Commission proposes measures to better single market governance and boosting services

The European Commission adopted a course of action to ensure that Single Market rules work better in practice. Among the measures proposed, it is also proposing measures to improve the way the services sector works because is vital as the Services Directive accounts for more than 45% of EU GDP. In addition to this, it suggest to focus efforts on sectors with the largest growth potential, which would be services and network industries in 2012-2013.

With the aim at improving the single market governance, the European Commission adopted a course of action. Moreover, it is also proposing measures to improve the way the services sector works. In particular, the Communication on "Better Governance for the Single Market" proposes to focus efforts on sectors with the largest growth potential. In 2012-2013, the sectors identified are services and network industries. For the same purpose, the Commission has recently published a public consultation on the European legislation on insolvency.

Among the measures proposed into the Communication, the Commission calls on Member States to commit to zero tolerance for late and incorrect transposition of Directives. The Commission, for its part, will provide enhanced transposition assistance in order to smooth out potential problems. In case of infringements, procedures should take no more than 18 months on average (currently 25.5 months) and Member States should comply with Court rulings within 12 months. The Commission also recommends making better use of IT tools to empower citizens and businesses. It calls on Member States to strengthen problem-solving tools and set up Single Market Centres to better monitor how Single Market rules work.

With regard to the specific measures addressed at boosting services, a Communication entitled "A partnership for new growth in services 2012-2015" shows that implementation of the Services Directive must be improved in order to boost growth. To achieve the forecasted growth the Commission calls upon Member States to eliminate discriminatory regulations which still exist in a number of EU countries. It also stresses that it will open infringement procedures against violations of the Services Directive. Moreover the Commission plans to work with Member States to maximize the economic benefits of the Services Directive. Finally, it also proposes to give a particular focus to key sectors such as business services, construction, tourism and retail (almost 30% of GDP).