Spark and Ecorys win DG SANTE study

As Spark celebrates its 4th birthday this month, we are pleased to confirm our participation in a new project with our frequent partners at Ecorys. Together we have been chosen to perform the following study for the European Commission DG on Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) and the Consumers, Health, Agriculture, and Food Executive Agency (CHAFEA): “Study on cross-border health services: potential obstacles for healthcare providers”.

This study will examine the requirements placed on health professionals who offer their services within the EU, but outside their home Member States. We will map the requirements based on specific situations (involving GPs, physiotherapists, hospitals, and medical laboratories) to find out whether any of these constitute potential obstacles to the provision of healthcare services within the EU28. In this way we will be examining issues surrounding the core of EU law and policy – free movement.

Spark is responsible for collecting information on the requirements in the ten Member States concerned, and will liaise with an excellent team of experts in these areas. We look forward to starting the research, and our 5th year of legal networking!

Spark and Time.lex ePrivacy study completed

Spark and Time.lex have now finalised our study on the ePrivacy Directive for DG Connect. The study “ePrivacy Directive: assessment of transposition, effectiveness and compatibility with proposed Data Protection Regulation” began in May 2014 and included the collection and analysis of data relating to the implementation and operation of the ePrivacy Directive in the EU28, as well as recommendations for future actions in this field.

The study highlighted that national provisions on topics such as cookies, traffic and location data or unsolicited communications, adopted pursuant the ePrivacy Directive, frequently have a different scope of application than the one defined by article 3 of the ePrivacy Directive, which is limited only to providers of publicly available electronic communication services (i.e. traditional telecoms companies). The limitation of the scope of the Directive only to providers of electronic communications services is ambiguous and may give rise to unequal treatment if information society service providers using the internet to provide communication services are generally excluded from its scope. To remedy this situation, we recommend to extend the scope of the ePrivacy Directive in general to also the latter type of services.

The study also considers that the rules on cookies and similar techniques may not have entirely achieved their objectives, given that users receive too many warning messages which they do not properly consider. Therefore, our report recommends maintaining the current opt-in approach to cookies, but limiting it only to situations where there is an interference with users’ privacy. This result may be achieved, for example, by broadening the exceptions to the cookie consent rule (which allows the placing of cookies in the users’ terminal equipment or equivalent web-tracking techniques only with the users’ prior and informed consent).

The study findings will feed into the forthcoming review of the ePrivacy Directive, not before the adoption of the General Data Protection Regulation. See here for further information: http://ec.europa.eu/digital-agenda/en/news/eprivacy-directive-assessment-transposition-effectiveness-and-compatibility-proposed-data

 

Spark wins DG MARKT Design Protection study

We are delighted to start 2015 with good news: Spark has been selected to perform a review on industrial design protection in the EU with our partners Time.lex, Queen Mary University of London, and Indigov. The study, commissioned by European Commission’s DG MARKT, will examine the implementation and application of the Design Directive in Member States as well as the unitary system under the Design Regulation. This is with a view to assess whether the current legal framework has met its objectives and whether it contributes to the smooth functioning of the internal market with regards to goods embodying designs, taking into account recent technical progress. We look forward to working with an esteemed network of design experts in the legal and academic fields across the EU28. For further information, inquiries regarding EU intellectual property law and details on the scope of our work, contact info@sparkleganetwork.eu.

New consortium for DG ENER framework contract with Triple E

Spark is pleased to announce we are part of a consortium selected for a framework agreement to conduct impact assessments and evaluations in the field of Energy. We will work alongside consortium leaders Triple E and DNV GL, Enerdata, Nuclear Research and Consultancy and Technopolis on the Framework Agreement, which has been commissioned by DG ENER. For further information, inquiries regarding EU energy law, or details of our work, contact info@sparklegalnetwork.eu.

Spark starts new project on public procurement for the Dutch Ministry of Finance

Together with our partners Ecorys and Houthoff Buruma, Spark has started a new project for the Dutch Ministry of Finance on the impact of the Dutch Public Procurement Act 2012, looking at the effect of changes to the law on the cost of public procurement.

Spark consortium wins European Parliament Framework Contract

Spark is happy to announce that we have been selected for the award of a European Parliament Framework Contract in the area of immigration, integration and management of the EU’s external borders.

We look forward to working on this with the consortium partners VVA Consulting and LSE Enterprise to provide ad-hoc advisory and briefing services on topics of human rights, migration, immigration, social security, free movement and the Schengen Agreement.

For information on the legal services Spark can provide, please email info@sparklegalnetwork.eu or call 0044 (0) 20 884 038 60

 

Spark and Time.lex to study the ePrivacy Directive for DG CONNECT

Spark and Time.lex have been selected for another European Commission DG CONNECT study, this time on the ePrivacy Directive. Together with our excellent team of legal experts, we will assess the transposition, effectiveness, and compatibility of the Directive with the proposed Data Protection Regulation across the EU.

A new consortium to study public procurement (ABRplus)

Spark has been selected for a European (DG Enterprise and Industry) study on the institutional and practical aspects of the implementation of EU public procurement rules in the Member States. Working alongside JIIP, London Economics, and VVA, this is an exciting opportunity to look at Member State specificities and administrative arrangements that affect public procurement procedures, and identify factors which impact the implementation of procurement rules.

New Spark study on cloud computing SLAs for DG CONNECT

Spark begins 2014 with an exciting new project: Spark and Timelex have been selected to lead a European Commission study on cloud computing service level agreements for DG CONNECT. During our 18-month contract we will examine legal frameworks for cloud computing and provide policy recommendations and a draft model for contracts.