Seldia Newsletter December 2012

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December 2012
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Seldia EU Exhibition on Women Entrepreneurship

On 19 to 21 February 2013, Seldia organizes a three day Exhibition on Women Entrepreneurs at the European Parliament building in Brussels. The aim of the exhibition is to underline the importance of women entrepreneurs and the need to tackle remaining barriers which create extra difficulties for women when starting their own businesses.

Seldia will exhibit best practices in the direct selling sector, which employs 4.5 million direct sellers in the EU, 85% of whom are women. The exhibition will also gather a multitude of partnering organisations with similar interests. Seldia’s exhibition is kindly hosted by the Members of the European Parliament Mrs. Malgorzata Handzlik (EPP) and Mrs. Lidia Geringer de Oedenberg (S&D) and will allow participating organizations to showcase their best practices, research or their activities related to women entrepreneurship.

For more information visit the event’s website under www.women-entrepreneurs2013.eu

Seldia Members interested in attending the exhibition and/or surrounding events please contact Marie Lacroix at marie.lacroix@seldia.eu.

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Industry News

Swedish DSA Academic and Female Entrepreneurship Awards
The Swedish DSA (DF) had its Annual Meeting and Gala Dinner at Grand Hotel in Stockholm on 17 November 2012. More than 150 direct sellers and leaders took part in the event and eleven of those were honoured with the DF Award for Excellency in Direct Selling.

Guest of honour was Wonna I de Jong (www.wonna.se) the face of successful female entrepreneurs. She came to Sweden 18 years old with the dream of becoming a business woman. Some decades later she is a billionaire in real estate. She even has her own castle (www.yxtaholmsslott.se), something she dreamt of having since she was a six year old selling vegetables in the local market of her home village of Przasnysz in Poland. 

Wonna presented the Academic Award (SEK 50,000) to Josefine Blom and Kristin Rudenstam for their thesis titled: “Corporate Social Responsibility, a hot subject”. DF had also introduced a new award for 2012, called the Female Entrepreneurship Award of SEK 50,000. Invitations for nominations were made through social media and after lengthy considerations the jury decided to award this price to Veronika Hedenmark. Veronika suffers from a serious handicap and at the age of 19 authorities wished her to go on lifelong sick leave. Instead, she started the company VH Assistans, which provides personal assistance to people with serious handicaps. After almost twenty years she has a 1,000 employees and a yearly turnover of more than EUR 24 million.

For more information visit the DF website at www.direkthandeln.org

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French DSA signs a new partnership with French University
The French DSA signed on 7th of December a three year partnership program with the University of Paris Est Créteil. The partnership will focus on several themes: recruitment, students’ professional integration, vocational training, and establishment of new training programs including direct selling.

With 32 000 students and 12 faculties, the UPEC is the largest multidisciplinary and vocational university within the Paris area (www.en.u-pec.fr). For more information contact Jean-Laurent Rodriguez (jlrodriguez@fvd.fr)

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French DSA elects new Chairman 

The French DSA’ General Assembly meeting of 7th of December elected Philippe Jacquelinet, CEO of Captain Tortue Group and former Chairman of Seldia as Chairman of the association.

For more information please see www.fvd.fr

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WFDSA 2013 Statistical Survey to be launched soon 

With the objectives to cover the entire direct selling industry – both members and non-members and to publish the 2012 data by May 31, 2013, the WFDSA 2013 Statistical survey will be launched on 14 January 2013. All DSAs and companies will be requested to participate in this major survey which will gather comprehensive data on our industry.  These data will provide substantial information to government, media and other stakeholders, help industry trends and support development of growth strategies.To top

EU AT A GLANCE

SELDIA CHEERS NEW EU LAW ON MEDIATORS

The European Institutions came to an agreement on a new law that will set high standards for mediation schemes, or Alternative Dispute Resolution in EU jargon. Today, consumers already have the choice of around 750 mediation schemes in the European Union.  Most operate in the Member State where they are established, taking complaints from domestic consumers about a commercial transaction they made.  Usually, mediators (or Ombudsmen) cover a specific sector and are appointed by an industry organisation or a company. Seldia has an own pan-European ADR system and its Member DSA’s each have ADR entities in form of the code-administrators that processes consumer complaints.

The draft ADR directive builds on existing ADR schemes and aims to step up their use by requiring member states to ensure that ADR bodies exist for all business sectors. Both EU Parliament and the Council must still formally endorse the agreed texts. The deal is expected to be endorsed by the Internal Market Committee on 18 December, and put to a plenary vote early in 2013.

