Since the 31st March 2018, a requirement for eCall devices to be fitted in all new cars sold in the EU has come in to effect. The devices automatically contact rescue services in the event of a road accident, relaying the time and location of the crash. This new requirement is a measure designed to reduce the response times of emergency services.
To address concerns about privacy in relation to compulsory tracking devices, the European Commission have released a disclaimer.
Did you know that you will soon be able to access films, TV series and sports events you have subscribed to while travelling in other EU countries?
An EU regulation on cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market is going to apply from 1 April 2018 enabling anyone who has bought or subscribed to films, TV series, sports broadcasts, online games or e-books in the EU country they live in to access them when travelling across the EU. Further information is available here.
In the online#euFilmContest, participants are asked to recognise films or other audiovisual works that received support from the Creative Europe MEDIA programme. The most successful ten participants will get a chance to win a trip to the 71st Film Festival in Cannes (8–19 May 2018). The deadline for entries is 18 March 2018. Why not have a go!
The competition, to highlight the ending of mobile phone roaming charges in the EU in June, invites you to submit a photo showing how you use mobile phone or tablet while travelling in the EU. Three winners will each get two Interrail tickets for a train journey across Europe. Details of the competition are available here.
Since 15 June 2017 roaming charges in the EU have been abolished allowing mobile customers to use their network provider’s allowance of minutes, text messages and data throughout the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA) without incurring additional charges.
The abolition of roaming charges will continue to apply in the UK until it leaves the EU.
A new House of Commons Library briefing paper, available here, looks at possible scenarios after Brexit.
The factsheets below, produced by the European Commission, explain the current pre-Brexit situation.
Estonia assumed the presidency of the European Council on the 1st of July. A position it will hold for six months. This is the first time Estonia has held the rotating presidency. More information on what the role involves is available here. The motto of the Estonian Presidency is “Unity through balance” reflecting its belief that the EU’s role is to find a balance between different views, traditions and interests in Europe to achieve the best possible outcome for European citizens. The four priorities identified by the Estonian government for its presidency are:
an open and innovative European economy;
a safe and secure Europe;
digital Europe and free movement of data;
an inclusive and sustainable Europe.
You can follow the Estonian Presidency on Facebook or find out more about Estonia here.
As of today, (15th June 2017) data roaming charges for all travellers in the European Union have been abolished, as part of the wider project to create a Digital Single Market. The European Commission has produced a couple of useful factsheets (see links at bottom of article) on what this entails. However, as this BBC article explains, customers are still liable for extra charges if they exceed their contractually agreed data usage limits.
As the BBC article also points out, once article 50 has been fully implemented, it will be the up to a future UK Government to decide as to whether the UK adopts these pricing restrictions or not.
Europeans will soon be able to fully use their online subscriptions to films, sports events, e-books, video games or music services when travelling within the EU, following an agreement reached by negotiators from the European Parliament, Member States and the European Commission. This is the first step in the modernisation of EU copyright rules proposed by the Commission in its Digital Single Market strategy.
The future regulation will enable consumers to access their online content services when they travel in the EU the same way they access them at home. The new rules will become applicable in all EU Member States by the beginning of 2018, giving the providers nine months to prepare for the application of the new rules.
A factsheet and leaflet on the portability of online content services are available.
Broadband Europe promotes the European Commission’s vision to turn Europe into a Gigabit Society by 2025.
The UK RemIX project to bring high speed internet to rural areas on the West Coast of Scotland won the prize in the ‘Future-proof and quality of service’ category. The other winning projects were from Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Poland.