50 measures to boost European Single Market

The European Commission has looked back in time and analysed the development and challenges faced by the European Single Market with the purpose to put forward a series of measures which will help companies, consumers and workers to fully enjoy its benefits. For that reason, the European Commission has presented the Single Market Act and has open a debate on these measures with all interested parties.

Ensuring that both economy and citizens enjoy the benefits of a real and full EU Internal Market is one of the main challenges faced by the European Commission, a fact which was highlighted by president Barroso at his address before the Parliament on the state of the Union debate. For that reason, the Commission has put forward the Single Market Act containing 50 proposals to be put into place by 2012 to make the Single Market work better.

The Single Market Act

The Single Market Act will further strengthen Europe's highly competitive social market economy and will put people at the heart of the Single Market: as consumers, taxpayers, workers, investors, entrepreneurs, patients or pensioners. It will simplify life for SMEs, which make up more than 99% of Europe's businesses. But Europe's wealth and growth does not only rest on the shoulders of Europe's businesses. A good social system, quality education, competitive jobs and salaries are equally important.

Commission's Key Priorities on Single Market

  • For businesses: Capital for SMEs: The Commission will make proposals to ease access to capital by SMEs. It will also reduce costs for SMEs by simplifying accounting rules and improving their access to public procurement contracts. The Commission will look at introducing a common tax base for businesses operating cross-border, leading to further cost savings. These are proposals aligned with the measures also put forward by the Small Business Act.
  • For businesses: Social Business and long term investment: To foster more cross-border action, the Commission will propose European statutes for socially active organisations to serve and promote the social economy. The Commission will also encourage longer term investments, including ethical investments, exploring options for a specific labelling regime.
  • For consumers: Online commerce: Commission will propose rules in 2011 aimed at ensuring that creators and artists can sell their work throughout Europe with a one-stop shop for authorisation allowing them to reap the rewards of their work. Full implementation of the Services Directive and updated rules for e-commerce will also make a difference.
  • Workers: professional qualifications: 4600 professions are today regulated differently in member states. A thorough revision of the professional qualifications directive is therefore overdue. The Commission believes introduction of professional I.D. card or “cartes professionnelles” would reduce remaining red tape.

Another key element for a full implementation of the European Single Market is an effective, timely and correct implementation of European law into national law, which still remains incomplete. In addition to the normal enforcement measures, the Commission will also engage in regular dialogue with Member States, such as the mutual evaluation of EU laws and alternative dispute mechanisms.