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ERA Public Affairs Newsletter | April 2020



ERA Public Affairs Newsletter | April 2020


Dear Members,

This is the first instalment of the new ERA Public Affairs Newsletter to keep our rental association members up-to-date with what is happening at EU level. It will be issued on an ad hoc basis, depending on policy developments in Brussels and beyond. 

The majority of content in this edition relates to topics that were at the top of our agendas before the coronavirus crisis. In the coming months, ERA will further monitor the situation at EU level and continue to assess the ramifications of the crisis for the European rental industry.  

We welcome you to use the information in this newsletter in your communications with your members. For more information or other enquiries, please contact era@erarental.org.


EU reaction to the coronavirus crisis
While most social and economic measures to tackle the COVID-19 crisis are taken at national level, the EU has acted in areas where it is competent, including a Coronavirus Investment Initiative, relaxed rules on state aid, a EUR 750bn stimulus programme, financial support for SMEs and guidance on the continuous flow of cross-border goods.

Get more information on ERA's COVID-19 page or read the full report here.


EU Green Deal and Circular Economy Action Plan - what's in it for the rental industry
The European Green Deal is the flagship programme of the current European Commission to make Europe more sustainable, with a Climate Law enshrining the target of climate neutrality by 2050. The theme of 'Circular Economy' is at the centre of this wide-ranging package of legislative policies and a new Circular Economy Action Plan was published on 11 March. The impact of this Action Plan for the rental industry will include:

- Sustainable product legislation to improve durability, reusability, 
   upgradeability and reparability

- Electronic product passports with information on product
  characteristics and repairs, as well as a 'right to repair'
- Waste reduction in the construction sector and a focus on the
  sustainability of construction products
- Legislation requiring companies to substantiate environmental
  claims

Read the full report here.


Post-Brexit trade relations between the EU and UK - what to expect beyond 2020
The UK ceased to be a member of the European Union on 31 January and the transition period that aligns the UK with EU law will come to an end at the end of this year. Negotiations on a new trading relationship began on 3 March, but what can we expect to come after this period?

Prepare for tariffs - Both sides are aiming for zero tariffs, but there is little time to conclude a deeper agreement, the EU's offer will depend on the UK's readiness to accept level playing field rules and agreement will have to be found on contentious issues like agricultural subsidies and access to fisheries.

Expect more friction in trade - The UK's limited ambitions in the talks, most commonly citing the EU's relationships with Canada and Australia as models, points towards a much more restricted trading relationship. A focus on tariffs also comes at the cost of other barriers to trade. Border checks and increased paperwork are to be expected.

Be prepared for no-deal - There is very limited time for negotiations and the UK government has outlawed an extension to the transition period. Because of this, a no-deal scenario is a distinct possibility. The European Commission is producing 'readiness notices' to help different sectors prepare.

Read the full report here.


Harmonising safety rules for non-road mobile machinery in the EU
The European Commission is preparing a new legislative proposal to harmonise the road circulation safety requirements for non-road mobile machinery. Through ERA, some rental companies participated in a study showing that 20 percent of compliance costs could be saved by harmonising national rules. The current patchwork of regulations costs the sector around EUR 6bn every 10 years. For end-users and rental companies, the savings could be around EUR 500m.

The Commission is now preparing draft legislation and ERA will continue to monitor this initiative.

Read the full report here.


ePrivacy Regulation rejected
The ePrivacy Regulation on the privacy of electronic communications has been rejected by the European Council, with the main sticking points being Articles 6 and 8 on processing and storing data by user equipment. Together with partners from the construction sector, ERA had expressed concern that the regulation would cover machine-to-machine communications, extending the concept of personal consent to these kinds of data.

The Commission is yet to decide whether it will come up with a new proposal.

Read more here.


DigiPLACE - a digital platform for construction
DigiPLACE is an EU-funded project to create a roadmap for a Digital Platform for Construction in Europe that ERA participates in as a member of the Advisory Board.

The project will provide a framework for the development of future digital platforms as common ecosystems of digital services that will support innovation and commerce, among others, and will also address obstacles to synergies in the EU's Single Market and enable innovation and productivity growth in the construction sector.

Together with CECE, ERA is organising an online information session on 29 April and a workshop in Hannover, Germany, on 30 June. Find out more about the events here.

Watch the DigiPLACE project video here.

For more information: era@erarental.org | +32 2 761 1604 | www.erarental.org 






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