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On 15 December 2020, the EU Commission presented the eagerly awaited proposals concerning two regulations, which are to better regulate online platforms in the future. Provided for, among others, are severe penalties for major online platforms if these do not comply with the new rules.

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On 13 November 2020, the Commission presented its new Consumer Agenda. In it, it introduced its vision as well as concrete plans for EU consumer policy from 2020 to 2025. This communication too focusses on more actions in respect of both green transition and digital transformation.

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For two years now, negotiations have been ongoing at WTO level concerning new rules for electronic commerce. As one of 42 civil society organisations, the Chamber of Labour has issued a declaration insisting that the protection of the fundamental right to data protection and privacy will take top priority.

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In May 2020, the European Commission presented the “Farm to Fork Strategy” as well as the EU Biodiversity Strategy to achieve a more climate-friendly agricultural and food system as well as more biodiversity. The Austrian Chamber of Labour welcomes the path taken; however, measures should be socially fair and in accordance with workers’ and consumers’ demands.

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Three years after the proposal of the European Commission to reform rail passenger rights, representatives both of European Parliament and Council reached political agreement on this dossier on 1 October 2020. However, the compromise hardly includes any positive reforms, which would make travelling by rail more attractive to passengers; on the contrary, concrete changes for the worse have been entered.

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At the beginning of the recent electoral period of the EU, the European Commission under its President Ursula von der Leyen announced a series of initiatives in terms of digitalisation. By the end of the year 2020, the Commission will present a proposal to revise the legal rules regarding economic activities on online platforms. For the ongoing consultation, the AK provides a tool to facilitate the participation of platform workers.

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Representing the interest of consumers, the Chamber of Labour has for years been demanding the introduction of Europe-wide collective redress. On 22 June 2020, the European institutions agreed on a Directive. A milestone towards the efficient enforcement of consumer rights throughout Europe.

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Since the outbreak of the Covid-19 crisis, a huge amount of fake news has been spread across the internet. Now, the Commission has recommended measures to improve the fight against future disinformation. However, comprehensive protection of internet users also requires the consequent protection of their data.

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On 20 May 2020, the European Commission set another important step to implement the Green Deal: with the now presented Farm to Fork Strategy, food production in Europe is to become more sustainable and ensure more transparency for consumers.