Luxembourg, 9 June 2022
Internal market and industry, 9 June 2022
Consumer credit directive
The Council unanimously approved a general approach on the proposed revision of the consumer credit directive. The revised directive repeals and replaces the current 2008 directive on credit agreements.
The proposal, presented by the European Commission on 30 June 2021, aims to modernise and ensure a higher level of consumer protection, reduce the current fragmentation of the market and deepen the cross-border market for consumer credit.
In their interventions, ministers stressed the importance of consumer credit legislation and highlighted the need for consumers to be protected in an increasingly digitalised environment.
The directive covers new products and credit actors that have emerged through the development of e-commerce. It simplifies the information provided to consumers in order for them make informed decisions and aims to make this information readable on digital devices.
To combat irresponsible lending practices that could lead to over-indebtedness, the directive requires member states to protect consumers against excessive rates and to promote financial education and debt advice. It also regulates the assessment whether or not a consumer will be able to repay their credit.
Ministers broadly agreed that the proposal presents a fair and balanced compromise that establishes a strong mandate for negotiations, which are scheduled to start this year with the European Parliament.
Regulation on semiconductors (Chips Act)
The Council also reviewed the progress made so far on the Chips Act. Ministers welcomed the Chips Act, which is intended to guarantee the EU’s future technological sovereignty, and emphasised its urgency given the current worldwide shortage of chips.
Ministers stressed the need for coordinated action at EU level to resolve the current semiconductor supply crisis. They supported the direction proposed by the European Commission, which offer relevant levers to strengthen short- and long-term production capacities in Europe.
Lastly, ministers noted the importance of developing international partnerships to strengthen the resilience and strategic autonomy of the European Union. To do this, it will be important to attract investment in innovative production facilities and to have a skilled workforce.
The resilience of Europe’s strategic industrial ecosystems
The Council held a policy debate on the resilience of strategic industrial ecosystems, during which the ministers stressed the importance of strengthening the resilience of these ecosystems.
In the light of recent developments, the ministers stressed that Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine highlighted the need to make Europe’s economic base more resilient and more competitive. Accordingly, the ministers stated their willingness to continue to work on these aspect.
The Council discussed specific actions to reduce strategic dependencies, in particular concerning critical raw materials. In the context of the Commission’s preparation of a legislative initiative on raw materials, ministers stressed the importance of securing the EU’s supplies of these materials, which are essential for the success of the green and digital transitions. They highlighted various levers, such as the development of strategic partnerships with third countries, the development of the circular economy, and the creation of a fair and sustainable investment framework, including from an environmental point of view.
Other topics on the agenda
- The presidency briefed delegations on the state of play on the proposal for a directive on consumer rights in the green transition.
- The Czech delegation presented its work programme for the upcoming Czech presidency.
- The Council also adopted without discussion the items that figured in the lists of non-legislative A items.
Research and space, 10 June 2022
Estimated schedule: 10 June
- TBC Arrivals (Research and space)
- 10:05 Public session (Research)
- 14:30 Press conference (Research)
- 15:30 Public session (Space)
- 17:45 Press conference (Space)
Ministers responsible for research will have a policy debate on supporting young researchers in times of crisis. More specifically, they will discuss how to coordinate EU action to overcome current challenges faced by researchers and how to help researchers build a sustainable career.
The ministers are expected to adopt three sets of conclusions, namely on principles and values for international cooperation in research and innovation, on open science, and on European missions.
Ministers responsible for space will have a policy debate on the resilience and competitiveness of the EU space programme. They will discuss what measures can be taken to strengthen the EU space programme, taking into account current challenges. Ministers are also expected to adopt conclusions on Space Traffic Management (STM) and on Copernicus by 2035.
Source: European Council