95/57/EC and includes inter alia the introduction of the net occupancy rate of rooms and also a more precise breakdown on tourist expenditure by requiring data on expenditure spent on accommodation. The key elements of the directive were already described in detail in Live from Brussels Nº50. 26 . the European Commission released a draft Regulation on European Statistics on tourism (COM(2010) 117 final). a compensation for internal recovery costs of 40€. It is. a maximum deadline of 60 days. The deal was formally endorsed by the IMCO (Internal Market & Consumer Protection) Committee on 5 October and has been adopted by the plenary session of the European Parliament on 20 October 2010.

The draft report shall be voted in the Transport and Tourism (TRAN) Committee in November and in the plenary meeting in December. The only outstanding issue seems to be. Statistics in Focus 25/2010 Tourism in Europe in 2009. the EU statistical office.  Recent statistical publications Eurostat. including expenses in restaurants. A seminar on digital distribution will be held in connection to the General Assembly. HOTREC submitted its comments and proposals for amendments to both Council and European Parliament. The debates in the Council are almost completed.The European Parliament is discussing the proposal and would like to achieve a quick agreement with the Council on this dossier. *** 27 . The current draft report. Statistics in Focus 41/2010 Camping holidays in the European Union. whether same-day visits should be dealt with in the framework of the future Regulation. prepared by rapporteur Brian Simpson (S&D. encouraging the continuation of the development of TSAs. asking for the inclusion of the figure RevPAR in the future Regulation and also for a more detailed breakdown of expenditures by tourist. suggests mentioning the importance and possible future legislative steps in relation to Tourism Satellite Accounts. which was also promoted by Eurostat (see also Live from Brussels N°49). According to the current state of play in the discussion between the Council and the Parliament it is unlikely to have information on revenues included in the future text. Statistics in Focus 24/2010 HOTREC GENERAL ACTIVITIES  Next General Assembly The 61st HOTREC General Assembly will take place in Budapest on 28-29 October 2010. UK). or rather by delegated acts. has recently released the following publications relating to tourism:    Winter season tourism trends in 2009.

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