More information on Seldia’s code of ethics for the direct selling industry and the ombudsman system can be found here:  http://www.seldia.eu/about-seldia/code-of-ethics

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EU Commission publishes 8th Consumer Markets Scoreboard

On 7 December 2012, the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Health and Consumers (DG SANCO) published the 8th edition of the Consumer Markets Scoreboard. This document is published twice a year. The spring edition monitors Member States’ consumer conditions, integration of the Single Market and the development of e-commerce while the autumn edition ranks the performance of 51 consumer markets based on consumers’ trust in business, comparability of offers, overall satisfaction and the frequency of complaints and problems. Plus, for the relevant markets, this edition monitors the choice of retailers/providers and switching of tariffs/providers. For the first time, this edition of the Scoreboard introduced different socio-demographic variables and included complaints data.To download the latest edition of the Consumer Markets Scoreboard click here
For more information visit the EC website

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EU Data Protection rules ‘on schedule’ despite delay
Despite not having begun formal deliberations in the Civil Liberties committee (LIBE), the European Parliament is on course to define its position on the EU’s new data protection regime by mid-2013, according to data privacy expert and Dutch Member of the European Parliament Sophie In’t Veld. Described by In’t Veld as “one of the most complex pieces of legislation in my career”, she also confirms that the work in the European Parliament is on schedule.

The leading rapporteur MEP Jan Philip Albrecht is expected to table his draft report to the assembly’s LIBE committee in January 2013, with some concern that any further delays could prevent the bills being completed by the European elections in 2014. Under the parliament’s rulebook, legislation which is not approved before the end of the legislative term automatically fall. Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding tabled the proposals in January. Alongside measures to increase individual control over personal data, are sanctions, including fines, for non-compliance. The parliament has to yet to give its opinion.

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Common European Sales Law – a long way to go
Over the last weeks the European Parliament hosted several meetings to discuss the EU’s proposal for a Common European Sales Law (CESL). While there had already been several parliamentary workshops over the course of the year, the latest editions rather served to summarize all the already existing views. While the proposal is mostly seen as added value, in particular by the parties invited to speak at these workshops, the main novelty is a series of studies commissioned by the European Parliament that were presented at the Interparliamentary Committee Meeting on 27 November that brought together MEPs and Members of national parliaments.

Most of these studies suggest how the draft law could be simplified and improved. Most notably, the “lawyer’s perspective” summarizes the situation as follows: “With reference to B2C transactions, the proposed CESL regulation seems to create unneeded complexity of the legal framework in which consumers and business have to operate, while establishing a burdensome procedure for the choice of CESL as applicable law in the contract. Apart from giving out a certain unease regarding the level of consumer protection afforded by the proposed regulation, such a procedure is likely to discourage both consumers and traders from opting in the system. As to B2B transactions, the CESL seems to overlap with the CISG. This international convention bears several similarities with the proposed CESL and has not proven to be a complete success. The reasons of this partial success may offer EU 

institutions important lessons for the purpose of avoiding the same problems in the CESL.”The set of studies can be found here

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Commission launches consultation on integrated parcel delivery market to boost E-commerce 

On 29 November, the EU Commission launched a public consultation on an integrated parcel delivery market to boost e-commerce. 57% of e-retailers consider cross-border delivery to be an obstacle to trading, while 47% of consumers worry about delivery in cross-border transactions. An efficient delivery (and return) system is key to facilitating further growth in e-commerce and therefore consumer choice and convenience. This is why the Commission has adopted a Green Paper consultation on the delivery of parcels, with special emphasis on cross-border issues and e-commerce needs. Stakeholders are invited to respond to the consultation before 15 February 2013.The consultation can be found here

  

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Commission communication on misleading advertising

On 27 November the EU Commission published its communication on “protecting businesses against misleading marketing practices and ensuring effective enforcement”. The communication assesses how the misleading and comparative advertising directive (MCAD) is currently implemented in the Member States and it identifies problems in its application and plans to revise it. Last year, the Commission consulted with stakeholders who called for a revision of the MCAD and better protection for SMEs and independent professionals against misleading practices. The Commission is putting together a network of national authorities to share information and to step up enforcement of the MCAD by introducing a black-list and penalties for infringements. The network will cooperate in cases of cross-border misleading marketing practices and will introduce provisions requiring Member States to designate an enforcement authority for B2B marketing.
  

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EU – Japan Free Trade Agreement

The European Council has finally given the green light to the Commission to launch free trade negotiations with Japan and the first round of trade talks can be expected to start soon. The trade talks between Brussels and Tokyo will lead to tangible results for the commerce sector. The agreement should deliver joint standards and certification schemes for consumer products as well as the mutual recognition of standards, the removal of existing tariff barriers, the liberalisation of distribution services and the relaxation of the rigid zoning regime in Japan.
 
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BEUC appoints new chairman 
Peter Vicary-Smith is new BEUC President. Which? chief executive Peter Vicary-Smith has been elected head of The European Consumer Organisation (BEUC) for the next four years. 

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EVENTS

Unleashing entrepreneurial potential in Europe (UEAPME)
22 January, Brussels (Link to event
Female Entrepreneurship EU Exhibition (Seldia)
19-21 February, European Parliament, Brussels, www.women-entrepreneurs2013.eu To top      

 

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Troy Dooly is recognized internationally as an influencer in the areas of personal branding, leadership development, marketing campaigns, organizational expansion, and corporate launch strategies. Dooly is a speaker, results coach, and radio host. He is a founding member, show host (Beachside CEO) and News Director of the Home Business Radio Network. He is a founding member, and currently serves on the Board of the Association of Network Marketing Professionals