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On 10th May 2021, the European Parliament’s Committee on the Environment invited experts to a hearing on genome editing. One of the four experts invited was Iris Strutzmann, AK Vienna, to represent the interests of consumers.

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A survey by Chamber of Labour Vienna and University of Vienna on the consumer behaviour of the Austrian population shows: consumers want to use their household appliances longer and they want the option to have them repaired rather than having to throw them away.

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On 29 April 2021, the European Parliament confirmed the compromise on rail passenger rights, which it negotiated with the Council and the Commission at the end of the year 2020. Hence, the negotiations regarding this Regulation are complete. From the passengers´ perspective, there are only few improvements, but one significant deterioration instead.

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Low-income groups are hit especially hard by the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic. Vulnerable consumers therefore need protection throughout Europe also in the field of financial services. AK calls for protective measures that range from consumer-friendly provisions regarding loans, overdrafts, finance lease contracts and other types of consumer credit to the use and the accessibility of cash.

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Christian Prantner

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Benedikta Rupprecht

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Within the scope of the Action Plan for Circular Economy the EU Commission plans, among other,  to introduce a more sustainable design not only for electronic devices, such as mobile phones and tablets, but also with regard to textiles. In view of both initiatives, the Commission has organised two consultations, in which the Austrian Chamber of Labour is also participating.

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With the Digital Service Act (DSA) the European Commission aims to foster innovation and competition, to rebalance responsibilities of users, platforms and public authorities and to better protect consumers and their fundamental rights online.

 

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Daniela Zimmer

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Frank Ey

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MEP Günther Sidl, AK EUROPA, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labour and ÖGB Europabüro, the Brussels Office of the Austrian Trade Union Federation would like to cordially invite you to our joint webinar "Informed consumer choices – also regarding genome editing?"

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E-book readers and networked TV sets send data on user behaviour to companies, fitness wristbands measure the pulse and supply health data to third parties, remote controls in smart homes preheat the oven and monitoring boxes in cars transmit driving behaviour to insurance companies, which make the amount of premium payments dependent on the measured data.

 

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Daniela Zimmer

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On 15 December 2020, the Commission presented its Proposal on a Digital Markets Act. It is, above all, to include rules for particularly powerful and influential Internet platforms – so-called gatekeepers. The Austrian Chamber of Labour welcomes the Proposal; however, it demands urgent improvements.

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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.