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PR(03)20: Liechtenstein fails to implement the Parental Leave Directive and the Conditional Access Directive


On 22 July 2003 the EFTA Surveillance Authority delivered two reasoned opinions to Liechtenstein due to that country’s failure to implement the Parental Leave Directive (96/34/EC) and the Conditional Access Directive (98/84/EC).

The Parental Leave Directive puts into effect the framework agreement on parental leave concluded by the social partners at European level. The agreement has been signed by the general cross-industry organizations, namely the Union of Industrial and Employers’ Confederation of Europe (UNICE), the European Centre of Enterprises with Public Participation (CEEP) and the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC). The purpose of the agreement is to lay down minimum requirements designed to facilitate the reconciliation of parental and professional responsibilities for working parents. It grants an individual right to parental leave and sets out the minimum requirements for such leave and for time off from work on grounds of force majeure. The Directive leaves it to the EFTA States’ legislation or to agreements of the national social partners to define the conditions under which parental leave would be implemented. Whilst the Directive entered into force in the EEA in July 2000, Liechtenstein made use of the possibility foreseen under the Directive to claim a maximum additional period of one year for implementation by a collective agreement. National measures ensuring the implementation of the Directive are however still not in force in Liechtenstein.

The Conditional Access Directive aims to ensure the legal protection of conditional access systems for pay-TV in the European Economic Area. The Directive requires that EEA States take the necessary measures to prohibit, inter alia, the manufacture, sale, installation and marketing of equipment or software that provides access to pay-TV services without the authorisation of the service provider. The Directive also requires that the measures taken against such illegal activities be backed by effective sanctions. Liechtenstein has not yet taken the measures necessary to ensure implementation of the Directive. Such measures should have been incorporated into the national legal order by 1 October 2001.

The purpose of a reasoned opinion is to give the State in question a last chance to take corrective measures before the Authority decides whether to bring the matter before the EFTA Court. In these cases the Authority requests that the Liechtenstein Government takes the necessary measures to comply with the reasoned opinions within three months.

For further information, please contact Mr. Tor Arne Solberg-Johansen, Press and Information Officer, on telephone (+32)(0)2 286 18 66.

22 July 2003

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