“If we are the ‘main business representative body’ [as Byrne described them] then we are surprised that the Commissioner keeps reporting that there is ‘broad support’ for the plan,” said Chauvin.“That is because, from the very outset, UNICE has expressed high scepticism and has asked, from the very beginning, for clarification. “Maybe it’s time to get that clarification. The reform Byrne is proposing is far-reaching and could have an impact not only on consumers but the whole internal market. But we have not had a satisfactory response and we are not in a position to support it.”Chauvin admitted that industry was encouraged by Byrne’s initial promise to replace some of a patchwork of EU consumer protection laws covering many sectors with a single framework directive that would force companies to trade fairly with their customers.But he said this plan appears to have been scaled back and that the new directive might be an extra layer of red tape that will make life more complicated for companies – particularly small firms. “Now they [Byrne and his officials] are saying the broad framework could co-exist…it is changing, and moving like an amoeba – but the contours are not shaped,” added Chauvin. The linchpin of Byrne’s plan – to be in place when he leaves the Commission in 2004 – is a framework directive that would force businesses from plumbers to e-commerce bookstores to abide by common levels of ‘fairness’ in their dealings with customers. In an interview with European Voice last week, Byrne said a green paper outlining his proposals had received “a very good response” from business groups. However Jérôme Chauvin, head of company affairs at Brussels-based EU employers’ federation UNICE, suggested the Irish Commissioner’s statement was overly positive. The business group said it also has concerns over the way the Byrne blueprint will fit in with other pressing areas of EU policy.These include Commission President Romano Prodi’s proposals on European governance, the Convention on the future of Europe and a separate initiative on sales promotions, launched by Internal Market Commissioner Frits Bolkestein.At the same time, UNICE said it was unclear how Byrne’s plans would affect industry’s efforts to police itself.
Related The Sufferfest, a comprehensive training platform for time-crunched athletes that is now part of Wahoo Fitness, has today announced the release of a suite of training plans. These are designed specifically for athletes who are staying indoors due to the current global health crisis.These four-week ‘All In’ training plans are completely indoor-based and place increased emphasis on yoga, strength and mental training. Each indoor plan offers a different focus – cycling, multisport, cross-training – while incorporating sessions from The Sufferfest yoga and strength training video library.To help athletes develop essential positive thinking and goal setting skills, each plan also includes sessions from The Sufferfest Mental Toughness Program.‘Drawing on decades of experience at the highest level of the sport, the plans were designed by the Wahoo Sports Science Team to help athletes improve their fitness while remaining indoors and maintain motivation in the midst of this unprecedented crisis.’“The current pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our daily lives,” said David McQuillen, Head of the Wahoo Fitness Sufferfest division. “While all of us at Wahoo Fitness know that there are far more important things than that next workout, we also know that there is comfort, solace, and meaning to be found in exercise.“Social distancing and self-Isolation brings with it many challenges for athletes trying to maintain or even improve fitness. Our Sports Science Team developed these comprehensive, four-week plans specifically to help homebound athletes redefine their goals, train responsibly, and use their time inside to get stronger both physically and mentally.”In contrast to ad-hoc challenges or virtual events, The Sufferfest team notes that the new ‘All-In’ plans are structured, progressive and designed to provide enough training load to allow athletes to stay fit without too much intensity.Each plan offers a different area of focus. Plans are designed to take the place of outdoor and group activities. Cyclists can vary the number of rides as well as their strength training level; and multisport athletes are given out-of-the-pool strength training plans as well as treadmill alternatives.To help manage so many early season race cancellations, athletes focusing on cross-training can use this time to develop the strength and fitness needed to support their primary athletic goals, while the yoga-focused plan is organized so athletes can gradually ramp into the hard sessions, which is important for those who have never done yoga before.In order to ensure that the plans are accessible to everyone, The Sufferfest is offering new users a free month subscription through the promo code ALLINSUFPLAN.www.thesuf.com/ALLIN